University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point—That’s where Frank has been assigned to the 97th College Detachment to pursue college courses. Without the military, Frank would never have been able to attend this excellent school. And there’s a bonus: Girls! Girls! Girls! Delicious food! Cameraderie! I’m posting two letters here, written two days apart, first updating his mom and then his brother and wife (Fred and Lil, my parents), on his first few days in Madison. Together they paint a vivid scene of a pretty great life, even with military routine, for the young men being groomed to fight and die in war.)
Cookie is still Frank’s at-home sweetheart, but he’s still just eighteen, and all females still hold plenty of attraction. Read on to catch a bit of his youthful enthusiasm!
I arrived in good shape and I’m going to like this post very much. We are to be restricted for 30 days but that time will go fast. There are 18 men in my room and all of the fellows you met are in this room. I just finished a letter to Cookie and I thought I’d drop you a line before we go to lunch.
We got here at 1:30 A.M. and they had left us sleep until 6:30. We then had a swell breakfast which really hit the spot in my stomach. There’s still plenty of butter and milk in Wisconsin and I’m taking advantage of it.
As you say this is a beautiful town and there’s 30 girls to every fellow down here. Of course that month’s restriction is going to hamper my style. There’s a dance in the school tonight and I still haven’t received my clean clothes.
The porter on the train picked up my wallet and returned it to me with everything in it. I gave him a dollar for returning it.
We just came back from lunch and what a dinner! We had stew but not army stew. It was wonderful. With it we had milk and hot biscuits with buttered honey. After chow we played basketball and it was a real game.
I can’t rave about this place enough. All the fellows are really happy here. We just finished off the wine and whiskey in order to get rid of it. We aren’t allowed to drink and only allowed to smoke in our building.
I think we start school Monday. We will go to school for 4 months and in that time we get 10 hours of flying. We get up at 5:45 in the morning. Well, I’m getting tired of writing now and will write again soon. Till I hear from you, I remain,
Your Loving Son,
Dear Fred and Lill:
I received two happy envelopes today from you and one from Cookie, both sent to Miami Beach, Florida. Thanks a million. It gives me another picture of you kids. I’m awfully sorry Vera’s picture didn’t turn out but that’s luck.
This place is the nuts! We wake up at 6:00 in the morning and go to breakfast in a half hour. I’ll describe the breakfast scene to you later. Then we go to our rooms and clean up for the day. We have a game of baseball and then some basketball and then it’s time to eat again.
This has been going on since we arrived here. We get all the milk we can drink and also butter. The food is swell and I’m going to get a gut just like my little brother, (Sammie).*
Now for the eating scene. We file into the mess hall and take our food to the table, lay it down and stand at attention until everyone is at the table. The last one there gives seats. Then we relax and eat. We can’t talk to civilians during duty hours, which is bad, as in the mess hall we have girls serving us. No Kidding!
Well, I’m as happy as can be here and I don’t care if they make me permanent party here. But I hope not. Well, I have to write to Cookie now so I’ll sign off.
First 9/14 /43 Frank’s letter to his Mom.
Below that, 9/16 Frank’s letter to Fred and Lil.