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I am Learning Plenty

Posted by on July 13, 2014

May 18 & 19, 1943. Two letters home from Dad. He starts be asking how many teeth mama has left to be pulled commenting “I remember that she didn’t exactly have that many of them as it was.” He also wishes her “enough strength to carry on.” Dad also addresses Anna’s questions in her May 14th letter  about the length of any possible furlough he might get explaining that the 14 day furlough “will apply to newly inducted men …however there may be another angle to it.”

He writes about the news that Stanley showed up at home with a moustache, “I never knew that Stanley was growing a victory garden under his nose, and perhaps I’ll give him a contest yet. At present I don’t bother with a moustache.”

He also comments on the news that Josephine Weiss is marrying a fellow named Henry Duncan. “…she chose a guy whose name appears on a yoyo. Do you remember the “Duncan” yoyos we used to play with? Now Josie can play with a live one. As for the string to hold him, maybe she will need that too.”

Turning more serious, Dad says that he is “still reporting for duty at the 376th Base Ordnance” and he is “learning more and more about Ordnance supply to planes.”  In layman’s terms that means making sure that the planes have their full complement of ammunition and bombs.

In other goings on, he mentions that there “is another dance tonight and the WAACs should be there.” He says, “They are beyond my age as they enlist them from 20 or 21 and up… they don’t interest me at all.”

In his letter of the 19th he mentions that after dinner he saw The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda and “We also saw the confiscated (captured or gotten ahold of somehow) Jap movies as they bombed Pearl Harbor etc. taken by the Japs as they committed their treachery. It’s not for public showing.”

Lobby card art for the 1943 movie the Ox Bow Incident starring Henry Fonda. Image credit:

Lobby card art for the 1943 movie the Ox Bow Incident starring Henry Fonda. Image credit:

The Lieutenant that he reports to instructed him and three other men in the office to get their “G.I. licenses to operate vehicles…as soon as possible.” He has already passed both of the written tests and expects to learn how to drive the jeep as early as the next day. He reveals that he never learned to drive at home. He writes that “As time goes by here I am learning plenty and maybe someday I may see Officers Training School.”

He addresses a paragraph to Stanley writing, “I am sure you will have plenty of interesting things to write me about and if you aren’t able to tell all you would like to tell, you can forget about it as I will understand and when we finally do get together after this war we will have plenty of time to discuss matters.”

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