Smitty, April 1944 & Letter I

Camp Stoneman

Camp Stoneman

Pvt. Smith was as cocky and proud as the next trooper, but he also thought of the army as a learning experience and considered his new adventure as a chance to experience things he would not otherwise have the opportunity.  On April 23, 1944, he stepped off a train near Camp Stoneman, California.  Here the troopers would learn how to live aboard ship, operate life boats, raft kits and climb up and down rope ladders.  Censorship of the soldier’s letters began here. The Inspector General’s men discovered the ruse of the 11th A/B Division hiding behind the paperwork of Shipment #1855 and the troopers began to accumulate AW104’s in record amounts. (Under the Article of War #104 – a commanding officer may give punishment, as is necessary, without the threat of court-martial.)  May 2, the 11th A/B moved to Pittsburg, CA by way of inland boats to their actual POE and the letters from Smitty began …

Everett Smith, aka "Smitty" or "Pops"

Everett Smith, aka “Smitty” or “Pops”

Letter I                                                                                                                        Tuesday 5/2/44

 Dear Mom,

 I sure am a fine one after calling you Sunday especially to wish you a Happy Birthday and I go and forget to, but I assure you it wasn’t intentional, but just excitement of the conversation.  I tried yesterday to buy a card, but to no avail.  No doubt by the time you receive this letter you will be wondering why I didn’t call you this week as I promised I would.  It just so happened that we were confined to our company area starting yesterday morning, so it was an impossibility to get to either a telephone or telegraph office.     

From now on all my letters to you will be numbered as this one is in the upper left hand corner.  In that way, you can read my letters in sequence and can tell whether or not you are receiving all my letters.  I would also advise sending all letters to me from now on by airmail as that will be the quickest way.  We heard that not all the mail so far from here has yet been sent out, but when it does go out, why you will no doubt get them all at once.  Tell everyone at home to be patient and they will no doubt hear from me as I sit down Saturday and either write a letter or card to everyone I know.  You had better check up on them all and see that they have my correct address, as the army will notify only you of any new changes.  I sure don’t want to lose out on my letters of anyone just because they have an incorrect address.     

Yesterday we didn’t do much of anything, but Sunday was really quite an entertaining day.  We went bowling, then to a free USO show and from there to a movie.  The entertainment is so full and alive that sometimes it still persists in your dreams.  Therefore, you can really say they even take care of you while you are slumbering.     Well mom, that is all for now, so once more I want to wish you a “Happy Birthday” and the best of everything.  Don’t worry and keep your chin up.

   Love,

   Everett

PS – Be on the lookout for a new Class E allotment I made out and also a B allotment.  Your allotments now will come to 22 dollars cash and a $18.75 war bond a month.  I’m getting pretty good, aren’t I?

CpStoneman1

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

card2gi military-humor-action

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Farewell Salutes –

Joseph Bernardo – Norwich,CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 188th Reg/11th Airborne Division

Andrew Gettings – NYC, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWIIKXAC000A

Robert Guinan – Watertown, NY; US Air Force, Korea

David Lamphere – St. Cloud, MN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 511/11th Airborne Division

Milton Moss – Lebabon, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 221st Med/11th Airborne Division

Robert Neavear – Siloam Springs, AR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 503/11th Airborne Division

Bernard Neihm – Gallipolis OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 457 Artillery/11th Airborne Div,

James Parcell Sr. – Wooster, OH; US Army, 101st Airborne Division

Cecil Robson – Casa, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 675 Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Albert Scigulinsky – Perth Amboy, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on August 18, 2016, in First-hand Accounts, Letters home, SMITTY, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 68 Comments.

  1. I always enjoy seeing letters to home during the war. They provide a perspective that would be non-existent otherwise. Reminds me to ask my brother, the keeper of my father’s war material, if we have any for which I am unaware. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a wonderful keepsake letter from your father to his mother!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, Smitty never felt his time in the service would be interesting to anyone – I always did! I’m not very good at putting things in the sidebar, but I’ll post the candy bar story and put a picture of the book in the sidebar – okay?

    Like

  4. Your father was a wonderful man.

    Like

  5. What a lovely letter for a son to send his mother. He knew how worried she would be and kept it loving and light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He was a very thoughtful person, who you see in these letters and the ones that will eventually follow, is the man that raised me – neither the war or age changed him.

      Like

  6. A letter from a son to his mother full of love and respect for her..What a great man he was.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing that great piece of family history from the past gp, like I have said before your posts bring the past to life, and in this post it showcases the very personal side and family side of War.

    Like

    • Thanks, Ian. That’s how I feel about it – glad you do too. There will be more letters; some you’ll laugh at Dad’s dry sense of humor and others, when he complains, you’ll probably nod your head in agreement. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The start of a great new series

    Liked by 1 person

  9. such an expertly written letter.

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  10. Super Letter, GP. I wish I had my dad’s but my mom was grieving after his death and couldn’t stand for anyone to read them. They were all burned at her direction before she died.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a treasure, GP, to have letters from your dad to your grandmother. The fact that he was a warm and caring person really comes through. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow…how nice that you have copies of his letters. You know, currently, letter writing is fairly rare. I always told my “pen pals” in the military to keep hard copies of the emails they received/sent (especially to their families). Their notes back and forth may not seem significant at the moment but are precious and I think, will be appreciated in the future. Email is convenient but it often “disappears” never to be seen again.

    Very smart to number them to keep them in order!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn. Dad was the organized type. I’ve been reading his letters since I first came upon this scrapbook as a kid. You are quite right to tell your friends to keep hard copies – those emails are history, no matter how inconsequential the subject matter seems at the time. To me these letters are a part of Dad he left behind.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s living history, isn’t it, that letter. A voice from the past, just as human as ours would be!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for sharing his letters. Letters sent and received were very important to the military. I had no idea about the allotments that were sent back home.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for sharing that. Your father sounds like quite a man and cared deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So touching and personal, and what a treat to still have these wonderful letters. Your dad comes across as such a nice guy, and the letters remind us of just how important it was to receive mail during wartime.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a wonderful letter! Thanks for sharing it.

    Like

  18. when I studied history, I majored, in my final year in pre-war diplomacy and primary documents. Dry stuff, when you were reading those diplomatic documents but it was in the private journals and the letters of the participants where you found the true, human story. The same is true of war time letters, probably more so, since imminent death will concentrate your thoughts and what you write. I’m looking forward to reading more of these, if you publish them. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Nice letter ! He sounds like a thoughtful guy , and the idea about numbering the letters is simple but brilliant . His youth shows , I think , with the comments about the entertainment . Thanks for sharing this .

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That was a pretty good idea, numbering his letters. Seems like staying in touch with his family was very important to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I can only imagine how precious those letters were to the ones waiting at home. Letters have the power to bring history alive. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh good, I think I missed the earlier start of the series. From the soldiers I heard via letters home Smitty sounds like quite a responsible man. He gives excellent advice to his mom regarding communications both going and receiving.

    It made me curious…how old was he?, Did he enlist or was he drafted? And what part of the country was he from? Share what you feel comfortable relaying. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That is a fine letter. Was the original handwritten ?
    My dad was in the Royal Navy. Often handling and launching landing craft. He was present at the Normandy Landings. I must do a post about him. All the best. Kris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this was handwritten, as the upcoming ones in New Guinea. The letters you will see aboard ship were typed. Thanks for reading here and Please do make a post about your father!!

      Like

  24. He looks so young in that photo – the thought of so much responsibility coming his way is amazing. Thanks for sharing the personal note.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Certainly my pleasure, Dan. I have more that will be here as we get to that area of the war. Dad refused to write about the war though, he felt his mother was seeing enough in the newspaper and newsreels, that’s why he said he avoided cameramen too.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. What a good guy your father was 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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