Transcribed by James Fox, August 2004|
from the Deposit-Coach Fox WW2 Letters Collection
Pvt. John E. Davis (letter 1/3)
Deposit C.S. Class of 1939
June 18, 1943
This is the only name I have known you by so I'm sure it will be all right to refer to it while I write you.
To explain my case bluntly, this letter is probably a big surprise to you and would never have come about unless I needed a favor.
The favor that I'm going to ask will mean a great deal to me I'm sure. I would like a letter of recommendation for my entrance into the Air Corps.
Just a few days ago, I was notified that my application into the Air Cadet training would have to have three letters of recommendation with it. I'm sure I can depend on you to help me out in this manner. So much for that and now perhaps I can give you a few lines of interest.
I came into the Army six months ago and was assigned to the 69th Signal Battalion at Camp McCain, Mississippi. We have a crack outfit and that is no brag. We have been given a chance to attend these present manuveurs in Tennessee - So far so good, and these manuveurs are pretty rough. I wish I could tell you in detail just what goes on down here but we have been asked to keep our movements & weapons secret - I'm sure you understand.
I had hoped to get a furlough and perhaps see you personally, but I guess our furloughs have been cancelled for the present -
I hope this letter finds you and your family well & in good health -
John E. Davis
pfc. John E. Davis
June 9th, 1944
What a swell surprise your letter was. It came kind of round about but it was like a thrill you get when you look up and see your best girl watching after you've slammed the ball over Page's barn. Keep them coming Coach. It was a very enjoyable letter. Let's see now. I can tell you that I'm somewhere in England and have been for some time. It's a great country with a great people. I would like to give you some news about the war but I understand it would be struck out. I've seen lots of things and places but like they say a slip of the lip might sink a ship. I can say that Uncle Sam is taking good care of us and is sending us the best he has, and that's plenty. Since I've been here I've located Pete VanPelt, but have not been able to see him. Things are so indefinite that I doubt if I will. Glad to hear the old town is as good as ever. I know this is one guy who misses Saturday nites in Jeff Hightowers.* Write soon Coach.
See you soon,
*[Jeff Hightower's Pool Hall]
Pf/c John E. Davis
Somewhere in France
October 22nd, 1944
This evening I had another swell letter from you. It really is a few minutes of home to read your words. Keep 'em coming Coach.
I know how you must feel with all the old gang strung out all over the world. Many times I have wondered how the boys are. The memories of D.H.S. will always be happy ones to me. I hope that plan you mentioned in your letter about a reunion for the gang will come true.
Let's see now, I'm going to try and give you some news from France. First of all, thanks to Miss Weatherwax I'm able to say "Yes" and "No" in French. I get along fine with the people as long as my cigarettes and gum hold out. But, no kidding I'm able to talk and bargin with them pretty good. What French I was able to learn in class comes in handy. The people are swell but their weather is terrible. We've slopped around in mud for months it seems and only for the past few weeks we have had a good deal, we are living in a barn, all to ourselves except for three horses and a couple of dozen mice. Just last nite, I came in late and was just dropping off to sleep when I heard one of my buddies in a low voice saying, "Gwan, get out, get out of here." No it wasn't a French Mademoiselle bothering him just a couple of lonley mice trying to get in his blankets.
The sector were in now is kind of dull, probably you can guess where we are. We just hang around and wait. Don't know what for and there is no use trying to guess cause which ever way we do guess the army figures out some other way to do it.
Today we all had a pile of letters. We've been without mail for quite a few days and we all have a change of attitude now . What a difference mail makes to the fellows. Everyone is ready for anything now.
Coach, I have a littler souvenier I'll enclose in this letter, It's a S.S. troopers badge. I have a few pieces of french money I'll send along too. Be sure and let me know if you get them coach. I really wish I could send you more but we buzzed through all the good towns and seemed to bivouac at all the bad ones.
Guess I'm not much of a letter writer but I hope you understand. So long for now and I hope to hear from you soon.
Coach, do you ever hear from Marz Daugherty?