Full transcription of text follows:
J.E. Henschel- Provisional Co. "A"- American Mission. M.T.D. Am.E.F. Convois Autos- Par B.C.M. August 5th 1918- Dear Dad- Your very welcome letter of June 28th came a few days ago. My sincerest thanks for the money order; it certainly was fine of you to let me have the money. I did not intend to ask you for it until it was certain that I would need it , and so shall deposit the sum with Morgan Hargis at Paris. In that way, I can be sure of having it at my disposal in the event that I should require it; You see. Dad - as I wrote to you at the beginning of the course - there is no certainty of commissions being granted, even though one passes the course successfully - and in any case - not before several months at the earliest. The chances are pretty good that those of us who are getting sergeants, without warrants, are to be assigned to whatever units in the reserve need personnel - at our paper rank (in my case first-class private of course). This is judging by past experience. On the other hand - it is equally probably that a good many of us may be sent as instructors to a new American transport school which opens shortly. This would be somewhat distasteful to most of us - but then - we are soldiers - and I suppose can accomplish something even there. All of the above is rumor and conjecture. As to known facts - we are in the midst of the closing examinations. We
have had two written examinations in technique, are written in convoy work - one oral in army organization. We have still another oral examination in both technique and organization, and lastly - the final appearance before the board for general examination and "sizing up". After that we are through and go back somewhere - no one know. The ambulance boys probably will be sent to their old outfits - but it would be expecting too much to hope that the fellows from the Reserve will rejoin their sections. The course has been splendid. I only wish that we had about three months of it - for it is impossible to do it just in six weeks. Too much matter is covered in the lectures and discussions. Nothing finer than the work taken up here and the way it is given has been worked out for automobile - interested folks who have to start from the very bottom in their knowledge. Every thing is treated, and more in detail than would be thought from the most elementary principles to such subjects as torque and the use of the motor as a brake by changing the positions of cams. It has certainly been fine. There are quite a number of Masons among the fellows at school. In my barracks alone there are at least eight or nine - which is a pretty fair percentage of the thirty boys in that "shanty". I took out my manual (one thing that I have not lost) last night and looked it over pretty carefully - to see how much I had mislaid during the past week or two. Gee - Dad - it's surprising the amount I don't know after a year over here. You must give me a complete course in first-aid to the mentally deficient when I get home again. I wouldn't have the chance of a black and yellow button of getting into a lodge room - couldn't pass an examination on a bet.
Harvey sent me a note sometime ago (Didn't I tell you this before?) but since then I have not heard from him. At that time I think he was at Limoges - but of course that may not have been a permanent address. I'd like a lot to know where Ramsey's outfit is located. I suppose that from the nature of his work - he has been seeing some exciting times. The engineers have been right in the big show from the start. Hope to hear from Ramsey soon. Mother is back from Cruces? I know they must have had a most enjoyable visit. By the way - aren't you a bit past due on a "leave" yourself? I've been thinking quite a bit lately of "apres la guerre" - and what and how. My past experiences as a producing agent are almost altogether not at all. As Davenport - the economics prof. at school would say - "when the rate of consumption is great the rate of production must be equally as great - otherwise a most deplorable and impossible state of relativity between the income and outgo eventuates. Now resuming the consideration of Malthus' law..." etc etc - and infruition - can't recall that he mentioned a case when the income was nil. This is probably premature but as in most thing (a few horrible exceptions) I have heretofore been anything but premature - this time I am going at least to try to be at least even with the clock. The only difficulty is that in spite of tremendous thought there is no apparent result. If the war lasts long enough there will be no problem - a case simply then of "duration". None the less - the duration factor of Dr. Davenports "income and outgo" problem still remains the great unsolved mystery. Some of the fellows are coming out of the examining room.
(We are examined one at a time). its really amusing. Some are jubilant - a few are down cast - but most of them are simply more or less perplexed. One boy came out with great drops of perspiration dripping from the over-worked "fevered brow" - a bad case of stage-fright. Wonder what I'll look like? One thing is certain - I'll be glad when it's all over - feel fairly confident - but Solomon said (he ought to - if he didn't) Pride goeth before a skinned shin". I must close. This letter is getting flighty - a bad sign. Besides I really should study a bit. Many thanks again for the remittance. My love you and Mother. Ned.
From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I
Automobile equipment & supplies
American Field Service (AFS)