Katherine Trickey; WWII
All rights retained by Bryant University
Letterhead Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia [Transcription begins]
Fort Oglethorpe crossed out, Camper Wheeler written in.
Pvt. Katherine W. Trickey
WAC Det. IRTC.
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
So the above address unexpected? It was to me. I arrived here yesterday afternoon and haven’t had a chance to look around much yet. It is a big Infantry Replacement Training Center and we are to take over some of the office jobs which the enlisted men are holding now. I haven’t any idea yet what office I am to be in, but will know tomorrow perhaps. There are not many WACS here yet but it is expected that there will be several companies soon.
It seems queer to think that our basic training is all over. It went so quickly and I enjoyed it so much I shall miss it I think. New Year’s we moved from our company barracks on the South Post to the Staging Battalion on the East Post. “Staging” is merely a place where the girls who have received orders to leave Fort Oglethorpe are sent until Transportation can be provided for them. Sometimes a girl is there only a few hours or just overnight. However, sometimes girls stay there for
three or four weeks waiting for Pullman connections or waiting until there are several going the same directions. I was lucky not to have to stay there long. It is very boring just sitting around waiting. I didn’t know until I was on the train yesterday morning where I was going.
We had quite a day yesterday. We were called at 3.30 AM. Because they expected to feed us in the mess hall before we took the ealry train, however, they found we could get coffee in the station & breakfast on the train so we hung around during the time we had thought we would be eating. Finally we went to the station where most of the girls had coffee, but I didn’t find anything I wanted as I supposed we would have breakfast later. On our arrival at the station at quarter of six, the lieutenant found out that our train would be at least 2 hrs (& perhaps more) late as a bridge was up and everything was being detoured. She told us to go the restauran across the road from the station for breakfast when it opened up. There were 8 in our group with one of the girls in charge. Our train had been scheduled to start at 6.40 so about 6.30 she thought she would see how late our train was going to be. She found that it had been decided to make up a train to leave at 6.40 instead of waiting
for the late incoming train and we just barely got our bags and got on before it started. However, there was no diner – so no breakfast.
There were soldiers and sailors in the coach and we had a very nice trip. Met one first sergeant who had been in the Army 10 years. He was very nice to talk with.
We supposed at Atlanta we would change trains but our particular car was merely switched over to the other train and we didn’t have time to get off. No diner again and no dinner. We did have some Nabs (1) & Hershey bars, but we were certainly hungry & tired when we arrived here about 2 o’clock. Fortunately it was 3 o’clock here so we shortened our day an hour and had supper earlier than expected.
It was a very short train because it isn’t very far from Oglethorpe to here, I think.
This morning we 8 girls who are new are just sitting in the barracks waiting for interviews. The other girls have gone to their jobs.
The WAC barracks, very nice Day Room, mess hall & office, are in an area by themselves outside the Camp proper. However we can go to the PX’s, theaters, & Service Clubs at the Camp anytime we have time to. We have to be in at 11 o’clock. Lights don’t go out at 9 here as at basic but anytime after 9.30 that the girls want them out, which is much nicer. There is too much to do to get ready for the next dayto get everything done before 9 even in basic. It used to bother me considerally. We have double deckers here also. I don’t know whether I shall have an upper or a lower as we are moving to a different barracks in a day or two.
There were 3 others from Co. 13 who came with me. Marjorie Crockett, about 47 I guess, a bank teller from Caribou, whom I like very very much; Calista Ames, also about 45, who is very nice; and Ann Yankowsky, about 20, a fine accordion player but otherwise very objectionable.
Marjorie & I hope to get bunked together if possible. We’ll take turns about on the beds if we do.
The barracks are single story like this
(She included a drawing that was somewhat like the letter H. The end buildings had the beds and three stoves. The middle had showers, wash room with toilets, laundry, wash room with toilets, and showers. There were two stoves in that area.)
At least we don’t have to go outdoors to go to the bathrooms.
Cement floors in all the rooms, and heated by coal stoves.
We have plates instead of trays in the mess hall and the food is served family style on the table which makes it easier to get the size helping you want.
We have quite a large day room with nice maple furniture, congoleum rugs & curtain at the windows, radio – phonograph & piano.
It is very sandy all around the barracks. They are on a slight hill so that you can see the rest of the camp somewhat from here. There is an airport not far away and there are planes overhead. I missed them at Oglethorpe.
The Infanty boys really train here so I imagine there will be more activity than at some places.
I am enclosing a Xmas card which has the signatures of the Recruiting Officers at Portland. Will you put it away for me. I am also enclosing Cynthia Jones’ Xmas card. Isn’t it cute?
I got the address book, Dot. Thanks a lot.
Much, much love to you all
(1) Nabs- snack package peanut butter and crackers by Nabisco