Ernest T. Collins

Soldier Expresses Views on Civilian Sacrifice in War
Private Ernest T. Collins, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Collins, of Fairchild, has been serving for some time in England, one of three brothers, all overseas. In a recent letter to his mother, he expressed his views on civilian discontent over rationing and other wartime restrictions.  The letter follows:

"Dear Mom:

"I have received your November 15th letter, and I was glad to hear you are OK. I am fine.

"I get so disgusted with some of the letters I get from different ones, that I'm just going to tell you how I feel about it all.

"It sure is too bad that the civilians back there are sacrificing so much of their time and life for nothing, for the great part they are doing to win this war. For instance, the cheap wages, so they can't buy that nice car they saw yesterday, or the gas and tires, (so they can see that football game Sat.), cause they're rationed.

"Sorry you can't get any more sugar this week and have to drink your coffee without any. Oh, yes, they should be getting more for what they are putting into the war.

"We soldiers aren't sacrificing anything. Look at all the miles we get to travel and the meals we eat, (all free). Even the great 3000mi.boat trip we took on a beautiful luxury ocean liner to all the great countries you've all heard and read about, England, Iceland, Africa, and the Islands in the South Pacific. We get to sleep in tents with mud, rain, snow, and cold weather or dust storms and heat. We get up to breakfast and find that we have powdered eggs and cold cereal with powdered milk and the coffee you get can never keep in the cup.

"When we get a pass, we either walk or hook a ride to town, only to find lines blocks long at the taverns, theatres, and dance halls. If we do manage to get to the door of a tavern or dance hall, they say, 'Sorry, Soldier, we are all sold out.' The dances are wonderful, too, 100 beautiful ladies and 500 boys sure have a grand time.

"Oh, no, we aren't sacrificing anything for the luxury we are having. I might even get a trip back on that beautiful luxurious ocean liner (If we are lucky).

"You might pass this around. It might make some of the people think."

AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE STATION, England. Keeping them rolling is the job of Private Ernest Collins, 24, of Fairchild. A truck driver at an Eighth Air Force reconnaissance station in England, he hauls equipment, personnel and supplies for operational aircraft, so that they may keep up their around-the-clock missions over enemy territory in support of the heavy bombers.

Mosquitoes and B17 Flying Fortresses from here make lone missions over the continent and ocean, gathering weather data for future air and ground operations against the enemy. Mosquitoes are used as photographic reconnaissance planes as well, filming German military and industrial targets to scout the way for Eighth Air Force heavies, then returning after raids to picture the damage done. 

The son of Mrs. C. E. Collins, Fairchild, Private Collins attended Augusta High School and was an automobile salesman in Eau Claire, before entering the Army in January 1942. He is a graduate of auto mechanics school at New Orleans, Louisiana and has been overseas since July 1943.