Almost all of Jack's letters are upbeat and asking for news of home. He rarely mentions anything about what was going on around him and on first reading them I thought that perhaps he had it pretty easy during the war. It was only later, when I happened to find online the monthly unit summaries provided by Ken Clark on the website flyingknights.net, that I began to form a picture of what was really happening in the places where my father was stationed. I provide excerpts from these montly summaries in the notes section of many of these pages. These provide a picture of the conditions under which he lived and worked. The full summaries can be read here: Link to Ken Clark's Monthly Summaries
Stationed at Gusap Airfield
Hello Betty dear,
Well here I am again. I received your letter of Dec. 27th and when I started to file it away I came upon a letter of Nov. 13th that wasn’t marked “Answered” like I usually do when I answer a letter. I don’t remember if it was just a failure to mark it or I actually didn’t write. If you didn’t received an answer to that letter, please don’t think that I didn’t answer it because of my not appreciating your letters. It is very hard to get your letters straight over here. Someone will bring you a letter when you are out in the field and you read it and put it carefully in your pocket and say “I will answer this tonite.” Something happens and your mind is not on the letter and when you answer the letter that nite you forget to mark it and when you do find it, you have forgotten wether you answered or not.
Please honey! Don’t stop writing or even letting more time pass between your letters. Truly yours are the sweetest and longest and most interesting letters I receive regularly. They are so newsy and that is what we like over here.
I was so glad to hear that you like school. School is a whole lot easier when you like it. I have gone to schools all over and when you are in one you don’t like the whole thing is tough.
Do you ever see any of my family around? Guess not or they would say something about seeing you. How are you getting along with the male population? Bet the boys are really clammoring for your attention. Why not share the beauty by sending me a nice picture. Don’t you want me to know you when I get back? How could I ever forget!!
I got six or eight rolls of film for Xmas. That is really something over here. Film of any make, size, shape or form is worth a small forture over here. As soon as I take some good shots of the camp and country and the natives I will send them to you. There are all sorts of interesting things around here just waiting for some one to come along with a camera.
Well that is about all for this time. Just can’t seem to write much over here.
Give my love to all your family and tell Ann to stay away from the EggNog and liquor.
Please write soon and don’t spare the pen.
Love and remember I’m thinking about you and miss you,
- 9th FS Unit history- January 1944---“… on 15 January at dawn the Japs strafed Gusap and dropped anti-personnel bombs. Two of our planes were damaged and the Communications and Engineering tents were hit. A jeep load of our men was strafed on the road, but fortunately none of the men were hit because the enemy plane was so close that the fire from its wing guns hit on both sides of the jeep, missing the vehicle itself when the crossfire converged beyond it. The only casualty was pilot McElroy who was jumped on by other men joining him in a small trench, and he was not badly injured." Ken Clark’s Unit History posted on www.flyingknights.com
- Laundry at camp--
Photo from: "The Flying Knights - PHOTO HISTORY OF THE 9TH FIGHTER SQUADRON"- privately published. Posted on www.flyingknights.net
Again--many thanks to Ken Clark and others for their extensive information on posted on www.flyingknights.net