Paulette Van Laere Senechal
Page 2 7/15/45
Well you fading bachelor, what’s the latest news about your double harness prospects? We are all on pins and needles over here waiting for something definite. Meantime, why don’t you feed our hungry souls with some back information about Paulette, whom we are all hungry to know better though it be by proxy. What do you suppose I took the time and effort to ask a lot of questions for in a letter now long forgotten, about Paulette and her likes and dislikes, if we didn’t want to know? One of the things we are all living for over here is the prospect of having you and Paulette with us. I even tried to get a book from the library so that I could learn to speak French and Marian gave me a French English dictionary, but I’m afraid I can’t report much progress. I also sent you a list of things I thought she might like to have, to which you paid no attention. I would like to send her something direct from time to time just to prolong as long as possible until she faces the reality, the idea that we are awfully nice people. So to one of your welcome but cryptic messages soon, add a real long letter about Paulette, etc. I found your tripod and head in your trunk and will send it along with the three-dimensional device which I ordered from Seniors. I also found in the trunk a yellow “Austin lens hood to fit series 6 filter holder”, as well as what appears to be a flash outfit with mirror. I did not include this, or rather will not, because I take it if you wanted them you would have asked for them. Hope you can get films for your camera as they are unobtainable here without a special order from the President.
In a letter received this week from Dave, he refers to your trip account. I suppose here is as good a place as any to quote it. Dave says: “Dan’s letter was quite interesting. I couldn’t help but notice how much his trip was like mine. The payoff was when I read that a Jerry had come over and bombed his area one night – – coming pretty close to his tent and putting shrapnel holes in the tarps and tents. If you will recall, the same thing happened to me, and I was as scared as Dan (naturally). I’m glad to hear Dan has so many points. Rumor has it that the points may soon be dropped to 78 for discharge. That would bring him to within a few points below discharge status. At the same time I can’t help but wish he were here. I know he would get a big kick out of studying the customs of the people here. They’re so different from the people of the Western world. Europeans and Americans have a little more in common than do the Orientals. I never had any desire to see any part of the Orient but now I’m hoping to move on. We may never go any further than here, but if we do, I’ll be ready to move. Another reason I’d like to get out of here is that now that summer has set in, it’s unbearably hot and muggy. This place would be hot enough for Lad, I’m sure. I’m taking notes so that someday I can sit down and bang out a few shorts on Okinawa. I’m getting my material from what I’ve seen myself and from some articles that Bernie Arnold wrote and is writing. As a fellow in our tent who is very bitter against the Japs. He’s got a very simple mind and doesn’t see very far. His theory is to destroy the Japanese race. I’ve had long arguments with him, my theory being that as long as you try to keep peace with force, you’ll always have wars. I keep telling him that the solution is to teach the Japs our way of living – – to teach them Christianity. He can’t see it, or rather, won’t see it. It’s for this reason that I was quite interested in Dan’s disapproval of the non-fraternization policy in Europe. I didn’t know it existed but I agree wholeheartedly with Dan. A directive came out of 10th Army headquarters that we were not to give the native children any candy or cigarettes, but that wasn’t because we were not to associate with them; it was just that the Okinawans were getting spoiled, and like dogs, wouldn’t do anything without payment in candy and smokes. On the whole, we’re trying to build the good-will of the people here. It sounds like a much better idea to me.
page 3 7/15/45
So Ced finally broke down and wrote, huh? Well, that letter was worth waiting for. Boy, how I’d like to be up with him now. Okinawa is slowly losing some of It’s charm. It’s hot, I’ve seen most of the island and it’s no longer a wonderland to me it’s getting more and more like the Army in the states, which I don’t like as much as the field life. Too many rules and inspections for me. But as I’ve already stated I’m on top of the world and really don’t have cause for complaint. Maybe Ced can take a run down here to see me someday, if he can get past the airplane patrols without identification. There is certainly enough land to put a plane down on here now. I read today that Okinawa-based planes hit targets in Japan a couple of nights ago. Sounds good. We are only 350 miles from Kyushu Island. Did I tell you that Radio Okinawa’s motto is “a stone’s throw from Tokio”. Very appropriate. Well, it’s July 4th now – – being 20 minutes to one, so I guess I’d better get to bed. Good night and all stuff like that there. Dave”
Tomorrow, Grandpa’s letter to Ced and on Thursday, letters to Dick and Dave. On Friday, a very thoughtful letter to Paulette from Grandpa.