October 14 and 17, 1943. Two one page typed letters from Stanley to Dad. Stanley’s group is still more than a week away from getting shipped out. Most of the packing is done and Stanley is all caught up on his work. From the indications in Stanley’s letter it seems that the medical staff on the Cut Bank base is limited, but there are more services available at the Great Falls base about a hundred miles to the south. We learn this as Stanley writes about some dental work.
“When our group dental officer was here I told him that one tooth which Dr. Gorski filled about 1 ½ years ago hurt for about two days. He knocked at it with instruments and told me it looked solid and okay. Well I told him that if a tooth hurts it ain’t no good no more. So he said for me to go down to Great Falls and tell them and they would pull it out.”
The initial plans were for Stanley to go to Great Falls “by truck at noon with the rest of the guys”, but this changed when he learned that one of the “Flying Captains” was taking a plane down to Great Falls. Stanley and “a few …buddies from Operations …went down and checked out a parachute and fastened it on to us.”
He continues the narrative. “Well, we took off and everything down below us looked so small.” He found his way to the base clinic where the dentist took an X-ray of the tooth and, after leaving Stanley in the chair for a “”meeting” came back and replaced the filling to address a cavity in the tooth.
On the way back he rode “in the belly of the ship and looked out of the window. Going down to Great Falls the going was sort of rough and I was standing most of the time and when I sat down I started to feel funny in the stomach. Coming back was a very smooth ride and we made it back in no time. It only took us about 40 minutes… It was sort of chilly up there. I think we were up 5000 feet.”
In the letter of the 17th he mentions that he got a letter from the choir and just finished answering it and had written a letter home. Other than that there is “nothing to do”. He also writes that he cleaned his rifle but since “it was never used there was not much dirt in it. I oiled it and whatnot. …Who would ever think that I would be cleaning a rifle some day? I am sure proud of this little carbine. I hope that we can keep it after the war is over. It is a very nice rifle.”
He closes the letter with the thought “Well I guess I will close. This was just to let you now that I am still here but not for long. God bless you and keep you. So long for a while.”