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Postmark: 07/06/1943

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

Mon. nite 8:05

Dearest Mother,

    Just a few words to let you know that I'm O.K. and hope that you are the same.

   Mother, I just got back from bivouac yesterday at 2:30 P.M. (Sun.)

   That's the first time we ever bivouaced for so long. I didn't mind it out there, except for sleeping on hard dirt and using stones for pillows. We had the P.X. out there every nite so at least in the evenings we had pop and ice cream after sweating all day. We had about 8 problems while we were out there and in all 8 we used live ammunition. We would attack small hills or small houses and in whatever we would attack there would be stuffed dummies to fire at, and the way we know our score is by counting all the holes made in the dummies. It was all a lot of fun. The only thing that bothered me a lot was the heat. There wasn't a person with dry clothes after we went through a problem.

   Several boys passed out from the heat. My buddy and would stop under a shady tree while the problem would be going on, if we got too warm. We were going through one problem and we started to get real warm and sweat a lot so we seen a tree where we could hide under for a few min., and when we got under, our squad leader was under it too so he could cool off a little and take a little rest at the same time, so he couldn't give us hell for going under the tree because he was in the wrong as much as we were. When we have a problem, we're not supposed to take any rests.

   We also went on two four mile hikes in 45 min. That's about 1 mile every 11 min. Pretty fast huh, mom?

   Today we went out on another problem. The problem we went on today was an attack of a village. In this village there were 3 old houses and before we would enter any room in them, we had to throw a hand grenade in it. The hand grenades were real ones, they were something like a firecracker. You light the fuse with a match and then throw it in the room. My buddy had more fun than any one doing that. We got a whole lot of these grenades and we really wiped out the rooms we went in.

   When we came back from bivouac yesterday, by buddy and I got a pass in to Gainesville, and while I was there, I had a picture taken so I'll send it to you.

   Well mother, not much more to say so I'll close with lots of love for you mother dear, daddy and the kids.

   Your loving Son,


   Mother, in case you don't get any mail from me, don't think that there is any thing wrong with me because it will only be that I can't write because I'm out on bivouac or something like that so mother please don't worry about me. We are supposed to go out on a 15 mi. bivouac this wk. some time but as yet, I don't know what day it will be, but when I find out I'll write and tell you, and if we don't go out this wk. I'll try to write you more often. I haven't received any mail from you since last Sun. but I guess you're pretty busy too, huh mother? Well mother if you can't write then it's O.K. but if there is some other reason besides being pretty busy then I want you to write or have Gracie write to me and let me know what it is. Now don't forget mom.

   Well, take care of yourself mother and god keep you safe and well for me mother dear.

   Your loving Son,


Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:
Mobile P.X. Serving Troops on Field Exercixes:

Photo Credit: Booklet: A Camera Trip Through Fort Sam Houston

World War 2 era Hand Grenade (image from Wikipedia page)

The Mk 2 grenade (initially known as the Mk II) is a fragmentation-type anti-personnel hand grenade introduced by the U.S. armed forces in 1918. It was the standard issue anti-personnel grenade used during World War II, and also saw limited service in later conflicts, including the Korean War and Vietnam War. Replacing the failed Mk 1 grenade of 1917, it was standardized in 1920 as the Mk II, and redesignated the Mk 2 on April 2, 1945.

It was manufactured of cast iron with a grooved surface divided into 40 knobs in 5 rows of 8 columns. This was intended to enhance fragmentation (in practice, it was found that the grooves did not enhance fragmentation as much as desired) and provide a better grip when handling and throwing the grenade. The grooves and knobs gave it the appearance of a pineapple, and are the origin of the nickname.

Manufactured with different fuses over the years, the grenades generally exploded in 4 to 5 seconds after the pin was pulled.


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