Queen of the Battle

August 23, 1944

I forgot to answer your question about the Combat Infantry badge. It is awarded to all infantryman [sic] who have been in combat with forward echelon, and whose recor is otherwise good. The theory behind the $10 pay raise was to recognize the fact that in spite of all other arms and services, the infantry is still the “queen” of the battle–and is the decisive force. Artillery; air & navy bombardment still don’t win battles or war.

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Incidentally, speaking of politics, all men in the 7th Div. were given a copy of Roosevelt’s speech, the one he made during the recent review. Would you call that a political move?

Roosevelt at the Parade

August 3, 1944

3 August 1944

Several days ago we had a Division parade, and among those present was your old friend Roosevelt. He spoke to us for about a minute, although I could not hear what he said. He certainly looked old and haggard. His face was grey and flabby, except for the large blue circles under his eyes. I don’t think he’ll last another term. He really made a very poor impression.

Speaking of presidents, we received our applications for state absentee ballots for the presidential election. The Army is doing everything it possibly can to see that every
man is given an opportunity to vote. A lot of hard work has been done to make things easy for the men. I’ll be very interested to see how many ballots are cast by the armed forces. Unfortunately, there seems to be a great deal of apathy among the men — as though it didn’t make much difference as to who was elected.

Today we had another parade and I received my Bronze Star award from General Arnold. Some pictures were taken and you may see them in the L.A. papers.