Saturday, July 9, 2016

69) Betty's letters help keep Jack's Morale up--Jan. 22, 1945

APO 321 Mindoro, Philippines

Somewhere in the Philippines
Jan. 22nd, 45

My darling,

Yesterday I received your letter of Nov. 27th with the three swell pictures. Honest I love you more with every picture I get. That sure is the best way I can think of to build up a fellow's morale. Why didn’t you send them sooner.

It seems like you will really be putting in a busy term at school. How do you ever get time to eat? Do it as long as you find time to think of me and write as often as you have been. I hope you have lots of fun. We will have lots more when I get home. I will be glad to get home when I can stay.

Glad you do like writing to me better than studying Algebra. From your letter of Jan 6th rec. today.

Darling, I really don’t know just when I will be able to come home. I do know that it will be several months at least. The only thing we can do is have patience and lots of hopes. The job of doing that little bit of cooking will still be there. There’s a happy life time to go with it.

I really have been having lots of fun the past few days. We went fishing two different times. We got hold of some sweet corn and really had a feast. There are lots of Filipino farms around here. Also some beautiful mountain country. Parts of which resemble the states very much.

Well I guess I’ll say goodnite and pleasant dreams.

Yours till the end of time,

My best to Anne & your Mom. Tell her she has a wonderful daughter.

This typed transcript of a radio program with Jack’s note that “maybe you heard this program some time ago,” was included in this letter.

Excerpt From NBC Alka-Seltzer News Roundup
George Thomas Folster, Philippines, 4 December 1944

“I am reporting this morning from an Airstrip, a busy airstrip on the Leyete Island, the headquarters of the 49th Fighter Group. There are several reasons why the 49th Fighter Group is news. First of all, they have more enemy planes to their credit than any other group in the world. A total of 589 is growing every day. In fact, while I report from this microphone, members of this hot outfit may be cutting another flock of Japs out of these skies. There are 7 active aces in the Fighter Group at the moment. You have heard some of the more famous names who have come from this outfit. Major Dick Bong used to be one of them. He has 36 Jap scalps, the all time record. Top man operating in the Group today is Major Gerald R. Johnson of Eugene, Oregon. He has 19. The 49th Fighter has been at it a long time. I remember watching them fly their first Kittyhawks onto the waning dry desert of Darwin, Australia in early 1942. What a difference in their arrival here at Leyete.”

“To be sure, we captured an airstrip from the Japs, but it was in bad shape. The work started right at the beach. The ground crews, why don’t they call these boys ace-makers....... The ground crews had to pitch in and build ramps from the open bows of the landing craft to the beach for supplies and equipment to be put ashore. Steel matting had to be laid before we could use the strip so ground crews went to work again and with the pilots they helped get it done. The ground crewsmans day starts at 4:00 A.M. and ends ..... it ends when their planes are ready for the pilots to take out and collect more Jap planes.”

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