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."

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