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Training in the USA

March 23, 1943

Letters from Harold J. Dahl

Letters from Harold J Dahl March 23 1943

U.S. Army
Ft. Geo. G. Meade, Md.

Dear Mom & Lou,

What fun we had just now! For some inexplicable reason the Red Cross just sent us each a sweater - turtle neck job and we all felt like the Rover Boys, so a group of us, Levinsky, Brewer, Danstadt, Marsh, Wind, MacChesney and I got a camera, put on our little wool caps & sweaters & went out to take some Gay Nineties pictures. The poses were so funny - we laughed until we cried.

Army men in sweaters in humorous poses

One of the Gay Nineties pictures

The last couple of days I have been working in the Supply Room with a couple of good guys, Sgt. Grindal and MacChesney who is a pal to Hovel & me. We have a lot of these big paint sprayers and we had to design & build cases to pack them in. It was quite a problem, what with all the little gadgets each of which had to have its own accessible cubby hole. We managed to work out a box 6 inches shorter & 3 inches narrower than any other Company built which is what we were aiming for.

Capt. Stack goes on 10 days leave tonight & my friend Lt. Mason is Company Commander so we anticipate an easier time for a few days. He is a swell kid & no mistake about it.

We had a tough trip down - it was cold & the train was an hour late - but one thing saved the day - we changed at Baltimore & met some of our boys one of whom had a big package of delicious cold chicken. We were all gnawing away on it on the train when Mason came along & we had to give him a drumstick to gnaw on. So we all laughed together at how silly we looked.

Hovel was pleased no end at how well he was welcomed at home & at Brockers’. He said they were so hospitable one might think they were Norwegians. I know he had a swell time & liked everybody he met. You know he has no home of his own now - his mother & father live in a trailer because his Dad travels all the time. He is terribly lonesome - is engaged to a very pretty co-ed at Minnesota & gets way down in the dumps every so often. Everyone remarked about how happy he looked on Monday.

When we got to Hoboken we had plenty of time so we took the ferry & a look at downtown N.Y. Hovel had never been anywhere but Times Square.

We really did have a grand time - it was swell of you to take in the whole crowd - I know they liked it and I’m sure you had fun having them. Marion is a good kid, isn’t she?

I have started a campaign to improve the table manners of some of these birds down here. The First Sergeant gave me authority to sentence any of them to up to a week of KP, so they’d better learn fast.

Well, there isn’t anything much more to say - except that I’d like to have a few smallish needles for regular thread - & maybe Lou could find me a book on the ukulele in that Vesey Music Shop, plus one of those little harmonicas. There may be one of those around the house somewhere.


P.S. “The Old Man” accepted my article on “Decoys & Dummies” but I still can’t send you a copy because it is restricted material.

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