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That is Still up to Congress

Posted by on July 21, 2017

October 26 and 29, 1945. Dad writes two letters home from Northwest Field on Guam where he writes, “Out outfit is pretty well settled here. We now take ice water for granted here as well as coffee and showers whenever you want to. You can wash your clothes anytime you want to. I wash mine at night as you don’t sweat much.” He details that “for the past week I’ve had it very easy and have been resting up a lot.”  Things are very slow as he notes that it’s been some time since they’ve last had formation and “have never stood inspection.”

He notes that the 25th “was Ann’s birthday as well as Terry’s” and he sends “belatedly the best of everything.”  With a wish that he “was there in person to greet Ann and Terry but maybe I’ll be there next year and then we’ll make up for 3 years.” He goes on to ask, “How is little Judy coming along? I hope Terry has a lot of fun with her, and I know I will have a lot of fun with her when I get home.”

He writes that he saw a few of the fellows that he knew from Topeka on base who “came around checking our planes which were being transferred to the States” while other planes “are being put in storage for the time being, leaving only a few for training and other flying purposes.” Among the “other flying purposes” is that some planes from Northwest Field have been flying relief missions to Okinawa in the aftermath of the Typhoon that had recently hit Japan as Dad writes, “our planes also went over there to deliver supplies, Water there was very scarce.”

Dad notes that there “was a B-17 on our ramp here” After having spent time around the B-29s on Guam. Dad comments about the B-17 noting that “It doesn’t look as massive as it used to look back in the States, but they sure got nice contours.”

Graphic comparison of the size of a B-17 as compared to a B-29. Image credit:

Dad mentions that his friends from Topeka have told him that “the follows I was with in Topeka are feeling lousy as they have very few points and still don’t know what is going to happen to them. They are breaking up little by little and things aren’t the way they used to be when there was a requirement for the kind of work they used to perform. I guess I did the right thing in leaving the outfit when I did. I’ll agree that there isn’t a prettier place to be stranded than Topeka, but it’s uncomfortable to be dangling there just by a hair…”

The news has reached Dad that Stanley’s discharge is imminent. As far as Dad’s prospects he writes, “They expect to process men with 55 to 60 points within a week I sure hope another battle star comes through so’s I could have 52 points but 47 is safe enough to keep you from being assigned in some occupation force.”  He continues, “Our 60 pointers and up have already left us. …our outfit is expecting to move to the Philippines around the 1st of the year but that is still up to Congress. They took a list of men with 40 points and less for something but we don’t know what for. Such goings on make for a lot of rumors that spread like wildfire.” Even with prospects of his outfit headed to the Philippines, he still expects to be discharged in the next few months, but he won’t be home until after Christmas.

He does acknowledge that he will have certain challenges getting accustomed to civilian life. “Although it may take a month to get used to our former luxurious life, it can be done. Take me for instance. When I get home I’ll have to learn how to flush toilets. We relieve ourselves like mom and dad used to…on Third Street in Albany. To the fellows who just came into our outfit recently, I tell them that we used to hide in them holes when the 1st Sgt. came around with details, and he had to lift them toilet covers to find us….I just like to kid around and I know the other fellows don’t believe me but it breaks the monotony of things around here.” He further writes, “It’ll be interesting to hear from Stanley as a civilian…on what to look forward to when I get to be a civilian.” He closes, “Haven’t much more to write about. God bless you all and best of luck to you!”

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