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Postmark: 04/12/1943

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

April 11, 1943
Sun. afternoon 12:20

Dearest Mother,

    Just a few lines to let you know I'm O.K. and feeling fine and hope you are the same.

    Well mother, I'm all through with the firing range where we were qualified on. Thur. was our last day. I got another rifle to fire besides the M.1. See mother, in one barracks there are three squads. In each squad there are about 15 men. And each squad has two men to fire the B.A.R that's the Browning Automatic Rifle, all the other men fire their own rifle, the M.1. Well me and another guy was picked out of the sqd. I'm in to fire the B.A.R. Our own rifle can only fire 8 shells at one time without having to reload, but the B.A.R can fire 15 shots at a time. I qualified with it the first day I fired it. (Thur.) It's really a nice rifle. I like it better than my M.1. The front rests on the ground, with two legs to raise it or lower it so it points directly on the tgt. The butt rests in your shoulder, and it's not hard to keep steady. It's really nice to fire. Once you get it on the target, you can't miss the bulls eye. Between all the fellows that fired it, I made the highest point, or score.

   We'll go out on another range tomorrow (Mon.) It's called the combat range. We'll be on it for about one wk. so again mother if you don't hear from me, please don't worry, it will just be that we are still on the range and I can't write, and as far as me getting hurt or shot on the range forget about it, because I can handle my rifle pretty good.

   Well mother, I'll ans. your letter you wrote on Mon. I'm glad you received the spaghetti O.K. Remember, that's what I told you I'd call what I sent home to you. Ha ha before I left for the army. (Cute a what)

   And tell Daddy not to worry about me not having enough, and mother when I send home any spaghetti (ha ha) I want you to eat it yourself and not save it for me. [I hope you understand this letter mother this last part anyway. Even to me it sounds funny and I'm even laughing while I'm writing it, but you understand it don't you.]

   When I get my next dish of spaghetti (ha ha ha) I'll send you some the way you said, ha ha, O.K. mother?

   I sent you some pictures already mother, I guess you got them by now. You said that you don't need any pictures of us, and also that we are all handsome, well mother, we might all be handsome now we'll be Clark Gables, in other words handsomer.

   Mother, I hope your arm and hand doesn't hurt too badly and also that they get better, and mother, if you can't write to me very often, I'll understand why. But I better get one at least once a wk.

   Mother, Cousin Jenne of Cleveland wrote me the other day. She says that her boyfriend is here in this camp also. Only he's about 4 mi away from my co. I'm in the 86 div, and he's in the 84th.

   Well mother I guess this is all for now so I'll close with lots of love for you mother dear, daddy and the kids. Take care of yourself mother, and please don't worry about me.

   Your loving son


Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

M1 Garand Rifle as Used in World War 2 Image Credit: National Museum of American History

Notes from

The Garand rifle, also called the M1 rifle, is a semiautomatic, gas-operated .30-calibre rifle adopted by the U.S. Army in 1936. It was developed by John C. Garand, a civilian engineer employed at the Springfield Armory, Springfield, Mass. The Garand was the first semiautomatic military rifle used as a standard combat shoulder weapon. It was the basic U.S. infantry weapon in both World War II and the Korean War. More than 5,000,000 M1s were manufactured.

The Garand weighed 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg) and was fed from an eight-round clip.

Browning Automatic Rifle as Used in World War 2
Photo Credit: wikipedia

Notes from

The BAR is a pre-World War 2 era light machine gun of US origin. The BAR was developed by John Browning in 1917 and was actively used until the mid 20th century. The name BAR stands for "Browning Automatic Rifle".

The BAR is a magazine fed gas operated automatic weapon. Although classified by modern standards as a light machine gun, it was conceived as an automatic rifle, just as the name implies.

The BAR fires the .30-06 round from a 20 round magazine. Early versions were select fire. Later versions were fully automatic only, with a selectable slow and high rate of fire of about 400 rpm and 650 rpm respectively. Due to the weight and limited rate of fire the BAR is quite controllable. The effective range is well over 400 meters against point targets.

The B.A.R. weighed almost 20 pounds.


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