October 1943

LETTER 001

For induction 18 year old William W. Taylor, Jr. left his home in North Hollywood, California and was sent to Fort MacArthur, San Pedro, California. In this, his first letter home he is already griping about the food. He describes a total blackout and notes the absurdity of a blackout on the base while the shipyards below (of San Pedro) “are so lit up that it seems like day!” 

Oct. 5, 1943
Service Command Unit 1959
Fort MacArthur, San Pedro, California

Dear Mother & Dad,

You asked me to write and tell you what we did on the first day. We sat & sat & sat. However, we did eat and get our bunks. The food was excellent at first, but it’s getting worse ever since. It’s still not bad, however. There’s a total blackout here at night but the shipyards are so lit up that it seems like day.

This morning I woke up about ½ hour before first call (first call is not a bugle call- some bird just yells over a loudspeaker that we “gotta” get up). I made my bed “Army Style” and went and washed up. After breakfast we had our tests. They were 3 hours long altogether and were pretty tough, but I evidently did well enough that I was offered “aviation cadet” training to become a pilot, navigator, or bombardier. I didn’t accept. This A.T.S.P. deal seems more practical, and even if nothing comes of it, I can still go back to aviation although it doesn’t intrigue me.

After the tests and lunch we had our physical and shots. The shots didn’t bother me—–yet! We had a little Jewish doctor examine us, and he sure was a kick.

As soon as we finished the physical, we went to get haircuts. I didn’t have to get one, but they really tried to take the fellows that did. “Don’t you want a shampoo (.75) etc.” then we got our interviews. I don’t know what decisions were made, but the way they acted toward everyone it seemed as if we were to be put on permanent K.P.

That’s about all we’ve done, and it’s plenty.

In my own humble opinion this place is a hole. About all everybody talks about is when they’re going to be shipped out. In the morning & evening there’s a fishy fertilizer stink that just about turns your stomach. It’s foggy-and all night the shipyards make a terrible racket.

I don’t know where we’re going to be sent but according to the rumors it’ll be a million miles away in some place like Benning or someplace in New England. We really don’t know.

I don’t think you’ll be able to write me until I get to basic training. Things are too mixed-up.

All the Love in the World, — Bill

LETTER 002

Following induction at Ft. MacArthur Bill Taylor, Jr. takes a Southern Pacific train from Union Station in Los Angeles to Camp Abbot, located on the high plateau of Eastern Oregon. In a writing style that displays a keen eye of observation and a healthy dose of sarcasm, he notes “eating .15c Southern Pacific Railroad meals which happen to cost the army $1.00 apiece.” After making a reference to the poem “Tommy” by Rudyard Kipling, he repeats a theme that will follow him throughout his military travels when he exclaims, “what a hole” in reference to his new home.

October 15, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Mother and Dad,

Please excuse me for not writing sooner. I really couldn’t help it though because for the last two days I’ve been in the hospital. Don’t worry though, it’s nothing serious-just a bellyache. Already I feel swell but I think that I’m going to have a hard time getting out. This is because I’m such a good floor mopper, sweeper, etc.

You must have been pretty surprised when you received my telegram saying that I was in the engineers-so was I when I heard the news. It seems that I did best in my mechanical aptitude test and so it was the engineers for me. So far I’ve been unable to find anybody who knows whether I’m still in the A.S.T.P. or not-I might be in the engineer end of the program-I hope.

The engineers-Phyyyttt (the bird)-The Army Medical Corps-Phyyyttt. This is the way I feel at the present time, but you’re the only ones that I’m letting know it. There’s an awful lot of 1st. class gripers around here-as well as goldbricks- and they aren’t very popular.

You probably want to hear my whole story, so here is or are, rather, the gruesome details.

When I got up Monday morning and they read the shipping list, I was on it as was the rest of my gang (with the exception of Alarcon-the fellow we took home-and Clark-the fellow from Van Nuys.) I wanted to call you up but they don’t tell you where you’re going until you leave. We got our gear together and by means of truck and P.E. we arrived at the Union Station downtown. From there I could have called you up, and you could have come down and seen me off, but I was afraid that I couldn’t take another goodbye and that’s the truth. One fellow’s mother came down to see him and it only made both of them feel worse.

We left the station about 8:00 (0r should I say 20:00) and started North. We slept double in lower berths and nobody got any sleep all night long-It took us 8 hours to go between L.A. and Bakersfield. The goddam Pullman was not ventilated so we had all the windows open when we went through that long tunnel up along the Ridge Route. Needless to say, I damn near choked to death. After a boring day of riding and eating 15c Southern Pacific Railroad meals which happen to cost the Army $1.00 apiece, we arrived in Klamath Falls, Ore. At 12:00 P.M. We spent the rest of the night on the floor of the station (pleasant huh?)

The next morning we got a pretty good breakfast at a nearby café (which reminds me-some people sure treat you lousily just because you’re a soldier. It reminds me of that poem by Kipling-“Tommy”-remember? They seem to think that just because you wear a uniform, you’re a bum. Well, after breakfast we got on a bus and rode 145 miles to Camp Abbot. The camp is east of the part of Oregon that we know-just at the edge of a desert. The altitude is about 4, ooo ft. ; it’s too damn cold; and it’s about the dustiest place in the world. A lot of small pine trees grow here but the soil is so light that they blow over before they get very big, and as a result, the ground is littered with myriads of rotten trees. What a hole!

About an hour after I arrived at the camp, I got sick and had to ride in an ambulance because it was too far to walk to the joint. So far I’ve been living the life of Reilly here-except that I’ve got to work pretty hard. Nearly everybody here in my ward had “G. I. stomach”-ulcers to civilians and they’re a pretty sorry sight.

I sure miss you and everything else at home, but they keep me busy enough that it doesn’t get too bad. I’ll have to close here because I can see some work coming.

Because I was in camp so short a time before I got sick I’m not sure what company or battalion I’m in, but I think that if you send mail to the address on the envelope it will get to me. My next letter will have the right address on it for sure.

All the Love in the World, — Bill

LETTER 003

Bill has been in the Camp Abbot hospital for 5 days with “G.I.Stomach” and his frustration is beginning to show. He gripes about the medics in the hospital, the lousy country at Abbot, the lousy weather, and the volcanic dust . For the first time he is homesick.

October 18, 1943
Camp Abbot, Oregon

Dear Folks,

I really have nothing to write about because I’m still in the goddamn hospital waiting for the goddamn medics to make up their goddamn minds that there’s nothing wrong with me. Every day I’ve got to scrub the floor or clean out the latrine, and if I’m well enough to work like that I’m well enough to go back to my company. I feel swell and am eating like a horse. This is my main reason for writing. I don’t want you to worry. Besides my disgust with the medics there’s this lousy country and weather. Every day a little hail, sleet, and snowfalls-only enough, however, to stir up the six inches of volcanic dust that covers the ground. I think they built this camp here with the expressed purpose of making everybody miserable and homesick. As yet I’m not miserable, but I’m sure homesick.

Pardon this poor writing. I have no table.

Lots of Love, — Bill

LETTER 004

Bill is still in the hospital but he finds it tolerable due to a radio brought in by “one of the jerks here”. The best radio reception is from a station in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Moose Jaw is an 825 mile AM radio transmission from Camp Abbot. The station Bill listened to was probably CHAB 1220 kHz AM. CHAB was affiliated with the Canadian Broadcasting System and began broadcasting in Moose Jaw in 1933.

October 19, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Folks & Ity.

I am writing to tell you that at long last I’m going to get out of the hospital, I think. It was a hard fight against great odds buy now I’m getting an upper hand.

The other day one of the jerks here brought in a radio and now I’m getting a little caught up on the news. It’s a pretty good set and we can even get Los Angeles sometimes. The station that comes in best of all, however, is one at Moosejaw, Canada.

This morning the weather is a little warmer than it’s been before but it’s pretty cloudy so we might get some real snow. We’ve had quite a bit of hail lately & an occasional flurry of snow.

The food here is very good, but not as good as it was at MacArthur. I think that we don’t get enough vegetables & milk.

Well, that’s about all. You can’t write much when all you do is sit around in the hospital.

Write soon. — Bill

LETTER 005

Bill is still languishing in the hospital. He is convinced that they are keeping him there because he is “the only one in the ward that is strong enough and willing enough to do any work.” He gives a classic definition of “goldbrick.”

October 20, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Mudder and Pappy,

I was so sure that this would be my last day in the hospital that I went to the supply room this morning and got clean bedclothes (this is necessary before one can leave). The shock was terrific when the nurse said, “Too bad but you ain’t on da list.” I couldn’t figure it out until I read the work list, but then it was perfectly clear. I was given the great honor of mopping the floor, again. I’m positive that they’re keeping me here because I’m the only one in the ward that is strong enough and willing enough to do any work. (war is hell)

I’m perfectly convinced a this time that the Army is the most inefficient organization in the whole wide world. If a person works hard and gets a job quickly it gets him “nottin.” As soon as he finishes one job they hunt another for him. Here’s where the great art of “goldbricking” comes in the Army. One is shirking your duty so the other fellow has to do your work. That is bad. The other is merely stretching a job out until it takes all day. That’s good. Well, although at home I was a first class goldbrick of the latter type, here I’m a rank amateur. It’s too cold to loaf on the job. Therefore, they’ve got me spotted as a good worker. That’s bad.

Well that’s about all. Outside it’s raining, hailing, sleeting, and snowing all at once.

Bill

LETTER 006

A rumor is going around that Camp Abbot will close during the winter. It is snowing outside and Bill expects that they will soon have him “shoveling snow off the roof of the hospital.” Bill is given a clean bill of health by the doctor but does not expect to get out for weeks” due to the red tape.” Midway through the letter he abruptly stops writing to exclaim, “Hold it. I’ve got to go and scrub the walls.”

October 21, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear folks,

I’m still in the hospital, but yesterday the doctor gave me a full medical examination and said that I was O.K. Even so it’ll probably take weeks for me to get out due to the red tape.

It’s snowing here and it seems as if we’re going to have a tough winter. There’s a rumor going around that Camp Abbot will close up during the winter and the 4th. Engineers will go down to California. It’s still just a rumor, but it’s pretty logical since there will be so much snow and cold that training will be limited. Already there are a lot of fellows in the hospital with arthritis and cracked skin on their feet. (Hold it. I’ve got to go and scrub the walls) So it seems that if we move out we might go somewhere near home.

As soon as I can manage it I’m going to get some engineer insignia of some sort and send it home. Some of it is not exactly G.I. and so it can be worn by civilians. They have some little Engineer turrets that make swell jewelry for women’s dresses.

Just now it’s beginning to snow really hard outside. I can see myself already shoveling snow off the roof of the hospital.

So far I haven’t received any mail. Write soon. I’ll write again tomorrow if I have the time. Oh, another thing, they say that during the first 2 weeks a guy doesn’t have time to crap much less write, so don’t be surprised if for a while the letters are few and far between. Write soon.

Love, — Bill

P.S. I think I’m still in A.S.T.P.

LETTER 007

October 23, 1943)
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear folks,

I was wrong about my company. Have received no mail yet. Write soon.

Pvt. William W. Taylor, Jr.
A.S.N. 19203811
Co. “B” 53 E.T. bu.
Camp Abbot, Oregon

Love, — Bill

LETTER 008

Our hero is finally released from the hospital and joins Co. “B”. In his first day of training he draws his equipment and at 5:30 am. the next morning Bill gets to work. First day activities include: close order drill, extended order drill, a lecture, propaganda movies, a 45¢ haircut (“I was in the chair for exactly 85 seconds”) and the cleaning of his M1 Garand rifle. Bill gets his first letter from home. He closes the letter with a humorous sketch entitled “me in the cold.”

October 24, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Folks,

I still haven’t received any mail from you. I know it can’t be helped because of that mistake about what Company I belong to, but still I sure get lonely for a letter from home. I want to hear about everything that goes on at home no matter how unimportant it may seem-what the neighbors are doing-and so on. The more you write the higher my morale will go.

Well, today was my second day of real training. I got out of the hospital early yesterday, or rather the day before yesterday. It was then I found out that I was in Co. “B” instead of “C.” It seems funny though. I should have received the mail anyway.

I didn’t do much the day I got out except draw my equipment an so, but at 5:30 the next morning I was off. I’m still at a disadvantage around here since I missed a week’s training, but since I’ve had a lot of what we(re) getting it sort of evens things up.

The toughest thing of all is the fact that we never get a minute’s rest. From the moment I get up till sundown I’m on the go. Close order, extended order, etc. When you aren’t doing something violently physical, they take you to the movies for lecture, and propaganda pictures. All this in about 6 inches of slushy snow and water. We did that all yesterday. In the evening I got a G.I. haircut. It cost me 45 cents. I was in the chair for exactly 85 seconds. You can imagine how I look.

The most never ending job in the Army-cleaning one’s rifle-usually takes up most of the evening. Today is supposed to be our day off, ha ha! We got up at the usual time and went out to the rifle range. It was the first time I ever fired my M1 Girand. It hardly kicks at all.

Things are pretty tough now; even the non-coms are pooped, and we’re on field rations which although are better than they sound are not terrific. After the first 5 weeks we’ll be put on garrison rations and that’ll be a lot better.

We get plenty of good warm clothing, but if you would like to send something make it a khaki wool scarf.

Hooray! I just now got your letter, Mother. I wasn’t going to mention it but until 5 minutes ago I was the most homesick guy in the whole 4th. Engineers. Now I feel a whole lot better.

About the goddam camp. Yes, it is new. It was founded last May, and it’s still pretty rough. There are about 20,000 men here and a number of other camps nearby.

I was surprised to hear about the cold weather in L.A. It’s really quite a drop from what it was that Sunday I was home. The temperature here has been about 20 deg. above but now it’s a little warmer. In fact, for about an hour today we even got a look at the sun.

All in all, this is a pretty good outfit. It’s made up of mostly young fellows, and platoon, company, and battalion rivalry is pretty high. On top of it all the Engineers is a pretty high falutin’ outfit.

I’m sending you my insurance slip which is good in place of the policy until you receive the real one.

Some of the fellows here have cameras and maybe I’ll be able to send you some snapshots.

Love, — Bill

(Co. “B” 53 ET bn)

LETTER 009

October 27, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Folks,

I have only a few minutes free time to write this note tonight. I have to make up a pack, clean my rifle, take a bath and about 40 other things, but I did want to get at last a short note off.

I received daddy’s letters yesterday as I told you on the phone. Don’t worry about asking questions. I only wish you were around asking me some now.

At the end of the week we get out of quarantine and then I get the red and white —– ( I can’t think of the word) trimming for my cap.

I’ll write a real letter as soon as possible.

Best Love, — Bill

LETTER 010

Bill is getting up to speed with his basic training. He has completed a 5 mile hike including “4 miles with combat pack and gas mask.” His griping is also up to speed. He complains about the weather, his lack of free time and states that “I’m sure getting sick of the Engineers.” His mood improves dramatically when he receives his back mail- 8 letters in all. The officers are telling the men that they will “never get into combat” and that “the War in Europe will be over before the end of winter and possibly before Christmas [1943].”

October 28, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Folks,

At some risk, I am writing this letter. I should be shining my shoes, cleaning my rifle, or doing about a ton of other work; but I ain’t.

Well, training is getting pretty tough. Yesterday we went on a 5 mile hike. This isn’t so bad, but we had to march 4 miles with combat pack and gas mask.

In a couple of days we’ll get out of quarantine and then things will be a little better. Right now we can’t even leave the Co. area without a corporal. I’ve only been to the P.X. once since I’ve been here.

I’m sure getting sick of the Engineers. I don’t say anything but everyone else does. All they talk about is transfers. The training itself is not too bad and the officers are good, but the location of the camp, the weather, and the way in which the damn camp is run (not G.I.) is the craps. The weather is what gets me down. We haven’t had one sunny day since we got here, and every day we’ve had at least some rain or snow. Everybody has a cold and feels punk. Phooey!! (with expression)

Another thing is the lack of free time. I don’t expect much, but I would like to have enough to write a letter now and then. The only way I can write these is by not doing something I should.

I haven’t heard the news lately and don’t know what’s going on, but the officers are already telling us that we’ll never get into combat. They all seem to believe (or have some kind of information) that the war in Europe will be over before the end of winter and possibly before Christmas. Sounds good anyway. A lot of Engineers who get through with their training here are immediately sent overseas but it doesn’t mean anything since they train for another full year over there before they go into combat. Also overseas is usually Hawaii or Panama.

I hate to disappoint you about being home for Christmas but I can’t possibly get a furlough until my 17 weeks is up and then it’s impossible if I go to A.S.T.P. It’s the craps, I know, but if I ever get a chance to pull any strings, will. Sometime in the future they are going to give us another classification test and at that time we’re supposed to have some say about being transferred, etc.

Yesterday I received all my back mail, 7 letters- 5 from mother, 1 from daddy and one from Horton Grant. Tonight I got another from daddy so I’m pretty pepped up. I am sure glad to hear the news from school, about the neighbors, etc.

I received Mrs. Ferber’s gift. The card gave the fellows here quite a laugh.

I like mother’s serial letter very much. I wish she would keep them up.

Oceans of Love, — Bill

LETTER 011

Bill continues to have difficulty with the weather. He recites a “rather bawdy song” making the rounds of camp. The food is “confidentially stinky” and he asks mother to send some Toll House cookies. Bill begs for some world news from home. The latest news he hears is “to the effect that Hull, Eden & Molotov had their first meeting.” This would be a prelude to the Teheran Conference held in November between the “Big Three” — Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. Among other things at Teheran, Roosevelt would commit to a spring invasion of France thereby creating the Western Front Stalin so fervently wanted, and setting into motion the wheels that would eventially take Bill to France and Germany.

October 29, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Folks,

I am writing this before mail call so I don’t know whether or not I’ll get any from you today. Ordinarily I would wait, but tomorrow we’ve got Sat. inspection and I’m not sure I’ll have any spare time tonight. If I do get some mail from you and do have some spare time I’ll write another letter.

Things are pretty much the same here as always. I fell out for sick call this morning in order to get some nose drops. Everyone here has a miserable cold. As a result I got “Shit Detail” or in other nicer words- clean the latrine, etc.

The weather here is as bad as ever-rain-sleet-slush. The situation is getting so bad that there’s a song making it’s way around the camp right now. It’s rather bawdy, but it expresses our feelings perfectly. Here’s how it goes:

Oregon is a hellava state
parley-voo

Oregon is a hellava state
parley-voo

Oregon is a hellava state
It’s the asshole of the 48

hinkey dinkey parley-voo

At any rate, the weather’s making me pretty homesick (I’d be homesick anyway). Your letter of last week in which you spoke of the chocolate cake and baked beans made my mouth water terrifically. I don’t expect you to send me a chocolate cake or candy, I know how hard it is to get those things but I sure could go for some of your Toll House Cookies right now, Mother. If you do send some make ‘em small. I’ll have to pass some around. A few such delicacies from home mean a lot to the fellows here because we get food in the messhall, which in the words of the great whoozis is “confidentially stinky”.

I wish you would tell me in your letters a little world news. Believe it or not (trite), the last news that I heard was to the effect that Hull, Eden & Molotov had their first meeting. Has anything important happened since then? Sometime next week we should get a radio in here but until then we don’t know from nothing.

Best Love to Mudder

Daddy and Her Nibbs

From, — Bill

P.S. It’s raining

P.P.S. The Army. Phooey!

LETTER 012

October 31, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Mother,

This letter is in answer to yours of the 27th. About the field rations that we’re on. Don’t mistake them for combat rations. There not that bad.

You asked me if I could do with some more wool sox. The answer is yes.

Oh! Oh! I gotta go now. This is a “hellava” letter I know, but duty calls.

Bestus Love, — Bill

LETTER 013

Bill and company spend an hour performing close order drill in the snow wearing gas masks, followed by a trip into a chamber filled with tear gas. The men are lectured on various types of gas and made to walk through a cloud of phosgene. The afternoon is spent in Judo training. Camp Abbot weather takes a dramatic turn. After a night when it “snowed out of a clear sky,” morning breaks to bright sunshine revealing “The Bachelor” — a large extinct volcano shining brightly 20 miles to the west.

October 31, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Folks,

I have in my pocket at this moment 4 letters: two from you Daddy. This being Sunday I have plenty of time to write so I plan to get off three letters: This, my regular letter; one to Mother; and one to Pappy-A pretty ambitious plan if I do say so myself.

Yesterday and the night before were the most interesting periods I’ve had since I’ve been in the Army. The night before last it snowed out of a clear sky. I have never seen anything like it before. There was no moon but the stars were so bright that they reflected on the falling flakes. It was about the first pretty thing I’ve seen since I’ve been here. The next morning, believe it or not, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and a large extinct volcano, The Batchlor, shone brightly about 20 miles away. For about the first time since I’ve been here, I felt like a human being. After breakfast, we had about an hour of close order drill in the snow with our gas masks on, and let me tell you that’s not very pleasant-my face was sweatin’ at the same time my feet and ears were freezin’. Some fun, eh? As soon as we got finished with that they took us to the gas chamber. First we had to put on our masks and go into a little room full of tear gas. That was swell, but then they told us to take off our masks and walk not run to the door. Phooey! I thought my eyes and nose were burned off. After we got out of there, they said that we would then go into the clorine chamber and then they’d turn on the gas and we’d have to put our masks on but quick. The only thing wrong was that we found out the chamber was already full of gas when we got in there. I got my mask on pronto but Remington couldn’t get his on and damn near passed out before he got out of there. After that we were given a lecture outside on the various types of gas, and they shot small doses which we walked through in order to find out how they smell. I stepped into a cloud of phosgene and wow!! We learned some pretty interesting things too. The Germans have a gas now called Nitrogen Mustard. It can’t be smelled and 4 days after getting it you drop dead. We got the same stuff, and we’ve got a new protection against it.

We have a new gas called Adamsite. It depresses the mind so that people affected with it want to commit suicide. Hot stuff, huh? After being gassed, we went to the show and there I learned that the Engineers must learn how to disembark from ships like the Marines.

In the afternoon we had inspection followed by Judo. Honest to God, we’re going to be tough babies when we finish this training.

Last night we got our hats back and they had the red & white piping on them. I went to the show.

Best Love, — Bill

LETTER 014

October 31, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Dad,

I received your letter of the 26th. and got quite a kick out of the time you had trying to get a hold of me. I remember, however, that it wasn’t so funny at the time. For a while I must have been a pretty important guy around Camp Abbot.

You asked in red letters whether I was jealous of the swell ham you had for dinner. Fifteen minutes later we went to chow and had macaroni and cheese. Does that answer your question?

We get 6 weeks Infantry basic here and 11 weeks of Engineer basic. It’s pretty tough.

Nearly all the fellows I knew at MacArthur are here although Remington is the only one in my co. He sleeps right across from me.

Doug Rose is sure having a tough time in the Army isn’t he? Hell! When I was in the hospital, all those “bedpan commandos” did was sleep.

We have a regular P.X. for each battalion here and a swell service club.

About a garrison cap and belt. I don’t think I should get them now. I have no place to go and if I go across immediately after basic I can’t take them.

Love, — Bill

LETTER 015

Bill writes his 4th. letter of Halloween 1943. It comes at the end of a rare day of leisure at Camp Abbot. He enjoys this “postman’s holiday” by taking a walk to “find out what Camp Abbot looks like.” The first stop is the service club where Bill buys a 25¢ malt. Following a meal which includes the ham he longed for, our “engineer in training” goes to the show and sees “Flesh and Fantasy” starring Charles Boyer, Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck. He tops off the day with a follow-up visit to the service club for a sundae.

October 31, 1943
[Camp Abbot, Oregon]

Dear Mother,

This is the conclusion to the letter I started this morning. I had to go out on a short detail for about one half hour. After that I came back to the barracks and put on my O.D.s. Then I went out for a walk to find out what Camp Abbot looks like. Talk about a postman’s holiday. Well, anyway it was a beautiful day; sun out and blue sky. I went down to the service club first of all and got myself a nice big malt. It was darn good, but it ought to be for 25 cents. Other stuff is pretty cheap. There are a lot of comfortable chairs there and a good, if small library.

For lunch we had for the first time a really good meal-ham (plenty of it with pineapple), corn, lettuce salad, potatoes and gravy, and plums for dessert. After that I went to the show and saw this picture “Flesh & Fantasy”. What a picture! After the picture I went back to the service club for a sundae, and there I met the other fellows from Co. ‘A” who were down at Fort MacArthur. They had thought I was in the hospital with pneumonia-typical accuracy of a Camp Abbot rumor.

For dinner tonight we had Spanish rice. It was as lousy as the noon meal was good. However, for the first time they had canned tomatoes. Most of the fellows at my table didn’t care for it so I was able to eat all I could hold. Hot dogs!

Better close now.

Love, — Bill

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