Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, PI
23 September 1945 Sunday
Dear Aunty Clara,
Not only did I forget to mail yesterday's letter but I also forgot to mention several important items. Namely, your V-mails of the 31st of August and the 4th and 5th of September arrived plus the airmail written on September 6th. Sure I know Shimon. Being as how he is the only other fellow from Cicero in the Battalion I sort of have to know him. For a while he lived in the tent next to us. He works in Supply and right now he is with the rear echelon down in Guadalupe where they are getting supplies and equipment to send up to us at Paniqui. And Arnalfo Ulgado is the fellow who wrote that write up because I can remember him turning around from his desk and asking me what newspapers were in Cicero, Illinois and I told him that that was the town I came from and then told him about the Cicero Life. It was Shimon's promotion publicity he was working on. So far they haven't started that baloney up here and I hope they forget about it now that the war is over.
As for Joe Schertz, I thought I told you that Eleanor told me they received word that he was a prisoner of war and hadn't died after all as the Navy Department had announced. That's him alright but I hadn't known that he was liberated nor that he was at Singapore. I wonder if he will return to RH&R also and what he will have to say. The rest of us won't have very much to say with a fellow who saw the worst of war around.
Gee, I sure hope things go alright at home during this reconversion but the news said today that 8 or ten million people were going to be unemployed by the middle of winter. In case the worst comes to the worst and you need the dough, you know where you can get it - from our joint bank account or from the extra fifty-five dollar checks which will be arriving in a month from now.
Maybe the people will be right after all saying that "Roman will be home soon now." Over the radio this evening came the announcement that the goal for the disposition centers is to get 750,000 GI's out of here and on their way home by the first of the year. That tied in with the lowering of the point scores to 50 points by November 1st might be the unexpected miracle. I know now that barring unforeseen circumstances, my wishing will have turned out right again and I'll be home by March 19th for sure.
Now that the censorship is off and you bring up the subject of GI's back in the states furnishing their wardrobes with army clothes, I'll tell you a few things on that subject. Back in Camp White Jack used to send home a package of clothes a week ranging from sets of OD's, GI shoes, underwear, socks to a couple brand new field jackets. I couldn't do that because we new fellows didn't have the time in required to get all that extra stuff. But, back in Camp Stoneman I first began garnering clothes and while there I picked up a brand new set of wool gloves which I so wanted to send to you because they would be just the thing to keep your hands warm in winter since you always complained about the gloves not being warm enough that you would buy in the stores. Anyway, I kept those gloves with me until we left Guadalcanal in May - almost two years and then I gave up hope. On the Canal and on New Cal and even here I have accumulated such extras as fatigue clothes, khakis, field jackets and shoes but there is no possible way of getting them home so that is just another of the misfortunes of serving overseas rather than in the states. It would be a good idea to stock up on a lot of items of clothing for when we get back to civilian life and aren't going to get them for nitz anymore.
The way I understand it now we are authorized to take home with us is a complete OD and a complete khaki uniform with whatever socks and underwear we want to have. About the only kind of outer garment that is good to have is the field jacket for the winter, ties and the OD pants which look okay even in civilian life.
We will be getting an issue of OD's soon and also winter underwear again too. Over WTVM, the Manila radio station (Army), they keep having advertisements like "Going to Japan, Soldier, well, be sure to wear your shoe packs.", or "Going north, Buddy, well then beware of trench foot." About five times a day they have ads like that to know how to wear clothes in the cold climate of Japan.
They are going to take company pictures this week and I hope they plan on letting everyone get a copy for even though there are a great many new faces added and others have gone, there are a lot of fellows I'd like to be able to recall and look at their pictures occasionally. While I don't know the entire company as I did when I was company clerk, I think I know more fellows better than just knowing everyone in the company.
Fellows who I have invited to stop in at Cicero when the war is over are Mersing, Burkholder, Burkard, Grauel of the out of towners. I think that you would like Bob Burkholder the best of all and chances are that we will get to see him since his home is in Pittsburg and his wife's home is in Cass Lake, Minn and they have to pass through Chicago en route between the two places.
Bill Gar/Grauel told me already how to find his house and just for the record I'll put it down in writing now. He says that as you reach South Bend coming from Chicago you come to a stop light. Four full blocks after the lights you turn to the left and go down two full blocks. Then in the third block, four houses down on the right hand side of the street is his house. I told him I would come to South Bend when Northwestern travels there to lick the tar out of Notre Dame in a football game.
Your letter of the 30th of August arrived in the afternoon's delivery but there isn't much to comment on in it.
Today I have worked straight through from morning until just a short time ago to begin this letter and then I'll have to get busy again after I finish writing.
I spent all day working on Jack Molyneaux's filing and in a way I'm glad I did it because I found out where a lot of the things were that I didn't know were there before and which I never would have found otherwise. That guy sure did a sloppy job of the files even though from the outside they look good since he had the draftsman letter the folders. Moreover, I kept finding bunches of unfiled materials all over the joint and after I had thought I was finished I found a whole slew of stuff over a month old in Lynd's mail desk which Jack had crammed away just to get out of sight.
Bob Burkholder wants to quit Supply and get a job in Headquarters and I'm going to talk to Kuras if we can't bring him in to take Molyneaux's place since Jack will be leaving soon and it would be good to have a man ready to take over. Although Kuras will probably want to know "Take over what?" One time Kuras asked me just what Jack did around the joint because he never saw him working on anything but that Scraper for a few hours each week.
But now that the filing is straightened out I've still got a whole bin full of work for myself to take care of before tomorrow morning. There is also a report which I don't remember how to do which I will have to work on so he can sign it the first thing. I can't find a copy of the last month's report anyplace around.
They also changed the system of awarding V-J day points and it now works so everyone gets a flat rate of 13 additional points. My score is now 67 and Bill Grauel climbs from 65 to 67. However that doesn't mean much. It is the boys who jump from 69 to 70 and from 79 to 80 on this new count that are getting the break since it will let them get out in the advance groups.
Today as usual we burned a few of them in tossing the ball back and forth after chow and today, for the first time, since we began our practicing, I've been able to hurl a few fast ones across the distance and also put a bit of a twist on several of the balls. It is at least some exercise, which is what I have lacked for so long of a time. That is one thing that when we get back to civilian life the soldiers are probably going to get more and better exercise than they ever did in the army. Golf, bowling, biking, swimming and all that will become routine once again.