Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
6 June 1945
Back again for the night time roundup. I'm almost back to my Guadalcanal style of beginning the letters at bedtime. What took my time up this evening was pasting together some Japanese writing I found in one of the caves. If I can get it okayed, it will be a wonderful souvenir. It is past ten o'clock at the present time and I just now finished working on it. We also found some Japanese postal cards. You see, Lewis, Ebner and I made the rounds of our monastery once again this evening and there seems to be no end of things to be seen. For instance, all four corners of the monastery have huge bases in which are sealed in rooms. How to get at those rooms is the problem. We believe they could either be burial rooms or secret rooms entered by the tunnels underneath the monastery. And today we found the entrance to the tunnel system just outside the building in the grounds. We did not go down into it - yet. Then we went down the hill and began skirting the entire area and on one side alone we found eight tunnels all leading into the ground below the building. One tunnel branched off into another one so we can easily see that it is all one network. We have not ventured very far into any of them but from what we can gather, there is a cavernous room below the building and we sure would like to see that. I guess in ancient times when they built structures such as these they made it impregnable against attack so that in case of siege the people of the surrounding communities could have ample space to live and be safe. We also located the entrances to the interior of the walls. The walls are some six, eight and even ten feet in width and have empty spaces within them. However, we do not believe that the walls were used as passageways but merely as an air conditioning measure. After the air would circulate throughout the damp stone walls it would come out pretty cool into the rooms.
The more one gets to know the place the more imposing it becomes. It is something like the Field Museum - you just can't see it all at one looking.
By the way, I ended my afternoon letter with the note that we are working on Sundays from now on. I don't like that but what do personal likes count in the Army. For one thing, I'm about the only guy around here that hasn't gone into Manila yet - hoping that when our Sunday off would come, I could see it in the daytime but it looks as if we just aren't ever going to get any daytime hours off. Lew put Sunday calls into the Daily Bulletin and the Colonel crossed them out. That means Reveille seven days a week at five-thirty - ouch - and then an eight hour headache.
And I also hurriedly mentioned that starting tomorrow we are going to go back to the old office standards of khakis, GI shoes etcetera all of which is just going to make things a little more high class but with the incumbent inconveniences. Those moccasins have sure been put to good and hard use during the last year and they have been well worth the while of getting them. That was a peachy birthday present and one of the most useful.
There wasn't any mail again today and I've just about given up the idea of ever hearing from home again. I don't know, maybe we are lost and the Army Post Office can't find us. I only hope that my letters I wrote aboard the boat arrived in quick time because that would only prolong the elapse of time from my last letter written before departure. As yet, in the letters I have received from you, you have not received my last letter and the big break has not come. It will seem funny a week or two from now reading in your letters how you are wondering what happened to the mail and then perhaps beginning to wonder. You know it is exactly twenty-two days since the 15th which was the date of that last letter and each day in which a letter does not arrive only prolongs the time period.
We had our usual cup of tea again today. Andy Mathis has hundred of tea bags and Lewis has a little electric stove so that in no time at all we can heat up a canteen cup full of water and let two bags of tea soak in it for a while. Tea without sugar or milk has an even better taste than coffee without sugar and milk. In a way a person who makes things like that on the side at night has to like it "straight" because that is the only way you are going to get it. Andy, Lew and I - the three principle drinkers - all fortunately take it that way by choice.
Well, the day of free rations of cigarettes, candy and soap are over for today the company sold each man a carton of cigarettes for a peso and I just turned mine over to Norona. Maybe next time I'll let another fellow take my share. One thing about the army is that they specialize in the distribution of the two things I haven't any use for - cigarettes and beer. MacArthur is very liberal in this theater and non-com clubs are authorized and can purchase liquor just like officers clubs. That idea agrees with quite a lot of the boys. Of course a non-com club in this over-rated battalion would probably be the first three-graders so the rest of us decided that if they do that, we will organize our own lower grade non-com club and be independent of them.
Now back to the monastery and bits of its history. It was begun in 1601, finished in 1629. Destroyed twice or three times (I forget which). The monks used it as a monastery until a time when it became a Chinese house of devotion. Then the monks took it over again and it became a trade school and an orphan asylum although the church still continued on. The last time it was gutted by fire in 1899 and put into disuse, it was the Americans who did it - strange to say - in skirmishes with the Filipino forces after the Spanish-American War left us with these islands on our hands.
In recent years an old German caretaker took care of the place and evidence still remains of his presence such as the water pipe lines he had installed, the electricity, the name plate on the door of the grounds plus a buzzer to ring for him. There are also a few battered wicker chairs laying about and some flower pots. In one of the intact rooms were some old scribblings in German probably written by him. Quite a history, eh?
By the way, good to my word I answered Virginia's letter last night and could have gone on for pages telling her about this place but stopped at one typewritten page similar to this in fear of boring her to death. It is going to make my heart feel good when and if the mail begins coming in not only from you but all these other people as well.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman