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Home News-Telegram News Remembering Our Veterans: A World War II soldier writes home

Remembering Our Veterans: A World War II soldier writes home

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In the fall of 1942, Charles W. Richey, a young man from Pickton, enlisted in the Army. One of the letters he sent to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.F. Richey, was published in the News-Telegram with the headline, “Chas. W. Richey Writes from Oregon.”

Before he left for basic training, Richey married the love of his life, Winnie Mae Evers. The couple made their home in Winnsboro. They had seven children, 11 grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren. 

Mr. Richey was a farmer, a carpenter and musician.

Mrs. Richey died on Jan. 12, 2013. Mr. Richey followed her on Jan. 24, 2013. 

Below is the text of the letter as transcribed by his son-in-law, Michael Gunn:

 

Chas. W. Richey Writes From Oregon

  Mr. & Mrs. A.F. Richey of Pickton are in receipt of the following letter from their son, Private Charles W. Richey of the U.S. Army, who is now stationed in Oregon.

  Sept. 20, 1942, Pocatello, Idaho. Dearest Mother and Dad and all. Hope this finds you all A.O.K. Some USO girls came through the train just now and gave my boy friends and me some stationery and envelopes, and so I will try and write you all a line or two while the train is stopped. I am doing just fine so far. Just finished eating breakfast in the diner here at Pocatello, Idaho. I tell you, this sure is a pretty town. We were at Salt Lake City by nightfall Saturday evening. We stopped and stayed there for awhile. Went through the roundhouse there and it was interesting. I saw every kind of train there was to be thought of. We arrived here at Pocatello about two o'clock this morning and layed over. I saw some of the prettiest sights imaginable going through Nevada and Utah; some of the deepest canyons and biggest mountains, and beautiful, I tell you, it sure was. The rocks on the side of the mountains were of almost all colors.

  Well, as for a life, we are leading a king's nearly. So far, our meals consist of mostly every object in the way of good things to eat. They sure give us swell meals on the train. Our meals per soldier cost from $1.50 to $2.00 per meal; have steak and roast at each meal and ice cream for dessert and all good things like that. The train we are on is the Union Pacific and it sure is a big thing, too.

  I have a swell boy friend, too. He and I sleep in the same berth together. He is from Palo Pinto County, Texas. We left Camp Wolters together and are still together. He sent home for his Kodak and we are going to take some pictures when we get to camp. I think we are headed for Pendleton, Oregon. Of course, we don't know for sure yet. Oh yes, about the climate, too. I have on my full soldier's uniform and it feels good, too. It is quite cooler here than in Texas. Mother, and all of you, I do miss you so. As far as the Army's sake, it is O.K., 100 per cent. You are really taken good care of; have everything in the world you want to eat and wear, but you all are worth ever so much more than that to me. You know that. I tell you they sure are making a man out of me. My weight now is about 168, and my humped back is straightened, too. Ha! Well, here come some more USO girls with a carton of cigarettes for all the boys, so I guess I had better stop writing and get my part.

Chapter 2. Monday morning, September 21.

Well, after so long, I am located once more. Thought I would wait before I mailed this letter, arrive and give you my real address. We got here this morning about 6:00. I nearly froze to death. It is sorta cold here, they say. Boy, this sure is a nice place. We get to sleep in big barrack houses with shower baths, writing rooms, electric lights and everything nice like that. Our camp is about three miles from town. The town is about like Gilmer and it sure is pretty. I am still with my boy friend from Camp Wolters. 

We sure are good pals, too. He is Polish and favors Harice Alford. All of my bunch that I left with from Texas are still with me — the big amount of 44. Ha! Over to the west of us are big mountains and down in the valley is the town. Oregon is the prettiest state I have seen yet. They farm the valleys and have some of the best up-to-date farms. Well, they are about to call me for my next exam, so I will have to leave you and write more of my adventures next time. Write me real soon. 

With all my love, Your son – Private Charley W. Richey, Hq. & Hq. Sqd.; 331st Ser. Gp.; Pendleton Field, Pendleton, Oregon.

 

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