Monday, October 20, 2008

Letter Home 04-04-1945

Wednesday 2100

Hello Darling:

I almost decided not to write to you tonight, but since I missed last night I thought I’d better. The reason I was not in the mood to write was because I was sick as a dog last night, and although I feel quite a bit better today I am still not up to far.
Stangel & I took a trip to Manila yesterday. It was a sight to see, but I’ll not do it again the way we did – all in one day. We were riding that jeep for about 12 hrs out of the 15 we were gone. We past 230 mile on it. If I ever go again it will be a 2 or 3 day affair.
The city really is beaten up. All of the big (and most of the smaller ones) buildings are nothing but piles of rubbish. It will take a long time to rebuild it, and a lot of labor & materials. I had seen it from the air of course, but it was nothing like seeing it close up.
Part of the roads there are concrete, and in fairly good shape. I got a kick out of seeing gas stations again with their “Flying Red Horse” signs, Texaco ect. None of them in operation however. I understand the Japs took all the pumps to send to Japan for the metal in them. There are a few civilian cars running around, but I guess it is hard to get gas. It is mostly bootleg stuff. What the Japs left behind I think.
We ate in two different restaurants on the trip. One a Chinese & one a Filipino. They really soak for their food too! Three dollars for a quarter of a chicken, 30 cents for a cup of very weak coffee are a couple of samples.
Evidently something I ate did not agree with me, because by the time we got back here at 9 last night I was really sick. First I had such chills that I shook the bed. I climbed into bed as soon as I got here. I only waited long enough to drink a slug of whiskey. Then I started to run a fever, so Munfell & Craig decided they had better call Dr. Weddle. Our own Doc was gone yesterday. He took my temperature, and it was 102. It had all the ear marks of malaria, so this morning he took a blood smear on me, but it turned out negative.
Today I’ve had a headache, stomach cramps, and a case of G.I.s. The Doc has been working on me all day. I feel better, as I said, but not the best yet.
That should be plenty of my troubles for you for one evening. I am a little tired to. I haven’t had much pep today. I think I’ll say so long for now. Don’t worry about me – I am practically well now.
I love you sweetheart – always & al ways – take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Letter Home 03-24-1945

Saturday 2200

Hello Darling,

The date on this may be a little off, but I know for sure it is Saturday. I often wonder if you get mad because I can’t remember, or keep the days & dates straight. I hope you don’t, because I will no doubt continue to do it every time I write. I just can’t ever seem to get things straight on that.
I’ve got three letters from you to answer, but I won’t attempt it tonight. There are a lot of the boys in the tent, and a lot has happened today to put my mind in a bit of a whirl. Perhaps tomorrow I will be a trifle calmer, and can write an intelligible letter. At any rate I will try.
You see today, or rather yesterday afternoon I lost my new job as Operations Officer. I was in office, you might call it, for two days. They were certainly hectic days! We had missions til they just wouldn’t quit, a couple of accidents ect. All in all it was a rat race.
However I did what I think was a half way decent job, even though a lot has happened. It was not any of my fault. That was not why I lost my job.
I’ve been thinking of ways and means to tell you this, but I guess the only & best way is to come out point blank & say it. It is going to be an awful shock though, and I would like to have you sit back in a chair – relax – don’t let it get you down ect. It is just as hard for me to believe as it will be for you.
Well – here goes – I am now the C.O. of the 341st Fighter Sqdn. Can you imagine such a thing happening to me? You had better say a few extra prayers for me to do a good job. I guess I will just learn by making mistakes, and I have already started out by making one of the biggest in the history of the Sqdn. I can’t explain, because it is too involved, but you can rest assured I did it. It was a good lesson though, and I don’t think I will ever do anything like it again. Before I make any statement like I did this time without knowing all the small details, I will go into it more thoroughly & then decide.
For a while it almost looked like we would have a revolution among the men. However we have a very good Adjutant, and he got me out of this one. Perhaps he will eventually be able to make a C.O. out of me. I hope I can learn to do a good job at any rate.
This happened rather unexpectedly, because Captains Exull & Fredenburgh left yesterday, and all on a moments notice, Major Zeine was told to pack up also. He is just going home to a gunnery school though, and should be back in about 3 months. In the meantime some one has to run this outfit and being the oldest ranking officer left I got it.
It makes me kind of prod that they picked me, because even if it is just temporary, the job of Commanding officer of a Sqdn. is rather large, and important. There is a lot of responsibility involved to have nearly 300 men’s affairs under one’s control. Capt. Craig (the Adjutant I just spoke of) tried to impress on me yesterday just how much power I have over these guys. My word is practically law. So you see why I’d like a few extra prayers that I can use that power properly. I’d sure like to make a good job of it.
Honey if my mail is rather erratic during the next week or so you will understand & forgive me won’t you. I’ve got so many things to do, places to see, and so darned much to learn!
It won’t be neglect because I want it to be. I love you much too much for that. Having this drop in my lap with no real preparation is going to push me quite a bit.
I will do my best, and I have a lot to write about, but if I slip a bit while trying to get in the swing of this please excuse eh?
I love you darling – and I need you in more ways than I can say. I love you – Good night.