Wednesday, April 6, 2016

34) Sprucing up the living quarters-- Aug. 15, 1944

APO 920 = Base H, Biak, Dutch New Guinea
Mokmer Airstrip, Biak- Schouten Islands, Dutch New Guinea

Somewhere in the Dutch East Indies
Aug. 15th (1944)

Betty Dearest,

I have not written in the last few days, but I know you will understand without a lengthy explanation. I am glad you are so considerate and patient about my not writing regularly.

We are still working hard as we ever did. The food is getting to be some what better than it was the last time I wrote. Frank, the boy I stay with, and I have been working on our living quarters for the past few evenings. We put in a wooden floor, desk and shelves for our clothes. It really does look good. We live in the back end of the supply shack and we have much more room than the fellows in regular tents. We got a load of clean white sand and put on the floor in the front part of supply.

Honey I haven’t received much mail from anybody lately. I am hopefully waiting tomorrow’s mail. Gee! I wish I could get one of your swell letters every morning. It would make the days go by much EASIER. Well I guess I should be satisfied when I get 2 or 3 letters a week. Honestly your letters help me more than you realize. They seem to give a feeling that in spite of all this mess I am in the middle of that there is someone waiting who cares about me.

If I could sit down and write to you every time I thought about you during the course of a day you would have your mail delivered in a truck. Please don’t think that I have changed in the way I feel about us. We will be able to talk that over when I get back. This thing can’t possibly last much longer. Things are moving at such a great speed that it will carry it self along faster all the time. I hope we will get a chance to come home when our turn comes. Darling I will continue to pray for a quick end to this whole awful thing. I know you will.

I am making a frame for your picture. It will be finished shortly and I will try to make one just like it and send to you for my picture. We are allowed to send small packages now.

Just what are you going to do this fall? Have you decided to go to U of L or perhaps some other school?

I will try to send you some pictures in my next letter. Speaking about pictures!!! Where is the big picture I asked you for? Please honey this little one isn’t really a picture, it is more the size of a stamp. Only much cuter. I really can get a better picture by just reading your letters.

Well this is good night for tonite as they are about to turn the electricity off for the nite.

Please keep on writing and thinking of me the way you do. Good nite sweet.

Yours most entirely and truthfully


Give my love to Ann & your Mother. Tell that sister of yours to drop me a line once in a while.

  1. U of L--- Betty did begin classes at the University of Louisville in the Fall of 1944.
  2. Food on Biak--- "The morale of the entire squadron was lifted with the announcement that a plan had been arranged whereby the squadron would share with Group and the other 2 squadrons, food supplies to be purchased in Australia and for which payment would be made by assessment of the personnel. There were no dissenters to this plan, which was hailed with enthusiasm. Since our stay on Biak Island the food had been monotonous, with little or no fresh eggs or meat and absolutely no fresh vegetables." (August 1944 report in Ken Clark’s Unit History posted on
  3. Beer for the soldiers---"Social life took a turn for the better with the first beer sold to all personnel. The method of issuing beer is to sell 3 bottles every 3 days to each person with a monthly maximum of 24 bottles. For most of the squadron it was the first American beer to pass their lips since leaving the home country, and to say it was welcome would indeed be a masterpiece of understatement."  (August 1944 report in Ken Clark’s Unit History posted on  **Jack often traded any beer rations for other items because he was not much of a drinker.

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