Wed, December 1, 1943

Was on the set this morning at 8:00. Boy what a dump this is: mud, mud, mud. We have to walk about a mile to chow. This field had a very rugged day. We shot a fake briefing & the interrogation was the real McCoy. There were only 7 crews back. I ate early tonite & have quite a few letters to write. I’m waiting now for the papers to come to put in for my discharge.

Thu, December 2, 1943

Was up at 7:15 and on the set at 8:00. We shot in the briefing room all day long. The afternoon was taken up with interrogation shots. Finished at 5:30 and had to go back after supper & set up in the locker room. We go in there in the morning. One of our drivers had an accident this evening. He ran into or rather the soldier ran into him with a bicycle. The lad never got up & they took him to the hospital. Haven’t as yet found out how he is. Been sweating out my mail & pay now. Don’t know how we will be able to get our mail & pay. They had better get it figured out soon.

Fri, December 3, 1943

Was up at 7:00 this morn and on the set at 8:00. We shot in the locker room in the morning & in the navigator room. We took a shot of the Chaplain (Catholic) giving communion to a group of  boys getting ready to go on a mission. Our generator began to break down & we only got 2 shots after lunch. The boy that was hit last night was OK. No broken bones. Mac the generator operator brought Simpson & I over a qt. of rum last nite & by bed time I was half lit. We moved over to operations tonite & shoot there tomorrow. Still haven’t got my mail this week. Wrote 2 letters tonite & am going to shave & hit the hay. Boy this country is sure cold & muddy. Everything I have is covered with mud. The Army mechanics are fixing our generator tonite & should have it going by morning.

Sat, December 4, 1943

Was on the set at 8:00 this morning and shot 2 shots in Group Operations room. Then one in the War room. Ate dinner & moved to the Nesson Hut of the officers & shot 2 shots there. Loaded our equipment & ate and after supper set up in the mess hall to be ready for in the morning. Heard today I’m getting my mail & pay tomorrow by courier. Hurrah. Was very cold today & it’s still muddy as hell here. Finished work at 7:45 and am going to hit the hay early tonite.

Sun, December 5, 1943

Was on the set at 8:00 this morning & we set up & shot 2 takes in the Combat Mess. We then ate & moved to a Nisson Hut of gunners & shot 4 takes there. It was 4:00 when we had finished & we were given passes until Tue at noon. They brought a big bag of mail up from London & I had just exactly none. I wanted to drive over Bury St. Edmund & get my mail if I had any & get my pay but all the officers had scrambled to London. I was so pissed off that I didn’t even take my pass. If I don’t get any mail soon I’ll go crazy and I’m afraid now I’ll do something serious before long. I can’t stand seeing other men open up Xmas pkgs & get their mail & day after day do without. If I ever go on the screwy side it wont be from the war. Just a letter. Saw a show tonite but was too far in the dumps to enjoy it. Am going to bed early.


Mon, December 6, 1943

Slept until 10:30 this morning. Ate & got my rations & then built a fire in the laundry tubs & at 4:30 ate supper & then came back & done my laundry. Had quite a washing. The service group boys that stay in the other end of the barracks wanted me to go to town with them. We left at 7:00 & had quite a time. Went to Wellingborough. Made three pubs & had a lot of fun. Was back in the barracks by 12:00. I called my outfit today & they said they would bring my money & mail up tomorrow morning. God I hope so. I can’t stand this much longer. I wanted to cable Mary money for our wedding anniversary. Hope it don’t get there too late.


Tue, December 7, 1943

Did not get up for breakfast and by the time I got up & washed McGovern & Sgt. Feldburn came up with Frank’s & mine pay. I was red lined & over the Govt $20 out of pay. They sent my wife $122.00 out of my pay. They only brought 3 letters & they were all English & none from home.  Guess I’ll I’ll just have to sweat it out. We had until 4:00 off & I got my rations & allowance pay for while in London. We set up outside the mess hall & then ate. We had several scenes after supper & I had to be in two of them. We finished around midnite & got in bed at 2:00. I could not sleep did not go to sleep until 5:30 in the morning.

Wed, December 8, 1943

Slept until 11 this morning & ate & we started work at 1:00. I sent Mary a cable today at noon. I really am worried about her. We shot in the officer’s Nisson Hut then ate & set up outside the briefing room. Had 2 shots there & it misted all thru the scenes. We finished at 9:30 & are leaving tomorrow at 1:00 for another field. Boy will I be glad to leave this sea of mud. Still no mail today. Lt. Col Keighly was called to London by Gen Eaker. Perhaps somethings in the air.

Thu, December 9, 1943

Up at 7:15 this morning and ate & then packed up our own equipment at 9:30. We loaded up our trucks & by dinner was finished. After lunch we left Grafton Underwood & drove over to Kimbolton. We got our billets & unloaded our bags & by supper time was all settled. It’s a little better here, we’re closer to things, but there is just as much mud. Am going to write several letters tonite & then turn in. I still am sweating out some mail from home. Oh well maybe I’ll hit the jackpot soon.


Fri, December 10, 1943

Was up at 6:00 this morning and on the set at 7:30. We shot our first scene at 9:00 in the Briefing Room here. We finished up in there at 3:00 when the dolly wheel went flat with a broken stem. We set up in the Navigator’s Room & shot one shot there. We finished at 5:00, ate, & then I’m going to write some letters & go to a Red Cross stage show at 8:30. We go back to operations again tomorrow at 8:00. This field is a lot better than the others we have been at. Should be here about 10 days.


Sat, December 11, 1943

Shot in the Briefing & Operations all day and then after supper I joined a poker game & did all right won £3. I was going to the last nite but played poker but broke even. Wrote 6 letters & then retired. Still no mail from the states.


Sun, December 12, 1943

We set up on the mess hall after breakfast & shot 2 scenes there. We finished at noon & after lunch went to a Nesson Hut & made 5 close ups there. That finishes the Nesson Huts. We finished at 3:00 and Frank & Sgt Taylor & I dressed & drove into London. We left at 4:00 and was in London at 6:15. The first thing I headed for was the tubs & took a good bath & shaved. After Frank & I went out & had a nice dinner & a few drinks after & went to bed. Stayed at the Columbia Club. Still no mail.


Tue, December 14, 1943

Arrived back from London this morn at 7:30 and left right away for Chelveston Air Base & shot the briefing room there. We took about 6 scenes & finished at 5:00. We ate supper there and then drove back to camp here. I’m going to bed early tonite I’m all petered out. Still no mail today.


Wed, December 15, 1943

Went to bed at 8:00 last nite & was up at 6:00 this morning. Was all set up when the officers got there this morning. Shot all morning in the briefing room & then after lunch loaded up and shot one shot in the weather room at the control tower. Finished at 3:00 & was loaded at 4:00. We leave here in the morning for another field for a days work. I am going to write some letters tonite & hit the sack early again. Still no mail yet and I’ve just about given up hope. This picture will finish in about another three weeks.


Thu, December 16, 1943

Ws up at 6:00 this morning and was ready to leave for Polebroke Field at 7:30. We arrived there  at 9:30 and was ready to shoot at 10:30. We took two shots in the briefing room before lunch. Ate in the Combat Mess & had a swell dinner. After lunch we took a shot of the combat crews coming in for coffee & sandwiches and doughnuts. While we were waiting a B-17 taxied by us & there were three jeeps sitting on the edge of the runway & the right prop took the tops of all three of them & bent the prop. The pilot was a fault because that runway was closed off. We finished at 3:00 & at 4 was on our way back to the field. We leave early in the morning with our bags & go back to Polebrook. We have a couple of shots & then go to Elveden Hall near Bury St Edmunds. I received Mary’s package today & 14 letters from her and the states. Boy was I happy. I sure like my pen for I was lost without one.


Fri, December 17, 1943

Was up at 6:00 this morning and was on our way to Polebrook at 8:30 and was set up and ready to go at 10:10. We took three shots & then packed up, had dinner and at 1:30 left for Elveden Hall. Arrived here at 5:00 and moved into our barracks, had supper and went to see Betty Grable in “Coney Island.” We have a very nice barracks here & it’s only 10 miles to my post. I’m going to call them tomorrow & see if I have any late mail. Going to write Mary a letter then hit the hay. Have to start in early tomorrow.


Sat, December 18, 1943

Was up at 6:30 and on the set at 8:00. We moved into Div Headquarters and was ready to shoot our first shot at 10:00. We had quite a day. Worked until 11:00 at nite but we get Sunday & Mon off. I’m going over to the orphanage Monday for the Xmas party. I am going over to Bury St. Edmunds tomorrow & straighten out my pay. They tell me I’m red lined again. What a life. 3 months now & my pay has been snafued up. Going to hit the hay.


Sun, December 19, 1943

The Lt. woke me at 9:30 this morning to help get the generator out of the mud. After I had finished this job I ate and took the courier to Bury at 12:00. Was in Bury at 12:30 and Bobbie came over to the Message Center and picked me up. I had quite a time visiting and in the evening Cal Randolph took two pictures of me, 8×10 in flying clothes and dress uniform. I retired at 10:30 but the boys were alerted and I was up all night with them. They went to Bremen, GER, and about 4:00 I fell asleep.


Mon, December 20, 1943

I met Bart & he had his Lt. uniform on and sure looked swell. I hung around until 7:00 and Capt sent me back to the Hall with a command car. I was back by 8:30 and am hitting the bunk right now. Was up at 9:00 and saw Capt Culver and he gave me a truck and Lynch and I left for Braintree & Great Dunmow. The boys gave me more candy for the orphans & £7/5s in cash. We were in Braintree at 11:30 and I stopped and saw Mr. & Mrs. Wiseman. I visited with them until 12:00 and the drove over to Great Sailing & Andrews Field. I ate there and visited the boys in the photo lab. At one we left and drove over to St. Joseph’s school with the toys & candy. The sisters were really glad to see me and we all had a good cry. The kids had the flu & we couldn’t see them. The Mother Superior gave me a nice gift of a holy packet. Hated to leave them. We left at 2:30 and drove back to Braintree & from 3 to 4 visited with mother & dad Wiseman. We had tea, hot cakes and she gave me a present from sis Eva. We were back in camp at 5:00 and there were two letters waiting for me from Mary & Margaret R.


Tue, December 21, 1943

We were up at 6:30 and ate and was ready at 7:30 to go to Bury St. Edmund’s. We waited for the officers to show up but just before dinner we found out that the generator broke down & that it would be after Xmas before it would be done. We are all hopped up now for we we will get the Xmas holidays off. I worked on a plexiglass ring all afternoon for Eva. Finished in the evening. Went to the Aero Club & had a snack & then to bed.


Wed, December 22, 1943

We were up early today & Lt. Perieck came in & told us he was turning us over to the Post Commander here to work over the holidays. He called me outside & said that he could fix it up for Frank and I to go to Bury over Xmas but I told him him I thought it was a dirty trick to do to the men after they had worked so hard for the unit & if they couldn’t go I didn’t want to. He got sore about it but I meant it. I’ll tell the Col too my feelings when he returns. We reported to the Capt & we had to lug big tables & furniture, and stoves & brick all day. Boy what a reaming we got. We were sure pissed off when he came in. I made another glass ring for a friend of mine and then went to the show but it was a stinker & we left & went & had a snack at the club then turned in. I feel like hell. Got a cold & am so stiff I can hardly walk.


Thu, December 23, 1943

We reneged today & they never told us to report back so we just laid around all day & made plexiglass rings. Made one for Eva Wiseman & sent it. It was sure cute. We sure needed the rest tho & all of us really enjoyed it. I hope we get a pass over Xmas. All the boys are looking forward to it. Going to bed early tonite. Still feel sort of tough.


Fri, December 24, 1943

Was up at 9:00 & after breakfast waited for our passes. At 9:30 the Lt. brought them in & they were for 10:00 until midnite Sunday. He left for London & at 11 before all of us had gone they tired to put 4 of our boys on KP over the holidays. Had a hell of time getting them out of it. Lt. Bart came for us at 12:00 & took Frank & I over to our outfit at Bury St. Edmunds for  our Xmas & for the party tonite. The boys were on a mission & returned at 5:00. After supper we rolled the beer in & started on our 7 qts. of Scotch. I drank until 10:00 & was I stiff. Sid passed out & most everybody else. We opened up presents at 11:00. I got 3 rolls of toilet paper. Boy what presents. The barracks was all dolled up with Xmas tree & everything. We took a lot of pictures & put on a show among ourselves. Lt. Bart was the only officer present. PFC LT Hines was sick & couldn’t be present. At midnite all the Catholic boys went to midnite mass & Lt. Bart took some pictures at mass. We sang Xmas carols & in all it was a very good Xmas eve but I’d of loved to spend it with my family. I sure missed them tonite.


Sat, December 25, 1943

We all slept in today until about noon. Some of the boys had a hangover. Boy what a party. We ate our dinner at noon at the Combat Mess & had turkey, dressing, giblet gravy. mashed potatoes, peas, cranberry sauce, raisin pie, choc ice cream, oranges, ? , candy, coffee. All afternoon the mess stayed open for snacks and closed at 5:00 no supper. I slept most of the afternoon and at 4:30 went to mass in the evening. We played poker & the boys took £3/10s off of me . Had a very quiet day. Some of the boys took some of our donations over to the hospital to the wounded soldiers. Was asleep by 1:00 and Jean came in awoke me and a few of us helped him kill a qt. of Scotch he brought back with him. We also nipped on the beer all day.


Sun, December 26, 1943

Was up for breakfast this morning and the laid around & visited & slept and listened to the radio all day. We were going to London but Capt Culver vetoed that so we drank a little of the beer that was still left over. In the afternoon we had quite a time. Got about ½ swacked on the flat beer. After supper Capt Culver sent a driver with Frank and I and Sid Rosenblatt back to our base. I was sick all night & got up about 5 times to urinate. Didn’t get to sleep until nearly 4. Going to see the doc tomorrow.


Mon, December 27, 1943

Left Elveden Hall at 8:00 this morn & was ready to shoot at 10:00 but could not get the cast until after lunch. After lunch I went over to the combat hospital to have the doc look me over. He said I had a very bad prostate & is sending me over to the base hospital to get examined tomorrow at 1:00. Said they were sure enlarged. On the way back tonite we got lost & we left at 5:15 and had 18 miles to go and arrived here at 8:30. We got cold grub at Honington. Got all my stuff packed to take to Bury St. Edmunds to store while I am in the hospital.


Tue, December 28, 1943

Was admitted to the hospital at 2:30 today & given a bed & was told to get in it. There are about 12 more soldiers in the ward here.


Wed, December 29, 1943



Thu, December 30, 1943

Was given a spinal this morning at 9:00 and they put a light into my bladder, kidneys and pronounced everything OK. They are going to have another doc look at me tomorrow.


Fri, December 31, 1943

Was looked over by another doc & he decided my back & hip was the trouble. I asked to be x-rayed but they sent me to Physical Therapy instead for treatment.


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