August 21, 1944

Page 1

August 21, 1944

Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,

                I’m sitting on a foot locker in the barracks writing this letter. It is now 8:10 and we are leaving for the field at 9 o’clock so I will have to write fast. I usually like to and do take hours for a letter. They brought us in for showers about 6:30. I wanted to have time to write this letter so I didn’t take a shower, but I did get to shave. I hope you didn’t forget to send me some razor blades. They still don’t have any here. I can’t understand it. I think the bulk of everything goes to the troops overseas now.

                I went back on the bus last night. We got to the M.P. gate and the bus broke down. The brakes wouldn’t hold. The driver got it to stop and started pouring some brake fluid. But that wouldn’t work so he phoned in for another bus. That one looked like it was falling apart too.

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When I got back I expected to see my name on the list for K.P. today. But I have guard tonight instead. I go on from 1-6 in the morning. I get to sit down in the orderly room tent and I am supposed to walk around the area once every half hour. If I had wanted it I could have had the 8-1 shift but I wanted to come in here.

                My guard will probably last til 5:15 because everyone has to get up then tomorrow since some of us including myself have to go out early to fire on the rifle transition course. It will probably last all day, since we are taking the usual thing, 2 horrible sandwiches and water from our canteens.) On this course targets pop out in front of us and we must fire at them. I hate any kind of firing. I was supposed to do this the first Saturday I was sent in here for guard. They didn’t say anything more though, so I thought they forgot about it. Naturally, that made me happy, but they remembered all right. If it weren’t for this I’d probably have K.P. tomorrow, so I suppose I’ll get it Wednesday. If I do, that means I’ll get it again on Sunday (every 4 days).


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August 21, 1944


And I always like to be free on Sunday since it is my only day to get out a little bit.

                Now those 3 Jewish boys are staying. They are taking the intercept operators from the 97th Sig. Bn. In North Camp instead.

                This morning we came in to the school and had a lecture on a machine for writing and decoding secret messages. It’s all very secretive and we were cleared by the F.B.I. for it. The other day we had to have our picture taken in hoosegow[1] style for the records.

This afternoon we had a field problem and I worked on the direction finder.

Mother, this noon I received your welcome letter written on Fri. and Sat.

That was pretty fast, from Wed. to Fri. for my letter to reach you.

I’m glad you’re sending the “Post.” I wrote you that someone borrowed mine and failed to return it.


[1] Slang for prison or jail. Epstein probably means they had front and profile photographs taken for their F.B.I. background investigation files, in the same style as a mug shot for prisoners.

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Is Sally still in Dayton? Remember me to her and Aunt Fannie. I must write Aunt Fannie. Please explain to people how hard it is for me to write.

                Yes, I did find the pretzel sticks. I forgot to write you about them. They are delicious and really hit the spot. It’s the 1st time I have seen them too.

                I wouldn’t care for Dick Serbin’s course.

                I [undecipherable] sure wished I could have had some of those cool breezes you write about today, although the nights are very cool.

                We just don’t have any time to play games. In any spare time we have we take a shower and see a movie and of course write letters.

                My feet are getting better. When I don’t take showers it seems to get better.

                I sure wish it were all over. Let me hear from you often.  Love to all of you.


                                                                                                                Jerome, Jr.

P.S. Had to cut short as I have to go back. Lots more I want to write – not important, but I do like to write you longer letters.

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August 21, 1944


Well, we came back a few minutes ago, so I thought I would write a few more lines. There is a table here for writing with a light standing above it, but you can’t sit here for long since the place is so thick with bugs.

                There is a party tomorrow night for the fellows who are leaving—beer, cokes, etc., and I may not be able to go into camp. I’d rather go in, though. I’ll see what develops.

                Hope to goodness I don’t have K.P. Sunday, for I do want to call you. I would be terribly disappointed if I didn’t get to call.

                I’m going to try to get a little sleep before I go on guard.

                I just read about that accident in Michigan the Henn family from Dayton had. Did you read about it? The girl was in my class at Fairview.

                I found a copy of this morning’s paper in the barracks. The French Maquis[1] have captured Toulouse, one of the biggest cities in France. They are certainly doing a marvelous piece of work.


[1] Rural guerilla bands of French Resistance fighters.

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In a few days they should be fighting on World War I battlefields – Chateau Thierry, Verdun, Arras, Rheims, etc.

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