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[In blue pen on left margin] Answered 10/16/42 Research data enclosed. Placements Rank
[Arrow to right margin in explanation of acronym]
If youre curious this means Army Air Force Technical Training Command.
615 City Park Ave
New Orleans, La.
Class 10 43
Dear Mr. Hutchinson,
I really should wait to write to you when my complacency is at a higher level. This weather does not agree with me or I do not quite agree with it. It rains every afternoon leaving the air very humid. Though I guess it would be unbearable if it didnt rain to cool things off.
The following is the agenda or record of my status up to date.
Aug 8- arrived at Fort Dix- stayed there a week. By the way Saul is no longer there, he is at Mitchell Field. Fort Dix is not a bad place- you meet all your friends there. Stan Buchner arrived a day after I did. Vincent Beebe pulled in a couple of days later. He has all his applications for air cadet and rather than wait home, he enlisted.
Aug. 16- Kessler Field. Its really an Air Corps Force Replacement center. You are given aptitude tests. On the basis of those test passed you are sent to a training school. You are entitled to a choice as far as the type of training goes. They persuade you to take the highest aptitude score because they do not want you to flunk out in something you may like, but are not quite qualified for it. (Thats some sentence. Get what I mean?) If the army needs men for a particular course, they will almost tell you to pick that one. My highest score was in aerial photography and mapping, and parachut rigging. They needed Air Mechanics so I was asked to take that. The training period is longer and the course will be of more value to me after the war. Therefore I consented gladly.
Aug 22- Landed in New Orleans. I am attending a contract school. It was a trade school. The army doesnt actually controll it. They pay the school for training us. Our living quarters are run the same way. In addition to our regular salary we are given $12.50 a week for sleeping quarters and board. Then we pay the school.
School is rather tough and tiresome. We go to school 12 hrs a day. We get as much metal shop in one day as the I.A. men in college get in a week. Thats going some. The work is divided in eleven phases. Each phase takes 10 school days. The instructions also put in 12 hrs. a day.
I enjoy the work a lot. Math is almost necessary if you want to do well. Physics is also important. I had physics in high school but I have forgotten much of it.
When we get out we will be first echelon men. That is we will inspect and service the planes. The position is quite a responsible one. Although we have more highly trained specialists behind us, they will be of no value to the air force unless we find the engine trouble. In other words we tell them what to do. A man who will fix the fuel instruments will know nothing about the flying instruments.
This letter is getting pretty long. If youre tired. Put it down and wash your face. Thats what the instructors make us do every 45 minutes.
I just missed making the grade for officers training. It was the general classification score. I guess I baffled the experts because at Kessler field they told me to ask for a retest. They said I couldnt possible make the scores I did in math. and aptitude tests without a higher gen. classification grade. They blamed it on the Dix set up. Theyre testing system is poor.
The head sergeant in Kessler [begin circle in blue pen] testing program told me to get my college records not for each subject but class rank, I.Q., placement, average for each year etc. You know more about that then I do. Could you put your hands on it some day when you not too busy? Im in no hurry [end circle in blue pen] for it. I wont need it for another 60 days. Do they rank us in college each year? In our freshman year we knew how we stood according to the placement records but never since then.
Say, Im no longer private Lorusso; the name is now Corporal. I wish this was official in that I could get my mail addressed that way. They are short on non-coms. here. Therefore they appoint an acting sergeant for each class. Each class is divided into three squads of 10 min each. I am a corporal at the head of one of the squads. They are responsible to me and I in turn to the sergeant. Were supposed to wear stripes. Every morning we drill our squads every the part about it is that they know as much as I do if not more.
Im determined to end here. In my next letter Ill tell you what I think of New Orleans etc.
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