Jul 31, 2014

Mon, Jul 31, 1944: no good

"Weel kid I see you got the war made almost.  Boy stay in school as long as you can It no good over here.  I am in Hospital Convelesant now getting ready to go back to my outfit. and I am not to willing this time.  I guess I am to only one of us guys over here....
"I have been around quite bit over here.  Casablanca Algeres Osan Pompei, Napels, Caprie so have seen lots of Interesting things.”
-- Letter from Jack Seal, Italy, to my father, Notre Dame, Ind., Monday, July 31, 1944.  Jack Seal was one of a gang of four boyhood friends, who grew up in Bloomington, Kansas.  The other three had gotten into officer training programs that kept them out of combat.  Jack did not.

Jul 29, 2014

Sat, Jul 29, 1944: forced down

"Stanley went over to Wichita last Thursday to visit at Aunt Edith's while Warren is there.  Seems like we surely miss him around here.  He is pretty handy about some things.  I have been helping milk at nights.  We milk seven in the evening and three in the morning....
"Do you get your Gazette?  If you do you probably saw about Buel Robinson and Lucille Sage's husband being ‘missing in action.’ Edward King was in to see Robinson's and they had received a phone call from some folks in Texas who said their son was on the same mission in a different plane and he was almost certain the plane Buel was in was forced down in Switzerland and that the crew was safe.  I surely hope it is true.  He will probably be interned but it would not be quite so bad as being in a German prison camp."
-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Notre Dame, Ind., Saturday, July 29, 1944.

Jul 28, 2014

Fri, Jul 28, 1944: training cruise

"Yesterday 50 of us took a training cruise in two army crash boats on Lake Michigan.  We went by bus and train to Michigan City- our point of embarkation.  By 9 A.M. we were ready to shove off.  And then things began to happen.  The Lake was very rough, so our little ship with 104 ft. overall length bounced around considerably.  By 11 A.M. I was all set to ask for permanent shore duty -- and wishing I had joined the army where there is solid ground underfoot at least.  However, my condition wasn't as bad as that of quite a few of the boys, since I was able to eat a hearty dinner, and in the afternoon, when the Lake calmed down I really enjoyed myself."
-- Letter from my father, Notre Dame, Ind., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Friday, July 28, 1944.


Jul 23, 2014

Sun, Jul 23, 1944: threshing

"Uncle Orrin started threshing yesterday afternoon.  They will probably be there until noon to-morrow and start on ours in the afternoon.  We will just have a few oats to thresh which shouldn't take such a very long time.  Aunt Ina and Irma are planning on having the threshers for dinner."
-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Notre Dame, Ind., Sunday, July 23, 1944.

Jul 19, 2014

Wed, Jul 19, 1944: dandy workout

"I had a dandy workout physically today.  I was under the delusion that the days of self torture had ended, until our 2 hrs. session in athletics this morning.  Tumbling was most distasteful of the many body weakening exercises.  Starting with the simple forward roll we rapidly progressed through the football roll, and climaxed that portion of the period with diving over men who were on hands and knees.  The grass didn't prove to be the cushion needed, for one boy emerged with a dislocated shoulder and quite a few sported around skinned knees, elbows, chins, and legs...
"I just found out in a letter from Bill Monypenny that Ensign Adrian Richardson, our old Kappa Rho president, was killed on the first day of the Normandy invasion.  He graduated from this midshipmen's school with Kenneth Hiebsch last September and out of Notre Dame's 6000 graduates, he is one of the 16 who have been killed so far."
-- Letter from my father, Notre Dame, Ind., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Wednesday, July 19, 1944.  Kappa Rho was the pep club that my father was a member of at Southwestern College.

Wed, Jul 19, 1944: Franklin D. Roosevelt

"To-day opens the Democratic Convention and as it looks no other than Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It seems rather funny that they have only one man who is capable of the big job....
"Barbara has been helping Daddy quite a bit in the field.  She likes to drive the tractor so she helped plow a field then Monday they cultivated some kaffir.  But it rained yesterday morning so the rest of the kaffir will have to wait a few days.  We needed the rain which was only a local affair as Daddy went to El Dorado and Augusta yesterday and no rain was reported there.  Barbara's face was so sunburned it was almost the color of red flannel."
-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Notre Dame, Ind., Wednesday, July 19, 1944.

Jul 15, 2014

Sat, Jul 15, 1944: book work

"Sounds like you may stay at South Bend a while longer, it may be the best for you or at least you just as well make the Best of it.  You'll have to learn to get by and not study so hard, you dont want to ruin your health with to much book work, but all this college work is a chance in a life time."
-- Letter from my grandfather, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Notre Dame, Ind., Saturday, July 15, 1944.

Jul 13, 2014

Thu, Jul 13, 1944: eyes

"My old roommate, Clarence Brewster, lives around the corner from me in Lyons Hall, but he's afraid of leaving soon, because of failing the ear test.  It seems that two years in the noisy Boeing factory didn't do his hearing any good.  Since last writing, I've gone through another physical - a check up on the eyes - and passed easily.  Of course, if the Navy ever prints up another set of eye charts, I might not do so well with the left eye, but after seven or eight physicals I know the seven lines of that old AELTYPHEALT chart backward and forward.  Be sure to take good care of your eyes, Stanley, because unless one has normal vision, he's not good for much but deck scrubbing, in this Navy.  Maybe you'll be lucky and never be a soldier or sailor, though probably a tough Marine."
-- Letter from my father, Notre Dame, Ind., to his younger brother, Bloomington, Kans., Thursday, July 13, 1944.

Jul 7, 2014

Fri, Jul 7, 1944: very proud

"So you're a midshipman now.  Of course we are very proud of you and I would surely love to see you in that new uniform.  I'll bet you look 'spiffy.'"
-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Notre Dame, Ind., Friday, July 7, 1944.