His Fellow Radio Operator, a Package from Home and the Silly Army

From the U.S. Army publication "Naples-Foggia: The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II." The caption on this National Archives photo says only "waging war against mud."

Dated Nov. 21, 1943; postmarked Nov. 25

Dear Mom and Pop,

I am well, happy and safe and I hope you all are the same.

I received two packages yesterday, one with the can of olives it it and another with the caramels and mirror. I could have eaten five cans of those olives, they were so good. As for the caramels, you couldn’t have sent anything I would have liked better. I was getting low on cigarettes too, but I have plenty now.

By the way, I haven’t received any letter from Mr. Morgan yet, so if I don’t receive it in the near future, I will write to him anyway.

We had all our dirty clothes washed yesterday by a couple of women who lived here. Now they are sewing our blankets for us and making them into sleep bags. They do a pretty good job on them too. This afternoon, they are due to bring some potatoes, onions, peppers and lard so we can cook in between meals.

I get a kick out of the U.S. Army sometimes. Today is one of those times. As we were coming back to our company one day, I saw some trucks plowing through axle-deep mud on a road. Actually, they were driving through a river bed, which was an ideal collecting spot for all the rain which was falling. However, the United States Army says that river bed is no longer a river bed, but a road, so now it is a road. I get quite a laugh out of that every time I think of it.

By the way, while I think of it, we radio men of Anti-tank Co. probably have more Life Savers between us than any one store in Mount Kisco, so don’t bother sending of those those in future packages.

Both the other operator and I are writing tonight and we both get stuck for words once in a while, so he helps me out and I help him out. I don’t think I told you about the other operator. His name is Clarence McClaine, he is married, is twenty-one years old and lives in Delmar, Delaware, about 40 miles from Harrington, Del. Delmar has a population of about 800 souls and twice as many heels.

The town is situated right on the border of Delaware and Maryland. As a matter of fact, half of the town is in Maryland, including the bank and one grocery store. However, the main street is in Delaware, so the address is Delaware. All told, the Delaware side has three grocery stores, two drug stores, and one movie besides the railroad station. Both sides have a school of their own, so the students won’t have to pay tuition if they went to the other state’s school. Also, Delaware side has a mayor and the Maryland side has a town council.

To get back to McClaine, he is quiet outspoken and gentle, but a good radio operator. His wife’s name is Virginia.

We rigged up an electric light so we could see at night in here; that’s why we write at night.

Well, that’s about all for tonight, so I’ll sign off until next time.

Give my love to all and Rosemarie.

Love & Kisses,

Babe

PDF: His Fellow Radio Operator, a Package from Home and the Silly Army

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