UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE
Boy, hon, this place is terrific. My day starts at 0600. I have 5 minutes to get dressed in D.U.’s and shine my shoes to fall out for reveillie [sic] at 0605. I then go back to the room, in which there is 3 other fellows, and clean the room, etc. Our beds are made a special way. I have two sheets here, and two blankets. The bottom sheet is pulled tight all around the mattress, and the top sheet is folded down in a fold six inches wide over the blanket. The second blanket is folded in half and then in thirds and put under the pillow. The pillow is in the case very tight. With corners full. It rests on top of the folded blanket. The blanket has to be the width of my hand away from the top of the sheet that’s folded back. The blankets have to be pulled very tight, tight enough to bounce a quarter off of. I eat breakfast at 0625. We have to stand at attention in the mess hall, which works on the system of a cafeteria. The food here is swell, much better than that dump I just left. The tables seat six, 4 upperclassmen, and two plebs, that’s me. They are seated thus:
The [sic] at the head of the table, (B), sits at the attention and announces the beverages, for instance: “Sir the beverages for this meal are milk and water.” We are then given “at ease”, and the pleb (A) proceeds to cut the butter into six equal shares, while (B) starts pouring the water, this is passed clockwise around the bales and the names of the upperclassmen for whom it’s intended announced. They wear white tags with their names on them over their left pocket. Ours are blue. If we want anything we snap to the sitting position of attention and say, for example, “Sir, does anyone care for the butter?” The upperclassmen will say, “Help yourself.” And the meal proceeds in the same manner. I have to eat with both feet squarely on the floor, and my left hand on my knee. When I am finished I have to arrange my plate and silver a prescribed way and say, “Sir, may I be excused?” And I then march out of the hall, squaring all my corners.
Our classes begin at 0800, they consist of Physics, history, English, and Aviation math. I will be here 221/2 weeks, and will be a pleb for 5-8 weeks, according to how good our group is. All a/s’s now take college for that length of time, no more of this 2, 3, or 5 month stuff.
There are 1500 ways I can get giged. I am allowed 6 gigs a week, and for every gig over six I have to walk an hour on Saturday and Sunday.
Excuse this messy letter hon, but my time is really cramped now. I have homework to do, a Lieutenant to get, and we have to see some G.I. movies tonight.
I have 1 hour of P.T. a day. We have to buy special uniforms for this, they cost $9.31, but consist of tennis shoes, sweat shirt pants, supporter, + Swimming trunks. I ran about 2 miles today. Saturday we run 12 miles!! Not all at once, but with short rests about every 20 minutes.
Well darling, I’ve still got alot [sic] to tell you, but I have to sign off now, it’s almost 1900, and I have to shine my shoes, etc. Give my love to Biggie and Cynt. Goodnight sweetheart, I love you.
Your devoted son,
Recommended CitationClark, William Judson, "Letter Written by William Judson Clark to Mrs. Ruth S. Clark Dated December 11, 1943" (1943). Clark, Dorothy Audrey Six and William Judson. Paper 159.