Monday, November 1, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - Letters Home by William Robert Blades

Here is the second in the series of letters my Dad wrote home to his parents during his first ten years in the military.

December 4, 1940


U.S. N.T.S.
Newport, RI
Company 79


Dear Mom and Dad:


I have been going from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm. Monday we had a blood test and today we were vaccinated and had shots for Typhoid we will have 3 shots, 1 every seven days in detention. After 3 weeks of detention we have a leave Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon within Newport. You can come down any Sunday you want, you can bring any amount of visitors you want. I will be out in six weeks so that means I will be home after New Year’s about Jan. 14th. I’ve seen Bob and we had a good talk together. We move to “D” Barracks Saturday, that’s were Bob is staying. We wash clothes every night and drill in the day with 9 pound rifles.

Love “Bill”


P.S. Try to get down some Sunday



December 8, 1940

U.S.N.T.S.
Newport, R.I.
Company 79


Dear Mom and Dad:


Getting along swell. We moved from “C” Barracks over to “D” Barracks Saturday morning, these are all new Barracks with modern bunks and other devices. We move from here in 2 weeks over to “B” Barracks for 2 more weeks there. If you can get somebody to come down on a Sunday it is alright we can have visitors any time even week days. When I go home if you can have Slim or Stella come and pick me up it would be cheaper because the rates have gone up and I won’t have much money and if you haven’t enough money you can’t go home and they make you buy a round trip ticket unless they know you are being picked up.

We had chicken for dinner and I met Bob at the lunch counter and I am meeting him at 3 o’clock this afternoon. We had a fire drill at 3:30 a.m. this morning and went back to bed again and got back up at 5:30. We can do anything we want Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I will get out Saturday January 10th to go home. Please send some money. I have been broke for a week and I have no cigarettes and I won’t get paid for 2 more weeks. We have a radio in our Barracks and ping pong tables, pool tables, bowling allies. Every day we wear leggings, belts and bayonets. The weather is swell down here no snow no rain. I got Class A in swimming.


Love “Bill”


December 12, 1940


U.S.N.T.S.
Newport, R.I.
Company 79


Dear Mom and Dad:


Received the money and stamps and thanks a lot. We got our shots yesterday and most of us were sick today. They make your head ache and your arm is stiff for 3 days. I just got back from a three mile hike. I have got 12 handkerchiefs. For Christmas I could use a shaving kit, a wrist watch, a fountain pen, cigarettes, and a small wallet that will fit in my pocket. We have one week more in detention and then we get liberty on Sat and Sun. We drill 6 hours a day and we have a lecture every day. We are going to eat chow now, will write soon.

Lots of Love “Bill”

P.S. I took out life insurance the other day for $3,000.



December 19, 1940

U.S.N.T.S.
Newport, R.I.
Company 79

Dear Mom and Dad:

Getting along good the weather is very good. We got our Dress uniform fitted and our dress hats fitted today so we might be out in 5 weeks. You can send any kind of fruits cookies and candy you want. I need the whole shaving kit. Bob has to come back the 23rd of December. Yesterday we took a test for a trade school but I didn’t make it, I didn’t pass in math. I got 82 in General Classifications, 86 in Mechanical Aptitude, 35 in Math, 80 in English, 96 in Spelling. It does not make any difference where you go to a trade school or not.

I recovered from the last shot good and tomorrow we go out of detention and Saturday we go ashore. Write and let me know when you are coming down. Bring a camera and some film when you come down. We got our guard post today, I am the Officer-of-the-Days Messenger and I am inside all the time so I struck it lucky. They are taking in Recruits around 400 a week. Well I have to go eat chow now, give my regards to all.

Love “Bill”

1 comment:

Heather Rojo said...

These letters seem so cheery and innocent from a young man. Little did he know a big war was looming around the corner. I suppose in 1940 they knew one was going on in Europe, but it would take until the end of 1941 before Pearl Harbor happened. What a snapshot in time you have in these letters.