May 16 & 17, 1943. Two letters home from Dad. The two letters read almost like one so I will combine them for the purposes of this post. For the first time he is able to include his brother Stanley’s name on the salutation as Stanley is home on furlough. He references Anna’s letter of May 11 and his parents’ health as he wishes them “to be completely well as they have enough on their minds.” He is looking forward to the time when the war will end and “mama and papa will always have someone to turn to in their old age.”
He tells that the weather in Kansas continues to be rough with “a tornado at Ft. Riley which is quite a few miles away from here. Quite a bit of damage was done. We had rain for about six days and only today…it stopped and the sun came out.”
He addresses a good portion of the letters directly to Stanley and apologizes to Anna if she feels “too much in the background”. Dad say he is glad his brother had an opportunity to get home “especially when mama needs more spirited inspiration and that may make her feel well as see, too, will be satisfied to have seen you again and, and you will see your niece.” As far as Stanley seeing his niece for the first time “She may look at you as if she doesn’t know you, but she will grow to love you and you will fall in love with her. I am sure you will.”
He goes on to write, ”I am glad that you got a good amount of days to spend your furlough on and I hope I make out as well when my time comes. …you will be able to see everything at home that you missed before you left.”
As far as life on the base Dad relays that he played a little basketball last nght at the recreation hall and that he will be going into the town of Salina to “see what there is to it.” He comments that the WAACs “seem to be around everywhere” and that his barracks “are practically the closest to theirs…about 700 yds. of clearance space.”
A typical day for him involves getting “up at 6:15…out for roll call and calisthenics at 7:00 AM.” In the past few days he saw two training films “one about Germans fighting as shown on their films and the other movie…was about booby traps. It showed how to find them and dispose of them as well as planting them for the enemy.” He also writes that there is firing range practice “every 6 months” and that “Ordnance deals with the training allowances [of ammunition].” This is the first time that we see Dad mention much about what his job in Ordnance entails. He was certainly pretty good about not letting any details about his duties slip.
As far as news on the European front, Dad comments “I hope the news about Hitler deserting Italy for his own defense is true because I doubt whether the Italians will put up much of a defense through all the bombing they are now undergoing. Remember that the Nazis didn’t have as much time to as they had in their own country to make defensive fortifications in Italy. Whatever happens I hope that the war will end with the Nazis and Japs being defeated as soon as possible.”