• Flea Market Love Letters

July 26, 1943.




Dear Mom:


Received 3 letters from you this week. I was very glad to get them. Of course you haven’t received any mail from me for a week. But I told you I’ve been on a Field Problem for the past week. I left on a Sunday and came back the next Sunday. I received so many letters while away from camp that I don’t know who to write to first. And still there are many who I haven’t written too. But I write to you first Mom? Yes I wrote to Clair Richards but didn’t receive any answer from him. Yes, I know that girl name Adeline, I went to school with her. I also received a letter from Vivian P’Isa + a few from Joe Zojac. He claims nobody writes to him, but I receive me share though.


The nearest town is about 1 mile away, but it a small town about 2,000 people. All you see there is soldiers. I stay in Camp most of the time? Glad you liked my Pictures, all they are is 20 cent pictures enlarged! I payed $1.25 for the big one. When I go to town again I’ll have some more taken? Yes, that picture was taken after I came out of the hospital. My eyes are blurred because of not enough sleep? Am feeling swell now? I’m sorry I didn’t call Sunday, but I’ve been so busy here that I couldn’t get away? Don’t worry, this Sunday I’ll try to get you on the phone. I received a big box of cookies from Mrs. DeGeraro, tell her thanks! It seems everybody writes to me wants my pictures. So I’m trying to satisfy everybody.


Yes, I wrote to Angie and she told me about Carmie leaving for the Army. In the last letter she wrote me she put 3 dollars in it for me. She said I would need it more than her now that she is working. That was nice of her to do that.


I’m sending back my wrist watch for repair. Please have pop fixt it and please send me my ring that has the blue stone in it and has “Fitch High School” on it?



Well Ma, since I last wrote to you I experience for the first time in my life how soldiers really fight in battle. I try briefly in explaining it?


We left Sunday afternoon with a full pack of equipment on our backs. We loaded our Guns and ammunition and equipment. We went out near a lake and there we set our Guns in position and started firing at planes for 1 ½ days! When it came time to sleep nobody could sleep because of the mosquitos were biting so bad. You should see my body full of sores and heat rash. Well we left that place on Tuesday afternoon.


Then our Battalion was all split up in sections so that 1 Gun could guard different places. Our gun crew had to guard a bridge. Just as soon as we got there we set on Gun in position. Starting digging a hole so we cold put the Gun in it. We dug all night + day and finally finished it. Then we had to dig trenches for Guards and telephone operators, machine Gun pits, and cover these pits up with trees and grass so that you couldn’t see it. This was continuously going on ever since we reached our position. While there, if we weren’t digging pits we were on guard duty. I got complimented by different Lieutenants for my guard duty. When we finished our digging we then had to be on the lookout for “Commando Raids”. That was to give us experience of looking out for the enemy. They gave us a 5 gallon can of water once a day and also let us eat twice a day. We work every minute and all through the hot weather. When we had to go on guard we were so sleepy that we fell asleep on the post. Not only was we hungry and thirsty, but we couldn’t shower or wash. We kept our same clothes on the whole time, sleeping with our shoes on and in trenches.


Well I sleep exactly 2 hours in 6 days and guess you know how I look and feel! But when I start eating and sleeping I’ll get back to normal again. It sure was a really tough Field Problem, many a fellow got sick. Also the Sergeant in one Squad broke his ribs and other cut his head open. All I can say it was just a real battle for me. This is only the beginning too. We have 2 more like this. One with 3 weeks and other 6 weeks that we will be gone at a time from camp.


I surely appreciated camp when we came back? I pulled though it very good. And I hope the next ones also? Boy, I certainly miss home ma, one day I was so hot and blue I just started crying about home and the friends I had and the times we had together! I can’t wait till I’m back home again. Some lieutenants say we will be across the seas in 4 months. They say our Battalion is the best they have seen!


All I know when I come back I hope I can find a nice job and then I’m going to get married! To who, I don’t know? But I’m really tired of always working here and no rest. I want to settle down and have a nice family to come home too.


You probably think I’m crazy talking like this ma. But you’ll never know what we go through here. It’s twice as hard as I been doing when I was home in civilian life. I’m trying me best here? At times I get so disgusted I could go A.W.O.L.? So mom, if I don’t write at times do worry, because I’m so tired and busy here! I’ll try to write at least once a week! So till next time, God Bless the Family!)


Your Son,

Ralph


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