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Dear Nancy Thompson b
Received your letter yesterday b find myself with time on my hands b thought Ib d answer it b Do you mind? Donb t care if you do b Itb s 4:30 in the morning b Ib ve been up all night b just a stay out b seriously b though Ib m on duty b We work around the clock b sometimes day, sometimes night, & sometime day & night. Itb s a beautiful night out b at least I would think so if I were back home where nights like this could be appreciated b Out here it has a different meaning b tonight I guess youb d call it a [illegible] night b The japs never failed to pay us a visit on nights like this b if they come we wonb t be surprised b if they donb t it will mean b no more air raids. With the advances web ve made in the last couple of months b our place here is a bit behind the lines. Ib m the officer in charge here at this hour b things are pretty quite b like the calm before the storm b every so often it is broken by some stuff coming in b I guess itb s hot stuff b at least it seemed so at first b now it seems routine b the excitement & the novelty of handling it b has long since left me. Itb s just(sp?) that way, because then itb s handled more efficiently. As I look around over men here b I see quite a picture b Ib ve been here 8 months b a few have been here longer. Theyb re stripped to the waist - ^wearing dirty old smelly dungeries b The place reeks with a peculiar smell b human perspiration mingles with that heavy sweet damp smell of the jungle. Interruption b one of the men picked up a message from the red cross chapter back home b notifying him of the death of his mother. I guess I shouldnb t have had him on that circuit b but how were we to know?
We work under ground b constant light b not indirect b just anything we can get. When we leave b go out into the open b that sun is blinding b damn that tropical sun. When it rains out doors b darn it we get here also b as a matter of fact it stops outdoors b while it works itb s way b slowly like b a drip here and a couple of drips or drops there for as long as a week. But we shouldnb t complain b we always have coffee b something you folks probably donb t have b although sometimes Ib d swear itb s not coffee b always black and sometimes muddy b It used to keep me awake back home but now it isnb t coffee that does it. Another interruption. Maybe this letter doesnb t make for good reading b but Ib ll just go along anyway. The newcomers are hoping there would be a raid just so they can experience one. I used to have the same feeling b a while back b but funny how it wears out. These newcomers b look healthy like b rosy cheeks & pink like complexion b whereas we look b kindof yellow b from the sun & the darn adabrine b I quit taking it a long time ago b I wondered which was worse b malaria or the prevention. So now I say, malaria b let her come. There are a few bets going on b on the possibility of an air raid. I say there wonb t be any. Oh oh excuse me b oh well itb s all over now b all better. Just a little unscheduled excitement. Ib m glad the grass skirt arrived safely. It isnb t an every day dress for the natives b only during ceremonial dances b Otherwise they wear b what youb d call just a wrap around b the middle b any old piece of cloth b regardless of the color b mostly mattress covers. The native women are no as pictured in the monies b far from it. They are a scrawny looking lot. They cut their hair short b smoke corn cob pipes, and do most of the work, around the village. The men work usually for the armed forces b labor parties. Usually in building native huts b very clever at that. [Illegible] teach some of us industrial arts majors a few new wrinkles. Maybe at one time I did dream of coming out to the tropics b but believe me b they canb t lure me ^here, again with a million dollars b so help me honest.
I heard from Walt Kveder, Leonb s brother, he is an Ensign in the navy b stationed at New London, Conn. Tells me he tied the know with a beautiful lassie from somewhere around there. Also got word that Harry Wilson & Don [illegible] might be headed up this way. Would really care for some kind of celebration if ever we did meet b before we get to Tokyo. I honestly believe that if I survive long enough b I will be one among the first to step foot in Tokyo. From all indications the day may not be too far off. Tell that lonely [illegible] that they have long since earned my respect. Of course this is an amphibious war b the army comes in only when the island is secure. We may have a good army b but theyb re not here. Tell that Coast [illegible], to sit at ease b there wonb t be any need for them in this war. I better get some work cleaned up. Enough for now. b
Do write again b I certainly enjoy hearing from you all. I expected youb d be in for some ribbing upon receipt of skirt. Ib d have fun too if I were there. By the way 8 mos. ago I spent 2 mos. at [illegible] Santo b since then Ib ve been here b night here.
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