510th Fighter Squadron

Switch to desktop Register Login

Ben Hartley Letter 009 - 1943-03-12

Postage Stamp:  FREE
Postage Date:  Mar 12 6:00PM 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

Thursday Morning

Dearest Louie,

Thing have been happening pretty fast since you all received my last letter.  We finally got our dog tags Tuesday night, and I already had my chain to put them on -- the glass kind like you sent Dad.  Good news was on the board when I got back to barracks; a notice informing me that I would report Wednesday morning at four o' clock at Mess #5 for K.P. duty.

Three otherguys here in the barracks and myself weere awakened at three o'clock yesterday morning.  The subsequent eighteen hours were horrible.  You would hardley know what I was doing, but I carried trays of cups and silver which had just been washed and sterilized and stacked them.  I was dripping when within fifteen minutes and stayed that way until three or four in the afternoon.  Of the 70,000 men here in S.F., we fed about half, I thought, but we actually fed on the average of 4000 per meal.

Friday Morning

I haven't had the time to finish this, but I imagine that I shall be able to finish it this morning.

To continue my discourse on the horrors of K.P. duty, I forgot to tell you that all the men be served where under quarantine for everything from measles to scarlet fever and spinal meningitis, but, of course, we did not find this out until we had served them a couple of meals.  I poured milk into the mugs for the evening meal and I would be willing to bet that I poured 200 gallons that one meal.  All that I hope is that I never again get K.P. duty.

Yesteray morning we did nothing but drill, and in the afternoon we finally had the long awaited classification interview.  They just had a lot of questions on a form, standard questions about hobbies, sports, occupations, etc.

We have a celebrity in our training group now -- Dave Budge, the tennis player.  He cam in some time during the first of the week, and I stood behind him during retreat yesterday afternoon.  He looks just like his pictures and seems to be a swell fellow.  He is not the only celebrity here at the field; Tony Martin, the move star, is a drill instructor up at the north end close to the hangars.  I think that Cesear Romero is here too, but I'm not sure about him.

The weather has changed again and we are getting a good rain this morning.  There is nothing to do because I finished a dental inspection at 9:30; I wasn't supposed to finish until 10:30 or 11:00.

I don't know what we shal be doing this afternoon; nothing I hope for the mud outside is ankle deep.  Tonight at 6:30, however, we report to the orderly room to receive our travel reimbursement -- that money which we spent in traveling from our homes to San Antonio.

It looks as if we might ship out of here any day now; in face, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we left here the first part of next wwk.  Monday or tuesday.  It is practically a cinch that we won't be here more than ten days more, and the time will probably be shorter than that.

Tomorrow night we break out of quarantin, and I ( and practically all of us) are heading for Wichita Falls. This afternoon I have to say my general orders before the flight commander; then if I pass them (which no doubt I will), I'll be eligible for a Class B pass which I receive tomorrow night, allowing me out of camp until 11:30 on weeks nights and 2:00 A.M. Sunday morning after Sat. night.  I probably won't get to go into town but once or twice, but I still want to get off this time anyhow.

I received Mother's letter of March 3 yesterday and it really was nice.  I really did enjoy and appreciate your letter too, Louie.  I haven't heard from Dad yet, though I wrote him when I first got here.  I've had letters from Hyle and Jimmy Sawson last night.

I hope that you are doing well in school, for that is what you must do if you want Dad and me to be happy a dn not worry about you while we are not there.  We are in a war in which the best is expected of everyone regardless of his position; so work hard, help Mother, and mind her cheerfully.

Kiss Mom for me and give her my love.  Lots of love for yourself from

Your Bud,

Ben

Last modified on
Rate this item
(0 votes)
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.

Website: www.510fs.org
Login to post comments