Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
12 Aug 45
Last night, after listening to the twelve o'clock news, I asked the operator at the switchboard what he would do if the news of acceptance came over the radio that night. He said he would roll over and go to sleep. I told him that I would call up all the Orderly Rooms and let the companies know the news immediately. Then I started to go out the door with the parting remark that if they are going to accept it, the announcement would almost surely come sometime during the night. Hardly had I gone twenty steps when Moscow called me back excitedly and I ran to the radio where the news of acceptance was coming over. While the joy was not as great as the original announcement, it was just one step nearer being an actuality. Full celebration must be withheld now for the final act in the three day old suspense program with the Japanese government signifying its willingness to take the emperor on those terms. Of course that didn't prevent an outbreak such as I have never seen before. The entire Manila horizon was lit with red flares, tracer fire, crazily weaving searchlights, star shells and the dim sound of horns blowing. In the company area, everybody half stewed as it was being Saturday night and such an event anyway, they were going up the company street yelling, "The war is over, the war is over." My tent was all sleeping when I came in but not for long. We couldn't fall asleep for hours talking about the peace, demobilization, home etcetera. Yet, in spite of all the celebration, happiness, we still realize that it is not over yet and it won't be over until the Japs are completely disarmed. In fact, the surrender isn't even official yet and there may be a snare to that.
And a more sobering fact of all is that the army's V-J Day demobilization plans call for the release of merely three million men the first year after cessation of hostilities. Does 54 points get one into the first three million? It will be a pretty close shave and I doubt it since 85 points was supposed to get a considerable number out and only a slight reduction would bring the contemplated reduction to two million under the old set up. Just imagine pounding a typewriter overseas a year from now? That is when I would go off my nut. When the war is on you know you can't get back but when the war is over, there is an immediate impatience to be done and through with everything. But the bright side of the announcement also was that if the disarming and occupation of Japan progresses without hindrance and ahead of schedule, they may be able to discharge twice that many, or the maximum the army can handle - half a million men per month. At that rate, Uncle Jack's prediction of March 1946 would be right on the button.
Although my Sunday letters usually have to be short on account of nothing ever happening on Sunday when we lay around the tent all day and rest, this time is an exception not only with the sensational developments now taking place but also for other reasons which I will now enumerate.
Major Ladley was transferred out of the battalion and that left the Executive Officer position open. Normally Captain Hanton would have gotten it, but he has more demobilization points than any man or officer in the battalion and will be going home shortly, so they had to pick some other captain for the job and who should Colonel Shubat pick for the job but Captain Cook, the Adjutant! So that left the Adjutant's job open. So Lt Suiter was appointed Adjutant and relieved of his duties as Personnel Officer. That left the Personnel Officer position vacant so the Colonel drew on his line companies for 2d Lt Kuras for the job. I refrain from commenting on the fact that this change may or may not be for the better. We will have to see how Lt Kuras turns out. And as for headquarters, I think they believe the change is for the worst. There again, it remains to be seen. In addition to those changes there was a change in company officers. Lt Lesher was transferred out of H&S Company into Company A while Lt Jones, of that company, was transferred into H&S Company. Lt Jones is an extremely young officer well-liked by the men, but in my opinion, is not as capable a man as Lt Lesher. Lt Lesher turned out to be a good Joe. He was a sanitary engineer in civilian life and came into the Corps of Engineers from the Sanitary Corps. That fact sort of got him a bad reputation at first among the Engineer Enlisted Men having an officer with the Medical Corps insignia in charge. But, Lt Lesher proved to have what it takes and he is now a full fledged CE officer and wears the Engineer castle. He is an older man with a good understanding of people. He is well educated, intelligent and our expert on orientation problems. Lt Jones just does not have the background or experience that Lt Lesher possesses.
But Personnel is going to be a strange place. In fact in a month it will be unrecognizable from the Personnel Office of a month ago today. Or even a week ago. The Company Clerks are Tec 4's, Lt Kuras is Personnel Officer, Sackett will be gone and someone in his place and another man will have to come into personnel to take the vacancy thus created.
I received your letter of August the 1st in the morning mail. That Milwaukee crowd seems purposely to want to disturb Aunt-Aunt when she is on a vacation. More often than not they send her telegrams or call up. And then too, things actually have occurred of a serious nature when she has been in Cicero. Fate?
I spent the day sleeping, eating and reading. Slept until eleven-thirty, showered, ate lunch, went back to sleep, woke up to eat chow, read all the remaining Daily Newses, showered again and came up here to the office. Tonight I increased my ration to four cookies instead of three on account of because I wasn't here this morning to eat the morning three. I'm giving myself a pat on the back for the wonderful restraint I've kept myself in. Usually within twenty-four hours or less, any present like that is gone.
Lewis and Sackett and Grauel were all celebrating this afternoon and tried to get Ebner, Osis and myself to go out with them this evening. Osis ended up by going with them and I'd like to see them when they come back in tonight. When you go out feeling high, they sometimes have to carry you back in. The continued suspense allows an excuse, nightly, for celebration and those of that inclination are taking full advantage of it.
Well, I'll knock off now and I hope that tomorrow night, this time, I will be talking over with you the actuality of a historic V-J Day. Surprising how cool the US seems to be taking all this. The rest of the world is going crazy with joy.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman