Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
Evidently it was a good thing that I came back to work at four o'clock and pounded out those letters yesterday between the hours of four and five for I never did go back to the office again all night long for after eating supper we had a physical inspection and then it was time to go to the show. At the show we heard the band and "Suiter's Foolishies" before the show "The Glass Key". Suiter's show was a flop because there wasn't enough cooperation from the fellows and because it was whipped into shape on too short notice. One week is an insufficient time to get the fellows selected and then make a program out of it. As it was Bob Dowty who is Cpl Hipp's friend and is in H&S Company got up there on the stage and sang two or three songs with as many corny jokes. The band as usual played well but they played the same old songs which they have been playing for years and years even before they came into the Army. But I heard their new theme song and it is terrific. The thing reminds you of the sweet lullabies that many of the name bands come on the air with. Jules Slogar, the coronetist, wrote the song and everything and then gave the lead to his fellow coronetist, Ray Horrocks.
It was after ten when I got back in to the company area and instead of hanging around the Canteen, I went right to the barracks with the intention of getting a little extra shut eye. That, however, was a lot of prune juice because I walked into a three way battle of the three new outfits which compose the 1393rd. The other two sets of fellows seem to have banded together against the three five three and are of the opinion that we are a snobbish bunch who are composed of a few cliques and that we don't want outsiders in with us. They also say that our overseas service of one year doesn't rate with them. In fact it was just one fellow saying all that but I think he is just not being broadminded for you can't expect fellows who have been in one outfit together since 1942 and overseas together for two-thirds of that time to suddenly break up their ties and start forming new "cliques". That isn't natural for fellows to act that way and I was very much surprised to hear that a person could take that sort of attitude.
That candy is going faster than you know it and I haven't many more to go to finish that first box off. I've been going around quiet like and handing my friends, who I think are deserving, one or two of the candies. I've promised Edie and Mersing that I would bring them some since those two boys enjoyed and appreciated the ones I had down in New Caledonia.
Today has been a so-so day and I haven't been at all satisfied with it thus far. For the first thing the Morning Reports didn't go off very well and for the second thing, I finally started on my pay vouchers and I am finding questions that I am unable to answer and I will have to contact Cheney to find out why he did things a certain way. I think that certain cases have been handled all wrong but perhaps there is a reason for it which I do not know of. Anyhow, that finished me as far as typing up the vouchers was concerned. Then (it is evening now and not noon as it was when I began this letter) in the afternoon I didn't get much of anything accomplished because I was busy doing small things and looking up the army regulations on transfers and discharges from the Army.
The reason this letter was not completed at noon time is because Lewis walked into the office and handed me a note from Mersing. It was addressed to Klick - Reporter for the Bulldozer. It was a nasty note and was signed "Your Past Friend on the Island". Naturally, I knew it was from Mersing and I knew why he sent it for I had been digging around for news and when I'm stuck, I'll always say something funny about my friends because I know that they will forgive me. So I had to go down there and smooth over our relationship. It was all in fun anyway but, since I was down there, I stayed with John, Mersing and Edie until the one o'clock bugle call blew. Then again this evening after I had my meal of bread, cheese, coffee and cake up in the Canteen, I went down there to chew the fat with the boys for a change since I haven't been with them for quite a while. We went to the show together but didn't see much of it since the thing broke down within a minute after the first newsreel flashed on the screen. The sound cracked and then stopped entirely. Conaway, who has been made a Tec 5 for running the camera, kept running the movie without the sound until the fellows put up a squak, at which time he cut it out. Then we sat there in the dark as he fiddled around trying to find out what was the matter. Evidently he tried changing the exciter bulb and tested all the wires, etcetera and couldn't fix it. Meanwhile, we were all sitting out there in the dark waiting for the movie to go back on again. Finally Dock Haley came down the aisle and walked up to the stage. The fellow doesn't say a word and everyone was wondering if there was going to be a show or not until I yelled up to the stage "Hey Dock, is there going to be a show?". He shook his head and then the crowd began moving off and we never did get to see the picture about "The Lucky Mister Smith" or something on that order.
I was just as glad to have the show cancelled as far as I was concerned because I hadn't written any letters yet and knew that had I gone to and sat thru the show, I wouldn't have much time for writing afterwards. However, I haven't really capitalized on the break because when I came into the office, Milligan was there and wanted to talk to me. You see he was transferred into H&S today and he is tickled pink over it. He is going to work as a clerk in S-3. The Army sure is a funny place. Here we wanted him transferred into H&S as the Company Clerk and the transfer was disapproved. Now three weeks later they take him into the company as a clerk for another section but this time I doubt if he has a chance for a rating. He wants to thank Jack and I for helping him out but I don't know how much weight we would have carried had not Lt Suiter himself wanted to give Milligan a break. In case we ever need a company clerk in the office or in H&S again, it is he who we will bring in.
There sure is a lot to talk about today and I'm skipping over quite a few details so I will just tell you about the things that happened as I can recall them. Jack Molyneaux is finally in H&S also. That is pretty good, he and I being in the same company together for the first time in 19 months or whatever amount of time has elapsed since I've been in the Army. We have a great time kidding each other about it. I keep laughing at him and reminding him of the days he used to say he would shoot himself before he got into "A" Company and now here he is in the outgrowth of the old "A" Company. Along with Jack's transfer came Bill Grauel, several boys in S-3 and Lynd, the mail clerk. In return for these men we had to give up certain of our boys. Among them were Sgt Bittick and of all people, Gideon Conover Holmes the Third! Well, at least they will be in good hands in B Company with Goldenberg and London at the helm.
Lt Suiter called Jack over this morning and told him that Major Terry had put our cards into Shubat's office and had requested that the two of us could be transferred to his group. Suiter then said that when he found that out, he immediately went into the Major's office and told him that a mistake had been made and that those two men couldn't go. So he takes the records and tells what he did to Molyneaux acting like he did us a favor. Evidently he doesn't realize that Jack was the one who handed the cards into Terry in the first place and asked that we accompany him. Jack wants to keep on the move and I've decided that wherever Jack goes in this Army, I'd like to go along with and he said that he would like to have me in the same outfit too and that in case he was ever transferred out into a good outfit, he would keep asking for me to join him. Molyneaux and I are a great pair. We argue with each other (fake arguments), supposedly begrudge each other different things but in the end are best of friends. One thing that Jack is in the habit of saying now is that he taught me all the ropes and how to get along in the army by certain little tricks but that he never expected those tricks to be played on him by me. He keeps telling me that it's a fine howdoyoudo when he teaches a fellow how to outsmart the instructor. It really isn't as bad as that because Jack is very capable of looking out after himself even if I try to cut in once in a while/
O yes, Mersing already has a set of khakis with his stripes sewed on and they look okay. I tried sewing on a set but all my needles are rusty and it was all I could do to put it thru the chevron and sleeve just one time, let alone sewing the whole thing. Someone then suggested that I get Mathis to sew them on for me. He used to help out the tailor back in Dumbea Valley and is quite expert at it. I approached him on the subject and he said "No Soap" because he wasn't even sewing them on himself these days (he is a Pfc and doesn't wear those stripes). However, he finally agreed to do it if I would only give him a shirt at a time during his off days. So this is the way he is going to work it. Starting Sunday which is his off day, he will sew on the stripes for two shirts a day at the very reasonable price of 25¢ a pair. That way in about two weeks they will be sewed on all my clothes at the reasonable price of $2.50 for the entire job. I hope he lives up to his agreement now because that would take me all night to do whereas for him it is merely a matter of minutes to do the job.
Poor Lewis is having the time of his life trying to get his promotion to Technical Sergeant thru all the offices. For one thing, after his first one was signed by Hanton, it was torn up for some reason or another and then he had to make out a new one which was lost. Finally, at the last minute it was found and he got all the approvals necessary in this Battalion and then sent it up to Colonel Wendell P. Trower for approval since the first two grades must be approved by the Colonel himself. The thing came right back down again with a note on it saying that they are rushing things too fast and that it was disapproved. This made Lewis crest fallen for they had said they thought he was capable of the job and he has been a Battalion Sergeant Major over a year and a half and now they were going to give him another half year trial to find out if he knew the job. Then Jack noticed something and that was that Trower had not put a disapproval on the order itself as he did with several others. Lewis called up Wally Moeller and found out that it never had even reached the office. Can you imagine what happened? The runner brought it up to the fellow in charge of the Message Center at Group Headquarters and he (the Group Message Center) gave him back the other disapprovals and said that he might as well forget about even submitting Lewis's for they were being disapproved anyway. So with two men who knew nothing of what it was all about yet acting on their own hook, Lewis was almost cheated out of his promotion. It is back up there now and by noon tomorrow it should be back --- approved.
There goes the Tattoo call which naturally is nine o'clock and I will, therefore, have time to write extra letters this evening. And I have about five letters to write. Did you read the newspapers lately? Today they came out with the news that after the defeat of Germany, it may be feasible to begin demobilizing the Army at the rate of 200,000 to 300,000 men per month. At least that is something and it will mean that in case we aren't the lucky ones to receive one of those first discharges, at least our six months period after the war may be cut down. Jack should be among the first to be released in case anything like that turns into reality since he came into the Army so long ago that there couldn't have been even a half million in the army at the time and at least half of those fellows have either gone beyond or have already been discharged so he should be right up there at the top in priority. Besides that he is married and they will most likely go on the principal of taking married men with children first, then married men, then single men with dependents and finally single men without dependents. Also to be considered, no doubt, will be the length of service of which we can show a pretty good record since the majority of soldiers came overseas right after we did since we were at the tail end of the first trickling movement over and then after us came the deluge. But the Navy men on the other hand are really in for it since the Secretary of the Navy calmly announced that perhaps within eighteen months to two years after the war with Japan is over, the Navy may possibly be able to release about two million men. Of course, that probably applies to those Navy men who came in when they could volunteer and sign up for a hitch of either four or six years and not to the fellows who came into the Navy during the time they began drafting sailors such as Ray Bernett.
So George Prokopec has finally gone overseas. Well, he had a nice two year stay in the US before being shipped across so he has nothing to complain about. While he will most likely run into a lot of trouble on his bombing flights over Germany and the Occupied Countries of Europe in his Flying Fortress, I believe he is much safer now that the Lutwaffe has been somewhat cleared out of the skies. That is funny that he should ask Flo to call you up to get my address for I wrote him a letter, I think, since being on this island. Perhaps it is hard trying to catch up with an Air Corps man and is still going around from base to base until it arrives on the very same day Florence's letter reaches him giving him my address anyway.
Well, I just took time out to fix myself up a cup of milk which is sitting at the side of my typewriter at the present time and which I am taking an occasional sip out of. Gee, that stuff is good after it is thoroughly mixed up and that malt is added. I doubt if our supply of Horlicks Malted Milk powder is going to hold out so if it isn't too expensive (I have no idea what it costs) I wouldn't mind at all your sending me a bottle of the stuff once in a while. What started me off on the milk was a taste for pears. We have a can of pears which has to be eaten and I went over to the Canteen where the boys are chewing the fat and asked them if they could go for a plate of pears but they couldn't so I said that I would be independent and mix myself a cup of milk.
Say, you made that watch deal right on the very line, eh? That is one for the books. Just think, the last letter I received from you just before coming overseas, you mentioned the watch to me and asked if I wanted you to send it out to me and I wasn't able to answer that question until after we arrived in New Caledonia. It seems as if it is always last minute stuff with that thing.
By your buying three nightgowns that makes at least three gifts or is it all counted as 1?
So Rosana is a smart little girl after all. We always figured the chances were that she would more likely be above average than not. Heredity, environment and the age of her parents were all in her favor to begin with.
I could go on writing this letter to you but that is not getting my other letters written and I must at least send out one letter a night to some other person so that I can keep up with my correspondence and keep them spread out instead of bunching them all up like I used to do. And since I didn't write one yesterday, I will also have to write an extra one for that. Then I still have to do that write up for Jack Molyneaux's mother.