July 10, 1943. Stanley writes a relatively short (1 ½ page) letter to Dad. As goes life in the Army, Stanley is at a new base. They left Geiger Field a few days later than expected on July 7th and had a 22 hour trip to Great Falls, Montana. Any more, travel between bases has become routine with Great Falls Army Air Base being his seventh location in a little less than nine months. He says of the travel, “We got up at 1 AM and ate at 1:30 and shipped out at 4 AM. We got here the following morning at 2 am… When we got off the train the band was waiting for us early in the morning and escorted us up the road. The fellows preferred to go to bed…than be serenaded by a band.” He elaborates that the trip was “nice and warm and we had the windows open and it was so nice that the fellows just slept most of the way.”
He writes that the trip was about 500 miles and that they had K rations on the train and that they made coffee only once during the trip. Of the area surrounding the base he says, “The mountains in the background are pretty nice and they are about 50 miles away. The mosquitoes here fly around like P38 planes.” He expects that they will move to yet another base in another month.
Apparently one of the squadrons on the base has a bear cub as a mascot. “It is small but ferocious. It is that brown black color with [a] pointy nose. They have it chained so it does not get away. I saw him today and I tried to pet his leg and he turned around and snapped his head around ready to take a nip. It sure is ferocious. They have a basic soldier taking care of him and feeding him and going for a walk with him. I wonder what they will do with it when it grows up.”
In other news:
- He went to a USO show on the base and notes that “Some of the jokes that they crack at the USO shows are sure dirty.”
- He heard about the invasion of Sicily on the radio and surmises that “It won’t be long now before the Americans show Hitler who is boss.”
- There is no further news about his blood pressure.
- He sewed most of the stripes on his shirt himself, although he admits that he “would have liked one of the pretty blonde WAACS” to do it for him.
In closing he mentions that he is enclosing a few clippings including “a poster on women who have disease”.