May 5 & 7, 1943. Two letters from Stanley to Dad. Stanley reports that since joining the newly formed 613th Bomb Squadron the work is “much easier as we are just beginning and we do not have too much work to do and we can catch up on it pretty fast. Where I was before everything was in a turmoil, all mixed up and all confused and one was not sure whether he was coming or going.”
He says that he still stops in to visit his old squadron and they are not short on complaints about their adjutant’s management. He tells of a conversation that he had with First Sergeant Haack in the squadron. Stanley says that Haack’s boss rides the men pretty hard. “all you can hear is Haack come here and take care of this, Haack come here and take this phone call, Haack take care of this fellow, Haack why haven’t you done this and that, Haack what is this doing here, Haack this and that and that. Haack is good and mad. He told me when I was there and we had our other adjutant… he never bothered us and we ran the place and got more work done.” He concludes, “I’m sure glad I’m not in that squadron anymore.”
As for his new squadron he writes, “So far there is still the First Sergeant and myself working in this squadron and we get more work done than when I was in the other squadron” where there were “six or seven officers working in the office.” At this point the 613th is relatively small as it is just beginning to form. Stanley mentions that there are “about 40 men” with more slated to join in the “near future”. He continues to provide color on his new assignment in his letter of the 7th noting that “I get more time off to myself and do not have half the work to do. But later on it may get a little more confused but since we started out from the beginning I don’t think we will have much trouble.”
Apparently part of the mission at Epharata is that the base is “supposed to be a training center”. As a result, Stanley tells that for the next week “we will be getting up at 5:45…eat, have calisthenics and some drill and maybe one of the days some rifle shooting. That drilling will only be for one week.” In other news, “the ratings will be out pretty soon…I know I will get sergeant stripes for sure.”
Stanley expects to get a furlough soon. While most furloughs are only issued for seven days, he expect to be able to have a three day pass added to his as has been done for most of the fellows. He has done some research into what it will take to get home to Albany from Washington State. Round trip coach fare on the train is $70.00. The train would leave at 4:05 AM and he would have to change trains in Chicago with the full trip to Albany taking “only 2 days and 12 hours”. He says “if everything works out okay I would have about 4 or 5 or maybe even six days at home”. He will not be writing home about the furlough until everything is set for sure.
The physical inspection and inoculations continue. As in the last post with Anna’s telling of the baby’s antics, this is another instance where it is best to simply go with a direct excerpt from the letter:
Stanley wraps up commenting on a few of the things that Anna had written about in her previous letters saying that he had a good laugh about “the one where Eddie was riding along and killed a rabbit so he stopped the car and picked up the rabbit…so they had an extra supper out of it.” He also sent along with the letter a few photos of sketches made by one of the guys in the camp that shows what life is like at Ephrata.