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,


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