hidden loading gif
Joseph O'Sullivan

Photo of joseph o'sullivan

Joseph O'Sullivan

  • Date of Birth: 6/16/1922
  • Date Deceased: 5/30/1947
  • Degree: Industrial Arts
  • Date Enrolled NSTC: 9/1/1941
  • Date Left NSTC: 6/13/1942
  • Reason: Military Service
  • Enlistment Date: 6/17/1942


Select a Letter:

View Archive 1 of 7

Joe O'Sullivan January 24 1943

Double click archive to view full size.

View Transcript

[Nancy Thompson: Joe OSullivan]
Jan. 24 1943
Dear Miss Thompson,

I departed from Newark Dec. 19th and arrived in San Antonio Dec 22nd. We were immediately transported by truck to the Antonio Aviation Cadet Center which is about 9 miles south west of San Antonio. We are about 1 mile west of that famous flying field, Kelly Field. I think as soon as I mention, Kelly Field, your first thought is airplanes, airplanes and airplanes. Thats right, the sky is full of planes. The roar of this engine is forever present. After awhile one takes the roar of the engine, the odd pitched sound of a plane diving for granted. When we first arrived here and we heard a plane diving or in a dive I think we all inwardly prayed that the pilot would not, blackcut, and crash. Now we very seldom lift ours eyes to the heavens.
We have daily inspections of all our uniforms, beds shoes etc. Everything has its place and everything must be in its proper place as you are gigged. If you get a gig you must be in full dress at 6.P.M. and walk the squadron streets anywhere from 2-10 hours. After we finish making our beds in the morning and fixing our uniforms in the lockers we place a dust rag in our hands and keep dusting until we fall out for physical training. That way we are sure no dust will be present when the Lieutenant makes his inspection. I have received one gig for dust. I only had to walk 2 hours, steady, 120 steps a minute.
We started the New Year off right by jumping out of bed at 5 a.m. we washed every window in sight, polished everything. Then we had an hour of physical training, only 3 hours of drill, dinner, an hour of physical training and a short drill of 2 hours.
Of course I think you knew I would mention Ed Bigliving. Why I wired Ed as soon as I arrived. He came over to see me Christmas and he weighs a mere 185 or 190 pounds and is in tip top condition.
To complicate matters, 87 civilians came into our squadron and William had to get the job of teaching, drilling them the army way.
I had a chance, a chance which I dont think will ever present itself again. That was observing the reactions of new men when suddenly they were put in a new environment, subject to military discipline.
As civilians when they first came into our squadron area they were unorganized, very little discipline. But when they were made to march in step, maintain silence in the ranks at all times, go through a little class order drill, I noticed a unit or team taking form. One could move the 87 new anywhere in a quiet and orderly manner. They did as they were ordered and nothing else.
When they first arrived some were slow, some fast, some resented authority, some had ideas of their own but he first thing the army does is break your civilian morale. As soon as that is accomplished they start to build your military morale. The 87 men now look like a well disciplined unit but it will take time to get them to perform under any conditions such as combat etc. as and always, a unit, a military unit.
Miss Thompson I want to thank you for the Christmas card and also everyone who remembered me with a card.
The gift from the college was a bit touching for it made me feel that I should be in college now and I want to go back, but there are many thousands who feel the same way. You wont see anyone until we finish this job. I promise you, well be back, making pests of ourselves looking for books etc, which we cant find but are right in front of our eyes. We know youll understand and will be looking for us.

Sincerely yours,
Joseph OSullivan
I will send a few picture postcards of what we see and do here. I also have a funny feeling that I am again going to move. The feeling is so strong that I already packed two bags.

AR/C Joseph O Sullivan
Squadron 107
Army Air Force Classification Center
San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center
San Antonio, Texas

(Transcribed By: Stephanie Valente)

Double click transcribe to view full size.