Frank writes in colorful language to his oldest brother, Will. Now where is it they’re trying to stick that umbrella?
He tells Will he’s “CQ,” which stands for Commander of Quarters. Frank doesn’t go into much detail, but I found this description of CQ duties in a personal remembrance of another Air Force cadet:
The CQ spent “the evening in detachment headquarters with a list of names and numbers to call if something went wrong. The CQ was given an alarm clock to awaken him; then he had to wake the detachment.”
Another Air Force cadet’s recollection of his basic training for the Army Air Corps consisted of at Buckley Field, Colorado was this:
Training was not specialized for the Air Corps…it was general Army basic training:
a) Basic military general orders, military conduct, close order and open order drill.
b) Familiarization with all standard weapons, assembly, cleaning and utilization.
c) Physical training with obstacle course.
d) Gas mask training and procedures.
e) Rifle range qualification on the 30 cal carbine.
Frank doesn’t write about these details, but makes it clear that between the training the upperclassmen trying to “open an umbrella” in a very uncomfortable place, it’s a helluva challenge!
U.S. Army Air Force
Dear Dear Will:
Well, boy, I’m in it up to my neck and I’m going to stretch and see if I can’t get a little further. I’m C.Q. Tonight (voluntary), so I’m going to do a little letterwriting. I just finished a letter to Mom and thought I’d write one to to you. They have been driving us nuts down here lately, you know, the upper classmen stuff. They all try to shove an umbrella up your ass and then open it up. Boy! Do they drill you down here! I thought we were drilling down in Keesler Field but that was child’s play. We get lectures every day on every subject known and then more drill.
Today we moved to a new hotel but the address is the same. This place is nice, but I can no longer see the ocean from my window. I face west now. Last night I was on exterior guard duty and had the first shift so I got in bed early. Well boy! I’m going to close now and write to Cookie but before I do I want you to know that it’s going to be a tough job, but I’m going to make it and with good standing. So till I write again.
Frank has made up his mind to meet the challenge before him. Many did not and washed out. In the letter he wrote to his mother the same day as this one, we’ll find out just who is his role model for rising to the occasion. It may surprise you. It did me.
Below is another cadet’s remembrances of just what was involved in the Air Force cadet’s training. Below this remembrance is Frank’s original letter.