Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
18 June 1945
There is a movie on this evening - a Sonja Henie picture - but I have no intention of seeing it. Yet, they almost make going to it compulsory since the power was so low, Major Ladley came in to have us turn all the office light off. Not to be deterred by that turn of events, I immediately rigged up my flashlight in such a way that I now have ample light to carry on and will do so until such time as I can use the electric light again or until I've finished my letter writing for the night.
At last they came, the first letters with a Philippine APO. That is too bad you even thought for a moment that I was coming home on furlough. I was so afraid that that is what you might think, but I couldn't come out and say, Aunty Clara we are moving and you won't here from me and I'm not coming home. I did, however, try to play down the furlough idea so that you wouldn't think I was trying to arrive home unexpectedly. That guess was almost universal and every fellow has been getting letter after letter in which the people back home believe that their sons, and husband, and brothers are on their way home. I guess that is the only thing they could think when the movement came right at the two year mark.
It is funny that all those letters which I wrote aboard the boat did not arrive ahead of the ones I wrote after we hit Luzon. I thought sure they would reach you in double quick time and sort of break the gap before my first land letter got to you.
As the pesos are kind of low and, from what I hear, the provincial souvenirs are not very common here in Manila, I will take my sweet time now to scout around for more of them and eventually see to it that everyone gets one. That is if we remain here a sufficient length of time for me to do enough scouting.
Say, guess what? It is not very important to you but it was mighty surprising to us. You probably heard me speak of a fellow by the name of Walter Parsons some time ago. Well, he went home on furlough back in the Canal and we are still carrying him that way officially and today we received a letter from him with the Mister on the return address underlined four times! He had just arrived at the Distribution Center when VE day happened and instead of giving him the forty-five day furlough they released him from the service. That sure was lucky break for him. Now we know it isn't a rumor but that it is actually a fact about being possible to get of the army.
Also, in today's mail came a Daily News which I have thoroughly digested by this time. That is about all there is to answer in your two letters so I'll now fill up space with the various activities of the day both great and small. I suppose that under the subtitle of great happenings would come my getting a haircut. It had become almost a battalion topic of discussion as to when Klick would (1) get a haircut (2) buy a violin (3) curl his hair or (4) roll it up into a bun. Now the fellows either comment on my being able to hock the violin now or else they pretend they don't recognize me and when I say I'm still the same guy, they pretend they can't believe it. I told Hughes to do a real good job on the haircut and cut more than usual away. An indication of how short I got it this time is my taking a shower tonight, not combing my hair and it still looks okay. Not GI or anything, just short. And neat.
Under the topic of small happenings would come "Ants". I've enough material to write a senior theme on those little insects. Between the hours of four and six today I made a comprehensive study of their activities and also waged war against them. It all came about when I laid down on my cot and noticed thousands of ants running a regular Burma Road convoy system around the cot and from one side of the tent to the other. They were all loaded down too with big white things. My first interest was to see what their reaction would be if I blocked their route. I did it, quite effectively too, by spreading some insect repellent for about four or five inches across the path. At first they were stymied but soon rerouted their course around the obstacle.
Then I decided to find out what it was all about and this is what discovered. The ants had originally been located on one side of the tent but the water dripped off the flap right on to their home and evidently they did not care for being flooded out at least once every day when it rained. So they found a new location near the door of the tent and the entire colony was engaged in the process of transplanting their home. The white objects they were transporting were none other than the eggs.
Now that I knew what the situation was, I planned my attack. First I demolished what was left of their former home. Stamped it in and compressed the earth so that if they did break into it again it would take quite some time. Then I surrounded a busy section of their supply line by ringing it with insect repellent and then bathing the trapped ants with it. They all died and their bodies were strewn about every where. Now I had wrecked one base, temporarily disrupted their communications while wiping out a large body of the enemy. Now I concentrated the attack on the new location. First I sealed up the entrances to the new home merely by a drop of repellent in each entrance and exit. Then soaked the ground around it will repellent to annihilate those within. Then by removing the upper covering of earth, I again soaked the teeming population and at the same time uncovered their nest of eggs. Hundreds and hundreds of small white eggs all future ants. That was very easily taken care of by a few drops of repellent right smack on top of them.
Another base wrecked. But the job was not yet complete. They had resurrected their supply lines and the traffic throve as before clear around my cot in spite of the fact that they weren't getting any more items to move from the old home and they didn't have any place to put what they were then hauling around. The most expedient way of busting the thing up was to cut it in two and keep it cut. Therefore I laid down on the bunk and began killing ants by the hundreds as they came past the head of my bed from both directions. I made that two foot square a no man's land and a graveyard. After forty minutes of extermination, the whole affair was over and for the first time since I was a little kid busting up ant houses back home, did I manage to lick them. I suppose it is kid's play but it was interesting to watch how they fought every attack until they were finally beaten.
Also to be listed under the small topics was the fact that I spent a good hour cleaning up the area around my tent and now have it in tiptop shape. Norona is the bad boy of our tent who clutters it up. The reason we got busy on it today was because over in the company area they have already begun the inspections and we wanted to have our detachment by the monastery at least fairly respectable. Cooley put up a humorous notice saying that we shouldn't leave our tents as if a hurricane rode through it or as if a bunch of Japs made a Banzai charge through it just as we were getting ready to go to a shower. Then he itemized about ten different rules we should follow. We might as well get used to complying with company regulations again because any day now they will be moving over to this area and our two month holiday will be over.
Say, yesterday I forgot to mention an important subject. I scaled the walls of the monastery and walked around on top of them and looked down into one of the heretofore inaccessible rooms. It was quite a trick getting up to the top but the last lap was made easy by someone who had been here before. Right in the side of the wall were niched out foot and hand holes and we went up like a ladder. The walls are so thick that a person could lay flat across the top of them and be invisible to anyone below.
Of lesser note, but nevertheless still worth mentioning was the three good meals we had today. Eggs, chicken eggs, for breakfast in the morning. Steak in the afternoon with cocoa for a drink. And in the evening we had fruit cocktail for desert. O yes, in the morning we had a combination grape fruit juice and orange juice.