October 1, 1942 (Furlough letters)

Today while Corporal Dorance Alquist is on furlough at home we will hear three letters from other people. The first was sent to him on this day from Ray Lesch while at the University of Minnesota, he doesn’t seem to know Dip is in town but they probably got together during the break. It is read by Jonathan Olsen (who also provides his musical talents to this podcast).

The second letter was left on Dip’s bunk while he was gone by his colleague at the Headquarters Battery, Chester Biven. Dip Alquist will come back to Fort Bragg with quite a bit of work to do. It is read by Bruce Larson.

The third letter was undated but seems to have been written the previous spring since it mentions his previous breakup. It was sent to Dip from his Cousin Jenille Wicklund and read by my lovely daughter Anika who is almost the same age as Jenille.

Thanks for following along and look forward to another Air Mail From Dip real soon.


October 1, 1942

Hi Dip:

Why don’t you important men of the world get up into this part of the country more often and once up here, why don’t you stay longer? I suppose your answer would be that certain duties in the pursuit of their grand objective require your presence in Fort Bragg. More power to you – I certainly regret not having seen you. Next time let’s plan on 18 at some beautiful course.

The weather was most beautiful up here today, and we have all indications of a short spell of Indian summer – with the necessary symptoms of acute spring fever – or shall we say fall fever. My condition seems to be one of perpetual laziness which is aggravated by the appearance of warm weather – or any weather that gives one the desire to loaf. And speaking of work & hardship – aren’t those Russians going through Hell & high water to fight for their existence? It makes one feel like a slacker to realize that those people are fighting like mad while we are still allowed the privilege of living over here.

The life of a sailor became more apparent to me this summer while teaching a group of seamen the general idea of electricity. We conducted our classes in a manner similar to that of Anapolis and tried to maintain the general Naval atmosphere throughout. Most interesting work.

This quarter at the University I’m more or less specializing in Hydraulics, but at present do have one course in Algebra. As a bit of novelty, I have two coeds in class, which present many problems to a young single man as you can see & understand. In addition to the teaching load, I’m taking three courses, and believe you me, I think I’ve three wildcats by the tail. The courses are Vector Analysis, A.C. circuits, and Electronics, all interesting and highly valuable courses.

By far the most important problem is the pursuit of a fully balanced extra-curricular program, which requires the introductions of suitable coeds. I’m doing a bit of research on that problem right now, since a most pleasant girl sits in front of me at the football games. Can you recommend any points for a young bachelor about to court the wily female? Frankly, my technique seems to go over like a cast iron balloon.

So much for now – see you soon.


P.S. Give that Officer Training course both barrels.


Friday 4:00 P.M.

Dear Dip:

You will no doubt be surprised to find me gone when you get back but it was only by a stroke of luck that I saved my furlough at all.

Bruce left and in the deal, I am to get the Control Job. As I understand it, that will be my main job and will help you on the side. That will work out O.K. I guess because there never has been quite enough for two of us. If it does get too burdensome for just you with whatever help I can give you, we can squawk and get more help.

The idea in sending me on furlough earlier was so that I could get back and get as much dope on the new job as possible before the 9th Bn ships out.

Pagels wasn’t so hot on my going and said if I left anything gummed up so that you couldn’t understand it, without our seeing each other, he would bust me to a private in the rear rank! If there should be anything, for God’s sake don’t let on and get your old buddy in dutch!

I tried hard to clean everything up and if there is anything lying around with the other official sheet I prepared, it will be because I couldn’t get it done in this, my last hour.

There is a big deal on promotions and it is in a confidential file in your desk drawer. I didn’t put it on the other sheet of instructions because I had to show that to Lt. Harris and Pagels wanted everything to be very confidential.

On the new group of Ft. Sill OCS grads, the pay data just came in and I notice that October vouchers are to be made for them. The ones to be made up are attached hereto and you can take your time getting them done because it is still early in the month.

If there is anything else before quitting time, I’ll jot it down.

This last week has really been a Heller what with the new men and all. Very, Very busy.

Regards, COB



Dear Private Buck whoops I mean Corporal D.P.A:

How are you I’m at your mothers tonight for her birthday because Wednesday they are going down to Austin for Arlo’s third degree in Masonic Lodge isn’t that fine. So you lost your gal, hey too bad. You will get another I suppose. Billy is up at Motley and has been up there for more than a month. Our dog Judy has distemper but is almost over it. You should see her. Hope you can get home on a furlough so I can see you. Aunty Edna bought me some Easter dyes. They are talking about you now. Your mother got some presents. I’m very glad you became Corporal. What is the temperature down there. The men are playing cards now. I’m in 5th [grade] now and have a red headed teacher. You know I’m ten years old now.

Well good-by now

Jenille Evelyn Wicklund

Aged ten

P.S. Write me soon please

Christian Olsen