Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
7 December 1943

Dear Aunty Clara,
Oh Terrible Day!!

Just two years ago today as the Chicago Bears game was being broadcast over the radio the interruption came to bring us flash news from the radio news room. Hardly any one seemed to realize its significance that Sunday afternoon and it wasn't until several days passed that the seriousness of the situation was apparent. So in celebration of that famous (infamous) day we have been greeting each other today with "Happy December 7th to you."

But you know what? No, naturally you wouldn't! There might still be a chance that those packages given up for lost could show up today in one of the 56 bags of mail which came in today. Our Company has just now received 5 full sacks of mail!

This is the first letter which I have written today and from the looks of things it may even be the last one. Although I did not get much accomplished today my day was busy from the beginning to the end. For one thing, I hadn't even made up my bed in the morning when I had to come down to the Office to type up some rush work. These little jobs kept all day and, incidentally, slowed down the payroll to a O pace. I have completed exactly one page, the front page. What it means is that I've mapped out a schedule for myself which I hope I can live up to after the show this evening. I intend to do the payroll tonight even if I have to work from ten o'clock to Reveille. Moreover, it wasn't until sometime in the afternoon that I was able to get hold of enough second sheets to complete the thing anyway.

In the course of looking for second sheets, we had occasion to search thru six shipping boxes which carried quite a few of our supplies and records on our way over to this Island. When we got down to the bottom one, which was chuck full of paper tablets and forms, we were surprised to find just about half of them chewed up. Then, as Ralph Pfau went to remove some of them, a rat jumped out and terrified practically out of his skin, got caught between the box and the sideboarding of the office. We moved the box and he scampered away. Then the second one followed in short order. We thought we had uncovered a rat nest and carefully probed for the others but that was all.

It seems to be practically impossible to keep anything from them except the things in our field desks which are locked up tighter than drums.

There is something I have noticed which is a lot different in the mess halls here on the Island than they were back in the States. It seems that back there it was always rush, rush, rush whereas here the men can eat their meal at whatever speed they want to and then when they finish either talk or smoke as the case may be. Back in Camp Grant it was more or less a necessity to get one group of men fed and another in the mess hall because they had more men than seating capacity, while in the training camp eating seemed to be a drill which had to be done by the numbers but here things have calmed down to a normal pace. A fellow comes in from work just as if he were a civilian, eats and then goes back out on the job.

The Good Conduct lists were typed up for the Colonel's signature today so that means perhaps within the week they will be issued to us and we will be able to wear two medals on our chests. The one we are all waiting for is the Victory Medal and that will be the best of all.

The PX had some candy in today and I stocked up on a bit so that in case I get hungry along about midnight tonight, I can have a little snack. That alone will be one of the reasons I'll probably get one of the packages in today's mail. I hope so.

It was so warm last night that I didn't crawl under the blankets once but I woke up all tired out and restless. I think the dampness settling on a person isn't so good. Next time I'll keep my shelter half over me.

/s/ Roman