A Blisterer

Thurs. 27 Sep. ‘45



Dear folks,

Back to work after dinner. I’d have been off this afternoon but a colonel is supposed to come nosing around today so we had to stick around. Today is really a blisterer. There’s no place one can go to get away from it. I’m sitting in the coolest spot I could find and sweating anyway.

We got a little mail last night & I got Gram’s letter written Sep. 16. It’s the first one I’ve seen addressed to 198 and it got here in 9 days. The other letter she mentioned sending before hasn’t come in yet. We have a lot of mail out someplace that hasn’t come in so someday we’ll get a lot at once.

Last night we had a rifle inspection after supper. I had cleaned mine in the forenoon and figured it was O.K. But when the Lt. looked at it he couldn’t see a bit of light through the bore. I got a patch and ran through it and it came out all mud. It seems some of these little mud-dobbers or whatever they are called had started to build a nest in the barrel. I guess that goes down as an embarrassing moment. I got a hair cut last night also. I guess he took it pretty high around the edges but it’s growing out on top finally. My hair seems to grow awfully slow down here. We expected a movie last night but naturally it didn’t come in.

We are going around here with our fingers crossed hoping and waiting to see what will happen. Things still look pretty good unless someone tosses in a monkey wrench. That’s about all there is to say for now so I’ll call this it for today.


I Still Don’t Run The Army

26 September 1945



Dear folks,

Another afternoon. According to the boss’ figuring this is my afternoon “on” so here I am doing just as little as I can get away with. Yesterday afternoon I was off for an hour or so, so he decided to take off today. From now on we are going to try to arrange it so only one of us is at work all the time. That way we get half of the time off. It reminds me of the setup I had back in Maxey when I took off those two times last fall and went home. The only trouble here is there is no place to go anyway.

The mail last night was nothing much to speak of. Just a few v-mails and a very few letters. The air mails that did come in though were postmarked Sep 17 so they made it in a week. That is really good. One of these days we should hit a heavy mail again as we surely are due for one.

I was off for a couple hours this morning and spent most of the time trying to get my rifle clean. I guess the CO must have gone through the tents looking at them this morning as we have an inspection scheduled for 6:00 tonight. I wasn’t sure that I could find a way of skipping it so I gave it the once over. It hasn’t had much care since I have been here but was in pretty good shape. This damp climate would rust anything. Everything is soaked in the morning when we get up. Our clothes are damp and any metal surface is wet. That black outside covering on my camera has come unstuck believe it or not and is just about off. Envelopes in our desks just stick shut of their own accord. Oh it’s a great country. But they can give it back to MacArthur so far as I am concerned. All I want to do is get out of here and maybe it won’t be too long. If I can ever get anything that is halfway definite I intend to cancel my allotment the end of October but I’ll let you know if I do and I won’t do it unless it is pretty sure that I am going to lose that 20% overseas pay. If we should hit the states someday I want to have a little money on me for anything I might want. They are going to do one big business in ice cream when we get back to Frisco I can bet them that. Can you get stuff like that again now. From what we hear most of the rationings is just about over. Another thing we were wondering about was shoe rationing as we want to get some low ones as soon as we can. I can’t see wearing a pair of GI’s all across the country. If it is winter then the boots would be all right but they are pretty hot in summer. I have a nearly new pair. I haven’t decided just what I am saving them for yet. You can’t put a shine on them unless you work so long that it isn’t worth it as they are rough leather.

We have all of our junk yet and from the looks of things we will keep it. I can’t see dragging the gas mask and a lot of this stuff around anymore but I still don’t run the army. I have carried it on and off of two ships so one more won’t make much difference but I’ll bet one thing – I won’t have the junk when we leave here that I carried from France. When we left New York we had practically nothing but our minimum GI stuff. By the time we hit France we were all loaded down again. How does it accumulate? We turned in our overcoats and all but one set of OD’s in Marseilles but got 3 sets of suntans, an extra set of fatigues, mosquito bars, mattress covers and a variety of smaller items so we were just as loaded or more so when we took off. I have one set of woolens left and they are just a little small as some of those European laundries shrank them particularly the one in Gloucester. Oh well one of these days they’ll all be put off for the last time I keep telling myself.

We can’t get any dope on things here but it still looks pretty good.

Well that’s about the size of things here for today. Maybe I can get a new crop of rumors by tomorrow. Something must have cooled them off as there haven’t been any today. So long again until next time.


All The Dope

Tues. 18 Sep. ‘45

Luzon 10:30 a.m.


Dear folks,

Time for my morning break. I got sort of tied up over the weekend and as a result didn’t get a letter out yesterday. Sunday I got your Sep. 4 letter so that was quite fast. Our mail comes in quite steadily from day to day now instead of in large bunches at long intervals. Letters take about 12 days to get to us and ours must make it to the states in 5 or 6 days. The situation is much better. Yesterday the train didn’t get into San Jose so all there were, were a few V-mails. Should be a lot today.

Sunday afternoon 3 of us decided to take a little hike to see some of the country since there was no work to do. So we started out and caught a ride up to C Co. about 7 miles from here. There we met a B Co. truck on its way up to one of their bivouac areas so we rode on up with them about 18 miles further. What a ride. We had to go clear up to the top of the mountain range and then on down the other side. I have never seen or expect to see again anything to compare with it. For the most part the road is wide enough for one vehicle with occasional bypasses where 2 can pass. There are places where a solid rock wall rises on one side of the road and on the other edge is a 2000 foot drop practically straight down. The view was really beautiful and I’m glad I had a chance to see it but just between the 2 of us I don’t think I’d care to travel that road many times. It’s just one twist and turn after another. We got up there about mid afternoon and spent the time watching them build up part of the road which had washed away and we watched our little yellow friends come trudging down out of the mountains. They are sad looking characters if I ever saw any. In the first place they look more like animals than humans anyway. Now they look like beaten animals. They come slogging down, some with there [sic] legs swollen to twice the normal size. They started out with a large number on stretchers but by the time they had gone 6 or 7 miles the stretchers were practically all empty. They just tossed them off a cliff. One General came down with a flock of colonels and lesser officers and was he an arrogant boy. As long as they cater to them the way they do we’ll never get it across to the Japs that they have actually lost this war. They seem to look at it as just a sort of strategic retreat or interlude. Sometimes I wonder if we didn’t make a mistake in letting them quit.

We got ready to leave at about 5:30 but it started to rain so we waited awhile. When we finally got on our way we rode about a mile and met another truck coming back and they told us the rain had caused a slide and the road was partially blocked. So all we could do was go back and stay there all night. We borrowed some blankets from our boys at the water point and slept on some tool chests. Yesterday morning we took off afoot and walked up to the top of the pass – about 4 miles before we got a ride. We could have waited and ridden but we thought the road was in worse shape. On the way back we found 2 bridges out. One had collapsed under a load of rations and the truck was lying on its side. So we finally got back about 10:30 yesterday morning. A few people were a little unhappy but everything seems all right now. Think I’ll stay at home for awhile.

So that’s about all the dope. We had quite a bit of work yesterday but got it out so things are rather quiet today. It’s dinner time now so I’ll sign off and see what delicacies our cooks have dreamed up today. We have a P.X. now and it’s a pretty good deal. So long for now,


What A Hole


Thursday 6 Sep. ‘45



Dear folks,

Once more censorship has been lifted. The last time it lasted about 3 days before we were alerted for movement to the staging area. I wonder what will happen this time. We left Troidorf [?] June 2 and spent 5 days enroute to Calais, a few miles from Marseilles. We traveled by truck and really had an enjoyable trip. At least over there, there were a few things to see. We stayed in the Calais area until July 10 and what a hole that was. I was in Marseilles a few times just to get away from the dust for a few minutes. We left Marseilles July 10 and arrived at Panama July 22 and stayed overnight. Then we took off once more and arrived at Hollandia, New Guinea Aug. 16. Then on to Manila Aug. 21. We have been at 3 spots out here, Angeles, San Jose, and now near Baga Bag [?]. Its rugged country all around and the hills are full of boys waiting to come out.

So long for now


The Forgotten Group

Monday 3 Sep. ‘45



Dear folks,

Guess it’s time I took a break as its 2:15 already. We still haven’t any mail. Our mail clerk left 3 days ago but hasn’t come back. Not much new around here today. The points are lowered to 80 and the age to 35 if the man has 2 years of service. I’ve got the 2 years but that’s all. My new score is 46 and I don’t ever expect it to do me much good. The way I see it they should forget about points and discharge men on the basis of service time. Older men and those with dependents were the last in and will be the first out. In the meantime we sit back and wait while the best years creep away from us. I know I shouldn’t sound discouraged but it’s pretty hard not to. There is a large group of us who are from 20 to 24 and have between 40 and 50 points. Most are fellows who were in college. So far we seem the forgotten group. But maybe times will change before long. If they carry out present plans, at least some good ratings will open up for the boys. If we can’t get home we may as well grab all we can.

It’s a rather cloudy day today. It rained during the night so I was able to get my water supply off the roof. Last night we went about a mile to see a movie and it was the same one we saw Sat. It was worth seeing again anyway. There is none tonight so I guess I’ll get to bed early. I should clean my rifle since I fired it yesterday. It’s good I never needed it as the shells don’t feed right. I sent out my laundry this morning. Supply collects it and gives it to the natives to wash for us. They take it down to the river and beat the dirt out. I don’t know how long the material will hold out but it gets the stuff clean. I don’t know what it will cost. Our pay is supposed to come in with mail. That’s about the story for today. These envelopes get stuck due to the damp weather in case you notice the tear.

So long,


Little Yellow Boys


Sunday 2 Sept. ‘45

V-J Day on Luzon


Dear folks,

Well according to all we’ve heard today is the big one – V-J Day. General Yamoshita came down out of the mountains about 10 miles from here and surrendered today. His men will be on their way out tomorrow probably. As in Germany I guess our only sight of the enemy will be as P.W.’s but that’s good enough for me. I didn’t realize these little yellow boys were so close. Last night I took in a movie “Weekend at the Waldorf” which was pretty good. It rained a bit but we’re used to it. This afternoon I and another fellow went on an exploration of the nearby country. It’s really rugged. We took along our rifles and a little ammo and did a bit of firing. It’s about the best way to clean out the bore. We ran onto a clear river and got off a bit of the dirt that’s been accumulating. News – points to be recounted as of today & 75 set as critical score. Men [over?] 35 to go home. So I’m still stuck with only 46 points. Oh well, so long


The Japs Have Quit


Tues. 14 Aug. ’45 8:30 p.m.


Dear folks,

Right now I feel the best I’ll probably feel until the day I see that “Golden Gate” again. About 5 minutes ago they announced to us that the Japs have quit. It seems almost hard to realize that there really is no more war but boy does it feel good. We happened to be in a pretty good place for it to end. I don’t imagine I’d better tell you where but I don’t think I’d care to stick around. It looks pretty rugged and not too long ago they were kicking Japs out of the jungles. It’s too hot and dense for my liking. What happens to us is the question we are waiting to see answered. It could be good but it can’t be too bad (we hope). Get my clothes out of the moth balls and stock up on food ‘cause one of these months I’ll be barging in and I’m going to be hungry for some of your food.

So long for now,


Pouring It Out

Tues. 31 July ‘45

At Sea


Dear folks,

Just about time I wrote a line or two I guess. There isn’t much that one can write about. We stopped “somewhere” a few days ago and I mailed a couple letters which I had written. You won’t get them for awhile though as they hold them until quite awhile after we left. I don’t suppose it would get by if I named the spot so I’ll just skip it for now. It really seemed good to get off this boat for a little while. They really had a nice setup for us. They put on a couple very good shows for us with some really good music. There was free ice cream and plenty of everything we could want. It was like a little hunk of the U.S. stuck off there. Naturally we were restricted to a small area and didn’t see much of the people. The ones I saw all seemed to know English.

We picked up about 90 sacks of fresh mail on the dock which was good. I got your letter of July 7 and 2 from Gram postmarked the 4th and 11th of July. I also got a picture of Julius which he had taken down in Texas. It’s quite nice but I’m afraid the cardboard frame will take quite a beating before I’m through. I think I’ll put it into one of the leather folders I got back in Germany. You know eight months ago none of us ever thought we’d say we wished we were back in “good old” Germany but now we almost do.

I just realized it’s been about 2 weeks since I last wrote. It doesn’t seem possible but the time really flies. We’ve had a good trip so far for which all of us are thankful. The sea gets a little rough occasionally but our stomachs are used to it by now. The days go fast. We are up about 6:15, dress, and maybe shower before breakfast. I take 1 or 2 showers a day and still I’m dirty. I always did sweat a lot and I’m really pouring it out now. My shirt gets soaked in no time. By the time we eat breakfast it’s nearly 9:00. From 9:30 to 10:00 we get “oriented.” Then there’s an hour or so before dinner which goes in no time. The afternoon goes fast and after supper we have reports, etc. to take care of. I’m surprised that I am no more “tired” of the trip than I am. It’s a lot different from the last. I’ll be glad though when we get set up once more. I’m sort of anxious to see how well our section operates under its new organization. I think it ought to do pretty well myself. If we get what we hope for we’ll be all set. The war news is really encouraging now if it only holds.

Well there’s not much else to say for the situation right now so I’ll sign off and get ready for bed once more.

So long again,


I’m Still “Around”

Tuesday 17 July ‘45

At sea


Dear folks,

Guess it’s about time I wrote another line or two your way. I could write oftener than I am but I have no idea just when they might be mailed and besides there isn’t a great deal one can talk about due to censorship.

The ocean has stayed remarkably smooth. It is a little ruffled today but by now I am used to the rolling motion again and it doesn’t seem to be bothering me any. The time is going unusually fast, certainly not like our trip from the states to England. This morning we had a rifle inspection so it took a little time to look that over. It seems in pretty good condition considering the beating it took in France. Never have I ever “endured” the dust we lived in back there before.

Our food is holding up as good as at first. If it keeps up I should gain a little weight unless I sweat it all away. It’s really hot today. In no time one is soaked with perspiration and I don’t dare leave off my shirt too long at a crack as I know how easily I can get really burned.

I’m still ordering the P.X. rations for our section, which takes a little more time. So far I haven’t figured out any way of making a profit on the deal. It is developing into a full-scale problem in bookkeeping and I shall be happy to just “break even” when it’s all done.

They have organized a sort of band or orchestra of some nature from among the boys which is making its big “debut” tonight. I’m in the mood for some real music again. They broadcast some over the P.A. once in awhile but not enough. We haven’t heard much since we left England. The “Armed Forces Network” back there put out some really good programs.

We have lots of reading material floating around but so far I haven’t finished the one book yet that I started 3 or 4 days ago.

I wonder what’s “going on” back there. I imagine it’s pretty warm if it’s a typical July. I wish we were on that “one way trip” home but that’s something it’s better not to think about I guess. Someday we’ll be making that trip and then we won’t be caring about conditions or accommodations just so long as we get there.

Well there isn’t much else I can talk about now. Part of the letter I wrote the other day may be clipped as I understand the censorship is rather strict. Anyway you’ll get something at least so you’ll know that I’m still “around.” So long again until “next time.” Take it easy,


Maybe We Should Have Joined The Navy

Sunday 15 July ‘45

Somewhere at Sea


Dear folks,

Well it’s about a week since I have written, most of which has been spent “at sea.” We are several days on our way now but there are a great many more yet unless I miss my guess. It’s hard to tell when this may be mailed.

Things aren’t so bad as they might be fortunately. I guess it’s safe to say we hit an American ship this time and what a difference. We are getting the best food we’ve seen in months – the best prepared and the largest quantities. Maybe we should have joined the navy. The big difference between this and our previous voyage is that we don’t eat and sleep in the same place. We have our compartment with a bunk for each man. Except for a morning inspection period we can sleep at any time we like. Naturally we’re a bit crowded but that is expected. I have an electric fan near my bunk and so far it hasn’t been too hot to sleep.

The time goes along much faster than last time. By the time we’ve gotten up, dressed, sweated out the chow line for breakfast it is around 9:00. It takes about an hour each time to get through the chow line but with three square meals a day we aren’t kicking. In between I’ve done a bit of reading and naturally we have some work to do as morning reports are an eternal thing.

We have some music broadcast about the ship which sounds pretty good.

Yesterday for awhile I didn’t feel too “healthy” so I hit the bed for a few hours and got over it. I certainly ought not to be seasick as the ocean is very calm. I don’t suppose it can last but I surely hope it does.

Somebody decided I should have a job to do I guess as I find myself in charge of ordering P.X. rations for my section. That takes another hour about so before we know it almost, the day is over.

We have shower facilities, fresh water at certain hours, salt water always. They issued out salt water soap so we are all set. About the biggest difficulty now is laundry. We are “hurtin” in that department but whether we’ll get any service is hard to say.

Maybe you notice the difference in my address. As of July 12, 1945 I am a Technician 4th Grade, the one with 3 stripes and the “T.” Just to make it sound good I’ll use Sgt. It’s the same grade and the same pay. They promised us our stripes once we got on the boat and they were as good as their word. Our boy Kumins pulled out on us and we left him in the hospital at the last minute. So that made quite a few openings. The boy ahead of me made Tech/Sgt. so I got his T/4. A T/5 took over my job with “C” Co. I like the job I have but I almost got thrown out of it on my ear. I don’t think it shall happen again. It better not anyway.

As I said I don’t know when this will be mailed. We are hoping to stop someplace and drop mail and maybe pick some up. Any that we left behind us I’m afraid will be quite awhile catching up now. This is still my old address but once you get my new one I’d like to get a few more letters than I’ve been getting lately. Do I need to say more?

It’s about chow time for our compartment I believe. We had ice cream for dinner today for the first time. No wonder these boys in the Navy put on weight if they always eat this way. By the time we get off I should have gained a little.

Well that’s about all there is to say on this “peaceful” Sunday afternoon. The war seems awfully remote out here on the clear, very blue ocean right now but it probably will be brought to us again, soon enough. I’ll write again probably before this goes “out” so until next time,

Take it easy,