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Keeping the Good Ones Only

Posted by on May 8, 2015

August 17 & 18, 1943. Two letters from Stanley to Dad. Stanley acknowledges receiving some of the letters that Dad wrote to him while on furlough and comments, “I sure know you enjoyed your stay at home…I hope it isn’t long before this blasted affair ends so peace will come and  we come back home.”

Stanley made it out to the rifle range for target practice with the carbines. He says “it was pretty windy” and he shot “105 points out of a possible 200.”  On his second round he improved his score to “146 out of a possible 200”, beating the 135 needed to qualify.  As far as how the outfit will be armed, Stanley writes that “Every tenth man…will get a submachine gun. The officers are the only ones to get a pistol. We all will get the carbines.”

As far as the makeup of his group, he says that “They take the good for nothing ones and send them on their way to other squadrons outside the group and get good ones in. We sent out a stack of the ones we did not want into the other places. We are keeping the good ones only. …We have a good bunch of hard working men now and everything seems to be going along okay”.

Stanley also breaks the news that he hopes “to get another rating, I hope a hope a hope.” Stanley is perhaps in the best position to know he is in line for a promotion as he relates “I typed the recommendation for promotions any my name was on it for S/Sgt. …My job calls for a S/Sgt rating so I guess they are trying to meet the table of organization before going over.” He also says that his group expects to be shipped overseas soon and that they are “trying to get all the furloughs in by 30th of September” with an embarkation timeframe of  “probably about November sometime…when it will be nice and cold.”

In other news from Cut Bank, Montana:

  • The weather is already changing for the colder. He reports they had a dust storm one day and that “in the evening it got cold and windy. This morning when I got up it was snowing outside the barracks.”
  • The young golden eagle that they had as a mascot was released.

Although there are not many of the letters that Dad wrote to Stanley in the papers, sometimes we can surmise what was written by the comments back. In this instance, Dad must have written to Stanley that he sat next to a girl on the overnight train ride home for his furlough. Stanley writes, “You told me to tease you, well here goes. This is all in fun anyway.” He goes on to give dad the kind of hard time that only one brother can give to another asking questions like “did she spend the night with you on the train??????????” Stanley does admit that “It gets sort of monotonous to sit with a GI when you can sit with a girl and get all the dope on the women situation.”

In an excerpt from uncle Stanley's letter to his brother (my dad) he teases him like only a brother could about his sitting next to a girl on the train home during his recent furlough.

In an excerpt from uncle Stanley’s letter to his brother (my dad) he teases him like only a brother could about his sitting next to a girl on the train home during his recent furlough.

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