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I’ll Be Here a Little While

Posted by on December 23, 2016

February 10, 13 and 19, 1945. Dad writes a few short letters home and includes some postcards from his new address. The letter of the tenth is the first to indicate that he is with the 331st Bomb Group. He is settling into things at McCook Army Air Field. He writes that he is “a little tired out after the long train ride even though I was furnished Pullman accommodations. I finally got settled here… I feel I am getting a better break than some of my friends who wound up in the Army Ground Forces. …I guess I’ll be here a little while so you can reach me at this address unless you hear different from me.”

Return Address from Dad's letter of February 10, 1945. This is the first time he indicates in his return address that he is with the 331st Bomb Group.

Return Address from Dad’s letter of February 10, 1945. This is the first time he indicates in his return address that he is with the 331st Bomb Group.

As far as the local area, Dad writes, “The Town of McCook is a shanty-town with a small population. In Kansas where liquor is prohibited, you saw a lot of it and heard about it, but in this wet state, it seems the topic isn’t discussed much. …Out here there’s not a hill in sight. We’ve got dogs here, too. …There’s two hours difference between here and Albany while at Topeka there was a difference of only one hour.”  

Post Card Image of the Carnegie Library in McCook Nebraska.

Post Card Image of the Carnegie Library in McCook, Nebraska.

As far as life on base, he writes. “The movie shows arrive at this base later than when we used to see them in Topeka. ..For the present, I’m working in the Hq. Sq. Orderly Room, until I get put into another section requiring a clerical worker. …I’ve been pretty busy lately and that’s the way I like it because it makes time fly by fast. …The barracks here are warm and since they are gas heated we don’t have to fool around with coal. They are one story shacks with latrine attached.”

As far as the weather in Nebraska, “We’ve had freezing weather with very moist air. The dew keeps settling and freezing that it coated the ground about with one quarter of an inch of crystalline ice. I think it’s going to get warmer any day now.

Apparently, now that Dad is attached to a Bomb Group and there is a chance that he will be sent overseas, additional Army procedures have been taking place. Among the procedures familiar to servicemen is the completion of a will. Dad alludes to this in his comments. “You people won’t receive any will from me because I ain’t got no property outside a savings account which has ma’s name on it and it would be hers if I couldn’t come around to collect it. I was going to make one out, but they said it wasn’t required in my case. …I did make out a Class “E” allotment for $50, which will be deducted from my payroll…and sent to daddy as it’s on his name. …and I would appreciate it very much if he’d take care of it for me.” A Class E allotment is a portion of a serviceman’s pay which is authorized to be paid to a third party (either another person or an institution of some sort) in a predetermined manner (e.g., monthly, quarterly, etc.).

He wraps up his letter of the 19th with “P.S. I may see you in about a month,” hinting that he may be taking a furlough soon.

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