February 9, 1943
Feb. 9, 1943
Dear Mater & Pater:
Yeah – I slipped up on writin’ last Sunday but, doggone, I was busy. We took our final exam in motors last Sunday morning. It was rather stiff – 145 questions in 50 minutes – had to really make the pencil fly. I won’t know until tomorrow or Thursday whether I passed or not. Had all 5’s on all the other Motors exams – hope my luck held for the final.
Sunday afternoon we signed the payroll which took an hour of waiting in line. Then we handed in our Motors text books & drew all of our new texts on Material. We had a big assignment for Monday too which we had to study – so – now I guess you understand why I didn’t find time to write.
Tonight I’m writing in our Material study hall. We don’t have compulsory study but this place is much more conducive to concentration than our little hut. Material by the way is the study of weapons – both large and small. Boy is it a blitz-course – In 5 short days we are expected to learn all about 75mm, 105mm, & 155mm howitzers, 30 Caliber Carbine Automatic rifle, 50 Cal. Machine gun, & the Automatic pistol. We have to know how to assemble & take apart, nomenclature, repairs, & use. Tomorrow we go out on the range & fire the Carbine, pistol, & A.A. machine gun. That should be fun. Next Sat. morn. We take our finals in this & then the fireworks begin – Gunnery.
Last Saturday we had our big finale in Motors – the Motor March. The whole class divided up into 4 Battalions & each man was assigned a position. The 6 of us in our hut really got the works. Between us we ran the whole show in the 3rd Bn. Three of the boys were Btry. Commanders & the two others & myself were Bn. R.O.’s. In case you don’t know – the R.O. (Reconnaisance Officer) is the boy with the map who leads the way for the rest of the column. I rode in a jeep & started out about 15 minutes before the main column of Trucks. All I had was a map (aerial photo) from which to find my way to our destination – 50 miles away. Only faltered once along the whole route – so you can’t say I don’t know my way around! The march lasted from Sat. noon ‘till Sat. Midnight – we had supper in the field. Sure was a lot of fun. After supper we loaded up for the 2nd phase of the march – a blackout march for a distance of 10 miles over rough country.
So far I’ve had only 3 gigs & only 70 odd more days to go, so I’m doin bad. The average for now is about 6 or 7. I got those 3 for not having a haircut. (I still think it was a frame-up but whose going to argue with a “tac” officer).
I was Section marcher this last Fri., Sat., & Sun. which meant that I had to march the Section (32 men) to all meals, classes, & take reveille & call to quarters formation. It’s a kind of a pesky job so I’m glad to have it behind me. Won’t catch it again for 5 or 6 weeks. Tonight I have a touch of a sore throat & I have a hunch it’s from that tour of Sect. marches – cuz we really have to sound-off around here.
I had dinner with Wheeler, King, & Cook last Sunday – in their Mess Hall. No – they didn’t come out with me – I thought I told you. They’re all in Class 62 – just a week behind me.
The Star Journal still gets here all right & I never did miss any issues altho a couple were a bit late. My buddies at Bragg forwarded them.
Glad you liked the album – sure spent a lot o’ time on it. Those sox you mentioned that were so holy – I just put them in for stuffing. They were all shot – don’t judge the rest of my clothes by those.
Haven’t heard from Dot – how is she?
Daddy – how’s ice-fishin’? It’s hard for me to visualize you out chippin’ holes in the ice with these warm days we’re having here. The weather has been wonderful for a week.
Today we had a dust storm & I think half of Texas blew in on us. The sky was red with dust just like some of those we used to have.
Well now I must study so I’ll say good night. Please write soon.
All me love,