Monday a.m. 11 Dec. 1944

Dear Folks,

Well, a few more days have passed and Iím still in the states, but I havenít any idea for how long. Finally pass permits came through and I was one of the lucky 50% allowed on pass at one time so off I went, starting Sunday noon for 12 hours.

I went with a West Point Cadet, whoís on the same shipment as I, and an old 58th classmate. First we hitch-hiked to West Point and spent the afternoon there. Gee, Dad, Iíve never imagined that place is as it is. Thanks to our ex-West Pointer, we made good connections and really saw the place. There was an air-show at Steward Field, used by West Point Cadets so we caught the convoy out there to see the ships - B-29s,, the jet propulsion planes and others. We came back to the grounds till about 5:30. For about two hours before we left I was shown about the grounds by two cadets-third-classmen, learning about Constitution Island in the Hudson River where a huge chain was stretched across the river to keep ships from coming too close to the Point. There are several old forts near West Point, used to be to protect the river route, all kept in shape, and with volumes of history, never written, sealed up in them.

Iíll have to close now for some close order drill, but Iíll write more later.

Ten Oíclock

While there I spent a few minutes at the library looking up Gen. Tom Slavens, but all I found was things I have already located in the A&M library, although I did locate a picture of him and can have a photostat copy made if youíd like to have one. I took several pictures at the academy-if youíd like to see them. Dorothy will have them about the middle of January, also the ones we took of Niagara Falls, and while we were at Greenville, PA.

We left West Point about 5:30 p.m. and went to New York where we began looking for a way to get back to camp. Having done that, for we were due back there in less five hours, we tried to call home. All the lines to Missouri (where Dorothy is) and Oklahoma were jammed so I canceled the calls and went to the Century Room of the Hotel Commodore to dine in style. I ate roast duckling, fruit cocktail, chocolate pie and coffee $2.65 - and to top that we had orchestra music all the time, mixed with a trio of violins, accordions and piano playing some of the Strauss waltzes. Then we hopped a taxi and a subway to 169th St. for a bus back to camp, arriving twenty minutes till midnight. Needless to say I was dog tired at reveille, 6:00 a.m.) today- but I think Iíll survive.

Tonight Iím going to try to call Dorothy and you but the lines here in camp may be closed, as they are sometimes for security measures. Iíll close now and get ready to eat-ll:00 to 12:00 noon. Write soon.