Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
25th September 1945, Tuesday
Dear Aunty Clara,
It doesn't pay to be the dependable type because it just means more work to do and the harder kind. For instance, I've come down to work now (nine o'clock) and find a mess of papers on my desk with the following note from Lt. Kuras, "Ltr of transmittal to ODB - Refer to: SPFNY etc". And that is all there was to it. Now I have to dream up all the SPFNY stuff and that's my job, but why? I can remember as far back as Camp White, Oregon, old 1st Sgt Driscoll used to say "O, write it up yourself, put down any old thing" and that would be all the instructions I'd have. It becomes very tiresome after a while because it means that much more thinking to do.
Another thing which I must mention is our (Osis and I) turning the Colonel down today. There is a dance for the Battalion in the Paniqui Market and Colonel Shubat had Lt Suiter come out and ask Osis and I if we wanted to ride down with him this evening. I said no but to thank the Colonel anyway. Really, that wasn't the politic thing to do but I don't care much about being politic. I can't see doing something I don't want to do just because some one influential is doing the asking.
I have been greatly delayed this evening in getting a start this evening and from the looks of things I'm going to get very little production done. Some of the things which delayed me were (1) playing catch (2) showering (3) preparing my clothes for the laundrywoman and (4) passing by the movie house and upon seeing Loretta Young's beautiful puss on the screen finding myself staying to the end of the picture. Or at least almost to the end. I left when there was a scene of utter meanness and wantonness that I just couldn't see why that had to be in the picture. Gary Cooper is a cowboy but helpless with a gun and another man just shoots him cold bloodedly 1st in the cheek to leave his face scarred, 2nd in the arm, 3rd in the leg --- and that is when I left. Why can't - O well, I suppose they are trying to be realistic about the movies but for that little bit of it I saw I didn't like it.
The work always seems to stack up during the daytime and it takes an evening of working to clean it up. I can't remember Sackett having to answer so many questions as I do - but then again he had to put up with Lt Suiter which I didn't have to. One thing which makes me have more work to do than Sackett did is that I try to get things down to a fine point and getting things down to a fine point takes time and lots of it.
Our supplies came in today of blank forms we requisitioned and it was pitiful. About 1/3 of the things we ordered came in and then only in limited quantities. And of the stuff which came in one form was an archaic form from back in 1942 which has since been superseded but this publications office didn't seem to know about it.
Among other things, they gave us mimeographed forms in lieu of printed forms and I just tore them right up because I alone can do a much better job of stencil cutting than they did.
Today I prepared a form letter for the over 35 years of age discharges and the clerks are going to type everything up on them with the exception of the authority. They are even going to be signed by the men and the Company Commanders. That way we hope to be able to hand over to Headquarters the whole shooting matches within an hour after the orders are received authorizing us to discharge those men. That will leave it in the hands of the Administration Section when to publish the orders getting the men out of the Battalion.
By the by, have I told you about the flying cockroaches in this part of the island? They aren't as horrifying as the real American cockroaches because you know they aren't going to stay very long and don't live around here but when they aren't flying you can't tell them from the real thing for the flatness of their bodies and the incredible speed at which they travel.
We had some pictures taken today. We quit work at ten minutes after ten and didn't get back until just before twelve o'clock. They were taken in Paniqui Square where we rode down in convoy. We were picture taken by platoons. One picture was for Headquarters platoon. Then after they finished the platoon pictures they took them by sections. Of course, I got in on the S-1 Section so perhaps we will soon maybe get the pictures to send home. I hope so. O yes, the new chevrons are on the picture and for that alone just as a matter of record I would like to have it.
Wow, some later developments (and incidentally) more work to do - 1st Sgt Hopkins of Company C was promoted in the field to 2nd Lieutenant. That has been pending for almost a year and now that the war is over he got it. The catch is that now he can't be discharged for a certain length of time. Meanwhile we will have to go through all the rigmarole of changing his records over from that of an enlisted man to an officer which isn't an everyday occurrence.
There is a nice Filipino song which I hope I can remember when I get home (although I'll probably murder the tune) so you can hear it. The name of it is "Chaleeta Linda" or words to that effect and John Smarrito keeps playing it on his violin and I keep asking for it when he isn't playing it so that the rest of the tent is just about going crazy hearing it day in and day out.
I haven't much to say tonight so I'll call it quits.