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Lena B. Rees & James L. Carter Family Papers: Transcripts - MS 964
March 3 1943
Just received your letter with the addresses and accounting information. Thanks alot. Am going to try + keep a strict record hereafter. Most of those addresses are over 400 miles away so won't get to any will have them though just in case.
Just found out Ill be paid $98 so guess Ill pay my income tax and not be bothered till the end of the war. Going to try another war bond to make it even $400 worth of bonds.
Can't buy apples etc on the station but can get to town about every evening and get things when I want them. Saw the movie newsreel on the point rationing it sounded complicated. We even have sugar placed on the table + help yourself at chow.
Went to town Sunday and looked the town over. Saw an Epostles M.E. Church and a Chinese Babptist church with chinese writing on the name plate. Looked at the courthouse, post office and clocks then went to the show and sat "Random Harvest". Was down to 60 ¢ so am going back Sat. to get some things for Elizabeth Ann which I saw.
That reminds me would you or Dorothae send me a list of birthday dates? Be sure its complete.
School is coming along lots better now I think I actually know how the torpedo runs. The first week you learn parts + what their for but you don't know how they make it go.
I and another boy missed our work detail muster because we didn't know about it so they excused us. However you are usually made a Prisoner At Large.
Sometimes it isn't so hard to become a prisoner after all but nothing to worry about unless you deliberately break rules. Will close for now
March 5, 1943
I received the tuesdays "Fines" Thursday. Seems like ages since I saw a newspaper. Enclosed in a small pamphlet put out today.
I noticed the Monticello hotel last sunday at Norfolk its right up town I may stop in an see him.
The yellow ink you mentioned sounds ok so if you will send a bottle of it with a bottle of India ink I think it will work. Also look in the little medicine cabinet for a striped straight razor. I think its in a yellow box. Can't get razors for bills autostrap razor or even buy a razor. I prefere a straight anyway. Got my one blanker back from the laundry and and sending other. It sure makes them white. 50¢ a pair.
Had an practice air raid last night had to go over to the school + stand by my fire hose for half an hour.
Had a white hat stolen from the clothes line mad me pretty mad.
Guess Ill go to the movie again so will close for now.
March 5, 1943
Say you should have enlisted instead have been drafted into registration. Civilians must have the toughest military figure training. Watch yourself don't you know the government needs you. On second thought maybe they should pay your sick bills.
I probably met Frank Biglow put don't remember. Will try + look him up. Something to do. Thought I might see Karl Cramer at least once but he has moved to Florida. He was about 200 miles form here anyway.
Im too far from Balt. or Phila but just in case I get moved further North I might visit some in laws.
The weather here is just beginning to clear up + get warmer. Hope it gets up to 80^ again. I went ahead and got a rain coat
School, I think is just avarage as to toughness. You can however figure out how the things work. We get out of school at 4:15 and don't eat till 5:00 so I take my shower then. Every other night after chow 5:30 I do my laundry, which is one complete change so I never get behind except sunday when I do my mattress cover, pillow slip, towel + dungarees. We wear dungarees to school + have to change to undress blues for evening chow. During the week laundry it only takes about a half an hour. I usually spend 5:30 to 7:30 studying which includes answering questions sometimes, however no regular homework. Have shows every night at 7:30 + I've attended most of them. That's another another proof that school can't be to tough because I haven't studied all the time but I made 3.62 out of 4.00 on our first weeks test. I sure hope I can stay that high. Im highest in the class for the first week. I sure was surprised. Will close this for now and write more in mom letter
Received cash book, ink set & etc. Its just what I needed. Thanks for all the bother. I put a piece of rag in the wooden disc of the ink set & used it for a stamp pad then used a tooth brush to apply the ink.
N.O.B. stands for Naval Operating Base. T Division is Torpedo. They have three types of torpedos. Mark XV used on surface craft, submarine & aerial torpedos. They are just about alike except for size. I didn't want the aerial because your either at station or an aircraft carrier and they needed a couple more sub torpedos than those that chose it so I took it. I get the extra training and if ever aboard Ill get 50% increase pay. I think Ill get to New London but I might not make a sub. in that case I'll go on a sub. tender.
I got paid $98 Friday & don't need money. I had my income return and have paid my taxes already. Bought a war bond to make it an even $400.00. Hereafter Im carring $20.00 in my money belt as a reserve.
We sleep in hammocks here and keep our clothes in lockers. They dont have a chapel in our small camp but they do close by. Can get in a street car and go to church in town but as yet haven't. I don't know anything about the two Norfolks but am going to get a map & find out.
Am receiving the Times regularly but don't send the Blade. I saw in the Times were Dick Fruth was home. There are no personal radios here but they have a public address system & they play it after school hours or just play records. Regardless of where you are in camp, out doors or eating chow you can hear the music when they play it.
Don't know what kind of booklet you mean from the church although at Christmas time I received a card from Mrs Cory which was printed & signed by Rev. Wood.
About all I can think of so will close for now. Enclosed is the war bond.
Just a line for now. We had inspection here for the first time Saturday. The weather was to bad before + they hold them outdoors. This weeks test is the one that decides whether we stay in school or night. I think I passed ok. Next week well finish the study of the torpedo + start on actual repair etc.
Saturday I went to town + got Elizabeths A. Birthday present sent and mailed the war bond. Went to town this morning + went to church. The church is like the Presbyterian church inside except the Balcony is square instead of round. The service is just like ours other than the preachers slight draul. Also went to the shot to see "The Black Swan" because Bill said it was a good picture. Just finished my washing.
Will Learn all about the gyro etc in the torpedo next week + our instructor warned us it would be a large week + told us not to go on leaves. I don't anyway on weekdays.
Am out doors now but is getting chilly (6:45 PM) so will close for now
Am in good health + hope you are better but I had an extra hard week. It has turned out like the rest of them so it don't seem any harder. I suppose I'll get the same average grades. Im back to my just average grades. I didn't go lower but others in the class have done lots better than their first week.
My grades are
1st week 3.62, 2nd week 3.8, 3rd week 3.88
This week as on the complicated mechanism. Received everything sent. Yellow ink didn't work. I should have explained more clearly what it was for but I don't need it as bad as I did the black ink.
Dorothae didn't write about Mrs Stirland or Major Glunt.
Going to church Sunday + am going to get a railroad table[?] then. Other guys go home to New York Sorta like to get away from camp over a weekend but really don't know what I should. Not much of a visitor
They took a lot of pictures + movies of inspection today because of presenting a metal to Lt. Gaughan.
This morning some boys shoved off from this base and they stole shoes + pants from some of the lockers that didn't have locks. This happens about every two weeks. So far Ive been lucky. Am not real worried because I have a lock.
Don't think Ill be as busy hereafter although about a week from monday we have a 300 questions for TM3C rating. It won't mean an advancement but if I pass it with a very high mark I can get a rating in a short time.
Having a lot of rain lately. Won't be surprised the trees will turn green in a couple of days.
Going to the show so will close for now. Am on work detail my turn for routine cleanup so have to stay around for all the musters they have.
Was paid $24.00 Thursday am mailing it as soon as I get a money order. Will write further then
Received your air mail letter Thursday the 18th. In my other letter I meant the government couldn't get along without you in the ration signup.
Regarding what classes there is only one course + that is torpedo. Our one large text book contains photographs of parts etc. the reason for keeping it in a sage. Our other book is a paper one similar to those Fred had so maybe it is inflameable.
Hadn't noticed the "Geo. Washington slept here" was at out camp. Maybe the "For + aft" includes several other camps around here.
The cash + address books are swell. Thanks alot. That reminds me Ive just got it filled in + was going to put my income tax receipt in it, but I can't find it.
Received the card + Freds letters ok.
Am getting in a rut I ask for something + then I think of something else I think I need.
Am short of paper + can't get any on Sunday so please excuse. Was going to ask for a couple of things but I probably wouldn't use them. Absolutly do not ned them.
Received a letter from Mr Marken + he said Louis Manecke can't get a job in a defense plant because he left W.V. without telling them.
Running out of words so will close for now will send a letter this afternoon to Mom and maybe Ill have more to say then.
March 24, 1943
Couldn't get a money last Sunday so failed to write right away then I got busy with school again.
Received booklet from the church. It is just like the upper room only small.
I don't know of any parents visiting boys here but at the Navy YMCA at Norfolk you usually see some boys with parents. The Navy YMCA was built by Rockefeller.
Am wondering what the book "Submarine Warfare" said about the safety of subs. It can't be any different than any other ship in war.
Received Eliz. Anns letter and the "Esquire" from Dorothae. Doesn't she save them. Don't seem to have a whole lot of time to read but school has bee busier than I supposed. I don't go out week nights but our chief warned us not to till another week. Have alot to memorise this week then will be through for sure.
If you want a picture I can get one in town.
Got 3.80 on what is supposed to be the hardest part of the torpedo bringing my average up to 3.77 for 4 weeks.
Sunday I went to church then saw "Air Force" A movie about an airplane named "Mary Ann" then took a little walk. Saw two fishing (sail) schooners out of Glauster docked at Norfolk. Of all the English sailors I see (plenty) they are all short + I'm coming to the conclusion that the English are smaller than we. Many of the English officers I see I can look down on.
Monday non just before returning to school in walk about a dozen French sailors into out barracks. They are going to school here + there are others at other camps around here from the French battleship that came across but they can't speak a word of English. They have a man from Quebec who is teaching them Welding. They had come to our barracks to see a boy in a bunk across from me. He is half French + half Greek but looks like a Greek. He speeks both Greek + French very fluently + has been going around with the Frenchmen. The caps of the Frenchmen have new hat backs on them since coming over here reading "Marine Nationals." It stands for the fact that they will now fight on any allied ship or no special nationality. All of them are young one is 20 years + has been in the Navy 4 years. They said out chow was really something.
Rained all weekend + was cold but is nice + warm today Ran out of paper so borrowed. Canteen is moving + couldn't get any right away.
Washed my wool blue uniform the other day + the jumper fits just right so did some more. Had just finished washing jumpers + a pair of pants. Hope my dress jumper doesn't shrink to much.
Getting late so will close for now.
March 29, 1943
Enclosed is a money order you can bank for me. Had the test for third class rating. Am anxious to find out if I passed it. Found out definitely that on April 1 we go to New London Conn. unless something turns up. I was getting tired here but now that were in the sixth seek it don't sound so long. It seems like after a month at one base it gets tiresome.
Haven't got anything to write about just have school.
Saw in the paper of Annabell being at a party at Fishes on College Ave.
I believe I mentioned I washed all my blues. Layed them out when wet + they don't need pressing.
Lay off the work or the treatments won't do any good. Ive realized it all along I shouldn't have joined. As far as I know now I'll probably go to Mich. + work after my turns up. You can go up there. All for now
Was surely surprised to hear of Anna Bell. Just received Mondays paper + it was in there. It must be awful small to weigh only 4 lbs. 12 ozs. "Ann" don't you think there are enough in our family. I hope Willie don't call it Ann if it is a girl.
Has Warren started to school now? Hadn't heard of it. Hope he likes it.
Don't know what to write about again. It is very warm here today.
There is a crew of a PT boat going to torpedo school here. Just reviewing I guess. Avery then is a ensign + lieutenant. torpedo officers they don't know any more about torpedo than us students.
Five till ten so will close
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