Theo V. Harwood
The following are the actual letters home. (***) indicate a missing page. BOOK NUMBER 2.
Hello folks, Well another year has passed. 1 year in the US Army, & boy I hope it is the last one. I went to the movies tonight & saw a swell show "Corny Island" in Technicolor, & then came back to the barracks to catch up on the mail. It is raining cats & dogs out & it is making a lot of noise on the roof. I flew 2:00 today 1:00 as a copilot, & 1 as pilot on instruments. I tried to get those films today but they were not back yet, so it will be another week. The upper class graduate next week, & boy are they hipped up. So if the weather would only clear up a little we might get out in 6 weeks. But, if it does not we will probably be 2 months.
I was paid again yesterday & am enclosing another $50.00 money order. I received the card you sent, thanks a lot. Well tomorrow is Sunday, so I can sleep until 11:00 AM, once every 2 weeks, so I am going to appreciate it. Lots of love Ted.
Dear folks, There is not much new to tell but I thought I would drop you a line. We did not fly as the weather was bad today, I have not flown for quite a while, I have 14 hours now. I have another darn cold again so I am going to bed early tonight. The air here is so damp almost all the boys have colds, but not bad ones just a good case of the sniffles.
I received a letter from Bill McCurdy today, he is in Michigan in a radio school. He asked me if I would go on a trip to Oregon & Washington after the war fishing, boy I am going to do something after the war to relax. They keep you on the go so much your bed forgets what its like to have you sleep in it.
Faye told me Don sold his car, I was sorry to here it, but I guess he didnt use it much. Did you get the second $50.00 I sent you? How much have I in the bank now?
Well folks, thanks for all the swell letters & I will write again soon, love Ted.
Well, we have finally been able to get in a little flying, now I have 19 hours, but I am afraid it was short lived as it is snowing again tonight, and the wind is blowing about for miles per hour, so we will get another rest. Ground school is nearly finished. I through code now & we only go to one period a day now, a class on bombing will finish it next Thursday.
The upper class graduated today, boy they were really happy. It did my heart good to see them smile with those gold bars on their shoulders. Boy its getting close, one month if the weather lets us get 70 hours. I am sending you a little book of pictures taken on the post, I got them at the P.X. for 35 cents, I sent one to Faye and S, & Don & Ruth, so if it gets lost in the mail you can look at theirs, it shows the A.T-10s we fly so you can get an idea of the type of ship I am now in.
Today I had my first BEAM work in the ship. It is a little confusing but I will catch on O.K. (I hope). Well folks, I will say goodnight for now. All my love Ted.
Sunday evening once again, I slept late this morning, it is the second day off we have had since we have been here, the other one was Christmas. The reason is the ground is covered with about a foot of ice and snow. It is all over and really white. We had a couple of snow fights today, had a lot of fun. I got the pictures from the drug store, they made bad prints so I am sending you the negatives. You can have some prints made. The ships were at basic, the B.T. 13 & 15A, we have 2 engine jobs now. Did you receive that little book on Stuttgart?
They have been taking pictures for an annual, or book of the class, it will probably be finished in about 3 weeks, I will send you one when they come out. Took some pictures of the snow yesterday, I will send them in about 2 weeks.
We had a boy fly down from Helena, my old primary school. He got lost and landed here day before yesterday. I guess he got to far from home and lost his way. They have no navigation in primary. Well, I will say goodnight for now. All my love Ted.
Dear folks, I received the second boz of candy you sent, also, the times & your letters, thanks a million. We had a talk today on insurance, taxes, ect., and do not have to pay any 1943 or 1942 taxes. So, I would appreciate it if you would write the tax collector & ask for a refund on the quarterly you paid for me.
Today I took a 400 mile cross-country trip, we really saw Arkansas. It was a perfect day, all clear & snow all over the ground. We flew over some small mountains 2,800 feet high. The first hills I have seen since home.
I have 27 hours now, so I only have 43 more, we will be off. Really graduated Feb. 8th, but we will have to keep on flying till we get in our time.
Really enjoyed The Times, mid-winter, those pictures bring back good old California, also the comics.
Boy, I didn'tt think old Emerson would be a father, I guess he is really tied down now, his hunting days are about over.
Thanks again for the candy folks & the letters, dont forget the tax. Love Ted, did you get those negatives yet?
Dear folks, Ah, today I passed my 50-3 instrument check, so most of the worries are over. Although, I still have 9 hours night flying & 10 hours day flying before I am able to finish. The weather is really bad, we could not fly much today, as it rained. We have tonight and all day tomorrow off, so I will get a good rest. I think I will go to the theatre tonight, Alibaba And The 40 Thieves is on. Its supposed to be pretty good. I received a letter from Webster today, he is in Lincoln, Nebraska, now in a mechanics school, I think he will like it O.K. Said he had 2 wisdom teeth pulled & his jaw was swollen. I dont envy him in that predicament.
I have a total of 186:15 hours flying time since I came into the Army. Boy it does not seem like a lot to look at the figures, but its a lot to sit out. I will have over 200 hours when I (***)
The weather is good once more, so I think I can finish my night flying tonight. I was copilot last night and we flew 6:20 and covered about 900 miles. I have 4:10 to get tonight & then I will have 10 hours left to get in day time. Received my new serial number today, but I forgot it, one of the boys saw the list & told me. I will have to go look & copy it down. We turned in all of our G1 clothes , & I kept 3 sun tan shirts, 2 sun tan pants, 1 OD shirt and 1OD pants. They will come in handy & save my good clothes. I was only able to buy 2 pair of pants & 2 shirts, but I have plenty of time to get more.
I bought a roll of color film for Dons camera so we can take some pictures when I get home, they will be good to have. I hope I can make some good time on the train, but I am afraid those baby's only move so fast.
Well folks, that's about all I have to say this afternoon. Lots of love Ted. XXXXXXXXXX
Well, I am one again writing those letters home, it was swell being there & I really had a swell time I hope I am able to make it again soon.
The train was pretty full all the way back but everyone had a seat OK. I stopped in Dallas & El Paso for about 2 hours each place, they are pretty nice places. The town of Shreveport is not bad, about the size of S.M. The camp here is pretty nice. The buildings are stucco & the showers are built in so no long out of doors trips are necessary. I went to the flight line this morning & looked at the ships, they look pretty big, but that will wear off soon. I think I will go to bed and catch up on my sleep this afternoon. I took a shower & feel much better now.
Had roast beef, sweet potatoes, peas, mashed potatoes and salad for dinner, we pay for each meal now& the gov. pays you at the end of each month. (*** found it!) That system is OK but I am afraid I will over eat my budget.
I have met some of the fellows from Stuttgart already, but not many of them are here as yet.
It seemed good to talk to you this morning it was about 7:30 here when I called, I have good connections, it took only about 3 minutes to get the call through.
Well, I will write you again soon when I find out what the deal is around here. All my love Ted.
Hello folks, well I feel much better this morning, I had a good sleep last night & a big breakfast this morning.
Well, I am to be co-pilot and dont care to much, we dont fly for at least three weeks, so you dont have to worry for a while. We get our equipment here & our shots. Also, we are assigned to a crew, a pilot, a co-pilot, a bombardier, a navigator , radio man & gunners. We either get our training at this field or another in LA. So it will be 3 or 4 months before we are through.
This is a swell field & town, lots of good looking gals (P.S. dont mention this to Ruth) We have open post every night, all night if we wish. Say mom, did you send for those pants yet? They will come is handy as hell as they get dirty fast. Remember to ask for pinks, a pair of greens is all I need as I dont wear them much. We have a formation to meet in an hour or so, I think I will run and get some chow.
Lots of love, Ted. P.S. use address on env. for return---
2nd LT. Theo V. Harwood
Hello folks, well it is still raining here, along with a little thunder. I dont think it will clear up here for quite a while. I went to town & saw a show last night & then came back to
the post. This morning we stood in a lot more lines & filled out forms & allotments, & pay vouchers & ect.. Boy there is a lot of red tape to being an officer, one thing though, no one says you have to do it, but no one does it for you so you do it anyway.
I slept all afternoon, & am going to the show this afternoon tonight. We had a swell dinner; steak, yams, lettuce & tomato salad, mashed potatoes, & ice cream and chocolate cake .85 cents. I will be here about 2 weeks, or if I am assigned here for Tng, it will be about 4 1/4 months. We will not start flying for at least 2 or three weeks yet. We have to get all of our shots & equipment.
I bought a swell pair of shoes from the Quartermaster Depot for $3.40. They are officer low cut shoes. Also, I bought six pair of socks, 4 pair of shorts , two ties & another fad jacket. $6.00, so I will have a good one after the war.
Well I have not much news you tonight, no desks in the BKS, so sloppy script, am writing on my knee, good night for now. Lots of love Ted.
Hello folks, Today is Thursday, & it is still raining, we really had a peach of a thunder storm last night. I have never seen so much lightning at one time. Another boy & I went in town & had dinner last night. We went to a little Chinese place & had some chop suey. It was really good. It was made of bean sprouts, celery, and some kind of meat, rice and a really salty sauce. It reminded me of the chop suey pop made when we lived up on 12th St.
I am getting lazy here, as we dont do a thing here but meet 3 formations a day, at 08:00 & 12:45 & 3:45, the rest of the time is our own, so we sleep and look over the field. My Barracks Bag I sent from home has not arrived yet so I can not use the stationary you sent me, this is almost gone so I will have to buy some more, I am using some regular ink in the "51" pen of mine & it seems to work better than that ink they make for it, try it and see how it works in yours.
I signed the Pay Voucher for my travel pay yesterday, I get $17.40, thats much more than I expected, we get paid at the end of each month. I dont think I will have to use that check book, but I will keep it just in case.
Did you get those pictures to a store yet that you took ? I would like to see them if they come out OK. Also tell me how that roll of film Don took came out. I hope they were good. There is not much news at this end to tell of. Dont worry as I am OK, lots of love Ted. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Hi folks, well at last I had a little action, this morning we went to the pistol range. Fired 50 rounds in the .45 auto. It felt good to get a gun in my hands once more, also I got a little jack today. I bought a little bond & it is enclosed, you can give it to Faye to put in the bank with the rest of mine, I have plenty of money now so dont worry.
Have you taken over the debt on the house yet? You might go ahead with it if you havnt done so yet. We didn'tt get our flying pay this month as we havent flown, but we will get it next month & for this month also.
My arm has gone down & it is OK now, it was about twice its original size, it itches now. I have 2 more to take next week. I sure hate those shots. Well I guess I will have to say so long once again AS NOTHING ELSE TO SAY. Lots of love Ted.
Harwood on tape for John O. Moench
It's August 1st 1986, this is Ted Harwood from Van Nuys, CA. I'm a poor writer so I thought I would try this on tape, maybe I won't get the penmanship cramp. For your first question, for your roister, my beginner grade while entering the 323rd was 2nd Lt. and I flew 28 missions as copilot, then I got my crew and flew 17 missions as first pilot, I came out the conflict rated as 1st Lt. And your second question on your chapter on Marauder Men devoted to the night bombing missions. I don't think I was frightened, it was just a new experience to us, we went in on a Pathfinder, our biggest problem was on take off. There was a white line like we have here at the end of the runway, only it was it was in the British stripe in the center. The white line came up and we pulled off, almost at stalling speed and we had quite a problem maintaining flight speed, finally we got our flaps up and went out over the harbor and we just barely cleared the barrage balloon which were all over the place. It was uneventful on course, we picked up the initial point flare, dropped our bombs, turned off and at that point we hit prop wash very severely which raised the hackles on our backs because we knew just a second before there was another 26 there. On our return flight we drifted off course and got over I don't recall either the Gernsey or Jersey Island, the Germans promptly through up very high intensity para flare that lit up the whole scene and then they proceeded to shoot at us, fortunately they missed and that is about all I can recount on that mission. The second question you have on the last mission April 25, 1945 to Arding, Germany of the 262s I was in ship 040 in the low flight as I recall, according to your diagram everything was in the rear of the flight, however as I recall, I saw the Me262 come up from our right - position itself below us and shoot at the lead flight, as I recall, according to your diagram here number 969 which was on the right of 131 the lead ship, I don't recall any other ship numbers except our own, however I could see the 37 MM. puffs of smoke from his cannon as he fired, and as I recall the right nacelle door flew off number 969 in your position, that was about all there was to that mission as I could see. Our top turret gunner was firing which that was the first mission in my 45 mission that the gunners ever fired a shot and that was sort of startling because I didn't know they were going to fire made considerable rattle, the whole sky in front of me was filled with 50 Caliber empties coming out of, I guess the lead flight there but I don't know how they got back there because according to your diagram, this ME 262 was ah unless I got this thing reversed, but I wasn't in the lead flight, but this trail you got here shows everything in the rear of the flight, but defiantly we saw the 262 and I saw it fire and saw the smoke from the, when the cannon went off you could see a little puff black smoke every time it fired. Our top turret gunner engineer was considerably hyped up he thought he hit the thing - I don't know there was so much brass in the air, that was by big problem worrying about the brass coming though the canopy or through the ah bombardier's nose compartment. Then I did not fly the D-Day mission, the first mission I flew was the night mission which was way after- that was way after the D-Day operation. I have no other news on Parker, I would give you some names, John Kuzwara who was our navigator was the lead navigator and he went through school with a Los Alamedos, California address and phone number. The bombardier was on Lt. Flitties crew and Art Pacula was his copilot and he lives Illinois now he would definitely know about Flitties bombardier who was killed you can contact him in regards to that. The only, now according to this note here you have J.V. Harwood is that you? I am not J.V. Harwood I am T.V. Harwood and is evidently a miss type I have several of my orders with a J where either T or V should have been. I'll send you some information on that, the only other thing I say that may be of interest on my 37th mission to Hanover, Germany, we were bombing a fuel dump and I was in ship 967, this was on April 8th, 45, we has eight 500 pound bombs and going into the initial point to the bomb release point I was hit with flak on my main fuel cell left between the Nacelle and the pilots compartment - we got a big rupture in the main fuel cell and the hydraulic system out, our electrical system was out and the engineer went and automatically cranked open the bomb doors triggered out the bombs - cranked the bomb bay doors shut - started transferring fuel from the outer wings to the inner tank and we kept the engines running and I called to Johnny Kuzwara who was the flight leading bombardier/ navigator on that mission and he gave me a heading to the alternate field which was a Spit-Fire base just behind the bomb line and we proceed there - crash landed. The wheels went down but they wouldn't lock cause there was no hydraulic pressure, but our crew managed to get down and we lost no one - had no injuries on that flight, they picked us up the next day in a B26 and went back to our base and they loaded me on another mission on April 10th so they didn't give me time to think about it, but that was our only other real thrill as far as close calls. That's about all I can think of now if I can be of any further help to let me know, thank you very much.