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The Little Trivialities

Posted by on December 31, 2016

March 7 and 14, 1945: Dad writes two relatively short letters home from McCook, Nebraska where he is attached to the 331st Bomb Group. He is back on base after a quick furlough spent home in Albany, NY and is starting his preparations for the next stage of his service.  As he is writing on the 7th he reports that he is “…doing OK after getting a good hot meal here in the Mess Hall.”

He details some of his travel back to Nebraska. “I arrived here safely after the most bumpy ride, on both the New York Central and CB&Q Railroads. It seems the rails could use a lot of fixing one of these days. Most of the ride I had an entire seat to myself which allowed me to sleep several minutes at a time in a fairly cramped position. I arrived at McCook at 7:00 AM and got out to the base by 8:00 today. I cleaned up, slept a little, and got the little trivialities done before turning in my furlough this afternoon. I also picked up my gun. I’ll never regret taking my furlough when I could and did.”

Map of the New York Central Railroad system c1926. Public Domain image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Map of the New York Central Railroad system c1926. Public Domain image credit: Wikimedia Commons

He reflects further on his voyage back to Nebraska. “We hit some snow flurries on leaving Chicago this past Tuesday and they kept flurrying most of our journey until we hit Nebraska. It’s cool here but the sun is shining and it makes the world look brighter. There’s hardly anything more tiresome than riding for a long time on trains. I don’t see why civilians want to travel. It’s up to them and no one exactly forces them.”

As far as preparations for his deployment overseas, he reports “filling out my A.P.O. cards so they can just put in the number when necessary. You still may address my letters to the address you have been using so far.”

On the 14th he reports, “I just got back from bivouac. The weather was fine all the time, and I’m wondering whether Eddie would be interested sometime after the war to go out like that with Stanley and me, that is if you could drag me out of the house at that time.”

With the apparent rationing of leather goods, he is sending home a shoe certificate with instructions that, “The certificate must be used before 7 April 1945. I guess size 10-C or 9E would be OK. If the shoes fit very loose on Eddie or daddy, then you’ve got my size. Try on the shoes I left home and get me something that’ll be a little looser than that …I sure would appreciate that and you could send them to me at a later date I request them on.  …the shoes should be of some brown color, preferably with no decorative perforations on the toe… Something plain!”

Before signing off he shares the thought, “This war can never end too soon as far as I’m concerned. The Germans are breathing their last, I guess.”

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