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Archive for August, 2011

Letter number 33

 So, I’m approaching the end of my grandfather’s letters to his penpal Edith. As far as we (my  family and I) know he never met Edith face to face. It’s kind of sad that they wrote to each other for about 3 years at least once a month if not more and never took those horseback rides in the moonlight that they joked about. Seems like Edith’s letters and whatever other letters he received while stationed in the South Pacific were a great distraction to him and kept him connected to what was going on in “the states”. This is letter number 33 to Edith, grandpa is still stationed in the Philippines. Mentions not seeing any Japanese planes for a couple of weeks.

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29 Jan. 1945

My dear Edith,

Received your most welcome letter several days ago but was so busy that I couldn’t find time to write.

Since coming here, we’ve been moving around so fast and so many times that it’s not even funny anymore.

The last camp site where we were at was really a honey. There was a wide stream almost knee deep and we were camped along its banks in a bamboo grove. We were there several days and it was just like a picnic – we didn’t do much but go digging for those little baby clams in the river bed or go look for a deeper spot to go swimming in. It was so serene and peaceful out there that you wouldn’t think that there was a war going on – it was that quiet. And at night it was nice and quiet too – so that we were able to get a good nights rest and have some good, pleasant dreams of you back there in the states.

That was the life – you’d have liked it if you were out there. In back of us there was a sugar cane crushing mill – one of those mills turned by a couple of caraboos or water buffalo going around in a circle.

But we’ve moved up and sho’ got a lot of work to do. Until a couple of days ago we were right between our artillery and the yabas – and we did hear the shells whistling over our heads from both sides. Our lines have pushed forward again so we don’t have ‘em whistling over, but they’re still pretty close to us and each time the guns go
off it makes me jump – no matter how many times I hear it. But one thing the guns don’t wake me up once I fall asleep. In fact practically nothing awakens me.

It’s the dry season up here, and it’s sho’ dusty – but which is better mud or dust? Up around this stretch they have some very good roads and it makes traveling easier – however the majority of roads are just broken down paths. It’s only sprinkled a few times here for just short intervals and that’s all.

I guess you folks know more about the war situation than we do. We haven’t had any news for a long time – we only know what happens right around us.

One thing, we haven’t seen a Jap plane in the skies for two and a half weeks – so it’s not too bad for we ‘uns on the ground.

Where we’re at now the terrain is much different from before – no more jungles, and is that a relief. So you think that you’d get lost wandering around? I’d take you up on that offer to guide you thru the jungle, but I’m afraid I’d get lost too! And if I could don’t you think I’d just stray into the jungle and not bring you out until you paid
up your ransom? Who knows? Woo! Dangerous guy ain’t I?

It’s nice out here – warm during the day and night – but it gets freezingly cold between 5 and 7 in the morning and that’s all. Being out here it doesn’t seem possible that it could be very cold anywhere else. Need a comforter?

Why don’t you let the cricket be after all they say that it’s good luck to have one on the hearth. What’s a little chirping? That out to make the place more lively!

Haven’t much time to read any books – Well, I’ll be closing for now so until next time be good and take care of yourself. Thanks a lot for the long letter – enjoyed it very much – and I hope you keep it up. Write soon.

Always,

Hit

P.S.
Enclosed you’ll find a set of Jap. post cards I picked up out here. Nothing much but something.

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Found this postcard in grandpas scrapbook. Maybe this is similar to the postcards he sent to Edith. Unfortunately she did not leave the postcards in the envelope with the letter.

Till next time,

Stephany

p.s Grandpa mentions “yabas” in his letter. I’m having a little trouble finding out what “yabas” means, but I’m thinking it’s the “japs”. Let me know if any of you can figure out what “yabas” means. Thanks! 😉

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oh so lonely…

Letter number 31 from my grandfather to Edith his “penpal” really gives an idea of how lonely it gets being a soldier away from family and friends as well as the opposite sex. Poor Edith, what she must be thinking getting this letter from my grandpa. He’s been away for almost 3 years now and must be getting really tired of being away.

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27 Dec. 1944

Somewhere in the
Philippines

My dear Edith,

Just wrote to you a couple of days ago, but since I received your air mail of Dec. 7 last night I thought I’d better write you again, as you seem to be getting angry or anxious because you haven’t been getting my letters. My don’t tell me my letters mean that much to you!

It’s nice to get an air mail from you for a change – I think it’s more personal than a v-mail—don’t you think. Enclosed is a cartoon which should interest you no end!

Cartoon enclosed in letter # 31 to Edith (click on photo to enlarge)

Catch? Besides, my dear Edith, when you do send me an airmail the sweet aroma emanating from the pages really gets me down, and it makes me want to be back there with you and enjoy the sweet scent in person instead of by this long distance method. However, all this just keeps in my mind that someday I may be able to cuddle up and snuggle up to someone like you. Perhaps, you don’t approve my saying things like this. But, gosh, thinking of pitching woo and making whoopy and doing all the things I’m always thinking at least keeps my morale from flagging. Anyhow, if you know how to take care of yourself what harm is there in it?

No, I haven’t been reading any book’s, I’ve been kept too busy. About the only things I read now are the news bulletins and summaries if and when we do get them and
which is not very often.

They’ve got movies down the road once in awhile but never go to ‘em ‘cause I’m not in the mood. Besides the movies they do send out here aren’t very good. Besides I’d
rather have some nice person for companionship if I do go – like you! Would you care to join me?

Now that there’s no more riding for you – I’ll bet you really miss it. As for myself I haven’t gone for so long that it just doesn’t matter anymore. Remember, we have
a date to go on a moonlight ride when and if I can get out your way! Right?

It must get pretty cold out your way –  gosh, I’d certainly like to be out there to keep you warm! Or don’t you want me to. Bet, when you go to sleep these days you’re bundled up in a whole mess of blankets? You won’t need ‘em with me around, I’ll betcha. Gosh, braggin again.

Amazed at the things I write? Maybe I’ve just been over here too long.

Haven’t heard from Ted for so long that I don’t know what’s what. In fact I don’t even know what his address is. Have you written to him since he returned to states?

Say, I haven’t received those pictures you said you sent me yet. The mail between Oct and Nov seem to be stuck someplace. It’s not only with myself but it’s true of
everyone here in camp I suppose it’ll catch up with me. I hope so.

Did you have a nice Xmas? We had a nice dinner, and I tried to make up for the Thanksgiving dinner I missed, but I just couldn’t do it. We just took it easy
on that day.

Be good and take care of yourself – and as they say, if you can’t be good, be careful.

Always,

Hit

P.S. Don’t I make you scared to see me? That I might try and make a good girl like you not good? Don’t worry it’s all talk – it’s just this staying away from things for so long that makes me feel as I do. Write soon and often.

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Till next time,

Stephany

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