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Postmark: 04/27/1943

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

April 26, 1943
Mon. nite 8:10

Dearest Mother,

    I'm ans. the letter you wrote on Sat. April 17.

   Mother, you started out your letter by telling me you were sorry for not writing sooner. You don't have to tell me you're sorry mother, because I understand how you felt with Joe leaving. Did you hear where he's at yet mom. I hope he had better luck than I had.

   I'm glad that you liked my picture mom. Are you sure they didn't scare you when you looked at them, mom. Ha Ha. I know I was scared when I looked at them.

   Did Tony and Phil have a good time at home mother. I hope they did because if they're in a camp like I'm in, I'm sure they can't have any fun.

   Co. K. is restricted for 2 wks. because of one of the guys in another barracks getting spinal meningitis, it's some kind of a buck disease that works on the spinal column and nerves in the spinal column.

   Fri, was the first day that I got guard duty and they couldn't have given it to me on a better day, because on Fri. Co. K. went on a 20 mi. hike and all I did Fri was stand guard over some prisoners for 4 hrs. The whole day I guarded 2 hrs. off 4 guarded 2 more hrs. and off for the rest of the day. I was through guard at 4:30 Fri afternoon. I started in the morn. at 6:30.

   The co. started on their hike 6:30 in the morn. and got back at 11:00 at night, so you see mom, I was really lucky to have guard that day.

   You said in your letter that you didn't send cards to anyone. Well mother I would have sent cards out but I couldn't buy any so I didn't send any out either.

   I received another letter from cousin Jeannie in Cleveland. Boy, she's really a crack pot, no fooling. When I ans. her letter I asked her if she knew of any one who would like to be my house maid. I told her I have to do my own sewing and everything. So she wrote back and tells me that she would like to have the job. She wrote me out an application and everything telling me how tall and heavy she is and the color of her eyes and hair and everything. Some of the things she put in her letter really made me laugh. Some of the things she writes are a little silly but I still like to read and receive letters from her.

   Well mother, I guess I'll close now with lots of love to you mother dear, daddy and the kids. And mother, please don't worry about me because I'm O.K. and still taking everything that the army can dish out and maybe more.

   My leg hasn't bothered me at all yet, in fact it don't get tired as fast as my other leg while marching on a hike.

   Well, good night mother and god bless you and take care of yourself mother dear. This war is going to be over before you know it.

   Your loving son


Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

Prisoners of War at Camp Howze: (Notes from

In addition to serving as an Army training base, Camp Howze was also the site of an internment camp for German Prisoners of War (POWs). The first POWs arrived at Camp Howze in 1943, and the last to leave departed in late 1946 (despite Germany surrendering in May of 1945, many POWs remained interned for over a year after that). Roughly 3,000 POWs were held at Camp Howze over the course of the war.

The POWs at Camp Howze were considered to be “low risk” and were allowed to go off camp to work in the surrounding community, going as far south as Denton and as far west as Montague County. The POWs mostly performed agricultural work for local farmers, but some were also employed by businesses. With so many American working-age men going off to fight in the war, POW labor was a much-needed boon for the North Texas economy.

Although there were problems involving the POWs, including Nazis stirring up trouble and legal disputes with local businesses over where the POWs' labor was most needed, Camp Howze's overall record of POW internment was remarkably smooth. Many POWs stated that they enjoyed their time at the camp, and that the Americans at Camp Howze and in the surrounding area treated them with kindness and respect. Likewise, many locals became fond of the POWs, who established themselves as honest and hardworking. The POWs left a lasting mark on the surrounding community, and vice versa.

With the shortage of labor due to the war, the German prisoners of war were often the best option for businesses looking for workers in Gainesville and other nearby communities. The POWs were used for agriculture work, chores around Camp Howze like laundry and maintenance, washing cars, road construction, picking up trash in Howzeville, and various other chores. As for jobs, some prisoners were employed as carpenters or worked in shoe repair. Once, in February of 1945, the prisoners were used to help clean up the city after a bad ice storm. The German prisoners were paid for their work, sometimes with POW canteen tickets, which could be used to purchase different items at their canteen. The prisoners at Camp Howze were granted some liberties such as sending and receiving mail, especially since they were considered to be "low risk" compared to some of the other POW camps in the state of Texas. Additionally, the prisoners were able to request German-language newspapers or journals to read while they were at Camp Howze.

The POWs lived a relatively normal life in the camp, working jobs, socializing, and maintaining relationships with people from the surrounding area. There is even mention in the Denton Record-Chronicle of POWs raising money for the Red Cross to send to Europe for "the welfare of all European children." There were only a few rare occasions of Howze POWs trying to escape, but overall, they were happy to stay at the camp. Some former prisoners of war even returned to Gainesville later on in life.


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