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Letter from Linus Pauling, Jr. to Linus Pauling. December 6, 1943.
Linus Jr. writes to inform his father that he has "washed out" of the U.S. Army Air Corps' air crew training on the basis of his psychological interview. From there he details the various additional options available to him as he continues his military service and discusses life as an Army trainee, including the various aptitude tests that all enlistees are required to complete.


December 6, 1943

Dear Dad,

I was very happy to receive your letter and the enclosure. Thank you very much. What with Christmas shopping to do I'm going to need all I can get.

I have very bad news. I washed out of air crew training on the psychological interview. The psychiatrist decided that I was subject to too much nervous tension. This rejection was awfully disappointing to me. Apparently my other test were all right, although I'm not certain yet. I asked the flight surgeon, and he said that I could reapply for cadet training after I have proved myself in combat. Armoror's [sic] school takes nine weeks, aerial gunnery six weeks, so if things move along I can see action inside of a year. The sooner the better.

Meanwhile, training proceeds as usual. Everyday some of the boys report to sign questionnaires and get their folders, and then they are happy because they are eligible for shipment to college. About fifteen of the original hundred of our group have washed already. Undoubtedly more will, since those that washed are deficient medically, and we had many stiff mental aptitude test that will show up faults.

The psychomotor test was extremely interesting and a great deal of fun. All information concerning it is supposedly confidential, but I think you ought to hear about it.

The first test was a board with rows of square holes in it and square pegs with round heads.

They are turned 180 as rapidly as possible.

The next test was a wheel with a spot in it. The wheel revolved, as we held a pencil to the spot and pressed one of two buttons with the other hand as two lights flashed.

The third was a little machine with a wheel that contained a button that moved in a slot. A contact, operated by the handles shown, moved around over the wheel.

The next was a board with lights. As combinations of lights flashed on, we pushed one of four switches.

The fifth was a machine with rudder bar and joy sticks and a board with pairs of lights. A combination of green lights would flash on, and we matched the red one up with the controls.

The last test was a small plane held in place by springs which were attached to a rudder bar. Our problem was to keep the plane balanced on a target.

This psychomotor was like a penny arcade, and we enjoyed ourselves doing it. Give my love to mom and the kids



P.S. I'm sending you the last two editions of the post paper.

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