Wednesday, September 28, 2016

90) "Probably the minute I see you I’ll know that it’s you and you alone that I’ll want for the rest of my life. "--- April 27, 1945

From Betty (Louisville, KY)

April 27, 1945
Friday morning

My darling,

I’m in Biology and should be taking notes, I guess, but I’m too sleepy. Anne and I went out to Fort Knox last night and we had a wonderful time. I met more crazy men and I just cut up with them. I always have so much energy that at the end of the dance when people begin to wear down, I’m still going strong. It’s good for a girl’s morale to go to a dance like that. You don’t get to dance but about three steps and then somebody breaks in. What a night!

I have something good to tell you—I got a B on my test on “Anna Karenina.” I’m so encouraged. He doesn’t give A’s or B’s very much. I think I’m going to make my mid-term grades. We still have to make a C average even tho’ we are active now. If you don’t make your grades when you’re an active, you can’t vote or hold office in the sorority. You also have to study 10 hours a week in the library. I hope I make mine.

I got a B on a Biology test I took Tuesday. I haven’t gotten my mid-term exam in that back yet. Here’s hoping!

We’re cleaning house at home and it is a big mess. You can hardly move from one room to another. Also out here at the house, we’re cleaning house today—all day. We only have two pledges (the two girls who didn’t make their grades) so the actives have to clean too. We’re having a Founder’s Day tea tomorrow and the house has to be clean.

I’m in charge of getting the Pi Phi’s down to the Service Club on Saturday afternoons. It’s a job. On Saturday afternoons, the Service Club is open for U of L hostesses only. We dance, play ping pong, cards, etc. It’s fun. I get so mad at the girls ‘cause they won’t go. I’m going to start fining them if they don’t go when they’re supposed to. Those poor kids need somebody to talk to. So many of them are barely 18 and they’re homesick. The girls go down there with the idea that the boys should entertain them. Then they gripe ‘cause they don’t have a good time. I can’t convince them that they’re going to entertain the men. I always have a good time. So much for all this. I always feel like I can write what I think to you. You always understand. I seem to let out all my pent up feelings in a letter to you. That’s why I feel so close to you even though the distance is pretty far. I feel like whatever I feel or think you’ll understand. It’s nice to have someone like that. When you come home we’ll be even closer.

Class is almost over. Will write more soon.
Love ya,

Have you ever run into the 33rd Special Sea Bee”334rd Special Sea Bee Bn. Or the 11th Bn.? The boy who’s sitting next to me told me to ask you that. The 33rd was his old outfit. His name is Joe Goodman.

Jack, honey, I’m awfully sorry I haven’t mailed this before, but it was in the back of my notebook and I forgot I had written it.

Friday night, Anne and I went up to the Crescent to the show. Saturday we had our tea and then 7 of us went down to the Service Club. I just asked if somebody wanted to go and got 7. I’m so pleased with them. There were about 150 people down there all afternoon. I’ve never seen so many men there at once. We had loads of fun.

Four of us girls went to the Vogue last night and then Betty Anne Matthews spent the night with me. I went to church this morning and then this afternoon we had softball practice at 1:30 and song practice at 3:00 out at the house. Anne has been sick in bed all day with a bad cold. She’s going to stay home tomorrow and I think she’ll be O.K.

I think I’m going to be on the first team for softball. Also, they want me to go out for the swimming meet, but I’m afraid to do too much because of my darned old appendix. I’ve played volley ball, basketball, and now softball, so I don’t think I’ll try any more.

I’m finishing this letter on this paper cause I didn’t want to have two different kinds of paper in one letter. Haven’t heard from you for quite awhile. I guess you’ve been pretty busy. I’ll try not to worry about you. It’s hard not to. I’ll be so glad when you come home. I want you to meet all of my friends and I want them to meet you. I’ve talked so much about you out at the house that all of them want to meet you.

I think when you come, I’ll be able to get a lot of things straightened out in my own mind. There’s nothing I’d like better now than to have you send me a ring in exchange for my class ring, but I want to be sure it’s the right thing to do. Probably the minute I see you I’ll know that it’s you and you alone that I’ll want for the rest of my life. I hope you’ll still feel the same way. I’m sure I will. I do love you. Gotta do some Spanish that should have been handed in yesterday. I didn’t have my homework so I cut my Spanish class. Now, I have to do it for Tuesday.

Goodbye again,
Still love ya:

  1. Crescent---This movie theater was located at 2862 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville. Only about a half mile from where Betty lived with her family, she could have easily walked there. Standing Room Only and The Master Race were playing that Friday night.
  2. Vogue---This movie theater was located at 3727 Lexington Road in Louisville. It was about 2 miles from where Betty lived with her family.  Man About Town and The Great Man's Lady were playing that Saturday night.

89) April 1945-- Activities of the 9th Fighter Squadron

9th FS Unit History - April 1945

"April will no doubt go down on record as one of the most productive months in the history of the 9th Fighter Squadron insofar as sorties flown, bomb tonnage dropped, and damage to the enemy ground forces is concerned. The Flying Knights devoted nearly all their efforts to tactical ground support work on Luzon, dropping, in one month, a tonnage of bombs greater than the total previous commitments since activation. The actual figures, 293 tons of demolition bombs and 68 165-gallon bombs of napalm."

"The second large group Officer's party was held in the club on the evening of the 11th with a larger attendance of nurses than previously. Music was furnished by the 86th Fighter Wing Orchestra and Manila-side whiskey was sold at the bar for the sum of sixty centavos per drink. Guests at the party included seven members of the VH Squadron 4, the "Playmate" boys of the Naval Air Force. The following night, the Enlisted Men of the 9th held another party of their own in the spacious EM Club next to the Squadron Orderly Room. A successful bridge-busting mission at Santiago was flown on the 12th. Two direct hits were scored and completely destroyed the bridge."

"Friday, the 13th. The world was shocked by the news of our Commander-in-Chief's sudden and unexpected death. With the U.S. forces only 57 miles from Berlin and American landing ever closer to the Japanese homeland, it was evident that the President had died on the eve of victory for the country he was "First Man" for over twelve years. The news was received in t he squadron about 0800 on the morning of the 13th and an immediate confirmation was requested from the 308th Bomb Wing before any such serious "Rumor" could travel far. Unfortunately, the "rumor" was fact and all personnel in the organization were stunned by the news. If the Japs hoped the demise of the "Chief" would effect the efficiency, they were doomed to bitter disappointment; all scheduled missions were completed in good order."

"In the period 1st to 20th of April, a maintenance percentage of 86.8% was attained by the Engineering Department under the direction of Captain Davidson, squadron Engineering Officer. This was accomplished with a 30% shortage of enlisted personnel and a 50% shortage in tools and equipment, under the stress of continual daily commitments of twelve to sixteen planes, operating off of a rough, uneven, metal strip, hard on landing gear and tires and exposed to constant, fine blowing sand and salt spray, and scourge of carburetors. Incidentally, the percentages for February and March of this year were 85.2% and 80.9% respectively. The difficulty in obtaining parts and replacements was also an obstructing factor to the high record, and transferring parts from one ship to another, or plain "scrounging", played an important part."

"On the 26th personnel could be seen carting all varieties of chairs to the reserved area for members of the 49th at the new theatre stage just completed at the west-end of the ball park. The event: "This is the Army", the famous Irving Berlin, all G.I., show opened at 2000 hours and for one and one half hours, thousands of people crowded the grandstand and vigorously, sincerely, applauded one of the finest pieces of entertainment the 9th has yet seen. Just winding up an 18-month tour around the world, "This is the Army" was the largest show to play in the vicinity of the 9th since Bob Hope's show on Biak and can well sustain its fame and well-deserved reputation on a top-notch performance. Some of those "girls" were really beautiful! Five minutes after the final act, with the crowd well dispersed, a Red Alert was sounded which lasted for about twenty minutes. This was the first alert in many weeks and couldn't have been timed better to cause the least trouble."

"A softball league was established the previous month and the various teams were battling it out on the diamond. In the typical game between the "Rams" (9th Officers) and the Sparks (9th E.M.), the game was a close, hard, match bringing a rally by the Rams in the last inning but not enough to bring them on top. Final score: Rams- 6, Sparks- 7. The "Red Noses", enlisted men of the ninth, were leading the league."

---Ken Clark’s Unit History posted on

  1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( Jan. 30, 1882- April 12, 1945) The unending stress and strain of the war literally wore Roosevelt out. By early 1944 a full medical examination disclosed serious heart and circulatory problems; and although his physicians placed him on a strict regime of diet and medication, the pressures of war and domestic politics weighed heavily on him. On March 30, 1945, Roosevelt went to Warm Springs, Georgia, to rest before his anticipated appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. On the morning of April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific headache." He was to never speak again. The doctor diagnosed that he had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across the U.S. and around the world. At a time when the press did not pry into the health or private lives of presidents, his declining health had not been known to the general public. Roosevelt had been President for more than 12 years, longer than any other person, and had led the country through some of its greatest crises to the impending defeat of Nazi Germany and to within sight of the defeat of Japan as well.--Wikipedia
  2. This Is The Army--Irving Berlin’s all-soldier show was written by Berlin to be a wartime morale booster. It was first performed on Broadway in 1942 and then made into a movie in 1943. In early 1944, Berlin took his performers to do the show in London and other locations in the British Isles. From Britain they went to North Africa, Naples and Cairo. From there they traveled to the South Pacific, performing in New Guinea, the Philippines, Guam, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and then Hawaii.--Wikipedia
  3. Napalm Use in WW 2 Video: Click this link

Monday, September 5, 2016

88) Busy busy Betty….. --- April 20, 1945

From Betty (Louisville, KY)

April 20, 1945
Friday afternoon

How do you like this stationary. My sorority mother gave it to me for initiation. She also gave me a barrette with the Pi Phi crest on it.

I’m over at the house now. It’s about 1:45 and I have one more class at 2:30—softball. I have been studying in the library every afternoon and I’m tired of it.

Time out for a game of bridge. More latter

Well, I’ve played bridge, gone to softball, messed around and now I’m sitting out on the campus waiting for someone. It’s a beautiful Spring day. I’ll finish later.

Saturday night
I stayed out at school ‘til late last night. I went to a U.S.O. show for the sailors. It wasn’t very good.

I went to school this morning. Got home about 1:30, took a bath, dressed and went to the Service Club. I met two 5th Air Force Corpsmen, but neither one was in the 49th. They left their outfits on Leyte. Both of them were awfully nice. I talked to one of them a long time.

I got home from there about 6:45. Anne had gone over to a friend’s house for dinner and to spend the night. Mother and I had dinner and she went to bed. I did the dishes and then washed my hair. Mother has been cleaning house today and she’s worn out.

She wouldn’t let me go out tonight because I have a test on “Anna Karenina” Tuesday and I have about half of it (500 pages or so) yet to read. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to finish it. Better get started. Bye now. Be good. Miss you.

All my love,

P.S. We’re having mid-term exams. You know what that means. Not much time for writing. They’ll be over next week, so that won’t be bad.

  • The stationary has the Greek letters Pi Beta Phi embossed in red on the corner of the page.

87) Betty excitedly awaits her Pi Phi initiation---April 4, 1945

From Betty (Louisville, KY)

April 4, 1945, Wednesday morning

I’m in Biology class and I have no pen, so you’ll have to excuse the pencil.

I’m so excited about our initiation that I’m just no good for anything. It’s so wonderful. I guess you’re getting sick and tired of hearing about Pi Phi all the time, but it means so very much to me. It makes me so happy because when you come home, I’ll have my pin. Please understand that it isn’t taking all my time from you, but it takes a lot of time plus the time for my studying. Lately I’ve been finding quite a bit of time to write to you. I’m so glad because I felt terrible about not writing very much for the past couple of months. I know you’ll understand.

Last night I went to see the play at the Little Theater. It was “Ghosts”, and I didn’t like it at all. We had to see it for our Humanities class. Now, I have to write a paper on it. I don’t’ know when I’ll get it done. This afternoon I’ll have to read all afternoon because I have a test on “Anna Karenina” tomorrow. I haven’t read but about two-thirds of what I’m supposed to have read. I’ll be up all night reading.

We’re having dinner at the house tonight as usual and then we have a meeting with the actives. It will be the first time we’ve ever had a meeting with them. After the meeting we’re supposed to go to a Woman’s Athletic Association party, but I’m going home and study.

I’m supposed to have all my notes for my term paper in Friday and I have six. The paper has to be about 5,000 words. I know what you’re thinking—“What have you been doing?” Well, it’s evident that I haven’t been studying. I just can’t seem to settle down. I guess after initiation I’ll do better. Here’s hoping!

This class is almost over, so I guess I’ll wind this letter up.

I miss you an awful lot and I’m waiting. It’ll be so much fun doing things together. We’ll have to be introduced to each other, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. I seem to know you pretty well through letters, though.

Bye for now, All my love,

  1. It is somewhat significant that both Jack and Betty wrote letters to each other on April 4th, 1945.  It was on this date the following year (April 4, 1946) that they were married.
  2. This is the pin that Betty was so anxious to receive at her Ph Phi initiation