Friday, March 25, 2016

25) Fishing with Grenades--March 30, 1944

 APO 713 = Base E, Nadzab, New Guinea
Stationed at Gusap Airfield

New Guinea
Thursday March 30th 44, 10:00 AM

Betty dear,

Well I guess spring is in full swing back there at home. The trees should be starting leaves by the time you get this. Spring is one of the first few things on the list of the things I miss most. Wish the seasons changed even a little bit over here. I never realized how much the change in seasons meant till I got over here where they don’t change. Just hot & hotter & rain.

The other day Bob, Pop & myself went fishing. We went up to a mountain river and grenaded the deep places. We took two rolls of pictures. We found a nice place to swim and spent the afternoon swimming & sun bathing on a sand bar. The water is ice cold and clear as a crystal. The scenery was beautiful. We passed palm & banana trees & there is a vine that grows in the trees over here that has the prettiest scarlet red flowers that grown in clusters. Sure wish I had a color camera to send you pictures of these things. We went past places where the steep slopes of the mountains came down to the river. There are steep rock cliffs with caves and pretty rock formations. The hills are covered with a shoulder high grass that looks like pale green velvet at a distance. We put on an old pair of shoes and wade up stream as it is almost impossible to walk up the banks because of the undergrowth. We get catfish, mullet & brim and some other kinds that are unfamiliar to me. They sure are good to eat. We roll them in salt, pepper & flour & fry them in margarine. Some fun eh!

Our garden is really coming up swell. The things come up fast over here, plenty fast, but once they are out of the ground they seem to slow up a lot. Guess it is the hot sun and wind. The ducks are getting real big now. Our squash plants have blooms now and the tomatoes are about 10” high.

Gee! I wish I could be there to see you graduate. And maybe do some celebrating after wards. We could really paint the town. But I guess you will have a good time. I can get around by the time you graduate from college anyway. Seriously speaking it does look like I will be over here at least another year maybe longer. However if it doesn’t get any rougher than its been up to this point I guess I can make out O.K. That is if I get a furlough once in a while. I’ve been sweating one out for 5 months now. Should come soon though. I hope! I hope! I’ve been saving my money for it for a long time.

We had a rare treat last night. The P.X. was open we got 1 can of Planters peanuts (very small can, too small in fact), 1 chocolate bar, 1 package of Necco Wafers & chewing gum.

There was no movie last night but it rained anyway so it’s just as well. The movie tonite is “Above Suspicion” I sure hope I get some mail today I will probably get a letter from you and one or more from Mom & Pop.

Well that’s about all for now. I have to go to the Engineering dump and pick up some stuff.

So long & lots of love. I’ll be thinking of you often.

Yours as ever,


  1. Necco Wafers---"Pastel-colored little candy disks called NECCO wafers first appear in 1902, named for the acronym of the New England Confectionery Company.   During World War II, the U.S. government ordered a major portion of the production of the wafers. Since the candy doesn't melt and is 'practically indestructible' during transit, it was the perfect food to ship overseas to the troops." -NECCO history
  2. Hershey's Tropical Chocolate Bar ---"In 1943, the Procurement Division of the Army inquired about the possibility of obtaining a heat resistant chocolate bar with an improved flavor. After a short period of experimentation, "Hershey's Tropical Chocolate Bar" in both one and two ounce sizes was added to the list of war production items. This bar was destined to exceed all other items in the tonnage produced."- History of the Tropical Chocolate Bar
  3. Above Suspicion (1943 film)--Starred Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray.  About two newlyweds who spy on the Nazis for the British Secret Service during their honeymoon in Europe.
  4. 9th FS Unit History- March 1944 ---"The 9th carried out routine missions until March 30th when the first large scale attack was made on Hollandia. As the target was out of range of our P-47's, our squadron rendezvoused with the bombers at Tadji after the bombing and escorted them home uneventfully. On the last day of March the squadron escorted light and medium bombers to Wewak while heavy bombers struck at Hollandia. No enemy planes were seen airborne."  Ken Clark’s Unit History posted on

Again--many thanks to Ken Clark and others for their extensive information on posted on

24) Growing a Garden--March 27, 1944

APO 713 = Base E, Nadzab, New Guinea
Stationed at Gusap Airfield

New Guinea
March 27th, 44, 10:30 AM

Betty dear,

Just received your letter of Feb 26, first letter I’ve gotten in six days. Sure am glad to have your letters coming. Glad you did so well on your exams. Bet you don’t regret dropping Latin. You mentioned that you were thinking of going to U of L for awhile. Maybe that would be good till you decide just what you want to study.

Next time you see my dad get him to show you some of the pictures I sent them. Yesterday we went up in the mountains and went fishing on a small stream. We took lots of pictures. I’ll send you some if they come out good.

As yet I’ve not been on furlough but I expect to go any time now. Some of the boys just got back. I will try to get a good picture taken down there and send it to you. That is if you ever send me one. Not that I’d ever forget what you looked like. You may not know it but it would be nice to look at your picture when I write to you. Who knows I may be able to think of more to write then. Please! How a-bout it!

We have a swell garden all around the tent now. Squash, watermelons, radishes, onions, lettuce, okra & tomatoes. Also the six little ducks are growing fast. They eat like little pigs. Should see the way they swim. I should have pictures of them soon. They are down south being developed now.

Well I must go to chow now and make a run down to the Quartermaster for some clothes & stuff.

Solong for a while and remember that I’m thinkin of you lots & lots.

Yours till next time,