Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
20 Aug 45
No mail again today. My letters are beginning to sound like yours with the usual heading of "no mail."
It has been rumored that Colonel Trower has been promoted to Brigadier General! We don't come into much contact with the old crowd anymore so we haven't had any confirmation of the rumor. However, ever since Camp White days it seemed evident that he bucked hard to get that star and on the Canal when he seemed so near it with all major engineer units under his Group Command, the saying used to be bruited about, "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are." If it is true that he finally has his star, I would like to see the old boy with it on.
Do you realize that by the war ending in the year of our lord 1945 I have lost the sum of ten dollars cold cash? It had entirely escaped me until just a day or so ago when I recalled the bet Bob Miles and I made back in the early war days of December 1941 when I flatly asserted the war would go into 1947 and he bet that it wouldn't and at the same time saying the most it would go would be 1945. We made a ten dollar gentleman's wager and signed the paper which was then put in safekeeping with Emily Janak, the cashier. Of course, I could forget it but it was a long term bet and not to be forgotten so I will send him a money order for the ten bucks. I wonder if he remembers it?
Today I've had more bananas to eat than ever before in my life. Arnalfo had the bananas ready for me yesterday thinking I might drop into his house after church. He waited for me until ten-thirty and then gave up. I explained how I didn't get to go. Then, at one o'clock he had the two packages of bananas sitting on my desk and told me they were of two types. There was nothing small about them either - regular full sized ones like we buy back in the states and not such as they sell here in the Philippines. I've often wondered just where all the large bananas went and I guess it is to favored few such as I was today. The one bunch was the sweet type banana as were the bunch he gave me last week with the exception that after you took the yellow peeling off these, the meat had an orange color to it. The other bunch were the red bananas - my first to even see let alone eat. They look strange those red bananas. They are not so sweet but they are thinner skinned, have a mellower and more substantial meat to them. I still prefer the yellows for sweetness because that is the kind I am used to. He gave me so many of them that I still have eight of them left after eating about that many myself and giving them away to most of my friends that came around.
Tonight we had two command performances and they are responsible for my getting a late start today. For one thing the army finally got around to issuing us the later style combat packs instead of our old style field packs. It is quite a get up and on the order of a large pouch which the equipment and various items can be easily kept with a minimum of effort. Under the old setup it was necessary to roll the blanket, towels, socks, toilet articles and so forth along with tent pins and tent pole all into the shelter half. Now you can just junk them in without fear of everything falling apart. One of the command performances was to listen to a lecture on how to assemble it - 2 days after we had done so.
The second command performance was a typical army snafu. We had to be marched to the theater area to see, of all things, "Cold Weather Clothing." No kidding, Aunty Clara, we sat there and watched four parts to a silent picture on how to dress in extreme cold from just above freezing to twenty below zero. And one section was absolutely ridiculous as it mentions articles of clothing by saying "Underwear may be worn next to the skin," "The O.D. shirt may be worn over undershirt, ""The O.D. pants may be worn over the underwear shorts or longies." Then it goes on to say, "Waterproof outer garments may be worn over O.D. uniform," "Collar may be turned up in cold weather." Where do they think we are going to wear underwear, over our overcoats? And we would like to see someone going around without wearing the pants which "may be worn over underwear." After twenty-seven months in the tropics and wearing of khaki uniforms, they show us a film which must have been taken up in the Aleutians about the time we were coming overseas in 1943. For variety, do they show those fellows pictures of how to keep cool in the tropics?
All day long I tried to be ambitious but somehow the spark of ambition no longer burns in me. I finish up the immediate work in good order but after that I can't seem to get the old routine of getting ahead on the work. I'm not the only one affected that way because I noticed that several of the other fellows after they finished their work on hand, began writing personal letters. Also at work, we began to feel the tremendous effects of life in a peacetime army --- our working day was out down to nine and a half hours. We get off of work at four-thirty instead of at five o'clock. If you didn't detect the poisonous sarcasm in that last statement it isn't my fault.
Tonight I am going to write a thank you note to Aunt-Aunt for the nuts. Something has come up continually to frustrate my efforts in that direction but not so this evening. It is prior to ten o'clock (by a few minutes) and I am very tired but I'll make that letter and maybe even a letter to Mrs Reed.
Tomorrow I will be sorely pressed to write more than the barest minimum. The reason is that school is in session beginning tomorrow night and I'll have to hop the Manila Special immediately after chow and undoubtedly will not be back to camp until eleven bells. I hope that my courses will be interesting and that I will get some good out of taking them.
The moccasins are finally coming to the home stretch as the soles are opening up and I had to tear off the heels because they were so worn that the nails were poking into my feet. It is a good thing the war is just about over otherwise I would be going back to GI shoes. However, I believe these will last me until my return to the States.
The news of whole hearted cooperation on the part of the Japanese surrender delegation here in Manila seems to be a good omen. As each day brings the fulfillment of the surrender terms closer, my spirit rises and on the day our forces land in Japan unopposed, I'll consider the phase of physical strife in our fateful era over.
We ate the Spanish peanuts this afternoon and so finished the last of them off. The Spanish peanuts were most delicious.