5 Sep 1945
Just finished talking to Sgt. Murphy, who had some more edifying news to impart. His commanding Officer, Capt. Ervin, told him today that we are moving to POE between 1-10 October, and will be on our way home shortly thereafter. Do you grasp that, baby? It means that I'll be home by Mid-October—about five weeks from today and less than a month from the time you receive this. What I'm looking for now, is for the critical score to drop to 75 points, so that my 77 points will automatically send me to separation center for discharge, so that I can meet you again as a civilian. I'm pretty sure that the score will drop about the end of this month, and that I'll be a civilian when the time comes for our big reunion. I hope, darling, that you have given Mr. Bellet your notice, ’cause I wouldn't find at easy to forgive you if you let your job keep us apart for even a single day. - Which reminds me that you said something in one of your more recent letters to the effect that my intention of going to school is “another reason” you want to hang onto your job. There must be a letter missing—one I haven't received yet, but I'm telling you now, my Sweet, that if you offered any argument about giving your boss to understand that as of the day I come home, after I told you in no uncertain terms what I expected of you, well, a bawling out is a mild term for what I'll hand you "Nuff said?
6 Sep 1945
Sgt. Murphy came in to ask me if I were going to the movies to see “Can’t Help Singing.” I had forgotten it was playing last night until he reminded me, and because this was one I didn't want to miss, I thought you wouldn't mind too much if I interrupted this letter. Deanna Durbin was beautiful and in lovely voice, the technicolor photography, in itself, was enough to make the picture worthwhile, and while the plot and action were on the "thin" side, it was altogether a picture to thrill the eyes and ears of anyone who appreciates beauty. Deanna Durbin's rendition of “More and More” is a never-to-be-forgotten experience. The music, by Jerome Kern, is his best effort in years. Don't miss this one honey!
Today, gray and cool, was another day of "processing". We ran thru Hq, Sq and our own Sq (866) during the course of it. Tomorrow we'll tend to the 690th Material Sq and Hq 353d Fighter Group, and we'll be finished—probably by lunch-time. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I'll be able to take off this week-end. If I can, I’ll go into Colchester to say so-long to Bert and Evelyn and Nigel and to the Marks.
Today, too, there was a good deal of moving from one hut to another. The squadron has shrunk to less than half its original size, so we emptied some of the barracks, the personnel moving into the vacant places left in the others. I was placed in a hut with eight guys whom I know only slightly. However, because I work in the Orderly Room, they all know me, so it won't be too long before we're well acquainted. Besides, there is a radio here, and that's no small consolation!
Slowly but surely, we are “retrenching". The other day we turned our "tin" helmets, gas-masks and guns in to Supply. Today we got rid of our pup-tents, pins, poles, etc., leggings and wool-knit hat. What's more, we had to empty our foot-lockers to make them available for packing purposes. We are now, in Army parlance, “living out of our barracks bags." But no one seems to mind, 'cause it is all part of getting ready to go home. There is much hustle and bustle about getting rid of accumulated junk, sending stuff home, etc., etc., and in spite of the fact that the guys are cynical and skeptical about ever getting out of here—there is an unmistakable air of expectancy and suppressed excitement all over the place. These boys have been in the Army too long to build up their hopes and emotions about anything, and to hear them talk, an outsider would get the impression that they'd bet their lives they’ll still be here come next summer, but while they talk and deprecate and indulge in the most pessimistic opinions, they are busily and earnestly packing. Watching and listening, I have to smile. But there is something sad about them, too. The poor guys are so afraid to hope, or even to give their buddies an inkling that they are hoping (in spite of all past disappointments and disillusionments) that they talk constantly about what is not apt to happen as if those things must eventually transpire. One would never guess, from their actions and talk, that they are even remotely concerned with getting home—indeed, they mention home only rarely. But I know that each and every one of us is obsessed with a single idea—to get home to our loved ones at the earliest possible moment. One must live with these men to understand the fervency, the burning impatience and eagerness of that desire. Believe me, honey, when I say that each and every one of us has known enough of loneliness and heartache and frustration to last us our life-times. Do you remember, Chippie, how perfectly contented I was just to be home after I came out of Infantry? How I savored and enjoyed two-fold every commonplace pleasure that fell to my lot in that year? Well, that is pretty nearly what will be the state-of-mind of practically every G.I. returning to civilian life. How they'll love it!
There hasn't been any fresh mail these past two days, Sweet, and because I am just about “writ out” and it's time to hit the hay, anyway, I'll sign off now.—No, one more thing—I got to imagining today how Adele will look when I see her again—(a little blonde English girl started this train of thought); and it occurred to me that you haven’t told me anything about her legs these past few months. Are they perfectly O.K. now, or is there still something to be desired?
And, of course, my usual heart-felt expression of love and adoration for you, my darling Evie. God grant that the early re-union I am now counting on is not delayed for any reason. I'm literally counting the minutes 'til you are once again in the loving arms of
Your adoring Phil
P.S. Kisses for Adele. Love to all.
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