Posted in Letters, Uncategorized, World War 1

“About the only thing we fear is the gas”

These are letters sent from Private Allen L. Gooch to his family in Arizona during World War I. Up to this point, the letters have all been from his training camps in the United States, but this is the first of his letters from France. As you will see at the end, the letters are censored by the military so he doesn’t give away any sensitive information. This is the 7th letter in a series. To view the others click: 1 2 3 4 5 6

[Transcribed by Dayna Gooch Jacobs and in her possession. Slashes indicate line breaks on original letter.]

Some Where in France

Aug 15, 1918

Dear Sis and Bob,

Well I guess you/ think I have forgottan/ you. But I havent./ You know how I/ am about writing/ and besides I cant/ allways write when/ I want to, I got/ a card from you/ the other day addressed/ to camp Mills, N.Y./ Also a letter from/ mother, But havent/ received any mail direct to the A.E.F. [American Expeditionary Forces]/ as yet. But hope to soon for I sure/ [2] would like to hear/ from you all./ Well sis I know/ you expect a long/ letter and lots of/ news. But there isnt/ much I can tell/ you except I am/ feeling fine, getting/ plenty of eats. And/ realy getting fat/ I weigh about 134 lbs/ my duty isnt very/ hard. But it is/ getting rather serious./ While I dont mind/ that for that is what/ I am here for./ I cant see what, the Huns want with, this country for it, [3] doesnt look good/ to me.

We are now where/ we can see some/ excitement quite offen/ can hear the big/ guns offen and at/ night can see the/ flash from them./ Fritz comes over/ most every night in/ his aireoplains and/ drops a few bombs./ But I am getting use/ to that and seldom/ awake, only when/ our anti air craft/ guns begins. They/ almost awake the/ dead. I have also/ saw an aireal fight/ [4] there was about ten/ or twelve machines in/ all, they were so/ high up I couldn’t/ tell one from another/ but it sure was/ interesting to see/ them dive at each/ other and see the/ fire fly from their/ machine guns. There/ wasnt any brought/ down.

Tell Bob this is/ about as interesting/ as the hunt would/ have been that he/ and I was planning./ But we will get/ to take that hunt/ yet for this isnt/ goeing to last long./ [5] This whole world over/ here is lousy with/ soldiers and most/ of the soldiers is lousy/ But they have got/ the pep and mean/ business. About the/ only thing we fear/ is the gas. But we/ are well protected/ against that we have/ a mask which we/ carry at all times/ that is absoulate protection/ so don’t worry about/ Nig for I’ll get bye/ if any body else does./ Tell Cap to write. I/ written her several/ cards from Mill N.Y./ [6] and will write her/ again soon./

I sent mother 285/ Franc’s the other day./ That’s $50.00 in American/ money. Expect to send/ her some more soon/ for I cant spend it/ here like I did in/ N. York. While of course/ we have the Y.M.C. A./ where we can get most/ anything that we/ want. Also have a/ Salvation Army hut/ run bye two N.Y./ girls that sells nuts,/ candies, lemonade, ects./ So you see it isnt/ so bad over here/ at that. Its not/ [7] half so bad as I/ expected./

Will close for this/ time and write/ you ever chance/ I get. Be good and/ I will see you/ again some time./ Genl Pershing says/ Heaven hell or home/ bye Christmas but I/ dont believe it hardly/ that soon./

Love and Best Wishes

Your Bud

Censored bye

Y.E. Lowle [his signature]

Capt 314th M.P.

Posted in Arizona, Letters, World War 1

“…our mess citts full of fairly good grub…”

This is the first in a series of letters I will be posting—letters which were written by WWI Private Allen Lee Millard Gooch to his family back home in Duncan, Arizona.  Part of his military service record was already posted in previous weeks.  Letters are a wonderful resource for genealogists, as you will see. For a closer look, just click on any of the images. The letter has been transcribed for you at the end of the post.

A.L. was drafted, and entered into service 25 Apr 1918.  Here is the first letter in the collection, written—so aptly—from Camp Funston, Kansas (not exactly summer camp, but sounds like one!) on 1 May 1918:

A L Gooch WWI letters 1 May 1818 p1
A L Gooch WWI letters 1 May 1818 p2
A L Gooch WWI letters 1 May 1818 p3
A L Gooch WWI letters 1 May 1818 p4

Transcription of letter from Private Allen L. M. Gooch to his parents, 1 May 1918, Camp Funston, Kansas, letter in possession of Dayna Gooch Jacobs, King City, California. Envelope missing. Transcribed by Dayna Jacobs. [slashes in the transcription indicate line breaks]


May .1. 18

Dear Parents and All:

As my arm is / a little better will / write a little. Am / rather tired tonight / this is our second / day drilling and they / sure put us through / We are at Detantion / camp no 2. Where we / get our first grade / training.  expect to stay / here about three week then go back to Funston / to the Barricks where / it will be a little / more comfortable.  There / is eight in each tent / get up at 5:45 in the / morning, take our cots / out side scrub the / floor, line up for / the roll to be called / to breakfast get / our mess citts full / of fairly good grub / come back to our tents / and eat, go back and / wash our dishes, Then / then [sic] march to the drilling / grounds and / play afew athletic / games for exercise / then get bussy.  I / didn’t think I could / stand it the first / day I was so sore /  from vaxinations. /  But I feel good today / and don’t think it / will be as hard as / I thought for I know / I can stand it if / others do.  And all / that worrys me is / you folks at home.

I am goeing to take / out a ten thousand / dollar insurance which / will cost me about $6.00 / per month and if / I get killed you / will draw $57.50 a / month for 20 years / the government is giving / dependant Parents $10.00 / a month where the / soldier will give $15.00 / of his wages.  And I / am goeing to try to / get that don’t know / if I can or not.  That / will be 10 apiece for / you and paw and / 15 from me will be / $35.00 a month that / will help you live / and will leave me / about 8 or 9 dollars / for tobacco that’s all / I kneed.  So dont / worry about me I /will do just what / others is doing, the / best they can.  As I / want to go to bed / will close and write / you latter.  Write / me offen for I don’t / have much time. /

With lots of Love

Your son

Use this address

Private Allen L. M. Gooch

47th Company

164th Depot Brigade

Detantion Camp No.2

Funston, Kansas

To read other letters in the series click below:

1    2    3    4   5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14