During a visit home to Mom this week I found some documents pertaining to Dad's WWII military experience. These two letters he wrote home while stationed in Seattle. He was training in the Boeing plant, learning about the B-29 Superfortresses, and his dad was coming out to visit him over Christmas of 1943. His Dad would get a room at the Hotel Opympic, downtown Seattle, and Dad would stay there too.
John Schneider, July 22, 2007
Thursday [probably December 16, 1943]
When you get this I suppose Dad will have left and you will be the sole monarch of the Schneider household. I hope you all have a nice time on the Christmas weekend despite the fact that I've robbed you of the breadwinner of the family for this length of time.
I received a present today from Cyril & company but I will leave it to open on Christmas or Christmas Eve when I shall open every thing in the hotel room. I don't know yet just what time I'll get out of camp that weekend but we are supposed to get out of school at noon of the 24th so maybe they will let us know at that time but if not I may be able to get a pass.
I know you would like me to call you up on Christmas morning and I would like to but I can't guarantee it because I do not know if I will be out then although I probably will and your time is three hours ahead of us here so if I did put in a call, say after we got back from church it could probably be around 12 or 1 o'clock before we got connected and it might take longer because the lines will be very crowded on that morning so we shall see what we shall see but don't be disappointed if I don't get the call through but I will do the best I can anyway.
As you can see I am up at the Service Club downtown as it is my night off. I came in about 6 and got new soles & heels on my shoes while I waited. It only took about 15 minutes. It is pretty warm out tonight. Well I wouldn't say exactly warm but just about right. The temperature must be in the high 50's or maybe in the 60's. We have had some pretty cold days lately, but the dampness made them feel colder I guess.
I went to the range yesterday and fired the machine gun for familiarization and the carbine for record. On the latter I scored a 176 thereby making the 'expert' rating on it so tonight I bought an 'expert' medal and a carbine bar so I replaced the one I had with it. Now I have a better medal with the three bars.
They are having a dance here later on and I may come back to it for a while after I go out and look the town over a while. I've been coming in three or four times weekly since I got here and am still not tired of Seattle. It is a fine city.
Next Wednesday they are having a party at the camp given by the instructors I believe or Boeing. Maybe I told you already but anyway it is definite we are having it. I also get off school next Thursday (I believe) because they dropped a day out of the school so I guess I'll be off unless I decide to make up one of the three days that I have incomplete on account of guard duty and going to the range.
Well, I guess I will close for now. I am going out & try and find a religious or at least a decent looking Christmas card for Srs. Cyrilla & Winifred, as they sent me one, and also for Fr. Hunt. Goodbye now.
Christmas Eve [December 24, 1943]
Well, it is Christmas Eve and I have just opened my presents as also did dad. They were all swell and thanks a lot for them all and thanks also to Marilyn, Eve Ann & Sue. The socks are very welcome as I intended to get some more before receiving them, and the gloves are also very good even though I have a similar pair of G.I. gloves but previously I had to use them both for dress & every day odd work; now I can keep yours for dress. And as you know the scarf has long been desired. And then Marilyn's handkerchiefs were an always welcome necessity and I was also in need of after shaving lotion so Eve Ann's present will serve that purpose. And last but not least Sue's contribution was very nice so you see you all did well in selecting my presents and thanks again to you all.
Well, we had a nice time today, went to a show and had dinner in a Chinese place. Then we came back to the hotel room to open the presents. This is a swell hotel and the room is *very* nice and it will be swell to hop into a swell bed tonight and a relief not to have to wake up in a cold room. I got out today at about 11:30 so I have been downtown all afternoon and I suppose you know I got in around noon yesterday. We've had a few, slight intermittent rains so far but they weren't bad. I only hope & feel sure that the sun will come out this week end so we can take some pictures.
Tomorrow, probably in the morning I intend to call you as you will probably know by the time you get this unless I can't get through but I feel sure it will go through. Guess I'll close for now. I have a dozen letters to write in the near future as I heard from quite a few people this week.