Letter # 10
Pvt. E. Cowley
7th Co. 5 Regt. A.S.T.P.
Fort Benning, Georgia
35 Woodside Avenue
Postmarked October 30, 1943
I was right about the camp. Here I am in the solid south. Its not as hot in Georgia as I thought it would be. We have to have 3 army blankets on us at night. Before I forget, please send about 8 coat hangers as we are at last allowed to hang up our clothes.
It took us 42 hours to get to Benning. The train was so slow that every so often I’d look out the window and see some little kid passing us on a tricycle.
Benning is altogether different from Upton. We can eat all we want, if we can stand it. The ground around our huts is all sand and reminds me of crystal Beach. We’re treated a heck of a lot better here, almost as though we were soldiers. We sleep till seven!
Today we were issued our foot lockers, gas masks, bayonets, first aid kits, pup tents, cartridge belts, knapsacks & bedding. In a couple days we get our Garands, the best rifle in the world. I look very good in my gas mask. If you ever saw me with all this equipment you’d be scared stiff.
We don’t start our basic till a week from Monday. They’re holding us back so we won’t be out on Bivouac Christmas day. I’m still not sure of going to college. We have to take another series of exams and If I pass they’re making an engineer out of me, God bless em.
There is a bunch of hardworking? fellows from C.C.N.Y. in my hut and they’re a big pain in the ankle. I’m glad I live in So. Buffalo and quite proud of the fact. This A.S.T.P. is full of brain boys, the guy next to me is brushing up on his calculus theories and analytical Geometry or something. I wish you’d send me a copy of king comics every month. There’s quite a few college grads either 18 or 19 yrs. old. They have big arguments over nothing all the time. Someone from City College just made the rash statement that all infantry men wear belts. God! I hope he’s right. It would be terrible without them.
Well, I’m going down to the Rec hall and play ping pong with the rest of my fellow masterminds write soon and let me know if Parson and Judds is doing all right without me.
Love to all