April 19, 1943. Dad has finished his training at the Savanna Section Ordnance School in Illinios and has shipped out. He says “I am now writing from the Mormon City, Salt Lake City.” It was only about a month ago that his brother, Stanley we stationed at the same base for five days. It looks like the Air Base at Salt Lake City is more of a sorting station than anything else; at least as far as the Murawski brothers are concerned.
He recounts his trip from Illinios to Utah. “We left on April 16th and ate at Rock Island, Ill. Then we started towards our destination. I saw Omaha, Nebraska. It was morning when we saw Denver, Colorado where we got off and ate at the station. Then we passed Ft Logan. Two months too late.” The last comment in reference to his brother’s having been stationed at Fort Logan earlier in the year.
He continues, “Then I saw Pueblo, Colorado and Canon City which was very nice. I have a circular which I picked up at Salida… This morning we arrived at Salt Lake City two weeks too late for me to see Stanley. We had a sleeper and ate in the diner. On one of the 3 nights on the train I slept in the upper berth. The train was very slow.”
He was not too impressed by the scenery out West, evidently because he continues to long for home. “I have seen the snow-capped Rockies and what you see on the circular is what I saw including the world’s highest bridge which hovered above the gorge as we rode under it. You get sick of everything as I still believe that New York State has everything in a greater variety. Out west here, when you see the rocks you just see the same thing until the novelty wears off and you are just plain sick of it. The same with the snow-capped mountains. It is nice alright, but when you see the same thing for hundreds of miles, that’s enough”
Now that he is at a new base, the Army routine continues. “…our records have not arrived yet and I understand a reclassification is going to be made. We are supposed to undergo the same stuff as at Camp Upton or Miami Beach. It is possible to go to more schools, I think. I will inquire about this, you may be sure.”
As far as the day to day is concerned, “The toilet is in a separate building away from our barracks. To wash up and clean up you walk to the building. Old Style. It is such a nice place that I would like to get out of it as quickly as possible. One guy says that no matter where we go they will just give ‘short arms’ so he said he was going to have a picture made of it and wear it.”
He continues, “I expect to leave this place soon just like Stanley did. If there was much to write about this place I would, but there isn’t. I will pray and do my best to take care of myself properly and stay out of trouble. ”
Thinking of home he writes, “I hope mama and papa are getting along very fine and that Theresa-Marie will keep up her comical antics. Yes, I always liked her and even Stanley likes her. Let Theresa-Marie make you happy because she is an angel that God sent to Mama, Papa, you and Eddie in this bad hour to cheer you all up.”
Another thing he notes about the Air Base at Salt Lake City is how the dust gets stirred up by the wind. “When the wind blows here, it takes up all the sand. It’s like the Sahara Desert. Just now plenty of dust flew in through the windows I am writing with gas mask on. It isn’t as bad as all that though. I just took the gas mask off.”
He also advises, “I don’t know if it would pay you to write me at my present address because I may get out sooner or later. I would advise that you wait till I give you a more definite address.” He is also keeping an eye on the Church calendar. “Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Next Sunday is Easter Sunday. I may be on another train by then. Wishing you the best of all Easters or in other words a very Happy Easter.” For good measure he adds the greeting in Polish “Wesolego Alleluja!”