Sunday, March 20, 2016

19) "I can’t even keep track of the days anymore." Early Jan. 1944-Gusap Airfield

APO 713 = Base E, Nadzab, New Guinea
Stationed at Gusap Airfield

Jan. 4th, 1944
New Guinea

Betty dear,

I received your swell letter of Nov. 26th just the other day. I happened to put it in my back pocket and just got around to answering it today. Please forgive me for this delay in answering. I will try not to let it happen again.

I sure wish I could have been at the big Thanksgiving Day game with you. I’ll bet it was fun to see them turn the tables after that many years. You said that you went out to celebrate the victory. Where did you go and what did you do?

I sure do remember last Thanksgiving, that was a sad nite. We had a pretty good Thanksgiving and Xmas over here. I got a lot of presents from home and we had a good turkey dinner. P.S. The next day we had to go back on the “Bully Beef” diet! And we will probably stay on it.

I hope to get a furlough to Australia sometime in the next few months. At least I will be able to get milk and fresh meat down there. But only 10 days of it. Sure hope it comes soon. This place is getting on my nerves.

Gosh! Its hard to write letters over here. The ink is lousy and the paper is poor and the wind almost blows it away. To think of anything to write in this place is a task in it self then when you go to write it all those things hinder you. Sometimes it is just too much. I start a letter, get about half way through and get so mad I tear it up in little pieces and don’t write till the next day or maybe the day after that. I can’t even keep track of the days anymore.

I do so appreciate your letters. Please Honey! Write me all the news and ask me lots & lots of questions (???)

I remain your loving pal,


Give my love to Ann & also your mother


  1. “Bully Beef” --- was canned corned beef, similar to Spam. It was a diet staple for many soldiers in WW 2. 
  2. Dengue fever--- January 1944--The 9th Unit History mentions that in January of 1944 many of the men came down with Dengue Fever. I know from conversations with him that Jack did had Dengue Fever sometime during his service in the South Pacific. There are no letters in which he mentions being sick, but it is likely that he was one of the men referred to in the January 1944 report. I don’t have any letters between January 4th and 29th, which gives further evidence that this was the time of his illness. All mail was censored so perhaps the men were instructed not to reveal that they had been sick. Dengue fever is an infections disease carried by mosquitoes. It can cause severe joint and muscle pain, high fever, severe headache, nausea and a rash. Most people recover in two weeks with rest.

    Again--many thanks to Ken Clark and others for their extensive information on posted on

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