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Postmark: 04/07/1943

Return Address:
Pvt. V. Misitano
Co K 342 Inf
A.P.O. 450
Camp Howze, Texas
U.S. Army

April 6, 1943
Tues. nite. 8:45

Dearest Mother,

    I received your letter you wrote Thur. last night but I couldn't ans till tonight.

   Well, mother, I went out to the rifle range yesterday morn at 4:30. I fired my rifle all day from 7:30 till 8:00 last night.

   To qualify you had to have a score of 140, well I made 155 and made marksman. In my barracks there were only 4 that made sharpshooter, 10 (including me) that made marksman, and the rest didn't even qualify and had to go out again today.

   We got back to camp at 9:30 last night, ate supper at 15 till 10 and went to bed at 10:30. From 10 till 10:30 we had to clean our rifle.

   We ate our dinner out on the field yesterday and today and boy, we really had a picnic, ah what fun, no fooling. The officers and us all ate together on the ground. We were cracking jokes and having a lot of fun.

   At first yesterday when I fired, I was a little scared, especially after my first 3 shots. Then after I got used to the noise and the kick of the rifle I was O.K. After I was all through at the end of the day and I found out that I made marksman, I was really glad.

   Today, the ones that failed had to fire over. I've also had to go out again, to work the target, you know mark them and pull them up again.

   We got back tonight 7:45 from the range. Then we went to supper. If we wouldn't have come in so early tonight, I wouldn't of had time to write this letter tonight.

   Mother we only have one more day out at the range for the rest that have not qualified. I'm through firing my rifle, (for a while anyway) so mother, please don't worry about me getting hurt out on the range. I'm O.K. and I'm feeling fine.

   Mother, you said that you were glad that I liked the pkg you sent me. Well mother, I was glad, very glad but mother, I know it must be pretty hard to get stuff at home, so mother, you just buy what you can, and what you need for the family and don't worry about sending me anything. Mother, I get enough to eat here, and I get butter every meal, and some kind of meat every dinner, so you see mother, I'm pretty well fed, so mother, don't send me any pkgs. anytime, O.K. mom? Whatever you get, get for yourself, daddy and the kids.

   Well mother, it's now 9:25 and I have a rifle to clean yet so I close now with lots of love to you mother dear, daddy, and the kids.

   God bless you mother and may he keep you well and safe.

   Your loving son


Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

As far as I know, dad had no access to firearms prior to his time in the Army. As his letter indicates, he had a natural talent and quickly developed proficiency. In my early teens he would take one or two of my brothers and I out to the woods a few days before the start of deer hunting season to "zero in" his rifle. We all had an opportunity to fire it, but I found his "30 aught six" a bit daunting. However, it would make short work of the 4 inch thick trees we practiced on. The most impressive shot I ever saw him make was during the hunting season, firing at a deer running at full speed about 100 yards away, and taking it down with a bullet through its heart.

   - Jim Jr.

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