October 27, 1944

Dublin Core


October 27, 1944


In this letter, Johnny describes his new assignment to the hospital train.




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October 27, 1944

Dear Jerry,

It's been quite awhile since I heard from you and I suppose vice versa is also true, so here goes once again.

I've been on the move since I last heard from you which was sometime in August. Much water has gone under the bridge since then, believe me. One of my chief complaints has been the mail. Since we moved, we haven't been able to get any up until the last couple of weeks. The trouble is that not only we moved but also the headquarters where our mail is sent. I hope now it's started it keeps coming. No mail is bad for morale.

My last assignment was about three weeks ago when one other fellow and I were assigned to a hospital train as maintainance men. I never had any training for the job but I'm learning. That's the way the army works.

We live on the train with the staff. There is a barracks car with three tiers of bunks along one side where the enlisted men sleep. The doctors and nurses sleep in another car with compartment bedrooms. Our meals are served in a combination dining, sitting room car which also serves as a place to spend our leisure hours if any. The rest of the cars on the train are for patients. They can perform an operation on the train if necessary, so you see it has about everything but the kitchen sink on it.

At the end of a run, we return to our stall, which is just a siding where ambulances can come up with their cargo. There is also a little shack where we can wash, shower, and play a game of ping pong. Those boys can really beat a ping pong ball around. I'll probably be good before leaving. We don't know how long we'll be with the train as our assignment is temporary. That can mean anything.

Our stall is located in a scenic section of the country with large hills rising directly away from it. My buddy and I climbed the two highest hills a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday. It turned out to be an afternoon job but the view was worth it.

We see large sections of the country on a run however, none have been as pretty as the part where our stall is located. I imagine you'd get a kick out of the place. There is a town nearby with some of the steepest streets I ever saw. It's a mystery to me how these low powered cars can make the grade even in low gear.

At present, I'm laid up in a hospital recuperating from an appendectomy. I had a ruptured appendix with gangrene. They had me on the operating table in less than an hour after they found out what my trouble was. I was amazed at the goodwill I felt on the table. At the time, I felt like I could stay there all day. I guess everything went O.K. or I wouldn't have felt so good and I didn't feel so hot for a couple of days after needless to say. I hope to be back on duty next week. One thing I'll miss is talking to and hearing American girls. It sure seems good to hear our way of speech. Perhaps you can't understand that. Maybe it's a little deeper than speech, you naturally understand one another better. Oh well, I guess that's about as plain as mud, so I'll leave it. It's chow time so this epistle will have to close for now. Hoping you are well and that I hear from you soon, I remain, as ever,


P.S. Just received yours of Sept. 18th. I never did get your letter with pictures. Maybe it will show up soon I hope. Happy to say I received nineteen other letters to-day. Enclosed is picture of yours truly. Ye ende






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This Item dcterms:references Item: Hospital Train Diagram
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