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,


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