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April 3, 1942.




Naval Air Station

Jacksonville, Florida

April , 3, 1942

Hi darling,

Don’t say it, I know that man is here again. If the writing seems shaky blame it on my “bunkie” as he is polishing his  belt on the bunk I’m sitting on.

Tomorrow we have dress parade and all officers have been polishing and cleaning all our equipment. I’ve just completed mine. My rifle is all nicely cleaned and oiled, my belt is polished and buckle all shined, my bayonet and cartridge belt are cleaned and washed an last and not least my shoes are shined.

This afternoon we were taken thru the schools we are going to. They lectured and all to us.

The major gave us a talk on how a marine just has to keep neat and about all the time. He remarked on a report from the R.R.s of the states. He said that out of all the complaints received about men their actions on trains that only 3% of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps were about Marines.  The Army and Navy had the other 97%. Remember how I was saying that a amarine shouldn’t ever unbutton his coat or put his belt under his shoulder strap? It is a Corps rule that a Marine at all times must always wear his uniform completely and nothing must be undone. He said the Marines are an exceptional outfit respected throughout the world and all these little things help to mae us that way. He even said that when two or more of us are walking together to remember to keep in catance (step). He was a large built man, very tall, with white hair and a black waxed mustache.

Down here you don’t dare walk on the grass or even chew gum. Demerits if you do. This is a very strict place. We all laughed at the remark the Major made – He said – “Show those sloppy looking sailors and soldiers around here why the marines rate more respect in every manner when they on liberty”.

Tonight we’ve been exercising and drilling on our own account with our rifles.  I even was practicing my positon so I won’t get slopping in them.

Late this afternoon I wandered over to the salvage yard where all crashed planes are thrown. You wouldn’t believe modern fighting could be made such twisted masses of wrekage. Tell Arnold that there were at least 3 Grumman fighters thrown in there. Everyone looked as tho they crashed in a nose dive. They all are a bloody mess around the cockpit. Most of them have had to be pulled out of the wrecks to the get the pilot out.

Darling here is a change in the address. A few little corrections:

Pvt. John H. Clarke, U.S.M.C.

Training Squadron One

Marine Aviation Detachment

U.S. Naval Air Station

Jacksonville, Florida

We aren’t supposed to put our Barrack number on and in place of Air we put Aviation. Get it? O.K.

Going to take a shower and shave for tomorrow so see you later darling. I love you ever, ever so much, always.

I love you. You love me?

Guess who, yeah me,

Jack

Kate Smith’s program is nice with its Easter music, but it makes me feel sort of sad. I only wish I was going to be with you hun.

The clipping is something like I told you about once. I imagine in a solider in [unreadable] just think of what a good or rather excellent hubby. < – Marine will shake! Woo woo watch me darling! When we get married! Woo woo.

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