Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
20 May 44
This is one of those extra letters being written during the noon hour. One thing is unusual and that is that there is only one other person in the Headquarters office besides myself --- oops, pardon me, did I say only one other person besides myself? Well, I guess I spoke to soon for Lewis, Mathis, and Angert all came in as I wrote that and over fifteen minutes have passed since then with each bothering me in turn with Lewis being the chief nuisance. I started off to have an errorless page but every two seconds he is asking me a question and I have to stop typing to answer him. Ah, at last, he just walked over to the Canteen and I can talk at last. But it is no use, Dowty came in, Leischman came in and now Lewis is back. Maybe I better give this letter up as a bad job. And here I was ready to have a nice page long conversation. Phooey, Leischman has come up and is trying to strike up a conversation. Are they deliberately trying to hinder my letter writing or are they just plain thoughtless? Please, Aunty Clara, if I don't make sense in the rest of this letter, it is because of these complications. Now the bugler, Angert, is blowing crazy sounds out of his trumpet which he just bought yesterday for fifty smackers. He isn't very good at it but he tries hard.
Today was the windiest day we've had here for a long time and if it continues to be that way, I'm not even going to try to complete my work this afternoon. I'm going thru each officer's 201 file and arranging the things in order and trying to find out what is missing in the way of special orders, personnel memorandums and transfer orders. That means a lot of papers spread out all over my desk and one gust of wind sets it all flying into the air. That means each thing has to be weighted down and it is no good working under such conditions where you have to hold papers with both elbows while lifting up a paper weight with one hand so that you can slip a sheet of paper underneath it with the other hand.
I'm using Leishman's typewriter again and although the repair man fixed it this AM it seems to have even smaller margins than it had yesterday. There is a fellow in company C who is a typewriter repair man and he has come up here today to fix them all. First he fixed Hippity-Hops machine, then Leishman's and finally Quint's typewriter. This afternoon he intends to repair mine and then Osis's (we now call Osis either Oasis or Osises for short).
The barracks are all set up now and by 0800 tomorrow everyone must be moved into his designated position in the barracks. Our barracks is the same one I have been sleeping in although I was assigned to a different position. The beauty of it is though that the cook's share the other half of the barracks and Harold Flynn, a swell fellow and a cook's helper, was in the spot I was to go into and I was in the spot he was to go into thus saving me the trouble. Naturally, I shook his hand and thanked him for being such an amiable chap. Lewis sleeps right at the door and I am next to him. Sackett sleeps next to the door on the other side with Frazin next to him. Molyneaux is not in our barracks nor is Bill Grauel. Instead we have two telephone linemen and the Special Services assistant, Marmorstein.
A very unusual thing happened this morning as I was checking thru the officer's 201 files. I came across a list of names of the 2nd Lts reporting from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the Engineer Officer Candidate School to their respective assignments such as the 353rd which concerned one of our officers. However, it gave the officer's name and his address and the name of Norristown attracted my attention and it was a fellow by the name of Davenport living at 615 Green Street just 4 blocks from Jack's house on the same street. But that wasn't the half of it. This Davenport is a colored fellow or at least Jack says the whole Davenport family is colored and you may recall that some few months back he was telling me about that colored movie star from Norristown who he went to school with and who tries to pass herself off as a Cuban or a Mexican, Acquinetta. Well, that is Aquinetta's family and this Davenport is her brother. What makes it so unusual is that just a chance thumbing thru of the records should yield that coincidence.
How I have ever managed to get into a second page of this letter is beyond me. This is the noisiest crowd I have ever seen in my entire army life. They are nothing at all like the 353rd crowd. Down there a fellow could come in after chow to type up a letter and by one o'clock he would still be alone in the office and then very slowly and one by one they would come back in. Here the fellows keep there mess kits in the office and come back immediately after eating their chow.
More trouble and more trouble. Leishman's typewriter which just has been fixed broke down for a spell and we are now wondering whether that typewriter repair man is worth his salt.
By the way, the mailman was delayed this morning in going out after the mail and it wasn't until about an hour and a half after his usual time that he left. Naturally he came back late. In fact just before lunch time so that he has not had time to sort it out as yet although he has a very large stack of it compared to the other days so I fully expect to receive some ten letters today but will be satisfied even if I am that fortunate to get one.
Noisey? That is mild for the roar that goes all around me right now. A couple guys are harmonizing and two others are playing or trying to play a trumpet and a bugle respectively. And just imagine, the whole mess of us live in the same barracks now? This is going to be a lulu of a joint.
Jack just came back from wolfing down his dinner and is getting busy at sorting out that mail. I told him that I told you I expected ten letters and that he should oblige. That is the one thing Jack likes to do and that is to sort out the mail because that way he can pick his out immediately if not sooner.
The Canteen did not operate this afternoon unless you want to call George Myers sleeping on one cot and Sackett dozing off on a sack of burlap an operating canteen.
The boys are having more fun than ever right now. Jerry Angert and Mathis the two buglers are trying to harmonize their bugles as they used to do back in Camp White and in New Caledonia. By golly, they didn't do it bad either and now everyone is wanting them to jive the next number at four o'clock. Jerry Angert did swing the chow call a few evening's ago after we egged him on. We will never forget how Ray Gradler put his first three calls in swing down in Dumbea and had GI Myers and Regimental Sergeant Major bawl him out for it even though the fellows kept shouting "More, More." We read someplace that in certain camps back in the states they even put the thing to swing with string instruments.
Captain Hanton just walked in with a Carbine and said he was going to put a stop to any trouble he has been having with company clerks. Then he went up to Jack and told him that he had better get some mail for a change. He looked just like what they nicknamed him, "wild Bill Hanton."
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman