February 2, 1944
Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,
It was good to hear your voice yesterday, Mother, but I’ll bet your bill was plenty high. I wanted to write this letter yesterday, but I could not ever squeeze in a minute right
to up to bedtime. I took a pencil, paper, and flashlight to bed with me in hopes that I could write, but I was so tired I fell asleep right away.
Yesterday morning we had calisthenics. It was really difficult. My muscles are plenty sore. Then there was a dental examination in which everyone in line passed by the dentist and he took a quick glance at our teeth. Mine are O.K.
We were then issued a rifle, gas mask, and steel helmet.
We were told to take the rifle apart and clean it last night. They don’t give you any instructions you are just told to do it. I got it apart and put it together again with someone else’s aid. I hope we are taught how to do it properly.
I had my 3rd and last typhoid shot yesterday as well as my 1st tetanus shot. I don’t know how many tetanus shots we will get.
the tetanus shot didn’t bother me, but my arm was pretty sore again from the typhoid shot.
As I told you over the phone, Mother, I will go into the 1st term of basic engineering upon the completion of my basic training which starts Mon., Feb. 7 and ends May 6. The scores on my test were below average, I was told. I thought that might be the case because it was all math and science, including physics, biology, etc. – subject which I have never had or which I have been very weak in. My interviewer, a captain, was very nice about it. He thought that my college transcript looked pretty good. He noted the D in chemistry. He seemed to approve of my other grades. I was fortunate in that Miami gives credit for a D, because a lot of schools don’t. If I hadn’t had a college record to show, I doubt I would have been accepted. Each term is of 12 weeks duration. If you flunk 1 subject, you are out. I hear that there is a check every 4[?] weeks. I don’t know if you can be thrown out then. I rather imagine that everyone will have a chance until the end of the 1st 12 weeks. I hope so anyways. The may not do it that way, however.
I could study medicine if I were accepted to a med school in 1944. Otherwise, if I finish term 1
successfully then [undecipherable] term II I would have to take a medical aptitude test. I imagine that it is the same one I took. Then the highest 2000 at that time will be selected for further tests and interviews. The process is long and complicated, and I cannot adequately explain it. However, I do know that the chance of studying medicine are very slim.
I met a boy from Fairview and U.D. – James [undecipherable]. He is in the 1st Company. He went into A.S.T.P. in August. Said that it was pretty tough. He was sent to Indiana U.
Oscar Ellison is here to. He is in the 5th Reg’t. -- B. [undecipherable]’s Reg’t.
The rest of the boys in my C.C.C. bunch arrived here yesterday from Ft. Hayes.
It is still cold here. Now I know what the Russians are going through. Seriously, however, it isn’t quite that bad.
My company commander, Dad, is a Lt. Wilson. I haven’t been able to find out his 1st name or the name of the commanding officer of the post.
Write me all the news.
P.S. I just received the box with the sweater, coat hangers, etc. It was wonderful to see “Time” and “The New York Times.” I was glad to get the rest – the cigarettes, chewing [undecipherable], and candy.
I saw some Italian prisoners this afternoon. They were chopping wood and so were we. We could not talk together very much. The did, however, know a few words of English. We found out that they came from Sicily. It was a quite interesting experience. They seem very happy –they should be. They do not appear to be under guard, so they must not be dangerous. They would have a darn hard time escaping anyway.
The toilet situation is improving. I just received your letter in which you were concerned about it, Mother. One latrine was being painted last week.
Also I just received the Dayton paper. It gets here 2 days late, because the paper I received was Monday’s edition.