Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
It is 1300. Mathis is continuing his note writing on my calendar. I came down to the office just about a half an hour ago and I see the note, "One shirt done". And sure enough, there was the first one draped over the chair in back of me. He did a good job and, just sort of confidentially between you and me, they look good. This is the way a Technician Fourth Grade Sergeant's chevrons look in case you don't already know: although the "T" is not quite that big but it is the best I could do on the typewriter.
After all my talk about not being wide awake enough to write any letters other than the two last night, I ended up by going to that midnight movie at the CB outfit. But it was well worth whatever sleep I lost for the picture was "This Land is Mine" with Charles Laughton and the most beautiful actress in Hollywood --- Maureen O'Hara. We drove out there in one of the trucks that comes in every night along about twelve o'clock to pick up sandwiches for the boys working on the night shift. All the cooks and kps go to this midnight show and also Gideon Conover Holmes the Third so that there is quite a bunch of boys along. Lewis was the boy who wanted to go for I was already in bed when he came into the barracks and asked if I wasn't going so I dressed and went out. They have a much better show area than we have or than we are going to have. The name of their theater is The Coral Bowl. They have 35mm machines so synchronized that there are no breaks at all throughout the picture. They have automatic adjusters in case the film begins skipping or in case the sound becomes warbled. Their screen is gigantic and is made out of a parachute silk and therefore much brighter than our painted canvas screen. Their seats are good sitting height and have backs on them. Our seats, on the other hand, are low and built on long logs so that you can not walk thru the aisles of seats but must continually step over logs. There was supposed to have been a double feature with the other show being "Captain Caution" but they deleted that at the midnight show and you should have heard those nighthawks yelling over that. Parsons drove us back in the weapons carrier and also drove back a driver from B Company who had his car stolen during the show or else it was taken by accident by someone figuring it was the one they brought along.
Lewis and I didn't get out of bed this morning until it was after eleven o'clock so we didn't rob ourselves of any sleep. While there weren't any work details going around this AM, they did pull a surprise inspection. Can you imagine that, the Battalion Commander, Major Shubat and Captain Hanton came walking quickly thru one barracks after another on a Sunday morning! That is almost unheard of in the army for Sunday morning is one day the soldiers never bother to make up their beds or anything if they don't want to. It is a day that is traditionally set aside for doing as you well please even if there is work to do out on the job. Well, the place was terrible looking, especially since we had hastily improvised mosquito bar holders out of brooms and old tent poles. His remark was "This is the worst barracks yet. Get it cleaned up."
Well, we managed to busy ourselves cleaning up the area around our cots and going to chow on time. We had cocoa today just like the stuff we used to buy at the World's Fair at those Swift stands where Doris used to work. Then we had two cinnamon biscuits apiece but the trouble was that they were made yesterday and had dried out a bit overnight so weren't quite so good. Tonight, however, it looks like another meal in the Canteen for they are having some sort of patties again. I never saw a mess hall that served patties of one kind or another so consistently. We have salmon patties, pork patties etcetera day after day. I don't like salmon at all so can never eat the salmon patties. That one day, however, they had one kind which was very delicious but they haven't had it since then.
We keep very much abreast of the news lately as about four times a day, they have a fifteen minute news program and then every hour on the hour they broadcast a five minute summary of the world news. Of course, the news is all good at the present time since the Allied forces are making very impressive gains in the Italian Sector of the world's battle fronts and they are also making very good headway in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations where in today's news it is said they made another island hop of over two hundred miles thus putting them in bombing range of all the south Philippine Islands. Maybe Admiral Halsey's statement that we were going to drive straight across the Pacific to the coast of China may come true this year. That is the one thing which you could bet would help shorten this Pacific war considerably for it would cut off Japan from more than half of her conquered empire and also eliminate the entire Burma-India-Chinese battle zone from the major campaigns thus allowing more supplies to go directly to the fighters nearer Japan.
But a thing which keeps puzzling me is when the invasion of Europe is going to begin. From all indications of the type of bombing they are now doing in Europe sending 8,000 planes over the countries of that continent at one time and bombing all the railroad centers, airplane fields and other transportation centers it is precisely the thing Seversky and other writers have been publishing for months as being the last stage before the invasion. Of course, the big question is that if the invasion is successfully made, will the Germans prevent a sweep across the lowlands into their country itself? If they can make a defensive stand, the war will inevitably go into the year 1945 but that may not be so, after all, for between the French and Belgium coast to the center Germany is nothing but flat land over which a defense is hard to hold.
Right now, with the duration of such an imponderable, it is difficult to make accurate plans for our post-war living, but just imagine the day when we can see our eventual retirement once again to civilian life. What dreams we can plan, what hopes can be given birth, it is going to be fun planning out that first year and more fun putting those dreams into operation. How soon after the war will these things take place for us: (1) buying or building a home somewhere in the Chicago Area, (2) either buying, renting or just going out to live on a vacation home in Oregon, (3) buying a car, new clothes, new things for the house, and (4) either getting a good job at Rathborne or launching out into a business for oneself. Almost every soldier has such plans for the future and the most important one seems to be owning his own business and being his own boss for a change. And the ex-soldiers will be the ones who will dominate the small business field for years and years after the war for it will be they who will have the drive, the reason and the initiative to spur them on while the ones who had remained civilians during the conflict will, for the most part, be content to continue on as they have for the past years.
By the way, I got hold of some Warrant Officer forms for Sergeant Cooley but here that gave Sackett the idea so he is going to put in for Warrant Officer himself. It seem that a fellow has a better chance to make warrant officer here than any place else. The two new warrant officers we received this week were enlisted men not more than two months ago, one being a Tec 5 and the other being a S/Sgt. Molyneaux is still threatening to put in for Officer Candidate School but it is harder than ever to get into that for the need for officers has gone down considerably since the Army has been brought up to war strength. He has been saying that he would put in for that ever since I first knew him in Camp White and at that time, he had even gone so far as to have his forms all filled out but never submitted them. He is a little off in that he could have become an officer very easily during those days immediately after the war when the demand was so great that anyone who applied for the school was being accepted. He didn't do it then so lost his opportunity. He would have made it hands down for he was in the Combat Engineers, had a year's experience at the time, had graduated high school and is above average in intelligence. One of the things which kept him back was that very Combat Engineer stuff for more than likely he would have become a Combat Engineer officer and he figured he had more chance either staying in this country as an enlisted man of getting into such an outfit as this one.
Say, I haven't even mentioned the letter I received from you today. Ebner, the file clerk brought the mail around at eleven o'clock in the morning. It was a V-mail dated the 17th of May which is still good delivery considering that it only took eleven days to come here from there.
Now I am sorry that I sold my black moccasins for immediately after working hours I put on the slippers and take off the GIs. Right now they are deteriorating rather badly with parts of the leather ripping. In time, however, I believe that the PX will get some more in for they usually do that every three months or so. The ban on moccasins in this office will probably not be lifted as long s Captain Cook remains in the position of adjutant. You see, Captain Cook is a man who lets little details like that bother him and makes it his business to enforce his way about it. Some people are that way while others don't care a bit about things like that and are concerned with other things than that. To show the difference, The Colonel himself tolerates moccasins in his office in Group Headquarters. With him it is getting the work done and the general appearance of the office rather than what the workers have on their feet. You run into such things in civilian life and you can't expect the army to be any different for the men that were formerly civilians are the fellows that are running the show. I don't believe such criticism is derogatory in any way to the officers of the Army for just being commissioned can't change them over into a standard product without their individual traits and personality.
That above paragraph was prompted by your mention in the letter about moccasins. No, Aunty Clara, I do not make out my own pay anymore for the first time since being in this Army. It is a funny feeling and I think of it every once in a while because after spending so much time in charge of my own records, I had gotten to the point (and so had Molyneaux) that we would still be in there at the end making out our own discharge certificates. Eventually, if we are still working in a Personnel Office when this war ends, we will probably make our own discharges anyway. The clerks won't mind that in the least for they are hard things to make out with all the forms etcetera and everything having to be letter perfect.
Maybe my senses have been dulled since being in the Army but the jeeps do not seem to be so extra bouncy. In fact, they seem to ride the smoothest of all the army vehicles I have ever been in. Speaking of hardness and all that, Jack Molyneaux has managed to get a mattress for his bed and he says it is super and all that. I have no desires to sleep on a mattress for I have never minded an army cot and what I don't have I can't miss.
Jack Molyneaux and Bill Grauel moved into H&S Company today. Bill made himself right at home and visited us in our barracks from ten to twelve and has now been in the canteen ever since then. He is an alright guy and will be okay to have around (providing he can scare us up a bottle of malted milk someplace). Jack, on the other hand, moved his belongings into the barracks but immediately removed himself back to B Company and his friends over there. I doubt if Jack will ever be much a part of our company in spirit for there are too many ties keeping him in that Company.
I guess this has been enough talk for this afternoon so until tonight (maybe) I'll sign off and attempt a few other letters. The show this evening is "Northern Pursuit".
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman