Flight Training
 Enlistment | Dallas NAS | Corpus Christi NAS | USMCR | California
Kearney Mesa | VMF-216 at El Centro MCAS | Corsair F4U | Letters | Departure for Hawaii

West to California
  July 6, 1943 letter to Mother :
"Well, here I am at Kearney Mesa. I got here about the middle of the afternoon. The trip down here was okay. I was in El Paso about four hours. I had breakfast at Uncle Victor's then we went to see Uncle S.G. and Aunt Capitola. Aunt Capitola insisted on fixing me a lunch so I didn't have to buy anything on the train. What you fixed lasted until Sunday afternoon and Aunt Capitola's until yesterday afternoon. Between the two of you, I ate very well. Sandwiches like that are much better than the stuff
Uncle Victor and Aunt Cecelia Gillett  Uncle S.G. and Aunt Capitola
Uncle Victor and Aunt Cecelia Gillett  Uncle S.G. and Aunt Capitola Gonzales
they shove at you on diners nowadays.

We have no tables here in this barracks so it's on the bunk or on the floor and I preferred the bunk (for writing).
Of course, I don't know how long I will be here. Maybe a week, maybe two or maybe longer. There's really no telling."
July 9, 1943 letter to Dad:
"For one thing, we've been having hikes each day through the hills out through these parts. Most of the fellows out here hate these hikes, but I've been having loads of fun myself. We take them in our fatigue clothes, steel helmets, pistol belts, canteens, field shoes, etc. Throughout the hikes we have 'cover drills', you know, when the Captain blows his whistle we dive for cover as though we were being strafed or had run into snipers. In other words, they're giving us a bit of the 'toughening-up' process. We're all issued a pretty complete set of expeditionary field equipment and not knowing when we may need it - the sooner we get the word on all of it - the better."
July 14, 1943 letter to Mother:

"... It's time for muster now so I must run. We're expecting orders in this afternoon for fifteen fighter pilots who have had operational. I hope mine are among the bunch. Keep your fingers crossed."

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