Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
17 December 1943
Today sets about just the all time record for a late beginning on the day's letters. It is exactly quarter to eleven and first now am I starting out writing the first letter of the day to you. If I don't set these keys to clicking fast, it will be tomorrow before I finish today's letters.
I did not receive any mail today. That old saying is right "It never rains but it pours." This makes the third day this month without receiving anything at all. And the worst part about it that it is the second day like that this week. I've already conceded Jack Molyneaux a victory for this week because he was six of seven letters ahead of me with only tomorrow to count in the standings.
The reason I did not write this afternoon between four and five was first because I was reading a story about a bombing mission over Germany and it took me about twenty minutes. I thought it was quite late at the time to start writing a letter with the hope of finishing it before supper time; so I went up to my tent where I laid down on the cot and promptly fell sound asleep.
We received an allotment of Coca Cola today. Two bottles for fifteen cents and I have just now sent the second bottle of the stuff sliding down my gullet. It wasn't cold but so what, this isn't a cold place.
Joe Kurtiss received a pleasant surprise today as his brother in the Army came into the island from the Hawaiians. His brother is a 2nd Lieutenant and a very nice fellow. In the letter I wrote to George Prokopec this evening I mentioned the possibility that should he ever come down thisaway, he should also look me up so that we could spend a few hours together. That would be swell to have somebody from home drop around for a little bit.
The letter to George is the only other one I got written this evening besides a short note I dropped to Aunty Florence just before starting this letter. I wrote her letter before this one tonight because I would have told you all the news otherwise and would have been too tired to think up something interesting to talk about. The result would be another two sentence double-spaced apology for not saying anything.
Lt Yantis is a good soldier or at least he fits into our Colonel's definition of a good soldier. He says that no worthwhile soldier will lack for anything. As a result, the personnel section has a fan! Can you imagine that! We must be about the only Army office in the sticks that has a fan and it is causing a mild sensation and revolution in this regiment alone. Lt Yantis keeps fooling the officers and others who come in by saying that S-4 (Supply Section) is issuing them to everyone. Needless to say, he did not get it by authorized methods. Elmer Keck made a little brace for it and fastened the thing at one end of the office just underneath the ceiling. Electrician Kronenberger then came in and connected the wires in such a way that they are completely out of sight and the fan turns off automatically when the last fellow who leaves at night turns out the light switch.
For the most part this evening I've had the fan blow right on me because it keeps the mosquitoes away with the strong breeze as effectively as if I were smeared with the lotion.
The working day dragged by today with really no accomplishments to speak of and my finances are slowly being drained by the new supplies which the PX is getting in. Today it was a box of Planter's peanuts although this last batch doesn't taste as good as the others did.
The inspections in the tent are becoming very strict. They look for things which aren't even visible. Everyone knows the time honored soldier custom of hiding contraband material in a helmet, mosquito netting, etc but it appears as if they are going to put an end to that. Censky was gigged because he had
left his comb underneath his raincoat. The others of us were fortunate in that they did not make a close inspection of our carefully hidden stuff. Underneath my helmet was a veritable junk pile of assorted articles which will have to be removed by tomorrow morning in preparation for the Saturday morning inspection.
H&S Company has the sympathy of the entire regiment. Their tent plans were arranged so that a huge clothes cabinet was in the center of the tent but all that has to be changed now and they must conform with the way we have our tents. That means more tearing out of the old stuff they had just finished putting in a week or so ago and the construction of this new system.
Kurtis and I said that we would buy houses at the end of this war and put inlaid linoleum on the kitchen floor and the minute it would be set we would have it ripped out and a different kind put in. Then we would paint the house one color and before that would be finished we would have the painter change the color. A week after that we would say "Shingle the house," after which e would tear off the shingles and put up stucco sides. It is the constant changing and doing over in the Army which we were making fun of. Lt Yantis is of the opinion that this perpetual change is good for a man and keeps him on his toes. Frankly, I'm glad that momentarily (I have my fingers crossed) the Company A tents are staying as they are.
From a news magazine I happened to be reading today I notice that since the Mediterranean Sea is now open for Allied traffic and it doesn't have to go around by way of Africa, the American homes will once again feel the pinch of a coffee shortage. They say that quite a few ships would pick up coffee cargoes at Brazil on their way back up thru the Atlantic but now that they can ply the Suez route, they are not going to go out of their way by touching Brazil off their beaten path.
There is enough money in the kitty once again for us to buy some more ice cream. This is the last free handout of ice cream that personnel is going to have. Hereafter anyone who wants some ice cream will have to hand over 20¢ on the spot for a canteen cup full of it. We have been forced to do this because some fellows who paid for the ice cream weren't around when we distributed it while others who did not contribute, came in and had first and second helpings on it.
By writing George a letter I have knocked down the unanswered list to a mere four letters I'm sure that I can knock out one to Uncle Jack in no time and perhaps the same with Mrs Boyer. I'll have to think up some darn good excuses in my answers to Marie's letters of some time in October and that will leave me only one letter to write and that to Senor Gonzales. The reason I hesitate so long in answering and thanking him is that I don't want to send him the usual sloppy sort of letter I am writing lately. I would sooner the letter came a week late but that I send out a good one when I do.
Two Mallow Delights for this evening were the next to the last rations. Tomorrow will be the finish to that.
Brown, the movie operator, wanted me to take over the show for him tonight at the other outfit but since I had seen the show last night and did not care to see it again, I referred him to Gordon. Gordon had not seen it and wanted to so he was a willing fill in for Brown. I told Brown that should he ever want time off some evening he should just let me know the day in advance and I wouldn't go to the movies in our area that night so that I could enjoy them the next day at the other outfit. I would also like to take the projector over once in a while so that I could ride that mail truck over. I haven't been for a ride since the day I drove the jeep the H&S Company.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman