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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear Friend Feb 19, 1945 - Aug 28, 1945

Free mail
Victorville Calif. Envelope dated Feb 19, 1945
(typed) Saturday Night
Dear Jean:
It does seem like ages ago when I had last written you a letter but then
again it seems like only yesterday I arrived here. That's how fast time
flies but then I've been kept so busy I hardly notice the days going by.
Besides all of this , it was still a shock to hear from you and it won't
be long before I will be seeing you again… embarrassing, isn't it?
Better think of very, very good excuse to tell me.
Well, my good friend, how are you… oh yes…. You've told me and I'm glad
to hear you are getting on very nicely. But tell me, how the heck did
you get those ulcers… what have you been eating… tch, tch. You must tell
me all about them. Honestly, I'm glad to hear you are much better and
you can have faith in my promise not to say anything to Sal. I've been
trying to get a furlough for March and so far I know nothing definite
about getting it although I have hopes of getting it. They won't tell me
nothing about it until five or six days before the day I had put in for.
But if I do get to come home I will get to see you and of course I shall
be so happy to see Lucille again. Bet she's grown up. Excuse all
mistakes (you'll have to anyway) because I am typing this on the job and
every once in a while I am keeping a look out for Japs or something'.
I've got so much to tell and yet don't know how to say it but then I
believe I'll hold it till I see you and we'll have something to talk
about. I was very happy to hear all the news you had to tell and I can
imaging how happy you all must be over ther propect of seeing your
brother again but then I was sorry to hear about Victor. I remember him
well…darn this war… it's causing too much misery and heartaches.
The cigarettes are scarse out here but we get a carton a week. We carry
a ration card now for both cigarettes and Films. I had an extra carton
so I sent them to Sal. I do hope he gets them. I was only too glad to
send them and didn't miss them at all. I know how tough it is over there.
Your letter was not nonsensical and I'm glad you wrote because if you
hadn't, I would of sooner or later. I meant to write sooner but then I'm
always the same, keep putting it off till the next day, then find myself
too busy and before I knew it your letter came to me like a bolt of
lightning from above.
Notice anything new?
In about two or three weeks I will be seeing you again and then I can
finish this letter orally. Do you mind?
I'll close now with loads of love to Lucille and regards to the family
and yourself.
For the present Au Revoir
Your friend
P.S. I hadn't the hear to send this letter as is. After reading it over
I find a lot of writing but very little said so here goes with some news
of what has transpired here in the past few months.
There has been many soldiers transferred to the I infantry and for
awhile I was on one of the lists but was scratched off (boy! Was I glad
) I've been working both inside and outside posts. For the past two
weeks I was guarding planes and had a bicycle to ride on duty. It sounds
like it would be a soft job but instead I do so sick and tired that I
don't want to look at anymore bikes. Hope they keep me off of that post.
As for this California weather, it's not so bad excepts when it rains it
forgets to stop. Just now it's like spring and summer put together. I
dread the months of July and August. I hear they're scorgers.
That's All Folks

Free mail
Kearns Utah envelope dated May 4, 1945
U.S. Army Air Forces stationery
Thursday nite
Kearns Utah
Hello Jean: I find myself at an overseas base and am going through the
usual training before being sent over for non combat duty. I left my
last field on the 17th of last month and they gave me six-day delay
enroute but I could never make it to come home so I spent them in L.A.
and Hollywood. While in L.A. I saw Autuoro Toscanini in person
conducting at the Shrine Auditorium and I must say he's tops. That was
his first and only appearance in L.A. and I was lucky to get to see him
. Saw a few broadcasts: Danny Kay, Judy Canova and Lionel Barrymore. Had
a swell time but it all had to end so I left on the 23rd and arrived
here on the 24th. They took most of my clothes away and for more than a
week we had lectures, rifle practice, and went through the Gas Chamber.
Soon we will start on various details until they ship us to P.O.E. As
things stand mow I believe they will take me. Today I went to the Eye
Clinic to get fitted for glasses for my gas mask. For the present I am
temporary dignified but only until they re-check my vision. They checked
my teeth and now I am minus a tooth. They scanned my immigration record
and gave me four different shots in the arm. I hope they leave me alone
or there won't be much left of me. Tomorrow I have an appointment with
the eye clinic. They may check up on my vision. In the afternoon I go on
a five mile hike and my feet don't like it much. They pretty strict
around here and we have to keep on the ball in order to keep out of
trouble. Don't get much time off so I don't get around much anymore. We
get up at 5:30 every morning including Sundays so you can imagine how
early I go to bed in order to get some sleep. Tonight I happen to be
appointed fireman but guess what I had to do? At eight P.M.. I reported
and they handed me a hose to water the lawn, then when I was through I
went around to all the barracks in my are and put on the outside lights.
I get off at 10 P.M. so I am writing this letter in the meantime. You
thought I forgot all about you but I fooled . By the way thanks for the
lovely Easter card. It was nice of you to remember. Anything new from
Sal? I'm expecting a letter from him soon. By the way there may be a
possibility of my being sent to the South Pacific but we really don't
anything until the day we arrive at our new home. If anything new
develops I will let you in on it. My new address is on the envelope.
Give my regards to the family. Don't say anything about this letter to
no one as yet. I haven't told my folks a thing yet. Especially Pete just
in case he makes a slip to my folks. Xxxxxxxxxxxx for Lucille. Tony

Free mail
Kearns Utah envelope dated May 22, 1945
Sunday night
Dear Friend:
It certainly does look like old times when first we began corresponding
with each other. It's all due to the kind of letters we write and what
we put in them that makes it easier to answer these letters; Yet when I
look back, I seem to remember what a poor conversationalist I used to be.
Speaking of states, I can recall four of them I have actually been in
for more than three months and of those I've been through, they are too
numerous to mention. Who'd ever thought that one day I was to travel ad
see the world. But we get tired of it after awhile and begin to long for
home, no matter where home may be at . Even Sal ( I'm sure) who at one
time had a mania for traveling has more than enough of it now. I
remember when we first met (it was through Charlie) that was the year of
'30 or '31. At that time we made plans (thinking of it now, they sound
so silly) but we never actually start out until '36. From then on my
travels began to materialize. Then the government stepped in and
furnished all the expenses for my travels. I am wondering where my next
stop will be. Perhaps the Aleutians?
About the Mormons, they are not what they used to be on account of the
law but occationally some manage to get caught and have a little piece
written about them in the papers. It's funny how they have the streets
named around here. They run from where the temple is and are named
according in what directing they run. For instance: South 3rd West St.
That means that the name of the street is 3rd and it's west of the
temple. Also south of it. It's all so complicated that I just look for
landmarks and travel accordingly. But then I don't go to town too often
because it takes too long and I have very little patience left which I'd
like to retain. Patience ….. In this army a person can go batty without
it. Yes, patience and humor - if we have that, then we're sure of
pulling thru'.
Now, I'm really not such a bad guy when it comes to kids. I was just
thinking that maybe they could help in this emergency. Am I really a cad
for trying? Please don't call me a cad - a brute yes (grrr.) but not a
cad. No, No, a thousand times no.
I believe you come very close for Sal. He gets two points for each month
he's been overseas starting on the day he was at his P.O.E. station. But
where the Navy is concerned< I believe they may work it a bit different
or at least they won't discharge too many of them . But I do hope Larry
makes and I'm sure Frank should make it too. By the way, the point
system starts with the month of September 1940 (or is it 1941?)
So it seems like they want Sal to see the Orient? Maybe we may get to
meet each other. Who knows? That was very nice of you to feel that way
about my being drafted but somehow when I get to think that way too, I
get to feel guilty. Yes, it's selfish for any of us to think along those
lines. Too many of our friends are sacrificing their lives while we are
having it soft and easy. But then, that's the way human nature runs;
just like those people that still don't believe those people that still
don't believe those atrocity stories. But there'll come a day when their
eyes will be opened to all that has happened, only I hope and pray it
won't be too late like the last time. What??? Jimmy Walker?…….Amen.
Yes, all I lack is to see - the Far East (besides one or two or maybe
three other places) but from what I've heard, if I had my way, I'd
choose some other hell - hole.
So you're starting to use G. I. lingo? How about Snafu? I had one in my
last camp.
That was a cute one about the "wisdom tooth" How'd you ever do it? You
did your utmost to justify your intelligential (another computer change
intellig enzia) and therefore I must submit to your victory. (Did you
wear yourself out thinking of that one….ha!ha!ha! <last laff.
A joke's a joke and a 'laff's a laff but what's this about a G.I. nudist
branch? Who knows, we may form one on one of those islands. Mmm - not a
bad idea.
Make that shingle read "Weeping Shoulder Fee 50(cents sign)" I get ten
percent. Just think of all the dough we'd make from Charlie.
That's nice of you to think of me in that way and you can accept my
reservation in advance for that guest room. Yes, that would be nice, -
Lucille and I playing a duet, you doing the singing and Sal
philosophizing during the ent-tracts - oh heck - intermission.
Just took time out for chow and guess what we had? It's what I call
camouflaged meat. This is the kind of meat that is and isn't. This is
how it's made: take an ordinary size of bone and soak it in crumbs and
what have you, -camouflaged steak -. That's the best way yet on "how to
conserve food". And no seconds are allowed. You've heard of the song
"One Meat Ball"? Well, they practice it here but they give us a break
and allow is two slices of bread.
That's all the gripes for this time.
Now a little of what is happening:
I suppose you know by this time that I am waiting to get notice for
shipping to P.O.E. I've processed and was to leave last week but was
temporarily postponed. It seems though by this coming Thursday we will
be boarding the Train to our Port of Embarkation. In the meantime we
just go around policing the area (picking up butts) and in the
afternoons we play games.
And in closing, give my regards to all and - oh yes - loads of hugs and
kisses for Lucille but please no strangle holds. She nearly choked me
the last time. What is she training to be, a wrestler or was that a
sample of jiu jutzu? As ever
Your friend

Free mail
Seattle Wash
American Red Cross stationery
June 8, 1945
Dear Jean:
Your letter arrived here two days ago and since then I've been racking
my brain as to what I could tell you since I've left but you know how it
is. For awhile it will be impossible to tell you where I'm at or what
we're doing so that I have to confine myself on what you have written to
me alone.
I was indeed happy to hear the good news that Larry will be joining the
family soon. I believe it has been a long time since you have seen him last.
The reason I didn't correct my mistakes in the letter was so that I
would know for certain whether or not you knew how to spell. Pretty good
excuse - don't you think?
You're praises have got me in a spot. How can I do otherwise but live up
to these compliments. Hope I won't let you down this time. But then how
can I . It seems to work both ways.
So Sal is adding Italy to his repertoire of travels. I hope he gets to
see his relatives while he has the chance too. At least he can tell you
where he's at an although as you might say - I am really in the know -
at the present moment I cannot tell you much of anything. In fact I
couldn't even tell you which way the wind is blowing.
You are certainly picking up that G.I. lingo pretty fast. I'm sure your
brothers will be voicing it quite extensively without knowing.
So you're eating nuts lately. You should make a pretty picture, don't
you think so? Huh? - did that language come from you - my ears are
ringing. I'm expecting a boomerang.
Yes, I saw that picture and enjoyed it tremendously. Some how it left le
in an awesome state. Supposing such a thing were possible, I wonder ------?
So that's what you wimin' do! Talk about us men when we're not around.
As to it being a woman's world with a few women springled here and there
but mostly there. What ever you do take the advice and don't ever think
of a ball and chain. It won't work in some cases and in those that do -
well -eventually you'll think less of him for being such a --How would
you say it -- -? As for me mums the word so have no fear. After all I
may be a brute and a chiseler but never let it be said that I ever was a
snitcher. The very sound of the word scars me. Beside I couldn't stand
to bear you pointing your finger at me in scorn.
I will have to watch out for those strangle holds of Lucille's which you
have ( no doubt for a purpose) been teaching her lest she uses them on
me. It gave me a big laugh about that neighbors' son. I guess he gets to
look more like 'The Sad Sack' after Lucille gets through wit him.
Believe it or not you're letter didn't bore me in the least. Are you
disappointed? ( That's Phycology. You know what I'm expecting now.)
Once again I say au revoir and regards to all. Hugs and kisses to Lucille.
P.S. Just received a letter from Domenick De Carlo. Do you remember him?
He sends his regards.

Free mail
Seattle Wash
Censored July 19, 1945
Dear Jean:
I was so happy to hear about Larry and Frank. I guess there was lots of
excitement going on. Let's hope Frank gets home soon too. I've got my
fingers crossed for Sal too. It's about time, don't you think so?
I'm sorry I didn't remember about Lucille's birthday but you know how it
is . I've been on the move and am still not settled. Let's hope we can
all get together on her next birthday. Trying to hide your age? Be like
me - I go around saying I am still young ( what! Am I old? Tell me when
is a person old. I mean at what age is he or she considered old? Anyway
Happy birthday.
I expected you would be puzzled but there was no way I could tell you I
was in Dominion of Canada at the time. We left by boat and the trip was
just like old times. How did I take it? Pretty good considering I'm an
old Salt hand. Quite a few got sea sick and they were a sight. The rails
were lined up with soldiers. On the way over we saw whales, ducks,
seals, porpoises, and even the old reliable sea-gulls along with us all
the way.
I am now somewhere in the Aleutians and probably you have read a lot
about the weather we get so I'll skip that.
As to what I will be doing you can just guess.
On the island we have lots of facilities for recreation purposes. But as
far as women are concerned, they're as numerous as the trees that grow.
Best regards to all and love to Lucille
As ever
Your friend Tony
P.S. I can't locate a single tree yet and no hopes of finding one either.

Free mail
Seattle Wash
Censored July 29, 1945
Dear Jean:
I've often heard of contrary Annie but never of Jean. That was a good
one about a red letter day. And that style you've acquired is quite
unique, besides enjoying it, I also understood every word of it. Too bad
I can't retaliate. My cencor might take it as a new code. Your letter
took four days to get here The one I sent to the folks was air mail and
that took five days as there wasn't much difference between the two. So
you got the postman against you. That's bad! Better make it up to him.
After all he's the one who brings you or rather who has brought you all
the good news you've been getting . Better tell me all about Sal & Frank
painting the town red or would you rather have me use my own
imagination. Only two or three months before you will see Sal again. I'm
very happy to hear it and I know you are too. Won't he be glad to see
how much Lucille has grown since he last saw her. I can picture both of
you waiting at the window like in Madame Butterfly only with a happier
meeting. Guess I don't believe in paragraphs. Must be I'm trying to save
space. Hope this can be understood.
What did you think of those jiu jutsu tricks that were played on you?
Any broken bones?
So now you're prying into my birthday. Well, I'll give you a hint but
only a small hint. It's two weeks before your husband's and it falls on
Thursday. Also it's the ninth month. Think you can figure it out?
The weather here could get to be just as snafu at times and as for
Summer -- I missed it completely this year. By this time Addie & Pete
have heard that I was on my way over but as yet I haven't written to
them from here. So much correspondence and also I find it harder to
write about things than when I was in the states.
Truthfully my morale isn't too low surprising as it may seem to you --
maybe I'm worried about the dime I'd have to pay you if I gripe. That's
the miser in me showing itself again. Your letter raised it quite a bit.
That dime business really works both ways and is really a good think for
the morale. We should expand our business. Lucille can be treasurer.
What say you to it eh! I'll save that phone number. Who knows maybe some
day as soon as I arrive back ( can such an event really come to pass? )
I'll give you a ring.
Did Lucille really say that? Now I feel much, much better. Give her my
love and kisses.
Thanks for the kind words you send me and may God bless you and yours
and bring you health and happiness. As always
Your sincerest friend
P.S. Enclosed you will find some snapshots. Hope you like them. I
printed them with my ittie bittie hands.

Free mail
Seattle Wash
(typed) Tues. Aug. 28, 1945
Dear Jean:
Finally your letter reached me at my new station but tell what were you
thinking of when you addressed it the way you did the first time? Don't
tell me, I know … L'amour, toujour etc. and don't correct me if I'm
wrong either.
So you take it for granted that you are now a genius eh! When you get to
think that just pull out that old picture where I am frowning an you
will know why. On second thought I won't start something which I might
not be able to finish . Thinking it over I will snap one with a smile
and send it to you soon. I had some taken lately but apparently I'm not
so good a developer after all. Something must of gone wrong. We have
some developing equipment on board the boat and my calculations on the
developing time was mis-calculated. Oh well, I'll try again.
Now don't you be too hard on Sal. After all he was only having some
innocent fun. Wish I were there woo-o-o-o. Don't forget to tell him to
send me one or two. Apparently Garbo's system of Vanting to be Alone,
don't seem to be to good with us boys out here on this island. I got a
big laugh where you said "Sal would dance with a girl and he wouldn't
let her go!"
Bub, the 13th was the eventful day when I first saw the light of day but
there's one thing I'd like to know… what's the big idea of making me
that old eh! After all I'm no older than Sal and a year is a year no
matter how you look at it. Anyway if I'm not as young as you are at
least at least I feel young …. Oh yeah???
Don't worry about the treasurer not making a penny. After all we started
with nothing and can't wery well lose anything. At least we're not in
the red anyway. I am wondering who will slip up first and give in with a
Concerning that rumor which of cause is no longer a rumor but actuality,
had us all sweating it our for a while but now that it has come we are
now looking forward to the day when we can get back home again. At
present it seems like it will take some time yet but then anything can
happen and who knows… maybe it will be sooner than expected.
The food on board this boat is very good. In fact It's better than the
camp food they dish out.
You will notice my new A P O number which is now APO 726. The rest of
the address is the same. They have finally assigned me to a boat and
it's not bad at all . I have only gone to one movie since the past three
weeks because most of these shows I have already see back in the states.
There was one movie I saw "Ernie Pyle's G.I. Joe" which I recommend not
to be missed if possible. It's very sad and ( with your permission )
quite risqué.
The work is quite routine but then I can't speak too much on this
subject. Spent some time fishing but all I caught was some kind of cod
which the claim is not fit to eat. Sometimes you can see them in the
water all fighting to grab at the line.
Started this letter two days ago but had to finish it it today. Didn't
get any letters for quite awhile and then bingo, I go hit the jackpot.
Hope you didn't mind the delay.
Best wishes and love to Lucille. Here's hoping it will be soon when we
can all get together again. As always, I remain
Your sincerest friend
Smiling Tony

{all the errors to the best of my knowledge are Tony's. Sometimes the
computer made changes upper case or lower case and I gave up fighting. I
especially wanted to copy these letters exactly, to give the flavor of
the soldier writing them and the environment of WWII. It has been a trip
through two centuries, yesterday and today, and these letters along with
the Dear Jean letters my father wrote, one surely sees the role the
letter played in the morale of the 'boys' away from home. Their need to
feel connected even through the censorship was the lifeline that gave
them a link with sanity, or should I say a link with the familiar as
they traveled the unknown trying all the time to keep themselves safe.
It is my wish that you have found them as valuable as I and they, these
letters are a gift that enhances your life. And may you never have the
experience first hand.

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