February 2, 1944
Many thanks for the cigs which I received yesterday. The date stamp was October 22, so you see our mail service isn’t all it might be. -----
Our life these days is really a snap, loafing around waiting for the word that will send us dashing after our friend Gerry. I only hope we will get rolling soon as I should like to see an early conclusion to this Italian Campaign.
By the way, we were issued with our first medal the other day. Quite a pretty one too and so easy to obtain. All you need to be eligible is eighteen month’s active service. All the old gang, including yours truly, hated to wear the thing, but as it is an offence to refuse, we are all well decorated.
Doesn’t it make you sick though; the time for service ribbons is after the war and then four years’ service should be the minimum term of service. I wouldn’t mind wearing a decoration for gallantry in service well done, but these Goering medals just give me a sweet pain in the neck.
The War as a whole seems to be developing well, don’t you think? Perhaps I will be home even sooner than we expect. I have put a date aside already for the signing of the Armistice – September 11, 1944. Just you watch and see.
I had the chance of showing my stuff as an N.C.O. the other week and I think I acquitted myself well. All the sergeants were away so we miserable one-lonely-stripers had to take charge of the guns during a practice shoot. At the conclusion of the shoot, I was congratulated by the Troop Commanders and now my Sergeant tells me I am up for my second stripe. Of course, I am very happy. As I told the Major when he first promised me, all I wanted was a chance to show what I could do. The most gratifying thing is that I know I have the complete confidence of my gun crew. Apart from this, I know my gun and if the necessity should arise, I can take charge and operate smoothly.
Well, Mom, Spring will soon be arriving back home too. Boy, I would like to be back there with you watching for the first old crow. In spite of the lapse of time, I can still remember every feature of the old farm.