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World War, 1939-1945; Companions; United States--Army; Thanksgiving Day
Davis writes the friends he has made in the army for his parents to use as a guide.
Robert D. Davis, 18107121
CoA, Dat. I1A3, 3rd ECA
c/o Postmaster N.Y. N.Y.
Mrs. R.L. Davis
1619 Boston ave
Description of Keep
23 November 1944
I’m going to write you this note to explain to you something about my “comrades,” as the French say. You are doubt less bewildered by my numerous references to boys, and if you keep this it will clarify my references.
Since Harry left the company 1st, and then our camp, I’ve been thrown more on other boys, and evolved rather a new set of intimates. One of the most healthy things about the army is friendships the men acquire for each other under its pressure and shield.
First of all probably, comes Raymond Meunier, who was one of the six boys in my old D-2 detachment. He slept in the bunk above me in England, and this close contact for some time wore off the little edges of strangerness between us. A blond kid, a little shorter than I, he went to a French school in R.I. thru the 8th grade, and tho’ a non intellectual type, and too long neglectful of his French, he speaks it with only a slight hesitation. More than once his Francais (and his French name, which I always hurriedly mention) has converted the French into enthusiastic guides and providers. Aged 21, he likes me to a fault, which makes me overlook his temper with other people, even tho’ I have to sit on him at times. He and I always go on pass together.
Next comes another one of the D-2 boys, Phil Muehl, the one with me in my I1 group. He sleeps above me now. A brunette boy, age 28, he was a grocer. (Many nites by the fire he tells us of his sales and price wars, and other details of the past life.) A corporal, very capable and energetic. Not quite as enthusiastic on “going out” as Ray and I, he doesn’t go with me so often. Reiter-like in his energy, he is meticulous about his laundry and person. Speaks German.
Emmett Reiter, of whom you already know; still in my company, tho’ in another detachment.
James Donohue; 23 yrs. old, looks 19. An ASTP boy, German. The great bookworm, he lugs a sizable library in his barracks bag. He is a brilliant boy, and plans to be a history prof after the war. (and will be.) His passion consists of journeys to all points of the compass to view church architecture. (His history specialty is in the middle ages, and you can’t picture his delight in scrutinizing a stone with a 12th or 13th date on it.) Conversationally he sparkles and with David Wood and Mac Foley is the most consistently articulate boy of our age I’ve ever known. Thin, girlish looking, he’s quite adored by the bookish boys of the company and regiment, but for the same reason is quite as cordially disliked by the others who resent his intelligence and blame it on his general manners. Meunier, for instance despises him, and has provided me with many embarrassing moments. Donohoe takes this in high good humour, which is a tribute to his good sense. Unfortunately he’s not a good comanion for pass, since Meunier won’t have himn 1st and 2ndly he (Donohoe) tend to dramatize grand opera after 1 or two glasses of wine-very loudly, and very energetically. Afterwards he has to be guided home, loudly chanting arise, and obnoxiously for me “Marching thru’ Ga.”
Baker, who sometimes goes into town with Meunier and I. Age 32, blond, a tireless monologist with a crisp vocabulary, he is a riot. Insists on thinking I’m fluent in French. A cpl. Went into Paris with me the 1st time with Ray. was primarily interested in sidewalk pissoirs.
Earl Marguette, of Michigan. Youngest boy in company, about 20. Good looking, (looks like Wes Finly) big, smart in a way (highschool valedictorian, 130 on IQ) he doesn’t contribute much. Generally hangs around Ray, tho’ he and I are good friends.
Sgt. Andy Pascuali. A rather timid sgt, always with a big grin. Very capable kid; shorthand and typist for Maj. Williamson. Good fun.
This “list” ought to straighten you out a little.