August 31 and September 3, 1943. Two letters from Stanley to Dad. The 31st was payday, so Stanley has been busy the last few days of the month getting everything in order. On the last day of the month Stanley managed to knock off work early and spend some time in the orderly room catching up on his correspondence.
Stanley does mention that they saw the northern lights at camp. I suppose the camp is a little too far south as Stanley reports “Was not much to them at all. They were very weak.” As you may recall from a previous letter, the Cut Bank base is on an Indian Reservation. Stanley mentions, “This coming Saturday they will have a pow wow here. They will have some full blooded Indians here and some of the Officers will be taken into their tribe. – The Blackfoot Indians. We are on their reservation.”
There are still reports that Stanley’s group will be heading overseas soon. “3/4ths of our guesses is that we go to England and where we go from there I do not know. I think in about 2 or three weeks we may be getting our POE address but I am not sure”
By the 3rd the news has got to Stanley about Dad’s promotion, so Stanley congratulates him on his “extra stripe”. Stanley continues, “Well I am really proud of you brother and I really mean it. Every so often when I get a chance I said a prayer that you could get a stripe or so and I guess everything is okay now. I guess you don’t have to worry about KP or anything anymore. The extra stripes sure look good on the arm.” Stanley also mentions that with his promotion to Staff Sergeant he now makes more than he did in civilian life.
By the third it has also become more certain and a little more official that they will be headed to England. Stanley also encloses a bulletin which lays out some of the specifics “as if we did not know where we were going.” Stanley expands“The Chaplain told us it would be another month before we went over. Well I imagine after entering England we will probably either go to Africa to bomb Italy or stay in England. I don’t know. He said we would stay there about a year.” The bulletin is posted below. Click on the image for a full size version. If you prefer to view it as a .pdf you can click here.
In other news, the First Sergeant is out on furlough for the next two weeks, so Stanley has been busy trying to keep the office running. “We have some trouble here and there but as a whole it has been running smoothly.”