Nov. 20, 1943
I received your nice long letter yesterday. I have been getting my mail pretty good here of late except they don’t always come in order. I get some of them two weeks behind time.
You should have received the letter where I told you that I received your first box OK. The pencils have sure come in handy. The erasers and the leads have also. I have borrowed a flashlight and am using the batteries in it now. I use my whisk broom to brush the dust and dirt off my bunk. A lot of dust and dirt falls down during the day.
You asked what T/5 means. It means technician fifth grade or corporal technician which is the same that I have always been.
I’ve been doing pretty well here of late on the eating proposition. My appetite has come back since the weather has gotten cooler and I have gained a few pounds that I lost during the summer. I am feeling good now. We don’t get much fresh fruit. The last couple of days we had fresh tangerines. We get canned fruit such as peaches, pears, and pineapple.
They don’t raise much of anything right around here, but they raise a lot of rice in India. I haven’t seen many crops over here as I passed through at the wrong season when the land was lying idle.
I think I told you that I sent some money home by radio. It may take quite some time before it reaches you, but will get there eventually. Dorothy has been doing right well at saving money. So we should have enough to make a fair start.
In her last letter she that she had been so busy going to her history classes at night and taking music lessons that she doesn’t have much time to herself. Her sister and her little girl have been staying there. She says that she is allowed two gallons of gas a week now. That isn’t very much and doesn’t allow a person to do much driving.
The natives patched up the floor in our basha today. It is made of woven bamboo and bounces up and down when anyone walks over it.
Well, next week is Thanksgiving. I don’t suppose we’ll have turkey. I understand that we are to get it Christmas.
I guess I had better close for tonight and write to the wife. Write as often as you can.
November 30, 1943
I received your nice long letter this week. I believe that I wrote to you since I received it. I heard from Carl Getz today and he said that the weather had turned wet before the beans were all combined. I am wondering if you got yours combined before it got too wet. It looks like you are going to have a tough time getting the corn in the crib this year again.
Well, I suppose you had a nice chicken in the pot for Thanksgiving. We had canned turkey and all the trimmings. I can truthfully say that it was the best meal we had since we left the states.
It seems to me like the old and the young are being bit by the love bug. It seems to me that the Pointer girl, Norma Jean, is rather young to be getting married, but I guess age either one way or the other has little to do with it.
You might send me a pillow, if you want to send me something for my birthday. The only ones we can get over here have cotton inside and it soon packs flat. You wouldn’t have to send a full size one. A cushion like you use in a chair would be better as it wouldn’t take quite so much room either to send or carry around.
Dec. 9, 1943
I have about an hour before bed time so I’ll write you a few lines. I received your letter of the 14th yesterday. Well, you are having winter sure enough. I don’t suppose I’ll see any snow this winter unless I go on top of a mountain. It feels cold enough here to be winter, but isn’t as cold as it actually feels. It is the dampness that makes it so. When the sun comes out during the day it is nice. Right now I have on almost as many clothes as I used to wear in the winter time at home.
You sure have quite a few pullets this winter. You should get a lot of eggs when they get started laying good. I can imagine that it does keep you quite busy taking care of them. What are eggs worth now? They must be at least fifty cents a dozen. [“Saturday Evening Post” Christmas ’43 cover depicted right]
If you haven’t combined the beans yet, they probably won’t turn out so good as they’ll probably shatter pretty bad and a lot of them will have fallen down.
I sent Dorothy a cable gram for our anniversary on the second of Nov. and she received it on the ninth. It made very good time. I intended to send you and her each one for Christmas, but was very disappointed when I found out that I was unable to. In case that you ever want to send me a cable gram send to this address only: Cpl. Clyde F. Adam, 36045831, A M L Y E T. This is a code and if you do not use this address it is doubtful whether I would receive it. Some of the fellows have failed to received cablegrams which were very important just because they didn’t use this address.
I hear that Wendell Dowland got a furlough in November. I got a letter from him just before he was supposed to go. George Parker is sure lucky to still be stationed in the states and get furloughs to have been in the service as long as he has.
The cold storage plant is sure going to come in handy for the folks around Chesterfield especially during these times when it is hard to buy fresh meat on the market.
Dorothy sent me some pictures of their place in Carlinville and of a pig with two tails in Palmyra [IL] and also of her little niece and nephew. They sure make a cute pair. They are her two sister’s kids and they are both about the same size–both blondes. One picture was of her mother’s flower garden which looks nice. Maybe you have seen it?
Yes, I hope very much that I can be home in another year for many reasons.
Well, I hope the both of you are still in good health. Write as often as you can as I’m always eager to hear. It helps the morale a lot to get lots of mail and is always an incentive to write.
December 26, 1943
Here it is the day after Christmas. I hope that you had a nice one. We had a nice Christmas considering our whereabouts. We had some time off although not all day. We had a very nice pork dinner. We killed the meat here. We still have a couple of porkers yet to kill.
We went to church last night at a colored outfit’s chapel. They sure had the place nicely decorated and their service was carried out nicely. After the service, they gave us entertainment with a band and some singers. They really put on a good show. We have always gotten along fine and dandy with the colored troops. Of course it is to our advantage that we fully cooperate with them. I find them easier to get along with than a lot of the whites.
Some of the fellows got packages yesterday and the day before. So far I haven’t gotten mine yet. For the majority not many have arrived yet. I got your Christmas card and letter on the day before Christmas along with the one from Aunt Mary and Mr.& Mrs. E. O. Rigsbey, and Uncle George and Aunt Minnie’s.
Fred Bratton (that is my buddy from Arthur, Ill.) got a fruit cake from his wife yesterday. It tastes a little stale and we don’t know whether it is all right or not. It looks OK, except for a few spots on the outside.
Today, I’ve been on detail cutting wood, keeping the fire going in the water heater and tonight I had to build a fire in the dayroom stove. I’m just about to catch my turn at guard again tomorrow night. Seems like it comes around too often.
I got a letter from Wendell Dowland and he told me about his furlough. He said things were rather quiet around there now. He mentioned his girls first name, but I forgot it now. I’ve been trying to figure out who she is, but guess I don’t know her. He’s spending so far about the same amount of time that I did before going over. I imagine that he’ll be taking a nice little trip before long.
Dorothy was telling me that Eldon Miller (one of Frank MIller’s boys) is over here in India somewhere, but the chance is very slim of getting to see him as it is a rather large place.
So Uncle George is going to feed the cattle himself this winter? I imagine that he is going to have his hands full. He is so slow and his age is getting well up there too. If *Finis gets a better offer for a job in the spring, you liable to be out of luck for a man.
*Editor’s note: Finis was Grandpa’s hired man. Dad was a farm boy a long way from home. In the next paragraph the corn and bean crops were discussed. Iowa and Illinois played tit-for-tat every year on corn production. It depended on which state had more favorable weather.
I’m glad to hear that you have your work pretty well caught up. I was afraid that you would lose your beans as it was so wet back there for a while. Some of the Iowa boys here said that they had a good crop of corn back there this year.
Aunt Mary sent me some pictures of the Horn family in her letter. Helen sure doesn’t look good. She must have lost a lot of weight.
Well, I’ll close for this time. Write.
December 28, 1943
I received your box today that you sent me for Christmas so it didn’t lack much of making it on time. It arrived in good condition except for the tooth powder which the top came off and spilled about half of it in the box. The candy coated peanuts broke out of the sack and were mixed with the tooth powder so I just threw them away. Everything else was OK. the candy was good outside of being a little stale which a person could no more than expect after travelling so far. It reminded me of home. The mirror sure is handy. I can really get at those whiskers now. I’ll probably shave oftener as they’ll show up more. The soap will sure come in handy as it is hard to get. The scrub brush is something priceless too and I’ll probably have to keep it hid or someone will make away with it. In fact every thing will be useful. As you see, I’m trying out the new stationary tonight.
Fred Bratton got a fruit cake through the mail from his wife on Christmas day. There was just a little mold on the outside and after he trimmed that off, it was all right. It was in a tin box and that preserved it. Some of the fellows before had received them and they were spoiled.
Editor’s note: Fruitcake, the perennial butt of jokes. Proof that fruitcake did indeed go bad.
I received your letter of the 26th of Nov. yesterday. I was on guard last night and didn’t get a chance to answer. I also got quite a novel Christmas card from Mrs. Charles Hounsley. It was made so that you opened it something like two little doors and there was a picture of Mr. & Mrs. Hounsley.
The clipping that you sent me of the picture of Sgt. and Mrs. Emery takes me back to old times. They make a nice looking couple.
Yes, I recall when the Steiners used to live in Chesterfield. Some of these fellows that are joining the navy may be smart instead of letting the army get them. There they get better training and when they are assigned to a ship, their living conditions are better.
Do you remember whether Dorothy’s birthday is the 24th of March or April? I was thinking that it was April 24th, but I’m ashamed to ask her anymore. I would like to know for sure so that I can send her a greeting when the time comes. lt seems that my memory isn’t so good for remembering dates.
Editor’s note: Mom’s birthday was April 24th.
No, I’ve never gotten any cigarettes from Dorothy as yet. She said that she was sending tobacco in the Christmas package. I expect to be getting it any day now. Dorothy has a picture of me that was taken over here. I don’t know how it turned out yet as the last I heard she had received the negative, but hadn’t gotten it back from being developed. I couldn’t get it developed over here because of the shortage of paper. You’ve probably seen it by now.
Some of the fellows have cameras and film, but it is almost an impossibility to get them developed. Before a person can send them home, they have to be censored.
Well, I’ll close for this time, hoping that you are well. Write often.
12-31-43: Had merry old Xmas this year. Everyone had something to drink and was feeling it. Hope to spend next year at home with family.
Jan. 6, 1944
Well, here are started on the new year and week of it is almost gone. I have been aiming to write the last couple of days, but guard duty interfered and last night we had a double feature show, both of which were good. I just finished packing a box to send home and should have time to knock out a couple of letters.
I”m still getting Christmas cards. I got a couple more today. One was from Tom & Edna Dowland and the others from Edgar and Ida Lockyer. I also got a letter from you, one from the Brattons in Arthur, and five sugar reports. That sure helps the morale. When I go a week without mail I sort of get the blues. Seem that I get more homesick now than I did when I first came over, but I suppose that is because India was a novelty to me then and now the novelty has worn off. I can stand it for a while yet as I don’t mind it too bad yet. I hope that I can be home for Christmas this year. If I am, I’ll consider myself rather lucky. I believe I (as well as many others) will be the happiest man alive when I can come home to my family.
I feel in a way, that this being away like this will make a person appreciate those things that we are fighting for.
Editor’s note: Home and freedom–two things soldiers never took for granted.
This box I’m sending is some things that I picked up in the bazaar for you and Dorothy and her mother. I sent it all in one box instead of making two because it saves quite a bit of trouble. There is a little red tape to go through such as censoring, etc.
I haven’t marked any of this stuff I’m sending, but I’ll try to tell you. I had to hustle to get the box packed tonight so that it would go in the morning. It is surprising how little time I find to do what I want. As long as my time is occupied, time passes quickly. I have two large scarfs, one of which is for you and the color is maroon as near as I can describe it. The other large one is for Dorothy and has the inscription “to wife with love” and the smaller one with a border is for Mrs. Clark [Grandma Clark]. There is a brass bowl with workings on the outside and that is for you. There is a silver velvet lined box and that is for Dorothy. Inside of the box there is a bracelet for Dorothy. There is a towel also for Dorothy’s hope chest or whatever you call it. There are two C. B. I. insignias, one for you and one for Dorothy. There are some “Round Ups” which the weekly paper that we get and you can have them to read and then let Dorothy read them if she wants to, but you can divide them up the way you want as I’m going to send more if I can. Dorothy has already gotten one that I sent her. I sent most of the Christmas cards home that I received and the wife can take care of those. That is all there is, I believe.
You don’t need to expect this box for three or four months as it may take it that long to get there. Don’t tell Dorothy everything I’m sending her as I want it to be sort of a surprise. I’m going to tell her that I’m sending a box home and you can tell her that it has some scarfs and a few things. I want to keep the jewel box and bracelet a surprise. These things aren’t anything so very fancy, but it is about all a person can get over here without spending an enormous amount of money for stuff that isn’t any too good as quality in comparison to ours in the states. The main idea was to get a few souvenirs. You had better save this letter for reference when the box arrives so that you’ll know which is what and what’s which. If I would have had more time I would have enclosed a list in the box. I think you can get it straightened out OK.
It is possible that I might run across one of the boys from back home over here in India, but not so likely as INdia is a good sized place and I stay pretty much put, so to speak. In other words, I don’t get around much. I haven’t even seen even an Indian woman anywhere in quite some time. So you see our associations are strictly male. As long as I get plenty of mail and can see shows I’m satisfied.
I’ll have to close for this time. We’ll write some more later. Hope you are well.