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I’ve Made the Grade

Posted by on July 11, 2017

Letterhead from Stanley’s letter dated October 13, 1945.

October 13, 1945. Stanley writes a letter to Dad from the Orderly Room in Abilene, where “it is sort of quiet.”  He details some of the benefits of working in the Orderly Room, specifically, “I have been here almost two months and I have only stood one inspection and the rest…I’ve been working on the morning report. I get away from just about all formations and details.” He also writes that he is also excused from PT.

He wastes no time getting to the news that his discharge is imminent. “Well brother, I’ve made the grade. If you have a car here or if you can guarantee that you can get a ride all the way to Sheppard Field, Texas they will send you there to get discharged. You see, they cannot send many to the Eastern border for discharge as no quotas are coming in from there. So they pulled a fast one around here. Many of the fellows here who ordinarily would have gotten out about a month from now either have a car or can get a ride there so they send them there and they get discharged. There is a staff sergeant here who has a car and he is taking five of us with him to the separation center. I hope everything works out okay.”

WWII Parade formation at Sheppard Field. Photo Credit:

He continues with more details, “I got a copy of the orders …transferring us to the separation center. We clear the field about the 17th of October and go to Personnel section on the morning of the 18th. We are going to try to get there a little earlier if we can. After we get discharged I don’t know how we will go home from there. I may get a ride further on from there or I may catch a train home.”

Stanley ruminates on some of the work force issues at Abilene that he is soon to leave behind. “This field is sort of short on clerks. They had a bunch of them here but they were just about all transferred to units scheduled to go overseas and they got rid of all the best ones they had. …Now they are sorry for sending them out. All they have now is just a few and they are clamoring for more as the ones they got now are eligible for discharge and they will be going out very soon…”

He further notes that even amongst the clerks in the Orderly Room, there is not the level of cooperation that he was used to in England, “There was a lot of cooperation and everything went smooth. …I hated to part from the 401st.” He also speculates, “…I imagine that if the war had lasted a few extra months…I would have been on my way to Okinawa as Doolittle was there and I think just about the whole 8th Air Force would have been in Okinawa.”

Stanley closes with a wish that Dad sees similar circumstances, “…I guess I talked enough for a while so I guess I’ll close… God bless you brother, and here’s hoping that you return to the states soon and get out of the army.”

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