Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
28 June 1945
Today has been a very busy day. Not busy as far as the work goes but as to various activities. Instead of enumerating them at the beginning of the letters, I will proceed to tell you about them as I call them to mind. For one thing I did little actual work having finished a long stint last night. Secondly I was without a typewriter for about five hours out of the eight and that meant I did only three hours work for my job has become more and more typist and less and less clerking in my T/O designation of clerk-typist.
What I did do at work was to get out the efficiency reports completely and finally with the exceptions of the indorsement the Colonel must put on about half of them. That job awaits his pleasure. Then, of course, the inevitably morning reports and allied strength reports. Other than that I did nothing but to type up three Public Relation stories.
Now you may ask me where all the activity entered in. Well, along about ten o'clock (in fact even sooner than that) we heard the ugly rumor that we were going to have to move our tent to a new location. It turned out to be correct and by golly if by ten ten our cots and equipment weren't just sitting out there in the sun by themselves without a roof over their heads. So Bill Grauel and I were granted permission by Captain Cook and Lt. Suiter to move the tent to the new location. It was a gruelling job too for you can imagine how many trips it takes to move six cots, duffle bags, barracks bags, arms, shoes, clothes, duckboard floors, cases of beer etcetera. By eleven o'clock, sweated and tired out we returned to work having moved everything but the footlockers.
Coming back to work, I will did nothing for the Free Philippines newspaper was in and I took time out to cool off and read the paper at the same time. Then came the mail to read and that consisted of three V-mails. Two from you dated the 15th and the 16th of June and one letter from Mrs Boyer. Mrs Boyer doesn't have much to say outside of the fact that Bob has been in China since the same time I arrived in the Philippines. Three quarters of her V-mail are spent in beginning the letter and then mentioning Bob in the last quarter. With the broad handwriting she has, she gets the equivalent of only half of one of your V-mails and in those cases a V-mail is insufficient and I can readily understand the prejudice some people have against their use.
By the way, Aunty Clara, something in your letter today amused me considerably. Regardless of the fact that I was on Guadalcanal for over a year and continually spelled out the name of that island, you persisted and still do in spelling it Guatalcanal. Now you have started on another mis-spelling which still doesn't change the pronunciation of the word, but nevertheless, is wrong. You are spelling Philippines, Phillipines. I guess everyone has trouble with some words just like myself with were and where, an error which I know I still make letter after letter but which I know you will understand.
Say, that's right about Gonzalez, isn't it? The working on Saturdays I mean. I thought of that on more than one occasion that the cigar makers are or ought to be once again in their heyday with the tobacco shortage as acute as it is. It is pretty good for them after all those lean years.
About those furloughs which fellows get back in the States and are now denied to troops overseas. It is unfortunate that we are not able to get back but it is based on the fact that although there exists a surplus of shipping space going home, there is an acute shortage of shipping returning to the islands and a man while going home on furlough is no trouble at all, becomes a free loader on the way back because he is taken up the space which could be occupied by a replacement into this theater. It is more or less a question of giving some percentage furloughs now or holding off on the majority of the furloughs in the hope of winning a quick victory so that all may be returned sooner. But because those are the prevailing conditions out here, that is no reason to begrudge a stateside soldier his furlough. While the transportation in the states is strained, the situation is not as critical and thusly the Army might as well give the morale booster to those it can.
Incidentally, today is the first mail I have received from you with the APO of 75 so I finally feel that we are once more conversing with each other directly and while twelve days time in delivery is rather long, it is not as bad as it was a week or so ago.
You ask about how the ceiling is coming along. Well, I'll tell you. It is finally whipping into its final shape and it looks good. It is very fitting with its large steel girders and the vaulted effect of the corrugated sheet metal almost touching the point where the original roof of the church was. The ceiling is so high that a second story could be built in and the ceilings of both floors would still be high.
You know, that business about Japs probably being down in the underground room of the monastery struck us also and we even suggested that possibility to our officers. However, if there were some in there, they are going to have a rough time in getting out for as near as I can make out all cave entrances are now sealed and only that small opening in the monastery grounds remains.
I had to laugh when you mentioned you were having Army chow - Spam. We aren't getting Spam anymore and the steady flow of good meals is astounding. I continually walk away from the mess hall with a full stomach. We have pie and cakes every afternoon and drinks ranging from tomato juice, battery acid, fruit flavoring, tea, water and coffee to cocoa. Fresh, meats at least once a day with tasty side dishes. And it seems that at least every other morning we have fresh eggs on the table.
O yes, I did not mention the fact that after sweating during the job of moving our equipment in that hot sun for over an hour, I drank a can of beer and, no kidding, with my insatiable thirst, that beer tasted as good as a Coca Cola!
The noon hour was filled with work on the tent. All six of us were as busy as beavers making the mess look good and then just before coming back to work at one o'clock we went down the flight of stairs to the showers for a quickie. The most unusual occurence/occurrence took place as I left my metal soap case and the face cloth you sent to me on the shower room floor. When I went down to take my evening shower I could not locate it in my tent and after some thought I surmised what had happened and went to see if by chance they were still there. By golly, my lucky stars were sure with me for during all of six hours and more they had remained untouched in the same spot I left them.
At four o'clock and then immediately after chow we again went to work in earnest on fixing up the tent. Since we can be reasonably sure that we will remain in the present set up for at least a little longer period than heretofore, we began framing it and extended all sides so that they will allow the air to circulate freely at all times and also keep the rain from coming in. Then we each had to fix our individual areas all over again and getting organized is a job in itself. However, I have my things in A-1 order. With eight hangers I have hung up all the clothes (suits) I own and then by discreet distribution of toilet articles in my helmet, shoes on the rack, ruf/rifle on the bed frame, laundry bag at the foot of the bed and so forth and so on I have managed to make my area quite presentable and all I have in the center of the tent is my duffle bag half full. When I am able to bring my footlocker down I'm going to have an absolutely spick and span place for I'll be able to have everything out of sight.
The fellows in the next tent have their place fixed up better than any tent in the Battalion. Some local unit moved away from their campsite for a temporary period and let these fellows in the next tent use their furniture while away. It is real furniture. They have about four chairs, a table, a desk, a magazine rack, a whatnot and all. The Colonel's eyes are going to pop when he sees that at a Saturday inspection of the tents. We are kitty corner from the Orderly room and since Captain Hanton's desk is in the corner nearest mine, he is about twelve feet from me. Ebner also has his radio working again and it is blaring away as it did in the barracks back on the Canal. Life is again assuming its comfortable air.
Norona's subscription of Time magazine has run out and they notified him by letter to that effect and have asked him if he wants to continue the subscription at $3.50 per year or $9 for three years. It is a good deal but he is going to let it expire and since I enjoy reading that magazine so much I believe I will try to contact the Time publishers here in Manila and have it sent to me for one year --- after pay day. Too bad I hadn't known about this a few months aback and could have asked you to send me a year's subscription as a birthday present. It would have been okay.
Bill, Lew and Sacky are going out again tonight. How those fellows can keep up the grind is beyond me. They took another rugged 36th Engr out last night, George Myers. And he couldn't stand the pace they have set. Those three fellows are getting quite a reputation around the company and since the four of us eat chow together people call out to me that I'm keeping bad company.
Oh, oh, I've got to surrender this typewriter to the Engineer Section as Colonel Shubat wants some of his midnight reports out. So for this evening.