Page 2 3/14/1943
Don Whitney writes under date of March 6th, on letterhead of 743d Tank Battalion, as follows: This stationary is a holdover from the halycon days when I was a member of the good old 743d Tank Bn., Insignia as above, but what in hell is a halycon day, and am I spelling it right in the first place? The G. O. 743d incidentally, is now dispersed on the burning sands of the Mohave Desert, Calif., where they convert soldiers into Desert rats, the better to harry Der Schweinhunde Rommel (my German is also weak but I’m not sorry). So you see I got out of the 743d just in time, and I am now in the 737d, which is brand-new but definitely on the beam. I am Personnel Officer, or red tape specialist. Your sheet dated January 10, 1943, on the current status of the Guion family, was much appreciated. My far-flung reconnaissance scouts reported one important change in status since your last advice. Poor Richard has altered his life (haw!) I understand that you officiated at the ceremony, enunciating what are probably the most important words either of them will ever hear. (Do I sound like Mr. Anthony?) Incidentally, I was married five months yesterday, which is a long time, or don’t you think so. I remembered the occasion anyway, lucky me. David has my express permission to read the contents hereof if he cares to. Possibly, one still in the toils of adolescence will find nothing of interest here. It sure is a trying period, isn’t it, Dave? If you have any questions about the Army (or adolescence) which you think I can answer, I would be glad to hear from you (I would anyway, dope). Naturally some things about my work cannot be revealed, such as how much I REALLY do every day. Eventually I shall get around to writing to all of your sons but it will no doubt be very slow – – like winning the war. The War Dept. is holding me in reserve to strike the telling blow and bring Germany to its knees in subjugation. Adolph already tremble’s at my name. Soon his mustache will be streaked with gray. Grass will grow in the streets of Berlin after the cavalry rides through triumphantly, etc., etc.
Field Marshall Von Poop
Perhaps you have already heard the following:
The Fighting Irish
First soldier to kill a Jap was Mike Murphy
First bomber to sink a Jap ship was piloted by Collin Kelley
First sailor to bag a Jap plane was Ed O’Hare
First Coast Guard to detect a German spy was John Cullen
First to be decorated by the President for bravery was Pat Powers
First to get four new tires from the Rationing Board was Nathan Goldstein
Now, Ced, as report to you on my activities as purchasing agent. On receipt of your letter telling me you wanted to go all out on a real wedding gift for Jean and Dick, at first it seemed quite a problem but one day, when helping Jean tidy her bed, with an old worn cover, I asked her if she would not like to have a candlewick spread. She said she had in mind getting one someday when she had enough funds to get a good one. Right then and there I made an appointment with her to go down to Read’s and pick out the best they had. She has been busy fixing up her room, and wanted something in blue. We saw what both she and I thought a particularly attractive design, the most expensive they had in the place, by the way – – $14.50 – – and this is what is now adorning her bed and has been greatly admired by a procession of people who have examined it today. You will probably hear from her direct as she is quite enthusiastic about it. I hope my action will meet with your approval. It was charged to my account so you need feel under no necessity for reimbursing me right away. In fact, take your own good time about this – – when you have recovered from your income tax shock.
There is some doubt whether Mr. Ives will live the night through. He is delirious and the Doctor intends giving him a powerful narcotic. He has eaten nothing for five days – – cannot hold anything in his stomach, so the end is not far off. After the last blood transfusion at the hospital a few days ago, they sent him home as there was nothing more they could do for him. He is only 35 years old.
Well, Dick, old boy, I did not send you last week’s letter when I finally got your address, but it is enclosed with this. Good luck to you.