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We Could Teach Him a Lesson

Posted by on June 28, 2016

August 23 and 27, 1944: Dad writes two relatively short letters home from Topeka Army Air Base where he is serving with the HQ Squadron of the 270th AAF Base Unit. He is catching up on correspondence as “it’s kind of slow in the office.” He is looking forward to his upcoming furlough, mentioning that he is still “figuring my furlough out” and that he will write as soon as he gets the plans finalized.

He received Anna’s letter detailing the trouble with the upstairs tenants. His reaction is to write, “You can tell Eddie to tell that Dennis guy that I said if he wants to fight, let him come down here in the Army with the rest of us soldiers and not bully women folks at home when their menfolks are away. That is the height of cowardice and a fellow like that should have his b__lls cut off or be castrated alive.”

Having addressed that, he moves on to some of the goings on in Topeka. He writes, “Two of the fellows are leaving on technical duty for a period of 90 days someplace outside of the U.S. While everyone was wishing them goodbye, some fellows put a big rock in each of their barracks bags while they weren’t looking. You can imagine what they’ll say when they find the extra load they had to carry around on their backs. It’s all in the spirit of fun provided you don’t let yourself be the mouse and get caught in the trap.”

The 27th is another slow day in the office as it is a Sunday, so Dad gets to writing a few more letters and working in his Physics lessons. He notes that in two more months his niece Terry will be two years old and mentions that “You can measure how long Stanley has been in the Army by adding 25 days to Terry’s age.”

In another story from Topeka, Dad tells about one of the follows who came in “at about 1:30 AM and made enough noise to wake most of us up. I warned him I’d wake him up early that morning, so come this morning I kept waking him up every 4 minutes and another fellow and I had the blankets and sheets of him that morning. It was mostly for the fun of it and maybe it taught him a lesson at that. He used to be a teacher in civilian life but I figured we could teach him a lesson.”

Dad writes that he met a fellow from nearby Green Island. “I’ve talked to Henry Coons out here. He used to sing as a soloist with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. Henry “Hank” Coons is from Green Island, NY and he knew Joe Miller very well. In fact, it was he from whom Joe Miller wanted to buy the Buick from that time. I believe your husband Edd knows him because he says he knew Edd. Ask Eddie and perhaps you can let me know if Eddie knew him, if you don’t forget.”

Dad wraps up with “Well, seem as if that’s about it from here.”  

Clipping from the Troy, NY Times Record from August 14, 1943. Credit:

Clipping from the Troy, NY Times Record from August 14, 1943. Credit:

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