Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
31 May 1944
Well, I'm getting at my letters a little bit earlier than usual this evening but I don't know how far I'm going to get or anything. My aim this evening is to write three V-mail letters to you, one letter to Blumenfeld, one letter to Harvey Beaumont, one letter to Charley Match, one letter to Uncle Jack, one letter to Aunty Florence and an envelope to you containing that little booklet on New Caledonia which I wrote to you about down there but which I never did get a chance to send. I didn't know whether it was allowed up on this island but the same regulations seem to apply up here as down there in regard to sending pamphlets and the like home.
The Canteen specialized in Pimiento Cheese this evening, bread or toast (as you preferred) and coffee. There was also some cheese they were calling Chateau but I didn't have any of it. I suppose that along about nine o'clock or so, I'll stop in there for a little bit and have myself a cup of milk. I haven't had a cup of milk for about three days now which is about the longest yet since we discovered that the powdered milk can be fixed up in good style along with a little of that Malt.
The day began wrong as far as Sackett and I were concerned for we walked all the way down the road to the showers after Reveille this AM only to find the tank drier than a bone. There is nothing like an ultra-cool shower to wake a person up out of his slumber. That, however, gave us more time to clean up the barracks this morning. Sackett went back to bed, omitting going to breakfast while Lewis stirred himself around quarter after six and managed to get out in time to get himself a snack to eat at the last minute.
By the way, today was the day in which the Special Order was typed up with all the promotions on it and if everything goes through as planned, it will become official tomorrow sometime around ten or eleven o'clock in the morning. Lompre (a new crony of both Edie and Mersing) and I came up to Edie and with one tag on each arm, we pulled off his Pfc chevrons and called him corporal. And then the three of us went into Mersing's supply room and did the very same thing to him. Mersing and Edie must be quite used to the idea that they are a rank higher as of tomorrow for the fellows have consistently called the two of them Sarge and Corporal for about as long as we have been on this island.
Another thing worth mentioning is that today was payday. The H&S payroll was not delayed as the Finance Office said it would be and at four-thirty this evening we began getting paid. In this enlarged H&S Company with all the ratings, I am well down on the list they way it is, but since I was listed under "Additions to the Payroll" this month, my name was at the tail end of the line and was, therefore, one of the last ones paid. Again I stepped up for the full amount of $12.60. If I can manage it, I'm going to salt away that money coupled with $2.40 more to make it a full $15.00 into Soldier's Deposit account that I began so rashly last month.
Captain Hanton was fully disgusted in the payroll because of the numerous cases of red lines. Of course, the conditions were unusual and will probably never happen again. I told him that this coming payroll will be a perfect one without a red line in it, so that means I had better get the rest of the Officer Pay Vouchers out of the way so that I can be right on hand while the H&S payroll is being made up.
The highlight of the day or maybe the black mark of the day is when the S-3 section came into the office and took off with one of our typewriters. Technically it does belong to them and it was only brought into the Personnel Section under the blessings of Major Terry when he was the Commanding Officer of the Battalion. He was formerly the head of the S-3 section in the 353rd and said that that section could well dispense with their typewriter while personnel could use it to a much greater advantage.
Anyhow, today was the day in which the Section Head of the Engineer Department exercised his authority to bring that typewriter back again. And you know who had been using that extra typewriter, don't you? It was the fifth typewriter in Personnel which was being used by Klick, Sackett and Molyneaux. That means we are now without a machine and my officer pay vouchers are going to hit a snag for it is well nigh impossible to get a machine from any of the clerks during the daytime for they are all in use from the seven o'clock on until four o'clock. It all adds up to the fact that there just aren't enough typewriters authorized to take care of the volume of work. But that didn't mean that the Remington Rand Noiseless Portable that I have been using these many, many months went out of the office. No. That typewriter is the one authorized to the H&S Company Clerk who was formerly the A Company Clerk of the 353rd Engrs. Yet I had been using it through the expedient of giving the new H&S Clerk this unauthorized typewriter which we had in a manner of speaking "swindled" out of the Engineering Section. Now Leishman has this machine for his use although I'm thankful that he doesn't choose to type his personal letters on it so that I am able to use it this evening to type my own letters. The censors may imagine that I write quite a bit but I hate to think of the number of V-mail forms it would take to handwrite all my letters. Remember that six page handwritten V-mail I wrote one night when I couldn't get at my typewriter? That sure is a lot of work but it would be I who would die first if not allowed to write or unable to write as much as I could instead of you in not receiving them. While I manage to live out the life of a GI with as much interest and enthusiasm as I can manage, I never could do it without that encouraging fact that everyday we are having real good conversations through letters. Most people can not understand such volubleness through written word but they are also the kind of people who would never be able to understand what kept up talking together (or rather me talking to you) from five o'clock in the evening to about twelve-thirty in the late night without much let up. Good grief, that was quite an outburst over just one typewriter going out of the section.
Cheney and I got together on the OPV (Officer Pay Vouchers) again and for a change he came to me for a little assistance instead of I always asking him things. In the end we mutually assisted each other for he had the experience of making out a pay voucher for a new warrant officer (that's Hoag who I was telling you about) and I will have the same thing to do in the 1393rd for we have two new warrant officers.
By the way, Leishman wants no more part of the Company Clerk's job. He says he is fed up on it and wants to go back into the company. That is probably just as well for it takes a man who wants to do that sort of work to make good at it and if your heart isn't in it, no matter how long he works at it he will never produce entirely satisfactory results.
Time is flying and here is ticks away past the nine o'clock hour and I'm still only on this second page to you. What I think I will have to do is to postpone the possible third page until I have answered a few letters to my inter-island friends although I am much out of the mood at the present time for I just walked over to the Canteen and chewed the rag for about a half an hour or so. The Canteen is going to move into new quarters shortly as Lt Bellows told George that the BSO (Battalion Supply Office) is going to have a new building for a warehouse instead of the tents it is now in. Lt Bellows also told Myers to be sure to get himself ample space out of the new building for his living quarters since he is sort of on permanent guard duty in that tent. Maybe now we can get a few shelves and a cabinet to keep our supplies in.
There is no mail at all for the battalion today so I do not feel as disappointed as I otherwise might have in not receiving any letters.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman