December 7, 1944
I’m still sitting around, rather impatiently, waiting for my billet or assignment to come through. Out of 37 girls in our section only eight don’t know where they’re going + I’m one of them. We all ought to know the big secret by tomorrow. Then I can’t let you know where I’m going until I get there. Hope it’s someplace I’ll like.
The four of us will be scattered to the four winds it looks like. Jean Kanne received hers today + is quite thrilled about it.
After Saturday we will be seamen second class, S2c, or in Army ratings, private first class. Our salary takes a big jump up to $54! Until a few weeks ago Waves below the rank of petty officers third class, had no identifying marks on their sleeves to indicate whether they were AS, seaman second, or seaman first. Now they have small, square, navy blue patches with two white diagonal stripes that are sewed on the upper left arm. Two stripes are for S2c + three are for S1c. An apprentice seaman wears nothing on the left arm. They look like this:
Anyway we have to sew them on so as to wear them Saturday. It will probably take me all of tomorrow night to sew the four of them on my skirts + jackets.
You spoke about sending me an identification bracelet for Christmas. That would suit me fine. If you haven’t sent it to be engraved yet, I was wondering if you’d have my serial number + perhaps WAVE put on the back of it. My number is 767 09 57. Now you don’t need to do it if you don’t want to.
We certainly enjoyed the big box of food you send. The apples were the best I’ve tasted in ages. As for the peanut brittle- it disappeared in a slash. As soon as I saw a bottle all wrapped up I knew that it was olives. Thanks alot [sic] for the whole works. I also received my box from the Wave mothers + that is almost gone. As I said before food doesn’t last long around here.
You’ll be receiving a package in a few days because I decided to send your brown suitcase home. I thought I might as well buy another one of my own since the prices are very low here. It’s a dark blue with a light leather binding + is smaller than the one I bought in Rockford. I wrapped up yours very well + hope it goes through all right. It’s COD so keep track of that expense too.
I just found out where I’m going! I don’t know whether it’s good or not. About all I can say is that I probably won’t be seeing very much of that snow you’ve been speaking about. Will drop you a card with my address the minute I land there.
Maybe I told you that Vera Scherman, one of the girls who worked with me at Mechanics, was coming to New York + would try to see me. I wrote + told her that the only time she could see me would be the weekend of Dec. 2+3. When the time rolled around + I hadn’t heard from her, I thought she must not have come. However, last Monday night I got a special delivery from here that had been mailed three days before, + in it she said when + where she’d meet me on the preceding Saturday. In the service special delivery doesn’t mean a thing. Anyway, to make a long story short, she finally got ahold of me on the telephone + I invited her to come over + see Regimental Review which is open to civilians. I told her just where I would be in marching, + if I know Vera, she was there. I’m anxious to hear from her again.
After digging around in the box of Wave Mothers cookies I knew it wasn’t the one you had packed because I couldn’t find any of your cookies. I wondered what had happened + your explanation clears it up.
This afternoon, much to my disappointment, I learned that I’m in charge of 18 other girls who are going in my direction. I don’t relish the job as it entails taking care of all the records for these girls, seeing that they behave properly, + get to where they’re going. I get rooked into more jobs. The one I just got rid of, namely section leader, was one that kept me on the jump constantly.
I’m enclosing the pictures we took the first day we were in uniform. Looking at them we got quite a kick out of it because the raincoats look so crisp. They’ve lost some of it by now. Of course you know Mavis so the two left are Marulyn Mc Claran + Jean Kanne. Marilyn is the short one at the left in each picture, + Jean is on the right. They were taken out in front of our barracks + are pretty good except for Jean. I don’t think they do her justice.
By the way, I’ve forgotten to tell you that Jean says her father knows Tom [brother - in - law] + she also knows Glen Alberstett. One day I just happened to mention that my sister’s name is Horrall + she about fell over. Then we started comparing other acquaintances.
This whole building is in an awful uproar tonight as every one is having some kind of party. Tonight is our last one together as some of the girls start moving out tomorrow. Right now the kids above us are going on so that the floor is shaking + I can hardly write.
James called yesterday + we just gabbed. He is going to call again before I leave. He thought it was awful that we only got out once in six weeks. At my next station I don’t’ think I’ll be going to school so I’ll have alot more liberties. From the looks of things I’m going to learn on the job. No one seems to know much about the type of work it is, so I may not be able to tell you much of what I’m doing once I start.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned much about the people here in the Bronx. Of course we never talk to them but only see + hear them as they happen to walk by us on the streets around out apartments. Every one of them is a Jew + all have a very decided Bronx accent. As for the people in New York on our leave, they were all very nice + treated us very good. I certainly saw alot [sic] of high-fa-looting, ritzy, snazzy looking people there – more than I’ve even seen – especially on Fifth Ave.
Will close for now + I plan on calling home tomorrow. That was some letter you wrote, Pop! How about a big one next time?
With lots of love,
P.S. Has my last check come yet? I should have received it around Nov. 26 or 27. Here’s the receipt for it.