Hamilton County


Pfc. Donald E. Reynolds




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

From Don Reynolds

Los Angeles, Calif.
May 7, 1943

Dear Joy:

Well I have finally gotten around to writing this letter to you. I have started quite a few of them, but each time it seems the typewriter starts to make a lot of mistakes (or maybe it’s me), but anyhow here I go again and who knows, I may finish it this time.

It has been quite awhile since we have fought over the results of baseball, basketball and football and believe it or not I have missed those timely chats a lot. Since coming out here, have not done very much in the line of sports, the only contact I have been next to in the sport line is the daily newspaper sport page. I saw my first Pacific Coast league game last Sunday, and it was very good baseball, but seeing the game again sure makes a guy feel like going right out there and getting in the game.

That is enough of that chatter so will get on with some other events that have taken place.

After arriving in L. A., I went “job hunting,” and even with all the jobs open out here that is quite a chore. I finally secured a job with Firestone, airing, changing, mounting, and rebuilding tires; the job was as dirty as ____, but the fellows I worked with were swell, so had a very nice time working there. I no sooner got a good start on the job, when the Draft Board back there sends me one of their timely notices: quote; report for physical examination; end of quote. Well, after they got straightened out, I finally took my physical at the main draft board out here. I was inducted on Jan. 26, and went to Ft. McArthur for processing. After five days, was shipped to Fresno for my basic training, where I stayed until Mar. 13, being shipped from there to L. A., where I am at the present time.

The processing at Ft. McArthur consists of the first series of shots, and your intelligence tests, which last for about two days. Then you make your bond allowances, insurance, and allotment papers out. Then you are classified in the field you are most adept to or one where they think you will fit, and then they ship you off.

The Fresno Training Center was still pretty much in the primary stage when we arrived, as it had only been opened since November sometime, and the changes were still under way. But as the days went by improvements were rapidly beginning to take place, and by the time we left there, the camp was beginning to look like something. The stay at Fresno was quite a mixed up affair, most of the guys were plagued by colds, sore throats, fever, mumps, measles, and every other thing you can think of. I had a cold for twenty-six days before being able to shake it; I was really miserable, but I managed to be out on the drill field every day, and went on sick call just long enough for the doctor to give me “castor oil.” Ugh!

The school here at L. A. is quite the thing, they really throw a lot of stuff at you but if we will use it or not remains to be seen. Typing, Military Correspondence, Military Publications, Engineering and Operations, Combat Orders and Military Organizations consist of the material they try to teach a guy. All in all though it is not hard, the main thing is that you know the theory.

Today is my last day here as we will probably ship out sometime tomorrow, do not know where it will be though.

Greet the gang from me, and be sure to tell Herb Weaver “hello”!

From an old sport authority, as ever,

Pfc. Donald E. Reynolds
851 So. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.

Source: Ellsworth News, May 19, 1943

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

From Don Reynolds

Marana, Arizona

Dear Joy:

Killing time so will just drop you a few lines to let you know where I am. After leaving Los Angeles, May 8, the boys and myself have had quite a time in finding a place to park for a couple of days at least. Since May 8, to May 22, we have not slept in the same bed over two nights in a row. It seemed that all we did was to move in and move out again.

We left Los Angeles with orders that we were to be assigned to the 515th Service Squadron at Kelly Field, arriving at Kelly Field May 10, we were told that the 515th had left, and that we were to be assigned to the 11th Base Hqs.

We were put in quarantine there for seven days after which we were told that we were going to the 481st Base Hqs., at Kelly. So we moved over to their part of the field and they told us that we would be permanent party with them. So immediately took some of our clothes to the laundry to have them cleaned.

After working in the office of the 481st for one and one-half days we were told to pack up and get ready to be sent back to the 11th Base Hqs., so again we moved. Arriving at the 11th Base Hqs., the news reached us that we were going to be sent to the 515th at Marana, Arizona. So one night with the 11th, and we go again, this time on a train back west, of which lasted a day and a half, arriving at Marana last Friday night at 11:45, after which we waited for a truck to come and get us. I forgot to tell you that Marana is just an old freight box car which they use for a station and that is all it consists of.

The camp here is located practically in the middle of the desert and hundreds of miles from nowhere “literally” speaking, of course, but the nearest town, Tucson, is over thirty-five miles from camp, so if you are lucky you may get into town on Saturday night for a few hours.

It gets hotter than the devil here during the day, and the nights are fairly cool so a guy can sleep fairly well; of course, the front lawn is covered with the loveliest sand you ever saw, miles of it.

I forgot to tell you that we didn’t get our clothes out of the laundry in Kelly Field, so we had to have them sent to us, but as yet we have not received them. We will probably receive them in a month or two. I have not had a chance to send any clothes to the laundry since leaving Los Angeles (except those at Kelly), as we have not been on one place long enough to get them cleaned, so I just wash out the things I need and let it go at that.

Of course you know we graduated from school as Engineering and Operations clerks, but as yet we have not even seen any of the forms or any of the things in that line, but we sure have seen plenty of the office side of the ledger of which we had very little at school. Of course, that is always the way; the army trains you for one job and when you finish with the course you have been studying up on they put you on some other job that you do not know a thing about. Since leaving school, the guys I was with, and myself, have been working in Squadron and Base headquarters doing Administrative work of which we had very little at school.

I haven’t seen a sports page for quite awhile now, so I don’t know how the teams stand; the last thing I heard though was that the Phillies were doing alright for themselves. I sure miss not hearing a ball game now and then or being able to see the results of the previous day’s ball games but I will have to get used to it.

This is all for the present, and though I haven’t said much, it was something.

As ever,
Pfc. Donald E. Reynolds
515th Service Squadron, Marana Army Air Field, Marana, Arizona

Source: Ellsworth News, June 9, 1943