January 31, 1943
Ft. Sill, Okla.
Sunday Jan. 31
Dear Mom & Dad:
At last – a chance to take an extra breath & relax for a few hours. Boy have they been making us step! This has been the busiest week I think I’ve ever spent. We’re now starting to get into the swing of O.C.S. routine tho so we don’t mind it as much as those first few days. I guess you’d like to have a short synopsis of this first week to see what it’s like – OK.
We came in Sat. P.M. & spent the whole afternoon filling out info blanks, drawing clothing, books & supplies, & cleaning up our huts.
Sunday we took a math aptitude exam in the morning & then spent the rest of the day cleaning up huts for inspection & studying Administration & Law.
Monday thru Wednesday we had speeches of welcome, lectures on army subjects, training films, drill, & classes on Admin. & Law. Wed. afternoon we wound up Admin. & Law with a final exam in each. How’s that for speed? Don’t know how I came out.
Thursday we started Motors & we will have all motors for the next week – the finals are next Sunday morning. One nice thing about the study set-up here is that we take one subject at a time – when we’re thru we have an exam & after it’s over we can forget the whole course & start in fresh on the next worry.
Right now we’re right in the middle of motors. Your son is really a grease-monkey! Should see me underneath a GMC 1 ¼ ton 6x6 4OT Truck injecting G.P. Grease #2 into the needle bearings of the universal joints on each end of propeller shaft running between the transmission & the transfer case. More fun – it really is – we wear fatigues to all classes & don’t even have to dress up in our uniforms in the evenings. That suits me fine cuz you know how well I like to lounge around in comfortable old clothes. We even go into the P.X. & Service Club with fatigues on – something we’d get Court Martialed for back at Bragg.
This whole place strikes me quite favorably compared to Ft. Bragg. The toughest part of the course so far for me is the constant rush & pressure. During the day we don’t get five minutes to sit down. We live by the whistle. We don’t have reveille around here but we have to be ready to form at 7:00 A.M. to march down to chow so naturally we have to get up at about 6 to have enough time to wash up & clean up the hut. We have inspections every day & boy I mean everything has to be letter perfect. If there’s a little piece of lint under the bunk, or if one shoe is out of line, or shoe-lace not tucked inside your shoe it means a demerit. Too many demerits can wash a man out of school. We don’t have hardly any time at all to eat meals – about 15 or 20 minutes on the average - & we march to all meals. At 7:30 in the evening we have a call to quarters formation at which roll-call is taken & after which we are restricted to the immediate vicinity. Lights go out at 10:30 P.M. which incidently is now usually my bed time. I find that I can gain in the long-run by getting a good nights rest & thereby feeling fresh in the daytime to assimilate all that is thrown at us in class. Don’t you agree with this logic?
I’ve been eating like a wolf down here – the meals are scrumptious. Food is well cooked & we get lots of it – decidedly superior to Bragg.
The weather is invigorating – the fort is quite high above sea-level (1200’) & therefore gets plenty of windy days. The temp. all depends on which way the wind is blowing. No two days are alike – the Sat. we came in we were sweating in shirt sleeves – last Wed. we were freezing with long-johns, blouses, & overcoats on.
We live in little 6 man huts – cement floor & wooden walls & roof – quite comfy. They are all furnished with little gas stoves right in the center of the floor. All we have to do when we get up in the A.M. is turn a little valve & - presto – heat.
Lentoni came over to see me last Monday & we had a long chat – it was great to see the ol boy again. He looks plenty spiffy in his uniform. Yesterday afternoon, for a little relaxation, he & I went into town, Lawton; did a little shopping, looked around & had supper. Nice little town but terribly G.I. Ed & I have fun walking down the streets – he highballs all the G. I.’s while I give it to all the officers.
I understand Wheeler & Cook came in today. They’re down in the reception area about a half mile from here. I would have gone down to see ‘em but I’m on C.Q. tonight – all day in fact. Seems if no matter where I go I catch C.Q. I probably get down to see the boys tomorrow night.
Mama – your letter was addressed O.K. Altho we have to rip off all our stripes & are known only as Officer Candidate so & so, it’s o.k. to address the letters as Sgt. –
Oh – yes almost forgot – I must explain about the C.O.D. business on the two boxes I shipped home. I didn’t mean to pull any fast stuff there – that was the only way that I could ship them by R.R. Express unless I went over to the Main Post where they have a scale to weigh them on. I just gave them to our Regt’s Mail Orderly & had him take care of ‘em. I’m enclosing a couple o bucks to cover the expenses – that’s what “Blacky” estimated they’d cost. I hope that’s correct. How do you like my picture album?
I’ve met two fellows from my basic training cycle at Bragg, another fellow who I went to Roosevelt with, & a fellow I knew very well from the U. dances. Have also met several other boys from Mpls. This Sill is certainly a big melting-pot.
Well I have lots to do as you can well imagine so if you’ll excuse me I’ll get to work. Please give my regards to everyone & let them know I won’t be able to write for awhile. Just can’t take the time. So long for now.
Well, here I am all alone again! Daddy’s gone fishing to Brainerd. Don’t know where the guys get the gas, but they must have XYZ cards or something. Expect him home pretty soon cause he promised to be home by 5 o’clock so we can go down to Riverside Chapel to honor Rev. Paul. Incidentally he married us, so we sure must get there.
You, no doubt, have missed your Star Journal a couple of Sundays, but it will be coming again now that we have your address. Hope you’ll have a little time to look at it. Let us know if you get it, or not.
Well now for the big news! Virginia got a diamond from Bod Carlson last night. Remember him? Bud threw a dinner party at the Nicollet last night for the Mr & Mrs Carlson and the Mr & Mrs Johnson to meet each other. Gwendolyn Granmum goes with Bud’s brother, so they were there too, making eight in the party. Dwight was home over the weekend, for the first time in months. They were sposed to go too, but D. felt that he should be with his folks, his one evening at home. Bud is going to the U. now but is expecting to be in the Army before long.
Hope you’re still getting along fine and in good health. Hope to hear from you soon and in the meantime will be thinking of you.
P.S. “Hear about the girl who gave all sailors wine cause she wanted a little port in every sailor!”