This Lowell Tribune article was found in the January 11, 1945, issue (page 2, column 1):
Robert Curtis, who enlisted in the U.S. navy a few weeks ago, and who is how taking his "boot" training at Memphis, Tenn., writes Coach Milakovic that he is just beginning to get settled at the naval base, but still hasn't gotten entirely used to his new surroundings. He said:
"I like it here, but there are some who don't for the simple reason they can't take it. We meet the "big shots" (in the arm) tomorrow. I couldn't feel better unless I was home, and then I probably wouldn't be satisfied.
" We get good chow, so I can't complain about the food, although some of the boys do. We don't get any mail until we get our barracks, company and platoon numbers -- I just got assigned to mine yesterday so now I'll be getting some mail.
"When you go to church here you get a strange feeling that sticks in your throat. This life is what you make it -- and you can make it worse or just forget it. After three years of varsity football, I have learned to forget it and keep going ahead. Training hasn't bothered me yet, but I do know that if a person does not have a strong constitution, 'Boots' are tough on him."
In the letter, Robert told his former football coach that if any of the other boys in school are getting anxious to enlist, they had better reconsider and wait for the draft, because it's much different on the inside looking out. Closing the letter with a touch of humor, Robert said he saw something he didn't think was possible--a bald-headed sailor with a "Wave."
The following January 25, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 3, column 1:
In a letter to the Tribune this week, Robert Curtis writes:
"I receive the Tribune regularly and have enjoyed it--when I have enough time left to read it. The weather down here is fine, just about like late spring in Indiana. I always wanted to go South in the winter, but never thought I'd have the opportunity.
"I have a lot of fun with the boys here--it's just like a big football squad--all pulling together. It seems funny that all the boys want to join the service to get out of school because I am now going to school every day, a school where you had better be present and learn what they teach you.
"In my opinion sports should be continued always because there are many things that athletes learn in participating in sports that stays with them and is of great benefit to anyone in the service. And another thing that most people don't seem to realize is the part mathematics plays.
"I feel good lately, but it couldn't be because I have only 18 more days before I graduate from 'boots.'"
Robert closed his letter, as usual, with a bit of humor, saying:
"It is customary to call a sailor of the seniority class in 'boots' a 'salt.' Well, one S 2/c asked another sailor at the chow table to pass the salt by just saying: Salt? The brilliant reply was:'No, I've only been here two weeks.'"
This March 1, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
A card to The Tribune from Robert Curtis, S 2/c, says:
Back to school again--and I like it. Now I'm glad I was graduated from high school. Math and science play a big part down here. The day seems long, but really goes very fast because school is interesting--something new all the time.
This April 5, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Robert Curtis, S 2/c, who is attending naval school at Norman, Okla., writes that he is doing well with his studies, and, although the weather is a trifle warm, gets a chance once in a while to cool off by going swimming. His class won two mid-week liberties recently, one for marching and the other for winning the "E" pennant. He said he sees Jean Evans from Hebron at the school once in a while, and also saw "Minnie" Bright, Lowell, a week before the latter left there. Apologizing for not having the usual joke in his last letter, he came out with the following this time:
"I got the socks you knitted for me," wrote the sailor to his ever-loving wife, "but I love you just the same."
This June 14, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 2:
Robert Curtis, S 2/c, writes from Norman, Okla., that he is in the final stages of a course he has been taking at the Naval school there, saying that he will graduate June 23 and that his final A.O.M. test would come on the 15th.
Following graduation he expects to be moved to a different part of the base for two or three weeks, then will be sent out.
Robert, who usually ends his letter with the latest wisecrack, said he didn't know any new ones, but it wasn't necessary anyway. On the envelope where the stamp is usually placed he wrote the required "Free" in lieu of stamp, and added underneath, "Hitler Paid It."
This July 5, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, column 2:
Robert Curtis, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Curtis, Lowell, was graduated recently from the Naval Air Technical Training center located at Norman, Okla. While at the Norman school he studied the aviation specialty field for which his recruit training aptitude tests showed [he] was best suited. This training has been designed to fit him for a specialized navy job in the long Pacific war ahead and also for skilled work in industry when peace finally comes. He is now eligible to earn a petty officer rate.
He is now awaiting further duty orders either to sea or to a naval base.
This August 2, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Robert Curtis, S 1/c, who is attending naval air gunners school at Miami, Fla., writes that he is getting along fine and feels great for the shape he's in--he just broke off half of a front tooth playing touch football during athletic period at the air base. He said they had been getting a lot of flying every week and so far have been out over the Gulf and over the Everglades serveral times.
Robert's definition of a Florida bathing beauty is: "One who has nothing to hide, and comes right out into the open with it." He should have been in the observation corps instead of behind a bomber gun.