Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
4 June 1945
Hurrah, I got some mail today and it was all good. Two V-mails of the 13th and the 14th and your air mail letter of May 23 which had the pictures of the Matchas, AF, Lillian and you. Say, those pictures were alright. Charley Matcha is older than you led me to believe after saying he wasn't as old as you pictured him to be. Previous to this I had pictured him about that age he appears. He almost looks like a police cop. Mae Matcha and Charles Matcha look pretty good, don't you think so. That was also a surprise to see a picture of Lillian in among them. It is rather nice to see an old familiar face from around the neighborhood. I noticed she is wearing the same kind of moccasins which you sent to me for my birthday last year. I don't like Aunty Florence's face on that picture with Lillian so well, either the lighting or the proximity of another person spoiled that picture for her. The one in which Charley and Aunty Florence are standing together in front of Cerny's house, makes them look as if they were going together. The best picture of all, tho, is the one with you and Aunty Florence on it. Gee whiz, that one was perfect. Aunty Florence looks so young both in face and well, that dress sure does become her. And that grin of yours has best been taken in this picture. On several of the other pictures you have had taken your face was either screwed up into a squint or frown on account of the sun or else the smile was caught at the right time. I almost like this picture as well as the one we took on Mother's Day several years ago with you looking out of the dining room window. That Mother's Day picture is the one picture I like the best of any I have of you with me now. An incidental note is that a person can tell that the stockings aren't nylon or pure silk anymore. They give the legs a chalkier appearance. I am going to keep them and not send them home. I have hopes of fixing up some sort of album with the pictures I have and hope to get in the future.
When Mother's Day rolled around this year I did not put any notation to that effect on my letter but I was wondering that day what you were doing and that. So the brown out is over, eh? I guess that is something I will never see. Even though the town and city close up at night there are always enough taverns and advertising signs to furnish a pretty good light along the thoroughfares.
Had I had enough mazuma at the time, I could have purchased a carton of cigarettes a week or so ago for $1.20 (with the tax added) and that way could have sent it home. But the opportunity is gone and will not come again. Your telling me about getting three packs of cigarettes for Senor G reminded me of it. The boys who do the smoking around here are all pretty low on the weeds because since coming on this island we have had only one ration of a carton of cigarettes and prior to arrival there was a cigarette famine. Tonight they gave away six bottles of beer but there again I haven't much interest in the stuff so gave one bottle of it to Mersing for part of a 10 in 1 ration containing a candy bar and a grape fruit drink. Another I gave to Grauel and the others I disposed of to a fellow I don't know the name of because I just know him casually from another company.
I never thought that the English would do anything else but fight against the Japanese - after all, about the only bit of American land left in Japanese hands is Wake Island and all the rest of occupied territory belongs to the English and the Dutch. Of course, the English will not be able to help so material much and it will still be pretty much an American war all the way out unless the Russians decide to help us next year when their peace pact with the Japs runs out.
What I meant about removing all traces of where the flowers came from which you sent to Pat (I guess they have been sent by the time you receive this V-mail) was traces that they have been bought locally not that the florist signs should be removed. In other words that someone at home (like you did) was buying them for me. I don't think I needed to have mentioned it because you undoubtedly would have taken care of it anyway.
Today was a rough day at the office. I got up at the crack of dawn when Mathis blew First Call and before the company outside the monastery had finished their Reveille Formation, I had my bed made up and was outside waiting in the chow line. Then I washed up and immediately got busy working for this new place has so many reports which have to be in daily early in the morning it isn't even funny. First there were the Morning Reports, a Daily Strength Report for the Battalion, another for higher headquarters and then tomorrow starts another one for Stern, the ration man. Then I had to organize things a bit in my desk (my desk is temporarily my footlocker which I may have mentioned is filled with both GI material and personal stuff) and I spent about an hour or two making up folders to keep things (the reports both filled and blank) in an orderly manner.
Then suddenly, just like that, I felt all tired out and I automatically walked over to the squad room and fell asleep on my bunk until twelve o'clock. It may have been that I had a lot of stuff inside of me because in the afternoon I went to the latrine and felt much better. In the PM I had to get out several monthly rosters for officers and then had to type the darn thing over again when Sackett came back and said that additional copies were wanted.
In addition to that Lt Suiter kept piling up the work for me to do and I am in one of the stages again when I can't see my way clear to solve the problem. For instance, I have to type up two letters to the postal officer saying Jack, Lynd and I are authorized mail clerks, and another one saying we have changed our APO. Then comes the demobilization because as you must have heard over the radio today, 27,000 men are being released from the Pacific Ocean Area and naturally this outfit has some men and officers affected by it. Then comes the next month pay vouchers which will be due in any day now, perhaps even before the vouchers we just turned in are paid off. Then there are changes in allotment, promotions and something else I just can't think of at the present time. My work has practically doubled thus far and I had a tough time of it before. Of course, I am not alone in this doubling of work for all the clerks are going to have it tougher as well as Sackett who will have to see that all these reports and things get out on schedule.
With all that work, I did not do much wandering around about the vicinity of the monastery today. Towards evening though, I did go out and, by golly, the heavy equipment clearing a place for H&S Company unearthed one of the underground tunnels of the monastery. It was uncovered on the outside just in front of the chapel steps and leads directly in the direction of the altar. And there were remains that looked hundreds of years old, all broken up and colored with age. Wow, on top of that there is a cave in the side of the hill (naturally we are on a hill, we wouldn't be the Engineers if we chose a flat land for a permanent residence). This cave again leads directly below the monastery. What a place. Three rooms are still intact after a fashion and there is one upstairs room remaining (roofless) but no way to get into it on account of because the entrance was out on the hall and the upstairs hallway is no more. The company that was inside the monastery grounds (which is walled) has moved out and it has become officer's country. They will have a swell spot when all the debris is cleaned up for it is beautiful. The land is not perfectly level in the grounds but has a few swells in it and it is dotted with shade trees and like everywhere throughout the monastery, there are small stone benches spotted here and there. The outside of the place has already assumed a new aspect with all the leveling of the ground. One side of the monastery which has no wall (it must have been the front) had not only a terrace of steps descending from the chapel but also had a large stone square in front of it. Most of it was covered with dirt but the earth movers soon bared it. However, the stones are so old, over three hundred years, that they crumble by striking them with a hammer.
Today the fellows from Headquarters erected a pyramidal tent at the chapel entrance and it is the Colonel's office. It is just outside the door and looks okay.
Another thing, I clipped on four overseas bars to my fatigue shirt with a couple of staples and sported them around. They sure are beginning to pile up although the thrill has faded with the word that the only way anyone is going to get home is by demobilization. I have a hunch though that they will have to reinstate the furlough idea because with fellows like us who have now been over long enough to be eligible for return under the old system are told that we might as well forget it. Personally, it is disheartening.
The boys are all gathered around the radio again this evening, but the conversation is at a minimum on account of because the programs are interesting and quite a few are reading magazines.
I've got another Filipino coin - a five centavo piece about the thickness of a nickel, nickel color and about the diameter of a dime. All the coins are identical in design which is the date below the shield of the Philippines and the words United States of America printed around the edge. On the reverse side is a sitting blacksmith with iron in hand, the denomination of the coin above it and the word Filipinas below it. I just measured it and its diameter is exactly that of a penny although it is thicker.
The Company A mess hall sure is swell. They begin feeding the boys bread, jam and coffee at about eight-thirty and keep it up all evening long! That is much better than H&S company with its ten o'clock meals as in the days of old.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman