Trumbull, Conn., May 10, 1942
Lad is in the Army.
At least that is what he announced after coming back from a trip to New York in which he applied successively but unsuccessfully for enlistment in the Naval Reserves, the Marines and the Coast Guard, failing in each to meet eyesight minimum requirements, so Wednesday he is off for Derby to see what happens.
Well naturally I am sorry for Lad’s sake that he did not get into the branch of the service he felt would interest him most. As I think the whole thing over, I believe I would rather have it the way it is. Speaking from the viewpoint of a parent whose uppermost thought these days is the welfare of his sons, it would seem as though the Army is the best bet.
I reach this conclusion along the following line of thought. As the basic premise, this country is all out to win the war. We must put into this effort everything we have – – both men and materials. However at the present time, the outstanding need and our foremost contribution is, and for some time must be, not so much man as materials – – planes, ships, guns, tanks, ammunition for all the allies, and secondarily men to use such proportion of these war materials as we reserved for ourselves.
But of all the manpower fighting on the side of the Allies I should surmise that the U. S. proportionately would expect to have the least number of men engaged in actual fighting.
The main objectives for victory, in order of their importance, seem to me to be the destruction (1) of Hitler’s Army, (2) the Jap Navy and (3) the Jap Army.
To accomplish the first would seem primarily the job of the Russians, aided by the British flyers, Navy and perhaps later their Army.
Number two seems to be our meat, the brunt of losses falling on our naval and flying forces.
Number three just naturally falls to the lot of the Chinese.
If and when the invasion of the continent is decided upon, and in Australia, Africa and China, our Army will undoubtedly have a part, but on account of geographical location, shortage of shipping and less shortage of manpower among our allies near the scene of conflict, and then of materials, it seems as though demands on our army would be far less than that of our other services such as navel and flying personnel, with consequently smaller losses.
That is the way things look today, and unless the character of the war changes considerably (and I suppose we must expect surprising changes with the world at war), I would expect our losses in manpower to be in the following order: Navy, flying service (both Army and Navy) and Army ground forces. Theoretically, then, the best chance of survival would seem to be with those in the US Army. You can understand therefore why the selfish part of me is glad to have my boys serving in the Army rather than in the Navy or flying forces.
Did you boys listen to Churchill’s inspiring talk this afternoon? As an orator I think he has our own chief executive beaten to a frazzle.
Tomorrow, page 2 of this letter. On Friday, the Induction Booklet, “FALL IN”, given to Lad by the American Legion on the day of his induction, May 14th, 1942 at the Shelton Railroad Station.