Hamilton County


Jesse L. (Bob) Nelson




SERVICEMEN WRITE (to Joy Hanson, Editor of the Ellsworth News)

From Jesse L. (Bob) Nelson
Africa, May 12, 1943

Dear Joy:

This is Station B-O-B answering your long call from ELLSWORTH.

Sorry, Joy, to be so long about it but I have a hard time answering letters. I receive The Ellsworth News very regular now and I read and re-read it; it buoys a guy up. Last January I received EIGHTEEN copies of The News. I had moved so many times I was wondering if ever I was to stop, but stop I did, and when the mail did arrive I was loaded down and for a couple of days the army didn’t get much work out of me.

Joy, over here one sees some queer things, for instance, when the native Arab rides a mule or donkey here he sets himself on top of the back legs and hits his heels together under the donkey’s tummy and yells out Drrr and Grrr! Such yelling and talking those Arabs use is beyond me. Once in a while profane language is heard by us and we can’t tell when the Arabs do; and it’s “Cheeses Us Off,” “Browns Us Off,” (an English expression used by the British meaning to us in America, “Disgusted.”)

Well, Joy, by this time I presume you have thrown your winter clothing and now you are running around in cool summer clothes. Maybe you can go barefooted, too (so as to save shoe leather). The only trouble about that is washing one’s feet before going to bed, and that is a tedious job.

(Listen, Bob: Here it is the 8th of June, and we’ve still got the furnace going full blast. Spring and summer are just around the corner.—Joy.)

I sure hope by the time you receive this the African campaign is over. The boys here are sure doing a good job and the folks at home can be proud of them and also should be glad they are Americans. Another thing is they should be glad to live in such a wonderful country and that they have a roof over their heads and plenty to eat.

I know that some of the people back in the states don’t realize there is a war going on, and they could dig down in their pockets and give more for the soldiers, because after all, the soldiers are all fighting to save humanity and bring peace, etc., and a good many others overseas know that many people at home could do a lot more for the boys.

Sorry, Joy to have written that last paragraph but some people had better “open their eyes and quit grumbling and be content with what they have”.

I hear Lloyd S. and Jasper R. are over here and sure will try to look them up when I get the time to.

Joy, I’m sending you a piece about our Squadron from the Stars and Stripes. Maybe you have read it and maybe not.

Gosh, I was so interested in writing I almost forgot about chow so here goes again but I’ll have to cut it short as I must get back on the line.

I will finish by saying I am proud and glad to have been reared in Ellsworth, and no matter where I go there is no place like home.

Bob (Jesse L. Nelson).

Source: Ellsworth News, June 9, 1943