6 August 1944
Dear Folks –
I’m sorry I haven’t been writing very regularly – but I told you that the time might come when I wouldn’t be able to write because I’m too busy.
Saturday – the 12th – we will all move from this company over to some company in the 34th Bn. And then on Monday we will go out to the field (C.P.X.) for our final phase of training. C.P.X. (Command Post Exercises) is a sort of small scale Maneuvers. The boys in each school go out there and cook for us – Sig. Cen. Clerks run Sig. Centers – Radio boys completing their course run Radios – Field Linemen set out and maintain their wires – Pole Linemen likewise – the same is true for the Teletype Operators, Motor Mechanics – Chauffeurs – Truck Drivers – Pigeoneers – and anyone else I might not have mentioned. This final phase of training is three weeks long – three weeks of Missouri woods, ticks, chiggers, Rattlers, and various other species that don’t hold too much interest in my mind. – But I think it will be fun – and anything would be better than school! You see, after I got back here from my furlough – although I still liked Sig. Cen. Clerks – I felt as though I knew all that they had to teach me in school (conceited) – and I still feel that this last 4 weeks has been a waste of time.
After C.P.X. – who knows? All I can do is to make a few wild guesses which would be based upon nothing but the Army’s ceaseless rumors – which are more prevalent than ever before right now.
The most likely thing that will happen is that they ship us out of here to a Port of Embarkation (maybe Reynolds in Penn. – More likely Deal in Calif.) where will be prepared to get on a boat “and see the world through carbine gun sites”. If this is the case – I may get a delay–en-route and I may not – who can tell?
Another possibility is that they will send us back here to Camp and put us to school again. Rumor has it that they will teach us to drive Army trucks, and to operate Teletype machines for Sig. Cen. work.
A third possibility – which to me sounds pretty impossible (typical G.I. rumor) – is that we will go back to our respective Induction Centers for re-classification.
The last – but not so unlikely – rumor has it that we will be sent to another part of camp for Unit Training – where we will be shipped out after a few months training as a unit – or rather the Signal section of a regular unit. This is quite possible but not nearly as likely as the first rumor which would have me overseas in a matter of weeks – or maybe a few months.
Another pet rumor making the rounds here states that the camp (as a Replacement Training Center) will be entirely closed and that instead they will turn Crowder into a Rehabilitation Hospital. Another says that instead of being a Signal Corps Camp – Crowder will become a training camp for all the Service Forces (Engineers, Signal Corps, Ordinance, M.P.’s, Quartermaster, Corps of Chaplains, Medics, – and more). I think this rumor got it’s base from the fact that the camp was changed from Central Signal Corps Replacement Training Center to Army Service Forces Training Center – Remember?
Everything I’ve told you so far is “G. I. Rumor”. Don’t hold too much stock in any of it – just sit tight for 4 more weeks – by that time I think I’ll be able to give you something tangible to chew on.
The other night I was on guard duty when a Sgt. came out of his barracks with another man and called me over to him. He told me he had seen this man come into his barracks and pick up the Sgt’s. pants. We questioned the fellow and he told us that he had moved into the company that morning and as he wasn’t thinking – due to the fact that he had had a few drinks in Neosho – he got into the wrong barracks. His story was very impressive and the Sgt. told me to let him go. The culprit left and I once again started walking my post. On an impulse – as I passed the barracks where the accused claimed to actually live – I decided to take a peek in to see if he were in bed. I went in to see – and much to my dismay – found that he wasn’t in there. I went back and told the Sgt. about it and then when I got to the Guard House I told the Cpl. of the Guard about it. The next day I found out that he was a crook – and doing pretty well in his business throughout the whole post. For the offense which I committed – (not turning him in) – they could have court-marshaled me – not a pretty thought. As yet the culprit hasn’t been located again.
I think there’s more to say – but I can’t think of anything now. I may have time to write again – and I may not. I don’t know how things will be out at C.P.X. I do know that mail will be appreciated more than ever while I’m out there – though.
P.S. – Monday night – sorry I didn’t mail this earlier – still find it hard for time to do anything – still haven’t got the knack of “From one thing to the next, Don’t dillydally”.
Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters from 1939. Both Lad and Dan, Grandpa’s oldest sons, are in Venezuela. Dan is still employed by Inter-America Inc. and is in a camp out in the field surveying the route for a road from Caracas to Maracaibo. Lad is no longer with Inter-America Inc. but is now working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.