About Me

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In 1943 I was drafted into World War 11 right out of Madison High School, Rochester, NY. This is my story as told in the letters I wrote home. They’re all here, all 192 of them. Spend some time with me as I describe my experiences in basic training and then off to war. They were written in an attempt to help me feel close to my family and to let them know what was going on in my life. It’s the first time I was away from home and I have to confess that I was homesick. My folks were Esther and Jacob Kaplow. We were four children in this order: Arnette, Ruth, Bob, and myself.

National WW2 Museum

The National WW2 Museum in New Orleans has asked permission to link this blog and web site to the Museum’s Facebook and Twitter pages.  It’s such a tribute to Ben and an honor to be part of their great site.  Please view the link to the Museum, or visit in person.

Ben is at Camp Campbell, Kentucky.  He arrived there after a December furlough with his family.  Apparently he is no longer in A.S.T.P. but is now being trained for Message Center.

January 4, 1944

Hello Again,
Well everything is going along a lot better now than when I first came.  I’ve gotten to know some of the fellows & they’re not a bad lot.  Three other fellows who were in A.S.T.P. have come into our barracks.  And they’re sending a hell of a lot more to this camp.  That’s where the Army gets you.  If you can’t stay in A.S.T.P., they send you back to the infantry, even if you had basic in another type of training.  Some of them came from University of Kentucky and from Niagara University.

I think my job is going to be an interesting one.  We had school yesterday & I’m waiting to go again now.  It’s not actually school.  There are about ten of us from different battalions and a non-com lectures and explains the message.  We had a test at the end of the day and I got 99 9/10.  We learned one of the code systems yesterday, with more to come.  That’s what we’ll use whenever we go out in the field. 

The message center is a very important job, perhaps the most vital.  Because the troops have to keep in contact with each other in order to know where the enemy is.  It’s a hard job too.  The message center is operated on a 24 hour basis.  And the maximum time allowed for a message to be in your hands before you pass it on, with all the writing & recording in the log, is two minutes.

Well, I’ve got to go to school now.  Write soon.


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