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Ben Hartley Letter 004 - 1943-03-04

Postage Stamp:  FREE
Postage Date:  Mar 4 5:30PM 1943

Pvt. Ben R. Hartley
A.S.N. 18,232,843
Barracks 293, Service Squadron 32
308th Training Group
B.T.C #3
Sheppard Field, Texas

Envelope Reverse:
ARMY AIR FORCES TECHNICAL SCHOOL
SHEPPARD FIELD, TEXAS

To:  Mrs. Louis D. Hartley
The Mart Herald
Mart, Texas

Wednesday Morning

Dearest Mom,

This morning we are again staying in the barracks on a rainy day schedule because of the bitter cold -- the coldest weather I have ever been in.  Some said that it was 8 Degrees below zero this morning, and personally I believe it.  It was a little tough having to fall out in front of the barracks in the cold, but I find that it isn't so hard to fall out five minutes after being awakened.

It seems that the favorite past time of the boys when not on duty is playing poker and shooting dice.  Sunday was pay day, so you can imagine what has been going on during every lieusre moment since then.  I am glad that I have more sense than to risk my money, for I saw a sergeant drop $147 in one game yesterday.  It seems such a waste of time and money to me.

I don't know when I shall ship all my civies home, but I imagine that they will come to get them some time this week.  I will try to pay for them if I have enough money, but I might have to send them C.O.D. my uniform fits me O.K. except for the trousers which are about an inch too long.

Mail call in a few minutes; then I'll try to finish this letter sometime this afternoon.

Just returned from mail call and chow, but I didn't get a letter from you as I expected.  I know that it is tought having two soldiers in the family to keep letter-satisfied.

About fifteen new men came in last night from El Paso.  Among them are three Indians who can neither read, write, nor speak and understand Spanish and English.  They are very comical characters, but I do feel sorry for them.

We fall out again in about fifteen minutes, and We'll probably have a pretty tought afternoon -- a fifteen or twenty mile road run which means run one minute and walk three minutes for the entier distance.

4:30 Monday

I'm back in barracks now, and we didn't have the road run -- something slipped up because we were made to sit through that reading of the Articles of War and the two movies which we had yesterday afternoon.  Through some mistake we wasted an entire day doing something which we had done before.  That is another thing which I have found characteristic of the Army.  With all the waiting in lines and doing such stuff as we did today I am slowly becomeing a very patient man.

Must fall out in ten minutes, and we shall probably get our road run then.

Back in Barracks...

No road run -- we only stood a late retreat.  It seems to me that they are pretty easy on us, but I imagine that they will get tougher as our training proceeds.

The way things are looking now, it is possible that we will be shipped out of here anytime after our fifteenth training day.  Most of the cadets have been shipped out within thirty training days after their arrival.  We will be shipped out of here to school, probably A&M, Texas Tech, or San Marcus.  No one knows where they will be shipped, but the last bunch shipped out to A&M.

Runner just came in from the orderly room saying that I am to report for a classification test in ten minutes, so I must close now.

All my love for you and Louie,

Your Son,

Ben

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David Sarvai

David was assigned to Lt Col "Face" Nichols Computer/Security office in 1997, and has been the maintainer of the website since. He enjoys spending time with his two children, and of course anything plugged into his keyboard/mouse.

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