Cheryl, If you know how to reorder these by date, and want to, go ahead.
Written on United States Army Air Forces stationary which is beige with 7 red stripes horizontally across the top. Above it, Dad wrote "address on back"
Envelope Post mark: Atlantic City; Sept 8, 1942 7PM
From: Pvt F.J. Smith
925 T.S.S.T.C. Group D3
Army Air Force R.T.S. room 328
Atlantic City, NJ.
To: Mr. & Mrs. Arthur W Smith
79 Chadwick St.
Tues. Sept. 8th
First I want to send my congratulations on your 20th wedding anniversary. I would have written sooner but it seems hard for you people to realize how little time we actually have. I’m writing this letter that I tried to start last thurs but I just don’t have chance. This may not seem reasonable but it is true so even though I don’t answer immediately don’t think I haven’t got all your mail. I’ve received it all so far.
If you will notice, I have a new address. I was transferred here last night. This hotel is just across the street from the one I was in and yet it took us 8 ½ hrs to move. At seven they had us pack our clothes and at 10:30 after standing waiting we walked the 200 ft over here stood outside the hotel until 11:45 in the pouring rain and then we rebelled and disregarding the gaurds climbed up on the porch and all of us (168) sprawled on the floor and slept untill they woke us at 3:00 A.M. and gave us rooms. I got to bed at 3:30 fully clothed and slept like a log. We were up at 5:15 and it is now 2:30 and we haven’t been called yet this afternoon so I’m trying to write. The others are sleeping. Something is always happening and we never get a nights sleep but I hope it will soon be over. 2/3 of my outfit has already been shipped so I should go soon. It will be swell to get someplace definate with a definate schedule.
I’m getting quite used to hard work and exercise now and it goes a lot easier for me. I was pretty soft when I got here. The routine has been up at 5:15, breakfast, 2 miles to the drill field each way or 8 miles a day, 2 hrs. callisthenics 6 hrs drill, and when get on our own about 7: P.M. we don’t even write or go out when we have passes we just sleep. The drilling was hard at first because of the heat. It has been 90 degrees or better all but the last two days, That’s hot!
A general was here and so now we drill all morning at 128 steps a minute with no rest or water and even drill sergeants are trying to make us fall out and go to the hospital so they will be more reasonable. They carry 20-40 off the field every day and as many more walk off. I’m glad it is over now for me although the last few days it didn’t bother me at all. These men 35-50 who you read about enlisting former cops, etc. All rugged hard looking men just can’t take it as hard as they think they are. We run for a quarter mile and they have to stop every time. I can see why the army wants 18-21 their endurance is mutch better.
Was glad to get Rogers address. He got a good branch and one not too hard.
"Len?" Shanahan I guess waited too long because now they will do as they please with him. Fred Shan. is going to get a rude awakening shortly but I won’t say I pity him if he was smart her would enlist. I still do not regret my move and can see where I’m way ahead.
I’ll try to answer a few questions. My arm is pretty good now but I had a very severe reaction 15 days after vaccination and for 5 days I could hardly move it. It is healed up now and will be all right. The others had another shot but I didn’t get it yet my arm was too sore.
The gang quickly forgets. I wrote Tom when I first got in but he never wrote. I haven’t heard from sweeney or mack either. Harry wrote as have milly, sandy, Ethel Shanahan (surprise) and about every one else. I’ve got a lot of mail.
They don’t require us to get a haircut and I’ll send a picture whenever I have "scratch out" (I’m asleep)Have to have one taken.
The camera wouldn’t be mutch use for there are too many restrictions. We got our pay last Sunday. All $10.00 of it. That is all we get untill we get to our permanent base. Then we get it all at once. I don’t need any yet. I’ll hollar if I do.
Last night the fellows all got cake and cookies in the mail so we had a party in the sgt’s room about 20 of us. We drank 62 bottles of milk and ate all of the cake and most of the cookies. There were only 5 lbs. of cookies left so imagine how many we had. Well I guess that is up to date now I’ll see if I can get a little sleep though I doubt it. Thanks for the addresses. Write.