U.S. ARMY AIR FORCES
MAXWELL FIELD, ALA.
I went to the Range today and fired the .45. Boy that’s some gun. It’s terrific to shoot, you really know you’ve got something in your hand when it lets go. Plenty of kick. The thing weighs about four lbs., and when you fire it, that four pounds really pushes back. My score was a 70, which is qualifying. You need 65 to qualify. Tomorrow I fire for record to be entered on my service record, today was just familiarization with the piece and it’s range procedure. It holds eight rounds fully loaded, and is completely automatic. It is the most powerful pistol in the army, throwing a slug nearly ½ inch in diameter at 1700 feet per second. It can tear the whole back out of a man as it leaves the body. It’s very difficult to shoot because of its weight and kick.
I took my physics mid-term Teusday [sic], I got 95 because I put down 2,000,000 instead of 200,000 for one answer. Am I [?] Today I took my maps and charts final. I think I got 100.
I’m taking chemical warfare now, it’s a very interesting subject. Boy these new gases we have now are really something. Mustard-Nitrogen for instance, can kill in fifteen minutes. Adamsite, which explodes all the oxygen, kills in 10-20 second, if deeply breathed. You’d be surprised how much we have used gas in this war, also. Not directly against the enemy but indirectly. For instance when we captured a small island in the Pacific hat was of great use to the Japs but of no value to us, we sprayed it with tons of Mustard Gas, thus stopping the Japs from reoccupying it, and freeing us from the task of keeping much needed men and supplies there to defend it. Pretty smart, eh honey?
For the past three nights, we have had drum outs. I don’t believe I told you about them. You see, the whole cadet corps is run on the honor system, symbolized by the honor code which we have to learn which is: “an aviation cadet will not cheat, lie, or steal, or allow any other cadet to remain in the corps who is guilty of the same.” When someone violates the sacred code, he is “drummed out.” We are awakened in the middle of the night, and have to don class “A’s” ties white gloves, the works, and fall out in squadron formation, while over the speaker system a drum beats a constantly increasing tempo. When this stops, the group adjutant reads off the violation and the cadets name. All commands are given in a whisper. It is very impressive after the drum out the guilty man has an hour to get off the cadet [?], and his name is never mentioned again in the corps of aviation cadets. Honor is everything here, without it, a cadet will never survive in the corps.
Well honey, I’ve got some work to do. I love you with all my heard, give my love to Bob, and that cute little son of hers, boy he’s cute. I love you, angel.
Your devoted Son