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Category Archives: 10th Mountain Division

The worst times make the best stories.

In his first letter of April, 1943 Gerry relates one of those days that is no fun to live through but makes for good storytelling after the fact. After a long frustrating day on K.P. they are called to roll out in full field gear to evacuate the camp. His description gives us some idea of the kind of training that was finally taking place, relieving the boredom he had experienced at first at Camp Hale, though he is still hoping to transfer out. His alternate plan is to become an instructor, in which case he would stay at Camp Hale when they are deployed. He has begun urging Ann to join him in Colorado, though he thinks she would stay in Canon City, not Red Cliff where she actually stayed.

I have delayed starting to add the April letters because there is a drawing in the first one and my scanner is currently not functioning. I like to include the actual drawings and diagrams from the letters, but for now I have just inserted a description in brackets.

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March 1943 WWII Letters Complete

I have now completed transcribing the March 1943 letters my father wrote my mother from the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colorado. (See link at right.) In the second half of March the postal service is still delivering letters in bunches with gaps in between, causing Ann to worry that Gerry has been deployed. Meanwhile he copes by becoming philosophical: “The best I can do is try & get interested in what I’m doing at present & the fact we may be moving this summer makes our daily training rather vital. As I said before it’s just a case of fooling myself. I don’t dare think how really much better everything would be if we were together.” Then he continues trying to change over to the Air Force for the present and planning for his and Ann’s idyllic life after the war, living off the land in a high alpine valley. In these last few weeks he also writes about designing better camping equipment, in this case a pack that more evenly distributes the load. He meets the man who will become his new tent-mate and lifelong friend, Bob Swartz, and mentions the imminent arrival at Camp Hale of another lifelong friend, Pete Hurst.

 

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More WWII letters coming soon

For those of you who have been reading the Camp Hale letters, I plan to start posting more during 2011. To keep myself on track I am participating in WordPress’ Post-a-Week program. Thank you for your patience and interest. I was amazed when I logged into my dashboard for the first time in months to see that a small but steady stream of visitors has continued to find this blog.

 

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March 1943 letters continued

I added a few more letters today. Dad was still trying to get out of the 10th Mountain Division, but he also has the option of becoming an instructor. That choice is tempting because it would at least use his skills and would definitely have some perks. He is still planning the world tour that he and Mother wanted to take once the war was over. It is interesting to hear his enthusiasm about traveling through Afghanistan–a very different perspective from what today’s 10th Mtn. soldiers have.

 

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