Friday, October 8, 2010

Letter Home 07-21-1944

Friday 2030


Hello Darling:

You know I got thinking about that letter I wrote you last night, and I kind of wish I hadn’t written it now. I am afraid it might make you think I am unhappy over here.

Such is not the case however. I will admit that I was (and still am not) not happy about George. I think he is going to be OK though, and he is getting sent home, so it does have a wee bit of good in it.

I also am afraid you might worry about something similar happening to me. I hope I can put your mind at rest as to that. Things like that happen rarely, and he had a lot of tough breaks. His trip in the jungle, and operation ect. Besides he is a bit more excitable than I am. Practically always I can manage to enjoy what little there is to enjoy here. And not brood on what there isn’t! Sometimes the lack of mail really gets under my skin, but I tell myself it isn’t anyone’s fault but the mailman’s, and I will eventually get some. So I get by alright.

Our morale got a big boost in the last two days. They got some fresh meat, butter, and real eggs! That is the first we have had here in nearly 2 months. We had steaks last night, and again tonight. They were tough, but after all the bull beef we have seen they were still good.

I though of something you might send me darling. I am going to run out of foot powder one of these days, and I would like another can of that Geminol. In this hot climate our feet catch the devil, and we have to just try using plenty of powder on them every day.

I don’t know if I told you that we are getting plenty of cigarettes now free, so you need not waste money on sending them to me. I’d still like an occasional cigar though.

We went out on a strafing mission the other day. Four of us were on alert all afternoon, and a transport pilot came in to tell us about seeing some Japs crossing a river not far from here. So we hopped over to see if we could find them. We did not see anything. You can’t see an inch into that thick jungle from the air. Just on general principal we strafed the area around where they had been seen though. Probably didn’t do any good, but it was fun shooting.

I can’t think of much to say other than this little bit honey. Except to remind you that I am very much in love with my little Edie. Always and all ways1

Love George?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Letter Home 07-20-1944

Thursday 2100


Hello Darling:

I was just not in any mood to write last night, and I still am not tonight. However I guess I will at least say hello anyway.

The reason I fell bad is about George Burgess. He had a nervous breakdown, and I just heard about it yesterday. I guess it happened the day before.

There is one good point about it. He is being sent home. They say he should be OK when he gets out of here. I sure hope so. He was supposed to be evacuated today, but the plane he was going on had a bit of trouble, so I don’t know if he got out today or not. I suppose they will take him to one of the hospitals in the rear area for a while first.

I hope they don’t keep him there long. The best thing for him I think would be to get him out of here entirely as soon as possible. Or sooner! I sure hope he comes out OK on it. He is one good guy.

I don’t know if they notify his folks in a case like that or not, and I don’t know if it would be a good idea either. Just something that would worry them some more. Perhaps it is best to simply let him get home and then tell them he is there. I don’t think I would tell them. By the time he gets home he will no doubt be OK, and they would have worried for nothing.

We still haven’t had any more mail since I got that one letter from you. Sure wish they would bring some in.

Think I will say good night darling. I love you very much – always!

Love George

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Letter Home 07-18-1944

Tuesday 2130


Hello Darling:

I am a very lucky, and a very happy kid tonight. I finally got a letter from my lovely wife. I was the only guy in the tent that got one. The other boys haven’t had any yet. I hope this is only the beginning.

I hope by now you are out of the rut you say you were in. Feeling restless and all. Just take it easy honey. This will all be over eventually. I hope soon, but it can’t go on forever. Then we can settle down to our own life together.

Seems as if you are having quite a time with people moving in and out. I imagine having Freddy there will be better than having Patsy though. She will be company for both you and Mom. Also a little less worry for Mom than Patsy was I hope. Can’t picture it being otherwise.

It started to rain rather early last night, and has been raining steadily nearly all day. It finally stopped around 5 this evening. That was a break, because they had a movie tonight. It was a Laurel and Hardy job. Not too good, but it helps kill a little time.

They made an announcement that Jack Benny arrived in New Guinea with a troupe to entertain the boys. He was greeted, they said, by Lanny Ross. I wonder if they will get up here where we are??? There are quite a number of places they could go though, so we won’t be very surprised if they don’t.

I think I will say goodnight now darling. I love you lots and lots. Don’t get too impatient till this is over, and take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you –

Love George

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Letter Home 07-17-1944

Monday 1500


Hello Darling:

At last we have hopes of getting some mail soon. I finally got one Vmail letter from my sister Mary. Now we at least think they know where we are, so maybe we will be getting some. I sure hope I hear from you soon. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your letters, nor how much I miss them when I don’t get any.

I saw the mail clerk of the Squadron a little while ago, and aked him if there was any mail, but he said no. Then he asked me if you still used green ink. He remembered it from back in Providence. I don’t know if I told you how Morrison asked about you when I first saw him or not. Anyway he asked how Miss Green was. Do you remember me telling you that is what he called you when we were at Westover living together. Just before we were married. Happy day that was! I sure am a lucky guy.

Stangel and I just got back from having a swim. We lie on the beach more than we swim I think. We just go in and get wet, then lie on the beach taking it easy.

One of the enlisted men just came in the tent with something for Wurtz. He is an operations clerk, and knows all the pilots. He asked me what I hear from Flint, and I said nothing lately. Doggone it! He is from Saginaw.

Well I can’t think of much to say today. It gets kind of hard to write when they mess up our mail so much. This one way traffic gets monotonous to us after an extended period like this.

I hope we have a movie tonight. Even if we have seen if before it is still something to do.

I love you darling very much. Take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you –

Love George

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Letter Home 07-16-1944

Sunday 1630


Hello Darling:

One of the boys in the other Squadrons got some mail the other day. Yesterday I think it was. That is the first any of us have received, so we are hoping that maybe we can look for some soon. We all have our fingers crossed.

I stopped in the Dentist’s office to get a drink this afternoon, and an enlisted man was reading a letter. He looked up and remarked that it was always the same old stuff. He wrote the same things home every day, and the letters he got were all alike. He seemed griped in a way.

That was his opinion. I don’t know how you feel about getting the same stuff from me all the time, but I certainly enjoy hearing all the little ordinary things that happen to you at home, and your troubles, thoughts, happiness, or what have you. I feel as if I am closer to you then, and sharing everything with you somehow.

They passed a new rule today that we have to keep our tents tidier. The beds have to be made unless you are in them during the day ect. I can’t see where there is much to making up a bed here. All I do is straighten out the blanket a bit.

On the tidiness of the rest of the tent there was room for improvement though. I had an old torn cot that I was in the habit of throwing all my stuff on, so instead of that I built a couple of racks to use today. Helped quite a bit too.

It is almost time to eat, so I think I will say so long for now. I love you very much sweetheart – always and all ways. I love you.

Love George

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Letter Home 07-14-1944

Friday 1800

Hello Darling:

One of the boys in the tent took a trip over to the mainland today to see about getting some souvenirs. He sure is crazy about that. If he takes home all the stuff he hopes to get he will need two trunks to carry it all.

Anyway he did get a few booklets in Japanese. Evidently they are field manuals. He also got some of the Jap invasion money. There two I am sending you are part of it. They aren’t worth anything. The Japs were going to use them to pay the natives for helping them. I suppose they did use some of it. Maybe that is one of the reasons the natives hate the Japs so much. They certainly don’t have any use for them. They take everything from the natives, but never give them anything in return.

Besides this money I guess I better send you some real stuff that can be used in the good old USA. I don’t know if I will get a chance to go to the finance office tomorrow or not, but if I don’t I will do it as soon as I can. I think I will be able to send you $200.

I got interrupted to go to the show. It was Bob Hope in “They Got Me Covered.” It was old, but I’d never seen it before, so I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Other than to complain of a lack of mail I don’t think there is much more I have to say. I hope we start getting something soon.

I thought of something just now that I would like. A finger nail clipper. Not for my finger nails – for my toe nails. I used to have a nice sharp pair of scissors, but I guess I put them in my foot locker. I got a pair over here and they are big dull things. I used one of the boy’s clippers and it worked OK. So since it is small I though you might be able to send me one.

One of the boys in the mess hall the other day said he had a letter from his mother, and she said that it was no longer necessary to have a request to send packages to officers overseas. I don’t know if it is true, or if it includes enlisted men or not. I meant to tell you before, and let you check up on it, but I forgot it till just now.

I said I could not think of anything, and then wrote another whole page. I certainly ramble along at times don’t I? Now I see I have one more sheet of paper in this pad, so I may as well wrack my brain a bit and ramble some more to use it. I thought the other night I only had one pad left, but I found this one with a few sheets in it, so I still have a pad left.

It doesn’t take any effort to think of how much I love you. I do that all the time every day. I think of you a lot also all the time.

Stangel asked me to something about my drinking at home, and if you drank. It reminded me of the one time I got tight with you. Remember what’s his names party? I know – How could you forget it!

I played a little poker last night. That is the first in quite a while. Not bad though. That’s why I can send you some money. If I am lucky maybe the boys will help build us a hut yet eh? Don’t worry darling I am still careful, and don’t just gamble everything I own whenever I do play.

I love you very much sweetheart. Always and all ways. Deed I do!

Love George?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter Home 07-13-1944

Thursday 1700

Hello Darling:

I’ve got a few minutes before chow, so I will use it to the best advantage. And what could be better than talking to you. Being with you and talking to you personally instead of in a letter of course would be better I guess. Or rather I know it would.

I got up at 4:30 this morning for a mission, and then did not go. We all went out to the planes, and I couldn’t get mine started.

The boys in the tent here are arguing about how much damage either of them have done to planes since they have been flying. They are really radical about it. I can hardly hear myself think they are hollering accusations at each other so much.

It just changed, and now the argument is about poetry and Shakespeare. What a crew! Never can tell what will come next. Anyway it is a bit of variety.

We went swimming this afternoon. While you are in the water it is nice, but when you get out and start to dry off a bit you feel too sticky. That is the salt water. I prefer some of our lakes back home.

I am at a loss of things to talk about tonight for some reason. However I am never at a loss for one thing to tell you always. That is I love you. Which I do very much indeed.

Love George?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Letter Home 07-12-1944

Wednesday 1600

Hello Darling:

Here is a sample of our new money. We just got paid yesterday. I meant to send you this last night, but I forgot it. It is one Guilder, and is worth 53 cents. Since they are only worth half as much as American bills it seems as if we are getting an extra amount when they pay off.

However it should help remind us more of the value of money. When we had Aussie stuff we did not really pay attention to its value. The boys would throw Pound notes and 5 Pound notes around like our dollar bills and five spots.

Actually they would be spending $3 on the Pound, and $15 on the 5 Pounders. With these we can throw a whole handful around, and not spend very much.

Money doesn’t mean much over here though. For example two buck privates from some infantry battalion were around here today that had a Jap rifle and a mortar gun. They wanted to trade them for some whiskey. They would not sell them either. Money was of no use to them. They could not spend it if they had any. They only want something they can use right now.

My stationary supply is running very low. I don’t think they have any in the PX either, so perhaps you could send me some? I don’t know what pads like this would be best. I have plenty of air mail envelopes now. I laid in a supply just in case we hit a spot where we can’t get them.

I’ve been trying to get some laundry for about 4 or 5 days now. They washed it the first day, but ever since it had been wet. Just when it begins to get dry it starts to rain again. Today has been a pretty nice day though, so perhaps I will finally get some clean clothes. I sure need them!

This is the last sheet in this pad. I’ve got one more to last a while longer though. I guess I will quit for now too.

I love you sweetheart lots and lots –

Love George?

Letter Home 07-11-1944

Tuesday 2130

Hello Darling:

I am soaking wet tonight, so I think I had best get to bed early. We went to the show to see “Johnny Eager”, and it started to rain when it was nearly over. Naturally we had to see how it cam out.

That wasn’t the worst of it though. We were using my sack to sit on at the show, so it is wet too. The bottom half of the air mattress is fairly dry, so I guess I will get by. I put two blankets on it to help absorb what water is on it.

We had a quart of whiskey a few nights ago. George Burgess came over the second night we had it, and the two of us each had one drink apiece out of it. The rest of the boys hadn’t even touched it. Last night George came over again, and we were going to have a drink, only to find the bottle gone. Isn’t that a heck of a note? Someone swiped practically a whole quart on us. Next time we get a hold of a bottle we will sure hide it.

The whiskey is combat whiskey. After each mission all the pilots are supposed to get a shot if they want it. They don’t issue it that way here. Every tent gets a bottle occasionally instead. I guess it is every couple of weeks. So we have to wait a while to get another one.

Someone has a Victrola around here and they are playing a lot of old numbers that remind me of you. I sure hope the day comes soon when we can listen to a few records in the front room together. Maybe if I am not too lazy I might even ask you to dance with me to a couple of them. Would you?

Think I will crawl in my sack now darling. I love you very very much – always!

Love George

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Letter Home 07-10-1944

Monday 1630


Hello Darling:

I hear that we have a show tonight, so best I try writing to you before supper. I hope we have something good tonight.

We were just discussing a couple of rumors we have been hearing. One is that after being over here 10 months they intend to send the boys home for 2 months. Then bring them back here to their old outfit. That is not supposed to start for some time though, so I don’t know if this time we put in until then will count or not.

Another rumor is that once a guy gets sent home he stays there. So you see we can’t believe anything. All we can do is wait to see what happens. At any rate I doubt if anything will happen to us for a year or so anyway.

I was on a mission the other day up over Biak and Noemfoor, but we did not see anything but our own planes. We have a tough time finding Japs these days.

It must be coming on towards the rainy seasons around here. It has rained every night for the past 5 nights. Also we had a couple of day’s rain and bad weather. We don’t complain about rain at night. When that happens we can be fairly sure of a good night’s sleep. The bombers like a nice clear night to do their work.

We are feeling the lack of mail quite a bit these days. We don’t really expect any for a few more weeks, but that doesn’t stop us from missing it.

It is nigh on to being time to eat. Maybe I better leave you for now. You will still be with me though all the time in my heart.

I suppose that is because I love you so much. Could be! Anyway I do love you – but definitely.

Love George

Friday, July 9, 2010

Letter Home 07-09-1944

Sunday 2030

Hello Darling:

I am all tired out tonight, so I hope you won’t mind a short letter. We just came back from a nice long mission, and I don’t feel like sitting down again for a week. We landed just before it got dark, and it took us quite some time to take the boat over here, and eat ect.

They are having a show tonight too, but it was already started by the time we got here. By now it is probably half finished. I don’t think I’d care to sit through it anyway.

I love you darling. Very much, but I think I will hit the sack – Good night – I love you.

Love George?

Letter Home 07-08-1944

Saturday 1930

Hello Darling:

We had a nice day of rest today. The weather was bad, so we could not fly. It rained all last night, and all morning. This afternoon it stopped raining, but the weather still was no good for flying.

Three of us happened to be down at the beach this afternoon when a couple of guys were going fishing, so we went along. They had one of the landing barges to cruise around in, and it was quite a nice ride for the afternoon.

There were 5 of us fishing, but only one guy caught anything. He got a kingfish that I imagine must have weighed around 10 or 12 lbs. It was nearly 2 ft, or so long. The rest of us just fished – period!

Last night just as I started to write you they called us all over to the C.O.’s tent. I thought it was to be a meeting of some kind, but found out different. He had three or four quarts of whiskey, and was having a bit of a party. Most of the boys – no I should say only a few – got to feeling pretty good.

One of the reasons, or perhaps the only reason, for the party was to celebrate the promotions of three of the boys. Morrison, Wheeler, and Blend got their Captaincies, so they had to celebrate.

Along about 10 o’clock I was getting read to leave, when I met with a slight accident. One of the boys was standing in front of me with a drink in his hand, and someone hit his arm. Nearly all the drink hit me right in the face. I was blind from the whiskey in my eyes, and was trying to get it out, when someone decided to help me. He took a glass of water, and threw it in my face. Kind of rough first aid, but it sure felt good.

Well that settled it I was soaking wet, so I left. I came back here to the tent, and took off my clothes. Then I was going to write you, but my eyes still burned, and it was beginning to give me a bit of a headache. I hope you will excuse me (and the boys) for the little mishap. Am I forgiven?

I found out that I can tell you a little more about where I am now. I am not in New Guinea any more. I am on a little island off its coast. Can’t say what one.

You remember I said we lived quite a distance from our strip? Well in fact we are living on another island. The two of them are quite small, and very close together. We take a barge across the water that separates them every morning when we go to work. It is a pretty nice set up.

I guess that’s all the news for tonight darling. Except that I love you very much – always I do!

Love George?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Full Color Photos of the 341st Fighter Squadron in New Guinea 1944

George M. Barnes

George M. Barnes

George M. Barnes and his plane, "Little Edie" named after his wife Edith

George M. Barnes (Left)
George M. Barnes (Right)
George M. Barnes (Center)

R to L: Harold "Junior" Wurtz, Kenneth A. Steel, George M. Barnes, Harold P. Stangol

The "Jenny"

George M. Barnes and the "Little Edie"

Letter Home 07-06-1944

Thursday 1430

Hello Darling:

It is so hot today that I am wringing wet. I’ve got the afternoon off, so I though I would log a little sack time. I tried it, but I was soon lying in a pool of water, and had to give it up. I will try to cool off talking to you. I don’t know if that will work though, because I always feel warm and happy when I think of what a lucky guy I am to have you for my wife. I sure do love you darling.

Well look who just walked in! Burgess no less. He wants we should go take a swim, and lie around the beach a while. I will be back later to finish this later. Bye for now.

Here I am again. We just finished up supper. There were sausages for a change. I am not over fond of these big fat sausages they have in the Army, but it was still better than Bully Beef!

George and I had a pretty nice lazy afternoon down on the beach. I don’t care too much for salt water, because I can’t swim very well, and every once in a while I was swallowing some of it. Not a very satisfying drink either.

I hear tell they have some Coca-Cola tonight. It is rationed so everyone gets 4 glasses a month. The cooling machine had been busted the past week though, so there were no cokes for anyone. Best I get over to see about getting some of it.

I dreamt up something else you could send me. I’d like a pair of shorts. Maybe there was a pair in the clothes I sent home. I don’t mean underwear. It is khaki I want to use when we play volley ball ect. I have been considering cutting the legs off a pair of trousers, and I may do so yet. However they would not last long if the weren’t hemmed, and naturally if I cut them they won’t be. So if you could send me a pair I would appreciate it very much.

I think I will go see about the Cokes now. I love you lots and lots honey. I hope you are well and happy.

Love George

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Letter Home 07-05-1944

Wednesday 1900

Hello Darling:

Well the long vacation is over. We are working again. We flew our first mission at last. These missions run a lot longer than any we ever had before. By the time it gets to be 3 to 4 hours or more our fannies are plenty sore. I never got so sick of sitting on one spot before. We can’t squirm around very much either, because we are strapped in very well by the safety belt and shoulder straps. Of course I suppose we could loosen them up, but after one experience I had (remember?) I want them tight.

Then we have to sit on a little rubber boat without any cushion. It is made into part of the parachute, and there isn’t any room for the cushion. Doggone it is hard too!

After that I did not think I would be able to work for a week, but after playing some volley ball, and taking a shower I feel pretty good. Very surprising. I feel as if I am ready to go again.

They have a pretty fair set up here. We can usually get ice water every day. They have a little kitchen set up on the line too were we can get sandwiches and cold drinks also. I had something good last night too. These boys got hold of some canned chicken, and they were making sandwiches in their…

…get me some.

Burgess and Morrison wandered in as I finished that last line, and they have kept me busy batting the breeze all night. Now it is time for lights out, so I have to hurry up to say good night. Don’t blame the boys too much for the interruption will you. It is swell to see them and talk to them.

I love you very much darling. Always and all ways – Take care of you for me won’t you? I love you –

Love George

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Letter Home 07-04-1944

Tuesday 1800

Hi Honey:

I am finally in the old outfit. When we got here to the Group the rest of the boys had not been assigned to Squadrons yet, but they had me all slated to get back in the 341st. It sure is nice to be here with the old gang. They haven’t changed any. Still a pretty swell bunch I think.

You are probably wondering what I have been doing, because I haven’t written for two days. I did not mean to neglect you darling. We were too busy, and I did not get a chance to do any writing.

The first day we spent coming here. Then yesterday we had to go through the process of building another happy home. Besides doing that we had to dig a fox hole. Up till now we did not have to do that. However they have had a few raids here, so it behooves us to invest in one.

Usually the raids here only consist of a very few planes, and they never drop bombs in our area. We are quite a distance from the planes and everything. The Japs don’t have hardly any planes left in this area. What the bombers (ours) did not wreck on the ground, our fighters have taken care of in the air. Most of the boys haven’t even seen a Nip since around March. They still keep their eyes peeled of course while patrolling though.

I like it fine here. We can go swimming if we want to, and there are practically no bugs or mosquitoes to bother us. The food is fairly good. Except that we still get too much bully beef. Those are all just minor discomforts. On the whole it is a nice set up.

Last night we did not have any lights. We got our tent set up and all, but we had no wire and stuff to use. We remedied that today, so when it gets dark tonight we should have some lights.

We had an air raid alert the other night, but we did not see anything. The big guns of the Ack Ack boys were shooting at something, but nothing came of it. All it meant was a loss of about an hours sleep.

We crawled in our fox holes and waited, but nothing happened. Those big guns certainly blast when they go off. It really shakes the place every time on goes.

Seeing them and hearing them remind me of fireworks, which in turns reminds me that today is fore crackers day, the 4th of July, and that reminded me that Dad has a birthday today. So although this might get to you a month late will you wish him a happy birthday for me?

I don’t know when Mom’s birthday is, but if you let me know I will try to remember to wish her a happy birthday when it comes. In case I am already too late wish her one for me anyway.

George Burgess has a dog here, and she just had ten pups recently. I haven’t been over to see them yet, but he says they have had a lot of laughs from them. The dog is an Australian Retriever or something like it.

Another of the boys has a Cocker Spaniel that just had pups. Three of them, and they are cute as the devil.

Best I sign off for now sweetheart, or I won’t have anything left to tell you tomorrow. I enjoy talking to you too much, and get to rambling occasionally. Do you mind?

I love you very much darling. Always and all ways –

Love George?

P.S. – I’ve got a new address.

341st F.S. – APO #565 Unit 1

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Letter Home 06-30-1944

Friday 1900

Hello Darling:

Still doing business here at the same old stand, although (can’t spell tonight) we haven’t been flying since they told us we were being assigned to the 348th. We certainly are ready to go join them whenever they give the word.

I had hopes that I might get a letter or two from you before we left. However for the past few days no one has received any mail. I know that once we leave here our mail will very likely be balled up for almost a month.

There seems to be an extraordinary number of bugs buzzing around here tonight. The worst of are the little flying ants. We always have a lot of little brown ants here, but tonight they have wings, and they keep bothering the dickens out of us.

I went over to get a hair cut today. My hair was getting about an inch long. First thing I knew it would be getting in my eyes. Mostly what bothered me really was the way it was starting to curl over my ears. Now that is remedied now.

Junior is cussing New Guinea tonight, the bugs, woods and everything. He is very disgusted, and wishes he was back in England. He is a really good kid, and will be ok, all of the boys are telling him he is crazy. Everyone else is glad they are here. His real name is Wurtz, and he comes from Dearborn. He is the youngest one here, and that won him the moniker of Junior. Usually he is one of the best natured boys I know of, but he is disgusted with this place tonight. In much different words of course. I couldn’t write the actual language being tossed around here at the moment.

However he feels about it doesn’t change our opinion. This is where we want to be, other than to be at home. Since we have to go somewhere to fight this is the best in most of the boy’s opinion. Don’t get me wrong Darling. I am not praising the jungle life. If we were over in England we would find plenty to be griped about too I think. This to my mind is the lesser of the two evils.

These ants are getting in my hair too much darling, and I don’t have too much news tonight, so I think I will sign off for now.

I love you – always and all ways. No matter how far apart we are you are always here with me in my heart. Take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you.

Love George

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Letter Home 06-29-1944

Wednesday 1700

Hello Darling:

This is Thursday I found out after putting Wed at the top there. That is how things go here. We can’t keep track of the days. I just took someone else’s word that it was Wed, and that started a slight dispute, so I looked it up on your little calendar.

We had a long meeting last night, so I did not get around to writing to you. It was on a new jungle kit, and they went through it completely. By the time they were through it was sack time. I hope you don’t mind too much darling.

I also had something of importance to tell you too. The night before last they had the bar open again. I don’t know where they got it, but they had ice for the drinks. What a difference that makes! They were about 500% better. I only had about 5 drinks.

I don’t think we are going to get paid on time this month. We are not assigned to this outfit, so we can’t get it with them. In fact, they are wondering how and where the money will come from to pay them. It is a good thing we don’t need much money around here. I am broke as far as actual cash goes. I’ve still got the travelers checks I brought with me from the States though. Why they told us to bring them I don’t know. We get paid in the money they use here, so why use checks?

I just got interrupted to go eat. We had bully beef, so I only ate soup. They do have very good soup here. It was onion soup, and we all ate 2 or 3 bowls at least. We had some fresh eggs this morning for breakfast. That is what we enjoy most I guess.

The most important news I have is something that I like very much. Some of us have been assigned to the 348th Group, and I am one of them. That is just what I have been hoping for. Now when we get to the Group I hope I am not disappointed. I don’t think I will be though.

I know when I am leaving here of course, but I can’t tell you. You will know when I can do so though. I also will get a new APO# and then I can ask you to send me some things, now that I am permanently assigned to the 348th.

I sure will be glad to get up there with the boys, and start doing something. We had enough of aerial gunnery and training ect back in the States. If we aren’t ready by now we may as well give up and I don’t think we need to do that. I believe all these boys are good pilots.

I guess I will have to loose your letters now that we will have to be moving one of these days. I don’t have room to carry them. I think I will read them over before I do though. Best I do that now eh? I love you very much darling. Take care of you for me won’t you?

Love George.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Letter Home 06-27-1944

Thursday 1900


Hello Darling:

It seems like everyone was pretty busy while Dottie was home. I bet everyone had a good time though. Too bad she could not stay longer.

I got three letters from you today. The mail situation is a lot better here. I also got the Vmail you sent by the way.

What is this you tell me about these 4F wolves keeping an eye on you in some bar? I can understand it though in a way, because you are a very lovely gal. So any man might be intrigued! However don’t pay any attention to them will you?

I can imagine Betty getting a big kick out of it. I’ll bet she teased you unmercifully. She is a pretty good sport I think.

I just got Dottie’s address, so now perhaps I can write her a little note some evening. In fact tonight is as good as any I guess.

You asked me to elaborate on going to town business I spoke of back where we were. Well there used to be people live in these towns in New Guinea. From what a few Aussies have said it was pretty much a summer vacation spot. They had a few hotels and a few houses there. There aren’t any civilians around now though. It is all Army, Navy and Aussies now. The only thing of any interest there was the Allied Officer’s Club. They did not have anything much to sell. In fact nothing in the line of drinking material. All they had was some cold drinks. Not much taste to them. Just circus water. During the day we could get tea and cakes. I think I told you about doing that one time. They also served dinners there, but I don’t know how they were. I was never in for one.

There aren’t really any towns as you know them at home. Every place is simply an Army or Navy base, or an air strip. There probably wont be any civilians around till long after the war is over. Any time the boys get leave here they fly down to Austrailia in transport planes. On the Army naturally.

Most of the boys are a bit disgusted about the leave situation. Usually, the leaves are given to the boys every three or four months. On a rotation system, so there is always someone on leave.

However in our case we have not been assigned to any outfit yet, and all this time we spend does not count on any leaves. That doesn’t bother me so much. I’d just as soon keep right on the job here till it was over. What I hope is that this time does count on how soon we get home.

One of the boys in the tent is from Detroit, and he just got a copy of the Detroit News today. It is the April 29th issue. We found a poem in it and a cartoon we got a kick out of. He kept the poem, but I copied it for you.

Only a Woman

If you might rest a moment in my arms
Only a moment fee from fact and fear
All of my soul would crumble at your wish
All of my heart open, to find you near.

If you could pause, even a second’s breath,
Forgetting time and reason and our duty
What might we learn of wonder and of depth
What cadence full of vast, eternal beauty.

But we must stand, separate and long apart,
Hallowed for things larger than self and time
Only a woman turns her eyes away,
And longs to set a holocaust to rhyme.

The poem I am serious about sweetheart, but I am only kidding about the cartoon. You will look good to me no matter what.

I will be running out of things to say soon, and won’t be able to write much to Dottie. Maybe I better sign off for now.

I love you darling very much. Every day is possible I love you more. I love you



Monday, June 21, 2010

Letter Home 06-26-1944

Monday 2130

Hello Darling:

I may get this letter written tonight, and then again I may not. The lights are starting to act up. They fade out till there is just a glow, and then come slowly back again. As yet they haven’t gone off for any length of time, so I hope they last.

I got three nice letters from you today. One included the lighter flints. Thank you very much darling. Also these came in their usual very correct order. I got #33, 39 and 49. I don’t think I will ever get straight on them, not till I get a big pile. It doesn’t bother me though. New or old, mixed up or otherwise it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

Now that our radio is gone we have to listen to an impromptu concert from one of the other tents. Usually there are two cornets, but tonight they have a saxophone helping them out. They aren’t good, but still not too bad. The only real difficulty is the way they get on one tune and practice it all night. With no noticeable improvement I might add! We used to be able to drown them out with the radio, but now we have to listen to it. Maybe by the time the war is over they might become real musicians. For anyone’s sake that has to listen to them I sincerely hope so.

Since we have been here we have been able to get crackers and cookies through the Squadron supply. They are rationed a box or two per man every month. So with the crackers, and the occasional fruit we get, and the cans of peanut butter and jam we can swipe from the mess hall we have occasional little snacks.

I don’t know if the food that is lying around attracts the ants, but we sure have enough of them. They were here before we broke loose with any chow for them though, so I don’t think that is what brings them. We have them in bed with us, and when we sit around reading, writing, playing cards, or whatever – they come crawling up on us. They are small brown ants and can become a wee bit annoying at times.

We were talking about that tonight and thinking of how ants always show up to bother people at picnics. Anyone that spends any time over here shouldn’t have to worry about that much. Or about any bugs for that matter. We have every variety ever seen in the U.S. I do believe, and about a million new ones. Some of them are really dandies. The weirdest looking thinks imaginable. They don’t bother us too much. Mostly they spend their time and energy dive bombing the lights at night. Some of them sound like dive bombers too!

All in all this isn’t a bad place to be. There are a lot of laughs every day to help make thinks agreeable. Like the guy that came in for a landing yesterday. We have three landing strips here that are fairly close together, but still quite distinct. Even flying here once is enough to orient a guy. Still this joker came in and peeled off to land on strip three, and on his approach se somehow got switched over to strip one. He is still being kidded about it.

I think the lights are due to go out soon. Before they do I must fix up my sack. Put my mosquito net up ect. Then to bed and I hope dream of my very lovely wife. I love you sweetheart. Very much and all the time. I sure hope this ends soon, so I can be with you all the time. I love you –

Love George?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Letter Home 06-25-1944

Sunday 1900


Hello Darling:

Boy I just hit the jackpot. I got eight letters from you. They were very old ones, but still lovely to read. Some of them were forwarded from Richmond even, so you can imagine how old they are.

I got my answer to the question I asked you about the bags and the money I sent home. I sure didn’t realize that we had as much in the bank as we do. If I can just send some more home occasionally while I am here, perhaps we might have a fair little nest egg to work on eh? I hope so. We will no doubt need it to use when I am digging ditches.

I am kind of glad that you don’t feel like going out to get drunk with anyone but me. Of course I don’t expect us to really get drunk anytime. But I do enjoy a couple of drinks occasionally. Especially with you. I should really say I simply like to be with you. There doesn’t have to be any drinking last night.

They had the bar open last night, and I went over with Ward to have a couple. That was all I wanted, and that was what I had – exactly two drinks. Ward got to working on the gin though, and got feeling pretty good. He was quite tight in fact!

I got a kick out of him when he came rolling back to the tent. All of the rest of us were in our sacks already, and he was rambling on and on. He was very happily wound up, and said he like a nice quiet drunk like that. It brought back so many pleasant memories. No one had the imagination ect that a drunk like that has. He just kept going along that line till he fell asleep.

I don’t doubt that it does arouse pleasant memories, but it is not the least bit necessary really. When a guy has a lovely wife like you he doesn’t have to use anything to help arouse pleasant memories. They are with me all day long.

Ward said he hoped our wives realized how much we appreciate them.

If anything we appreciate them more when we are so far away. He wouldn’t trade being married to his “Little Old Sweet Smelling Ever Loving” wife for a million dollars. I sure agree with him. I am much too happy being married to you. No one could put any monetary price on that.

You know I think I will sign off early tonight. I feel too full of things I’d like to say any of them. I’ll just lie down on my sack and read your letters again.

I love you very much darling. Take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you –

Love George?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Letter Home 06-24-1944

Saturday 2000


Hello Darling:

The mail man slipped up today. He actually delivered one of your old letters. It was only two months old. Exactly that to the day. It was written on April 24. It is the first one I have received from my old APO# I had in Frisco, and #4 in the beginning of when you started to number them. I enjoyed it very much though. I don’t mind if they deliver old letters to me. Just so I get mail from you is all that matters.

Last night I did not write, because I felt lousy. As soon as we finished supper I came back to the tent, and hit the sack.

However it did not turn out to be anything serious. I feel swell today. I guess I just ate some bully beef that did not agree with me. Or maybe it was the shock of having fresh eggs the day before. We had fried eggs for breakfast, and ham and eggs for supper. Then we had them for breakfast yesterday morning again. When they do get a few fresh eggs I guess they have to use them up in a hurry. They sure taste wonderful. No one is ever going to convince me that powdered eggs and dehydrated food can compare with the real McCoy.

It looks as if we will lose our radio. The guy that owns it is being sent back to where we just came from. It seems those three that got help up were not supposed to come here. They just told the boys to come, but they really had no orders to send them on. So now they have real orders to go back. Perhaps the matter will be straightened out and they will be back. We all hope so – we are going to miss the radio. Much more than the three guys! Even though they are pretty good eggs.

One of our boys went to the hospital the other day. He started off by having the G.I.s – the trots to the folks at home. By the end of the he was as weak as a kitten, and running a pretty high fever. We thought he might have had malaria. We went up to see him this afternoon, and found he didn’t. He had Dingy. That seems to be a double or triple dose of the G.I.s.

He is OK, and should be back in a couple of days. We are not flying much, so he really isn’t missing a lot. Just a little aerial gunnery.

There is one thing I haven’t seen the boys doing since we got here. That is play poker. In fact there hasn’t been any gambling. All they have played is bridge, hearts, 500, cribbage, ect. No money involved in any of those games. It’s angering!

Not that there isn’t any gambling going on, These guys that are permanent members of the organization really have some screaming poker games. Maybe none of us have had enough money to get in the game explains why none of us have been gambling. Payday is coming!

I don’t have any more news at the moment darling, so I think I better say goodnight. I love you sweetheart always and all ways. Take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you.

Love George

Friday, June 11, 2010

Letter Home 06-22-1944

Thursday 1900


Hi Honey:

I started to go to the show tonight, but while we were sitting out there waiting for the show to start it commenced to rain. Not very hard. In fact it was not even a good shower. I kind of thought that it would soon be raining harder though, so I came back. I can enjoy talking to you much better. The rest of the boys are still out there, so it looks as if they think it won’t rain harder.

I was supposed to fly this morning, but when we got ready to go the weather was bad, so it was called off. The weather was good this afternoon, but no one said anything about flying. I believe they wanted to give the ground crews the afternoon to work on the planes.

A few of us took our laundry over to a spot we found today. With good weather it gets done in one day. If it rains we simply have to wait till the sun comes out to dry the clothes. It beats doing it ourselves, even if it is not a good job. It couldn’t be worse than we could do.

Some of the older boys were telling me about a time when they had some of the local natives doing their laundry. They pounded it on the rocks, and stomped on it, ect. and usually it came back dirtier than it was when they sent it. Some fun eh?

While we were seeing about our laundry we stopped to get any mail we might have. I did not get any myself, but a few of the boys did. What I wanted to tell you though was what the guy told us about packages. He said we might get them in 5 or 6 months if we were lucky. Especially since we only have this temporary APO#, and are moving from one outfit to another.

I thought of that the other night when you told me in one of your letters to send you requests for things, so you could send me a package. Perhaps it would be better to wait till we are permanently assigned and I would have a better chance of getting them. Also the man said to tell the folks back home to wrap packages especially well, and sturdily. Most of them arrive over here in terrible shape otherwise. Anyway I better wait a while to start asking for things.

I had a couple of V mail letters from Mary (my sister) yesterday. One could not photographed for some reason, so it was sent regular air mail. The other one was written quite a bit later but they both arrived together.

That is most of all the news of the day darling. Except the big news flash – I love you. That is real headline I mean! O love you – but definitely.

Love George.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Letter Home 06-21-1944

Wednesday 1815

Hello Darling:

Since we have been here I have received 6 letters from you. Five in one bunch, and today I got another one. This one was #23. Some day they will get things straight.

I got up in the air today. We had an aerial gunnery mission. Not very many hits in the target, but it was fun just the same. We can’t tell who got the hits either. They do not have the facilities to paint the bullets.

You were asking if we had anything to drink. Up till yesterday we haven’t had any. However they got a bunch of whiskey and gin and brandy in here yesterday. All the boys in the Group chipped in to send to Australia for it. They used on of the bombers to make the trip.

They say we will get beer over here sometimes this year. I will believe it when I see it. It is a rumor that we will be given about 26 cans a month. I hope it comes through.

We can’t drink very much here. So you don’t have to worry about me drinking to excess. I found out today that it can’t be done. I had some brandy last night, and I was all tired out today. In this heat it just knocks the vitality out of a guy. So from now on I am going to keep my drinking down plenty. I would like to get a beer occasionally though.

They just set up a little bar in the “Officer’s Club.” It is a tent with a table in it! They use grapefruit juice and water to mix the stuff in. The chlorinated effect of the water naturally adds to the flavor of the drink. There is a slight charge of one Florien per drink. That is about 32 cents.

You were asking me about the money we use. It is Australian, but it is just like the English use. The value of money is a little different that’s all. I will put a pound note in this letter to let you see what they are like. I don’t have a half pound note right now. When I get one I will send it to you also. One pound is worth $3.22.

A Florien is a coin about the size of a 50 cent piece, and is worth two Shillings, or as they say here, “Two Bob.”

We had a movie last night, or no, that was Mon night wasn’t it. It was a musical comedy “Hey Rookie.” It was not too good, but there was some pretty fair dancing and singing.

I can’t think of much more to say at the moment. Except to tell you that I am very much in love with you. Yes Indeed! I love you –

Love George

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Letter Home 06-20-1944

Tuesday 0900


Good Morning Honey:

I don’t suppose you can picture your lazy husband doing any work, but that is just what he has been doing since he hit here. We have all been busy getting our happy home fixed up.

Yesterday we worked on fixing up a wash stand. We got a couple of steel helmets to wash in, and a big steel barrel to keep water in. The only trouble is that the barrel used to have kerosene in it, and still has a bit I believe. We tried to clean it out, but I don’t know how well we did.

We too it over to the well where they pump out the water for our showers, and pulled up water to wash it out with. They have a hole next to the well with a big pail, and a long tow rope attached to it. You let the pail down, and when it fills up you haul it up hand over hand. It is about 25 ft deep too, so you have to work a bit.

This morning a gang moved out of an area right near ours here, so we have been over there seeing what we can pick up. We got 3 tables, a couple of cabinets, and enough lumber to build some chairs. We are really fixing up our little tent. It won’t be long in fact till we have more tables ect in here than we have cots.

While we are here we are going to try to live in as much New Guinea luxury as we can. If nothing else we will have some fun, and a lot of laughs out of it.

You said something in one of your letters about people telling you and Mom how awful and smelly ect it is over here. It really isn’t as bad as they make it. The only smelly place I’ve seen was Guadalcanal. It was a bit muddy and not too sweet smelling, but I am not there now, so I can be happy about that.

We find quite a number of things to get a kick out of. For instance, I’ve seen the Milky Way and the Southern Cross. They are some stars you can’t see from the States. Even though the weather gets bad for flying it is wonderful scenery. The big white clouds with mountains sticking up through them, and beautiful sun sets. There is a lot here to enjoy if you look around a bit.

Of course there are times when we (at least I am speaking for myself and I think for the other boys too) don’t feel quite so happy about being here. It gets hot, when it rains everything gets damp and moldy, the mud gets bad, sometimes we get sick of bully beef, and a few other things. If a guy wanted to just find things wrong with the place he could do so plenty, and be griping all the time.

We all grip occasionally, and so on, but little things make it OK. The movies we get. Even if we cuss them for continually braking while they are being shown, and are usually a bit old. Still it is entertainment. The big thing in most of the boys eyes though is mail. A letter from home can do wonders. Usually they are read over and over, but they somehow retain their same freshness even after being read 4 or 5 times. They don’t even have to have much news just to hear your loved ones ramble a bit about the little routine things at home is all that is necessary.

I am getting all philosophical here aren’t I? One might think I was in the dumps. I am not really. I am just trying to answer some of the wonderings of yours in that letter.

Nearly all of the boys are a swell bunch. There are one or two that none of us enjoy too much, but we just don’t pay too much attention to them. The ones I am living with now are “Eager Beavers.” That is why your lazy husband has been working. Those 3 make the rest of us ashamed to be lying on our sacks watching them work, so we have to pitch in and do some work on fixing up our home.

I had best be doing some work right now too. They are building some chairs ect. I will write more about this Heaven in New Guinea tomorrow.

I love you sweetheart. Always and all ways. Take good care of you for me won’t you? I hope your sore throat is all better too and does not come back again. I love you –

Love George?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Letter Home 06-19-1944

Monday 1600

Hello Darling:

There seems to be a difference of opinion as to the date, and I do not have the calendar you sent me handy, so I will try the 19th. I am fairly sure it is Mon.

Yesterday I did not write, because we moved. They got us up at 4 o’clock in the morning. The plane we took left at 5:30. Then we had to wait around when we got here to get transportation. We finally arrived in the camp area around 10 o’clock or so.

After seeing about signing in ect. we had lunch. Then we spent the afternoon fixing up our new happy home. We had to go out in the jungle a bit to cut some logs for the tent poles ect. It took all afternoon to get it fixed up.

After we got it ready we had to go get our cots and mosquito nets and all. That took more time to get all that set up, and by that time it was just about shower time.

They have a well here, and a pump. They pump the water up into a big tank, and when it is full it is shower time. It is opened up and runs to three showers till the tank is empty. So you have to be there for a shower when it is running.

They have a schedule for officers and enlisted men. Each of them are allotted about two hours a day. It is some sight when 15 to 25 men out here in the open jungle are trying to hurry up and take a shower, especially when there are only 3 showers.

After supper I was ready for bed. I am not sure whether I would have written last night if we had lights or not. I know I was plenty tired. That was about the first real work I had done in a long time. Besides getting up at 4 in the morning. It was too dark to do anything but go to bed, and that suited me.

Oh I almost forgot that we also had a meeting shortly after supper. We met out Squadron C.O. and the operations Officer. They told us a little about their policies, and what we will be doing here. All we are here for is some more aerial gunnery. We are not permanently part of this Group. After we finish here we will be assigned to the outfits we will stay with. Some of us will stay with this Group, but most of us will go to other ones. I am still hoping to get in the 348th.

I was interrupted here to go eat. Speaking of eating, the food here is swell. It is pretty much the same food we got before, but they certainly can fix it better. It isn’t deluxe or anything like that, but we enjoy it.

I was about to say that I would have to quit writing, because it was getting dark. We did rig up a line for some lights today, but they were not working. Then all of a sudden just now they came on. They have a generator that is not very big, and it does not go on till dark.

All we get per tent is one 25 watt bulb, because of the small generator, but it helps a lot. If we had a radio we could not play it unless it worked on batteries. The guy that was in our hut back there that had the radio did not come with us. Probably when he comes he will live in a different tent, and we still won’t have any radio.

It is time for a movie we are having tonight darling. Do you mind if I wait till tomorrow to finish this story? I love you very much – always –

Love George

Monday, June 7, 2010

Letter Home 06-17-1944

Saturday 1600


Hello Honey:

I may not get this finished before chow, but if not I will do it later this evening. I did not write yesterday, because I had everything packed up to move. Then I did not go. Some of the boys left yesterday morning, and more today.

As I understand it when we do leave here we will not go directly to the Squadrons that we eventually will be assigned to. They say we are going to get some more gunnery first. Of course we never believe anything till we see it, so we are not making any bets till we get there and find out.

They boys are keeping a cat they picked up running in circles here. They have a long piece of cord, and the cat is having a fit trying to catch it. Everyone, including the cat seems to be enjoying it though, so I guess it is OK.

I got 5 more letters from you yesterday. Which reminds me that we should be getting our mail quicker when we get over to our new spot. That is where the boys have had to fly every time we got any. It comes in there. That should make life a lot rosier.

Your letters still come mixed up, and I can’t figure out for sure if you have been sick two or three times, or whether the letters were written during the three or four days you were sick. I finally straightened them up as best I could, considering the ones that are missing, and came to the conclusion that it was just one illness. At least I hope so.

One thing that bothers me occasionally is wondering if you ever got the clothes and money I sent home. I suppose you told me about it in one of the letters I haven’t got yet, and eventually I will know. How about mentioning it again just in case that one got lost, and put my musings at rest?

You mentioned getting a package ready to send me, and asked me to let you know in what condition I receive it. I will of course, and I hope it does not take as long as your letters have. Maybe the post office boys can keep track of something a little bigger than just a little letter.

I don’t think I could use our little radio here. Gould in our hut here has one, but it is a bigger job than ours. It is a portable one equipped for both regular current, and battery. It also has short wave reception. It does a pretty good job.

We can only get one Australian station ordinarily, but occasionally the short wave is working exceptionally well, and we get the U.S. We have even heard a couple of ball games. I remember one was with the Washington Senators and someone else.

The main trouble is the difference in time. The night programs at home come over here at goofy hours during the day, and at night here it is the wee hours of the morning at home, so there is nothing on at all.

However a lot of the big star programs like Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Kay Kyser, Bob Hope, ect. are relayed through this Aussie station. I guess they record it, and then put it on in the evening here. Once in a while we notice during different programs that there is a break and then it picks right up with nothing lost. That is when they change the record. It still is the same program you hear though, and is usually pretty good.

I got you letter saying Art was home. I hope he got to see Dottie. By now Dottie must have been home too. Or was it the 17th she was coming. I forget at the moment, but I bet everyone has or had a good time while she was or is home! Confusing aren’t I? That’s New Guinea for you. (or me!)

One thing we hear a lot of is old songs. Right now they are playing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” I’ve heard many a song that I though I’d forgotten. A lot of them take me back to different occasions that I was with you. Such as sitting at home listening to “Elmers Tune”. All pleasant memories too I might add.

Here comes a re-broadcast program now. It is Freddie Martin’s orchestra on the Bandstand program. At least I think that is what he called it. Nope it is “One Night Stand” They just mentioned the name while informing us they were interrupting the program to give a description of another horse race in Australia. Every race is broadcast all afternoon. They must go in for it big around here, because they have enough of them. One good thing about it is that they usually have music in between races.

The race is over now, and here comes “One Night Stand” again. They interrupted it just as a song was being finished, and it cam back right in the same place. Evidently they just lifted the needle off the record while the race was on. They are now playing “You Gotta Talk Me Into It Baby”

Well rather than bore you any longer with a running description of a radio program I think I better knock off for now.

Before I go may I announce that I love you? Honest I do. Very much indeed. I love you

Love George?

P.S. I guess I must love you. Here I’ve practically written a book without noticing it. I get talking to you, and enjoy myself so much I just ramble on and on. Hope you don’t mind. I love you


I do!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Letter Home 06-15-1944

Thursday 1100


Hello Darling:

I think I’ve just got time to dash off a note before lunch. Not that I haven’t got plenty of time for anything these days, but I can’t afford to be late for chow. I might miss out on some good Bully Beef!

We have been playing cribbage most of the morning. I paired up with Baker, and we lost. Then for a while I played him two handed, and beat him. He gets so doggone mad when I do that. Cusses me for not getting the same good hands when we play together.

They had a jungle trip lined up for us this morning, but most of the boys skipped it! They were going in there without any food, and stay all day. There was an Aussie going along to show them what is good to eat in the jungle in case they ever have to take a walk through it. They figure that they would get more out of it if they actually ate some of the stuff. We have all been to lectures to see it, but none of us have tasted it. Personally I don’t want to till I have to, and I hope I never have to.

It is later now. In fact we just finished supper. Right after lunch Baker and I went down to the line, so I did not get this letter finished. His gun barrel had become a little rusty, so he took it down to the armament to see if they could clean it up a bit. However they could not, so I don’t know what he is going to do with it.

There is some program on the radio right now that sounds as if it must be this native lingo. They first started singing the song “The Deacon Went Down In the Cellar to Pray”, only they sang it in their own language. At least we think that is what the song was. The tune was the same!

I don’t think I have much more to say darling. Unless it might be to remind you that I love you very much. That I do indeed –

Love George?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letter Home 06-14-1944

Wednesday 1600


Hello Darling:

I was very lucky yesterday. I got two more letters from you and one from your Aunt Martha in Mass., and one from John. Naturally I was glad to get all of it, but mostly I was interested in your letters.

Aunt Martha also mentioned Jack being around this area somewhere, and hoped we might run across each other some time. I already knew he was here from one of your letters.

Speaking of your letters, the ones I got today were #19 and 25. Or I should say I got last night. I got them at suppertime. Just before we went down to the intelligence building for some combat films. When we got back I was going to write, but first we listened to Bob Hope. Then of course there was a big bull session, and in the midst of it the radio quit and the lights went out. We waited for a long time for them to come back on, but finally had to give up and go to bed.

This pad I am using is another shipment of supplies we just got in. I got two pads. I don’t know if we will be able to get more later or not. While it lasts you will hear from me though. I also got a new supply of air mail envelopes, so at least for a while I won’t have to use Vmail.

In one of your letters you mentioned sending me some stationary. It would no doubt come in handy, but I don’t think you should include envelopes if you do send some. They would most likely just get all stuck together so I could not use them. And unless they were Air mail envelopes the stamps we get are stuck long before we can use them. A wonderful place New Guinea.

I was just finishing a book today that was all about some sailor that got captured by some natives on one of these South Sea Islands. It is a cinch it was not anywhere near here. Not from the description of such good looking specimens of humanity the natives were. All of them seemed to be big six footers, beautifully built ect. And the girls were all lovely. Well all the ones around here are very much the opposite. They are the homeliest, ugliest bunch of humans I have seen in a long time.

Tonight is our night to have a movie. Last Mon. night it rained, so most of us did not go. Evidently they did not think it was raining too hard, because they still had the movie. I for one do not relish the idea of sitting in the rain for a show and I doubt if I ever will. So I hope it doesn’t rain tonight. Seems like lately it has rained only on days when we have movies, but I suppose it really isn’t that bad.

That is nearly all of the news of the moment darling. I guess I will write to Aunt Martha now. She said she hoped to go to Mich. Some time this year. Perhaps in the fall, and naturally she wants to see you and your family. Seems she has a soft spot in her heart for you. Personally I can’t blame her.

You not only have a soft spot in my heart. You have my whole heart! I love you sweetheart very much. Take care of you for me –

Love George

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter Home 06-12-1944

Monday 0915


Hello Darling:

We got some mail last night, and among the letters were two from you. They were #17 and 27. These guys that handle the mail here certainly have some time mixing things up don’t they?

You said you were wondering if we might have had some mail waiting for us when we got here, and we all got a kick out of that after the time we have had with the mail. We flew over here in just a shade less than two days, and we did not have any address till we got here, so we could not expect any for a while.

I don’t know if I should write much news in my letters to you or not honey. If you read them, and don’t see it. Like not even noticing my telling you I was in New Guinea. Perhaps if all you like to hear is the love stuff as Al calls it, I should just write a couple of pages of that. I think I could do it very easily too.

However I suppose that may have been an accident, so I am going to continue to write at least a little bit about what news I can. Whatever I am writing about though darling the love stuff runs all through all my letters. If no place else you can read it between the lines.

I also got a letter from Mary (John’s Mary) and she said you had been down for a weekend. You probably wrote about it, but I haven’t got that letter yet. I am glad you went, and I hope you had a good time.

George Burgess’s dad is no doubt very ready and willing for George to come home. Well George is even more ready to go I would say. I too think they deserve a trip back too, and hope they get it soon. Both George and his “Old Man” are pretty swell Joes in my estimation.

I don’t know how this film business will work out. We can not send undeveloped film home. The censors want to see what we took pictures of. On the black and white it is fairly simple. There is a place in Australia that is either run by the Army, or under their supervision, I am not sure which. At any rate they get the film developed there, and censor it. Also there is usually a photo unit in practically all the Squadrons, and they will sometimes develop the film for the boys.

Of course I suppose I can just take the pictures with the colored film, and save it till I got home. However little as I know about this camera business it seems to me to be a long time to wait to have them developed. They will no doubt spoil.

We will find out all the angles of such things by the time I come home as you said though darling.

You know since you asked me if I miss “Betsy” I’ve been thinking about it, and although I do in a way I really would not have much use for her. There is no place to go, and even on this hill that I cuss so much I doubt I could use her. I don’t think she could make it up the darn thing. The only vehicles they allow up the hill here are Jeeps, and even they have quite a time grinding their way to the top. So best she live out her last days in peace back in the good old U.S. Of course I hope whoever has her now treats her as gently and with the proper respect as I did! Ahem!?!

Do you ever find any little brown ants in your mail from me? I have often wondered, because we have a million of them crawling around here all the time.

In the letter I wrote yesterday I put an air mail stamp, because the envelope I had was not one with postage paid on it, even though it was an air mail one. The stamps I’ve got are all stuck together, so I could not stick one on the outside. So I just left the envelope open, marked it on the outside that the stamp was in the envelope and sent it. Let me know if you ever get it eh? If it is a success perhaps I will find some use for these stamps after all.

I love you darling – Always and all ways!

Love George?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Letter Home 06-11-1944

Sunday 1500


Hi Honey:

A couple of the boys in the hut are eating, and I can’t see how they do it. Not the fact that they are eating is what gets me. It is what they are eating. A can of bully beef no less! As far as I am concerned we get that often enough in the mess hall.

We just came back from a meeting, and at the meeting we found out that we won’t be doing much from now on around here. They are going to start working the new pilots. All we will have to do is attend a few lectures for the rest of the week. Unless they change the schedule.

After the meeting they sold our monthly ration of cigars. Each man got 3. I managed to get 3 from one of the boys that doesn’t smoke, so I am all set. I enjoy a cigar occasionally, and it will also help stretch my cigarettes.

We are all hoping and praying that the war in Europe ends soon. Then perhaps they can send all that power from there over here, and polish off these Japs that much sooner.

The quicker it all ends, and I get home to you, the better I will like it. I think we ought to have fun playing house together for keeps!

I love you lots and lots darling. Take good care of you for me won’t you? I love you.

Love George?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Letter Home 06-10-1944

Saturday 2100


Hello Darling:

This has been a long day of card playing. I played cribbage all day long practically, and lost about a dollar. We did have one lecture, but outside of that we did nothing.

The reason we had such an easy day was the weather. It started to rain yesterday evening, and it has been raining ever since. Not very hard, but very steady.

Tonight we went to eat at 5:45, and found the kitchen all closed up. They changed the meal hour from 5 to 6 to 4:30 till 5:30 so we were 15 minutes late. No one knew anything about it till too late, so they caught a lot of us short. We managed to fill up on bread, cheese, peanut butter, jam and water.

Some of the boys are trying to make some coffee in their hut, and it looks as if they are more apt to burn the hut down. They have a fire in a can with sand in it. Then they put gasoline in the sand, and light it. From our hut it looks like a real blaze. Someone just hollered that they had gasoline burning all over the floor. Oh well, such is life in New Guinea.

Last night one of the boys brought in some mail, and he had about 8 letters for Baker and I. Both of us were all set to enjoy them till we saw the names on them.

There is another Baker and Banes here, and all that mail was for them. We did not get even a post card. It would not have been so bad if we hadn’t thought we did have some. You should have heard Baker after he saw they weren’t his! He has had one Vmail letter since he’s been here, and he was really disgusted.

I think I will go crawl in my sack. I am awfully tired from the rough day we had.

I love you sweetheart very much indeed –

Love George?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Letter Home 06-09-1944

Friday 0930


Hello Darling,

It looks like a day of rest ahead of us. I am not flying, and we don’t have any lectures to attend. The only guys that are busy are the ones that are flying. I guess I will just log a bit of sack time till the show tonight. If it is a stinkeroo like the one Wed. I will have to be all rested up to be able to sit through it.

They had one Mon. night that really was good. “Up In Mabel’s Room” was the title. There weren’t any outstanding stars in it particularly, but the ones in it played their parts very well. It was about the funniest picture I’d seen in a long time. Hope they have one like that again.

One of our boys went down to the line to see if he could catch a ride in one of the bombers. If there is one going up where our mail is he is going to try to bring some back. I sure hope he succeeds.

One of the boys was talking about his “Ever Loving Sweet Smelling Wife” the other day when we got our mail, and someone else said that he did not call her that all the time. When he does not get mail he words it a bit different, and calls her his “Ever Smelling Sweet Loving Wife.” I still say you are my “Ever Loving Sweet Smelling Wife” whether I am lucky enough to get mail or not though.

I fact I just consider myself lucky to get mail occasionally, because all the luck in the world must be on my side just to have you for my wife.

I love you – very much. Take good care of you for me won’t you.

Love George

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Letter Home 06-08-1944

Thursday 1900


Hi Honey:

In reading over your letters again I got to thinking about what you said about our being separated, but still we are together in love. I thoroughly agree with that. Once in a while I wish we were not so far apart, or rather I should say I always wish we weren’t. However most of the time I still feel close to you, and don’t mind it too much. I just feel that eventually we will be together, so until then we just have to keep faith and wait.

We were kept pretty busy today. We had two lectures this morning, and then my flight flew this afternoon. I like a rather full day like that. It keeps me occupied, and makes the time pass much faster.

We certainly are getting a gang of pilots in here. They are over running the place. It seems to me they will have to get rid of us soon. They won’t be able to handle all the men that are here. We are all ready to leave too!

Some of these new boys are from Bradley. I don’t know them very well. They were new trainees that came in just before I left. I do remember some of their faces though.

From what they say about how things are going back there I am glad we are over here. I never did go much for that instructor job, and now it is even worse than it was. The only thing good about it would be that I might get to see you occasionally. That is worth putting up with a lot of things I may not like back there.

Our stationary situation is not too good. In the whole hut I think there is just this pad and one more. I hope we find some soon.

We were arguing about writing on both sides of the paper, and decided we should. I think so too because of our paper shortage. I’ve been wondering if you were only writing on one side of the sheet in your letters because of the censors. If so you don’t have to worry. They don’t bother mail coming this way.

I love you sweetheart, always and all ways –

Love George

Monday, May 17, 2010

Letter Home 06-07-1944

Wednesday 1500


Hello Darling:

Yesterday was a red letter day in a lot of ways. They started the invasion of Europe, which is world news. And I got 4 letters from you. That was most important at the moment. I got #18, 20, 35, and 36, and I don’t know where the rest might be.

One of them mentioned your being sick. You were not all better when you wrote it, but I sure hope you are by now. Perhaps I’ve been lucky in not receiving the one about your getting sick. I would have had to worry for a long time till I got this one that says you are recovering.

These “Ankle Your Girdle” things sound a bit complicated to me. I can’t quite imagine how they work, but if they do and help you keep happy, they must be OK. I thought you would be throwing all your girdles away by now. Or didn’t that diet you were going on when I was home take off as much weight as you expected? I don’t mind though honey. Even if you waste away to a shadow! I will still love you.

This hill that you get such a kick out of doesn’t appeal to me, and it doesn’t seem to be taking any weight off of me. I got weighed at the Allied Officer’s Club the other day, and I weighed 12 stone 5 lbs! A stone is 14 lbs, so I weigh 173. That is about what I did weigh.

One thing I think I am very apt to lose is my hair. It is really thin, and seems to be receding around my temples a bit. Perhaps I will come home bald. Would you mind that much?

Last night we had a lengthy lecture, and during it the news of the invasion came in. Everyone let out a yell for that! There was even a bit of drinking going on to celebrate it. I did not see any of it myself, but this morning the boys were talking about it. I bet there were some wild times in England and the U.S.

After the lecture we came back to the shack, and I was going to write you when the lights went out. We had a blackout, but not because of any air raid. The generator for the power went blooie, so we had no lights.

We just got our cigarette ration about a half hour ago. One carton per man, and we don’t know when they will have more. No one had had any hardly from the last 4 or 5 days. I also got a couple of cans of tobacco. Now I have to try to find a pipe. That seems impossible around here. Maybe I will get one from you one of these days.

You mentioned that we do not seem to have much to do, and most of the time that is true so far. When we fly we really work hard, and in this heat it wears us out, but other than that it is not bad. In fact at times it is downright monotonous. That is when it begins to get on our nerves, and that mail is really wonderful to get.

I think that is most of the news honey, and I am going to stop writing and read instead. Read those 4 letters I got yesterday!

I love you very much sweetheart. Take care of you for me? I hope your sore throat is all gone by now. In fact gone long ago! I love you –

Love George?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Letter Home 06-05-1944

Monday 1015

Hello Darling:

We went on a little cross country yesterday morning, and did not get back till this morning. The weather socked in here while we were gone.

Gee I feel shakey this morning. It must be the lack of cigarettes or something. We haven’t been able to buy any for about 5 days. The monthly supply has not been dished out yet I guess. There are very few guys that have any. I am not the only one that is bumming them here. Everyone is.

I miss my pipe and tobacco on occasions like this. I packed both in my foot locker, and I probably won’t see it for moths. For that matter we don’t have much opportunity to get tobacco here. Maybe some day you could find a pipe and some tobacco to send me. I would no doubt get it for Xmas the way they handle the mail.

I have to go up in the tower this afternoon. I am supposed to help direct traffic I think, but I doubt if there will be anything for me to do. The regular personnel in the tower will do all the work. They just want an officer in the tower for a fall guy in my estimation.

The boys are playing cribbage, and cussing the cards. We all had a new pack that the Red Cross gave us when we left the states, but they don’t last long. All of them are dirty and sticky now. Everyone is usually sweaty when they are playing, and the whole place is so damp is the cause of it I reckon.

Another nice thing this hot damp weather does for us is deposit a beautiful green mold on our shoes and any leather or wood we have. I have a cap and my low cut shoes here, and the other day I took a look at them. They were loaded with mold. I suppose if we wore them often it would not be so bad, but we never have any occasion for that.

They got a new gang of pilots in today. Not P-47 pilots however. They are having a lot tougher life than we are. It is so crowded that all the huts are full, so these boys are living in tents. It does get to be a rough war at times here.

Evidently some of the boys have not been censoring their mail. Or else forgetting to sign their letters in the lower left corner of the envelope. They put up a notice about it the other day. I imagine they have enough enlisted men’s mail to take of without fooling with ours.

I think that’s the news of the day darling – Except to tell you that I love you – but definitely.

Love George?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letter Home 06-03-1944

Saturday 1630


Hello Darling:

This has been a red letter day today. I finally got a letter! Just a little old V-Mail one, but a letter from my lovely wife! It sure is swell to get one at last I must say.

I agree with you on this V-Mail. It doesn’t have near enough room to say anything. I only use it when I have to. I got some air mail stamps the other day, but now I can’t use them. They are all stuck together. All of our envelopes and stuff get that way. However the air mail envelopes usually have a little glue left on them when we rip them open, so we can still use them.

The guy that went on the cross country yesterday brought back this mail. There were two of the 8 of us in this hut that got mail. Paulson got 5 letters. One was from someone who had been numbering their letters as they wrote them. He got #5, and none of the first 4. They certainly have our mail messed up!

I will probably have this one of yours memorized by the time I get another one. I have already read it 3 times. I wish Baker would sit down. Every time someone walks around the hut the whole place shakes.

The boys are highly disgusted with the mail situation. They are threatening to ostracize (I bet that is spelled wrong) Paulson and I because we got some mail.

One of them just wrote 2 letters. Each one had about 4 lines to it. He says he is through writing now till he gets some mail. You have no idea what a letter means around here.

I was all hot, dirty, and disgusted till Wurtz brought your letter in today. We flew this morning, and came back sweaty and tired figuring on taking a nice shower, only to find no water. We were quite fed up with the whole affair.

The boys right now are trying to wash up a bit with what little water they have in their canteens.

We took a little cross country ourselves this morning. We were up over Wan and Bololo. They have some fine names to try to write around here.

Last night the show was the one about the woman’s ferrying squadron. It may have been good to other people, but all the pilots found it very corny. Also there was a lot of this old flag waving in it that we got fed up with. Otherwise it was not too bad.

I was just thinking the other day about Johnny Black.

He must be over here somewhere. Maybe if you told me his Squadron number, and APO number I might find out where and run across him sometime.

Baker is accusing me of writing a manuscript because I got a letter today. Well to me it was worth it. I sure am a happy pilot tonight thanks to my darling wife.

I love you very much sweetheart. Seems like you are extra close tonight. Guess I will go read your letter again. I love you –

Love George?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Letter Home 06-01-1944

Thursday 1430


Hello Darling:

I did not go to the show last night even though they had one. It was still raining when they were showing it. Not very hard I must admit, but I don’t think that much of the shows to sit in the rain to see one.

At the moment there is a big argument about a cribbage hand going on. One guy is not even in the game, and never played it, and he is trying to tell the two that are playing that they miscounted a hand. Everyone feels that if he thinks he knows so much about the game he should play it. And also they all want to play him for a shilling a point or so. From what I can gather of his way of figuring the boys really could take him.

We still have not been paid. I was over to the finance office yesterday, but only to send you that money. That was what I had from my last month’s pay, plus maybe just a little I may have won. Tonight they say they are going to pay us though, so I will be back in the chips again.

I did not fly today. If I remember correctly I am scheduled to fly tomorrow. I hope we either have some gunnery, or take a cross country. Those two I like best.

That fellow that we hoped would get us some mail (to bring up an old subject again) came back empty handed. He went to visit his brother. Until yesterday I did not know he had a brother, or that he was over here. He accomplished that part of his trip.

I guess that’s the news of the day darling. Except the always big news (at least to me) that I love you very much. Always and all ways. Take care of you for me?

Love George