White Beach No "2"
20 October 1945
Dear Aunty Clara,
With the run around we have been getting these last couple of weeks no one should be surprised at anything that might happen.
All our worlds came tumbling down this afternoon. My personal world which I spoke of last night seems to be down around my feet now. Lt. Champ C. Jackson, the Company A Officer who took over the Company Commandership from Captain Hanton came into the office today and flatly refused to allow the Headquarters Section to be carrying two H&S T/Sgt ratings for the one job of Personnel Sergeant major. Now it is up to the Colonel to either order him to approve the promotion - or in other words promote me on verbal orders like last time - or forget the whole thing. So it is anyone's bet what will happen and in the meantime it is the wisest for me to forget I even heard of their plans at all.
But that above subject fades into insignificance when you stop to think of the stupendous consequences of the next bit of information I am going to impart to you. We are going to Japan. Yes, back under Sixth Army and attached to some sort of Brigade. This crazy army has been tossing us around like a baseball during a pepper game until even we didn't know what our status was but now it appears definite enough.
They wanted us to start loading tomorrow and the Colonel told them that he was now in no position to go to Japan having lost most of his key men yesterday or the day before, that he was under strength in officer personnel and that he had been working on the beach job and not been preparing for a movement. So what did they do? They gave him until Monday to begin loading operations. Again, that is 48 hours into the future and it is anybody's guess as to what happens.
This time we have been caught flatfooted. We have set things up in such a permanent form so fast that it was actually amazing. Not only has our headquarters set up completely but we even had a dental office ready for Captain Stieler to go to work in tomorrow or Monday and the PX opening up this afternoon - only to sell out this evening. In the afternoon everything was on the rationed list and now it is open house on all commodities so long as they can get it off the shelves.
Today for the first time in a dog's age in the Personnel Section the clerks were getting to a point that they could see the light and I was down to my last bits on the agenda and had hopes of beginning to develop a few more systems in the job when the bombshell struck.
This section of the letter is being written several hours later and I have this to report as having happened since then. For one thing Lt Suiter came up and told me that he made Sackett a Bridge Construction Foreman so that I could legally be promoted to T/Sgt. Again, we shall see what we shall see. Come to think of it, if it turns out that way and I do make the grade, I've had all but one khaki shirt bedecked with S/Sgt strips and now I'll have to have them all ripped off.
O yes, they have made me the Platoon Sergeant of the Headquarters Platoon in H&S Company and now that means I'll have to be getting up for Reveille again. I'd been dispensing with that procedure for some time now. I can't imagine myself a Platoon Sergeant and I think the only way I got into that spot is because Lt Jackson and Sgt Driscoll don't know that I am strictly green at that kind of stuff whereas Captain Hanton and Cooley would have laughed themselves sick just to think of such a situation because they knew that even though I was a passable office worker I was a dumb cluck when it came to what is called the "military." Come to think of it though, I have been a Headquarters Platoon Sergeant (Corporal) before. Remember me telling you back in New Caledonia when Emery and Davis would miss Reveille, the Company Clerk would report the platoon in.
But do you know how many letters I received today? Six from you dated the 6, 7, 9, 10 Oct and 23 and 24 Sep. One from Eleanor, Uncle Jack, and George. George is a civilian: Mr. George J. Peck (his name has been officially changed) and is enrolled at Northwestern in a four year course (it will take 2½ years) of electrical engineering. He isn't taking anything for granted and is going to be sure he is in the chips from now on in. Eleanor says that RH&R is becoming a turmoil as Chester Hanson is coming back and Grace has his job, Gary Walroth is coming back and Roy Miller has his job (and I want to go back too) so the situation becomes worse and worse. Uncle Jack wrote what most likely will be the last V-mail I'll ever receive. It is fun reading about how you were writing letters to me while listening to the ball games and telling me things that were occurring.
Flash. Since we are on a different plan on this new Japan movement we are no longer headed Nagoya way but seem to be tagging along after Group Headquarters (1177th and Mike Nyalka) who went to Sasebo. That will be the cat's meow since it is warmer in Kyushu and also it will be within forty or so miles of atomic-bombed Nagasaki.
It's late now so more tomorrow. No air mail stamps so I'll have to use your suggestion for the second letter in a row and mail it for free.