Wednesday, August 24, 2016

85) " Too bad you can’t rush a war!! Damn it."--March 27th, 1945

APO 70-- Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, Philippines

Somewhere in P.I.,
March 27th ’45, 10:15 PM


It really has been hard for me to write to you lately. At times writing seems like the hardest thing there is to do. I should have written you long before this but I have been on a little trip and we stayed longer than I really expected. We went to the largest city there is in this neck of the woods. We really had a swell time even if we did go on official business. I hope you really are wearing that Pi Phi arrow now after all that sweating & worrying & hard studying.

I have received several swell letters from you, Feb. 26th, 28th, March 4th, 10th. I really live for your wonderful letters. I hope you had a swell time at the dance you told about. Where did the V-12’s go? You said they were all leaving. You seem to have a swell time with your sorority sisters. Maybe you will all be eating another 5 lb. box of candy as soon as I can be with you and shake you good and make your realize that a war makes a person know what he wants. Don’t try to fool me into thinking I’m dreaming about being so terribly & hopelessly in love with you. I do dream & dream lots, but never that. I know now that I can be sure if you will only wait till you feel the same way. Once I know you really cared enough to make you cry and you don’t cry very easily over something like that. Too bad you can’t rush a war!! Damn it.

I would have given anything to see you scrubbing that floor. How long will you have to do things like that? Darling that 6 page letter of Mar. 10 sure was tops. Why can’t I think of that much stuff to write?

We have started an EM club here and it is strictly solid. We have a huge dance floor & a swell band stand in one corner with a bamboo bar and bamboo furniture. We have the ceiling covered with colored parachutes. The kind they drop rations with. It really looks pretty. I’ll send you some pictures if I get any. (If you want to bring the whole Pi Phi gang over for a dance. HA! HA!)

Well aside from the fact that I love you more than a mere pen can express, that’s about all.

Goodnite my sweet,


Love & best wishes to your Mom & Anne.

Social activities in the squadron--- began with a dance given by the Filipino members of the school faculty of Lingayen to which the 9th was cordially invited. The governor of the province of Pangasinan, Luzon, in which we live, was the guest of honor and a Filipino orchestra assisted the dancing. The party broke up fairly early but was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Following this, many invitations to fiestas, dances and parties were extended to members of the 9th and the squadron in turn was planning on returning this hospitality. The enlisted men decided on the location and construction of their club, which was to be in the permanent building at the southern end of the area which already housed the orderly room, supply, medics, mailroom, dayroom, ordinance and armament. S/Sgt. R. Gast and M/Sgt. A. Odgaard were elected president and secretary-treasurer respectively, and the club is under the sponsorship of 2nd Lt. G. Wallace. A very fine meeting place, which is nearly completed, and an official opening is planned for early April.---9th FS Unit History-Ken Clark
Betty's Letters---Even though I don't have Betty's letters from this period, it is clear from what Jack writes, that she is cautioning him about making decisions about their future.  Remember that Betty and Jack last saw each other in the Fall of 1942.  At that time Betty was about to start her junior year of high school and Jack was 18 and had a steady girlfriend (Libby) who he was leaving behind as he entered the Air Corp.  I think that it is a good guess that Jack is proposing a life together that Betty is not entirely sure about.  Her reaction is not surprising, considering that she is now a college student and savvy enough to know that a love based on letters might not ring true when they meet again post-war.  I don't know, but I venture to guess that pre-war Betty might have had a crush on Jack and perhaps they went out on a date or two before he and Libby became steadies.  Maybe that initial attraction is what kept her writing to him.  I do know that she did date others while he was overseas and was "pinned" to at least one young man who was a lieutenant.  She was not being deceptive as she and Jack had no commitment to each other, even though he increasingly lobbies for her "waiting for him."

84) "I will always love you and long for you." --March 12th, 1945

APO 70-- Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, Philippines

Somewhere in the Philippines
March, 12th ’45


I received your letter of Feb 16th and while it was swell and all that, I am still impatient for more.

Glad you enjoyed the Valentine present. I hope by next time I can give it to you personally. Honey, like your letter, this is being written just before bed time and I am very very tired. I’ll try to say all the things that I’ve been thinking about today. I am sitting out on our front porch with the gasoline lantern for light. We haven’t had time to wire a light out here yet. The breeze is blowing something awful but this is the only table in our shack. I wish you could see it. We have a house boy starting first thing in the morning. We fired the last one because he didn’t fill the water can before he left each afternoon. I hope this one will be better.

I suppose your dreaded final exams are over for this time. I feel sure with all that studying that you passed with at least 80’s or isn’t that the way they grade you. You never tell me anything like that. And about your Pi Phi activities. What about telling me some of the stunts you all pull off.

Guess that’s about all for tonite honey.

I will always love you and long for you. Please don’t try to change or think about changing such a wonderful thing after this long.

Lovingly & truly,


My best to Anne & your Mom

  • March 9th - a group of pilots from the 9th accompanied Captain J. Spence, Squadron Intelligence Officer, to Clark Field where a Tactical Air Intelligence Unit was assembling the Japanese planes that had been captured in that area and the pilots spent the day climbing in and out of various types of planes, learning the enemy pilot's workshop.--9th FS Unit History-Ken Clark
  • March 17th--,1st Lt. Hook, while returning from a mission crashed in the water one-fourth mile northeast of Lingayen strip when his engines cut out on him. He hit about 400 yards offshore, outside the huge breakers. Lt. Hook inflated his rubber boat but was thrown clear of it by a large wave and was left floundering in the water. Two enlisted men of this organization, T/Sgt. Lynch and Cpl. Ralph witnessed the accident and immediately plunged into the rough sea, with other personnel in the area, in an attempt to save the pilot. The other rescuers were turned back by the heavy seas but these two men struggled through the breakers, recovered the rubber boat and swam out to the pilot, pulling the boat along. They reached the pilot and after putting him in the boat, towed him ashore. The two enlisted men and the pilot were all exhausted to a point of collapse. The heroic efforts by Sgt. Lynch and Cpl. Ralph, resulting in the saving of Lt. Hook's life, have gained them each a recommendation for the Soldiers Medal. --9th FS Unit History-Ken Clark
  • Soldiers Medal--this individual medal is awarded to those distinguishing themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.
  • March 18th-- Operations and Intelligence moved into their newly constructed Nipa building between the Officer's and Enlisted Men's area. This is the first time in the story of the 9th that it has been possible to locate the nerve center of operational work so conveniently close to the living quarters of the men involved. Heretofore it has been the policy to locate Operations and Intelligence as well as Armament and Ordinance offices on the strip close to the airplanes, necessitating the transportation of all personnel concerned to and from the strip each day. In addition to crew chiefs, line personnel and pilots, food had to be transported to the strip for nearly 100 men each noon. Under the present arrangement, with the camp located only a few minutes drive from the squadron's planes, it is possible to minimize the number of personnel working on the line and the transportation facilities of the squadron are released for other squadron duties. Thus, we have many more men on the "Camp-Jockey" status than previously.--9th FS Unit History-Ken Clark

83) "Going after bamboo & lumber for our new mess hall"--March 7, 1945

APO 70-- Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, Philippines

Somewhere in the Philippines
March 7th, 45


I am trying to keep my last promise to write more often. I think it has been only three days since the last one.

I received one of your very sweet & wonderful letters. The date it was mailed was Feb. 13th. I’m glad you finally got the present I sent you. I actually didn’t send it myself so I don’t know exactly what it looks like. You see I had one of the boys mail it when he went down to Mackay on leave. I will have to see it when I come home. Guess I won’t waste much time with things like that while I am home. I want to spend most of my time with you and the family. I have lots and lots of things I want to talk to you about. I really am jealous of that sorority. It seems that you say more about how much you love the sorority and how much it means to you than you do about loving me.

You know that I really am only joking and realize what a good time you have and how nice things are for you when you can be in a good sorority like Pi Phi.

We have been spending the last couple of days going after bamboo & lumber for our new mess hall. We have to go quite a few miles and we get to see the country side that way. We take some Filipinos with us to cut the bamboo & we usually come back to camp with bananas, egg, sweet potatoes, coconuts, corn & things like that. Today I got some garlic & peanuts.

I really hope that you stay as happy about going to school as you are. I feel sure you’ll make your grades ok. Maybe you can get so you won’t have to study every nite. Darling thats all except to tell you again & again that you are the only one I want to come home to. And I want you to be mine & waiting as I know you will. I will always be completely yours.

Sweet dreams,

My love to Ann & your Mom


Malay---City on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia

Photo from

82) " We really have a swell place now"---March 3, 1945

APO 70-- Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, Philippines

Somewhere in the Philippines

March 3rd, 45
My darling,

I really am sorry about that last letter I sent. Now that I think of it must have been some what sarcastic in spots. We all write things that we don’t exactly mean.

Your talk about not thinking that I am seriously in love with you sort of took me completely by surprise. I really didn’t think that you doubted me that much. Or do you really think that I can’t tell my own mind at this stage in the game? We know each other better than to try to make me believe that you really don’t care.

We really have a swell place now. We are about 200 yards from the ocean and it is really nice. We had a porch started for our tent today. Filipino carpenters are doing the job for us.

We have a tent 16’ X 16’ and the porch will be 16’ X 8’, so you see we will have plenty of room. We plan on having a card table and a little snack kitchen out on the new porch. We get lots of eggs & corn & stuff like that to eat. Not in the Mess Hall!

I have received but two letters from you since my last letter. I really don’t know the dates on them and I left them in my shirt pocket in supply. I am glad you liked Johnny, he is a swell fellow. Guess he has told you plenty about the Squadron and maybe a little about me. I hope he hasn’t scared you too much. Tell him that I said we have a pretty cozy spot now but don’t come back to the 9th if he can help it.

Maybe someday I will be lucky enough to come home. I don’t’ see much chance in the near future but you never can tell.

Well enough for now except to tell you that I am yours and will come home to you if you want me ???

Sweet dreams,

My best to Anne & your Mom

Bamboo huts the 9FS lived in. Located right on the beach.
(photo from  submitted by  R. Hawes, 9FS fighter pilot)