February 7 & 8, 1943. A couple of letters from Stanley to Dad. Still writing from Oxford, Mississippi on the campus of the University of Mississippi where he us going through training to be an Army clerk, he tells his brother, “I do not expect to hear from you frequently as when you get through drilling and marching and calisthenics you are just about all out of energy to write letters. I know how it was when I was at St Petersburg, Florida. You get so tired that you just feel like lying down and rest for about 2 or 3 hours.” He continues, “I just had supper and do I feel lousy. I guess I have a cold and that is why. I ate mashed potatoes, sweet peas, liver in gravy, some lettuce, coffee, bread and butter and milk and some vanilla ice cream.” This is quite a contrast from the news of scarcity (difficulty finding bread and meat shortages) that is coming out of Albany.
The day before (on Feb 6th) they had their final exams. It was a 140 question test that they had to complete in 75 minutes. After the test they went to the auditorium where they were briefed on news from the battle fronts. True to his training, Stanley provides no details on what they learned. After that (at about 2PM) they were taken on a 6 mile hike followed by a foot inspection to check for blisters (Stanley has one small one) then they were “quartered over” (told not to leave their immediate area).
He is expecting that the lectures will continue for the rest of the week with some more training films added in for good measure. He also relays the following news:
In his letter of the 8th he states that they will start another three weeks of training. He expects that, “These three weeks will be tougher than the previous ones, as we will have problems to work out using our Army regulations.” I’m not quite sure if he means the problems will be tough, or if the difficulty comes from having to solve them using Army regulations. On a final note, he reports getting a 77 on his final test and that, “I’m glad I passed it, that is all I worry about.” He closes, “God bless and keep you. I hope this war gets over with quicker so we can go home.”