Capt. Philip B Peck, 12/19/1944

7th Regiment IRTC
Fort McClellan, Ala.

Dec 19, 1944

Dear Colonel,

Your letter of Dec. 10 reached me yesterday and I am answering it now as I lie on my bed in the hospital. I am at the present time recuperating from a hernia operation which was performed on me on the 12th. No complications so far and I feel fine, only too anxious to get up. This business of lying in bed when one HAS to is not so hot; the rear end takes an awful beating and the bed-pan is an abominable institution.

It’s a funny thing, but I can distinctly remember the first symptoms of this hernia during our trip from Honolulu aboard the transport with the 100th and during the Louisiana and Mississippi maneuvers it gave me a lot of trouble, but altho’ I complained to old Kawaski considerably he never gave it a positive diagnosis. It wasn’t until it really began to give me acute distress that some of the medics here contemplated that ‘something was wrong and decided to operate. I really think they thought I was gold-bricking until they had me opened up. And I’ve been examined by medicos (who were supposed to be good) at Fort Sill, Breckinridge and Louisville and all of them simply pooh-poohed.

I may be returned to general service again after all this is over; now that I have proved to the boys that my complaints were not necessarily the result of hysteria or neuroses I will probably be told that I am no longer a psycho-neurotic and hence fit for full duty. Of course that doesn’t mean that I will be immediately shipped out of here; there are lots of general service officers performing duty at the IRTC. I frankly dislike it here very much however and will be glad to be on my way I could tell you many fantastic tales about this place but I had better restrain myself. I learned a lesson once about expostulating too vehemently reference to what I like and dislike about Army servitude. Do you get me? I’ll never live it down!

You’ll be interested to know that Gillespie, who took over the battalion after you left it, is here at the IRTC and commanding one of the training battalions. He is now a Lt. Col. Did you read his article in a recent number of the Infantry Journal, – all about the 100th and very good. John T. is still here but is with Hq., IRTC in the 3-4 office, I think. Rothmeeler was in my former battalion, the 23rd, as the S-4 and is still there as far as I know I am at the present time attached unassigned to 7th Reg, Hq.

A letter from Phyllis leaser informed us of the following! Sparky Fukunaga is at Fort Spelling, Minn and expects a captaincy very shortly. . . Joe Penter is to have another operation and is sweating out a discharge. His wife lost her baby. . . Drolet is teaching somewhere in W. Va. and his wife is hapai.
. ….. Barney Smith and his wife are occupying Roxanna’s
apartment in Maryland. Nobody knows where Roxana is …… As you did, she also mentioned that Andy was sweating out a promotion.

I don’t blame you for not accepting limited service. I imagine Croft is as bad as this is. A friend of mine, our former exec, in the 166th turned down a chance to get in the MSB and took retirement instead. Said if he couldn’t fight he didn’t want to be in the Army and he went thru re-classification to get out. Did you know the 166th was inactivated last Feb? That’s why I’ve been on the loose so long. It really broke my heart when it happened. It was a grand outfit and my job as service co. commander was just “what the doctor ordered”. I had a grand bunch of boys and only wish I had another one like them I was also acting reg S-4 (in addition to my other duties) and I got a lot of wonderful experience. Lot of good it does me NOW!

You say you saw Smoot, Keals and Simmy and you add “I guess you know what means”. No, I don’t know; please explain.

I have no idea what has happened to Clarence Johnson. The last time I saw him was at Benning where he was taking the “advanced course”. Possibly he’s overseas by this time. Marques is still there (L.S.) and is a captain. I also saw Bill Koch while there. He was one of the “eager beavers” of his class so I was told. He’s the type.

A great many boys from Savage are here getting their basic training, many of whom are from Honolulu. Perhaps after I leave the hospital, #I’ll try to get an assignment in their battalion.

I’m contemplating doing some studying during my spare time to prepare myself for my return to civilian status, not that I expect that this will occur in the immediate future. La Salle offers a wonderful course in Higher Accountancy and if I thought for a moment that I would be able to devote a reasonable amount of time to it I would subscribe. I need something that will help me advance myself as I don’t want to be a damn ticket clerk the rest of my life. But duty is so strenuous here and the hours are so long that I doubt whether I could make any reasonable progress

I’m very anxious to get home,- after all this is the 4th Xmas I have spent away from Honolulu, my mother and my boy. Perhaps there’ll be a way out for me after I get out of the hospital; I’m sure the Army doesn’t want an old bastard like me anymore. All I’ll have to do would be to show them my Form 66-1 and that would prove it.

Nothing more for now; I need my afternoon nap so will close. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday to you and Helen, from Dorothy and me.

Aloha, Phil
How’s your influence in the Army out there. Could you get me transfer to the Hawaiian Dept.?