Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
2 June 1945
First of all, pay close attention to the return address, the APO number is different once again. Our headquarters are now set up in an old monastery or rather the ruins of an old monastery. It is romantic and almost like something a person sees in moving pictures. By saying ruins, I do not mean fresh ruins although the recent activities have contributed to further crumblings. The place was originally built along about the end of the 1500's and beginning of the 1600's but was destroyed once during the last century and rebuilt. However, just before the turn of the century it was again razed by fire and instead of being rebuilt, it has been listed as one of the historic sights. It is built with a wall about it while the building itself is sort of a square with an open square in the inner court. But you would never know which was the open court because the doggone thing hasn't a roof anymore. There are cell blocks on one side which have long since overgrown with a flowery and picturesque sort of vegetation of many colors and which rises to over the head. The walls are covered with vines, bushes and small trees grow from the crumbling walls from the top to bottom. And everywhere are gapping holes and evidences of disintegration. We have set up the offices in a room that covers the entire side of the building. It has three large arch entrances from the outside and one smaller entrance into another room. That is the room the ghost is supposed to be in (naturally any ruined monastery would be haunted). Come to think of it, we are in the church part of it since one of our three pyramidal tents covers part of a stone altar. Gee, how I wish you could be here to see this place. I like it immensely but I can't say the same for Grauel - he can't see it. I suppose they wanted a mansion - intact.
Time to tell you about current events - as I began typing this letter we suffered a quick cloudburst and, naturally, before we got the sides of the tent down, our blankets were soaked and the dirt floor was a mess. You may wonder how come the floor was not cement, well it is about three inches down into the mud or dirt. There isn't much we can do about the situation now but just hope our improvised ditches around our beds keep the area dry.
Anyway, I still like this place and eventually when we Engineers get the roofs built over the place, we will be snug as bugs in a rug. Of course, sooner or later we will no longer be sleeping in the office once we get the old system going of having a Corporal of the Guard remain here.
There is so much I would like to tell you but I'm afraid that regulations would not permit it so I'll just have to remember it for our post-war conversations. But that is pretty good, here I send out my change of address to everybody and the thing is changed again.
This rain has knocked quite a few thoughts out of my head and I doubt if I will be able to fill up even two pages of chatter let alone the three I had anticipated.
They have great plans for this ancient building. Headquarters, officer's quarters, Chaplains office, Hobby Shop, Library and what not. All after the roofs are constructed which will be somewhere in the indeterminate future. O, by the way, we are still in the Philippine Islands just in case you wondered about our location.
Last night we ate one of Pedro's papaya and, gosh, are they good. They are much much more sweeter than cantaloupes and twice as tasty. They are an orange pink inside. The Colonel pulled his rank on us and asked if he could see what they taste like so we gave him one and then Norona lost the third one so just that one taste is all we had. You can bet your life that at my first opportunity I am going to buy some more because I like them. Pedro also brought us some kind of fruit which has a pear skin and is the size of a small peach. It again was very very sweet and almost tasted like candy. And Norona again lost two dozen of them so all we had was that one we shared.
The evening is wearing on and I just wasted about two hours in the following manner: a few minutes talking over reports to be gotten out tomorrow with Lt Suiter and waiting in line for coffee and bread and finally chewing the fat with Lewis. This new station is the darnest place for reports of all sorts. They want three times as many reports as group headquarters ever wanted and we thought group was bad. Personally I can't see how they managed to build up so much paper work in the short time American troops have been in the Philippines. My mornings, after morning reports are out, are going to be spent typing up these daily, weekly and monthly reports. Then too, we have to learn an entirely new chain of commands and until we get used to them and are able to distinguish immediately which is a higher headquarters and just what procedure we are to follow with each one of them, all will be confusion. I can see now that we are going to be much more busier than ever and we thought we were going to have it easy after getting off that GI island of ours.
In recent letters I have commented on the fact that the weather out here or at least the sunset and cloud formations are identical to those back home. Well, at last we have our thunder again with our lightning but good. It is somewhat surprising to us after so long to have a flash of light followed by a earth shaking sound with the lightning striking in the near vicinity. So much more to remind me of home.
Norona just came in from going to town and he was soaking wet. He had stopped in at one of the unrestricted restaurants and bought himself a meal which he said would have done justice to any New York eatery. A hamburger steak sandwich, french fries, pie a la mode for 2 pesos, 90 centavos or in English $1.45. He brought back a fistful of Filipino coins and gave me a centavo for a souvenir (½¢). It is the color of a penny and the size of our quarter. Just imagine carrying 50¢ or 100 coin centavos in your pocket. No wonder they prefer to use pesos.
Because of the late hour and because I must also make up my bed, I'll sign off this epistle along about this point. O yes, we brought along two lizards from the last island, so we discovered when we opened the boxes. That is one way of spreading them to new places.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman