March 21, 1943. A letter from Stanley to Dad on the first full day of spring, As it is a new season, Stanley finds himself on a new base – Ephrata Air Base in Washington State. He writes, “Here I am again, but still further away. At Salt Lake City we found out before we were shipped that we were coming here. This is a new place and it sure is big.”
He goes on to give a blow by blow description of his trip. “On Wednesday, March 17…about 3:50 P.M. we were notified that we were being shipped same day. We packed and did not leave till about 8 or 8:30 P.M. Eleven of us came here. That Wednesday we did not have any supper. The Lt. in charge bought some sandwiches and we in turn bought them from him. We left Salt Lake City proper at 11:20 P.M. I slept in the upper berth.”
“Thursday (March 18) all day we rode through Idaho. Boy we sure saw some beautiful scenery of pines and hills with a nice stream or river flowing near the tracks. Some of the mountains were covered with shaded colors and looked mighty nice. At 2:30 P.M. we crossed the Snake River and were on the banks of Oregon State.”
“On Friday, March 19 we pulled into Spokane, Washington about 10 A.M.” As the train was not scheduled to leave until 7:30 they spent the day in Spokane “We had dinner and supper at the Spokane Hotel” and “went to the Fox Theater and saw Star Spangled Rhythm.” He notes there were ducks in the river near the hotel and says, “Too bad Eddie was not around, he would take care of them.”
They finally arrived at Ephrata at 11:10 P.M. But it was 3:30 A.M. before they finally got assigned to their huts, settled in and got to sleep. “On Saturday morning we reported to headquarters. I and six other were assigned to work in the office.” He also says that on Saturday “I got to ride in jeep to where they flying fortresses were. Boy they sure are enormous babies – four motors.” He says that if he gets permission he will be able to get a ride in one of them.
He says “a lot of the fellows here in the huts just came back from overseas. A few…were in the same 19th Bomb Group as Captain Kelly. They were in Australia, New Guinea, Java and the Philippines.” He mentions that some of these men are assigned to his hut.
He says “I’m beginning to like this place. The food is very good. We have no bed checks or roll call. We go to work at 8 A.M. and quit at 5 P.M. It is just like working in civilian life.” Before signing off he provides Dad with his address as follows:
Cpl. Stanley A Murawski
395th Bomb Group (H)
588th Squadron (H)
Ephrata Air Base
Below is a video from the Florida Times-Union about Capt. Colin P. Kelly, Jr.