December 7, 2010


New London, Conn.
November 21, 1918

Dear Mother,

At camp -- ate our noon chow here and they feed us equally as good as Pelham. We are just laying around doing nothing til next Monday when our class starts. Have seen several fellows I met at New York, but Boone and the bunch from Pedro are out on boats today, but will be in at 5 o'clock. After our first week we get 3 days land work and 3 days sea work til we get accustomed to telling the different ships by their sounds.

This is some good station -- 1200 men and between 750 and 1000 officers, besides several hundred Marines who do the guarding. There are 500 yeomanettes here, and it's the funniest thing to see officers and gobs alike dancing with the girls at lunchtime in the "Y" or K of C. It's a funny Navy where girls and gobs are in the same camp -- eat and dance together on off hours. Of course they eat in a separate part of the chow halls -- but I'm not used to it.

There are more officers here than I ever saw -- every other person you meet is one, and the gobs very seldom salute them for everybody plays together at off times. They give listeners the privilege of having every night liberty and all weekends. Most of the fellows have rooms out in New London where they can sleep til 7:30 instead of 5:30. It costs them $3.00 per week though and I can't afford it, so I will have to sleep here til I get paid. They say they will give us our money tomorrow and I sincerely hope so. I gave $2.50 to United War Work in New York. Didn't really want to but they almost forced us to do it. My pea coat cost me $15 so I want my pay. Of course I have several dollars left of Father's money.

The difference in the weather is very noticeable here. It's much colder for we are right on a pier on the waterfront -- and we were protected a good deal in Pelham Bay by the many barracks.

This is a larger sub base than Pedro was, so I hope to be able to go on a sub and submerge while I'm training.

One thing I hate is that we can't wear our "pancakes" on liberty. [Ed. note - a Donald Duck-style, framed hat without a brim]. We have to wear white hats until they change the rules again, which I hope is soon.

Met a Wichita boy here whose name is Duncan. He says his father has several oil rigs in the Burk-Burnett field. He lives on 17th on the car line.

Don't address my mail to Listeners School -- they won't let it get through for some reason. Just address it to General Delivery at New London. I'll be going uptown every day or so and can get it then. We are in town -- only about 1/4 mile to the post office, so instead of waiting in a long line here at camp, I'll go and get it there.

Love from your son,

(Postmarked New London, Connecticut, November 21, 1918)

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