Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Below letter is copied from Eddie's letter word for word.
Two Letters- But I am giving each it’s own web page
Letter 1
Dear Stanley, Saturday, Nov. 20, 1943

Sorry to be answering your Aug 31 (Tuesday) letter so late, especially since interesting and so glad to receive it. The first six months of my Army life consisted of jumping here and there at the sound of whistles, bugles and orders. But it has leveled off to something a great deal more calming and steady.

From my previous letter you knew I was in 138th Headquarters Company and you questioned some sources as to what work was handled by men here. The source of your inquiry was pretty accurate since you told me that Hq. Co. covers anything such as ditch digging, driving trucks or office work. Your assumption I was doing office work was wrong. That time I was taking part in some intensive training which was a review of a little of the basic training I had back in the states. Before this  training was over and before I could get settled down to the pleasant and stimulating work of ditch digging I was transferred to Service Co. of the 153rd Infantry which is my present address, as this typewritten letter indicates. I am working in an office. My life is now a great deal less strenuous and rugged. Since I am mostly indoors and can thumb my nose at the weather (I think I better knock on when I say that - - so here goes ---

I am enjoying more Army luxuries, roomier living quarters, a nearby theater, library and ice cream Post Exchange. This is about the first time I can say that my Army existence is much easier than my civilian life. Back home I had two jobs – working for a living and building up a mink business. But in Detroit more leisure time, because I had more freedom to do as I pleased.

Glad to know it was a pleasure to meet your mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Your marriage sounds like it sounds. You made me recall the time you came to me in 1931-2 to go with you to California and then Alaska. I was very eager to do so but my circumstances made it tough. A little more coaxing and you might have won. I dreamed of the world opening to you when you left and a closed door to me. When I dreamed of those places you were, I was wishing I was there. Ironic it is I arrived in Alaska first. There is no need to envy me. I am in some part of the Alaskan section of the world, but can only describe it from home-made movies which a chaplain showed us in your hut a couple of weeks ago. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you much of what Alaska is like. This may sound strange, but I cannot as yet give you my approximate location for a couple more weeks. By that time I shall have been here long enough for the censors to allow me to give you the information. Your request for me to stake a few claims in a Placer gold region puts me on a spot. I would look foolish if I took a pan to a stream. But this disappointment, it’s unlikely that times will be though after the war.

The peace-time demand to satisfy civilian needs after war won’t be an ordinary peace-time demand. I believe it will take four or five years after the war before this demand tapers off to normal. At least I hope so. I am betting my life savings on it. If times get tough right after the war, I’m going to be caught with my pants down, because my mother, Harry and I have invested a couple thousand in silver-sable and black-cross mink.

Unbelievable that ships which took two or three years to build can be bult in 23 days, even simply made for emergencies. It reminds me of sped up movies. It is quite possible that faster movements of men are playing some part and I hope this speed won’t affect your health in the same way it has affected Detroit.

If I don’t get a chance to write soon have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From your cousin   Ed

Thanksgiving Day - Nov. 25, 1943

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