Edward J. Thomas - World War II

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

6 July 1944 Thursday

Dear Mom, Harry & Izzy:

From Camp Shelby I went up north all right but not far enough to get
out of this awful heat. To obtain relief I have to go every evening to
the YMCA or the Catholic Club swimming pool in down town Memphis. If I
keep visiting these pools almost every day, I may finally learn to svdm.
So far I have been staying in water no higher than my shoulders. I am
still afraid of deep water because I am not very confident of breathing
properly. I have trouble in gulping in air at the proper time. A solution
for this difficulty, honever, I believe has been found. I discovered that
I had this trouble because I didn't roll my body from side to side. I
just moved my head to the right and left. When moving the entire body from
side to side, I find it easier to stay higher in the water and find that
there is more time to take in air. That will be the secret of my swimming
success provided I don't drown.

The hotel that I thought would be waiting for me here upon my arrival
in Memphis turned out to be an open air tent about 30 feet long with two
rows of bunks placed closely together. The walls of the tent are raised
and the only shelter that remains is the roof. Sleeping in it is like
sleeping outdoors. I understand that these quarters are only temporary and
that when some men move out of this camp, which will be in a couple of weeks, we will have beds in one of the large State Fair buildings as we are stationed in the Fair Grounds and use the buildings that once upon a time held Memphis State Fair exhibits. I don't know whether this will be an improvement because sleeping inside any of those immense buildings is like sleeping in an oven. For a few days I had to discontinue going out swimming because of a heavy cold--worse than any I had had in the Aleutians. I believe it was brought on by the shock I received in plunging into the cold water at the Catholic Club, followed later by icecream and cold drinks which I consumed in one of Walgreen's chilly air-conditioned drug stores. This
cold has now completely gone away, but if I keep up this fast and strenuous
city life, there is no telling what may happen. I may grow either young
or old.

To make up for the shortness of this letter, I am enclosing Stanley's (Sun. Apr. 30, 1944) letter which I received. at Camp Shelby. Evidently Stanley wrote his letter long before he received the one I sent him during my furlough, Also there may be something interesting you may want to know about my place in the letter which another fellow by the name of Williams and myself wrote to the Captain of the l53d Inf who was our boss. You will
find a copy of this (Mon. 26Jun44) enclosed.

So long, Eddie

PS: Mom, I received your last two letters and the package containing my
trousers. Thanks.
     Izzy, I want to acknowledge your letter too. Was glad to receive it.
     Harry, let me know how you're improving in your golfing.
     Mom,I ought to mention that the laundry service here is pretty efficient.
I send in my washing Thursday and get it back Tuesday; so I don't believe it
will be necessary to send my dirty laundry home.as you suggested in one of
your letters.

Thur. Jul 6 Chuichi Nagumo the Vice Admiral that led the Pearl Harbor bombing commits suicide on Saipan.

Sun. Jul 9 The United States wins the battle in Saipan.

Eddie Goes to the Opera

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