A detailed account of the first days of training – clean guns and fatigues

A detailed account of the first days of training - clean guns and fatigues

July 8 1944 pg 2

July 8 1944 pg 3

July 8 1944 pg 4

Saturday, July 8, 1944

Dear Mom, Dad and Paulie,

I’m sorry for not writing the past two days but- no time.  Right now I’m resting.  We have Sat. afternoon and all day Sunday off (if you’re not on KP or some detail).Next week will probably be easier as we have night classes on one day only.  But I’m on KP from Mon. 12/45PM – 10:00PM then from 5:00AM – 12:45 Tue.

The past week has been sort of hard but still interesting and not too bad.  At times it’s almost like being back in school again,(and we haven’t even started our radio training yet).  The physical exertion comes in drill, marches and physical exercise.  We had a 2 ½ mile hike on Fri.  It was a cinch and of course we had a long rest period in the middle after 1 ¼ miles.  Exercises are strenuous enough but I’m too used to them to bother me (so far).  Of course everywhere we go, we march, especially when we had classes in tent pitching or when we had to carry our entire field pack and tent and blanket roll for a ½ or ¾  mile to the place where we did our pitching.  More marching of long distances will come in the following weeks.

The mental exertion of last week was in the form of varied classes, both in morning, afternoon and night.  We had them on military courtesy, organization and the army, map reading, guard duty, aircraft and tank recognition.  Carbine(our gun), and motor maintenance,(with more in different subjects to come).  The classes are held mostly in large classrooms but we had some outdoors in the nearby woods.  The motor maintenance so far is the most interesting.  Before we learn to drive, we have to know what makes the vehicle “tick.”  We only had one period of practical work but about 4 hrs. of classroom so far in this subject.  During the practical work period another fellow and I learned how in a very elementary and rough way, to check the motor, instruments, oil, water of? , and grease a M-20 armored scout car.  We will have to do this with all our vehicles and also wash them.

We also have many movies and have short true and false quizzes on them.

This morning (Sat.) we had our first inspection.  That’s where our free time on Fri. nite and Sat. morning went-cleaning up.  Besides the usual barrack cleaning we had to display our carbine, canteen cup, utensils from our mess kit and other pair of G.I shoes.  The Lt. inspecting looked down the barrel of all our guns and the men whose guns or cups were dirty got extra duty.  Mine were clean.

Finally, this afternoon our platoon is going to the PX in a body to buy what we need, as we can’t go there by ourselves because of the quarantine which will be lifted next weekend. (I hope and hope and hope).  That means, besides going anywhere on the post, movies, PX etc. we can get a pass and go to one of the nearby towns or cities-Gatesville, Wow etc.

This weekend, I have to wash my fatiques and a few pair of socks.  We started using the laundry last
Wed. thank God!

At this writing, I still have received just one (1) letter so far, and none since I arrived in Texas.  I looking forward to the afternoon mail.  How long does it take mail to go from me to you?

If I haven’t mentioned it before, we do havae a recreation room here that we can use (That’s where I’m writing the letter).  It’s mostly writing tables, a few chairs, magazines, 2 ping-pong tables and an old piano that‘s always in use.

Our sergeant(?)-sarge, and corporal (corp) are pretty good.  Tough in the beginning but gradually becoming human beings.  The sarge is like a typical movie sergeant in some respects.  Bellow “And when you go back in the barracks, I want the following things done.”  Unbellow.

I hope to get stationary at the PX today-still borrowing.

I’m just about run dry now.

Write, Love, Bru

CLICK above for pages 2-4.  Saturday, July 8, 1944

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