James R. Dow


[Transcription begins]


29 March 1945

Btry “C” 242d CA Bn (HD)
Ft. H.G. Wright, New York
Via New London, Conn.


Thanks sincerely for the very attractive and specially delicious box of sugared candy. With my appreciation are included those of my buddies as we all had a hand it its rapid disappearance. As Prof “Vinal” use to point out – It was DEMAND versus SUPPLY in a Seller’s market. The bidders were hungry and numerous with the resultant increased trend in consumption – while it lasted. All of us enjoyed its tasty contents. My thanks are really double for somehow or other I received tow boxes within the week, much to the pleasure of my buddies and I will confess, to myself. To return it would have made me a social outcast among these bunch of wolves – truly all swell fellows. I hope our greed does not deprive another fellow alumnus from receiving a package.

Thanks too, for you interesting letter. It was swell to read of the many things you are doing and also the news and whereabouts of other fellow alumnus (Correction – alumni) PS I looked it up. “Chet” Desormeaux was in my class. I’m glad to hear he’s well on the road to recovery. The other news of Leo Ringuette struck very close to home. I read about it first in the local paper I receive and then from my folks while home on my last pass. He was one swell fellow and will be missed by all who knew him.

We in the service do not lack for want of cigarettes, especially the more popular brands. On the post here we are limited in our purchases to two packs a day which should be sufficient for even a “chain smoker”. We may purchase 1 of Camels or Chesterfields, and 1 of another brand such as Lucky Strike or Old Gold. Speaking of the shortage of yarn, our outfit has already received a sweater per person. We were issued them two weeks ago. Long sleeve in style and tops in quality, so many of us are appreciating, these cool nights, the yarn you folks now miss. I might add that this island post is the coldest post in the United States according to Believe It or Not “Ripley”, in the winter-time. The past few weeks the weather here has been really grand – Summer must be almost here.

You may be interested to know of the USAFI (United States Armed Forces Institute) Courses that are in languages, trades, sciences, technician jobs, and business courses that include law, money & banking, bookkeeping, accounting, auditing, C.P.A., public finance, cost accounting, advertising, merchandising, business management and many others. They also offer College Extension Courses where credits may be obtained for further college education. I have enrolled in their correspondent course taking “Essentials of Accounting” for a refresher or review of my past studies. I was honestly surprised in the completeness of the course as it was far above what I expected it to be. The textbook, while not so detailed or completer as the four volumes by “Finney” I used in school, is very well written and quite comprehensive/ It’s a large text book written by W. A. Paton, Ph.D., C.P.A. and is titled, “Essentials of Accounting”. Each month you have to submit at least one lesson to be graded and returned. Your progress depends entirely upon your own initiative. The enrollment fee was $2.00 which entitles you to the course you select and to take any other course or courses you desire to go on with upon completion of your present course. This enrollment fee covers your membership and the complete cost of your course and other additional courses you latter take up. It is a great opportunity for any enlisted man who desires to further his education or study and learn some special subject.

For the past two years and more my job in the Army has been that of a personnel clerk. Their job is to prepare the payrolls, keep the service records of the men in the battery they are assigned to, make out applications for bonds, insurance, family allowances, allotments, (also Furloughs), and to take care of any other financial problems or difficulties a soldier may have. Most all of the work is turned out by a typewriter. Speed is necessary though not easily acquired if not already possessed as most all work is done on form paper. We also have a goodly share of correspondence to carry on. Added to this are the applications for OCS, Infantry, Paratroops, Discharges, and etc, which manage to keep us fairly busy. The Army – red tape – is not mere fiction.

That’s all for now. Thanks again for you swell letter and most delicious candy. The thoughtful way you keep us in mind is warmly and heartily felt by us. Your club is rendering a great service in a very fine way. I know all of us who happen to be on the receiving end sincerely appreciate your gifts, your time and your efforts.

Sincerely yours,
“Jim” [Transcription ends]