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Illuminated Letters

September 15, 1943

Letters from Arthur Singer

watercolor painting of a running gazelle


My dearest love,

Today was different. We went through the much publisized [sic] infiltration course today, you’ve heard about it, haven’t you? You crawl over the terrain with live machine gun fire twenty inches from the ground and charges of dynamite exploding around you. Sounds terrible doesn’t it. Well, I didn’t mind it at all, I almost liked it! First, a whistle blows and you run like hell, at the first charge of dynamite you hit the ground and the machine guns let [sic] you. When you crawl you hug the ground and move by using the elbows and knees but not lifting them off the ground. When approaching a ridge you turn yourself sideways parellel [sic] to the ridge and roll over. There were two courses of barbed wire and then coming to it you put your arms straight by the sides and turn over with your back on the ground. You push forward and placing the elbows on the ground you lift the barbed wire with your hands and crawl through. Some of the boys got slight cuts but I came out without any. The TNT charges were surrounded by logs and barbed wire so you couldn’t crawl into them. The whole course is not more than about 50 yards in length. The only trouble was there were too many men on the course and it got rather crowded I was slowed up by someone in front of me but I bypassed him and came in about seventh or eighth, however, speed didn’t count as important in the problem. The whole thing is exaggerated and I didn’t find it very tiring or scarey. [sic]

Nothing new otherwise. In addition to your beloved letter I got a card from George which I will enclose. Thanks for the ballot application and thanks more for your letter. It [is] always wonderful to contact you even if it is just in a letter.

They are enlarging the band but they dicussed [sic] plans for having Company buglers and I don’t like that idea much. I might consider it if stripes went along with it but it calls for P.F.C. I’ll get more details on it maybe it means corporal also.

I had one helluva day on K.P. which is far tougher now because the companies that were on maneuvres came back and the mess hall is packed. We worked until 8:30 P.M. from 6:30 in the morning. 14 hours of steady unappetizing work, ugh: I’m glad it doesn’t come again for about three weeks.

If you have a chance listen to that Joshua White’s Chain Gang Album. I’d like your opinion on it since I was thinking of getting it when I go to Baltimore to do some shopping. So try to hear it. As for seeing the Ice Follies it’s O.K. I’ve never seen any in the past it might be interesting.

[animal sketch]

Hope you like this you one.



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