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We Don’t Have Any Thermometers

Posted by on May 3, 2017

July 22, 23 and 24, 1945. Dad writes a few letters home from Guam where he is stationed at Northwest Field with the 331st Bombardment Group.  It looks like he is flooded by letters as the mail is finally catching up from what Stanley had sent him from England and five letters that have been sent from home.  He notes that it is, “…very fortunate that Stanley is at home while Ann is in the hospital as he keeps me informed of the things at home. That is quite a coincidence that a girl should be born to Ann while Stanley was at home, the same as happened [to me] before the draft board ‘talked’ me into going into the Army. …It doesn’t seem like it, but I’ve been overseas a little over 3 months”

Things are starting to get more established on Guam. On the 22nd he writes that “we moved into our barracks. We also have a swell mess hall. It’s swell to sleep and eat under a roof rather than a tent. I don’t care if the monsoons, rain, and what else they got around here comes. We have electric lights, too.” Dad mentions that it gets dark at about 7PM with “lights out” in the barracks at 9.

Dad writes about the toiletries that Stanley bought for him and a few other things that are on his mind.  “Stanley shouldn’t have bought me what he did, but since he did, I sure appreciate it. It will come in handy, although I have learned to do without many luxuries… If it’s not too late, here’s wishing Stanley a very happy birthday. I know I’m missing a lot, but maybe soon things will be brighter. Looks like Stanley will wind up here in the Pacific as the war, I’m afraid, will drag on for a while. I hope I’m wrong. …[I] am looking forward to a steak dinner with Stanley one of these days as soon as the war ends.”

On the 23rd Dad starts a letter which he eventually finishes on the 24th. He writes, “Last night was the first time I slept under a wooden roof and it felt as if civilization had begun to extend it hand to me. Working in this type of climate tires you easily. It is best to take it easy, especially so during noon, the warmest part of the day. Personally I don’t know what the temperature around here is as we don’t have any thermometers hanging around. That way, I guess it don’t bother us.” He writes about another concern, “In this type of climate, if you move around a lot, you don’t gain much weight. …I believe I may have lost around 5 pounds, but I’m not sure as I haven’t weighed myself.”

He writes more about Guam, but can only get into so many details. “The evenings are very nice as well as the early morning, just like late Spring at home. I’ve seen so many palm trees and leaves which would please Father Ostrowski on Palm Sunday very much. He would never run out of palms if he were here.” He goes on to write, “I could tell you quite a bit about this place, and it probably would be censored; therefore, you can learn more about this place by buying a newspaper or magazine at any newsstand. It may be given with a chocolate cream coating, but you can just about make out between the words what kind of a place this is.”

Before closing he observes, “The first few days we were here we sure kept our eyes open on some of the yellow colored soldiers until we got to know them and what squadron they belonged to. You can imagine what went through our minds when we’d see an oriental walking around in G.I. clothes. There’s a lot now that is behind us and in the past.”

He closes, “God bless you all!”

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