DAVE – On August 25th, I think, we were all watching the film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys from Brooklyn had a buddy, who was also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it were yesterday, he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that the Japs were going to quit – and this guy came running over and says, “The signing has been confoimed.” I never forgot that.
Between the time of August 25th and September 7th, when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila. Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and the’re shipping me out in a plane to Manila. The pilot spent about 20 minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.” Anyhow, we got to Manila. That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted. all kinds of destruction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manila_(1945) If you went to the City Hall and looked up you’d see a room with curtains on the windows. That was MacArthur’s headquarters. So he had curtains on his windows and the Filipinos were watching dead bodies float down the river.
I would say I was in Manila probably six months. Well, it would’ve been August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, eight months. I came home in March, 1946. I got out of the service the day Chiche (Paulette) gave birth to Arla, Danielle, as the case may be. (May 6th,1946)
I had a friend who had a friend who was MacArthur’s driver and chauffeur, and this guy said that whenever MacArthur went in someplace, he always get one of those Oriental houses where there was a porch all the way around the building. He’d have his staff come up and sit in chairs around the building. He would go up to the first one and say, “Give me your report.” It might be a question, it might be a problem, or it might just be a report. Then he would go around the whole building, see the whole staff, all giving him these questions. Then he would get into his car and tell my friend’s friend, “Drive me”. They drove around and pretty soon MacArthur would say, “OK, let’s go back.” Then he’d say, “You,— blah, blah, blah. You,— blah, blah, blah.” He went all around the whole building telling each one of his staff members what to do about his problem. What a brain. There shouldn’t be enough room in there for an ego, but there was.
Tomorrow, I’l be posting a week of letters written in 1945. Dan’s marriage to Paulette is getting closer and Grandpa keeps the family well informed.