This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are still in Jackson,Mississippi, Dan is in France, Dick is in Brazil acting as a liaison with the locals who are employed on the base, Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska repairing planes and finding and repairing downed planes and Dave is at Camp Crowder, recently assigned to the Signal Corps Battalion.
Trumbull, Conn September 24, 1944
(Dan, Alfred, Richard, Cedric, Dave)
That’s my code word for all the boys in the family, individually and collectively (in recognition, naturally, of the fact that our youngest is now in the U.S. Signal Corps).
Home Town News in Brief: Bob Peterson, age 50, died quite suddenly last Thursday at the Newington Veterans Hospital where he had gone for treatment for headaches. The trouble is alleged to have been a blood clot on the brain. Besides being a veteran of World War I and a member of the Trumbull American Legion Post, he was a member of the Board of Education, a Building Commissioner, Pres. of the Fairfield Co. Fire Chief’s Assn., and has for 20 years been our local fire chief. Cedric Joslin, whom some of you knew, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps was reported killed in action in Corsica when his fighter plane crashed. Don Whitney is reported home in Long Hill on a visit but I have not myself seen him. Red Sirene is probably overseas somewhere. Yesterday afternoon and this morning, interspersed with spells of cooking dinner, I chopped and sawed, trying to clear the place of fallen timber and as soon as I finish this I shall have to tackle cleaning the kitchen oil burner, so if this letter is shorter than usual, let’s call it the laws of compensation in operation.
Thanks Marian and Lad for your birthday greetings, and by the way, did you ever receive the government check I forwarded to Miss? Dave, happy birthday greeting to you, come next Saturday, just in case, although I expect sometime during the week to write a special birthday letter, as per usual practice. Ced I am in touch with a man who handles refrigerator repairs and who has promised to keep his eye open for something really suitable.
Dave writes he has been assigned to a Sig. Trng. Bn. At Camp Crowder, having been up to the present time in the Replacement Training Section. The new group trains as a unit and as a unit when their training is completed is sent overseas together. He also writes that he and Lad are trying to arrange some time and place where they can meet halfway for a chat. I received Dave’s letter Thursday. In it he suggested I take Jean and Aunt Betty to see “Arsenic and Old Lace” when it comes to Bridgeport. ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036613/ ) It was then playing at the Merritt, so that night we all went to the Merritt and enjoyed seeing it. Thank you, Dave, for the suggestion. And now for something not quite so pleasant. I don’t urgently need it, but I don’t like to see any of my boys careless about money matters, so don’t overlook the fact that you still owe me some borrowed money, only part of which has been repaid. Don’t “save till it hurts”, but on the other hand, don’t be too nonchalant about it either. Your father may be lenient but others not. And it’s the habit and frame of mind that count, not the money owed.
Dan writes he has seen a bit of the Brest section. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Brest )He reports the German atrocities, after talking with the French eyewitnesses and near victims, are unfortunately true. His explanation sounds plausible. The Jerry’s considered themselves superior to the French. The French didn’t feel inferior. Resentment led to action, action to punishment, punishment to revenge, revenge to atrocity. Dan is still enjoying himself and his contact with the French folk.
And now, if you will, let be off this week for just one page, I’ll tackle the oil stove. The weather is getting cooler and Aunt Betty feels it quite a bit and unless the kitchen stove stays lighted it is uncomfortable for her here during the day. I have been able to get some parts for the furnace and that will have to be tackled soon. Adieu. DAD
Tomorrow, a letter from Biss to her brother, Ced, in Alaska, working on a Military Air Base, Wednesday, a short thank you note from Marian to Ced, on Thursday another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another note from Marian.