• U.S.

Letters, Dec. 13, 1943

8 minute read

The City Coffee Shop


I’ve been in the Army for four years, and seen the public reaction change from “We must do all we can for the boys,” to “What! Another damn soldier!” Today I had my faith restored. . . .

While enroute to a new station I stopped in the little town of Braman, Okla. (pop. 427) and entered the City Coffee Shop. . . . When I asked the proprietor for the check, he informed me that there were no charges.

Amazed, I asked for an explanation, and then he (Mr. Carl Iman) stated that he had not charged a man in uniform for a meal since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. . . .

He feeds anywhere from five to ten servicemen a day, whether they order a sandwich or a steak dinner.

I’ve saluted many an officer, but none with more sincerity than the salute I gave Carl Iman.



Fort Riley, Kan.

American Abroad


Your timely statement on Lend-Lease (TIME, Nov. 22) covers but briefly the situation under so much discussion by wiseacre stay-at-homes. . . .

When I was shipped out to India quite early in the war, I must admit that I, along with my brother officers and enlisted men, openly ridiculed the men of the British forces.

. . . We had absolutely no valid reason for such an attitude other than that of the average American at home who so easily be littles everything and everybody not American. . . .

What an acute about-face we all made. . . .

In India I was stationed in the Sind desert for a tour. . . . We lived in British tents, ate British field rations. . . . Improvements to our camp were made by Indian coolies. We discarded the sorry sunhelmets issued by the Army, as well as theunbearably hot G.I. khaki and wore British topees and summer battle dress.

I was later transferred to a North Central India command. . . . There, our troops were quartered in British-built barracks. The officers lived in grand style in hotels for the ridiculous sum of 52 rupees a month.

Our sick were cared for in the British military hospital. We drove British ambulances, used their gasoline, rode their bicycles, ate the Indian food which some unusually smart quartermaster obtained by hiring an Indian agent to buy for us in open market.

When I was hospitalized, the whole layout had been planned, engineered and built by the British with coolie labor. Our diet was Indian with some British and a very pitifully small amount of American food added. The medical supplies would have been appallingly inadequate at times had it not been for the British supplies.

I was returned to the States on a British troop ship.

The members of the various branches of the British armed forces were certainly the best of companions on the long voyage home, and I believe I made some friendships that will pay dividends in mutual understanding.

From the Lend-Lease standpoint, the American troops in the China-Burma-Indian theater are deeply indebted to the British.


Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Farmer, Fill the Flowing Bowl


Having just read your summation of the liquor situation (TIME, Nov. 15), I am obligated to suggest a way out.

In the last three months I have talked to farmers all over Georgia about first one thing and then another, including liquor. Many of these fellows know how to make good drinkable liquor, so why not let them, as well as others, make a few hundred gallons a year in a legal manner? Let them pay a license to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other taxing agencies, and market their product in a legal manner. . . .

The suggested procedure could usually be followed in the farmer’s spare time without hindrance to our main objective of winning the war. He could also be allotted a certain number of gallons a year, which would be in line with other New Deal brain storms.


Atlanta, Ga.

Man of the Year


For this year I recommend Henry A. Wallace who, like his great predecessor in belief, Tom Paine, is not afraid to stand up for the Rights of Man—and of all men.


Lieutenant, A.U.S.

Camp Ritchie, Md.


For Man of the Year—still the backbone of aggressive Allied action, and the kind of leader whom the postwar world will depend upon, Anthony Eden.


Princeton, N.J.


. . . the Allied Airman over Europe.



Sirs: I nominate . . . the Russian Soldier. Stalin is a great leader; various Russian generals have proved exceptionally able; but it has been the common Russian soldier who . . . has been responsible for the headlines of the past year’s news.


Macon, Mo.


It looks like Joe for Man of the Year.




If Governor Thomas Dewey cleans up the city of Albany … he certainly deserves the title of Man of the Year.


Santa Ana, Calif.


If TIME’S Man of the Year means anything this year you have only one prospect—the American Farmer.

Just one among many of his aids to victory this year, three billion bushels of corn—and this when nature, draft and rationing boards and various bureaucratic agencies were “agin” him. . . .


Berrien Springs, Mich.


. . . HENRY J. KAISER. . . .


Clayton, Mo.


John L. Lewis—who has just shown his superiority to the Commander in Chief by winning the Battle of Washington.



Manufacturers, Pilots


In TIME Nov. 22 in the article about Don Douglas you accuse the “passionate engineer” of being president of the biggest aircraft company in the world.

Where, may I ask, does Curtiss-Wright stand? . . .


Kirkwood, Mo.

>Douglas is the largest manufacturer of aircraft, Curtiss-Wright the largest maker of aviation products, i.e., aircraft propellers, engines, etc.—ED.


Your comment on Donald Douglas: He dislikes flying . . .”wouldsuggest that you consider this unusual for an airplane manufacturer.On the contrary, it’s standard for the oldtimers, who are packed with unsettling recollections of the many items that can go wrong. . . . Airplane manufacturers are by nature pessimists; test pilots are optimists.

Back in 1922-24 when I was testing for Glenn L. Martin at Cleveland, I often asked him to fly with me. His standard reply: “I’d like to, but my bankers won’t let me.” . . . Glenn had done much flying in the early days, but had increased in wisdom and in favor with God, man and the bankers and now made all his sales trips to Washington by train. . . .

Then there was Larry Bell, Martin’s general manager, now president of Bell Aircraft—may his shadow never grow less! In a quiet way, Larry simply bristled with reluctance to fly, but felt that he should do a bit of flying in the interests of factory morale.

He steeled himself to take three flights, in two years, and on the last one suggested that I do stunts with him. After two loops he looked back from the front seat and pointed straight down to terra firma. . . . I still recall the glassy look of his eyes. . . .

Dutch Kindelberger, then a humble engineer, now president of North American Aviation . . . had one flight [in two years], thanked me, said, “I’ll build ’em, you fly ’em,” and never asked for another. . . .


Island Park, N.Y.

>To grizzled, gregarious Writer-Flyer Galdwell a foaming bucket of the best propwash for a crack job of hangar-flying.—ED.


There may be a painting of a schooner over Donald Douglas’ mantel, but Endymion today is a cutter. Thousands of Los Angeles yachtsmen, familiar with Endymion’s magnificent single stick, remember that she was converted to a more modern rig a number of years ago.

Don Douglas . . . explains, “We’re just a bunch of middle-aged fellows getting too lazy to handle a schooner.” But schooner men take one look at Endymion’s circus-tent mainsail and incredible mast and feel faintly ill. . . . Anyone who has seen the Douglas yacht charging home from Catalina of a Sunday afternoon, romping past other craft, both sail and power, knows that her owner sails her like a man possessed. . . .

A man who can sail like that and still keep the mast in his boat can do anything.


Ensign, U.S.N.R.

King’s Point, L.I.

Oxonian English


[Apropos of the frenly Raleigh spelynge letter] penned to Mrs. Gotch in 1898 (TIME, Nov. 15, Dec. 6). This is another little gem written [by Oxford’s Sir Walter] at the time of the Boer War.

To Mrs. Gotch, on a postcard:

Stanford, 7 June, 1902 “So there is no maw gaw to shed in the Baw Waw. The paw praw-Baws will feel saw ! The praw-Baws are an awful baw! They gained no eclaw by taking the flaw! I set no staw by them. They are rotten at the caw. So no maw from


W. A. R.”


Stillwater, Okla.

Dealing the Cards


Your article on the Air Forces’ Redistribution Center (TIME, Nov. 8) was wonderful. It is unfortunate and perhaps tragic, for the sake of both morale and efficiency, that the other arms and services can’t do likewise in assigning their members.

Your statement, likening the assigning of men to the shuffling and dealing of cards—face down—realistically describes the system beingfollowed by the Quartermaster Officers’ Pool at Camp Lee, Va.


Camp Lee, Va.

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