Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Since D-Day and Eddie's last letter, some of the events that have happend up to Jun. 18.

Mon, Jun 12 U.S. Air Force arrive in the Russell Islands in the South Pacific.

Tue. Jun 13 Germany bombs England with their V-1 rockets.

Wed. Jun 14 - France's Charles de Gaule return jubilantly to France.

Thur. Jun 15 B29s from the U.S. bomb Japan a first since the Doolittle raid in 1942.

Below letter is copied from Eddie's letter word for word

Camp Shelby, Miss
Sunday, June 18, 1944

Dear Mom, Harry & Izzy:

By this time I could have been on my way to Camp Hood (Shooting on Nov. 5, 2009 - with 12 soldiers dead and 30 or more injured), Texas, but I
decided to stay and wait for another chance. Out of about three thousand men in our regiment, there are now only about 700 left. In a couple of days
somewhere around 500 will leave for Arkansas , I am not included in this
number; so I will be one of the 200 who will remain to await further orders
which may come in an~where from two weeks to a month from now.

When I returned from my furlough, Washington, D.C., ordered one stenographer to go to Camp Hood which is right in the heart of Texas. There are two stenographers in this regliuent, but only one was ordered to go because I was on my furlough and considered absent at the time washington asked for a report of all men present. Since I was absent, naturally I assumed that I was the stenographer who wouldn't have to leave; but that is not the way the commanding officer of our company felt about it. He wanted the two stenographers to draw lots to see which one of us should go to Camp Hood. At first I felt that there simply was no justice in this idea, but since the other stenographer was so anxious to keep from going to Texas, I gave him a chance by agreeing to draw lots. two pieces of paper were folded and mixed up in a cap. I drew first and unfolded the piece of paper. It was Camp Hood for me. I didn't know whether to be disappointed or not because to me one army camp is as good as another if it's anywhere in the South; but I couldn't help thinking that it would be better to stay here to see if there would be a chance to go somewhere up North closer to home. I told the sergeant-major in the office that I didn't care to go to a desert and that I'd rather go to Arkansas. This turned out to be very good flattery because his pride of Arkansas puffed up beyond its normal size. I suppose he said to himself:"Any man who likes Arkansas likes me. I can't let him down." Consequently my name was taken off the Camp Hood list.

Mom, I received the box Harry mailed to me. I found everything I expected.
The fountain pen was a surprise. It came to me just when I began to miss it.
when I unpacked the box I thought I took out the pair of khaki trousers I
bought in Detroit, but when I later checked my clothes I couldn't find them
anywhere. I wonder if I lost them here or whether they were mislaid at home.

If you find the trousers, I wouldn't mind having them sent to me because
they will pull me out of the predicament I'm in now. The laundry here has
been discontinued and I'm still getting along on what I had washed before
and during my furlough. There aren't any good facilities for washing clothes
myself and no iron to press them. My only chance now is to reach a dry
cleaning shop whenever I'11 have the time.

I understand that the day you wrote your last letter to me, it was 42° in
Detroit. Oh, how I would love to feel that 42 degree temperature right now!
Here it sometimes gets so hot that I wonder why everything just doesn't burst into flame. We have no thermometers in our office, but the office building next to ours has one and in the coolest part of this building it registered 100°. The effort of merely thinking to write this letter is enough to make my clothes all wet. Therefore, I'll have to close now before I drown in my own sweat.

With love to all, Eddie
P.S. Uom, it's too bad I had to miss those strawberry shortcakes only by a few days. If I had known that strawberries would be picked so soon, I would probably have wired the Army for an extension of my furlough.

Eddie is Going to Memphis, Tennessee

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