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Jos. C. Shelton, 1918, France

Note: Typed as is -- love the neat grammatical/spelling mistakes showing the times (i.e., Add vs. Ad indicating advertisement)

Uncle Sam's Bake Shop in France - Sunday Oct 20, 1918

Mr. T. E. Huston

Dear Sir; Received two papers which you sent me and they were almost like getting letters from folks at home and could never have come in a better time. I read everything in them even to Bischof's Add. I am sorry to say, I am in a hospital here. I cam in the 6th of this mo. and was operated on, the 12th for appendicitis. I am getting along very nicely and have good treatment. I am propped up in bed writing. This is my second time to be in a hospital in France. I was in during the May but then it was only to have teetch made. I lost my set I had made at home. The night we arrived at Never everyone was stretched out on the floor of the box cars it being about 12 o'oclock at night (or as the Trench Clock says 24 o'clock) and we got a rush order to vacate the cars, I had my blanket spread out and my store teeth under my head instead of in my head and in the excitement some one grabed my blankets, then came an argument and by time I argued the sleeper out of my blankets, the train started to pull out so we made a jump fro the platform. I had never given my teeth a t hought 'til I let my ? and put it in my mouth. Alas my teeth were in the car on way to the front I thought a trip to Chateaux for four weeks and the government gave me a perfectly new set which never leave my face only on special occasions. We have had a very enjoyable afternoon. The Chaplain has been in ever ward with a good quartet who gave us some good singing singing and the Chaplain had a nice little talk. There is hardly a day passes but what a chaplain or Red Cross man visits us. I am now wearing the gold, foreign service cheveron on my left sleve - indicating 6 mo. service in France. I live in hopes that I may run across some of the Waveland boys but have not done so yet. I have only met one person whome I knew he is now a Lieut. He was a private in the 1st Cavlry with me in the P.T. Well we have been working hard every since we have been here, every day ino such thing as Sunday off here. There has been 6 companies of bakers (600 men) working here. Each co. works seperate, each co. is divided in to two sections working 12 hours each. Each shift is under the supervision of a Leiut and section leader and each section is divided into 5 units, each unit consists of 7 men under the supervision of a sergent or Chief of Unit, each unit operates 3 ovens each oven holds 18 pans and 2, four lf loves in each pan each unit makes one run or 432 lbs of field bread each one and one half hour or 8 runs 3456 lbs of bread in 12 hours making 34560 lbs of bread each 24 hours for each company a total of 207,306 lbs of bread for the 6 cos each 24 hours we are supposed to keep at least 700,00 lbs of bread on hand. The bread is carried to large croling rooms and is left there for 48 hours it then is loaded in cars which are on tracks on each side of the shop, then sent to the front to be eaten by the fighting forces. Each car will hold 15000 lbs of bread . Sanitary! Well I should say so, the whole shop and fictures are washed up at least once a week, only the floor is not scrubed for that is made of mother earth, but lime is raked over the floor occasionly. Before a section goes on duty, the fingernails of each man is inspected to see that they are not to long, properly trimed and cleaned, each man then washes his hands in warm soap water then dips them in antiseptic water, no one who has a sore on his hand or arm is allowed to handle any of the food stuff. An average of 8,000,000 lbs of flour is used monthly so you have a fair idea of a bakers duty. Things look as tho the Huns were about done for I hope so too for I am getting home sick for the hcildren. I am very sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Clark. Who is running the shop at Waveland now? Well I am tired as I have written a long letter to my wife too so will have to lay down. Say hello to all for me. Respectfully Sght Jos. C. Shelton Bky Co 343 US Army APO 713 Amex, F via NY

File Created: 2006-Jun-27




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This page created:  16 Nov 2009