Monday, April 4, 2016

31) God has not forsaken them!- July 23, 1944

APO 920 = Base H, Biak, Dutch New Guinea

Somewhere over here
July 23 (1944)


Well here I am again with a little news for you. I am sorry I waited this long to write another letter. Maybe the others have had a chance to “soak in” so to speak. At any rate my feelings are the same as they were then. Isn’t it odd that such a thing should come over me with things like time & distance against me? I hope you have taken my last letters seriously. Darling this is an awful way to be in love but lets hope that things will be better soon. This whole awful stinking mess will be over someday and lets look forward to that day with the thought that we will be able to love and to be with each other forever after. You may think that I am just writing to fill up paper but this is just the way I feel and you might as well know just what the score is. That imaginary love between Libby and I has been over for months now and will stay that way. I couldn’t even bring myself to write another word to her. I wonder if she thought I would actually come back to her after the way she has ignored me completely for months on end.

It don’t take long to find out just who is faithful and who is the one who really loves and prays for you. Over in a place like this a fellow feels or you might say senses these things. As I said before one becomes a firm “believer” over in a place like this. I’ve heard people back there say that we are in a “God forsaken” place. That statement was as far from the truth as they can get.

Well this is getting to be just a little deep. I made up a batch of donuts and we fried them up tonite. I am munching on them now. Notice the grease spots on the paper?

Honey I get a lot of enjoyment out of the picture. I carry it around and really look at that cute little face too often. It makes me think what a dope I was to wait till a time like this to discover that you meant so very much to me. And I am informing the family just how things stand so don’t need to be bashful in telling them. Pop is really understanding and I think that he likes you a lot too. Please visit them as often as you can. They write to me and tell about how much they enjoy your phone calls and visits.

I must sign off and get a little sleep.

Please write as often as usual. Good night and pleasant dreams.

Yours, till we can be one.


My best regards to your mother and Ann.

  1. Biak Island ---“Biak instantly proved to be a miserable place. The clear, fair weather brought on temperature well in excess of 100 degrees and the humidity was stifling. The seaward side of the camp was swampy and generated a cloud of blood-sucking black flies and mosquitoes. Next to aviation gas, and hot food, insect repellent and atabrine anti-malarial tablets seemingly became the most critical survival staples.  Tents and flooring materials had always been crucial throughout the South Pacific Theater, but it was never more serious than on that coral hot spot. It was impossible to dig either air raid slit trenches or foxholes in the packed brittle coral, and without latrines, even the disposal of waste from the Biak garrison became a logistical nightmare.”  -Protect & Avenge, The 49th Fighter Group in World War II, by S.W. Ferguson & William K. Pascalis. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 1996.
  2. Photo Betty sent Jack---This is the photo that Betty sent to Jack and that he refers to in this letter.  Betty had a great sense of humor and I imagine that she thought it funny to send him a childhood picture of herself.

30) A swell girl to come home to---July 18, 1944

APO 920 = Base H, Biak, Dutch New Guinea
The return address on this letter indicates that Jack is now a Corporal.

July 18 (1944)

Betty honey,

This is my first chance to write in the past week.

I suppose you have gotten my last letter by this time. I just want you to know that I didn’t write that stuff about us on the spur of the moment. I honestly meant every word I said. Please believe me when you read these things. I am not just saying these things to you because you are the only girl that writes to me. There are several who write. Not as often as you do but they write. I know you may not feel as I do about these things but I hope that maybe you will realize that I am sincere when I write these things. Oh! How I wish I could be there to tell you myself, just how things stand. We have most of our lives ahead of us and that to look forward to, is what keeps me going through all this.

Every day I thank the Lord that this war didn’t come five years later. As it is people of our age suffer enough. When I think of all the people in their thirties who have children and are separated by the war I realize that if the war had come five or six years later I might have been married and had to leave all that. As is we have good prospects of living a happy & peaceful life after all this is over. Which I hope will be in the near future. But why bore you with my views on the future. The main thing is having a swell girl like you to come home to after this is over. I wish now that I had spent my time with you when I was on furlough instead of spending it with someone who obviously doesn’t care. How could I have been so blind. Why couldn’t we have been together then? Well it is one thing to see ones mistakes and another to talk about them too much. So I will drop that for ever. Need I say any more? I think I have stated my feelings completely.

I received your letter of June 24th just yesterday afternoon. The exams at U of L must have been really something. I know without asking that you passed with flying colors. Right? See I told you so. When I get back you will be a really intellectual gal. Maybe too smart for me, who knows. You are quite right in going to college. An education is the third most important thing a woman can have. First and second come kindness and understanding. I shouldn’t worry any more about acquiring those. You are already doing pretty well on those two in my estimation.

Well give my regards to your Mother and Ann and all the others.

More later.
Much love and a kiss or two,