The good news about October 1944 is that Ang got some R & R — another day in Rome, and then a trip to Capri. The bad news was that the weather caused many stand downs. Some days it was bad on Corsica and other days over their targets. And so even when he was on Corsica, they weren’t flying many missions. The 340th Bomb Group only flew on 11 of the 31 days. Ang flew on two of his 486th squadron’s seven missions. On October 10th he writes that he thinks the flight surgeon thinks he’s “flak-happy” because he appears restless and jumpy. Ang tells Betty it’s because he’s bored, not because he needs R&R. If Catch-22 is applied, then perhaps he was, in fact crazy for wanting to fly more. If you think you're crazy and ask to be grounded, then you're not really crazy. But if you wanted to fly more missions because you're bored, then you must be crazy. Sounds like Catch-22 and time for rest camp.
Sunday October 1. Late Mass - did a lot of odds and ends around house. Had late dinner. Washed hair and wrote some letters. Bed 11:30.
Form 5. A-1, Administrative flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:05h [probably to Rome.]
October 2. Just worked half a day. Peg and Donny arrived home and we met them. Mr S here for dinner. Big to-do about his auto. Bed 11:00.
October 3. Worked pretty hard today. Turned rather warm in P.M. Did some laundry and wrote letters after B. Hope. Bed 10:30.
Form 5. C-3, Combat flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:55h
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION #42]
Cameri RR Bridge
Heavy, Moderate & accurate.
2 ships holed.
[I don't have any "extra" information on this mission, but the 340th BG diary recorded the following: "Though many ships were badly shot up, some
flights having all ships holed, fortunately all returned safely. The missions were both very successful." The 486th BS diary recorded: "Another bridge mission - 100% accuracy yet the bridge escaped. Just one of those things."]
[Letter, postmark 10-4-44.]
I’m sorry for not writing the last couple of days—but I’ve been a little busy. Took another short holiday in Rome (one day) Didn’t do much—had a couple of good meals—a hot shower—a few drinks—and had a portrait (pencil) made of me I think its pretty good—I’ll send it on one of these days.
I’m enclosing a couple of small snaps in this letter. They should give you an idea of what our shack is really like—although we have closed it in for the winter now. Its too bad the mountains don’t show up in that one snap—they really are beautiful. In fact it’s a wonderful location—mountains to the rear and the sea to the front.
What do you think of our sign in front of operations—cute, eh? There certainly isn’t anything modest about us. The colonel actually takes it seriously though—says he can prove it. General Eaker sent him congratulations a few weeks ago—and told him that we were doing better now than even the B-26 groups in the theatre. And, as the colonel points out, the B-26’s had the record of being the most accurate bombers in the world. So, as he again will point out modestly, that puts the B-25’s on top. And then, with a blush of modesty, he will point to a great big chart on the wall which shows our group has all the other B-25 groups beat hollow. Two and two equal four—and that makes us the “The Best Damn Group There Is.”
He isn’t too far wrong though—even I must admit we’re pretty hot. We have really been running up a record lately for bombing accuracy.
I got a letter from Capt. Cots. He’s in France now, but he had been on Corsica—Its too bad I didn’t find out about him sooner. Oh well, such is life.
I love you sweets—Love, Ang
October 4. Not a thing new today. Work is rather heavy right now. Mother out to War Housing but nothing so far. Bed by 11:00.
[Letter, postmark 10-6-44]
I finally got a bunch of mail today—six letters and four of them from you—9th, 10th, 11th & 13th. It certainly takes a long time for them to reach me now. We hadn’t gotten much mail for over a week—and some damn fool started a rumor that a plane had gone down in the water with about 170 sacks of the island’s mail. Boy, you should have seen the faces around here. Oh, hum—such is war!
Really honey—you’re giving more excuses in your letters than even I do for not writing. I haven’t noticed—but if you’ve been a bad girl and not writing regularly you’ve luckily picked the right time. The mail is such a mess now—that I don’t know which letters I get—or what. If you know what I mean.
I guess I never did mention my boots—did I? I bought them in Natal, Brazil—and I sure am glad I did. They are very comfortable and easy to get in and out of. They’re just about worn out now and I use them mostly for “bed room” (get that) slippers. I wish I had bought 3 or 4 pairs.
“In solid with the wheels” is a new air corps expressions. “Wheels” are the big shots—“C.O.s” etc—and the expression means that you are on very good terms with the big shots.
You’ll have to pardon the writing—the sun has disappeared behind the hills—and I’m practically writing this in the dark.
I’m glad you liked the pictures I sent you—I did look rawthar air corpish in that one—didn’t I?
You’ll have to excuse my stopping now—but my eyeballs are hanging out trying to see what I am writing—and that hurts. Besides the boys are screaming for another poker player. By the way, It looks like my luck has turned this month. I’m not losing anything—but I’m certainly not winning. Oh well!
I love you, hon---Love, Ang
October 5. Coolish today—worked like a demon. Heard from Ang—since Monday. Wrote letters in evening. To bed by 11:15.
[Letter, postmark 10-7-44]
Well, I did me duty yesterday—I voted. My ballot came in yesterday so I went over and got it over with. Really, a very painless operation—besides it did me good to vote against a couple of my pet peeves that are in Congress. It really is surprising how seriously all the boys are taking this election—far more so than most civilians. If the bull sessions around here mean anything—Roosevelt and the democrats are in by a landslide in the Squadron. There are only two Republicans among all the officers—and you should see them take a beating in the bull sessions (I guess that’s the way its spelled).
The world series games are shortwaved to us every night—and it sure sounds funny to hear a ball game broadcast around 10P.M. Everything seems backwards.
I went to a movie last night—Red Skelton in “I Dood It” The picture was funny enough, but the way it was shown was even funnier. The man running the machine must have been new—because he sure screwed things up. When the picture first started it flashed on upside down—and I guess he didn’t notice because he left it on for about a minute. When the first reel was over, he put on the 3rd instead of the second and off we went. Then he went completely screwy and tried out 3 – 4 different reels before he found the right one. We saw parts of newsreel—a comedy—and a picture on social diseases before he finally got straightened out. Ho hum—I wonder where he got his bottle.
I also got an application from the U. of I. for those extension courses I wrote for. They don’t offer much of a variety—and I really don’t know what to take. It would be to difficult to get materials for a Economics or Acct. course over here. I guess I’ll take some of the easier course[s]—probably Business Letter Writing and maybe a course in Math or some science. I’ll decide one of these days. The[y] cost a lot more than I thought—15 to 30 dollars a course. Oh well, that’s not too much.
Arne has taken off for Cario [Cairo] on a rest trip. Its supposed to be quite a place—and I guess I’ll head that way one of these days. I told you that he had more missions than I had—well he’s got 60 now—and with luck he should be bouncing the young-un on his knee by Christmas.
I love you honey—Love, Ang
[The 1944 World Series was played in St. Louis, where Betty had lived for some years of her childhood and where some family still lived in 1944 (and still live in 2016). Here's a link to an interesting blog that talks about the series. http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/the-great-st-louis-streetcar-world-series-of-1944/]
October. 6. Six months today since Ang left. Ah me. Worked like a demon at the office. Peg and I to movies—bed about 12:30
October. 7. My day off [Saturday]. Did odd jobs in A.M. To meeting of wives at U.S.O. Read papers and wrote letters in evening. Dead tired.
[Letter, postmark 10-9-44]
I sent in my application to the U. of I. today—I figured I might as well get started before I changed my mind. I finally settled for two courses in Rhetoric. Neither one of them require much more than a lot of writing—and I always find time for a lot of that. It was the two easiest courses I could find—naturally! I hope I can dig up a dictionary somewhere.
By the way, they want a photograph of me for their files. I told them you would send it—so please get it off as soon as possible. Mention my name and the reason for it.
Division of University Extension
University of Illinois
an old one will do—just so they can see my face fairly clear.
This is just like starting college all over again—I wish I’d started sooner. Its going to be plain murder if I ever take a Econ. or Acct. course—I’ve forgotten most of it. Ah well!
I’m sweating out the mail now—it should be in soon, and I hope there’s plenty for me.
The weather is p.p. around here in the winter. Its very much like Chicago’s—and you know what that means. Poor Charley takes a beating—his side of the shack leaks like a sieve—right on his bed. You should hear him screaming in the middle of the night when it starts raining—Ha!
I love you darling—Love, Ang
October 8. To early Mass—and Communion. Did a little sewing & ironing. Read in afternoon. Had late dinner. to bed by 11:00.
October 9. Worked like a demon today. Golly we were busy. Donny got his first shots and was a little cross. Poor baby. Bed 11:00
October 10. Didn’t get much accomplished at the office today. Bot some things for Donny after work. Listened to radio—Bed by 11:30
[Letter, postmark 10-12-44]
Don’t mind me if I sound a bit crabby in this letter. I haven’t flown or done a darn thing for over ten days—and I’m slowly but surely going nuts. You know how restless I get when I don’t have anything to do.
I noticed the flight surgeon observing me lately—and usually that means a rest period. I certainly hope not—I’ve tried to tell him that what I need is some work and not rest—but he doesn’t seem to believe me. You know how jumpy and restless I get when there is nothing to do—it certainly isn’t a sign that I’m getting flak-happy. Ah well, such is life.
If I do go to rest camp—I hope its to Cairo, Egypt (I hope that’s the way its spelled.) I always did want to climb a camel and besides they say that there is plenty of American whiskey there. By the way, leave plenty of money in the bank, because if I go there it costs plenty of money and I’m just about broke.
By the way hon, I sent you the receipt for $200.00 that the bank sent me—I imagine that’s the one that is worrying you. It should have been included in last months statement. I will repeat once more—I sent the bank $1900.00 in the last two months—I hope it all gets there.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
October 11. Usual day at office—worked hard in P.M. Bought green wool suit after work. No mail—bed about 11:00. Off tom.
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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.