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Back in the USA

September 18, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

two boys a woman and a man standing in front of a house in height order

Art, Ted, and their parents. Photo courtesy of Richard Katz.

[USO stationery, postmarked September 18, 1945]


Dearest Helen –

The camp remains the same – but the quantity of personnel diminishes each day. This morning the contingent for California departed – tomorrow the big bulk of the men leave for Miss. – I will definitely be leaving Thursday for Ft. Myer and this will close another chapter – I hope the last one is coming up.

I finally got to see Art – not for long – but it was better than nothing. He arrived Sun. at 4 A.M. and you may well imagine the delight of Max and Mom at having us both home at the same time – and Mom outdid herself at the table. Art looked fine – but in spite of the fact that he’s a full-fledged Dentist, he’s still a kid brother. We played pinochle with Max, played duets on the piano, talked and then went to the synagogue – I had to leave about 8:30, so Art drove me down to the bus station, and now here I am.

Two peachy letters from you today, written Friday & Sat. I had to laugh at your answer to my question of “how things were growing.” – You’re right – my instructions were to let me do the checking up – and that I will – that I will. Can you remember seeing signs in stones saying “Don’t handle the merchandise unless you want to buy” – Well, I want to buy!

As regards the picture of me in my ETO jacket – maybe I can get one taken in Washington. It’s been impossible around here of late – no opportunity to get into town during the day – except Sat. afternoon and I always spent that traveling home.

Your plan for going back to Washington ties in neatly with my future abode. Of course, we’ll have to wait to see how it all turns out. I know nothing of what awaits me at Ft. Myer. All I know is that it’s very close to Washington, and is supposed to be a very nice camp – the outfit, if I remember correctly, is the 17th Signal Service Co. – whatever that’s supposed to be – I don’t know what I’ll be doing – but I imagine that the work will be along the lines of what I’ve been doing – for why else would I be the only one from the company going there. If your old job is still good – try to get down there before the 8th of October. If I sound a trifle impatient it’s only because I love you and want to see you as soon as possible. Don’t I say the nicest things.

The outfit isn’t breaking up on a crest of joy – but rather running true to form, speaking for the “brass.” Six men were late for reveille this morning. Their tardiness ranged from ½ to 1 hour, so they broke them all. Most of the guys had held these ratings for years – and now for a trifling incident and in the final hours – these imbecilic officers are getting in the last licks right up to the bitter end. Incidentally, Jack hasn’t returned as yet. It’s now 7:15 PM and he was due in at reveille this morning too. What his tale will be I don’t know. Maybe he’ll be saved by the fact that his departure being set for sometime tomorrow will preclude any time to inflict punishment. I’ll let you know what happens.

I note that you request another ETO ribbon with stars of equal size as you are having trouble explaining the difference in size. Why don’t you just say that the middle three are sleeping! Ha – Ha – but that you can wake them up upon request. OK, OK, so – you don’t think it’s funny. I’ll get you another set at first opportunity – but I warn you that I’ll be exacting a price soon.

I think we’re getting out of this part of the country in the nick of time – “The frost is on the punkin” and it was an ordeal to get out of bed this morning. The company lined up at reveille this morning shivered like a snake with ague. This summer went by so fast that it seems to have lasted only about a week or so.

Regards to your folks – and a kiss, a hug, a caress and all my love to you –


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