Thursday, Nov. 16th, 1944
Believe it or not but we’ve been here two weeks today but it certainly seems alot [sic] longer. The first week seemed like a month, although the second one has gone quite fast.
We’re scheduled to leave here on Monday, Dec. 11 although they sometimes hold a whole class over for a while. Don’t by any means send Christmas presents here; you’ll have to wait until I get to wherever I’m going, + I hope they don’t all arrive late because of that.
I mentioned buying cigarettes for you, but I haven’t had time to get a reply from you, so I’ve gone ahead + bought some. We’re only permitted to buy two packs at a time, + at the present I have four packs of Camels. Is that all right or would you prefer some other brand?
When we first got here I asked at ships service if they had any watches. They didn’t but thought they’d be getting some in. On subsequent trips I’ve asked + asked + each time they say they won’t be getting anymore. The makes they sell are Elgin’s + Bulova’s + retail at $25! If I could only get a hold of one! Around here you really need a watch very badly because there aren’t any clocks in our rooms + we always have to know just exactly what time to muster for any activity. Since I’m section leader it’s my duty to get them where they’re going on time + figure how much time we have to do it in. I always go around pestering other people for the time. I’ll keep my eyes open for one of them, though.
Sat. Nov. 18
Today’s the big day – we finally went into uniform! It’s surprising how different people look out of their civies. You get used to identifying them by the coats they wear, but that becomes quite impossible in uniform. Everything fits very well + here’s a summary of what we have: two navy blue jackets + two skirts, three blue shirts + two white, two navy blue+ two reserve blue ties, four pairs lisle + two pair rayon stockings, two pair of shoes, purse, havelock (rain hat covering), two pair white + one pair navy gloves, three summer gray + white dresses + one jacket, two hats with two white, two blue, + two summer snap-in covers. By the way, did you know that the tops of the hats snap in so for six hats you only need two brims?
We just received some big news yesterday. There’s to be a big parade in downtown New York tomorrow for a loud rally + approximately 3000 girls from Hunter are to march, us included. Ain’t that sumpin’? That will be quite an introduction to New York ---- marching down Fifth Avenue. Our route extends from 26th st. To 56th + then down Fifth Avenue. Will have our share or fill of marching before the day is over but we’re getting used to that by now. Every time we go to mess, which is three times a day naturally, we march 1 1/2 miles- that’s round trip. Then in between mess we march to all our classes besides having an hour of practice drill each day. From that you can gather that we’re on our feet most of the day.
I haven’t been able to get a hold of James since that first time, although I’ve tried three times this week. Our first time off the station is two weeks from today + then I’ll be sure to see him.
Monday or Tuesday we pack all our civilian clothes + other unnecessary things + send them home. You should receive them around the end of the week + the funny part of it is, they must be sent C.O.D. I don’t know how were going to straighten out all the financial affairs being carried on. Would you keep an account of this change + my insurance, + other things that crop up, so that when I send money home you can deduct whatever I owe you? Something else I will owe you for is my cleaning bill when my clothes arrive. The three sweaters + shirts, + coat should be cleaned before they’re put away. You will probably notice that the coat looks very shabby + worn. It’s had very hard usage lately, + then Thursday we marched in the rain all day. What a mess. It may have to be sent to a tailor to have the button hole fixed, the pockets fixed (we had to carry all our things in our pockets since we can’t carry purses + the lining became very frayed) the lining sewed up around the cuff + in the arm pits. It really makes me sad to see it in such condition, so to save you a lot of trouble please send it to a tailor + then have it cleaned, + I will pay for it. To give you an idea, we even had to eat all our meals with our coats on, + no napkins. Very messy.
Of the other clothes everything is clean except the plaid suit + the two dickeys, but I noticed that I didn’t get the collar of the short sleeved white blouse clean. When you wash them don’t bother to iron them before you put them away.
Also if you haven’t given my checked (brown + white) seersucker suit with the rick-rack on it away, could you send it to me? We need old wash clothes to do work in + I didn’t like to keep my plaid suit here for that purpose.
Last Wednesday Mavis + I were called over to the public relations office, for what we didn’t know. The officer that talked to me asked me all the questions first + then told me what they were for. They are going to release a story + a picture of me to the Rockford papers. I don’t know just what it will contain but she asked me all about my flying – where I learned, how many hours I have, when I got my license, etc. she also mentioned the Wasps + I told her all about my experience. At the end she said they send for me when I had my uniform to take my picture. I’m anxious to know just what the article will say + what the picture will look like.
The new recruits arrived Thursday + all perplexed + bewildered – just like we were. I presume Naomi came in that group although there’s no way, at the present, of finding out where she is. I look at every girl in civies to see if I can spot her.
Last night I received four letters, the most I’ve ever received at one time. In addition to yours I had one from Betty, Bob Sutton, + Elizabeth. One thing I noticed was that yours was sent air mail on Nov. 15, 12:30 p.m., + Eliz’s on Nov. 15, 1 p.m. plain mail, + Betty’s on Nov. 15 9:30 p.m. air mail. Still I received them all at the same time, so it may not pay you to write air mail.
I’m enclosing two post cards of Hunter which show the whole campus except the huge armory. In case I haven’t told you, the campus isn’t very large, in fact it consists of the four buildings shown + a drill field, part of which shows in card HC11. If you put card HC11 to the left of HC12 you can see the whole college. Our apartments are located about four blocks to the left of the left edge of card HC11.
Over a week ago we filled out forms for our insurance + I decided to take out $5000 since it only costs me $3.25 a month. The premiums are .65 per month per thousand. Most of the girls took out the full $10,000.
The next day they hooked us for war bonds + everyone signed for $6.25 per month. And to think I use to pay $20 a month!
I’m sending my check back + you can take out of it whatever I owe you + deposit the rest. Also put this paper some safe place where I can get it later on if I want it. By the way, I haven’t even cashed one of my travelers checks yet + we get payed $20 next week. We receive the balance of the $50 later on.
As you haven’t mentioned it + I’m sure you would, I suppose my identification bracelet hasn’t shown up. Everyone wears them here + it makes me sick everytime [sic] I think of mine. It will probably never show up now.
It certainly is a shame about Don Patton. We heard from Phyllis a few days ago + she told us about it. I suppose he’ll be returned to this country pretty soon, now.
Who on earth has been giving you all the scuttlebutt about the Waves? About the telephoning, there are two long distance telephone centers right near our apartments + they are reserved for Navy personnel only in order that they can call home or any place as far as that goes. Here in our building we have six pay telephones that can be used any time after reveille + before taps. People can even call us + they do. One girl in our apartment has had her mother call twice from Chicago. Our telephone number is stamped on that card I sent you that has my address on it. So if I should happen to call don’t think it is an emergency or that I’ll get in Dutch by doing it.
We had quite an honor bestowed on our Company last week. We were awarded the Navy E which is based on our average of (marching) drilling, fire drills, inspections, + general behavior. It is awarded each week to one of the seven companies in our regiment + then for that week we have a big blue E banner flying in front of the building + also carry a smaller one on a staff wherever we march. However, the way we’re going we won’t get it this week.
We’re going to evening mess in 15 min. so I’d better wind this letter up + get it in the mail.
Lots of Love, June