WWII Letters: Jan 19, 1944; Training Gets Tougher – Things get Racier

So I mentioned I wasn’t going to censor. This letter was a bit on the shocking side when I read it. Apparently Uncle Roy finally gets that pass. And from the sound of things he takes full advantage of it. After reading the second quote, the final sentence is hilarious.

Jan 19, 1944

“We are going from 14 to 18 hours a day – hardly time to sleep even. Top that off with KP, guard duty and other company details and you really have something. This is a slave outfit and I don’t mean maybe.”

“ I was in Tulsa on a 3 day pass a couple of weeks ago and boy did I have fun. It is a large town and Ben, I’ve been in a lot of cities but I’ve still got to see one that compares with Tulsa as far as women go. Holy smoke, all you got to do is stand around and one will come up to you and practically fall all over you. Darn good looking babes too. The first night I was there in 3 hours I was up in a babes apt. drinking her whiskey and making love to her at the same time. No fooling, Ben, I’ve never seen the equal of it. The people just turn the town over to the soldiers. Hospitable as heck. Boy! I go in town as often as I can.”

WWII Letters: Dec 26, 1943: Training Hard - Thrilled with New Pants

I’m intrigued by these letters as they really are telling a story. As unfortunate as it is that it’s war, the stories within the story are entertaining, as are the colloquialisms of the time. I chuckled over how excited my Uncle Roy was to get the pants (remember him asking for these two letters ago?) that my dad sent him.

Dec 26, 1943

Uncle Roy writes:

“Your letter received and also the pants. Gee! These pants are sure nice and the material is swell. They fit me perfectly. The guys think they are the best they’ve seen yet. I never had them 10 minutes before I had the whole bunch offering to buy them. They sure beat these blanket ones we have. Thanks!”

“Our furloughs start on Jan 15 and I’m hoping I get one of the first ones. Boy, I’m sure trying to save for it (the fare is $45) because I want to come home pretty bad. For one thing Gertrude seems to be sore at me (probably heard of some of my wolfish doings) and has stopped writing.”

WWII letters: Dec 5, 1943: Waiting for a Pass

The two excerpts below were taken from the letter Uncle Roy wrote to my dad, dated Dec 5, 1943. 

“I was on details for the last 3 weekends and just got a day off today but still no pass. Next week I can get a weekend pass and will send my kids some Xmas presents. They won’t get much though because I get about $20 a month including my PFC rating.”

“Yes Ben I get sore at these Okie nin-comes too and I don’t take any crap off them either. All in all though I get by pretty good. I am disgusted with the way the Army is run but what I do about it? I am just waiting as all of us are for the end of the war.”

WWII Letters: Oct 31, 1943, Camp Gruber Oklahoma

Uncle Roy in the Army 1943 (left photo ) Dad & Uncle Roy 1936 (right photo)

Basic Training and New Pants

Here is the first of many letters from which I will be sharing excerpts. Just a little disclaimer: in these letters there is some language and other bits of naughtiness, shall we say. I've decided that I'm not going to do any censoring of the content. It's part of history and it was war.

Uncle Roy is in basic training at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma.  In a letter to my dad he writes:

"The old timers here tell me this is the toughest basic training they ever saw. Boy, we are going 8 to 20 hours a day, night time, rain or shine. 20 mile hikes with full filled packs, what a work out."
   Later in the letter there's this amusing little section:

"Can you get me a pair of OD's pants? Size 32 waist-33 long. Mine look as if they were cut from a blanket-thick and a hell of a bull shit brown, new stuff I guess. I know that you being in for so long know the angles and probably can line me up a pair. Hard finish, twill if you can. Thanks, Ben old kid."

This is only the beginning folks. I've got lots to share and it only gets more interesting. Uncle Roy ships off to Germany and continues to write my dad. In addition, I have many other letters during the war, both to and from other family members as well as friends of both my dad and uncle Roy. There are lots of interesting stories.


Letters from WWII

My Dad has been gone well over a decade now and I just realized the other day that if he were still alive he’d be over 100. Yes, that makes me old, but he was also quite old when I was born. Both he and my Uncle Roy served in the Army during WWII. Dad stayed stateside, said it was his “flat feet”. Uncle Roy however went to Germany. The stories of his time there are incredible. Shocking. Sad. And at times even hilarious. Oh, and a little naughty. Apparently Uncle Roy was quite a character. I never met him, he died at an early age and years before I was born. Thankfully, I have a lot of family history to read through and look through as apparently my dad saved everything. The photos are wonderful of course, but a person could easily get lost in the letters written during the war. I have several sets to and from members of my family but the letters from Uncle Roy to my dad while he was in Germany (& even before he shipped out and spent time in Oklahoma) are fascinating. So I will be sharing various excerpts from them in the days, weeks and probably even months ahead. I hope you enjoy this little slice of history.