#1: 5 May 1943, Desert Training Center, Mojave Desert

Officers listen to reviews of a maneuver held five miles from Needles, California at the
Desert Training Center in September 1942. (Photo: General Patton Memorial Museum)
The 77th spent more than a year in rigorous training at the Desert Training Center in the Mojave Desert and in the jungles of Hawaii to prepare for combat in the Pacific. While 20 divisions trained in the desert, none of them fought in a desert campaign. Five of the divisions, including the 77th fought in the Pacific.

Dearest May,

Got your ever so welcome letter and was indeed glad to hear from you.

Oh! Yes - my brother Dave wrote me a nice letter about you. He claims that my mother would be happy with you and Bill. She has thought it over and decided that your marriage before you met Bill was a bad mistake and that you should have met Bill long before that. So you see sis - everything does turn out well.

Tell me, did you get to visit my mom yet? If not, it wouldn't be a bad idea the first chance you get while in New York. So as far as mom is concerned, she can love you just as her own.

The weather here has become cooler of late and it's a pleasure, especially in this blamed desert. This morning our beloved General gave us a farewell to the States speech. He gathered our entire division in the foothills of the Palomas Mts where he spoke from a steep ledge on the Mtn.  Behind him were the colors and flag flying, quite a beautiful background.

Yes dear, we're going on our last furloughs soon before we leave for overseas. An Army transport will be available to us then. At present, we're turning in all our G.I. equipment before we leave the States we'll get altogether new equipment. I'm looking forward to seeing you when I get back East which will be sometime in June or perhaps before. I shall let you know when. Let's hear good news - eh kid. My best to Joan and yourself.



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