January 22, 1944

Dublin Core


January 22, 1944


A letter from Johnny to Geraldine, written from a guardhouse at Fort Wayne, Indiana on January 22, 1944.




Letter Item Type Metadata


January 22, 1944

Dear Jerry,

I'll have to ask forgiveness for my failure to answer your last two letters. One thing I don't understand is why you still send them to New Orleans, unless you have lost this address. Generally, a letter from Sardines reaches here in a day, but via N.O. it takes a week.

I forget what I told you in my last letter so please bear with me if I repeat myself. Where do you think I'm writing from—no less a place than the guard house. To be exact, I'm in the men's room, but only because there is a good light in here. There is another fellow here dashing off a few lines to his honey. By the way, I'm not a prisoner, just a private of the guard. I came on duty at 6 P.M. and will be relieved at the same time tomorrow nite. The tour of duty is two hours on and four off. There are beds here without a mattress for sleeping in your off hours and we do sleep.

Enough of that. The last three weeks I've been working as a structural draftsman in one of the Pennsylvania Railroads drafting rooms. It is quite an interesting job. There is another Buffalo boy on the job with me. We go out with the head draftsman to measure and locate various buildings, towers, switches, etc. and then draw up the plans. Sometimes we have the plans and have to check to see if the building is built according to them. Any necessary changes have to be made and a new blueprint obtained. We also work on track charts which are scale drawings of P.R.R track right of ways. The finished drawings are between thirty-five and forty feet long. Every little detail has to be included, right down to father Brown's private cattle crossing.

We work in the shops from Monday through Friday. Saturday is devoted to training. Sunday is your day off unless you have a detail such as the one I have to-night. I just took a look at your letter of the twelfth and note that you wonder what the address means. Since you wrote to N.O. I presume you mean the one which is as follows: A.S.F.-U.T.C. = Army Service Forces - Unit Training Center. Of course the other is Railway Operating Battalion. Verstehen Sic! [trans from German: do you understand]

I haven't any small snaps taken yet. Monday I'll try to find a film for my camera. If I'm not successful, I'll purchase a cheap one which I saw advertised. I want to get some pictures of my buddies and the camp so I'll have them for my album. I'll drop you a couple as soon as I have any.

It's now Sunday afternoon. It sho was a cold nite last nite. When I came in off my last tour of duty, my feet were like ice. We had quite a bad snowstorm during the nite so when the guards came in they looked like snowmen. We who were on patrol duty got a break this A.M. The sergeant let us off at eight o'clock. The gate guards had to stay all day to watch the prisoners because they had a nice warm gatehouse to sit in all nite, while we were out in the elements.

The boys are all cleaned up now so we'll be going to town soon. A little while ago we were having a snowball fight with the fellows in the latrine. They run from their barracks to the latrine in their shorts when taking a shower so we caught some of them good. Only one window got broken, which was a wonder.

Well, I'm going over to get my pass now. Hoping you are well and to hear from you soon. I remain,



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