World War II Army Adventure (118) – Our Demonstrations Here (2) – January 9, 1946

This is the second part of the letter I started posting yesterday.

The Red Cross Center in Manila

The Red Cross holds a forum once or twice a week.  Last Sunday’s subject was a discussion on the advisability of a peace-time draft.  The boys were thinking too much about the latest government order to keep on the subject of the draft.  The discussion gradually worked around to the government order – more fellows stopped to listen to the arguments.  Pretty soon the crowd got too big.  Somebody suggested that they go outside.  Once outside, the crowd grew still bigger.  It was suggested that they break up before there was trouble, and they made plans to meet outside City Hall at 8:30 the following morning (Monday).

They started with twenty-five at the forum in the afternoon on Sunday night – broke up down-town with two thousand.  I didn’t know how many were at the 8:30  A. M.  Meeting which chose a committee of five to ask Lt. Gen. Styer, commander of A F W G As P A C (Army Forces Western Pacific) for a statement.  But Monday night a group of 20,000 were in front of City Hall to hear his statement and also speeches from some of the G. I.’s. General Styer didn’t like the idea of the demonstrations – but his hands were tied.  Unless these men caused trouble, there was nothing he could do about it.  That’s what thrilled me, Dad, these men aren’t a bunch of misled sheep, that go panicky and cause trouble.  They feel something is definitely wrong and that it can be corrected by concerted action.  I’ll tell you frankly – I didn’t go to any of these rallies because I was afraid there would be trouble.  I have been very pleasantly surprised.  According to today’s paper, it looks like we may get some action.  I hope so.

I’m going to cut this here.  So help me, I’ll try to write more often.

Adios,

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in nineteen thirty-nine.  At this point in time, Lad (my Dad) is the only son currently away from home.  Grandpa continues to write a letter each Sunday informing Lad of family news and local activities in Trumbull. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (118) – Our Demonstrations Here (1) – January 9, 1945

I do not have any letters written in December, but I’m sure that Dave did write home during the month. This is the next letter I have in his collection.

David Peabody Guion

Jan 9, 1946

Manila, P.I.

Dear Dad –

Not only do I owe you a letter – but I suppose you’re waiting for a letter from me saying something about our demonstrations here.  Well – here’s the story on that.

Everything was running smoothly – boots were leaving every day packed with boys bound for Frisco.  Then the Daily Pacifican (our Bible) came out one morning with an article stating a ship had left the day before with 600 empty berths.  There was the usual noise from the fellows – maybe a little more vehement than usual – but nothing spectacular.  The next day the Pacifican printed the story on Patterson’s statement that he didn’t know points had been stopped as of V-J Day.  Some of the guys laughed, others (like me) could see nothing funny in it.  To me it was as if someone had come up to me and said, “how do you adjust the pressure of the imprint on a multi-graph machine?” If I didn’t know the answer to that, I should be beaten over the head – something I wish somebody would do to Patterson.  How can a man have faith in his government when the heads of the government are so ignorant of their own particular job?

Well, to go on, the third day the paper came out with the order that men had to be ELIGIBLE to go home on points.  Any one of these stories would have created the usual moaning from the man – but for two days in a row they had received blows and then the War Department came out with their new ruling.  They couldn’t have picked a worse time psychologically for their statement.  Some of the boys talked of protest – but it was half-heartedly.  They become passive in their feelings toward the government and the Army.  You often hear, “what the Hell”, or “You can’t beat it!”  In a way that shows they are too disgusted to even raise a finger.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter regarding the demonstrations. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (117) – Dear Folks (1) – Comments On Five Letters – November 30, 1945

David Peabody Guion

Nov 30, 1945

Manila

Dear Folks –

I have here only five letters from Ye Olde Homestead which have as yet not been answered.  We have been extremely busy up to about three days ago.  That’s the primary reason that I have not answered these letters until now.  But our busy days are over for the present, anyway.  Now if you don’t hear from me it will be because of pure negligence on the part of one Cpl. Guion.  Here’s the story: a the matter of 24 hours our Radio Circuit Korea was taken off the air, the Teletype Circuit was moved downstairs in the GHQ Teletype Tape Relay Station, and our Message Center was closed.  It all happened so fast that we don’t quite believe it yet.  Lt. Greenberger sent a message asking for instructions from Korea.  As yet we’ve received no reply.  The two most likely answers as things are now: (1) we will stay here and work downstairs in GHQ Signal Center instead of a sub- division of it as we were before, and (2) we will go to Korea where our fate is unknown.  Neither one of these possibilities is any more likely than the other – your guess is as good as mine.  There is also a more remote possibility that we will go to Japan.  Time will tell.

In the meantime, we are waiting for answers to two messages that were sent a day or two before we were closed up.  One was a request for replacements for the men who have left here going home for discharge (this situation has cleared considerably, by the way, and as a result my morale has improved immensely).  You’ll probably remember my mentioning Sgt. Mendendorp, the guy that was my Team-Chief on that advanced party to Okinawa.  We became pretty friendly and I hated to leave him when I was assigned to this team coming to Manila.  But now he has arrived as a replacement for one of the guys who has left.  Once again, he is my Chief and I’m sure glad he’s back.  These two replacements that we’re waiting for now are two more of the guys that were in that five-man team that was in the advanced party on Okie.  The missing man on that original team has left for the states from Korea.  So if the two replacements get here, it will make our old team with the exception of one, intact once again.  The second message that we are waiting for is an answer approving the recommendations of a boost in rank to four members of this detachment, one of whom on this list is yours truly up for T/4.  The question is, if no action is taken on these messages before the message saying that were closing up is received, will they go ahead and send replacements (doubtful) and approve the rank boosts (possible) even after the third message was received.  I can only hope that action was taken.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (115) – Manila Symphony Program – October 11, 1945

DPG - Manila Symphony Prgram - October 11, 1945

Since Dave mailed this to Grandpa on October 11th, I think he may have attended the previous evening

DPG - Manila Symphony Program (2) - October 11,1945

DPG - Manila Symphony Program (3) - October 11, 1945

I wonder who autographed Dave’s Program

DPG - Manila Symphony Program (4) - October 11, 1945

Notice the Honorary Members of the Manila Symphony Society

 

 

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Dave to his Father, probably from the American Red Cross Building in Manila.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (112) – Dear Dad And The Rest Of You State-Siders (2) – A Tour Of Manila – September 12, 1945

This is the other half of the letter I posted yesterday – a  4-page letter from Dave to the “State-Siders” in Trumbull.

 

Now I shall take you for a tour to a few spots in Manila.  In order to tell you what I am going to tell you tonight, it took me a number of days, and a very heavy work-out for my leg muscles, but I enjoyed it.

World War II Army Adventure (109-2) - St Agustin Church, Manila

St. Augustin Church (This is how the name is printed in the back of the picture)

-2-

I’ll start with St. Agustine’s Church. I believe I mentioned it before, but this time I’ll tell you some more of it.  The church is probably the best preserved structure in all of Intramuras.  Almost every other building is without any sort of roof – just the walls.  Do you remember the newsreels of “Coventry”? Well, that would be just a warmer-upper compared to the way Intramuras looked.  But somehow, St. Augustine’s Church stood through it all.  But I’m not too surprised when I realized that the same building stood through

-3-

five earthquakes – all the other churches in Intramuras were destroyed by one of the five – and also made it through the English Invasion of Luzon in 1606.  I talked to a Spanish woman in front of the church one night and she said that they had lived inside the church for 6 days.  When the Americans came, the Japs lined up the women and children in the court in front of the church, and the Japs stood behind them.  This was supposed to have protected them from Jap bullets.  This Spanish woman that I talked to showed me where she was standing.  She said they didn’t dare move for fear the Japs would shoot them.  They stood for three hours – she was standing beside a dead body which she said smelled pretty bad.  When we tell the people here that we were on Okinawa, they seem to be very interested – because the fight was so rough up there.  But I didn’t see 1/8 of what these people did of war and suffering.  Almost all of the families have lost 3/5 in the family.  No one can imagine what war is like ’til they have seen it.  I can’t get a good picture of it myself, with the little I’ve seen.  These people have seen and felt it – but there carrying on wonderfully well – in spite of inflation and rubble.  I don’t think the Americans could have done so well if the States had been invaded.  One thing, for instance, is that the girls here haven’t lowered their moral standards – even after being under the Japs for three years when Rice was a delicacy.  Of course, there are a number of them that got on the wrong path – but the majority of them kept their heads.  I don’t think the average American woman could have done so well.

One day I went out to the east of the city and jotted down notes as I walked along.  Here they are: worked midnight to 8 AM, dressed into Suntans, went for walk east of city.  Outskirts of city untouched by war – almost.  Saw civies (civilians)  in old warehouses, etc., – they had been turned out of homes down-town,  when the Japs had set fire to the city.  Stopped to watch a monkey that belonged to a soldier play with a dog.  The monkey was getting the worst of it and finally quit.  Spanish, Chinese, American architecture stand side by side.  As one passes these buildings, various aromas hit his nostrils.  The Chinese have a very pungent, peculiar odor emitting from their homes.  Went over Santa Mesa Blvd. – eight-lane Road with Esplanade in middle – not paved too well.  Saw three young white girls that talked perfect English – could be American – too bashful to stop and ask (you can believe that or not – but it’s true.)  Passed rice paddies with Flips (Philipinnos) cultivating same with help of carabaoes – mud up to their knees – stopped on bridge to make a drawing of Chinese architecture. (The drawing is enclosed – the real reason I stopped was to rest. I was pretty tired of walking). Passed a number of homes from which piano music was drifting out. It made me homesick. Many homes are running distilleries out here in the outskirts. That isn’t written up very well, and I could go into detail, but this is heavy paper and I don’t want this letter to get too long. Anyway, you get the general idea.

Today, I went down the seawall south of the city.  There are some beautiful homes along the shore, some burned, but most still in fairly good condition.  Passsed the Manila Hotel.  Saw a schooner out in the bay.  Got a big kick out of the surf and salt air.

-4-

DPG - The Manila Club - American Red Cross

I think this war will bring about a more open-minded view of racial distinction.  I was up at the Red Cross (they have a very nice three-story building down-town) a few days ago, listening to a dance band.  A Negro was sitting beside me and I started to talk to him.  He was from Eastern Texas and we started talking about the Negro and white.  He said that down there, they don’t treat them too badly, he said it was in Alabama, and in Louisiana that it was bad.  He said he had as many white friends as he has Negro.  He told me he plays the guitar.  No sooner had he said that than the orchestra took an intermission and some of the soldiers who knew how to play took over some of the instruments.  He took the guitar.  Then they had a little jam-session.  The drummer, a PFC, took a short solo, then the sax player, a CPL., and then all the guys there started yelling for the Negro to take a solo.  It surprised me – maybe it shouldn’t have, but it did.  All throughout the Army, I’ve seen more tolerance of the Negro than I did even in the north at home.  I hope it carries over into peace-time.

I’m going to enclose some pictures which I bought at the Catholic Service Center.  The first is the Legislative Building (missing) which is across from the City Hall. We were bivouacked near it on the first night.  This is the way it looked before the war.  Number two (missing) shows how it looks now.  It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.  As you can see from picture one, it would fit very nicely into Washington, D.C., but now it’s in terrible shape. 

World War II Army Adventure (112) Manila tipped building, Sept. 12, 1945

CU UN JIENG BLDG, ESCOLA ST. (printed on the back)

Number three shows a building down-town.  It just sits on top of all that rubble and looks like it would fall.  I bought the picture because the actual building is the only one in town that has been tipped in one big piece like that.  Number four is Saint Augustine’s Church (see above) which I have been talking so much about.  It is really a very beautiful church. 

Trumbull - Dave is in Okinawa - (4) Letran College, Manila - June, 1945

Letran College

Five is Letran College, also in Intramuras.  It has stood pretty well too.  So you can imagine what the others look like.  Six is City Hall. (see above)  Way over to the left, just out of the picture runs the road that the Water Works Building is.  I’d say this picture was taken just about opposite the Water Works Building – but across the square. 

Trumbull - Dave is in Okinawa (4) - Sto. Domingo Church - Manila - June 7, 1945

Santo Domingo Church

Seven is Santo Domingo church, in Intramuras.  The whites were put in a Pill-Box next to the church and then the Japs through grenades in.  Then they sealed up the Pill-Box and left the people crowded in there to die. They escaped the third day and made for the hills, that is, those that were left. 

World War II Army Adventure (112) - Manila From a plane - September 12, 1945

View of Manila from a plane

Eight is a shot of Manila from a plane.  That’s what it looked like to me, from the air.  Also enclosed is a newspaper put out by one of our operators on the Sheliak the day we started landings on Okie – Easter to you.

Guess that’s all this time.  See you ‘ere long.

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian have been married for almost a year and are still in Pomona, California, where Lad is training mechanics for the Army. Dan is in France. Ced is in Alaska, Dick in Brazil and Dave is still t Camp Crowder in Missouri. Grandpa is at the Trumbull house with Jean (Mortensen) Guion, (Mrs. Richard), and Grandpa’s Aunt Betty.

)Judy Guion

 

World War II Army Adventure (112) – Dear Dad And The Rest Of You State-Siders (1) – The Most Eventful Week – September 12, 1945

Trumbull - Dave Is In Okinawa (3) - June 7, 1945

Manila City Hall

September 12, 1945

Manila

Dear Dad, and the rest of you “State-Siders” –

Yesterday I celebrated your birthday by receiving my first pieces of mail since leaving Okinawa.  It was the best present I could have gotten on your birthday.  Come to think of it, you use to celebrate your birthday by giving us presents – well I got mine, even this year.  I have lots to tell in the way of experiences here, but first there are some things to comment on in your letter.

This is the letter which he wrote at the end of probably what will have been the most eventful week of all times.  The Atomic Bomb had been dropped on the Japs and they had taken the “hint” and decided to quit.  It also contained the news that there was a possibility that Lad was in New York at the time.  I hope he was – and I hope that because of the way things have been going, that he doesn’t have to come over here.  However, if he is going to come to the Philippines, it might be a good idea to tell him how to see me.  I only hope that if he does come out here, that this letter gets home before he leaves there.  Here it is.  I am connected with GHO in Manila.  The headquarters building is now what used to be the City Hall.  Anybody in Manila can tell you where the City Hall is, but just for the record, it’s just west of Intramuras, the Walled City.  From there you ask for the Signal Communications Building which used to be the Water Works Building.  They will tell you it’s around the corner and down a side street.  It is only about as far from the City Hall as Kurtz’s store is from our house.  Once in the Water Works Building, you take the stairs going up right in front of you till you get to the third floor, turn left, and you’ll walk right straight ker-plunk into XXIV Corps Rear Echelon Signal Center.  There are only seventeen of us here, and we’ve all been together a long time.  Just ask for me – and then they’ll probably tell you I’m down in the tent. Soooooo, you go down the stairs, out the door, turn right, and proceed down the road which you just came up.  You will notice that right beside the building there is a bivouac area (it isn’t completed yet, but probably will be by the time Lad gets here).  The tent I am in is the first one (on the road) in the second row.  The Orderly Room is across the road, and if they don’t know any more about us than they do now, better not inquire about me there.  When you get to my tent, and ask where I am, they’ll probably tell you I’m out exploring the city and won’t be back ’til supper time.  So, to save you all the trouble in the first place, I’ll give you our phone number and you can call here and have me call you back, or maybe they could find me downstairs.  Here’s the phone number – ask for Manila City Hall, 28 – that’s us.  So much for that.  I hope you don’t ever get the chance to use the information because they kept you in the States, but if you ever get out here, at least you’ll know how to find me quickly.  You really shouldn’t have any trouble.

I had forgotten that I had said anything about being convinced that we would all be home a lot sooner than most people thought – but I might as well take advantage of it – “I told you so”.  In answer to your question to when I get home – your guess is as good as mine.  They’re making all that information public – points etc.  All I can tell you is that as of V-J Day, I had 30 points and will be accumulating 2 every month I’m over here.  You can follow events with that information and draw your own conclusion.  I don’t know any more than that myself.  It does look, though, that I stand a very good chance of being home before the September ’46 mark that I had set a week ago.

I’ll tell you one of D. P. Guion’s post-war plans – submitted here for your approval.  I am sending home $50.00 a month (by the way, are you getting those checks? They should have started with my pay for June – that would be $150.00 to date) and I won’t have enough to buy a car when I get home – even if I wanted to spend my money on getting one.  So, I thought that I might take your car off your hands – use it during the day for business – and at night for – – – – – –, well, use it at night.  You don’t like to drive, so I would do the driving and pay for the entire upkeep on it – tires, gas, repairs, grease-jobs, etc. What do you think?

I liked Mr. Senechal’s letter.  It should be preserved.  (Don’t reprint the following) – it reminds me of some scenes in “Where Do We Go From Here”, a movie in which a 4-F finds a magic lantern and rubs it – a genie appears, asks him what he would like, and tells him he has three wishes.  Well, this guy has his heart set on getting into the service, so asks for the Army.  A cloud of smoke – and he finds himself with George Washington at Valley Forge – something has gone wrong with the time machine which the genie used.  After some hilarious experiences, he found himself with Columbus, and finally, he found himself with the Dutch in Neiow Yourk.  They kept talking there, putting their subjects and predicates, and adjectives etc. in the wrong place.  Mr. Senechal’s letter reminded me of that – very quaint.

I also received a short note from you, Dad, in which you expressed joy in that I hadn’t met with misfortune during the war.  It was a nice note, Dad, and it only proves more the things I wrote in my last letter to you – you’re really A-1, and then some.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter which takes us for a tour to a few spots in Manila. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (111) – Dear Dad – Things Happen Every Day – September 4, 1945

September 4, 1945

Manila

Dear Dad –

Here I am again.  Things happen every day which make it wise for me to keep you up on the news.  Today they stopped censorship of mail which gives me a chance to say some things which, until now, I’ve been afraid to mention.

The first you have probably already guessed.  That is that I was out in the harbor on L-Day at Okinawa.  That was Easter Sunday, a day I’ll never forget.  The fleet on the east side of the island came off at dawn and then at 8:30 the real invasion went ashore.  It was a beautiful, clear day and we stood on the deck watching the barges go by with the Marines in them.  On shore, we could see the little dots advance up the beach into the brush.  Later on, we watched the vehicles – tanks, etc., go in.  In the air over the island we watched American planes dive straight down out of sight and then come up again in a matter of seconds.  There was I haze over the spot.  They were dive-bombing Yontan Airport.

The other important thing I want to tell you is far more saddening to me.  A group of the boys went down to Shuri – I think it was the last Sunday in July – souvenir-hunting.  There were nine of them, I think. Shuri was the scene of hard, but swift, fighting.  Naturally there was a lot of explosive stuff left there by the swift advancing army; minefields weren’t cleared, and duds were still left lying around without being detonated.  The supply sergeant, who is a wild sort of guy, saw a Jap dud and raised his foot to kick it.  Al Rundel, who was in the class back at Crowder with Hensley, Zimet, Arnold, myself, and a lot of the other guys who were still with us up till the time we left for Manila, told him not to kick the dud, and when he saw him starting to kick it anyway, he fell to the ground.  Well, the dud went off, throwing shrapnel all over the place.  Bernie Arnold was in front of Sgt. Hamm, the guy who kicked the dud.  Bernie caught most of the shrapnel right in his stomach, and he screamed and fell to the ground.  He died about an hour later.  There were three of us who were quite good friends – Hensley, the one that I told you about who had been in a traveling show, Bernie, and myself.  Hensley was there and saw the whole thing.  He gave me the complete story which wasn’t very pretty.  I’ll never forgive Sgt. Hamm for the damned-fool thing he did.  If we’ve seen one training film on leaving duds and charges alone, we’ve seen fifty.  He escaped with a battered-up foot.  Some of the other damage done included leg injuries to one of the cooks, complete parallelization to one arm of the supply clerk, and other cuts and bruises to some of the others.  But, as usual, it was the best man of all that had to die.  Hensley was on a path just below the spot on the hill where the explosion occurred and saw the whole thing.

-2-

Naturally, I felt terrible about the accident and loss of Bernie.  I went to church that night and that helped, but not enough.  I felt pretty badly for a number of days.  All I could think of was the picture he had showed me so many times of him, his wife, and three-year-old daughter together sitting in front of the Christmas tree the year before last.  To top it all off, about two days later, I got a letter from Ellie, asking me to thank Bernie for the bracelet he had made from a Jap plane which I had sent to her.  Bernie was no longer there to thank.  He missed the end of the war only by a few months.  He was 38 and probably would be on his way home now.

I’m doing Crypt work here, or at least I will be when XXIV Corps get set up in Korea in a few days.  We will handle the communications between GHQ and XXIV Corps. I think the rest of the company will be in Korea.  We are no longer a monitoring company and now have reverted back to a plain service company.

When the rest of the company landed on Okinawa, Lt. Greenberger, officer in charge of message center (he’s the same one that had the DD team back in F-847 last summer), was going to give me the T/4 that was open on our team.  At that time he didn’t know how good Salamone was, and Mendendorp told him that Salamone was more deserving of the rating (which was very true – he’s really brilliant and anyway, he’d been in grade longer than I).  So Lt. Greenberger gave Sallie the rating and told me that when the chance permitted, he’d see if he could promote me.  That chance hadn’t come as yet, but right now I’m sweating out a T/4 on this team. Lt. Greenberger is in charge of this group here in Manila, so my chances are fairly good, I think.  All I’ve got to do is stay on the ball.  The only trouble is, it’s been so long since I’ve worked in a code room.  Up in Okie I was working in the compilation section – far from any code machine.  All I can do is to keep my fingers crossed.

Well, I guess this is enough for tonight – in fact, by this time, you should have enough for me to last two weeks.

All my love to your Aunt, daughter and yourself,

Dave

Tomorrow, I will be posting a week of letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are in Jackson, Mississippi. Dan is in France, Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick in Santeliza, Brazil and Dave is at Camp Crowder in Missouri. I will post letters from Rusty Huerlin to Ced about an adventure he had and two letters from Marian to Grandpa, telling of their recent activities in Jackson.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (109-2) – Dear Folks – More Comments On Letters Received – August 31, 1945

This is the continuation of a letter started yesterday.  I believe this is the second letter Dave wrote to the Home Folks after arriving in Manila.

Yours of the 12th of August puts it at Dan’s wedding in fourth position of events happening that week.  Maybe the war news was of more importance, at that – at least in the eyes of most of the peoples of the world.  But I guess you folks back there were quite anxious to get the news.  It looks to me now that your French daughter-in-law will soon be in America with her husband.  With Dan’s 75 points – should be home before Christmas, the way I see it.

In your second paragraph you ask some questions – the first of which is – “Will Dave stay on Okinawa?”  – You have your answer to that one now.  Yes, I’ll be part of the Jap Occupation – in a round about sort of way.  We don’t know, but it looks as if I may sweat out the rest of my Army career in Manila.  Yes, I will be home for Christmas – but it will be ’46 – just as I predicted some time ago.  I can make good guesses at the other questions, too – so I will be glad to accept the reward you offered for the correct answers to these questions.

I am disappointed in Jean – I had a magazine I could have read during my plane ride too – but I felt there was no time for reading when there was so much to see below – especially while I was over land.

Both Dan’s and Lads letters on the marriage were really very interesting.  It was nice to have had Lad there for the ceremony.  I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to make it.

St. Agustin Church, Manila

So much for my answers.  There’s lots to tell about myself but it’s lunch time.  Meals here I don’t like to miss.  The chow up on Okie was getting pretty lousey – don’t take me literally.  But here it’s really excellent.  Someday I’ll write you a long letter on Saint Augustine’s Church in Intramuras and some of the other things I’ve seen and heard here.  One night at Saint Augustine’s I talked to a Spanish woman that had lived near there.  She told me some pretty gruesome things that she had actually seen.  One thing that I got a laugh about was when she told me about the first Americans she saw returning to Manila.  She said that she looked at them from a distance and decided that they were awfully nice looking Japs, but when one of them said ” Okay, sister, move along.”, she knew that they were Americans taking back the city.  The Japs have turned many of these flips into robbers – they had no food but the stuff they stole and it became a habit.  Now we have to watch carefully every time one gets near.  Of course they all aren’t that way – some are really very nice and respectable people.  They love MacArthur and seemed to be better Americans than some of the people whose homes are in the states.  There seems to be some resentment on MacArthur’s seemingly “glory-getting” attitude among the man in the Pacific – but you won’t find very many guys who expressed satisfaction with those that are over them.  It just gives them something to moan about.  Remember I said they didn’t like Bruckner to well?  – The same thing.  However, I’ve never heard anyone say anything about not liking Stillwell – he seemed to be an all-right guy.

Well – like I said before – it’s time for child.

Love,

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1939. Dan has traveled back to Trumbull and Lad is Grandpa’s only son away from home. He continues to work for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company as a Trouble Shooter, moving from Camp to Camp, tackling jobs the Camp Mechanics cannot handle. He is getting to see more of the country.

Judy Guion

Dave in Okinawa (4) – Memories of Okinawa and Manila – June 7, 1945

The following was recorded with Dave about his memories of Trumbull and his military service. He is speaking of going on to Okinawa and flying to Manila.

When we were ready to go in, my Sergeant, who was a buddy of mine, came up to me and he said, “Dave, I have a special assignment for you.”, and I said, “What’s that?” He said, “When we get on land, your job is to bunk with and take care of Marvin.” Now Marvin King was a guy who was so stupid he wasn’t bright enough to get a Section 8 and get out. I can remember whenever we were on the ship and they called out the anchor detail, he would run to the side and start throwing up. We hadn’t even moved yet, and he was already seasick. My job was to take care of him. When we got to Okinawa, finally landed, we dug ourselves a little two-man foxhole. I was bunking with Marvin. My job at that point was to go and get water and the mail – –ho, ho, ho…. there wasn’t any mail – and bring it back to the company. Now some time had gone by and Marvin and I were in close quarters. Needless to say, there was not a lot of friendship between the two of us. So anyway, one night, near dawn, a plane came over and obviously was hit. It was a Japanese plane, he was hit and so he was jettisoning his bombs which were small 25-pound anti-personnel bombs. One guy didn’t believe in being in a hole, so he was in a hammock. When he woke up in the morning, he looked up, put his hat on and realized that half of the visor was gone. So, needless to say, he decided he was going to sleep in a foxhole. That morning, when I went to get water, I went alone. I usually went alone. When I came back the hole that we had dug was now two levels – one level where I was and one deeper level where Marvin was. It was very, very easy to dig, like clay, no stones like we get in Connecticut, so it was easy to dig out but he wasn’t about to dig me a place, so I was one level above him.

But anyhow, 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 they’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.

CU UN Jieng Building, Manila

Letran College, Manila

Sto. Domingo Church, 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. If you went into 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.

City Hall, Manila

That reminds me of another story. I had a friend who had a friend who was MacArthur’s driver, chauffeur, and this guy said that whenever MacArthur went in someplace, he’d always get one of these oriental houses where there was a porch all the way around the building. He had his staff come up and sit in chairs around the building. He’d 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’d go around the whole building, see the whole staff, all giving him these questions. Then he’d get in his car and tell my friend’s friend, “Drive me”. They’d drive 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 thing 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’ll post a letter from Biss to her big brother, Ced, in Alaska.

Judy Hardy

Army Life – Dave on Okinawa (4) – June, 1945

The following was recorded with Dave about his memories of Trumbull and his military service. He is speaking of going on to Okinawa.

When we were ready to go in, my Sergeant, who was a buddy of mine, came up to me and he said, “Dave, I have a special assignment for you.”, and I said, “What’s that?” He said, “When we get on land, your job is to bunk with and take care of Marvin.” Now Marvin King was a guy who was so stupid he wasn’t bright enough to get a Section 8 and get out. I can remember whenever we were on the ship and they called out the anchor detail, he would run to the side and start throwing up. We hadn’t even moved yet, and he was already seasick. My job was to take care of him. When we got to Okinawa, finally landed, we dug ourselves a little two-man foxhole. I was bunking with Marvin. My job at that point was to go and get water and the mail – –ho, ho, ho…. there wasn’t any mail – and bring it back to the company. Now some time had gone by and Marvin and I were in close quarters. Needless to say, there was not a lot of friendship between the two of us. So anyway, one night, near dawn, a plane came over and obviously was hit. It was a Japanese plane, he was hit and so he was jettisoning his bombs which were small 25-pound anti-personnel bombs. One guy didn’t believe in being in a hole, so he was in a hammock. When he woke up in the morning, he looked up, put his hat on and realized that half of the visor was gone. So, needless to say, he decided he was going to sleep in a foxhole. That morning, when I went to get water, I went alone. I usually went alone. When I came back the hole that we had dug was now two levels – one level where I was and one deeper level where Marvin was. It was very, very easy to dig, like clay, no stones like we get in Connecticut, so it was easy to dig out but he wasn’t about to dig me a place, so I was one level above him.

But anyhow, 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 they’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. If you went into 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.

That reminds me of another story. I had a friend who had a friend who was MacArthur’s driver, chauffeur, and this guy said that whenever MacArthur went in someplace, he’d always get one of these oriental houses where there was a porch all the way around the building. He had his staff come up and sit in chairs around the building. He’d go up to the first one and say, “Give me a your report”. It might be a question, it might be a problem, or it might just be a report. Then he’d go around the whole building, see the whole staff, all giving him these questions. Then he’d get in his car and tell my friend’s friend, “Drive me”. They’d drive 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 thing 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’ll post a letter from Biss to her big brother, Ced, in Alaska.

Judy Hardy