Saturday, December 20, 2008

Letter from my Father Sept. 21, 1942

This letter made me cry. As a mother, I would be so scared after reading it, but also so proud of my son. Daddy was so sensitive and caring for others and you can tell that in this letter.

From: Pvt. F. J. Smith
Base Weather Sta.
Chanute Field, Ill.
Postmark: Rantoul, Ill.
Sep 22, 1942 11- AM
Postage: Free
Angled across the envelope in red " Idle Gossip Sinks Ships"

To: Mr. & Mrs. Arthur W. Smith
79 Chadwick St.
Haverhill, Mass.
Chanute Field
Sept. 21, 1942

Dear Folks
Got your letters and money which was very welcome as we will probably not get any pay till next month. I am at the weather station studying now and am so pressed for time I don’t know what to do. We are doing 10 weeks work in 8 and its quite a grind. We start at seven and never get thru before 9:00.
Fortunately we only have 3 weeks of it and then work a week here in the station. After that we will ( the 10 of us) operate this station alone for the following four weeks. I am waiting for my having 90 days in the service and then I am going to apply for officers training as I know I am eligible. They require I.Q. of 120 and the ten of us selected for my work all have 135 or better. The only thing that will stop me is my not being here. I have wondered about telling you this but I guess it is best. You see upon completion of my 8 weeks here I am being sent into foreign service. I know that definately. My chances of getting home before I go are about one in a hundred. You see as I said the ten of us will be in charge of this station 24 hrs a day and we will be too short handed to get furloughs. It is hard but just can’t be helped.
If things turn out well I will be corperal at the end of one month and sargent at the end of two. We get ratings quicker than any other branch. Upon shipping we will get more stripes so I’m pretty lucky.
I am too pressed for time to do mutch writing so give my regards to all. I am enjoying this place and live like a king. Next to the cadets we 10 are considered tops among the 30,000 here and are treated as such. I don’t even have to stay on the post. My pass allows me to be within 20 miles any time I’am off duty so I have every weekend but no place to go.
This post is in Rantoul, Ill. about 100 miles south of Chicago if you can find a map.
Well I’ll try to write soon but I haven’t any more time now.
Drop me a line if you have a chance for my last 2 weeks mail because of my moving is all missing. I’ll probably get it in a couple more weeks.


  1. Beautiful letter, Andi...thanks for sharing it!

  2. To protect the troops in the War, the common saying every where was "Loose Lips Sink Ships".Mom