Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Dear Issy and Mac, (April 4, 1943)

I received all 3 of your letters & it was very glad to hear from you. In one of your letters you say that the spot I'm in must be beautiful and I agree. There are pine trees and hills around the Anniston area. The grass is green and so are the trees. Trees are mostly pine and spruce. The branches look like this (see sketch)pine tree leaf sketch. Is this a spruce or pine? I don't think I have seen any other kind of tree around these parts. You can probably visit me in the future though I don't know how easy it is to get rooms at Anniston, Alabama or other places nearby. I will look into how easy it is, as there a lot of soldiers here and their wives and visitors probably keep the motels busy. That's quite a nose to nose bowling race you and Mac are having. I would be interested in knowing what you both were still scoring. I bowl with a couple of younger guys, bowled 146, 179 and 169. IRTC stands for Immaterial Replacement Training Center. I'll write a letter to mom & Harry now. So Long Ed

Dear Mom and Harry, (April 4, 1943)

Talk about movies and three or four movie houses for soldiers, but the benches are hard, and the “B” rated movies are not up to date. It’s also hot in Alabama.

We took a long 10 mile hike with a 40 pound load and 10 pound rifle and quite a work out and after calisthenics. More about the extremes of climate here. The cool mornings beget extreme hot afternoons which is unhealthy and easier to get spinal meningitis.

A group picture was taken by the Army and I bought six pictures for $6.50. I am using the camera you bought me mom. I am having the pictures developed in Anniston.

Blackstone, the magician will put on an act tomorrow and the next day at the outdoor amphitheater. Ed talks about mink and is very interested in keeping up with this since he was raising mink before he was drafted.

A week ago we took a short hike to the firing range to shoot bull’s eyes at 200 yard distance. Shooting a pinpoint target isn’t as pleasant as I thought it would be, especially when you have to lie on your stomach resting the rifle on your shoulder. This is a very unnatural position.

Stanley's April 4, 1943 letter

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