Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
18 Aug 45
There was no mail today. I was just thinking that maybe what Lynd said about there not going to be any mail for about ten days may be true. The news reports have it that a great many envoys etcetera are coming from stateside to be here for the surrender, and naturally they will require planes to get here on time. So perhaps some planes that would have otherwise been carrying mail will be carrying people and their diplomatic papers.
There isn't much more news than an assorted hodge-podge of things. For one thing, Andy Mathis was promoted to Tec 5. This is an unorthodox promotion just like in the case of the company clerks but the T/O was violated in favor of giving a man who justly deserves promotion his desserts. Andy has been a bugler since Camp White and a Pfc all that while. Moreno came into the 1393d as a bugler and has been a Tec 5 all that while. The two of them working side by side and the better bugler a Pfc. Today the situation was corrected. That is the way the army should operate. Give recognition of long and faithful service etcetera instead of abiding strictly to the rigid table.
Just now George Gershwin's "Summertime" was on the air and I tried again for the umpteenth time to take the words down. Somehow I always miss some of them. Before I die I'm going to have to master writing shorthand for nothing else if just for my own convenience in copying down words to songs. Did I mention the fact that the M/Sgt who was conducting the inspection of the office records took his notes down in shorthand? He had a double advantage in doing that (1) know one knew what he was recording and (2) he could make his notes more detailed than otherwise.
There is a small shack being constructed right alongside the entrance to H&S Company. It belongs to the family that lives next to us although their main house is hidden a little ways in by the trees. However, it is interesting to watch how easily a house is built around these parts. First the fellow sets up a framework out of medium sized bamboo poles. Then he covers one portion of the roof with bundles of grass and leaving that, he puts in a floor of good lumber (where he got the good lumber is a mystery). The last step of this simple construction is finishing the roof and sides with corrugated tin which can be salvaged from army camps or the wrecked buildings in the downtown area. That is all there is to it and it is ready for occupancy. The size is smaller than our parlor. For all we know, maybe his daughter is getting married and that is a wedding present. Any size, no matter how small, would be larger than the Arnalfo Ulgado's living quarters in the tailor shop.
Poor Arnalfo is in a mess now. Remember my telling you about his saying because he could get his lunch here, he would rather stay than work for P150 elsewhere. And, in fact he turned down an offer for 150 pesos per month to work here because there were no meals with the other job. So our battalion has ceased to feed the Filipinos as of tomorrow. To buy his own lunch and prepare it will take time plus two to three pesos cash per day which amounts to 78 pesos per month of his 110 peso salary. That is an example of inflation with deflated wages. He says he will stick it out for a few months if he can manage. You see, out of necessity, he and his wife have additional sources of income. For one thing, he does the bookkeeping for his Uncle and has the rent for free. Then he also picks up stray accounting jobs for an additional amount of pesos. Then the biggest peso maker is the fruit business. He has his brother bring in fruits from the province and I guess his wife must sell them during the day. Of course, he buys and sells at black market prices. One of the strangest factors of this Filipino inflation is that the American soldier by spending his money freely is not enhancing the best interests of the natives. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. The American money increases by leaps and bounds the money in circulation while at the same time his purchases take those things off the Filipino's market thus allowing even less for their consumption. As it is they only have 10% of their pre-war market and with the increase in money, the prices keep going up and up. If soldiers would buy war bonds and put money in soldiers deposits, it would add materially in bringing the eight centavo peso a bit towards normalcy.
Do you know that my letter writing has been interrupted by over two hours? And against my wishes and better judgement. Why do people want to talk to me? I can't figure it out. I seem to attract conversations when I wish people would let me alone. During the day I have good intentions but sooner or later someone comes up to my desk and just talks and talks and talks. After too much gabbing I can't get back to my work in the proper frame of mind and at night it just loses that much time to/from my letter writing.
It also prevents me from continuing any line of thought I may have had and kills ideas. I did listen to the radio broadcast which says that tomorrow morning the Jap emissaries are going to leave Tokyo and will arrive at IE Island at 1:20 tomorrow afternoon. Therefore, by Monday night the place, time and conditions of surrender ought to be announced and perhaps V-J day can take place next week. I also hope that the occupation begins next week too for the sooner we get in there and disarm the Japs, the sooner we can get home.
Also tonight I must get out the morning reports as usual. I asked the Medics to get their report in but they forgot so I'll have to leave the usual lengthy instructions with the CQ in regards to fixing up the reports after the Medics bring theirs in.
We have a new second louie in the outfit, and in fact in H&S Company who is extremely youthful and gives the impression of a Morton Junior College football player. I wonder how long these new overseas officers and men will have to stay before going home?
The latest developments in the paper regarding discharge (and most surprising) was that of the 1,800,000 troops now in the Pacific, 1 ½ million are slated for home in the next 10 ½ months. How they are going to accomplish that I do not know but I hope it is true. That figure is far below any of my estimates for troops out here and brings my morale away high up because now I know that when we came over in May 1943 there could not possibly have been more than a half million troops in the Pacific so if luck is with me I could be back in March of 1946. Again in line with Uncle Jack's prediction.
I was going to write more this evening, but I guess I'll have to call it quits at this point.