Letters

29 September 1943

Dearest,
What a day. Raining all the time. This is the A.M. and for one morning I have little or nothing to do - yet. Can't understand it. Been a lot of moving lately. Co. C. all moved into barracks, men everywhere shifted and changed around. Now, I'm platoon leader for a new group - what are called the holdovers (many of whom will be made P.F.C.'s and retained permanently in the Unit). However, my group is still in tents, as there weren't enough barracks to go around. My position right now is quite indefinite, but I've just heard that I'll go into a barracks soon. However, it looks as if I'll thereby lose this leader's position, as the existing barracks already have leaders. The holdovers are to be reduced in number and those remaining split up and sent to different barracks. It looks as if my days as platoon leader are about over - but I may always stand a good chance of getting back if a new platoon is formed as I have some senority or advantage in having had previously such a ranking. There'll be 3 corporals to a barracks, each sharing the work and responsibilitis - on being in charge. The holdovers are skilled workers and do various carpentry, plumbing, etc. jobs about camp. No classes for them. Notice the letter from O.K. on the other sides of the pages. Really quite cute. He has the rarest sense of humor sometimes. He's really all right. Wrote to him not so long ago. Met a new corporal the other day - name Vard Cockrell - and we bunk together in the same tent. He's a swell egg. We get along like two long-lost buddies. I help him all I can, for I know he's a right guy. We'd like to stay together when we're moved; that is have a barracks to take charge of together - but that's very unlikely. Too bad. I'll take care of that matter of the short check. Maybe the new Dir. didn't know enough to make out the payroll right. That is a very devilish thing to get correct - when there is anything like a part-time accounting on it. You know, the platoon I had last, really hated to see me leave them. They griped about it and expressed the hope I would be with them again in the barracks. They all seemed to think the world of me and I of course thought very well of them too. They were always doing their best in drill, marching, or classes - and in cleaning up the tent quarters. Had a little trouble yesterday in getting a correct prone position in rifle marksmanship. That course seems to be my bugaboo. Can't seem to get that rifle leveled off properly on the target. But don't worry - I'll keep on trying. When shall I ask for a furlough? Not that I'd be positive of getting it when I wanted it. Christmas and Thanksgiving are just about out. But from November 1 on, I could have a fair chance at any other period. Can you get some time off? Well, time is running short. Write soon.
Love,
Melvin
P.S. The Russians are really pushing hard all along the front.
MWJ