Written on Orlando Army Air Base letterhead, but a soldier at Cross City, Florida, during WWII, in June 1943. He was part of the 81st Fighter Squadron. From the letter…….
As you have perhaps gathered by now, we are in Cross City, God help us. We can rightfully call ourselves the A.E.F. --- Americans exiled in Florida……One thing wee have an abundance of here, mosquitoes and every species of insects imaginable giant sizes. Mosquitoes grow three and four times as large as they do at home…….Clouds are gathering for a storm, but it sure is hot. Am sitting outside on a little entrance porch to the barracks and the seat is pouring off me. Oh, for a little New England weather…...About the only redeeming feature of the town is that liquor, are only fifteen cents a drink, thirty cents a double shot. The boys sure have done their part in consuming the liquor…...Have perhaps mentioned in a previous letter that the town is rather rough, and that there have been a number of knifings and killings and at least every Saturday night, everybody come to town then there is some sort of a brawl…….Fortunately last night I did not go to town. There was a little excitement. A colored soldier knifed a civilian. Immediately afterward, the M.P.’s were in town and all the boys had to come back to camp at 10:15 P.M……There is a halfway decent place in town to stay called Putnam Lodge. Rates $2.50 a night for a single person $4.00 for a double room……..
North American's B-25G Mitchell from the AAF TAC Center, Orlando Florida. April 17, 1944.