Monday, May 7, 1945
Another full weekend and just no time to write. This time your roving reporter sends greetings from San Antonio. I finally made it to San Antonio after catching a ride with a Dutchman who works in geo-physics. He has travelled almost around the world and we talked of places we both had been in. Also he was a ship enthusiast, and that led to a nice discussion. San Antonio is an old city in design- narrowish winding streets but the downtown district isn’t bad. We saw the Alamo (where the famous battle was fought) and I sent Paulie a souvenir booklet. On the walls and in showcases are plaques and relics of the fight. As you will see in the pictures, the place is very beautiful and well kept.
Right thru the city is a narrow, crooked river, which is much lower, of course, than the streets. All along the banks are shrubs and trees, and one can go canoeing there. It’s very nice and reminds me very much of Wissahickon(?) creek, but you can look up and see bright lights and tall buildings all around.
Later that night he took me for a car ride all around the place then out on the road. Somehow or other he asked me if I wanted to drive. I explained the situation that I certainly would but I don’t have a license and that I’m not too experienced (understatement #2,971). He didn’t think that anything could happen so soon I found myself in the driver’s seat. With a little help and explanation I got the thing started then just drove off. I was a little wary at first but soon I had more confidence and drove for about ½ hr.- going no faster than 30- I even turned around and made a very nice final stop when he took over again. He said that I must have had some experience in driving before but I didn’t tell him it was the first time in my life. Now all I need is a car!
Sunday I went out to Randolph Field, the “West Point of the Air.” Randolph, you may remember is the first permanent training field and boy is that one beautiful army post.
All of the buildings are 2 story white stone structures with red tile roofs. The roads are concrete highways, some even with a grass plot in the center. The grounds are green as can be, grass all around, tree-lined streets and shrubs and flowers around each house. The PX is a large stone, six-sided building enclosing a patio complete with fountain. That’s the kind of place I’d like to work in.
The field itself is a B-29 transition base and I saw many of those super-bombers. I had a visitor’s pass and walked right up and looked inside. Many had seen action and had the bombs and camels painted on the nose (1 bomb for each mission, 1 camel for each flight over the India “hump”). A few planes even had Jap flags proudly displayed. All were named. Some were Million Dollar Baby. Ding How, Harbor Queen, Juke-box, Kickapoo and Hull’s Angels (I guess the pilot’s name is Hull). I was a little too late to go up (not in a 29, but other ships) so I had to content myself by climbing inside of almost every plane in one hangar and few on the field. I was inside in the pilot’s seat and playing with the controls of a B-24, B-25, AT-6, L-5, and 2 other small cargo planes.
I was very lucky and got a ride all the way back to Temple, where I saw National Velvet. Very Good.
Today, according to early reports, is V-E Day and very appropriate, too. I was assigned to take a new discussion for class and didn’t know what to talk about, but that didn’t last long. I talked and had some discussions about the surrender- The war in general and what we’re going to do with the Germans.
I think I’m going to be the announcer-commentator on our skits that John is writing for the P.A system.
There you go again, (a maybe it’s me probably is) I didn’t know (forgot is more like it) that Anne was sick.
I get 15 days on the next furlough.
That’s all, now,