Tuesday 11 Dec. ‘45



Dear Folks,

Tues. night at about 9:30 and I just came from the movie. I had not been doing so well at writing the last two days as a lot has happened. Things started rolling in a hurry. Sunday we shipped out the men with three children and then in the afternoon we got orders on the men with from 55 to 59 points and they are all gone now. The last ones left this morning for replacement depots and will probably be on boats on their way home by the end of the week. Miller left this morning. I hated to see the kid go but I’m glad that he can get home. We got him a Staff before he left. That is the first deal I have ever tried to promote in this outfit and I made it. I kept at a couple officers for about a week until he got it. Now all I have to do is fix myself up. I have given up any ideas of leaving this outfit promotion or no promotion. There are a lot of ratings going to be open from now on and I may be able to get the Staff and still stay here but if I don’t it doesn’t matter that much. At the present time only 55 pointers are eligible for discharge but they didn’t stop at 55 thank goodness. As soon as they were all sent to depots we started getting orders today on 54 point men and by the end of the week we will have lost all men with 50 or more. They aren’t eligible for return as individuals but are going to units that are going back to the states so they will be on their way in about two weeks and ahead of the point schedule. That leaves us high men in the outfit and from the best dope I can get we may be on the merry way about the second week in January and folks that’s the best news I’ve heard since the war ended. It sounds almost too good to be true but it looks quite possible the way things are shaping up. 45 points won’t make us eligible for discharge until Feb. 1 but we can be returned to the US before that if we are in Category IV units (those scheduled for return to the US for deactivation over there) so according to Base X they are going to use that method to get ahead of the points. Now maybe I am getting all excited about nothing but it looks like the real thing this time. At least it can be no longer than 6 weeks and maybe only about three or four. We should be out of the islands by the end of January unless something gums up the works. We are really getting a good workout on all this but it is worth it to see these boys going home to know that we may be next. We were all afraid that once the 55 pointers were cleared that we would sit around until January to drop it to 50. After we lost our 60 men in Oct. nothing happened for nearly 2 months but I think things are rolling now and won’t slow down again. Sentiment back home and increased shipping out in the Pacific have made a big difference.

Other than all this there is nothing else much to talk about. The only thing we ever talk about is that anyway. They are trying to keep the positions all filled all the time so there are plenty of promotions. Some men leave and make openings which are filled by another man who leaves maybe two days later so they are taking care of the boys as much as possible. If it is possible the Captain who is adjutant will fix me up before I take off. There are several fellows with three or four more points than I who will leave maybe two days before I do so there will be openings to use if they will let it get by.

I may be off the beam but I think we will be out of this outfit by about Jan. 10 and maybe on our way by the last week in the month. I think I may be able to keep that St. Patrick’s Day date with you after all.

Well so much for my optimistic self. Mail hasn’t been so good. I got one letter Gram’s Nov. 29 on Sunday and that’s all for about a week now. I still haven’t written to anyone and I don’t think I shall now as I don’t care to have a lot of letters tagging round after me. I’ll let you know when I think you should stop letters to me out here but I imagine about Jan 1 is a good date. If it looks different I’ll let you know. Tonight we saw a very good movie “Princess and the Bell Hop” with June Allyson and Hedy Lamarr. It was one of the best we have had in quite some time. Sunday night they had “Lad, On a Train” with Deanna Durbin which was very good also. We had a group picture of the section taken yesterday that came out fairly well. I am sending one along that was taken here a few days ago outside our headquarters bldg. It is a bit dark but not bad. I have others but I don’t want to put them all in the same letter just in case it might get lost and then they would all be gone. Miller left me a German box camera but I don’t know what kind of pictures it takes yet. I hear the PX has a little film so maybe I can get a roll.

Well that is about all there is to say tonight and I just hope I’m not getting over optimistic about things. Take it easy and I’LL BE SEEIN’ YOU,


The Lull Before?

Tues. 4 Dec. ‘45



Dear folks,

Tues. afternoon and not much doing so I’ll write. Yesterday I got Dad’s Nov. 23 letter and another from Edna. No mail so far today but we might get some this afternoon. The boss got things taken care of yesterday and had my orders rescinded so I’m staying here. The way it stands now the outfit may deactivate this month and then we’ll all be transferred anyway. If that does happen the Major up at AFWESPAC wants to see me so I’ll probably end up with a fairly good job. We don’t know for sure just how long the outfit is going to hold together but expect to find out within a week. There goes another convoy of troops to the docks, the second or third today. Latest report is that we leave 50 pointers off the payroll so they must expect to drop below the present score of 55 yet this month. I sure hope so. If they get to 50 in Dec. they’ll be pretty close to us. Today’s paper says 45 points or 3 years service is expected to be good on Feb. 1. So that leaves us about 2 months before we will be eligible but I’m hoping it’s less. Maybe I’ll make it by St. Patrick’s Day yet.

Not much new outside of that. Last night we had “Salty O’Rourke” a movie about racing. We had seen it before back in Marseille last June. The pictures we are getting lately are rather old. Tonight we have “Gypsy Wildcat” which was on back in Maxey a year ago.

Not much doing today. Guess it’s the lull before? We’ll be shipping about 50 men out on points in the next few days so things will speed up some. This morning I got ambitious and wrote Aunt Edna a letter in answer to ½ dozen or so I had from her. I’m still way behind.

This afternoon I dug out my camera and we finished taking up the last roll of film. It had been in the camera about 5 months. Miller, Voth & I took 3 pictures back in Marseille in July and none had been taken since. The camera is in bad shape and maybe the pictures won’t come out as there are a lot of light leaks. We have our own developing outfit here so they should be ready in a day or so. We took a couple pictures of the section, a couple of me alone and one of Miller, Voth & I together. I am sending along 3 that one of the fellows took when we were in town together a week ago. The two taken in Manila are awfully dark and Miller & I are hardly visible. The third one taken here in the area came out fairly well. If the others are any good I’ll send them along too. I hope that spot doesn’t show up in the center of the film.

It doesn’t seem possible that Xmas is only 3 weeks away. It will be a year Saturday since we left Kilmer. It’s been a rugged year, I hope I never have to see another like it.

Well so much for that. There isn’t much else I can say so I’ll close up and go back to work for awhile. Bee seein’yo’


The Outfit Will Crack Pretty Soon

Mon. 3 Dec. ‘45



Dear folks,

Mon. morning and time I wrote a letter. Things are rather confused right now, in fact I don’t exactly know where I do stand. Yesterday morning I slept until about 10:30 I guess. We eat at 11:00 so I got out and went to dinner which except for the ice cream wasn’t so good. I spent the afternoon straightening up my stuff a little. I am getting less all the time now. We turned in our O.D.’s and field jackets and our shelter halves last week. That leaves just about nothing but the clothes that we are wearing all the time. It’s the lightest we’ve been.

Then yesterday afternoon when the mail clerk brings in the distribution, what do I find but the orders transferring me to Headquarters Detachment AFWESPAC (Army Forces Western Pacific). I supposed after going up there Sat. it was all settled but Base X went ahead and cut the orders on their own. So it may possibly leave me stuck. I don’t know yet. The personnel officer went up this morning to get them rescinded but whether he can do it I don’t know. Maybe I’m crazy for not taking it but I sort of think I’m at least just as well off as I’d be there and probably better. If he doesn’t get it stopped I’ll leave sometime tomorrow. The place is downtown in Manila. It’s a higher hq. about the same as an Army Hq. I believe. I’d be doing classification work up there. That’s how they got me, by my MOS. Actually I don’t do any of that work here. I’m just holding that rating but I know enough about it to get by O.K. If I do go I’m going to pick up some points in the shuffle if it’s at all possible. I think I can do it pretty easily. For that reason maybe I’m crazy for objecting to the transfer but the outfit will crack pretty soon and I should end up in the same place anyway.

Other than all of this there isn’t much new. Yesterday I got Gram’s letter she wrote Thanksgiving so the speed is holding up. Last night we had a movie here “Beautiful Cheat” with Noah Berry Jr. & Bonita Granville which was quite different for a change and pretty good. I don’t know yet what’s up for tonight but we are supposed to have one every night.

Things aren’t bustling too much today but there’s plenty to do. Miller took off on an all day deep sea fishing trip this morning. I don’t think I’d be interested in that. I find I have some more “junk” to send along home when I get something to put it in.

I have a pocketful of pesos that I’ve collected for the club so I’m going to have to see how I’m coming on that. I’ve taken in about $500 so far.

That’s about all there is to say for now so I’ll sign off until next time and get a few little jobs here taken care of, be seein’ you


The Boats Have Been Passing All Day

Thurs. 29 Nov. ‘45

Manila, Luzon


Dear folks,

Two forty-five and nothing doing so I’ll write a letter. Thought I’d try some lined paper for a change. No new developments today. Last night we went to a movie and show at another outfit down the road. It wasn’t bad. They had some Philippino acrobats and musicians that were pretty good. After we got there we found that we’d already seen the picture “George White’s Scandals” but we stayed anyway. We got back a little after 11:00. I think I’ll skip the movie one of these nights and catch some as I feel awfully sleepy mornings. We have breakfast from 5:30 to 7:00 so I’m usually up at 6:45 and over to eat. Then I sleep until 8:00 before I go to work.

No mail so far today and not too much to do. Tomorrow should be pay day. We had ice cream today with apple pie and I got a little extra hungry and went through twice. The meals vary a lot. Some are real good others not worth mentioning.

I am sending along an article I found in a magazine about Manila. It is slightly exaggerated but some of it is quite accurate and I thought it might be interesting. [The article, from Esquire, Oct.’45, is titled “Renaissance in Manila.” On the back is the beginning of a story “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise,” by J.D. Salinger.]

According to today’s paper all 55 pointers should be on their way by Dec. 31 at the present rate of shipping. It has really speeded up now. I haven’t been down by the docks lately but I understand there are a lot more ships than before. There is a replacement depot near here and long convoys of men going out there to be processed and headed in the opposite direction for the boats have been passing all day. Even late last night they were going past. That’s what I like to see. The faster they leave the better our chances become. Maybe we’ll make it before summer yet.

Well there’s not much else to say so I may as well sign off for today. So long for now,


Where Do We Go From Here

Wed. 28 Nov. ‘45



Dear folks,

Wednesday night at about 6:45. I think I shall go to a movie in a little while so I shall write this first. Not much new today. No mail today except for a few packages but I didn’t see anything of mine yet. Last night we went to a show down the road at another area but they had a Philippine stage show of some sort which was pretty corny so we left and came back here to our own movie. We saw “Where do we go From Here” with Fred MacMurray, June Haver, and Joan Leslie. Tonight they are having Patrick the Great which we have seen so Miller and I are going up to the other outfit to see what they are showing.

I haven’t done much work today as usual. I am getting so I do just as little as I possibly can and still get away with. The personnel sgt gets just a little disgusted with me but he already knows how I feel about things. I figure I have done enough already to last out the three or four more months that I have left.

This afternoon I went over to the hospital again to see how the X-rays came out on my wrist. They were just the same as the ones in England in April. The doctor a Lt Col looked the situation over and didn’t think he should try anything. As near as I can tell he didn’t want to mess with it. He said unless the pain got so it caused a lot of trouble that he wouldn’t recommend any operation on it. He said about all they could try was to cut a little of the bone away. It must be a rather tough job because he didn’t seem at all interested about doing it. He said the best thing to do was to leave it as it is but to be sure it goes on my discharge when I get out so I will have something to show should the need arise sometime. I talked with the Capt here when I came back and he said the same thing. He figured that they just don’t want to fool with it. I put the statement from the Dr in the back of my service record and I know enough about discharges so that I won’t sign mine unless it is fixed up to show what it should. The fact that I have had this job is worth something at least in that I know what the score is on a few of these things. So as before I guess I am stuck with a bad wrist. I guess I should have stayed in England when I had the chance. Oh well. I’ll be home before too long I hope and maybe I won’t have to do any heavy work with it.

We have our work fairly well in had now so unless something unexpected comes up we should be able to take things easy for a few days. There isn’t much else to say for things tonight so I think I shall call this enough and get ready to go to the show. Be seein’ you next time,


The Old Navicular

Tues. 27 Nov. ‘45



Dear folks,

Tues. afternoon and not too much to do so I’ll write a short letter. The navy left a lot of this tinted [pink] onion skin paper so I thought I’d get fancy and use some of it. Things are going along in a fairly normal manner once more. Yesterday morning I took some time off and played some tennis with one of the kids in the section. I was pretty rusty but we managed to win a set or two of doubles. We were playing on a cement basketball court and the lines weren’t the same as a standard court. It’s my first time since last May in Germany. Then yesterday afternoon I took a ride up to the 4th Gen’l Hosp. and had a little talk with one of the Drs. about the old navicular. Judging by what he said, which was practically nothing, I imagine there is nothing that can be done about it but one can never tell. I gave him the whole story as to what has happened to it in the last 2 years and he wrote it all down, did a lot of twisting & feeling of my wrist and compared it to the left one. Then he sent me down for X-rays and I’m to go back tomorrow afternoon to see how they turned out. Actually I don’t really know what they could do, probably nothing, but I decided to find out. If it is possible I’d like to have it fixed before I get out of the army. If I had a few more points now, I’d be in a much better position as I might be able to pull a deal of some sort. We’ll see how things turn out.

No mail yesterday & I got Gram’s letter of Nov. 17 & 18 today. That’s only 8 days enroute so the speed is picking up. I see you are getting mine in better time also. There won’t be so much mail coming this way as more men are shipped home so we will probably get better service.

Everything we read is very encouraging. Supposedly we’ll have plenty of ships by Jan. I still figure they won’t get to us until in February – either by dropping the points to 45 or the service period to 3 years. I guess I was about right when I said spring. I suppose I should not complain about it because 3 months or so really isn’t too long after 3 years, but still it seems a long time now.

I am looking for those Xmas packages but haven’t seen any yet. No one has received any Xmas boxes. Maybe they’ll start coming in pretty soon. I didn’t mean I’d received Edna’s, I had just got the letter saying she had sent it. We should cash in on quite a few packages as they aren’t forwarded to the men who have left. One fellow who used to get a couple a week left his to us and not a single one has come in so far.

Last night we had “That’s The Spirit” with Peggy Ryan and Jack Oakie. It was a rather farfetched sort of plot but rather entertaining to me at least. A lot of the fellows didn’t care for it, but for an Oakie picture it was pretty good. Tonight we have “Where Do We Go From Here” with Fred MacMurray & Joan Leslie which should be pretty good.

Our E.M. club opened last night but I didn’t go over. There’s nothing there that I’m interested in particularly. I’ve collected over $300 in tickets & dues so far so that’s pretty good.

Well that’s about all there is to say for this afternoon so I’ll close and go back to work. So long ‘til next time,


If I Ever Had To Work

Friday 23 Nov. ‘45

Manila 7:10 p.m.


Dear folks,

Another week about done with. Not too much new today. Last night I went to a movie. It was my first time here and they really have a swell theater. It’s outside naturally but there are plenty of seats and a very nice stage. The screen is full size for a change. Last night they had “Conflict” with Humphrey Bogart & Alexis Smith, which was pretty good – one of those psychological plots.

Today things have gone along fairly well. There wasn’t much doing this morning but this afternoon we moved across to our new office so that involved a certain amount of confusion and work. We went back after supper tonight for awhile and have things in pretty fair shape once more. A little time in the morning and everything will be back to normal. We are in a regular building now and it’s really a nice setup. They seem to get better as we go along but it’s due to the fact we inherited it all from the Navy. Now if we can just stay put for awhile, everything will be O.K.

We had our Thanksgiving dinner last night and what a meal – all the white meat I could eat, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, peas, bread, butter, biscuits, cranberry sauce & pumpkin pie with cream frosting. I was pretty full when I quit.

Today I got Gram’s Nov. 12-14 letter. I’ve been averaging about one a day lately. There’s no show here tonight. Some of the boys went to one at another camp up the road but I’m in fatigues and didn’t have the ambition to change.

For the first time in quite while my work is caught up. I was talking to the medics today about my wrist and I’m going up to the hospital Mon. and see what they think about it. Personally I doubt if they can do much about [it] but as I see it, it doesn’t hurt to find out. The Dr. in England said it might be possible to graft the bones together but he couldn’t be sure. Actually it doesn’t bother too much but if I ever had to work (which is quite possible) it would give me trouble.

That’s about all the dope from here for today so I’ll be signing off again. So long until next time,


Changing The Official Mind

Wed. 21 Nov. ‘45

Las Pinas, Manila


Dear folks,

Wednesday evening and I am on C Q again. They changed the roster and took off some of the men so I was moved up about three days. We are in our new area finally. After changing the official mind several times in about three days, we finally got started yesterday and moved over here. We were busy all forenoon with reports and stuff on all the new men that were shipped in. That was the largest number that we have had to pick up since we were back in Maxey a year and a half ago. This was messed up too with a lot of Regular Army men and what have you.

We loaded up our stuff on two trucks in the afternoon and came out here. We’re about 10 miles from our other area on a different edge of town. I guess Las Pinas is the name of the locality or suburb of Manila. We are still about 6 miles from downtown but it is slower to get in as the traffic out in these parts is really heavy. We unloaded all of our equipment and the spent the rest of the time trying to get our personal stuff in order.

At present we have the section set up in what was a library when the Seabees were here. It is quite a nice setup now that everything is arranged and in working order but we expect to have to move in a couple days to a building across the way which the navy is vacating today. I would personally prefer to stay right here but my opinions don’t seem to mean much. Over here we are a little bit out of sight of the brass and as someone said, out of sight out of mind. Maybe that would apply here. Anyway no matter which place we eventually land in, it will be the best that we have had in a long time. This area was all occupied by the Seabees and they really had everything first class. Of course the navy has a much better deal than the army no matter where they happen to be.

As for our living quarters, well that is pretty good. We are in pyramidal tents, with plywood floors and all manner of gadgets built into them by the sailors. We will eventually move into a different section of the camp but all of it is the same. We have 5 in our tent although it was built for 8 men. That makes plenty of room for all of us. We have a table and by scouting around we have accumulated about 8 chairs as well as any number of odds and ends of things. The boys left stuff all over the area and naturally some of the boys went after what they could find. It’s OK I suppose but I never seem to go for it myself. I have enough junk with the stuff I am issued. Unless there is something that will make me more comfortable while I am in a place I am not interested. We have lockers built into the frame the tent is on so we have places to put our stuff. Also I got hold of a footlocker before we left the other area so that makes things pretty good on the whole. We are in a real shady area and it stays cool no matter how hot it is outside. It is a sort of dark and gloomy looking place but it is worth it to have it stay cool all the time. Showers are right by the tents and the water is warmed part of the time. There is a concrete court near the tent where we can play basketball, tennis, or volleyball. There is a swell theater with plenty of seats and a full sized projector and screen. I was out for a few minutes this afternoon trying to shoot a few baskets but couldn’t do any good. My wrist kicks up a little fuss whenever I try anything like that. I have been doing a lot of thinking about it the last few days and I have a notion to have the medics take a look at it and see if there is anything that could be done. It is a little different now than when the outfit was still going along in normal fashion. When we were in England there was still a lot of the war left and I wanted to stick around but now all there is to do is wait and I might as well be doing myself a little good while I am waiting. I may be getting out of the army in about 5 months and after then it will be a little late to try to get anything done about it. Of course I don’t know for sure that it could be helped any but I believe it is worth a try. If I don’t change my mind in the next week or so I intend to see about it. I don’t see where there is much I can lose by it.

Today our request for the battle star came back rejected by good old Mac. It was approved all along the line up to him. So there goes 5 points out the window and at a 5 point drop per month it means at least another month over here. Actually we didn’t earn one but I never turn up my nose at 5 points and if I ever get transferred out of this outfit I sort of think I will pick up a few points in the process. The army has never been very conscientious in its treatment of us. I guess I sound sort of bitter but I can’t help it.

There is a movie tonight but since I am on CQ I can’t get over to see it. We had steak for supper tonight. The food is pretty good but after all it is the same type rations we have been getting. We eat in a large battalion mess hall which is the one thing I don’t like. My only objection to it is the long chow line. The first three graders eat in a separate mess by themselves. Personally that sort of thing stirs up a lot of resentment on my part. Perhaps it is a little jealousy but I don’t think so. I feel that if a person is good enough to work with all day to live in the same tent with, he is good enough to eat with. But that isn’t the army I guess.

I got a letter from Gram yesterday written on Nov 6 but none today. The mail is all muddled up but gradually seeping in to us. We still have the same APO after our move.

I worked a little this forenoon and for the first time in several days got caught up with everything so this afternoon I took it just a little easy. I have been doing a miserable job of writing lately. I have a whole stack of letters in my bottom drawer here from people that I should answer. Most of them have heard from me once since I have been out here.

Maybe I can get at a few of them tonight if something doesn’t come up to give me a different job.

That is about all there is to say for things in the pacific tonight so I will call this to a halt and say so long until the next time,


Sing Your Way Home

Sat. 17 Nov. ‘45



Dear folks,

Well Sat. afternoon and once more we are getting ready to move. We are moving tomorrow morning early to our new area so I rather imagine we’ll be a bit busy. I haven’t seen the place yet but from all I’ve heard it must really be swell. Perhaps that article did some good after all as the general is supposed to have said we were to get the best area in Manila. It’s pretty hard to understand. Tonight we plan to load all our office equipment on the 2 ½ and take it down. Then in the morning all we’ll need do is pull down our tents and load our personal belongings.

Big stories out on points today. Supposedly they drop to 55 Dec. 1. That gets Miller but leaves the rest of us pretty high and dry. Even this battle star we have pending wouldn’t get me over the hump as it would make 51. I was hoping for 50 as the new score. The story is anyone over 35, or with 4 years service, or with three children or with 55 points is eligible. According to the paper the 2 year system make [may?] begin in March and then they’ll toss out the points completely. If it’s 4 years service in Dec. maybe it will drop to 3 yrs. by January or Feb. My 3 yrs. are up Jan. 1 but I don’t know how much good it will do me. All troops are to be out by Jan. ’47. Boy that’s really an encouraging thought. But someday I’m bound to fit in on one of these plans. I hate to see Miller leave if he does as we’ve been together a long time but naturally I’ll be glad if he can get home. He’s got a really cute little girl that he only saw for about 4 days right after it was born. She’s about 14 months old now. Incidentally that’s where he got all the points.

I got one letter today – Gram’s postmarked Nov. 1. Delivery is pretty slow and unpredictable. It’s been pretty hot today, too hot for any sort of comfort. We had an inspection this morning but outside of shining up my shoes a little I didn’t do anything about it.

Last night we saw “Sing Your Way Home,” a Jack Haley musical. It was pretty good, not much of a story but entertaining. I had thought I might go into town tonight but with the move, it’s out.

Well that’s about it and I have a report to get out yet so I’ll call it off until next time,


Something He “Et”

Monday 12 Nov. ‘45



Dear folks,

Well it’s about 4:00 in the afternoon and for a change things are a bit quiet so I shall write a letter. Today started out a bit busy but has got better as it progressed. The boss was sick last night and spent the forenoon in bed. I guess it must have been something he “et.” With only one of us down here naturally it made a little extra work for me to do but I get along pretty well now. He came in this afternoon for awhile but had to give up and go back to the tent. He isn’t feeling too good on the whole. I seem to have picked up a slight head cold someplace which hasn’t made me too happy about things but it’s nothing serious.

I have the payrolls all set to get out so if the officer gets back in time to sign them I’ll run them down to the finance office yet this afternoon. By the looks of things now they’ll wait until morning. We are getting in a lot of new men today. Some of them in fact most of them have from 5 to 9 points. That is definitely not good. Of course they may not be permanently assigned to us but if they are it will really drag down our unit average. It was about 43 but this would haul it down into the 30’s someplace. I hear units may be regarded as such when it comes to ASR scores from now on. The squad of men and officer who got into the scrape with the Japs up in the hills got a battle star out of it and the 5 points that go with it. They put in a request for them first and then as an after thought they applied for the Bn as a whole. The fact that they got it may put aside any chances we had of getting it. They should have applied for all of us right at first. If any part of a unit engages the enemy the whole outfit is entitled to credit. But somebody is always messing things up. Maybe 5 points wouldn’t make any difference but I’d like to have them just in case. No mail today again. I imagine there will be a movie again tonight as there is one very night lately. We saw a good one last night so we will get a few not so good ones for awhile probably if it runs true to form. That’s about all there is to say for things today. It has been pretty hot but is getting a little cloudy and may rain now. I’ll call this enough for today and get back to work, so long again,