No Date, 12/25/1943

No date (Dec 25, 1943)

Dear Kay─

This is Christmas day. But its [sic] not a white Christmas and it certainly isn’t like any other Christmas. Yesterday we had a forced march from the field, 15 miles out, back to camp, in 4 hrs with full pack. Nobody fell out, hardly any body [sic] falls out during winter hikes. The feet hurt pretty bad, though.

Last week, when we hiked 23 miles into camp, the regimental band welcomed us. It feels good to hear them, and to see everybody, tired as they are, pick up the cadence and march as in parade.

Last night, Christmas eve, the company spent all its funds on a party. The mess hall was decorated with crepe paper, missiletoe [sic], and Christmas berries, all put up to give the place a Christmas atmosphere. To eat, chicken, nuts, fruit cake, salad, pudding, stuffing, nuts and candy etc. There was beer to drink but I never could stand the stuff. The boys sang way into the night, and at 11 some of them went to the church service. I guess that was the nearest they could get to feeling at home.

We’ve been off since Friday noon and I guess it would have ruined a lot of morale to be on duty. As I said, we had a party, but they sure starved us that whole week. They fed us at 4 one morning, gave us three sandwiches for lunch, and we marched off and prepared for and executed an attack problem. By 10, most every body [sic] had eaten their lunch. Then we prepared defensive positions, ate supper at 8, and slept thru the night in a slit trench. The next morning, I ate my breakfast & lunch together at 4 a:m. I didn’t eat until 2:am the next morning. Now thats [sic] starving, considering that the 442 is an outfit of big eaters. A taxi driver in Washington told us that the biggest breakfast he’d ever seen anyone eat was 7 orders of hot cakes and eggs by a small 442 kid who’d just gotten off the train.

As for me, the army chow has made my stomach small and now every time I eat a big meal, I have a hard time pushing it down.

Today, we ate the Army’s Christmas ration for Xmas. About the same as Thanksgiving with 5 packages of cigarettes, a cigar, and card from E. Finch. Finch is one of the nicest fellows the 442 knows. He takes boys to his farm for horse riding, etc, and does all kinds of things for the boys.

Tomorrow is Sunday and I’m on K.P. again. For a while I was afraid I got the detail on Christmas Day, but I just missed it. Well, I’ll write more later. So long