Thursday, June 30, 2016

67) Trading Chocolate Bars for Bananas--Jan. 14, 1945

APO 321 Mindoro, Philippines

Somewhere in the Philippines
10:30 PM Jan. 14, 45

My darling,

Here I am again. It hasn’t been so long this time. I know that you understand why I didn’t write. Darling things are swell here now and peaceful for a change. This country is really beautiful. We live in a field with a nice stream very close and a good sized river about 1/4 of a mile from camp. There are some real high mountains way over about 25 miles from here with foothills & valleys and lots of little streams between. Yesterday I got the afternoon off and went up into the foothills where there are lots of Filipino farms. They raise corn, bananas, lots of veg., and pigs, chickens, some cows & of course rice.

I traded 3 chocolate bars for about 15 bananas. On the way back I got caught in a rain storm. The first time it has rained in about a week. I really got cold and wet. It really can get hot here in the daytime but at night & early in the morning it is really cold.

Dearest. I am getting so very anxious to get home to you. I think about it more every day now. I really can’t see how I will be home in the next 6 or 8 months. Something may turn up that will speed this rotation plan up and get it out of the rut. I love you so very much and I am prepared to wait as long as is necessary to be with you once again. Lets pray that once we are together again that we won’t ever have to separate.

I haven’t received any letters from you since the big bunch I wrote you about the other day. I hope you will continue to have lots of fun in your sorority. Bet you girls really pull off some crazy deals.

Well remember that there’s a fellow over here that is in love with you heart & soul. And forever.


P.S. My best to your Mom & Sister Anne. I really owe the little devil a letter. I hope she is as understanding as her lovely sister.

Goodnite my sweet.


  1. Bananas-- It is interesting to me that he mentions trading chocolate for bananas.  There were only two foods that I remember my father would not eat: bananas and cucumbers.  He always said that he like plantains, so perhaps these are what he was trading for.
  2. "Won't ever have to separate"-- It is clear that by now Jack sees himself as fully committed to Betty, but remember that when they last saw each other Betty was 16 and a high school friend.  Jack had his girlfriend "Libby" back home near the beginning of the war.  Now Betty was in college and of course dating and enjoying herself.  She was very outgoing.  At one point she had a somewhat serious boyfriend who gave her his 1st Lieutenant's bar, which she still had and gave to me before she died.  I wonder what she thought of the increasingly serious tone of Jack's letters.  She obviously was a dedicated letter writer and loyal friend.  When Jack returned after the war, they married within a year.  We'll get to that part later.  According to Jack's wish in this letter even death hardly separated them as they died within two months of each other.
  3. Photo Links of Mindoro---The Library of Congress has a Veterans History Project website.  Here are some links to photos of Mindoro during the war, taken by Denton Crocker who served with he Malaria Survey Unit of the Army.  Although they are not of Jack's camp, they will give you some idea of what the landscape looked like. Here are links to some of his photos-- you can view more on the Library of Congress site.

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