Posted by: notsofancynancy | March 29, 2012

World War II Chapter 5, 110th Quartermaster 35th Division

World War II

Chapter 5

110th Quartermaster 35th Division, Courtesy of Marvin Cain’s Family

On 3 December 1940, Dad writes that he got fired from his job because some other man had lied to the boss. And now,”All I am doing is cooking and cutting wood and waiting for the 23rd to get here.” His induction date has changed to 23 December 1941.

 I guess you’ll have to talk your dad into coming up. As far as I know George chickened   out and didn’t join after all. You might know more about that than I do. You see we don’t run around so much anymore. I figure if I have to pay for all I just as well go by myself, If you know what I mean.

George is on of my Mom’s relatives and he is the one who took Dad to that original barn dance in 1937. He goes on to talk about how he is going out with another girl named Mick. Then

 Oh Yea! I overheard one Sergeant talking and he said we would probably be gone more    than a year so I just don’t know when I will be back. You better talk real good to your dad so you can come up during Christmas vacation. We get twenty new trucks before we leave. I can’t think of a good ending for this book so I’ll just close. Sincerely ….Lefty

I can detect the fear of uncertainty, and feeling of being let down in Dad’s letter here. His friend had agreed to join the Army with him and now the guy is avoiding him or is Dad is avoiding George because he always makes Dad pay for everything?

Before his mother passed away my father was taking care of her on her sick bed and now it sounds like he is taking care of his dad. He is going to be sent away and it is going to be longer than a year. Note how he signs this letter,” Sincerely,” I wonder what happened to all the, love, hugs and kisses he has been sending up until now? Was he just upset over his choice to join, uncertain?

On 22 December 1940 the men from the National Guard Post were discharged. On 23 December 1940 they were mustered into the Army and it is then they become 110th Quartermaster 35th Division, and he was assigned to Company C.

Lefty at home in Cozad, Nebraska, 1941

2 January 1941 Company “C” 110th QM Regt. 35thDivision

Well I hope you got home O.K. We got off to a very late start this morning but got to the end of the line tonight.I didn’t even go to bed Wednesday morning. I just went home and packed my clothes, polished my shoes and read the paper. We got the trucks out about 1:30 and I got stuck the first thing. Then after we got loaded I went back and got stick again in about the same place.I am being a very good boy. I am staying here and catching up on some writing and sleeping We are in the post office and did not have enough room in the one room they gave us so we are sleeping in the hall and every place else we can think of.” “Well we will go through Salina sometime tomorrow. Wish I could stop and come out but that isn’t possible.Well I guess I better go to bed and get some sleep.Lots of hugs and Kisses Lefty

Ok so they got to see each other one last time before he left. And she is the one who came to Nebraska It sounds like they are on their way to Camp.

Postcard found among Dad’s Stuff, Camp Robinson 1941

On 16 January 1941 we find him finally in Camp Robinson and he writes;

I have been having a pretty swell time here. We have been doing school in the afternoon for about 1 ½ hours. Then we are off until 4:30. We haven’t had anything to hard yet. Anyway I don’t think so. Some of them have been gripping about too much work though. I really like to drill. I guess maybe that is why.
I still like it here although I was really mad when I wasn’t made a first class private. I really worked for it.
It rained here and I am on guard again from 4-6. So I am pretty wet. I won’t be able to change clothes until after tomorrow noon. At least that is what they told us. It is warm here thought and I am setting by a fire so I am not cold.
I cut my finger and had to go to the dr. with it. I had my hair cut off close to my head. I have about 1 ½ inches left. It feels good too.

He ends with love and kisses and a happy birthday to mom, she has just turned 18 years old.

Viola around 1939

Dad then writes to my grandma, about the trip to Camp Robinson, how guard duty works and then he goes on to say,

 I am proud to be here although I will probably change. I sure hope not. As of yet I haven’t seen only about two piles of “little rocks.”

Awe, my grandma probably made a joke about those “little rocks” in Little Rock, Arkansas.  My grandma and dad both had the same sense of humor.

Viola and Rose “Susie” about 1937

In February Dad writes to mom asking how she would like to be married to a carpenter. That is what he signed up for and has made a couple of chairs and a table for his tent. Then he gets an assignment and is making signs for the camp.  He has twenty-four to make and only has two finished. “I may get transferred to the engineers,” he says as that is “what I signed up for, I hope not,” he states. He ends the letter “Anyway we are having inspection tomorrow by the commander of the Regt, Colonel Poteet. So I better close”.

13 February 1941 he writes;

We got 7 drafters in Tuesday some pretty good boys. We also got eighteen new trucks. I got a new one assigned to drive, but as yet I haven’t driven it. They are six wheels drives. Have 3 gear shifts. Something to play with I guess.

18 February 1941,

I had a very good compliment on my painting the other day. Our Lt. said a professional couldn’t have done a better job.

I am very proud to tell you that as far as I know I have gotten that long wanted promotion to first class private. All I hope now is that I can keep it. I am going to have to work for it anyway.

 Look at what I have facing me. Every day the radio says we are getting nearer to it (the war) than the day before and yet we never give it so much of a thought than a joke. Just think like we do we have to so we have all the fun out of it we can. I guess I got started. I really don’t think we will get into the war itself.

It is just like my dad to make a joke out of a bad situation. But really he does not know what he is up against the devil himself, Adolph Hitler.

8 March 1941:

Well I guess another month has gone by. Having just as much fun as ever, Only not so much work you see I am working for the big shots now.  I told you I was going to be a carpenter. Well I got started last Tuesday. Tuesday and Wednesday I painted for Colonel Poteet, the commander of the “110th QMR,” and the next two days I worked for Lt. Myers. I guess I have plenty more to do. I don’t have any K.P. or guard until I get through and I really like the work.

It sounds to me like he is doing a lot more painting than constructing.

12 March 1941

Say you thought tobogganing was tough you should see me. We went on rifle range today. I held my nose to close to the safety lock and I sure got it skinned. Have been getting the laughs over it though. There were several that got skinned up. We go on the range for record tomorrow. I don’t know whether I get to go or not, I suppose I will though. I got a pretty good score.

 

I have been working pretty hard too. Have been painting up at Reg. Hqts. For Colonel Poteet. Also been doing some carpenter work for him. He is commander of our Regt.  You should be proud of me for it. I haven’t done a thing else for the past week except for on range today. Have lots more work there I guess. At least that is what they tell me. Have been getting lots of compliments on my work.”

 

The next letter he writes is to my mother’s mom. He is answering her letter to him. Interesting enough Dad speaks of getting a medal for marksmanship.  What I found interesting is this…….

I shot 146 out of a possible 200. Not so good for me but better than nothing. I think I could do better, but I have to change hands. I have shot left handed all my life and now I have to shoot right.

All of my father’s life he has had problems with being left-handed. They did not want him to use his left hand in school and now they are not letting him shoot left-handed? What? Does the Army not have guns for left-handed shooters?

9 April 1941 finds Dad writing

I am so proud of myself. Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the 110th QM Regt. Walt (Huntsucker) and I were color guards. Sgt Shores and Sgt. Jeffery were color barriers and they said we were the biggest color guards and barriers in the Regt. They also said we were just about perfect. They took pictures of the Life and Liberty Magazine.  Lt Smith said it should make the World Harold paper and go a long ways further than that. We have that honor for the next month and longer than that if we want it.

24 May 1941

Today ends the fifth month. It sure doesn’t seem that long. Some of the guys are home on furloughs. I wish I had taken one. I guess maybe I will sometime next month or the next if I can. They say that no more will be given until after maneuvers. We don’t know when that is. But Uncle Sam is always changing his mind. We leave for Tennessee Tuesday. 110 trucks and 84 trailers. We will be gone for 4 days. Taking the 153 inf. and the 110 Observation Corps down for maneuvers. All I have done in the last weeks is one convoy of about 30 miles and two parades as color guard. The rest of the time I have been sleeping. Sounds fun, eh! Send me a picture in your formal. I bet you sure are pretty. I changed my hobby. I am not a carpenter anymore. I am a Co. sign painter now.

Ah ha! I knew it!! Sign painter!

1 June 1941

Home again! Had a very nice trip though. Something to pass away the time with. We went over 800 miles. There were 113 trucks. We were spread over 40 miles. There was one convoy that had a wreck and one guy got his foot cut off and died the next morning. I don’t know which Regt. He was from. I think it was the 161st FA. Tough Luck.

18 June 1941

Gosh we sure are lucky, we got a new Captain and First Sergeant. Things are so much better now. We get every other 24 hours off. Drivers get one 24 off and Assistant get the other. We can get passes to town when we are off duty. We just can’t stay in Co area. If we do we have to work. Gosh they are talking about giving us a $12 raise. I sure hope they do. Maybe I can go on a good drunk without going broke. I sure feel like doing that. I was all ready to come up last week and the Colonel wouldn’t sign the furlough. He said we have to have a reason to get one.

 

My father gets a furlough over the 4th of July and goes to see my mom in Kansas. He left the night of the 3rd and was back in Camp by the 7th.

Lefty about 1940

7 July 1941

Well I got back ok. That is I am back pretty darn tired. Got here about 3:30 this morning. We got a bus at Joplin that didn’t stop anywhere along the line so we make better time. I sure got here at a swell time. We had a federal inspection this morning and had to get the trucks ready to go to Tennessee. We leave at 7:00 tonight. There is a catch to that too. We are not taking assistants along. There will be an assistant for every other truck. We will drive two shifts and then rest one…..Wish me luck on the trip tonight. I can hardly keep my eyes open so I don’t know how I am going to drive all night……….All my love…Lefty….I love you!

 

It seems to me that every time they meet Dad falls a little more in love with Mom. Each letter after the meeting he is sending all his love to kisses her and in this letter not only does he send all of his love but he also says. “I love you.” I also notice a pattern of him playing down his dating and going to dances with him always “getting in a fight” with someone at the dance. He uses the fact that he does not like the Nebraska girls when there is someone who he likes so much more in Kansas. I really feel like Dad has the love bug.

© 2012 notsofancynancy

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Responses

  1. Love, love, love it Nancy dear!!! And your running commentary is great!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your world with us!!

    • Thank you so much! The new chapter will be up on Thursday. This will be the one incident that made my father regiment famous! I like this one as it is fun!

  2. Reblogged this on po11ycheck.


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