The long, slow, middle of December. More lousy weather for the 340th Bomb Group. Ang only flies one mission but manages to send letters nearly every day. While they are pretty newsy about other people, he doesn't talk much about anything he is doing. One bit of news is that his roommate, Charley Vail, is in the hospital with a broken leg, and Ang has moved to another "shack" further down in the valley. He says it's warmer there. His new roommate is George Henthorn. Betty is spending her time working and Christmas shopping.
Monday, December 11. Marian got back—hurrah! Didn’t work very hard today. Shopped & got babies [gifts] out of way. Bed by 11:00
December 12. Awfully warm—ugh—the middle of December. Met Mrs L-. Mr. S. for dinner. Peg & I to movies. 12:00
[Letter. Postmark 12-13]
Today is one of those days where a person stays inside—gnashes his teeth—plays with his lips—slams his fist against the wall—and then lays back on his sack and thinks of home the little woman. That’s just what I’ve been doing all morning—and now I’m really in sad shape.
Boy, do I love you—wow! It’s a good thing you can’t see me now, because I’m sure my ears are long and pointed and my fangs are drooling. Ahwoooo (in case you don’t recognize it, that’s a wolfs call—a lonely and lovesick wolf at that).
I’m not really that bad off—I don’t think. However it’s a good example of what the power of suggestion can do to a person. I guess I’d better go out in a little while and organize a pinochle game—or something.
I sent you a copy of the group paper yesterday—I thought you might like to see one of them. I sure got a kick out of the cartoon on the front page. Cute, eh what?
I got another package from you yesterday—the one with the cigars in it. Gee whiz, darling—you certainly do take care of your hubby—imagine, two-bit cigars. I’ve hidden them very carefully—or else the wolves would have been after me in no time at all. Such cigars are only for me on special occasions and for visitors above the rank of colonel—ha! That special issue of “Life” was really something—about the best I’ve ever seen. Do you remember the picture near the back of the Private and all the movie stars. The one where he is in the background and the eight girls are laying on the grass with all the behinds sticking up and towards the camera. One of the boys took one look and moaned “Look at this—a million dollars worth of behinds—and I can’t even get two bucks worth.” Cute—huh?
The section on what they are going to do for the service man was also interesting. Boy, according to Life, we’ll never have to work again! What a life.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
[Note: I'm pretty sure the Life Magazine issue Ang mentions is September 25, 1944. I think it's page 114 at this link.
December 13. Mr L. out of office today—warm again. Shopped, then with girls at Biltmore—dinner & a show. Bed 12:30.
December 14. Worked hard today. Did some shopping at noon. Wrapped packages & did laundry. Bathed & to bed 10:30.
[Letter. Postmark 12-15-44.]
I just got your letter of the 4th (Dec)—you sure do sound pooped. I’m all for your keeping busy—but I hope you’re not overdoing it. I realize that you know what you are doing, but there is no sense in killing yourself.
Thanks for the new calendar—it should help me considerably in keeping track of dates. Also thanks for Jen’s letter. When she does write, she writes a clever letter, doesn’t she? I sure get a kick out of some of her expressions.
I told you that Arne had been put back on flying, didn’t I? He’s all finished now though—and he’s just sweating out his D.F.C. before his orders can go in. Its too bad he has to waste so much time just sitting around here doing nothing. Thank goodness, my D.F.C. is already in—and I should have it in a couple of weeks. When I do finish, my orders will go in immediately and I’ll be able to leave two weeks after that. Poor Arne will probably be here for 1 ½ to 2 months yet. It certainly is a shame. If I was in his position, I know what I’d tell them to do with the D.F.C. Its alright to be a hero—but its hardly worth an extra two months over here. Oh well, such is war.
Yes, I have heard from Bud. I know approximately where he is, and I’m going hunting for him someday. Maybe I’ll try it at Christmas—it would be nice to be together.
You should get this about that time so Merry Christmas sweetheart. I guess you know how I feel about the holidays—so I’m not going to say anything about it. I’ve been thinking of the holidays pretty regularly—and it doesn’t make me happy. I don’t know why I’ve brought up the subject, I’ve ruined my whole day now. I certainly am a sentimental little baby.
I love you sweets—Love, Ang
December 15. Have a whole day off for shopping—1/2 today. Bot coat for Donny. Took him home—napped in P.M. To bed early.
Form 5. -15, flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:50h
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION #52]
Voghera RR Bridge
Maj. G.B. Thabault. Dozier. Wollcott
December 16. Didn’t get much work done this A.M. Did some shopping—dashed home to U.S.O Wives Club—then duty. Bed 10:30.
[Letter. Postmark 12-20-44.]
Well, I do have a small dab of news for you today—Vail has a busted leg—and I’ve moved from the shack. That’s a hell of an association of ideas—but they are connected.
What I mean is, it gets pretty darn cold way up there on the windy hill—and I’ve often had a desire and several offers to move in one of the shacks in the valley where the wind doesn’t get at them so much. However, I never took up any of the offers because I thought Charley’s feeling might be hurt if I moved out.
Well, as I’ve said, Charley busted his leg—and now his home is in the hospital—and mine is in the “valley.” Charley sure does have a bunch of rotten luck—he’s almost as bad as Bud—maybe that’s why I took up with him. Oh well!
I now live with a fellow named George Henthorn—another L.A. boy. He (George) should be leaving for home one of these days—and will stop in to see you. I’ve flown a lot of missions with him, so you ought to get plenty of poop from him.
I got six of your letters yesterday—Nov 20 to 27. I’m glad you are not trying to satisfy all the kids of our acquaintance with Christmas presents. I can imagine what a problem it is for you—and its almost worth being overseas just to escape all that.
I’m sorry this is so short darling—I love you very much—Love, Ang
December 17. To 10:30 Mass. Wrapped packages in P.M.—and did a bit of sewing. Wrote letters & to bed by 11:00.
December 18. Didn’t have to work very hard. Shopped at noon. Finally had letter from Ang. To bed by 11:30
[Letter. Postmark 12-22-44.]
Who in the hell, may I ask, is this “Marion” who sent me two suckers for a Christmas present. What - -- - oops, I just remembered—the girl that works in your office is named Marion—isn’t she? Give her my thanks—or should I say Henthorns (my shack-mates) thanks—he enjoyed both of them immensely.
Charley is in good shape—it was just a simple break—nothing very serious. Besides, he has a cute nurse and he can use a rest.
You should see the officers mess now—we really have it decked out for Christmas. The “cutest” print curtains border the windows—boy, are they hot stuff. The nudes painted all over the walls have grass skirts glued to their lower extremities—I guess that’s a concession to the chaplain and the religious spirit of the holidays. The trees that Christmas trees are made of grow wild all over the island—and so we have dozens of wreaths. Your wreath and sign hang in the middle of mess hall. All in all—in looks pretty snappy—I’m rather proud of our labors.
Yes, I did receive the package with the two rolls of film—thanks, hon. I haven’t received Uncle Georges box yet, but it ought to get here one of these days. I’m sure glad you’ve been able to get as much as you have for me.
I also got the little “dolly” you sent me in the letter. Didn’t I feel foolish—sitting in the mess hall, a little doll dangling from my fingers, and a very foolish expression on my face. Oh well!
I got a “V” mail from Gram. Har[rington]—I nearly strained my eyes trying to read the small print before I remembered the magnifying glass you sent me. I, too, noticed how much she favors Donny. She seems to be crazy about him. She didn’t say much—mentioned Frankie, John, etc.
I can’t get over the difference the radio makes around here. Its almost a pleasure to lay around now. Even Gildersleeve (he’s on now) sounds good.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
By the way, my orders for the Air medal and five clusters came in—I am now officially a hero—ha!
[You can read about and listen to episodes of the radio show Ang mentions here: http://www.greatgildersleeve.com]
"The enclosed pictures were taken before Christmas and the scene is our squadron officer’s mess. I am only in one of them, and am right behind that pipe and under that mess of hair. The wall decorations were all done by Willy, and as you may note, tinsel skirts have been added to a couple of the girls. That was simpler than trying to paint goose pimples, we found.
Comrade Adams appears in all three pictures. He is playing cards in two of them (Hearts I think was the game) and in the third picture he is leaning against the wall near the bar in the make-believe downing a snort. I say “make-believe” because I am sure those bottles were empty at the time—otherwise there would have been a larger group in the pictures.
In the bar picture also is Garnett Carroll being served by Fisher who is behind the bar. Over the fireplace is our squadron insignia. The fellow that I am playing cards with (Double Solitaire) is Jim Clarke of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. That is Davis nearest him at the next table though hardly clear enough to identify him. The slot machine in the background was purchased out of the mess fund for an ungodly sum, and then it was discovered that nowhere in this theater were there coins to fit it. And there it sits."
[From "Dear Mom" by Michelle Cahill, niece of Tom Cahill.]
December 19. Took off at noon today—Did some shopping—then home. Wrapped packages. Home all evening. Bed 10:45
December 20. Warmish today—sure not very Christmasy. Shopped after work—bot black bag. Wrote letters in evening. 11:00
[Letter. Postmark 12-22-44.]
Gee—its only five days to Christmas now—the holidays are practically upon us. I don’t suppose the holidays will be too much for us—but just the idea kind of gets one. The best Christmas present we can get is to fly a mission on Christmas—that means one more towards getting home.
I’m afraid I’m a little moody today. The closeness of the holidays have kind of knocked my usual cheerful disposition all to hell. As I’ve told you before, I’m usually pretty contented over here—but on holidays or on days that have a special significance to us- - - well!
Gee, listen to me moan—you’d think I had the cares of the world on my shoulders. I’m sorry darling, I just don’t feel in a very happy mood today. You know how it is once in awhile.
Charley is in fine shape—and getting better all the time. Arne is still waiting.
Darn it hon, I just haven’t got it in me to write a letter today. Maybe I’ll add to it tonight.
I love you sweets—Love, Ang
December 21. No diary entry.
[Letter. Postmark 12-23-44.]
I suppose you’ve got yesterdays letter and are worried sick about me by now. It sure was a pukey letter, wasn’t it? Just ignore it, sweets—it was just one of those days when a person feels way, way down in the dumps. All day long the radio blared about the great German offensive and about the Allies retreating—and it sounded like the damn war would last forever. That, and Christmas being so near really got me down.
However this morning I bounced out of the right side of the bed—and am my usual optimistic self. That’s a long way of telling you I fell pretty good today.
It doesn’t look like I’m going to get my trip to Rome for the Holidays—however I’m still trying—and you never can tell. I sure would like to be there—oh well!
We haven’t been getting much mail lately—just Christmas boxes. I guess the post office is clogged with the presents, and the boys are probably tearing their hair out trying to straighten out the mess.
The radio just announced that the Pope is going to celebrate midnight mass on Christmas eve—and its going to be broadcast. Thats what I’d like to see at St. Peters. Oh well!
Its too bad that John can’t come to see you since he is on the west coast. I certainly hope that Frankie gets home by Christmas. Is he coming home on rotations or just a leave—or don’t you know? I sure hope he’s home for good—he certainly has done his part for this war.
Say, hon, take it easy on those magazine sections, will you? I’d rather get some magazines such as Story Mercury etc. don’t get a subscription for me—just send me some when you get a chance.
We saw a U.S.O. show the other night that was pretty good—three men and three girls. The men danced, cracked jokes, sang and other things—the girls just wiggled. Boy, the girls were sure good—ha! I guess that’s all a show needs over here—a pretty girl that looks, acts, and speaks American. The American girl is sure going to have a cinch with the G.I. back from overseas. She’s been raised so high in comparison to foreign women that it isn’t even funny. Ah well!
I love you darling—Love, Ang
Joni Adams Sesma, daughter of Angelo and Elizabeth Adams. Ang served on Corsica with the 57th Bomb Wing, 340th Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Squadron. April 1944-April 1945.