August 22 and 23, 1943. Two letters from Stanley. In the good news department, Stanley has been promoted to Staff Sergeant effective on August 20. Stanley boasts, “I am the top ranking man in our family” referencing that he outranks not only his brother but a few of their cousins as well.
Most of the letter of the 22nd is dedicated to Stanley’s account of a trip that he took along with about fifteen of the guys from the base to Glacier National Park, which is about 60 miles due west of the base. “Talk about scenery and beauty, there was sure plenty of it. We had the canvas rolled back and boy it sure was nice outside riding through the mountains. We saw a little snow in parts but could not get any wheres near to it. We stopped at St. Mary’s Lake and spent most of the time there either fishing or sleeping.”
In addition to the fishing at the lake, a few of the guys decided to make a raft with moderate success. “We pushed the raft into the water and it almost came apart….on one side for the foundation of the raft we had one big log and the other one was a small one. It held them (the soldiers) okay. But the water got sort of rough and they got sort of wet.”
After the rafting, they went to the inn at the park for ice cream, apple pie and coffee then they were off to explore a little more. “Talk about beauty the lake between the two big mountains sure was nice. …you could see grooves in both sides of the mountains slanting downward towards the lake. The mountains on each side of the lake were good and high. I imagine they were as high if not higher than the Empire building in New York. I guess it was even higher than that. Boy I never saw such beauty as I did there.”
On the way back a few of the fellows took an opportunity to hike up one of the mountains. Stanley writes, “They were so high you could barely see them. …they left their undershirts with their names hanging on the trees on the top then came down. Boy I can imagine it was nice from the top of the mountain.”
Stanley asks dad how he enjoyed his furlough and how quick it took the baby to get used to him. Stanley also says that he is glad that dad got to see Joe Miller in his uniform. Although Joe is in the Navy, Stanley writes that he prefers the Air Corps “as you move about a lot and see the world.”
Stanley also reiterates that it will be “probably before October 1st when we start packing to go over.” He writes that now that they have received their “warning orders” to prepared for an overseas embarkation, he will “discard some of the letters I will be getting just in case the censors might take over.” He further writes “I think from now on as soon as I get through with the letters which I receive here from you or Anna or the folks at home I will destroy them unless they are of some interest I would want to keep for after the war.” He also writes that he will be limited in terms of how much he can take overseas with him “As some of the stuff is going by plane, some by boat and some by Air Transport.”