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Transferred in on Special Orders

Posted by on January 25, 2016

April 6, 10 & 12, 1944: A few letters home from Dad from Topeka. It is Easter time at Topeka Army Air Base. Dad spends some time thinking back on last year’s Easter and writes about what is going on in the present, including a wedding that he was in for a friend of his. There are also changes afoot for him as he is officially transferred into a new unit.

Dad flashes back to last Easter in Salt Lake City. He recalls it as “…the darkest Easter ever. We had no idea as to what was going to happen to us or where we were going. The chapel was nicely dressed and it was the most saddest…crowd I have seen in a long time.” At present, he has the day off on Holy Thursday and he and his buddy Steuve “Went to confession, communion and Mass at 5:15 PM. I will go to communion on Easter…”

Dad also comments on the news that their cousin Eddie Morawski was awarded a Purple Heart. “It was fine hearing about Eddie’s parents getting the Purple Heart from him. When I was home on furlough and visited them, I told them he was going to get one. Someday I hope to see what it looks like over there. I would volunteer but I’m afraid it wouldn’t go over well with you people at home. All I can do is wait and see what happens.”

Something is happening, but it has nothing to do with being sent overseas. Dad notes that he has a new address and that is about all that has changed. “I still do the same work, except that the group designation has been changed. The 270th Base Unit is the Wing where I may soon be. …so don’t worry. I’m not going over yet.”    

The envelope of Dad's April 10, 1944 (mailed on April 11) letter with his new address on it.

The envelope of Dad’s April 10, 1944 (mailed on April 11) letter with his new address on it.

His letter of the 10th a very short, mainly “…just a note to let you know I’m still thinking of you” and that “everything is alright”.  He also lets slip that he has “to go to town tonight as some fellow will be getting married tomorrow morning and I’m to help him. Tonight is rehearsal.”

In his letter of the 12th he relays more details about the wedding. “I was in Topeka helping the newly baptized soldier get married. We were over the girl’s house and had a chicken dinner and beer.” He promises to send pictures and has “been promised a group picture as soon as they get it from the photographers.” He writes that a monsignor performed the marriage.  He also confesses to his thoughts of playing a prank on his family. “I had a funny idea of just sending the picture home and saying nothing. Then you…would be busy trying to figure out if I got married.”

He wasn’t able to stay long for the festivities as he had to get back to camp. When he got back to camp he found out that “…the Wing was moving us out of our barracks … I am now in the Wing as you can see from the (SW) in the address… I got transferred in today in the afternoon on special orders as is always done.”  A copy of the special order is here.

As far as Easter, he states that he is “glad you didn’t send me any candy or anything else like that. The prayers you offer for me and the Masses are the best I could ask for.” He also mentions that between Holy Thursday, Easter and the wedding, he has been receiving communion quite a bit.

On the material side of life Dad writes, “I finally bought myself a wallet for $3.50 at the PX. Elsewhere you’d probably have to pay $6 or so. It’s ‘Morocco Leather’ and I’ll be darned if I know what that means. It’s a darn good wallet and I sure hated to destroy the one Ma gave me when I was drafted. It was all worn out and it did carry sentimental thoughts beside money.”  

He closes the letter and adds a P.S. “I hope Edd gets a good break should he be drafted.”

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