Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Below letter is copied from Eddie's letter word for word

Pvt Edward J Thomas
ASN 36576155
3v Co, 153 Inf
Camp Shelby, Miss

Mrs Thurman McCoy
17403 Filer
Detroit (12), Mich.

Camp Shelby, Miss
26 April 1944 Wednesday

Dear Izzy & Mac:

If I had written a letter to you every time I had intended to write
one, you would now have about 25 from me. I started writing one to
you a couple of days ago but was stopped dead. In the office here, we
were under the impression that matters would coast along leisurely until
everybody returned from their furloughs. I was given the night shift
in the office from midnight to 8:00 in the morning just to take care of
any phone calls. This arrangement was very satisfactory because it
would have given me plenty of time to write all the letters I wanted
and to read as much as I pleased. But in the Army all plans involving
me that appeared too good to be true never did materialize. I was later
notified that there was an unexpected amount of work in the office and
that I would have to work during the day time as usual. Most of the
office clerks are on their furloughs and almost all of our office equipment
hasn't arrived yet. Only one sergeant and myself with a few
portables and a meager supply of stationery have to carry on with little
time to do anything else but such dull and monotonous work as making
up lists of men in our regiment, type various fussy orders, check names
and addresses and answer letters and telegrams. It's surprising how
many telegrams are pouring in from furlough soldiers of our organization
who want their leaves extended. They are giving us the biggest crop of
hard luck stories I have ever heard yet. It's just a mixture of broken
bones, sickness, funerals, operations, ruptures, auto accidents, deaths,
marriages, births, and bellyaches. It naturally does seem comical and
fantastic to have so many misfortunes occur during furlough time, but
stranger still, these misfortunes are all being verified by the American
Red Cross, and that of course takes the comicalness out of them.

There is quite a difference between Mississippi and the Aleutians.
The first night here, I realized for the first time in a year that there
are suoh troublesome things as mosquitoes, bugs, and moths galore.
It's impossible to sit comfortably near a light without being tickled
by moths or pelted and stung by beetles and mosquitoes. If the States
were as free of insects as the Aleutians, this would be a much better
place to live.

Also I am not as unconscious of the sounds I hear at night as-
I used to. be in the States. I now catch myself listening to the croaking
of frogs and the chirping of crickets. In the Aleutians I was
accustomed only to nights of deathly silence.

Thunder is another sound I had completely forgotten. I had never
heard it ever since I left Greenville, Fa. Now I hearing plenty
of it. It's even crashing and rolling as I write this letter.
The theater here is the first of its kind I have seen in the Army.
It is outdoors with a fence around it. The fence, however, isn't so
high as to prevent anyone on the outside from seeing the high large screen.
Regimental headquarters (the building I work in) is situated about
200 yards off in a grove of pine trees and at night from its windows
it is possible to see and hear the entire show very well. But I prefer
to pay my way in and have a seat close to the screen.

The first night I went to the show, I made the mistake of not taking
my raincoat along. In the middle of the picture, I ran to the exit
ready to go out, but the rain stopped. When I sat down again, the rain
resumed for a while but not too hard to scare me off. It was a good
thing this picture ("Meet the People") wasn't any good or else I would
have considered the evening entirely spoiled. I don't think I like
theaters without roofs and wouldn't attend this one if it weren't for
the fact that the next closest theater is over a mile away. I have
learned to carry a raincoat wherever I go now--no matter how clear the
skies. In spring the weather here is very deceptive. The sun may be
hot and bright and then in a surprisingly short time there is lightning,
thunder, and a deluge such as I have never experienced in the Aleutians.

Your letters of Feb 8 and mr 1 were received in the Aleutians
and your letter of March 21 was received while I was on my way to
Mississippi. I want to thank you for them and want you to know that
I enjoyed reading them very much.

So long, Eddie
P.S. Tell Mom I received her letter of April 9 and the handbag I had
requested. Thanks to everybody for the surprise box of toffies, cigars,
and Hersheys which arrived in good condition. I can barely resist asking
for more Hersheys but must do so because my furlough is coming soon.
As far as I know now, it may come between May 5 and 10.

Just received your letter of April 6. That makes our score 4 to 1.
I'll madly seal my letter and send it off before tbe score becomes 5 to 1.

Stanley's Apr. 30, 1944 Letter

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