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Nothing to do Here

Posted by on July 3, 2017

September 30 and October 4, 1945. Stanley writes two more letters to Dad from Abilene where he is experiencing “a sudden change in the weather”. He relates that “It sure was cold last night,” and that “the gas stoves are going in the barracks full steam ahead…” There does not seem to be much for the men to do, as Stanley notes, “It is quiet in the barracks. There’s nothing to do here all day but just sleep and that is what some of the men are doing. I’ll probably do the same as soon as I finish this letter.”

As with his prior letters, it seems that anticipating discharge seems to be top of mind for Stanley. “…today I finished three (3) years of service in the Army. That is all the time I want in the Army. So far nobody has left for a separation center from this field who had points ranging from 80-84. Other places have discharged a lot of men already…” That said, it looks like in order to keep the men busy doing something there are regular assemblies and inspections. By way of illustration, Stanley writes, “I am enclosing a cartoon from a Yank Magazine which gives you an idea of what goes on everywhere. Just as soon as the Japanese surrendered they started the crap about weekly inspections a PT.”

The cartoon from Yank Magazine that Stanley enclosed in his letter to Dad.

Stanley adds a few notes about some details in the cartoon, “If you look close you will note the 8th AF Patch. That’s supposed to depict a base in England. That is the kind of stoves we had in England, just like in the picture.”

Every so often a large plane makes a visit to Abilene, as Stanley notes, “About noon a B-17 landed on the field. It is cloudy out and a very low ceiling so I guess he thought it best to land here. About 2 weeks ago we had a B-29 on the field. I looked it over a while. They made an engine change on it and it took off.”

Before closing his letter on the 30th Stanley send wishes to his brother “hoping you come home faster,” and notes that he hopes “to be home for good about 15 Oct. 45.”

When October 4th comes along, Stanley has a better feel for when he will be discharged as he writes, “I am scheduled to go to Rome Air Depot to be discharged as soon as the quota comes in. I can also put in for a few others if other separation centers are empty. I could also go to Mitchell Field, Newark, New Jersey, Mass., Bolling Field and I don’t remember the other two separation centers, I hope to be out of there in about half of a month… I am enclosing a pretty good and interesting item which was in one of the Abilene papers.”

Clipping from a local Abilene paper with a somewhat humorous article on what a soldier has to go through to get certified for discharge. Click on the image above for a larger readable image.


Before wrapping up, I want to add one more thing that Stanley included in his October 4 letter. This is not a matter of my specific family history, but I want to place it here more as a “bread crumb” should someone else be researching their Albany, NY ancestors and Google brings them to this page. He mentions hearing from home “that Stanley Przelakowski and his younger brother died either in a German prison or concentration camp.”

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