New London, Connecticut
November 28 - Thanksgiving
Dear Mother and Father,
In all seriousness you son says that he is a sick boy -- but he is glad to be able to say it, for he has already loosened about half of his thirteen buttons on his trousers and let his money belt out a notch. Will have to let it out more in a few minutes when the eats in my neck packs down in my stomach.
We had some feed today -- was the first time I ever saw sailors refuse food because they had too much. I had three bricks of ice cream, as well as two oranges, and three bananas, which I made a banana split with. I also took my piece of pie and put a brick of ice cream on top and made "pie a la mode," and had a piece of cake, which I ate with my other brick of ice cream. They broke away from the rules and gave us all the turkey or stuff we asked for, and even had sailors acting as waiters to see that everybody got everything he wanted. Cigars and cigarettes were handed out in mess line, and those who didn't smoke gave them to those who did. There was a menu at every plate -- I sent you mine.
Got three more letters from you today -- hope Katherine has entirely recovered.
Can't realize Paddy is dead. Didn't seem so close to Roy L. did, but I've played football and ran track with Pat, you know.
We go out about 15 miles on the sub chasers tomorrow for our first sea training on listening to submarines. Four subs go out and stay all day to give us practice.
Got a letter from Aunt Pat today, and she says she is sending two pair of wool sox for me and will send more if I have to stay in service. The sox will be appreciated as I only have one wool pair. Part of the bay had a thin coating of ice this morning, but it has warmed up and that has melted now.
Went to the Thanksgiving Day dance given by the 142nd company of Marines at the Armory. There are Marines and soldiers both in camp -- seems funny to eat between the birds in khaki when not used to seeing it in camp.
Haven't met any girls in New London. The people pay absolutely no attention to men in uniform -- no invitations to their dances or even to their homes, and not one ever asks a sailor to ride. I thought I'd like the town because it is smaller but the people ruin it all.
Have taken the splints off my thumb but can't lift anything with the son of a gun -- am gradually getting it so it will move right.
All the fellows that are to get out in the near future are fellows going back to school -- they even cut out the dependents list.
Don't you do anything so rash and expensive as to send me anything for Christmas -- I'm ashamed to write because I haven't sent any of Father's $50 back, but I'm afraid I'll be busted again if I don't get my pay for a long time as I did before. I am not going to spend the $20 like I started to. Count the extension of my loan as my Christmas present, and I'll know you have not only have given me a present, but have helped me out as well.
After working as you have done with the sick ones, don't fix up a box at all for Christmas. Take all the rest you can.
Your devoted son,
P.S. Rene Richards (a fellow I run with) addressed the envelope so you wouldn't know who sent the letter.