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How I Miss it All Now

Posted by on May 28, 2017

August 8 and 11, 1945. Stanley writes two letters to Dad from Sioux Falls, South Dakota upon the end of his 30 days R&R home in Albany and his return to service.  He details, “I got back to Ft. Dix Fri 3, Aug 45 about 4 P.M. Sure had a good time at home and hated like hell to go back to camp. Well, I got there on Friday and we shipped out the next day, Saturday, 5, Aug 45 for Sioux Falls, So. Dakota. It took us approximately two days and two nights. We traveled all the way by day coaches and were they filthy at that. The fellows put on the sides of the cars in chalk, ‘where the hell are the Pullmans?’, ‘We live like rats,’ and ‘Okinawa bound’”… When we got off the train our suntans were actually black with coal dust and dirt.”

He goes on to detail more about the trip from Ft. Dix to Sioux Falls, “…nobody bothered us while we traveled. We did anything we wanted. Anytime the train stopped everybody piled out and ran for the nearest beer joint and bring bottles of beer back. We sure had a good time even though we were black with dirt. We had enough beer, milk, cookies and even watermelons. The fellows even got some whiskey and ginger ale. We stopped at Esterville, Iowa and we drank more milk when the Red Cross was serving. They were giving it to us by the quart. I and another fellow managed to get two ice cold watermelons from a warehouse near the tracks where they were storing them. The fellow gave all of us about ten melons. Boy, they were ripe and juicy and cold.”

Stanley goes on to write that the 401st has pretty much been disbanded, with “…most of the fellows who flew over and got here first have been sent all over the states, most of them winding up in the  2nd Air Force. I sure felt sad and almost cried when I heard the outfit broke up.” He writes that there was a reunion of sorts with “about twelve of us from the 401st.” He continues, “Deenethorpe was 90 miles north of London. I sure wish I could be back there now. We really had a good set up there and had a very good time. It was as cozy as a home… How I miss it all now. I sure hated to see the outfit split up after being with it for almost 28 months… I felt like a baby with my toys taken away… I don’t feel right back here in the states. I feel out of place. I guess I’ll get over it once I make some new friends.”

He has been placed in the “T-2 Squadron awaiting shipment as a permanent party man somewhere in the 2nd Air Force. …I have a chance of staying here as a permanent party, since I am a clerk (502) administrative NCO. This is about the closest I can get to home unless I get transferred east to the 1st or 3rd Air Force. …While awaiting shipment here in T-2 Squadron you pull K.P. and detail work every so often.”

Stanley writes that “the other two bronze battle stars came though”, giving him a total of 6 battle stars which accounts for 30 points towards discharge. He writes that he now has 80 points, “but there is a slight mistake. I should only have 79 if you count the points from the day of active duty.” He writes to Dad, “Sorry to hear you have only 30 points. I guess sooner or later they will think of some way of getting us out of the army.”  Stanley goes on to detail that he is classified as 3B which he explains, “B stands for coming over by boat. Class 3 means permanent party in the states since I have had over 6 months overseas. …The set-up here for classifying you to numbers is as follows:

  1. Is if you volunteer for overseas duty.
  2. Is to be redeployed to the Pacific.
  3. Permanent party in the USA but not enough points for discharge.
  4. Enough points and what not for discharge.
  5. Immediate discharge

Stanley continues that his prospects are that he “may be here about a week and then I may stay for good or I may be transferred from this field.”

As far as any war news, Stanley devotes three short sentences to developments in the Pacific, “Just read in the paper about the new atomic bomb they are using on Japan. That sure must be some kind of a bomb. It sure makes enough damage.”

He closes, “God bless you and take care of you and here’s hoping you come back soon. If I stay here long enough I’ll probably see you.”


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