June 1, 1943. Dad writes a letter home. He gets to the big news right up front “Here I am in Topeka and am not doing so bad. When I get accustomed to the surroundings and the base regulations I think it will be alright.” He notes that with the move from Smoky Hill to Topeka he is 120 miles closer to home. He writes that with a few more moves like this he’ll be “practically home”.
Yes, he’s been moved again. He reports on the journey. “The ride from Smoky Hill Army Air Field to Topeka reminded me of how we used to go to Lake Ticonderoga except that the travel here was drawn out wasting twice as much time. As we rode along one of the planes from the field was flying past and would swoop down close over the road.” He also comments “These trucks ain’t too comfortable.”
He also gives a rundown of the towns they passed through on the way. Remember these were the days before the interstate highway system, so all the roads went through towns. He went through “Abilene, Detroit (Kansas), Ogden (Kansas), St. Mary’s, St. George and Junction City.” He notes that “Junction City was fairly large”, but the rest of the towns “look like the saloon days of the great gold rush of ’49.”
As far as the accommodations in Topeka, “This place has the most ritzy barracks that I’ve ever been in, similar to Savanna Section Ordnance School.” He writes that the showers and bathrooms are in the barracks buildings and that his bunk is on the second floor of the two story building.” The base also has a consolidated mess hall large enough to accommodate several groups at one time meaning “K.P. won’t be that easy.”
Once they got to the base and settled in, Dad and the rest of the office staff spent the day “arranging desks and fixing up our building where we work.” He writes further that Jeanette MacDonald will be giving a performance in Topeka on June 10 and that he will be going into town the next day to take a look around and to see if he can get a ticket to the show. Since he got paid before they left Smoky Hill he has the money to buy a ticket.
As a P.S. he provides a brief rundown of his movements, noting that many of the times he has been in transition had been on one holiday or another. His notes to that effect are below.