Letters from Oregon Boys in France
Compiled by Mrs. Frank Wilmot 1918
W. Robert McMurray
The following letter from W. Robt. McMurray, Second Lieutenant Fifteenth U. S. Cavalry, A. E. F., son of Wm. McMurray, 645 Clackamas St.. was written to his friend, Mr. Hopkin Jenkins.
France, May 12, 1918
Dear Mr. Jenkins:
Today's mail contained a letter from Jefferson High School containing a copy of the "Service Flag Dedication Program" and I was certainly glad to get and read the list of names of the boys who once attended good old J. H. S. and who are now scattered in various branches of the service from the far-away Pacific Coast to the very front line trenches of France.
It has already been my good fortune to meet a number of the boys listed on the Dedication program on this side of the Atlantic. We debarked on the 26th of March and in this short interval of time have been quartered in five different camps in various sections of the country. It was in the fourth camp that I had the pleasure of seeing Steve Wilcox. Steve was in fine condition and will have no trouble when it comes his turn to take a pot shot at the Huns. Sylvester, or rather "Skin" Lawrence. of high jump fame, was also with the same organization. He was not in his quarters at the time I looked him up so I went out on the parade ground where he was just returning from a cross-country run with his platoon, which was somewhat out of wind as a result of their efforts in trying to keep up with the fleet-footed Skin. When we moved to the next camp Todd Hidden and Kenny Morrison were among those present. The last heard of Todd was a dispatch on the front page of The Oregonian covering his marriage to Alice Gram. It is a fine thing to see these men on this side and our common experiences at Jefferson make it all the more so.
We are going ahead with our training program as if we were still on the border. It is very different to ride these French horses, for they are pets compared with the bunch we had in the States. These horses have not run the range and therefore cannot stand the same amount of work as the American horse. However, it is just a matter of a little time and they will be hardened up to stand the work of the field.
We get Continental editions of the New York Herald and the Chicago Tribune and it is a fine thing for the men on this side to read of the gigantic war program that is being carried out by the U. S. This is a war of masses of men and material and no matter how much of either is sent over here, there will always be a demand for more. It hardly seems possible that Germany could beat such a combination, yet at the same time she is still a powerful machine, and the only way we can ever reach a favorable decision is to throw all the men, material and supplies at the disposal of the U. S. into the fight. To compromise such a whole-hearted policy would simply increase the sacrifices and prolong the ultimate decision.
No doubt this letter will find you very busy but I hope you will let me hear from you just the same. Kindly remember me to the teachers of the June, ’13, class. And we won't come home until it's over over here.