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Lena B. Rees & James L. Carter Family Papers: Transcripts - MS 964
Mon June 1, 1943
Started to school yesterday Also moved into another barracks. I sleep on the third floor of a large building on the balcony of the gym which is above the theatre.
Had duty yesterday of helping sweep down one floor of a barracks + standing an hour of a telephone watch. The phone was dead + sat down reading.
Have a lot of drawing to do in school. Am going to school tonight to finish one drawing. Night school is voluntary unless you get below a certain weekly grade.
No I don't sleep on a sub, won't until I am assigned one. All the bunks on this base have mattresses + we are furnished mattress covers 5 ¢ a week so we don't have to wash them. They also have special mattresses on the subs so don't need mine.
In the time to come I don't think the Navy will continue issueing them. In fact on the west coast they have discontinued issueing hammocks.
Here after put Diving Section 41 in my address + I'll get my mail sooner (maybe). Make the 41 large too. Never sent my diving section before because they were temporary. Have lived in three different barracks + had three diving sections while on Temporary Duty.
I think I'll get a sub ride this week. Time for chow then want to get my drawing done at night school so will close for now.
Wed. June 2, 1943
Just received your letters from fred, two letters from mom and a letter from the Flacks. Don't know how many letters Im going to be able to put out now that school has started. Mother write that Russell had passed the Army Air Corp.
The navy has a "small stores" where G.I. clothes are bought and we just call the other place the canteen. They don't have radios at our canteen. The one you mentioned didn't sound to large. If school keeps at the rate we started I won't have time for a radio but can use it just before going to bed and the whole weekend.
Regarding T.F.T.C. on my letter. I had forgotten to thank you for it in my letter so Thanks For The Card.
As far as I now Bob Flack will be in Norfolk for some time but It seems like he mentioned something about he may be moved out after a time due to the "Waves" they are using there now.
Regarding target practice it was compulsory to shoot 9 rounds. However can do it about any night we want to if we really want to do it for the sport. They have every body shoot to be sure they get the training (some haven't). I think they want you to shoot at least a couple of times a year, it is not regular. We shot "22s" on a Colt "45" grip.
I saw "Casablanca" in Norfolk thought I had mentioned it to you guess I hadn't. Have read "A toast for Tomorrow" also. Will probibly read "One World" if I get the time now.
Don't know what to think of you joining the Waacs. My mind is blank it would seem so strange for you to be in the service the same as its strange I ever got into service. I suppose it would be ok.
My trouble is opposite of flirting with the girls, still haven't gotten around. Think that's whats wrong with me, wish I had a girl friend.
School isn't exactly hard but there is a lot to it. Can right off understand what it's about, unlike the torpedo which took two weeks to catch on to. Yet now that I know torpedo they seem simple. There is a lot to it for example to flush the toilet on a sub. you have to work a foot peddle, open + close 4 different valves, watch two gauges and work a hand lever to four different positions.
I didn't sleep on a sub. + won't until I am assigned one, that time I can't see coming into view. Worked a device this morning + it works just as if you were standing in a sub. Going for a ride tomorrow. Will have six weeks of Sub. school immediately followed by four weeks of Torpedo school on Saturday + shove off the following Monday from this base. Don't know where to. May go to where they build Subs + wait for a new one or get a new one right off. For awhile some guys went from here to Florida. + did practice patrols for several months then got new boats for war zone.
June 3, 1943 Didn't get this letter closed last night so will do so now (19:00).
Didn't get sub ride today
Plenty hot here
June 3, 1943
It is very hot here today. Didn't go out on sub., they said it was hazy on the sound, wouldn't think so is very clear here. Won't sleep on a sub. until Im assigned one + that wont be till way after school if then.
I feel ashamed about the way I only glance at the papers but like them including the Sunday paper.
I thought I had mentioned that the Sub. Base theatre is used as a chapel Catholics at 9:45 + Protestants at 1045. The first day we entered school they showed some sub. films then seperated Catholics + protestants + gave us a morale talk.
A leave (furlough in army) is impossible unless I almost die from sickness then could get sick leave. Several boys got leaves just before school started to school because they had been to sea for a year.
You talk about your letters, I wonder how you read mine. Of course It is against me when sitting on bunk + writing on lap.
Im ready + willing to start wearing + washing whites. Think we will after about June 14.
This base is run like a boot camp, very strict. A guy got restricted a day for sitting on his bunk at noon time. I think that's to much because there is no other place to sit. During the day when we have dungarees on we sit + lay down on side walks or any place.
I mentioned we didn't go out on a sub but we spent the afternoon on one looking at all the parts. Will get 50 deg. Of pay extra for every day we go out during training.
About all for now.
June 5, 1943
It is 4:20 PM just got out of school + put on white uniform. It if the uniform of the day hereafter. Got 3.72 average on my weekly test.
Am on duty over the weekend have a telephone watch from 6 to 7 tonight + 12:30 to 3:30 Sunday.
Has been rather warm here lately. In class room skivvies are the uniform, no shirts allowed, but have to put shirts on to leave the class room.
You better give up + not bother about the radio. Probably wouldn't be worth the price because if get ship after school would only have used it ten weeks.
All I can think of to write about for now. Am enclosing newspaper.
June 7, 1943
Just got back from town. Had my picture taken. Will stop in Wednesday to see how it is. Will have it sent in about a week anyway.
Wasn't real sure whether to send my mattress home or not, so I asked a chief today + he said I better wait untiled Im assigned a sub. + then get rid of it because I might be sent to another station + need. When Im assigned a sub. I won't need it anymore.
A friend of Canfields who just left here was sent to Manitowic Wis. + has to wait several months while his sub. is being completed. When it is completed he will go on it and go down th Ill. and Mississippi rivers.
Is raining here again. So far haven't been bothered with mosquitos here but did have them at Norfolk Va
Received the newspaper with Jeannes address in it the same time I received your letter - Thanks for the snapshots.
I prefer wearing white to wool uniforms but wish they weren't so light colored. As of yet haven't had to wash them. Wish I had an iron, at present all my whites are pressed but haven't figured out whit I'll do. Will have to learn to roll them expertly.
Can't see the USO show tomorrow night, (listed in the paper I sent,) because am on duty but hope to see the Camel Caravan Thursday night.
With school don't have time for reading books so have been reading "Times" magazine very thoroughly.
Only 830 but am sleepy so will close Will try + be sure to mail this tomorrow have been failing to mail my letters -
P.S. How to address letters -
RA Carter S 2/c Diving Sect.
US Sub. Base Box 7 41
New London Conn.
Diving Sect. is not part of address so just write it across the end of envelope.
June 10, 1943
Can't think how to start out so will answer question first.
It sounds bad about Christina sorta wonder or worry about her.
I don't think I know Henry Sampson.
Also received a letter from Anna + Ray.
I must be slightly drunk can't think of things to write them in order
Will mail $30.00 for this months allotment so take the insurance out of it.
I will mark it for insurance + the rest banked + $6.25 which you mentioned. Am also marking down a bond from Jim.
Received the cookies unbroken + were very tastey. It doesn't make any difference regarding amount when sending packages. I more or less trade with Canfield + several other closer mates.
As yet have never gotten around to adjusting my watch, it runs fast. Maybe its me but Im inclined to think it has spells. Most of the clocks around her are never right so makes it seem worse than at Norfolk. At present the clock at my bed on the wall is 15 min fast.
Went out on a sub. yesterday. Was below deck all the time so never saw the ocean, however felt the swells when we surfaced. Would dive then come up for practice. When submerged its no different than sitting in a room, very smooth. Can't tell your going down except the deck tilts very slightly. I handled the planes which took her down once + the other two dives I handled the planes which keep the ship level.
We never went below periscope depth.
Had my note book done tuesday for this week so time has slowed down a bit except for yesterday on the dive. Just after school this evening gave a pint of blood then went + saw the Camel Caravan. Very good show.
I was kidding about being drunk am ok but after giving blood they gave me a sandwich, a shot of whiskey + a cup of coffee. I got dizzy so had to lay down for five min. Felt all right + was just clearing when they asked if I felt ok. I did but they made me drink another shot + lay down. Feeling light or dizzy while eating was only effect most guys don't do that.
Have to move to move to another barracks Monday + also have a big inspection immediately after moving to see that we have all the clothes were supposed to have.
Wrote Jim Hunt to see if could see here but not allowed. Thought I would go to New York but have put it off because of that.
About time for lights out so till later
June 11, 1943
Not much to write about have been on duty today + have been sweeping all evening.
Had already marked $22.16 from bank book so added + have $509.14 + $450.00 in maturity value bonds.
Will not mail this till I get a money order for $30.00 for June allotment. (that is to take place for). Will also add 18.75 bond. + 11.25 to bank book so be sure to do it.
Absolutely forget about the radio. Got plenty of school to keep busy.
Haven't had anything done to my teeth. A chief petty officer talked to me about them + said I should have front ones replaced + have false. Haven't decided whether to have anything done or not.
You shouldn't send me anything or do anything for me because I still live as if a war wasn't on. Steak about every day etc. Time for lights out
June 14, 1943
Didn't get money order till this morning so am just mailing this. Was going to write tonight but had to wash. Till later
Tues. June 15, 1943
Got my laundry done last night. Was supposed to go out on a boat today but it didn't come in, so ate at chow hall. Just after eating it started to rain so ran over + got then off the line just in time. Thought I wanted an iron but if I stretch my whites + fold them up carefully they look real good if left over night. It takes over a week to get stuff from the laundry and besides Ive got the time to wash them.
Last week + this week Ive gotten all my sketches drawn + notebook completed by tuesday noon. Spend the rest of the week rereading the book to look like I was busy. Got 3.84 last week.
Forget about me with dames guess I got off the beam + vented a blue feeing. One reason why I wanted a radio. Will get some books to read.
Will go out on a boat again thursday or friday. Think we get paid friday.
Just got back from the movie. Left three "Times" papers on "Whitie" Franklins bunk, he wasn't in he said he would like to look at them.
Went to New London to church last Sunday. First time since up from Norfolk. Will just go to church on base hereafter.
Moved to a small barracks again, like it alot better. Am sure of being in barracks one full month this time.
All for now.
Thurs. June 17, 1943
Not much to write about. Just received Dorothae's card and feel relieved. Just came back from the show "Bombadier." (sp)
Am going on a sub ride. the first thing tomorrow morning if weather permits. rained today + it may be to hazy to go out. Was coal enough for blues which I wore this evening.
Get payed tomorrow ($25.00)
Just can't think of anything to write about so will close.
Thurs. June 24, 1943
Not much to write about. Went out on a sub. this morning, making second time have done.
Thanks for the pictures. A mate saw one + asked who they were + told him but didn't know who one was till later saw it was "Mary Ann." Sent three pictures because were three in a set.
Am on duty this evening but am standby so only have to muster twice.
A plane had crashed in the sea where we were + our boat went over to see it but of course crew couldn't see it, was below decks on stations. Have a final test tomorrow morning on the old boats then will only have two more weeks of subs.
Went to dentist but can't work down till July 15. Think he is good so will have it done.
Maybe able to get teeth porcelain capped.
Sun. June 27, 1943
It is 8:15 AM and have gotten my laundry done already this morning. It rained a little during the night but is clearing up now.
Was out on a new boat all day Saturday Was my turn to help in the galley, all we did was dry dishes while listening to some records several colored boys had aboard. Was a record attachement to the radio in this one compt. There was a radio in about every compt and none had the same program on.
Am enclosing a couple of pictures I have, these were extra.
I don't know what you mean by girl school unless you mean Conn. College. It is on top a hill just across the river from us.
Yes I saw "Crash Dive" when it was at the base theatre. They had to put some excitement in the picture I guess. They do however have a group of army men temporarily stationed here who practice comando landing from a sub for work like in the picture.
What do you mean by leave shore?
Am pretty sure of not getting assigned a sub. until 1944 and maybe not then. Ken Canfields pal who went through sub. school several weeks before us is now in Key West Fla. where he has been a month just taking practice runs. (going out every day & coming in & sleep in barracks). He then comes back here & fools around waiting for the finishing of a new boat in Manitowac Wis. When it is completed he will go there & take it down the Mississippi, bring it to New London then give it dives to regulate it, & finely to sea.
Can't think of anything else so will close for now.
Tues. June 29, 1943
Went to ocean beach sunday + had a taste of ocean swimming. It was swell but very cold. Gained a little more tan. I really haven't had a real dark tan but come to think of it I never have had. Don't care to lay in sun to get tan would rather be doing something + get one.
School is going smoothly, felt uneasy at first because is very confidential + is locked up every night so can't work on it if necessary. But have my work done for this week already. Go out all day tomorrow, I hope nothing prevents diving. Has raind yesterday + today + it might be fogy out.
If you would consider coming to N.Y. City it would be very possible to meet you.
The dope is as follows.
Am in fourth duty section and have duty July 3 + 4.
Am sure of the following weekend off (July 10-11). Will be moving to a new barracks the following week due to change of schools (Sub to Torpedo school) and there is a chance of my duty section being changed therefore can't definitely tell whether will have free weekends or not after weekend of July 10-11.
School gets out at 3:45 Saturdays + I can catch a 4:17 or 5:08 train form New London to New York City and arrives between 7+8 PM. I definitely know 5:08 train arrives at Penn Station and can make just as good a time as 4:17. The Trains are usually late leaving New London.
Have to get an out of bounds pass (just have to make a chit for it + get it) and don't have to be back to the base till 7:40 Monday. Just have to promise to take 1:45 AM (Monday) train from Nyk.
If you can't come the 10th + 11th of July guess will have to wait till I've changed school and know when Im free which means I wouldn't know till about monday July 11
That's the low down here, see what you can do about getting here.
Understand know what you meant by the girls school know.
Just got back from seeing "It aint Hay." Abbit + Costello.
All for now
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