Camp Shelby, Miss
June 9, 1943Dear Sis,It really was a nice long letter you wrote me and believe me, one really appreciates a letter in this man’s army.I see that you’ve been having a nice [sic] on your vacation and I sure wish I could have taken one before I joined the army.You know, I’m not homesick even though I am so far away. I got homesick once in my life, and that was when I was in school. But believe me, I’d take Hawaii to Mississippi any day, any time. I’ve heard soldiers on Maui and Oahu say, why don’t they just give this place to the Japs, or back to the Hawaiians. Well, why don’t they give this place back to the Indians.

All in all though, its not really bad. Things are green here.

The nearest town, (maybe Hal told you) is Hattiesburg. It’s pretty small and the place is full of soldiers. It would be nice if there weren’t so many soldiers around. There are several other towns around, but so far I’ve had only one 12 hr. pass, just enough time to get around Hattiesburg. This was Saturday and when we were ready to go home, the line for the camp bus was long as from School Street to Hotel Street.

We are now taking our basic training which every solider takes. It involves a lot of things, all designed to make soldiers out of men. Its more than school and work put together, and you can’t “lay off.” We have one officer from Hawaii, 2nd Lieut. Kadowaki, the rest are “haoles.” They’re good officers though, and I think our platoon (the 1st) lieut. Is the best. But I can’t say that about our buck seargent [sic]. In fact, he is the most unpopular non-com in the company. I’m in hutment no. 3 and we’re all a jolly bunch. The only egg we didn’t like moved out. One fellow is from the mainland, the rest are Hawaii boys. (14 boys in all) We argue about practically everything, make an argument if there isn’t any, and we’re probably the noisiest hut in the company. Once in a while its [sic] quiet, the boys are writting [sic] or reading letters etc, but that’s once in a while. Army life is strict, every night we clean our rifles, and for inspection on Saturday, we have our hair cut, hut floor scrubbed, mess kits and all equipment in order, and countless other things.

One thing that really disagrees with me is the heat here. On marches, or rather hikes, we perspire so much that there isn’t a dry spot on our shirts. And sometimes, we have to lie down and when we get up, the dust on the shirt soaks and result, mud. The training itself is not really too tough but the heat knocks us all out.

One thing though, were [sic] really not in condition. I got poofed out on hikes but I’ve never fallen out of one. Whats [sic] really tiring is the forced march, of which, fortunately, we’ve only had three so far.

In this, we have to make 4 miles in about 45 minutes, with rifle and pack. This really is tiring, either walking very fast or running. You don’t know what it is. About half way, you begin to tire. Nearing the end, you’re thinking, “I can’t take another step” but you’ll keep on walking. The boys don’t fall out because they’re tired. I’ve seem ‘em walk with blisters, walk till they fall flat. I can’t say that the boys are any where [sic] near being soldiers, but their spirit is fine.

Well, so long

Private Stanley Izumigawa
CO L 442 Inf.
Camp Shelby, Miss.