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

Dear Aunty Clara,
New Year's Eve in lively New Caledonia

If I can help it, I will definitely be sound asleep when the New Year rolls in at midnite tonight. Last year this time I was in Medford, Oregon but had to be in camp by eleven-thirty and, therefore, saw the new year of 1943 in while standing in the quiet Orderly Room. There was no sound or extra activity to give way the fact that the old year had passed out. If we have any whooping up around here it is going to be a major miracle. There are only three places of any importance that are going to see young 1944 before we do here on the Island. Those places are New Zealand, the Fiji Islands and Kamchatka. In other words, we are pretty much alone out here where the day begins. Twenty hours will elapse before the New Year will come ding-donging thru Chicago.

A curious business this living on the other side of the International Time Belt. By crossing over it, we lost a day and that way never did live our full quota of time during the year 1943. And should we come back home before the end of 1944, we will have lived a year and twenty hours of it instead of just a year even.

Ugh, here I go giving Aunty Florence some humorous advice about not eating too many candy bars or else she will get sick of them and I go ahead and just about do that very thing. Coming from the showers this evening, we long-cutted our way back to the tents via the PX where we dropped some 45 shekels for a new style Nestles candy bar and a can of that grapefruit - orange juice. That on top of the two O' Henry's have just about floored me until I couldn't look a candy bar straight in the face right now.

That rumor about the invasion of Denmark and the French coast was entirely unfounded or else they are with-holding the news from us because the radio broadcast this evening did not mention it at all. The rumor was traced to S/Sgt Bryant, Mess NCO, of H & S Company and the fellows are mad because he should have started something like that going around. He claims he heard it over the radio during the daytime and still sticks to the claim.

It is just before nine o'clock this evening and I believe I will have ample time to write letters to both Uncle Jack and to Bob Hesser. By the way, it is surprising that I have not heard from Ray since he has been in the Navy. Evidently they are keeping him rather busy as usually is the case during one's first few months in the service.

The finger had another unveiling just before I sat down to type this letter and the cut part is still open. It is hardly likely that it will knit together now; so it will just have to stay that way until some new skin can grow up to replace it. In the meantime I'll lay off that finger.

Mike Nyalka just walked in and for a moment I thought we were going to wind up in an all night conversation reminiscing about the States, home, furloughs etcetera but he has left now and we wished each other Happy New Years with the hope which is universal that this time next year will see us home again. The only trouble is that we know we will not be home this time next year and it will be a miracle if we are home New Year's Eve two years from now.

For the past few days my outlook has been fluctuating. Right now I can talk glibly of one or two more years in the Army yet last night and this morning I felt that we'd never see home again and I kept asking myself what in the world I was doing out here away from home. All those years when I idled around wondering what I was going to do when I was grown up have ended in this. It seems incredible that more than 50 million men the world over have been taken from their homes and given such and indefinite life and future. And so it goes --- my mind keeps forming a phantasmagoria of thoughts without end.

/s/ Roman