This collection contains 8 letters that Private Everleigh B. Ehrmann, Jr., wrote to his parents in Lackawanna, New York, while training with the United States Army during the Second World War. He described the Army's training exercises for diffusing German bombs, preparations for combat in the Pacific theater, his health problems, and other aspects of military life. Four of his letters include illustrations.
Ehrmann first wrote while participating in the Army Specialized Training Program at Providence College, where he anticipated his examinations and explained a geometry problem he had encountered in one of his courses, illustrated with 3 graphs ([December 31, 1943]). His next 5 letters pertain to his training with Company I of the 328th Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, between April and May 1944, initially complicated by a recurring medical problem with his leg. Though Ehrmann received frequent treatments for his ailment, he participated in the unit's training exercises, including rifle range evaluations and mock battle scenarios. In addition to providing details about his daily routine, such as cleaning his rifle and hiking, he also described infiltration exercises and his work diffusing mines. In a letter postmarked May 29, he illustrated these exercises with a sketch of a soldier diffusing explosives and a diagram of a German mine.
After transferring to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and joining the 82nd Portable Surgical Hospital, Ehrmann mentioned a lecture by a "Lieutenant Lipkoff," who had served overseas with a similar unit, and drew a map of the area in which Lipkoff had served in New Guinea [June 22, 1944]. In his final 2 letters, he anticipated traveling to the Pacific Theater, an inference he had drawn after studying tropical diseases and learning concealment in southern swamps. He also expressed his belief that he might soon earn a corporal's rating, and drew a picture of his Army-issued machete [June 25, 1944].