Oh Well, So What!

Sunday 11 Nov. ‘45

9:15 a.m.


Good morning folks,

A really nice Sunday morning here so far. It’s clear and sunny and still cool here in the tent. But outside the sun is getting pretty hot. It’s hard to realize it’s already mid-November and still so hot but it is. Personally I still like the 4 seasons pretty well. I’d like to see some snow and ice skating this winter but probably won’t get even close. Maybe it’s as well as we’d we have a little trouble getting used to the cold. Our blood is pretty well thinned now after 3 months out here. Incidentally those 3 months have really passed quickly. Time should drag considering conditions but I guess we’ve been too busy to notice it. I hope the next two months go as fast as maybe by then things will be looking up a bit. Sometimes it seems as if everything looks swell, then again it looks as if we’ll never get out of here. Something came up yesterday which made us do a little thinking. It’s still possible we might hit Japan before we’re through. We hadn’t thought of that one before.

Oh well, so what! I crawled out at about 7:30 this morning for breakfast of eggs. After eating I got ambitious and shined all 2 pairs of my shoes. Then Miller & I went over and got our laundry. They upped the prices on us. It costs 75 cents for 2 sets of suntans now. There is a Flip family nearby which does the work. They really get all they can out of us but at least they do a good job.

This afternoon some of us are going into town for awhile so I’m going to shave and clean up when I finish this. I don’t suppose there’ll be much to see or do but we’ll find out. There is a pretty nice Red Cross I understand. After all the good places we’ve been in we have to come to rest over here. Our little trip out here kept us overseas probably three months longer.

Well, there’s not much else to write this time so I’ll call this off for now.

5:45 and we are back after spending the afternoon in town. I showered and cleaned up this morning but you probably couldn’t tell it. A clean uniform stays pressed just about long enough to get it on. A few minutes and its sweated all out of shape. We had a swell dinner today, fried chicken (I had a whole breast), potatoes, string beans, bread, butter, cake, lemonade & ice cream. About 1:30 four of us took off in a jeep. We hit a couple Red Cross clubs and rode around most of the town. We were down by the harbor and saw a big ship come in. There are a lot down there now, which looks good. I guess our battle star sort of fizzled. The officer & men who were in that scrape got it but so far nothing is heard about the battalion as a whole. No mail today, I see.

Well that’s about the story so I’ll call it off. Think I’ll see a movie tonight.

So long


I Am Not Paid To Think

Saturday 10 November 1945



Dear folks,

About 10:00 p.m. and we just got back from a movie. Miller and I came back over to the office to turn out a couple letters. We saw a pretty good picture tonight “Junior Miss.” I had seen the play in Cheltenham when we were in England last spring. The picture was even better and a little funnier I thought.

Not much that is new today. The mail came in a lot heavier and I got three letters from Gram, 2 postmarked Oct 29 and one on the 30th. It seems to come in in bunches and from what she wrote mine must be reaching you the same way. I guess there is nothing to be done about it though. We were fairly busy today and from the appearances of things perhaps we are about caught up for a few days once more before something else pops up for us to tangle with. I finished checking the payrolls and got out a half dozen or so reports. It seems that higher headquarters dreams up more reports and rosters for us to do every day. I can’t see any sense or use for most of them but I guess I am not paid to think. We had an inspection this morning I guess but I wasn’t around and haven’t heard anything of what happened. I made a little trip over to finance this morning. I get around quite a bit now on various reasons. Tonight Miller and I went into Manila with the Personnel Officer to pick up a new man transferred to our outfit. On the way back we stopped at that snack bar I was telling you about and got some more hamburgers. I am going to be a steady customer of that place whenever I get into town. So far I haven’t been in except on some sort of business or when I have just ridden along. Tomorrow some of us may get passes and go in to see what we can see of the place. I don’t suppose there will be much to see. Our prime mission is to find some good ice cream. I got a little the other day but the equivalent of an American ice cream cone cost us a peso (50 cents). I’d like the ice cream concession for out here. The town is pretty much messed up from the burning the Japs did on the way out and is so crowded with GI’s all the time that I expect once will be just about enough for me.

Tomorrow is an off day in so far as we know now so I expect to do a bit of late sleeping. It is automatic for me to wake up at 6:00 though lately. I sleep really sound all night but as soon as that time rolls around I’m wide awake. Nothing new on the “home” front. We have a campaign (all troops out here) underfoot as you can see by these envelopes. All letters leaving this theater will be stamped with something of this nature. [envelope has rubber stamp: Get Us Home/No Boat Votes] At least it will let a lot of people back there know we are still around and what they can expect once we get out of here. Supposedly shipping is getting better but who knows. 80 point men are still out here. They had 180 destroyers back to New York for Navy day. That sort of thing is just what we all needed I’m sure. I suppose it gets pretty tiresome for you to hear this same old thing from me all the time but naturally it is our chief thought most of the time. Supposedly 60 points is the discharge score now but none of the 60 pointers that we transferred to the 37th division have gone anyplace. We can’t get rid of any that are in our outfit now.

Well so much for the complaint department. Tomorrow is the old Armistice day but I guess it has lost most of its old meaning. It should be forgotten altogether in my opinion. Incidentally just which day was called VJ day back there, Sep 2 or 3? Yamashita surrendered up here on Sunday the 2nd but perhaps it wasn’t all official until the next day.

Well that is about all there is worth writing about for tonight so I shall close this and head towards the bed, So long again.


Out Of A Clear Sky (Almost)

Monday 5 November 1945



Dear folks,

Monday night and here I am on CQ again. This is getting to be too much of a habit. Yesterday I was on voluntarily and my regular turn was this Thurs. So tonight the fellow scheduled for it wasn’t around and naturally I get the job. I think I and a couple people are going to have a little heart to heart talk. I am sort of good natured but there is a limit to everything.

Nothing worthwhile talking about today. Last night we went to a show but it wasn’t too good. It was “On Stage Everybody” with Jack Oakie and Peggy Ryan. He is getting a little worse in each picture I think. Today we have been pretty busy again getting things out of the way. We got paid this afternoon so that was a little more work. Then out of a clear sky (almost) we get an I.G. inspection for tomorrow. So we had to get on the ball and get things in shape so far as possible. I think after all our rushing around things are all right. Anyway I don’t let an inspection bother me much anymore. It is just a little late in the war to worry about it. If we pass it fine, if not well so what. We’ll still get home at the same time and that is all that matters to me. I think this inspection was brought about by some of our “smarter” gentlemen who sought to remedy a situation about which they knew practically nothing. It seems a S/Sgt drafted a letter of complaint about our future move from this place and got 369 signatures to the thing before sending it in to the Pacifican for publication. I’ll send you a copy of the letter. Personally I had no sympathy for it and refused to sign it. I sign the payroll once a month and that is all. I can see no sense in starting a thing like that unless it can accomplish some good for us. Certainly this could only do harm and no good. The thing was printed much to our surprise and when the Major saw it this morning he predicted that the IG would be in his hair in no time and it was only a couple hours later.

We are supposed to have all our stuff in the tents arranged for it but since I shall be over here in the morning I may not be able to make it. We had a good dinner today of fried chicken again but the supper tonight wasn’t much. No mail yesterday or today. Nothing but packages and newspapers for the last three days. It ought to break loose again about tomorrow.

I had intended to go to a movie tonight but naturally I can’t make it now. There isn’t much else to say and I’m not in a very good writing mood right now. I’ll send along the clipping. Notice that bright article by the poor neglected officer. It’s about time they realized they aren’t going to boss the former Enlisted Men around once we all get back home. It will give me a lot of pleasure to deflate some of these ex-officers when this is all over.

Well I’ll sign off for tonight until next time, so long again,


Everybody Is Home But Me

Sat. 27 Oct. ‘45

Wack Wack Country Club



Dear folks,

Sat. night and we just got back from the movies. They had “Bell for Adano” tonight and it was a pretty good picture although I didn’t care much for the ending. Not much new today. Last night I got Gram’s and Dad’s letters postmarked Oct. 16. No mail today so far and I guess there won’t be any. We were pretty busy all day and worked most of the afternoon, even though it was Saturday. So far as I know we won’t be working tomorrow unless something comes up.

It’s raining hard outside and has been almost continually for 3 days. We were lucky to be able to sit through most of the movie before it started to rain again. I washed my boots 3 days ago and they are still wet. Nothing is able to dry out with it like this. It’s a good thing we aren’t still down on the rice paddie we hit the first night. What a mess that would be by now.

Our P.X. opened up tonight so I picked up a few things including this paper & some shoe polish so I can get garrison. We went back into suntans again today at Hqs. It’s going to create a laundry problem as I see the pants are pretty dirty already. There must be mud inside my poncho by the looks of things. So far we have no provisions for laundry. We are supposed to build one for Quartermaster before we finish I understand.

We have things set up pretty well and as soon as the hospital unit moves out we’ll go into their barracks. With lights, radios and everything we need we are sitting pretty and I just hope it lasts until we have to leave for good.

Its swell Donald is home. From what you folks write I guess everybody is home but me, but maybe I’ll make it yet. They’re bound to run out men to discharge some day and then I’ll be all set.

I think I’ll catch a shower and get to bed fairly early tonight so I’ll call this it.

Be seein’ yo’all


Wack Wack Country Club

Fri. 26 Oct. ‘45

Wack Wack Country Club



Dear folks,

I have an hour left of my lunch time so I’ll get on the ball and write for the first time since Mon. We’ve been pretty busy since then and I’m not kidding a bit. We spent practically all of Tues. getting our stuff loaded on to the truck and a couple trailers. We must have less stuff or something because we seemed to have lots of room left over for a change. We were up at 4:00 Wed. morning, got all our personal stuff loaded, ate breakfast, struck our tents and were ready to leave by about 6:00. It hadn’t rained for 2 weeks so Tues. night it started and rained off and on all day Wed. We pulled out at about 7:00 and after an all day ride came into our area at about 5:30. What an area. When we saw it we were just about ready to quit completely. We had a nice big rice paddie [sic] at the foot of a slope. It’s still the rainy season down here and there was 2 inches of mud and water all over the place and in many places it was a lot deeper. The caribou had been using it as a wallowing place.

There wasn’t much we could do so we dragged off our tent, though [sic] it up in the mud, ate, and got to bed at about 8:30 just to keep our feet dry. It rained just about all night and was still raining when we got up at about 9:00 yesterday morning. When we stepped out of bed the water was ankle deep inside the tent. What a mess. About that time somebody finally got a little backbone and went to higher headquarters to get us out of there. It had reached the point where you needed rubber boots to walk around. So we took our tent down once more (you can guess what it looked like in all that mud and water and was it heavy!), packed up and pulled out.

When we saw this area it was like a paradise in comparison. We got here at about noon and had to work the whole day but it was worth it.

We are in a Philippino golf course or what used to be one. An evacuation hospital has been here but their patients are all gone so we got the areas where their wards were. There are floors and side frames built so all we had to do was pitch our tents over the frames. Our section was about the only ones around so we ended up putting up roughly 10 tents which involves just a little bit more work than I had done in quite some time. We did far more than our share but eventually got finished and had a chance to fix things up. It’s the first time we’ve been “off the ground” since Germany in June and it feels pretty good. Of course we now have floors to mop but it’s worth it. I have my stuff set up pretty well now and I hope we won’t get pushed out of here. The hospital unit is leaving so we may get into barracks then although I’ll be satisfied where I am. The shower room is about 20 feet from the back door and there is running water in the tent. If this can only last we’ll be all right. The boys had lights installed before dark last night. By the time we finished I was mud up to my knees and filthy dirty but I finally got cleaned up and got to bed.

We were up at about 7:00 this morning and at about 8:00 we went to work. We have the best deal for an office that we’ve had since Maxey, believe it or not. We got all our stuff unloaded and got the office arranged pretty well this forenoon. By tonight we should have everything under control.

It’s still raining and has been nearly continuously since we’ve been here. I guess it just stays that way all the time.

Our APO is 75 again, the same one we had when we first hit the Philippines. I got Gram’s Oct. 14 letter Tues. night. I don’t suppose we’ll be getting any for a day or 2 now.

From what the C.O. said we have plenty of work. We have enough construction work to do to last a good long time. If we are surplus troops they surely intend to put us to good use while we wait. I may be wrong but it sounds as if we’re good for 3 or 4 months here as a unit so unless points drop or something else pulls us out we’re stuck.

That’s about how things look now and it’s time to go to work so I’ll have to call this enough until next time.

So long


The Guerrilla Posts Are Gone

Mon. 22 Oct. ‘45



Dear folks,

Not much to write about tonight. Yesterday afternoon a few of us got a jeep and went up to our waterfall for a bath, probably the last time up there. Now that it hasn’t rained for a couple weeks you’d hardly recognize it as the same road up there. All the guerrilla posts are gone and things have been restored to their normal appearance except for an occasional Bailey bridge which will always mark the path of the Engrs. Last night there were 3 letters, I believe, for the whole company. The mail got in early today. There was plenty of it but I got but one letter – Gram’s of Oct. 11. Ten days seems to be just about the average speed nowadays.

I’ve been pretty busy today. The boss got back from Manila last night. We had to have another copy of all the pay vouchers so I’ve worked all day typing them and have just about finished. Tomorrow we’ll probably pack and load our vehicles so we can take off Wed. morning. B Co. left this morning. They must have been up at 3:00 for we got no sleep after that. How one Co. can make that much noise beats me.

We have a movie tonight – “George White’s Scandals.” I saw it back in Angeles when we first got here I believe but I’m not sure. It’s a pretty fair picture any way so I guess I’ll enjoy it even if it is the second time. Between now and then I think I’ll try and catch a little sleep as my head has been giving me a bit of a bad time today. I understand we may have a pretty fair setup in Manila but I’ll know better by Thurs. or Fri.

There’s not much else to say now so I’ll be calling this to a halt. So long again,


Number 23 Is Finished

Sunday 14 October ‘45



Dear folks,

Sunday afternoon and I’ll write awhile. Well number 23 is finished and this starts number 24 today. It’s a whole lot different from last year. A year ago today I was on a train heading for home. I wonder how long it will be before I’ll be there again. It can’t be any too soon for any of us but it still isn’t in sight. The only thing which is encouraging are the rumors which are many but unfounded. The best that even the rumors do for us is Xmas. I hope its right but I won’t be very surprised if we are eating Xmas dinner in Manila.

The 60 pointers are about all cleared out now. Originally they were leaving in mid November but the latest is about 10 days from now. The 38th Div. has already gone and I believe the 37th is the last so maybe we are just about next. About all that are left are ETO troops and kids who’ve been over here 4 or 5 months as replacements. Most of our new men have from 18 to 20 points which looks pretty good. Before they came the organization was split in half at 45 points. Now the average must be down nearer 40 so that makes my 46 look a whole lot bigger than it used to. So if they lower points to 45 or start 2 year releases I ought to make either one. There aren’t many in the outfit with more service than I now. A lot can happen in 1 ½ months between now and December 1.

Last night we had a movie. It was “Our Vines Grow Tender Grapes,” a rather serious story with Edward G. Robinson in a new type role with little Margaret O’Brien. Remember her in “Lost Angel” when we saw it back at the Gladmer? It was a good story but the generator went out near the end and I got disgusted and left. I guess they got it started later on but I didn’t go back to see the end.

Back at about 8:10 p.m. We got a lot of records in this afternoon on some of our new men so we went down to check them over before supper. We had some good macaroni tonight, almost as good as yours. We have practically a completely new group of cooks and we’ve been eating the last few days. We had fried chicken yesterday noon, roast beef last night and chicken for dinner again today. It’s good and in large quantities for some reason. Hope it keeps up.

This morning I got up at about 7:30 for breakfast of fried eggs and then lay back down and slept until about 11:30 when I got up for dinner. I decided to get enough sleep for one morning while the rest of the boys were working.

That’s about the story for today. Tomorrow it’s back to work once more. I’m getting awfully tired of this old routine day in and day out but I guess it will go on for awhile yet.

There was a railroad bridge out someplace between Manila and San Jose today so we didn’t get any mail. Maybe we’ll get twice as much tomorrow if we get any. I was going to write several letters today but as usual I didn’t get it done. I don’t seem to get much of anything done anymore but someday I’ll get ambitious (maybe).

Well it’s nearly bed time again so I’d better be on my way for today. I’ll be back again next time, so long for now.


Nothing To Do And Nothing To See

Friday 28 Sep ‘45



Dear folks,

I’m on CQ this noon so I’ll start a letter while there is nothing doing. It wasn’t quite my time but the next three men in line are off at various places so I got it. There is nothing to do except watch over the switchboard. For some reason it has been unusually quiet so far. Maybe everyone is eating I hope. We had a swell steak dinner today. I ate early and got a well done piece. Nothing new around here much. We got 4 letters for the whole company last night. The adjutant is going to try to see just what the score is on our mail, why we don’t get any. It must be held up someplace here on the island because it seems to be coming across pretty fast now. Maybe it will bring some results. We are losing all of our 35 year old men so they won’t be in the army long now. I’m glad I’m not that old naturally but it must really feel good to know that it won’t be long before you could get away from all of this sort of thing.

Our work goes up and down. One time we have twice as much as we can handle and the next time there is absolutely nothing to do. I guess I had better get back to posting some of the publications we have lying around. That’s one job I really dislike but the other clerk who was doing that sort of thing is down in San Jose on DS so I guess it is up to me. I am getting so that I do less work every day and I’m not doing any more than I can possibly help from now on. There is no future and now that the war is over I have lost all my ambition and just want to get back where I belong. Things in general appear about the same around here. Nothing is definite enough to put any confidence in.

It is the usual hot afternoon. We had some rain last night but not as much as usual. There hasn’t been much for a couple days which is good. It has made it so they could get the boys out of the mountains. If it holds for another 4 or 5 days then it can rain all it wants and we won’t care. By then it shouldn’t be our worry any more. We just have our fingers crossed. Well that is about all there is to say today. I know these letters don’t amount to much but every day is just like the last one out here. There is nothing to do and nothing to see and talk about. So for one more time, so long and I’ll be seeing you,