Letters From Robert Friederichs - PDF's

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Text of Letters From Robert Friederichs - PDF's

  • April 1, 1944

    Location: Presidio of Monterey, CA

    Dear Family,

    We were sworn in at 1:30 today. We still havent got our uniforms or dog tags as yet. We will probably get them tomorrow. The food is swell. I eat twice as much. We had a small physical today plus about 5 different mental tests; boy were they hard: mostly math and a couple of vocabulary tests.

    We saw some movies of military discipline and sex hygiene. Tomorrow we have more tests and get our uniforms. I havent got my hair cut. I will phone the first chance I get.




  • April 10, 1944

    Location: Presidio of Monterey, CA

    Dear Sis,

    Thank you very much for coming down Sunday. I know it must have taken Cliff a lot of gas, thank him again for me. I havent opened your box of candy as of yet, I think I will wait until I finish the other food.

    I hope maw can get that bag for me because it will be larger than the one I have. It isnt necessary to have a zipper.

    Thanks again.

    Your Brother,


  • April 12, 1944

    Location: Presidio of Monterey, CA

    Dear Mom and Family,

    There isnt much I can say because there isnt anything new. I think the train will go through Oakland, I hope.

    I have to go now.



  • June 6, 1944

    Location: Camp Abbot, Oregon

    Dear Mom and Family,

    I guess you received a telegram saying I was operated on for my appendix. Thats why I havent written for so long.

    Wednesday, May 31st I went over to the infirmary with a bad stomach ache; at least thats what I thought it was.

    This was about 9 PM. The guy took my temperature which was 95 degrees. The guy said it might be my appendix. He said to walk over to the hospital, which is about a mile away, for a checkup.

    I waited for about an hour and a half so they could see what was wrong with me. I sat there with a chill and my stomach paining to beat heck.

    They finally decided my appendix was bad. The Major and Captain operated on me. They had to get the Major out of bed. He is really a swell guy. Hes from San Francisco.

    I was pretty scared. They gave me a shot in the left leg. This makes your legs feel kind of heavy. I waited outside the operating room for about three minutes. One of the nurses said they would send a telegram home if I wanted it so I guess they sent it (I hope!).

    In the operating room they gave me about four spinal injections. A couple of them hurt. After this everything got numb from my waist down. I felt the first cut. It was a funny sensation. It didnt hurt though.

    Gee, Im writing this in bed lying down. Its kind of hard that way.

    They operated at about 12:30 Thursday morning. I noticed the clock as I went in the room. It took about hour. I kept talking all of the time. They told me to go sleep but I couldnt even though they gave me a sleeping pill.

    After they finished they fed me a bottle of liquid through my veins. I guess I slept all that day and night and also part of Friday. They gave me quite a few shots for pain.

    I could hardly eat anything. I still dont eat all my meals. I just havent had an appetite. Ive had severe headaches because of the spinal injections. You get them when you start walking around.

    I threw up twice when they were operating. I dont know why. They send everyone that has had an operation to Walla Walla, Washington. The Army has a large hospital up there. I will probably stay there about a month to recuperate; then down to Fort Lewis which is a new camp.

    Ken will here about Sunday.

    I received your swell package; although I couldnt eat most of it. I guess I wont be able to eat salami and stuff like that for awhile.

  • Yesterday I had to turn in most of my clothes except a suit to wear and my personal belongings. We wont need much stuff in the other hospital.

    Today I moved out in the ward. I had been in a room by myself all the other times.

    I threw up yesterday when I got back from checking my clothes. I was sure weak and very tired; also a headache. The headaches are the worst things to worry about.

    My side doesnt bother me much anymore. The stitches are still in.

    Sorry for the sloppy letter.



  • September 22, 1944

    Location: Fort Lewis, Washington

    Dear Mom and Family,

    Gee Im sorry I havent written but I spent most of my time with Ken because he left yesterday for Camp Beale.

    Im in a different company now. We will be on our eighth week next week.

    It rained all day yesterday. Of course we were out in the field all day. We fired our rifles from the hip. We also fired the carbine the same way.

    We went to the range and fired at silhouettes. We didnt use slings. They were very small, about 300 yards, and it was foggy.

    About three oclock we went through a German village. It was a block of houses and sheds. We used the whole platoon. Some fired the machine guns which used blanks while others took the houses as ordered. We used live rounds and blank hand grenades. It was a lot of fun, except it was raining.

    We fell out last night at about 8 oclock for a night problem of booby traps. We set them out for another squad to find and we had to find the other squads.

    Only one went off in our squad. They have large firecrackers attached to them.

    They fired artillery shells and flares over our heads for a half hour to make it more like the real thing I guess.

    Ill sign off now.

    Love to All,


    PS I finally got a letter today from you. Ive been moving around too much.

  • September 9, 1944

    Location: North Fort Lewis, WA

    Dear Mom and Family,

    Well the first thing we did this morning was to go over the obstacle course with packs and rifles. After that we learned how to disarm a person who is coming at you with a bayonet (on the rifle). After that we studied aircraft identification the rest of the morning.

    In the afternoon we had a test on airplanes and then we practiced tying knots the rest of the afternoon.

    I havent received any mail for about three days now. They take their time about sending it over when you transfer around.

    Tomorrow we will be out in the field all day. Saturday we have a big inspection. If Im not on K.P. Saturday or Sunday I will go to town; that is if I get paid Saturday.

    There are too many Mexicans in this outfit; personally I would rather have Negros.

    Write soon.



  • October 2, 1944

    Location: North Fort Lewis, WA

    Dear Mom and Family,

    The first thing we did Saturday was run cross country mile with packs and rifles. After that we had an inspection the rest of the morning. In the afternoon we went out on the 22 range and shot 22s.

    I went over to my old company and got paid. At about 5 oclock I came back and got my pass and went into town.

    I met a Sgt. I know so we got a bed up at one of the churches and went to a show. We hitched hiked up to Seattle Sunday morning. We got there at about 11:30. We went to a couple of USOs. They are very nice up in Seattle. We went to a show later in the afternoon.

    They run a ferry from Seattle to Tacoma so we took the ferry. It isnt as large as the ones down there. It took 2-1/2 hours. We got to Tacoma at 7:30 and got a bus back to camp.

    I would like to have my pipe, tobacco pouch, Brownie camera and some film. Maybe Joan would let me use her camera. I would like to take some pictures while Im here. I think you would enjoy them if you could get some film for me. Its pretty hard to get film up here.

    Please send the stuff as soon as possible.

    The weather is usually cloudy and cool.

    This morning we tied knots and drilled. This afternoon we played games. We had an easy day.

    Well write soon.

    Love to All,


  • Sunday, December 24, 1944

    Location: North Fort Lewis, WA

    Dear Mom and Family,

    Well Im in town today. I came in last night. My pass is good until Tuesday morning. When I got in last night I had a nice big steak dinner. I then went to the show. I got a bed (with sheets) for 65 cents (or $65) and slept until 12 this morning and I have just finished another steak breakfast.

    I have a place to eat Xmas dinner out at someones home. I met a Sergeant friend of mine and we decided to go to Olympia in about an hour as the Elks are giving the boys a big feed about four oclock.

    The food in the company is terrible. Most of the meat has been ground so I dont eat that. In other words I dont get very much blood so I have started eating lots of steaks to keep me healthy.

    I am getting along fine in school. I have a pretty good record. I havent had a gig on my rifle since I started and most of them have had at least one. I have gotten about 87% on most of the tests and 82% yesterday on public speaking.

    The U.S.O. today is crowded with soldiers.

    I mailed all my packages yesterday. You should get them in the middle of the week.

    The boys left for Texas yesterday. I believe its the infantry. There moving a lot of guys every day. It looks like the will move the whole camp by the end of the year.

    Its been very cold lately. The puddles of water on the ground stay frozen solid all day. Everyone wears overcoats now including me.

    Thats all for nowwrite soon.

    Merry Christmas to everyone,


  • Postcard: Crooked River Bridge, Dalles, OR

    Tuesday, January 9, 1045

    Location: Portland, OR

    Dear Mom,