Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Post #709 - October 31, 1945 I Want to Go Home, Ev, and I Just Won't Feel Good Again Until I Realize That Wish


31 Oct. 1945

Darling Chippie,

For want of something better to do this evening, I went to the movies to see - don't faint now - “20 Million Sweethearts” with Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers and Pat O'Brien. What, you never heard of it? Well, I'm not surprised. It's only eleven
years old. Let's see, you were only about twelve back in 1934 when it first showed. I remember I enjoyed it then, but tonight it seemed cornier than hell. The acting was hammy to the point of being sickening. Dick Powell mugged all over the place, and Ginger Rogers looked harder than nails. What waste of time!

There was no 
mail from you today. Seems like I'm only getting one letter a week these days. It's not entirely the fault of the APO either, cause I noted you only wrote two letters between 10th and 18th Oct. You can do better than that, baby, I know. I know, too, that writing is become an increasingly difficult chore for you, but it's very difficult for for me to wait for a week for a letter, too, so I’m askIng you, darling, pretty please, to write at least every other day.

Nothing new broke around here today, but 8th Fighter Command is supposed to let us know what cooks by this week-end. Maybe I'll have some really good news 
for you then, honey. I certainly hope so; this “sweating” without anything happening is getting on my nerves—but proper! Sometimes it’s like I’ve been here all my life and am destined to stay here for the rest of it. I'm trying so hard to be patient, but there's a limit, dammit!—Never in my life have I felt myself so powerless to help myself. It's a lousy, humiliating feeling and I'm yearning to be rid of it.

Read in today's S+S about a Phila. 
woman who fell or jumped out of a seventh-floor window downtowns, landing on another and killing her, too. The name of the woman who fell is set down as Mrs. Rose C. Ostroff. I was wondering if it might not have been our fire-insurance agent, who, if I remember correctly, spelled her name Ostrow, and I'm almost sure her first name was Rose.

Today was pay-day. I'm flush again, but that doesn't keep me from feeling low. I want to go home, Ev, and I just won't feel good again until I realize that wish. I love 
you so much, my darling. My love to Adele - and all.

Your Phil

Monday, January 30, 2023

Post #708 - October 28, 1945 I Received Your Letter of Oct. 17, Yesterday, & You Were in a Bitter Mood


Oct 28, 1945

Dearest One,

Here I am again, after not I writing since Friday. I just hate to write & don't seem to give a hang whether I do or not. Darling, I hope, for both our sakes, that you soon will be home.—

I did nothing special this weekend—except for some shopping. I bought myself a white sports blouse, a grey gabardine sports dress—and a black hat – which I hope you'll like. It's a fairly large sized hat with a good sized brim, made of needlepoint & can be used for both sport & dress. I had a veil put on for extra effect. I still have a few more things to buy for myself, but I'm doing it gradually.

Today my dad, Ed, Jack & I went down to South St. to get each a suit & coat. Harry W. & M
ickey met us, as Harry wanted a coat, too. Well, Sweet you haven’t the slightest idea of what it is to get "half-decent” clothes at a fair price—it's simply impossible.

However, luck was with us. Harry got a blue colored covert box coat for $45, - & that is a cheap coat! Jack 
got a navy camel hair Chesterfield for $60 & with sheer luck—a chocolate brown suit for $40.00 & we had to talk plenty to get it at that price.

Best of all was the coat Ed got. Someone had given a deposit on it & had left it there too long so the fellow sold it to Ed. 
I want you to buy the same identical coat, providing it looks as well on you as it does on Ed & you can get one. It is a beige covert officer's military coat with a lining that is removable & cost $65.00 & it's well worth it. For a man's coat, it is positively striking!

I wish we were going shopping tomorrow, 
in spite of the ordeal.

Baby, I'm missing you so keenly these day 
that I'm almost beside myself with that feeling of “I want you!” I love you so much, Phil dear.

Gosh, almost forgot to tell you that I received your letter of Oct 17, yesterday, & you were in a bitter mood. I hope, since then, that you have more cause for rejoicing. Baby, I love you! See l can't even write sensibly anymore!

Your Eve

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Post #707 - October 23, 1945 It Felt Good to Talk to Someone Who Lived in the Same Neighborhood


23 October 1945

My Darling,

All day I had been looking forward to this evening. I was sure there would be some mail. But no such luck! This morning I walked to the mess-hall and then to work in wind-driven rain. Despite my raincoat I was soaked through by the time I got there. I felt miserable all morning as a consequence, but I could do nothing about it 'cause we started processing at 9 o'clock, and I was busy ’til lunch-time. When we called a halt for lunch I still felt (hell, I was!) wet and miserable. So instead of going to eat, I pulled my chair close to the warm stove to dry off and continued reading “Razor's Edge”. At 1:30, when we resumed work, I was fairly dry. The afternoon went much better. I noticed a familiar face among the fellows being processed. It was a fellow I hadn't seen for six 
years. He wasn't even an  acquaintance, although I had seen him from time to time around 40th and Girard. Yet I recognized him right off the bat. He didn't know me from Adam until I told him who I was. He didn't know me even then, but during the course of our conversation it became apparent that we had many mutual friends. It felt good to talk to someone who lived in the same neighborhood as I did and to hear news of fellows I knew and went to school with. He's a short, blond fellow. His name is Joe Goren.

It was 5:00 by the time we finished processing Hq Squadron, 412th Air Sv Gp. The rain had stopped, but a gale was blowing. I walked to the mess-hall thinking all the while about the four or five letters that I felt would be waiting for me. I rushed through supper in my impatience to get back to the hut. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I learned that no mail at all had arrived for me! Hope tomorrow will bring some mail. After five days without I get awfully impatient and somewhat alarmed.—

There isn't much I can tell you tonight, honey, so 
pucker up for my good-night kiss. You know, darling, that I love you very much. My dearest love to Adele and all.

Your Phil

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Post #706 - October 22, 1945 I'll Be Following the Same Routine and Walking Those Same Six Miles From Now On


22 October 1945

Dearest Darling, 

I’ll bet I walked six miles today. Twice I walked to and from the Chapel, where we set up the processing line today. That's more than four miles. Then, this evening, I hiked to and from the theater. That's two more miles. So if I come home with too much poundage on me, you won’t be able to say that it was for lack of exercise. And this is only  the beginning. I'll be following the same routine and walking those same six miles from now on. Since I have no alternative, I hope I'll be rewarded for the drudgery by the loss of at least ten pounds.

The picture I saw was "Over 21", with Irene Dunne, Alexander Knox, Charles Coburn and others. I didn't care too much for it. The reasons are too numerous to mention. In particular, I didn't like Alex Knox. The guy has no person
ality, no charm, and despite the big build-up he got for "Woodrow Wilson", I don't think he can act. Irene Dunne, however, is a gal of another color (if you’ll allow me to mutilate a cliché). She must be how old now? Forty? Certainly almost that. Yet she is still fresh and charming, and possessed of a slim curvaceous figure that almost any gal might envy. Luckily, she was almost the whole show, and she made it bearable solely by the sheer charm of her personality.

The mail is apparently held up again. I haven't had a letter in four days. I'm hoping to get a few tomorrow.

I'm reading "Razor's Edge" in fits and snatches whenever I get a coupla free minutes, at mess, etc. I don't know quite what to make of it yet. The plot, if there is one, is developed very slowly. I’m beginning to wonder just what Maugham is trying to prove. That's the way I feel about it now. But that in itself makes for an 
element of suspense. Besides, I never read anything of his before, and I learn a little something from each new author I read, so I'm being educated even if I’m not entertained. The urge to write grows stronger every day. One of these days I’m going to bust loose. I can feel it. And once I start, I'll never stop; I feel that too—Which reminds me that I didn't comment on the information that "Mike" was returned by “This Week". Well, Sweet, you know that I expected nothing else, so what can I say? Guess I could say "I told you so, but I hate people who say "I told you so”—so I won’t say it ~ Personally, I'm perfectly satisfied with my first effort. It may not be well written or sufficiently interesting or perhaps it's lacking in certain
essentials necessary to a short story, or it may have all those faults, but I'm content merely because I was able to put an idea down on paper that people can understand. I suspect that the greatest fault of both “Mike" and "ETOUSA Interlude" is that they are so "typical" that they are commonplace, and therefore uninteresting. It struck me only today that they both have that quality in common. Did you notice that, honey? Wonder why I am moved to write stories that must have had a thousand bases in fact? It also occurred to me that had "Mike" actually been published, we would, in all likelihood have been deluged with letters from gals all over the country wanting to know how in hell I got “their” story, etc, etc. Bet you never thought of that! Think it over, Chippie, and tell me if I have grounds for thinking that or not. I think I told you that I had coupla stories "in my head.” One in particular begs to be written, and when I get around to it honey, promise you it won't be typical. I might even venture to say it's not like anything you ever read before! I've been “building up” to a writing mood these past few weeks. I think the next time I get an opportunity—which means a few hours of free time, and an atmosphere of peace and quiet in a place where I won't be interrupted. Don't know when I'll attain this combination of requisites, but when I do, you can bet your life I'll knock out this next story. I haven't thought about its title ’til now. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure that it will be a story, in the accepted sense. I do know that it must be written in the first person, and I've been thinking that it is more fitting as a monologue; you know, the type of thing you hear on the radio. The more I consider it, the more I'm convinced it would be more effective in that form. Yes, I think I'll do it that way.

It's almost time for lights out, Sweet. Hope I haven't bored, you. I love you very 
much, my Evie—Here's a kiss for you, and one for the punkin. My love to all.

Your Phil

P.S. - This time next month???

Friday, January 27, 2023

Post #705 - October 21, 1945 A Teletype Had Just Been Received Setting Our “Readiness Date” Forward to 6 November!


21 October 1945

Darling Evie,

It is a rainy Sunday evening. Before settling down to kill the evening with W. Somerset Maugham's "Razor's Edge", I thought I'd drop you these few lines.—The other fellows in the hut are getting ready to go to Colchester via the liberty-run, rain or no rain. The radio is giving out with some Limey vocal music, which is the same as saying that I wish it were something else.—Between the radio and the hubbub the guys are making, I can hardly hear myself think! Didn't write yesterday but went into town instead to spend the evening with Bert and Evelyn. It turned out that Bert had a date to go pubbing with one of his sailor friends, and Evelyn was set on going to the movies to see "Mr. Skeffington.” I did have supper with them, though, after which Bert drove us back to the center of town. I stopped at the Marks' but the house was dark—they probably went to London for the week-end. Walking along wondering what to do with myself the rest of the evening, I came to the “Headgate Cinema,” a second-rate movie-house. But they were showing a first-rate picture - "Enchanted Cottage.” It is a beautifully inspiring love story and I loved it. Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire left nothing to be desired as the romantic leads, and Herbert Marshall turns in his usual masterful performance.

When I came out it was 10:30. A full silver moon filled the streets with pale light. The liberty-run bus wasn't due to start back ’til 11:30, so I walked down to the parking lot, found a stone wall and just sat and admired the the scudding clouds and the illumined blue of the sky until it was time to start back. It was just midnight when I came back to the hut. I undressed in the dark and hit the sack.

This morning broke gray and rainy. It's been that all day. I slept in ’til 10:30, when I dressed and went to lunch with three of the boys. Sunday means chicken. Being very hungry I ate it, but I didn't enjoy it. Even now I'm trying to get rid of the taste— ugh! Don't, Chippie, when I come home (and wait until I tell you the good news!) ever offer me chicken! I never want to see the
 stuff again. Remember that, will you? But I’ve kept you waiting too long already to tell you this—In the mess-hall I met Sgt. Murphy, who wasted no time telling me that a teletype had just been received setting our “readiness date” forward to 6 November! Did I tell you that the last Groups that moved straight to POE to board the Queen Mary the same day did so on their “readiness date" ? That was on 10 October. We're hoping that we will also embark on our “readiness date". There is a chance that we will, but don't count on it, Chippie. If it does turn out that way, though, you can look for me to be home on 12 Nov. and a civvy by the 15th. Wouldn’t that be sumpin’?

There was no mail for me either yesterday or today. I'm mighty anxious, baby, to get your letter of the 14th! When I think what might happen back there I get a queer sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach.—My whole life and being are wrapped up in you and the punkin, Sweet. If anything happened to either of you I'd have nothing left to go on with—or for. Do you think I'm being silly and morbid, honey? Perhaps so, but it is more or less instinctive to worry about those that are dearest to one's heart, and when an incident occurs to arouse ones fears, such as happened last Sunday, the feeling of apprehension isn't easy to shrug off. Please try to understand my concern in this instance, Ev, and don't think me overly sensitive because of it, it's no more than natural ~ The fact that we are so many miles apart has ever been, in itself, a source 
of worry for me. I feel cut off from you and utterly powerless to come to your assistance in an emergency. My constant prayer is that God keep you and all the family safe and well.

That's about all I can think of to tell you tonight, my lovely, so I'll close this, as always, with the reminder that you are  the beloved and adored of

Your Phil

Love and kisses for Adele. Love to all.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Post #704 - October 9, 1945 A Letter from Milt Brown


Oct. 9, 1945

Dear Evelyn:

Haven’t heard from you since I wrote you last, but the mail sure has been slow coming in. I’m feeling fine, & hope this letter finds you all the same. Having it rather easy for the present time, & all we are doing now is pulling Regimental Guard Duty and a few details around the camp. We moved from our outpost, and at the present time we are set up near the beach. I guess you heard about our Division going back to the States as a unit, & it sure is about time we got a break. We don’t know our sailing date, but I think we stand a pretty good chance of pulling out of here around the end of this month. The food we are getting sure is bad; you think we would be eating good now that the war is over. Well, that’s the Army for  you, & I’m hoping it won’t be too long before I can do as I please. Enclosed you will find a few pieces of Japanese Invasion Money that they used here in the Philippines, that  you may like to look at. We turned our rifles in, & I sure have been waiting for that day to come along. When you receive this letter, don’t write to me any more as they tell us we won’t be receiving that late mail. I’ll try my best, though, to write you before we leave. We are getting wool clothes issued to us, & I’ll bet we sure will freeze when we hit that cold climate in the States. That sure will suit me fine, though. Well, Evelyn, that about winds up the news for now. Give my regards to all.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Post #703 - October 3, 1945 What Will Probably Be My Last Pass in London Starts Friday


3 October 1945


am writing this early, during part of my lunch-hour, because I must go into town tonight to pick up my trousers at Marks’.

What will probably be my last pass in London starts Friday, day after tomorrow. Coincidentally, your letter of 22-23 September arrived yesterday afternoon together with your V-mail of 25 Sep. I say coincidentally because in your letter, you ask me to hold on to my pay. Naturally, this pass in London will cost me something (there are quite a few good pictures I would like very much to see), but you have my word for it, Chippie, I'll go as easy as I can. I guess you will be thinking that I could forego this pass entirely and save that much more, and theoretically you are right. I could. But there is the other, realistic, side to be considered. First, as I said before, it will, in all probability, be my last chance to get to London. Getting into London occasionally means a lot to me, baby - it's been a life-saver - I mean that almost literally, ’cause I feel that my occasional leaves there are the one factor that prevented me from going at least a little off my nut. Then, you must consider that it is a full month since I've been, and three weeks since I've been beyond the confines of camp. That evening Klein and I went into Colchester to visit Bert in hospital. So, my sweet, you must understand that my leaves are something more than a luxury. They are a necessity. That is why you must condone the fact that during my tenure in England I spent a few hundred dollars in London that I might other-wise have saved by denying myself, but who knows at what price? And don't tell me how you have been denying yourself, Chippie—how you don't even get to a neighborhood movie for weeks and months on end, because deplorable as that fact is, (and you know I would prefer it otherwise), there is no similarity in the two situations. You are too busy with other things to allow yourself the necessary relaxation, you can't help yourself, usually. But I have nothing and no one to turn, to for company here on the base. My buddies pleasures are not mine.I wouldn't want them to be! And I could even put up with the lack of congenial companions. I've been “different” from the other guys all thru my Army career, so I'm used to being alone and lonely, but I must have a change of scene once in a while. Believe me, honey, it is a very real need, because after a few weeks of doing the same things hour by hour each day, and seeing the same things during the course of those days, I begin to feel an increasing morbidity and depression, from which the only cure is to get away from my work and the base for a while. You may think I'm my using a lot of words to tell you something you know already, but your reference in your letter reminded me that you have a flair for saving money without caring too much at what cost in other things you are doing so. Therefore, in order to anticipate the condemnation I might otherwise expect because I am seemingly going contrary to your wishes by availing myself of this last opportunity for a leave, I am trying to make it very plain why I am doing so. I trust you’ll understand and appreciate my reasons, honey, ’cause I don't want you to throw it up to me later. You speak of the great amount of money we’ll need on our contemplated combined "shopping tour" and vacation. I hope, darling, that you haven't counted on me for more than $50.00 or so in addition to the $100 mustering out pay, ’cause unless I gamble and win, I don’t see how I'll have very much more, and since I layed out $26.00 for my watch (which I learned just the other day retails for $65.00) in addition to a few dollars for rations, etc. I could not afford to gamble. However, we'll do the best we can with what we have available when the time comes for our vacation. If you don't consider that we have enough to buy all those things you want, why, I can do with one new suit instead of three and one new pair of shoes instead of three pairs, etc., etc. You are entirely welcome, Chippie, to use any part of the $300 mustering-out pay I will receive in a period of two months, in any way you see fit. I don't deem it necessary or advisable to spend the entire amount on my wardrobe. I wouldn’t feel right owning all those new clothes knowing that there were other, more necessary things that you might have bought with the money. Personally, Sweet, I'd rather we spent as little as possible on my wardrobe on our first shopping trip, 'cause I'm almost sure we will need some of that $300 for our vacation expenses. As a matter of fact, I can't imagine where else we're to get the money for that, and I don't know where you think it’s to come from unless you counted on me to come home with enough to cover those expenses. By the way, honey, you say something about not being able to leave Adele with your mother for more than a week or ten days. I don't know what you are planning, Sweet, but for your information—if I could have just you alone for three or four days, why, I'd like to have the punkin with us the rest of the time, wherever we are or go, or for however long we can afford to stay—that is, if you have no objections yourself~ I realize that it's useless to make any detailed plans now, honey, especially since it will only take us a coupla minutes to decide where we want to go once we are together again, but I was wondering just how much you are prepared to spend on our little jaunt, and with what funds you contemplated financing the trip—or don't you have any ideas on that score either?

Your V-mail informed me that you received my letter telling you how we'd been "jerked around” (to use your own inelegant expression). But then you go on to say something that I can’t make heads or tails of: "Perhaps this ought to knock into you,better than anything I could possibly say, the importance of being independent!” Frankly, Chippie, I don't know what you're trying to prove. You sound almost as tho’ you blamed me for the turn of affairs!—And where does this business of “being independent” enter into it? - And how in hell is a guy supposed to be “independent” in the Army? - And whenever did you get the idea that I don’t appreciate the importance of "being independent”? - And even if I were so thick, I didn't realize its importance, why should this latest "jerking around" "knock it into me?" Really, Chippie, you don't give me credit for much intelligence, do you? You seem to lose all ability to reason, or to write intelligibly when you lose your temper, which has obviously happened in this case. Is it possible you mean that if I were “independent” I wouldn't be in the Army where I’m subject to being “jerked around”? If that's what you mean, baby, then I can only say—no kiddin’! Or do you mean to point out the difference between being subject to the whims and orders of others (as in the Army) and being “your own boss”? I guess that’s what you were trying to convey. In which case I beg to remind you, my sweet, that I am a veteran of three years and four months’ service in the Army, and that even if I didn’t realize the importance of being “independent” while I was still in knee-pants (which I did—even then!) then I would certainly have learned it by now! The truth is—any rookie with as little as a weeks’ service could write volumes on just how important it is to be independent. Therefore, I consider it little short of laughable that you should see fit at this late date to “knock into” me what I fully appreciated when you were still young enough to display your pretty pink panties to all and sundry without thinking anything about it! I’m not so obtuse, either, that I’m not fully cognizant of the fact that you don’t consider that I act like a guy who realizes the importance of being independent. Maybe not, honey, as far as you are concerned, but you must remember that just as there are many roads to Mecca, there are devious ways of attaining any end, and just because my way doesn’t happen to coincide with yours, is no reason to assume that we are not traveling toward the same objective? And, with no affront intended, who are you to say that yours is the right road and mine the wrong one?—But I seem to have made a mountain out of a mole hill.—Next time you mean to point a moral, sweetheart, give a thought to whom you’re pointing it. I’m not a complete ninny, you know.—Above all, don’t lose your temper in the process!

Your P.S. informs me that you finally submitted “Mike.” I believe I’ve told you that you’re much too late. You might just as well have saved yourself the postage, honey. If you’d done something about it in June, when you received the MS, there was only a 100-1 chance against its being published. Now the odds are 1000-1. I really don’t understand why you delay so long, but since I told you to do with it as you would, I hold no brief with you for it. However, it struck me as I read your postscript that it might be a good idea to acquire the copyright to the title in any case. I’m planning to write a song now (I mean planning now, not writing now) using at least the phrase if not actually using it as the title. So I’d appreciate it, Chippie, if you’d stop in to see one of your lawyer friends, when you have an opportunity, to see if it’s possible to copyright just a title like “For the Love of Mike,” and whether the fee would be nominal or otherwise.

Almost forgot to mention that I didn’t write last night. I started to, but I had a rare case of the blues, so I decided not to. Instead, I finished reading “Strange Woman.” It is an absorbing story, but it was more or less spoiled for me by the author's too-apparent efforts toward sensationalism—to write what he felt would appeal to a public in the throes of a fad for sexual erotica in their novels. The character of Jenny Hager-Poster-Evered is at once, evil, repulsive and downright impossible. It taxes the imagination to think how any human could be so heartless, cunning, and yet overtly good and kind and lovely. No, I just couldn't get used to the idea that she was "real” and I like to have my people in books "convincing” if nothing else. I don't know whether it struck anyone else so, (I suspect I'm a bit out of the ordinary in this respect), but the "Strange Woman's” flagrant promiscuity all thru the book literally made me sick to my stomach! I despised her with a very real loathing as I read. I think I could kill a creature (I can't insult you by calling her a woman) like her with no more compunction than I could snuff out the life in a fly!

Are you wondering, Sweet, where I'm getting the time to write all this? Well, I'm working with "Red" "McGetrick on a job that requires both of us, but he's been busy with a hundred other things that can't wait, so I'm killing the time until he's ready to help me in this delightful fashion. We have our own little office, just the two of us, and I have been able to write uninterruptedly since lunch-time. It is now 3:29 P.M. (by my new 
watch, which I am very fond of now), and I've just about "written myself out” as you are wont to say.

Rather than 
start another side, I'll tell you right here and now, my darling, what I am always so proud to say—I love you—Lotsa kisses and hugs for Adele, and love to all from

Your adoring Phil

P.S. Say about 19 Nov for "the DAY"?

Monday, January 23, 2023

Post #702 - October 1, 1945 I Put In a Full Day Helping Put the New Orderly Room in Order

1 October 1945


Just got back from seeing a swell movie at the base theater. It was "The Fallen Sparrow” with John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara. I love a picture like that. It has action, suspense, drama, and generally, all the attributes that make for an exciting evening at the theatuh (now, what made me say that ???)! 

Otherwise, very little worth repeating happened today. I put in a full day helping put the new Orderly Room in order. Tomorrow we'll start to work—

This evening, I had intended to go into Colchester on the Liberty Run, but then I decided I'd rather see "The Fallen Sparrow - I'd heard some good reports about it. I can get into town almost any evening.

There was no fresh mail today, and I'm rather at a loss for stuff and things to tell you, Sweet, as you may have gathered from my feeble efforts thus far.

To make this letter (?) entirely worthless and dull, I might mention that we've been enjoying lovely fall weather this past week. ( I can just hear you snorting, - do you snort, Chippie? - "so what!!”)

Oh hell, it's no use—Forgive me, Sweet—

I've been trying for 
some minutes to dream up a new way of telling you the old, old story, but somehow the best way at the moment, it seems to me is to reassert what is the simple, unadorned, and indisputable truth—I love you, baby—Love to the punkin and all from 

Your Phil

You're quite wrong, Chippie. If I were drunk, I’d tell you.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Post #701 - September 30, 1945 With My Embarkation for Home Presumably Only a Matter of Five or Six Weeks Away, the Time is Showing a Tendency to Drag Interminably


30 September 1945

My Darling Ev,

After three mail-less days, your V-mail of 21 Sep. arrived yesterday afternoon. But it told me hardly anything more than that you had Adele to Dr. Leinweber to have her teeth cleaned; that Harry W. is back in "civvy street", and that you are waiting most impatiently for 16 Oct to roll around. I forget now what particular significance I attached to that date, but if I led you to believe that I 
might be home by then, you must know how we were swindled out of our rightful places as "866". But, in my case, I don't think the "deal" will postpone my sailing by more than five or six weeks. It's the guys who have only about 65 points, who really got the short end of the stick. They probably won't get home ’til about January.

Yesterday they grabbed me for the processing 
line again. (I feel like “often a bridesmaid, never a bride"). So I was busy all day. In the evening I was too worn out to do anything except lie on my bunk and read. I picked up Ben Ames Williams’ "Strange Woman" in the Day Room, meaning to read a coupla hours and then drop you few lines, but I got so interested in the story that before I realized it, it was 10:30 (by my new watch, which has yet to lose or gain a half-minute since I acquired it!) - and too late to start a letter—Sorry, honey

Today being Sunday, I slept ‘til 10:00, and lay abed ’til 11:00. (I'll leave it to you, Sweet, to imagine what I day-dreamed about in that hour.) Finally, because I was hungry and it w
as approaching lunch-time, I dragged myself out from under the blankets, dressed, washed, and hiked to the Mess Hall. I had forgotten it was Sunday, when we customarily have chicken for dinner. Hungry as I was, I couldn’t stomach it, and ate only potatoes and peas. Back I came to the hut still hungry. To take my mind off that uncomfortable empty feeling, I resumed my reading of “Strange Woman". But my leisure was interrupted when Sgt. Fox came in to tell me that Lt. Carney wanted me at Hq to compile some information for a report. I caught a hop on a weapons-carrier to Hq, where Lt. Carney told me what he wanted. It took me only about a half-hour to go through the S/R's and get the dope for him. Before I left, he told me to report tomorrow (Monday) to work in the Orderly Room of my new organization, which the guys refer to with justifiable bitterness as the "3d Mess-kit Rape + Ream Sq.” I don't mind this new assignment for two reasons. (1) It will keep me occupied for my remaining time here. (2) I won't be called on to pull K.P. or guard-duty.

When I came back to the hut (this time I walked the mile from Hq) it was only 3:30, so I killed the time ’til supper reading. By supper-time I was ravenous, not having had a square meal since lunch the day before. For supper, they had my favorite Army meal—meat loaf, pickled beets and onions, mashed potatoes, coffee, and stewed apricots in vanilla pudding for dessert. After finishing this meal, I felt a lot better.

The picture at the theater is "Girl Crazy," which I saw 
more than a year ago, so I came directly back to start this—

At the moment, I have the hut (and the radio) to myself. Today was 
pay-day, and most of the guys have taken off for town and various places. It is more than three weeks since I've been to London, and two weeks since I've even left the base. I think I'll go into Colchester tomorrow for the evening to see Bert and Evelyn and the Marks’. Tonight, after I finish this, I must take a much-needed shower and shave.

The Station is fast becoming what is known in G.I. parlance as a "dead base". The PX, dry-cleaning establishment, barber-shop and various other services have been closed down and dismantled. In a few days, the movies and Aero club will close down. By that time, the G.I.'s awaiting shipment will have gone, leaving only us of the “holding party" to hold down the fort. We number, at present, 188 EM and 39 Officers, but I heard Major Shamblin say today that this force will be cut to about 70 EM and 6 Officers, who will be here a few weeks after the rest of us have shipped out. I say "us", because the “excess" will be the higher-point men, and there will be no one on the 
base with more points than I, since I only missed going with "866" by one measly point. In any event, I don't expect to be on this station more than another two weeks. Where I'll go from here is as much a mystery to me as it will be to you, but the likelihood (practically the certainty) is that I'll be transferred to an outfit scheduled to ship for the States in a few weeks. That's the “sityayshun" as it now stands, my sweet, and you know just as much about it now as I do—at this writing.

With things in the state of flux that they are now, and with my embarkation for home presumably only a matter of five or six weeks away, the time is showing a tendency to drag interminably. 
But that may be due, in large part, to my comparative inaction these past few days. The strange thing is, that although the time ’til departure for POE is growing shorter daily, I can't yet get excited at the prospect. I think I feel instinctively that the time for that is not yet—that if I allow myself to start “anticipating" now, I couldn't bear the strain for the duration of the intervening weeks ~ But I also feel that the tough period of waiting will be those few hours between the moment I am free to come to you and the moment you are again lovingly ensconced in my arms, that have waited so hungrily for you these past two years and more—So often and so long have I dwelt, in my imagination, on all the aspects of that precious instant of reunion, that I'm almost afraid to admit to myself that all the words I might possibly say to you will stick in my throat. I might even (horror of horrors!) break down completely!" What would you think of your big, strong hubby then, baby? So—if I go to the opposite extreme and greet you almost casually, you will understand, Chippie, that that is my defense against an occurence of the former. After all, a guy that's as easily moved to tears as I am (remember me in the movies?) could hardly be expected to "bear up" under the stress an emotional crisis such as our reunion is bound to be! Seriously, tho’, honey, you must promise not to embarrass me by acknowledging in any way the tears I am just liable to shed on the occasion. And you must not be surprised or hurt by any lack of customary fervor, either, ’cause if I feel myself "giving way", it's conceivable that I will adopt a formality and brusqueness that will be the exact antithesis of what I am feeling - but only ’til 
we are alone. Once we are alone together, I'll know no reserve. Anything goes—and may the best man win! I'm sure you understand me perfectly, baby—

As for the punkin, I'm almost sure I'll make an ass of myself right off the bat! I remember very clearly my reaction when I came home from Lockbourne on pass once. Someone put her into my arms to hold. It was in our bedroom, and there were a dozen 
people present at the time, yourself included. The moment  I felt her precious little body in my arms, I started to choke up, and when she sleepily put her head against my neck, the sob that started to well almost broke its bounds. I had to turn my back to the assemblage, to hide the tears that started. If all those people weren't there at the time, I'm afraid I would have blubbered like the veriest babe! That is why, darling, I must ask you to insure that my meeting with Adele be a strictly private one—even to your own exclusion if you don't relish the spectacle of your hubby in tears. I'm afraid the punkin might neither like nor understand the phenomenon, and might think the less of her daddy for the apparent weakness, so I’m going to make every effort to “be strong” (God knows, I want to be!) but I know myself well enough to recognize the possibility that I won't be equal to the occasion. 
That is why I am taking no chances and telling you what to expect and what you must do to prevent embarrassing us all: First, I must meet you alone. Then, I must meet the punkin alone, unless you are willing to risk seeing me in tears. That, I'll leave to your own discretion, but no one else until I have met you and Adele— After that, let them all come! One more thing, honey—In the event that I'll be free to come to you before I can let you know that I have arrived, (and this is the probability), then don't think it strange if I don't come directly home, but tell you to meet me at some hotel in town. I just can't face the prospect of coming home to you—and a dozen other people. I'm sure you will understand and respect my feelings in this matter, Chippie—

Well, darling, I have just about written the evening away. 
I'll stop now ‘cause I have to save some for tomorrow ~ So hasta mañana, sweetheart. You know I adore you, but if you'll put your arms around me and stand real close so I can get my lips close to your ear, I’ll whisper what is ever in my heart ~ I love you, my Evie—

Your Phil

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Post #700 - September 26, 1945 A Letter from Milt Brown


Sept. 26, 1945

Dear Evelyn:

No mail from you since I wrote you last, but I still owe you quite a few letters. I’m feeling fine, & hope this letter finds you all the same. Our work in this outpost has closed down the past few days and we aren’t getting in many Jap prisoners. We have the biggest majority taken care of now. In a few days we expect to move out of here & set up our camp down on the beach. I thought for awhile we were going to catch some of the Occupation Army, but I’m most sure now that we won’t & that sure does suit me fine. We sure have been hearing some good news of our Division going to the States, as a whole, over the radio & around here on the Island. Everyone in the outfit with 60 points or above will go back with the Division & those who have under will be sent to another outfit. With the new recount I have 68, but I still would have had enough without the recount. So far they say we will load the boats about the middle of Oct., & that sure will be one boat ride I’ll enjoy no matter how sea sick I get. We sure do deserve a break, & boy this sure would be a good one. The food sure has been lousy & we aren’t getting any fresh meat to eat at all. They say the Q.M. on this base is just using up the food on hand & is not ordering a thing. That also is a good sign of us going home. Well Evelyn, that about winds up the news for now. Give my regards to all. Write you again soon.


Thursday, January 19, 2023

Post #699 - September 25, 1945 Marjorie Enclosed Three Pictures of Herself in Answer to My Request for the Same


25 September 1945

Dearest Evie,

All day today we have been sweating out the arrival of the new men who are to make up the 866th Air Engr Sq. We in the Orderly Room are looking to their coming with a great deal of pleasurable anticipation, because when they arrive we will turn the Orderly Room over to them (with our blessings) and retire to our own huts and sacks where we will take it easy from now on. I'm not kidding, 'cause that is exactly and literally what we are going to do. I expect that in a week or two we will be free to take one pass after another until we ourselves are alerted for shipment. The "866th" is scheduled to move out to POE on 6 October, and my own shipping orders should be along almost any time after that, and possibly before, because there aren't many men left with scores as high as 77 points.

While I was sitting and twiddling my thumbs this afternoon, it occurred to me that here was an ideal opportunity to get a long-delayed letter off to Mom. So I hunted up some lined paper and got to work. It has taken me most of the afternoon, but I feel a lot better for having done it. Tell Mom I'm sorry if I got my "gimmels" and "zyens" backward (I never can remember which is which), but I don't expect that she will have much trouble deciphering my message. Tell her, too, that I'd appreciate it if, in replying, she also used lined paper and made an effort to make her writing more legible than in her previous letters. I managed to make out what she had written, but it was slow work.

Today brought no fresh mail from you, Sweet, but I did get three letters nevertheless. There was one from (you'd never guess, so I'll tell you) Marjorie Nerenberg! Surprised? I was! The other two were from buddies of mine who transferred to other fields last week, Red Barnhart and Joe Cunningham. Almost forgot to mention that Marjorie enclosed three pictures of herself in answer to my request for the same. If I remember correctly, you have seen her picture - at least, I remember that you described her in one of your letters. What do I think of the way she looks? Well, let's see - To begin with, I was favorably impressed by the "clean" cut of her. She is prettier than I imagined she would be, with strong, yet delicately-chiseled features in a head the shape of which instantly reminded me of your own. Her lovely (no less) blonde hair is well groomed in an underswept "page boy" coiffure. She has, on the whole, the type of face that no one could possibly mistake for anything but "aryan", or "shickse", as the intolerant Jews are wont to call them. She appears to be very tall - I would guess about 5’7" (without heels), and is very thin. But she dresses smartly and wears clothes well. It seems extremely incongruous to me that she should fall for a guy like Jackie. The guy who said opposites attract certainly has the strongest kind of proof for his theory in this case! She is "pure aryan" - Jack is "pure semitic". She is tall he is short. She is fair he is dark and so on. But, if I am any judge of character as shown by physiognomy, she is strong-minded, purposeful, determined, stubborn, and with a will and mind of her own. Which, I don't need to tell you, is the exact complement of Jackie's makeup. She says that they are very happy, but that Jack appears to miss the "big city". I'll send along the pictures, which Jackie made himself, and her letter just as soon as I have answered her.

Last night, having nothing better to do, I went to the movies with Sgt Murphy to see (don't faint now - ) "Call of the Wild".

This morning I had to move to another barracks. That took up most of the morning. Incidentally, I have an honest-to-goodness one-piece mattress now for the first time in the ETO! Isn't that wonderful? What, you don't see anything wonderful about it? Well, lady, if you had slept on three “biscuits" for over two years, I have no doubt you would appreciate how wonderful a one-piece mattress can be!

It is now 5:40 (by my new watch - still ticking merrily along) and we are sweating out the arrival of the new men. We may have to work late tonight.

That's about all I have to report today, honey, so I'll say so-long for now. My dearest love to the punkin and all. I love you, baby - or did you know that?

If you ever had the slightest doubt about it just you wait 'til I get you in bed - I'll show you! But that is only one side of my love for you. The other side hates me for talking that way to you - you're so sweet, my darling.

All ways
Your Phil

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Post #698 - September 24, 1945 We Might Do Well to Check Up on How Many Points Each of "Our" Boys Have

24 September 1945

My Darling,

The weather can't seem to make up its mind today. It has rained ten times already, and in between times the sun has been shining. Right now it is raining again. I cleaned up what work there was this morning, and don't have a solitary thing to do this afternoon - except type this letter to you.

Your letter of 16 Sep was on my desk when I came back to the Orderly Room after lunch. There isn't much that requires comment, though. I'm happy to learn that Yale came through his operation O.K., and that Syd Brown is a civilian by now. I was wondering a little while ago how many points our Jack has now. Since the WD has announced that the number of points will be the determining factor in all future shipments home and for demobilization, we might do well to check up on how many points each of "our" boys have. I'd like to know how many Puffy and Limey have, too.

I'm going to institute a policy today—that of including the latest dope on shipping and demobilization according to the Stars & Stripes. This should give you a pretty good idea as to when you might expect me. You know, of course, that I have 77 points.

Too bad you're having such a time finding a snow-suit for the punkin. You say something about shopping for it in New York, I think that is a "smashing" idea! But I'm afraid that she'll need it before the time for meeting in New York arrives. Incidentally, Sweet, in case you didn't know it before, I will be separated from the service at Ft. Dix. It may work out that I won't be able to meet you in New York after all, but there is a chance that I will. The picture is too indefinite right now to say for sure where we will hold that long-awaited reunion, but you may depend on it I will get in touch with you at the earliest possible instant, and wherever we meet, it will be just too wonderful for words. I must warn you now not to be disappointed if I fail to let you come to me at once, because I still feel that I don't want to see you until I am free to be with you for at least a number of days. I simply could not bear to see you for a little while and then separate again (you remember how it was at Ft. Dix). You understand, Chippie, why I don't want to go through that ordeal again! Do you remember how I almost took Klein up on his offer to let us "use" the jeep? He still kids me about it. No, thank you—I'll take a nice, cozy hotel room some place—nor will I consider meeting you until conditions are such that we can be alone. You'll probably think that I'm pretty awful for thinking this way, Chippie - that "that" is all I think about. But that's not exactly the truth, baby. It's just that that is one of the things I will be thinking about when I have you close to me, and I know how maddening it can be to be prevented by circumstances.

Does it strike you, honey, that in my most recent letters I can hardly talk about anything but my homecoming? To be perfectly frank, I rarely think of anything else these days. Everything we're doing in the Orderly Room these days is toward the end of getting the boys home and out of the Army, and just the thought of it is enough to cause an air of excitement. When I think how I used to look forward to the days we are now experiencing - ! The one topic of conversation is "the Next Shipping List". It seems that's all we're living for these days.

One thing I do regret, though, darling, is that I got you all excited prematurely. I'll try to keep my natural optimism more in check from now on. I do hope the let-down wasn't too severe, baby.

Was glad to read in your letter that Harry is looking for a place for his family. How's about giving him a lift in his search? Your mother should be able to help in this direction - if I remember correctly she has a knack for that sort of thing. I won't pretend, Chippie, that my motives here are anything but selfish. You will understand from my last few letters that I am most anxious to come back to a home occupied only by you and the punkin and Mom. Your failure to accomplish this would be the only thing that would, in some measure, keep my homecoming from being the perfectly glorious experience I have envisaged. - But there I go again! Just can't seem to keep off the subject.

Time to quit now, Sweet, and just space enough left to tell you yet again that I adore you. Best love to Adele and all the family.

Expectantly, Your Phil