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Airmail Letter
Postmark: 05/10/1943

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

May 9, 1943
Sun. nite, 8:15

Dearest Mother,

    I received the letter that you wrote on Wed. while out on bivouac Fri. I'm glad you received the money I sent you safely. I guess you noticed I forgot to tear off the receipt, but you know me I guess, "forgetful Jim" ha, ha.

   So you bought yourself a suit huh mom. From the sound of your letter it must be pretty flashy. I hope you're not kidding me mom, about coming halfway to meet me, because when I start home, I'll bet I get the wrong train (maybe even the Wabash) ha ha, or else land in Canada instead of Pa.

   Say mom did you really buy that flashy suit and hat. First thing I know, I'll get a letter from you telling me that you were out jitterbugging, or something like that ha ha. Some joke. Well mother, as long as you did what you wanted to do with it, then it's o.k. because mother, when I send any money home, I want you to do anything you want with it, as long as you don't put it away for me.

   Mother, I was out on an all nite hike Fri, it was just like the other one. We left Fri morn, and got back sat morn at 4 oclock. I didn't mind this hike as much as I did the last one, even if it was longer.

   Well mother, we only have 3 more wks. of basic training then they'll start giving out furloughs (I hope). That's what I hear, anyway.

   I guess the house is pretty empty mom, but at least you can go to bed early now, and not worry about me coming in late. Here I go to bed at 10 oclock every nite. Can you picture me going to bed at 10:00 ha ha, that's something I thought I'd never do, but here, I'm doing things every day that I thought I'd never do, like learning to kill Japs and Germans (the rats) and walking 8 and 10 miles a day, (But this is the army Mr. Jones) or should I say James ha, ha. But as long as I'm happy I guess the army life is o.k. And I don't mean slap happy either ha ha.

   Well mother, I was down at the P.X. before I started this letter and had 4 bottles of beer. It made me a little sleepy so I'll close the letter with lots of love to you mother dear, daddy and the kids and go to bed as soon as I mail it.

   Your loving son


   I also received your card mother yesterday, it's really a nice card. Did you get the one I sent you mom. Rosie sent it to me to send you, because you can't buy them here in camp.

Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

Informational Header on Camp Howze Stationery:

Gene Autry, America's No. 1 radio-singing and movie cowboy, "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Frank Buck, hunter naturalist, wild animal capturer, writer, motion picture producer, crooning Gene Austin of "Blue Heaven" notoriety, Charles W. Paddock, story-writer and journalist -- these are some contemporary Americal celebrities who were born in and around Gainesville. The town was the home of Joseph Weldon Bailey, most oratorical United States Senator of the century. On a ranch now included in Camp Howze reservation was born Captain Tom Hickman, noted Texas ranger and rodeo judge.
Addendum to above note: Charley Paddock won a gold medal in the 100 Meter race at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. His appearance at the 1924 Olympics in Paris was shown in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire, where he competed with one of the English runners Harold Abrahams. His Wikipedia page says that he was born in Gainesville, TX, with his family moving to Pasadena, CA in his childhood. After serving in World War I as a lieutenant of field artillery in the U.S. Marines, Paddock studied at the University of Southern California where he joined the track and field team. He served on the personal staff of Major General William P. Upshur beginning at the end of World War I. In 1943, during World War II, Upshur and Paddock (by then a captain) died in a plane crash near Sitka, Alaska. In 1976 he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

   - Jim Jr.


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