Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Sat., Apr. 17 Detoit is the scene of labor unrest as civil rights leader Bayard Rustin and several dozen Detroit citizens visit public restaurants checking on discrimination. Race relations become tense as thousands of whites and blacks flood into the city for war jobs. Detroit News-History

Dear Mom & Harry (Sun. April 18, 1943)

Mom, I received your Apr. 10th letter. You asked about meals and I started telling you in my last letter. For this Sunday, breakfast, I had two fried eggs, two slices of bread, butter, shredded wheat, milk, coffee, half a fair sized grapefruit. No sugar for my cereal. This happens once in a while.

Lunch was coffee, mashed sweet potatoes with raisins, asparagus, string beans and onions, a couple of think slices of beef (pretty tender), bread and ice cream. This was a Sunday lunch which is usually better than other meals.

Supper mostly was meatless. Not sure what today, but most likely it will be baked beans, breaded tomatoes, spinach, mashed sweet potatoes with raisins, lettuce salad or creamy stuff. There is fruit salad for dessert, half a pear or peaches or sometimes pie or cake, quite often apple or orange. We have oranges so often that we save as many as six in our handbags. This letter was interrupted for a birthday party. One of the boys turned nineteen. Five of us gave him a dollar each on his cot with a card. He thanked us and bought a pint of ice cream and ginger ale and cut his cake his mom sent him. We then took a nap since we had got in from Anniston last night at one a.m. It started to drizzle when we came from town and continued through the night. I woke from my nap at 6:30 p.m. and I missed supper the same as everyone else in my hut. In summary meals are good.

I am interested in farms you have visited. Mom, I received a 2nd soup container with cookies, but broken up. Crumbs were delicious. Harry I received your letter of Apr. 13th and mentioned the union party that you went to with Issy and Mac. I became thirsty at the all you could drink beer. I long for a Detroit beer. Here it’s 3.2 beer, tastes like dish water. I think Alabama is a dry state.

I’ll be getting interesting news from Michigan about how many more platinum minks we have. I hope it will be good news. I mentioned my rapid fire. My final rifle shooting, our slow fire was completed last Monday. I got 26 total standing, and excellent score, hand position to hold rifle steady. Next I got from prone at 300 yards, two bull’s-eyes, three 4’s and one 3 for a total of 25.

Mom's After Easter letter Apr 30, 1943

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