Letters Home: Pierre Karr in Texas

Published in the January 5, 1918 Skidmore News, page 6:

From Pierre Karr.

Taliferro Field No. 2, Everman, Tex.

Editor, Skidmore News,

Dear Sir, I thot I would write you, thanking you for the paper, that is those issues I have received.  Will also try and give the News some of the aviation branch hot air.

The 183rd aero squadron was just moved today from Henbrook, Texas and we are hardly settled down yet in our new surroundings, but as you know a soldier soon learns to make the best of all conditions.

This morning the usual military schedule was followed out until drill and calisthenics were over with, and then our captain called us to a company front and explained the fact that we had fifteen minutes to move in; that is, just that much time to properly pack all our things in our barracks gags and be lined up in squad formation in front of our tents.  We all were glad to change locations.

Both American aero squadrons had been under quarantine ever since they came from Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, to Taliferro, No. 3.

The 184th and 183rd are both foreign service squadrons, organized at Kelly Field by an English officer for instructions under the Imperial Royal Flying corps of Great Britain.  Three squadrons are receiving instructions from the different Royal Flying Corps Fields located near Fort Worth.

In a short time then, you see, we will soon go across, no extra sanitary precautions have been taken.

From my personal viewpoint I like the army life alright so far.  Of course a fellow misses the luxuries and niceties of civilian life, but one can say in after years that he did his bit.

This war is not one with so much glory and all that bosh; it is one of cold steel and animal ferocity fighting animal ferocity.  We of the aviation branch are getting used to death and its horror.  Just today, at Taliferro Field No. 3, a fellow fell out of his machine and was picked up from the ground by one of my friends in our own squadron, a mangled human corpse.  He is just one of few, you see, as a cadet usually tears up, on an average, about two planes before he is commissioned.

I have read less war news since I enlisted than I did when back home.  Have however conversed with the English and Canadians whom we have been training under, and, perhaps, learned more as many of them were formerly in the infantry and transferred to the signal corps aviation section of their army.  Transfers may be made in both armies to the aviation section but not out of it, as it is considered the highest branch in both the U. S. A. and the Imperial army of Great Britain.

I am sure glad to get your paper from back home, altho I haven’t received it regularly as you see I haven’t been at one place long enough to get mail conditions settled.  While we were at San Antonio few of us fellows received any mail.

We had a merry time with the Canadians Christmas with all kinds of eats and cigars.

Most of us perhaps will get a ten day leave before we cross, which isn’t so very far off.

A happy New Year to all back there.

Pierre Karr.  138 Aero Squadron, Taliferro Field No. 2, Everman, Texas.