January 12, 1946. Dad writes from Saipan, having finally been shipped off of Guam. He is not yet cleared for discharge, but it is clear that he has pretty much “checked out” and is simply putting in his time until the next points drop catches up with him and he heads home. His letter from Saipan is notable in that it provides quite a bit of detail about his trip from Guam and what he will be involved with (for the time being) while on Saipan. For that reason, this post will be a straight transcription of the letter. Here goes…
“Saipan, Marianas 12th Jan. 1946. – Saturday
Dear Mom, Dad, Stanley and Lubinski family,
How are you? I feel fine and hope you are the same.
You probably have noted my new address which is as follows in case you may have thrown away the envelope:
S/Sgt. Anthony I. Murawski
Hq. & Hq. Sg. – VII Ftr. Comd.
A.P.O. #244, Unit 6, c/o PM
San Francisco, CALIF
This is part of the 20th Air Force program to level off the personnel in its various outfits more evenly. From my observation, the 7th Ftr. Comd. should be here quite a while. Today, points have been dropped to 48 and 38 months service. I have 47 points and 36 months service. They always seem to just about come within my bracket and halt. The next point drop should get me. Several fellows who came over her to Saipan from Guam with us and are eligible under the new point and service drop, will process tomorrow and leave the outfit on Monday.
Here’s the story on my trip to Saipan about 150 miles from Guam. On the 10th of Jan. we got up at 4:00 A.M., ate, and left for APRA Harbor, Guam at 6:30 A.M. We embarked on a Navy PA (Personal Assault) ship , which was larger than the USAT Cape Newenham we came to Guam on, at 1:00 P.M. That was on a Thursday. At 8:30 A.M. (Friday) yesterday we harbored at Tinian where personnel disembarked at 12:30 P.M. and left in trucks around 3:00 P.M. Those going to Saipan stayed aboard. Some Navy tug had a couple cans of food and peaches which they threw to the Air Force personnel. The Army seems to screw up quite often. Although Saipan is 4 miles from Tinian and we could see the barracks there, something delayed us as we spent another night, (that makes two nights) aboard ship and finally disembarked at 12:15 P.M. on Saipan today, Saturday, 12th of Jan. First they had all the guys being their luggage on hatch 5, B deck, yesterday. They must have expected us to unload over the side of the ship into LCT’s. Today we lugged our baggage to C deck and disembarked on a gang plank. Knowing how the Army ran things, yesterday I parked my luggage and myself near an entrance in the hall and sat a while for almost 2 hrs. Fellows were passing me and loading all their bags on the B deck. They had no special setup for disembarking and since they always call again for everyone to disembark after the last one has left, I figured I could sit in the shade and enjoy the cool ocean breeze coming through the door. Most of the fellows in the Army are 1 year rookies and are pretty eager to follow all orders. They don’t even know how to slip away from details like K.P. or cleaning aboard ship. I didn’t do a darned thing and never missed eating 3 times a day, which I know is nothing to brag about. Three years is enough to make any guy want to take it easy especially when he has left his former outfit.
Several of my friends and I have been assigned to the Hq. Squadron of the VII Ftr. Comd. Itself which is next in line after the 20th Air Force. We are located in the area formerly occupied by the 73rd Wing, B-29 outfit. The VII Ftr. has P-51’s and B-17s. I don’t know as yet what department I’ll be working in but I’ll let you know. Our barracks overlook the ocean while our Service Club is at the ocean’s edge. You can hear the waves hitting the edge of the island. Four miles across you see the airfields at Tinian. At nights you see lights across the see on that island. Our area has been well built and all drainage goes into the sea. In the barracks we have iron cots with springs, mattresses and pillows. If the fellows on Guam could see us, they surely would envy us. The chow is well prepared and the bread is fluffy and not hard like we had on Guam the earth here is about the same color we have back home which is a lot better than that bloody red silty soil on Guam. On dry days it would get into your clothes and leave a reddish tint even after you’ve washed them.
On Saipan we have the WPBC Center where men come from Guam and Tinian when they become eligible for discharge so that should save me a boat trip.
When the 73rd Wing on Saipan went home, non-eligible fellows were sent to Guam, and now we came back under this new 20th Air Force deal to Saipan. The name of the field is Isely Field.
There aren’t any bugs here. We have the lights on and door open and no bugs come around.
The way I’ve been telling you folks to expect me home must be getting you down as the Army never came across as I expected them to. You can see for yourselves the way they slowed down demobilization. I just can’t be wrong now when I say I’ll be eligible in the next point drop, even if they drop it by one point. I’d sure like to lay my hands on them jerks responsible for this nerve-wracking process. I hope they don’t do away with the discharge system until after I get out from their stupid bungling control.
Well, I guess that’s all for now. The air is sure a lot nicer as we’re by the ocean and a couple of miles norther than Guam and it’s sticky jungles.
God Bless you all. May we meet soon.
Your son, brother, uncle,