Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
August 4, 1943
Dear Aunty Clara,
Well, I have succeeded in bringing my spirits down a long way from the high level they had been at when I wrote the first letter just before suppertime today. There are several reasons for the descent of the spirit. Things just haven't gone right at all. First I was waiting for Lt Yantis at the projection booth so that we could go over to the nearby outfit to show the moving picture. Because this was sort of in the manner of going visiting, I had dressed myself up in sun tans for the evening. However, I soon heard Lt Yantis calling to me from the Officer's Mess Hall that there would be no movie this evening. Why? Our projector had been called back to the Special Services. Would we have a show tomorrow evening? Not unless we could get hold of the projector or another one. Not only was the expectant movie called off but also the future ones. I hardly think that this will be permanent but for the time being neophytic movie operator number one of our regiment (that's me) will have to forget about the whole thing.
Therefore, with the evening free, Larry and I went over to the show down the road to see "Foreign Correspondent" with Joel McCrea, George Saunders and Laraine Day. This is where we ran, or I should say stepped, into the second setback of the evening. The way to the theater area was pitch black and in unison, Larry and I suddenly found ourselves sprawled out on the ground with our faces in the dirt and our right legs practically broken off at the knee. We had stepped into a ditch over three feet deep.
The third item which made for no little discomfort of the mind and a generally lowering of our good natures was the fact that the movie was nothing to rave about. We were rather far back and the sound did not carry to our location very well.
Then we decided to spend the remaining part of the evening writing letters. Well, instead of doing that immediately, we had to glance over some magazines. First I read all about the race riots in Detroit and the general flare-up over the racial question throughout the US. I am highly intolerant of such intolerance and I flared-up reading about the flare-up. From that article I went on to others describing the breakdown in the food front at home which seems to have been caused by mismanagement rather than by shortages. Just another little chapter in a series of events which tend to make the war last a few more days longer than it might otherwise last. Turning to such cheerful and heart-warming news from the homefront, I viewed the warfront. By this time the series of circumstances and events had me in the glummest of moods. I was ready for news of victory etcetera but not so. Instead I chanced across those articles describing the growing defensive measures of the Axis and how our Air Crews are being shot down with greater consistency than before. That looks bad for George. It was at this spot I thought I had better unload my troubles to you so that I can go to bed in a few hours and fall asleep with a free mind.
We also received the Life magazine which lists the casualties since the war. Joseph Schertz, the RH&R accountant who went down with the Houston in the Battle of Java during the very beginning of the war, was not listed in those casualties from Oak Park, Illinois. However, I did note two names in the Cicero list which meant more than names to me. One was Miles Kadelec who went to Wilson School. He was a Lt in N. Africa, decorated for bravery and promoted to Captain. The other was Mescelaus Ptak who Ray and I knew in Morton Junior College. He was also in the Holy Name Blowing League that my Dad belonged to. That makes five fellows who I knew well or causally but now are gone. Just think the war isn't over yet and the list is up to five. I believe you said that during the last war you did not know one person who had died during the war.
It is quarter to eleven right now so I had better be toddling along to my tent and make up my bed nice and cozy like so that I will be warm during the night when the chill settles in the valley.