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Record 412/959
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Letter from Mess Sergeant Howard C. Wickert, to Arthur P. Kannenberg, in Oshkosh, WI. Bay Shore, N.Y. July 7, 1943 8:30 P.M. E.W.T. Dear Mr. Krannenberg: Was very glad to receive your letter last Saturday. Am always glad to hear from some of the people back home. Being such a long distance from home it always makes one feel different when mail call is sounded. Since June has come East I am more at home than at the Base. Makes life seem a lot different since she has come. As you wrote you would like to know some thing of the army life. As far as I am concerned I have a lot different life since I came to Bay Shore. Before at Bradley Field, Conn. I had more office work to do than anything else. It also was in the food line which I am interested in so I learned quite a lot as far as the Army does their food purchasing. Besides doing this work we had a Base Defense School to attend once a week. This was a training for every one for the defense of the field. Drilling, methods of shooting a rifle and etc. This was during the summer time that all this had to be done while in the wintertime we had to attend movies and lectures on airplanes, defense of the soldier and etc. Besides this we had air alerts and blackouts. This [these] were for our own protection and we had our own posts to cover when these occurred. Since coming to Bay Shore I have a cook's job. This is the job which I was sent to school for at Camp Lee, Va. I have to work every other day. The day in the army starts at noon, so that is our time to begin work. I have to work from one noon till the next and than I have the next day off. I have a 1st. cook's job which has a lot of responsibility connected with it. I have to see that all the food is prepared correctly, that the meat is prepared under sanitary conditions, that it is put out on time, that the mess hall is clean at all times, that all the cooks are in clean clothes and that their personal habits are clean, that all the K.P.'s (kitchen police) are doing their jobs correctly and that the meal is prepared according to the Master Menu put out by the War Department. This job calls for quite a lot of food experience as far as using up food that has to be used in a short time and to the best advantage. I have a second cook under me who helps prepare the meal and also see that everything is prepared as ordered. I have the company Mess Officer who usually is the company commander and also the Mess Sargent. They give orders to me as what is suppose to be done and what food is to be prepared. Whatever suggestions I give they are always waiting for I have no drilling or roll calls to answer to. While I am off duty I am on my own and can be absent from the Base till I am suppose to return to duty. So far I have been in the Army almost nine months, so I am quite used to all regulations and regular routine of the Army. I have had fifteen weeks of schooling. Eight weeks of cooks school, Mess sargents school and pastry school. I have to do all the baking on the shift I am on. That has to be done on the time I have between meals. As far as baking I haven't done much before till I received the position I have now. Rolls, cakes, pies and cookies. That keeps me busy all the time I am on duty. The Army itself is not bad after you are used to this life. It is a real difference from civilian life. Everything is of the best including the food, clothing, medical care and quarters. The officers are very nice to us which helps a lot to make our life a lot easier. That is about all I can write you at this time. If you would like some more information I will be glad to furnish it to you. Yours truly, Howard Wickert
Letter -WORLD WAR II -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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