The Old Homestead
Trumbull, Conn. May 21, 1944
Your pop has been working like all get-out today – – out in the sunshine being a dirt farmer in an effort to make the place look halfway presentable to the homecoming bride and groom. Yes Sir, they really are coming and may even be here this time next week. Lad writes: ”The 1st. Sgt. told me my furlough would start May 24th. If possible I will get the U.P. (Union Pacific) Challenger leaving LA Tuesday at 6:45 PM. We intend to spend one week in Trumbull and one week with Marian’s folks in Orinda”. I would like to quote the letter in full, but the hour is late and I am very much in need of a hot bath before I hit the hay and any hoo, there is a letter from Dan, two from Dave, a six page single-spacer from Ced, and I’d watched the sun come up “over China ‘cross the Bay” if I ever tried to quote them all in toto, so you’ll just get a wee sample from each this trip. Take Dan, for instance. His letter is dated April 1st, but the envelope was postmarked May 12th. In it he says: “I must inform you that I can receive no more packages until further notice and may even have to return some that you have already sent – “existing regulation”. Now that looks to us in Trumbull like one more bit of evidence that the long awaited invasion is getting closer. Dave is out of the hospital, with one mump behind him. He omitted any reference to feeling “swell”. He expects to be transferred again but if this has occurred he has not yet signaled the message home. He asks what is the latest dope on how long the war will last, adding “you’d be surprised how little we know of this war after we get into the Army.” I have consulted my crystal ball and have this to report: When will be invasion start? Only a few of the top men know. Possibly no exact date has been set depending on how progress in Italy, bombing results in Germany and the invasion coast for softening up process. How long after invasion starts will it take to get “firm”? Probably weeks, rather than days. Heavy casualties? Yes. Secret weapons? Probably some on both sides. Will paratroops be landed behind the lines? Yes. Will there also be a new Russian push? Yes. When will the war be over in Europe? Best informed opinion believes this year. Dave, in view of your inquiry and interest in the war, I am graduating you from the funnies, which was all right for your boyhood with its childhood diseases like MUMPS, to News Week, such as a real he-man like your father reads.
Ced writes a long interesting letter. It is worthy of quoting at greater length than I have time to do tonight, but I will get the high spots. He is going to night school in Anchorage, a 10-week course, five nights a week, two hour sessions, preparing for CAA examination for commercial pilots license. He is supposed to take his pre-induction physical on the 17th, but has hopes of being deferred as men of his age working on the airlines commercially outside the Continental US are subject to deferment. Mail will reach Rusty at Nome, Alaska.
Your birthday, Ced, kind of snook up on me without much warning. Next week, however, I expect to get some kind of a box off to you with a few trinkets to let you know we still remember your visit here a long time ago. All this week I have been wrestling with a lot of government red tape to get those auto parts off to you. The exhaust pipe cost $2.50 and the floor mat $6.50. I had to go to the customs inspector for a number, had to have the paper notarized, had to get a receipted bill from Buick, and the express cost $4.18. I also asked Mr. Whitney to ship you a filter and send me the bill.
If Lad and Marian are home next week I may be too excited to write, so if you don’t hear from me for two weeks blame it on married life. Meantime, don’t stop writing on that account to your
Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.