April 4, 1943

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4/4/43

Dear Mom & Dad:

Hello there – have you wondered where I was? Well – I’ve just been too rushed to get down to letter writing. I’ve never seen time go by so fast as I have seen it down here. We have to really cut corners to get enuff time to study. To make things more rough they make us go to various demonstrations on Saturday afternoons. Of course they’re interesting but it would be nice to have that time to ourselves for just such things as writing home.

Well – Communications is the big worry at the moment. We finished Gunnery last Wed. with a big 2-hour Survey exam. & an afternoon of firing Large-T on the range. Sure had a lot of fun that last afternoon – we had Capt. Kantz, our instructor, fire a problem for the class. We gave him h--- while he was out in front firing & then all of us critiqued the problem. We really gave him some of his own medicine & finally ended up by grading his problem U because he didn’t have more than 50% effect on his target. He went into fire-for-effect at the lower end of his bracket which as you well know is not good. The Capt. took it all very good naturedly & a good time was had by all.

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Communications is interesting but fast – we only have a week to learn all about telephones, wire circuits, switchboards, radios, codes, etc. Tomorrow we go out & actually hook-up the whole Battalion communication set-up – wires, telephones & switchboards. I’m a Signal Sgt. so I’ll have my hands full supervising the mess. Next Wed. morning we have 3 final exams & then move right on into Tactics that same afternoon. That should give you some indication of the speed of this place – they don’t waste a minute.

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Yesterday I took a walk over to the main Post P.X. & picked up a card to send Nancy & also the Defense Stamps you suggested. Thanks for reminding me – I probably would have forgotten about it.

Well – it won’t be long now – if things go well & I stay on-the-ball. Class #62 is due to graduate on April 29th. – not so far off is it? We are even starting to buy our uniforms already. Some of the boys went in town yesterday & got their outfits – but not for me. I’m going to do all my shopping right here at our own P.X. They have a nice stock of Officers Uniforms & for a lot less than the Lawton stores are charging. I’m going to buy just what I need to graduate in & wait ‘till I get home to buy the rest. I notice in the Star ads that Juster Bros. is a Post Ex. Agent & their prices are plenty fair, so I ‘spect I’ll be doing some business with them when I get home. Good old Uncle Sam presents all of us new Jeeps with a $250 clothing check the day of graduation you know – or didn’t you? Pretty nice eh! But don’t think we don’t need all of it. Listen to these prices: Blouse $32.50; Short coat $29.50; Pinks (trousers) $12.00; shirts $9.00; Jacket $11.50; Cap $3.00; Shoes $9.00; Raincoat $17.50 – to say nothing of incidentals! Have you ever heard of such outlandish prices & these are P.X. prices too – you pay lots more on the outside where they hit you with a sales tax. Later – I’ll have to buy a complete summer outfit too & probably a lot of equipment for the field. Oh well – I like to buy clothes anyway so it won’t make me mad. Am enclosing a price list of one of the dealers in Lawton so you can just see what the prices look like. You’ll notice they’re much steeper than the P.X.’s

Here’s something I want you to do for me if you will & I hope it won’t be too much trouble. Since I’ve been here at Sill I’ve been trying to get a hold of a foot-locker & just haven’t been able to – they don’t have ‘em. If I send home the money will you see if you can scout one up for me? They cost about $10 or $11 & I believe you can get one at the Army Navy Stores downtown. I’ll have to have one when I leave here because the procedure is to pack all the duds in a footlocker & have it shipped to the next station. I’ll use my Gladstone bag for the equipment I take along with me. I’ll have to wait ‘till tomorrow to send a money order because the P.O. isn’t open today. I’ll shoot the letter thru, however, because I know you’ll be waiting to hear from me. Would appreciate a rush order on this cuz the time is getting short – thanx.

If I graduate – I’ll get a 10 day leave & a couple days travel time so according to schedule I should be home shortly after Easter. Ought to have a pretty fine Easter outfit this year.

By the way – don’t be surprised at the size of the money order – just got payed 2 months salary in one & consequently I’m pretty well fixed.

Had a letter this week from Coll – a V-letter. He couldn’t give out any info as to where he was or what doing but he said he was living much the same life as he was in the States so I guess he isn’t in action yet.

Well now I must get to work so I’ll say good bye. Hope you’re both fine & surviving all the rationing.

With love,

Dorance

Christian Olsen