4-27-43: Worked at 85th. Rained some this morning. Went to show and saw “It Happened In Flatbush.”
4-28-43: Latrine detail today–easy job. Worked around basha remainder of the time.
4-29-43: Worked at 85th.
4-30-43: Worked at 85th again. Helped G. K. on Intern. truck. Payday received $11.10 (36 R.) 1a. On guard.
5-1-43: Stood guard all day because of alert. Had first beer at supper since I left States. Indian beer at 1 R per quart. Drank 2 of them.
5-2-43: Sunday, but we have to work on our own equipment. We checked over all our trucks. Went to church this morning. Bought a woven bamboo seat.
5-3-43: Worked at 85th all day. Very hot. Had very dusty ride back. Took good bath and felt better. Always feel worn out during afternoon and evening. Wrote to folks and Carl Getz.
5-5-43: Went with Hartke & Kinzel to unload crated motorcycle, but rained us out. Had cherry pie for supper [Dad’s favorite]. What a rare treat.
5-6-43: Went to 85th again and helped Les on International truck. Had to scuffle a drive line ran into some grief. Very hot. Game tonight 2nd shift Showers. Wrote letter to Dot.
5-7-43: No day guard, but got moving off to wash clothes. Native came around and washed my coveralls, paid him a couple of annas and gave him a cigarette. He wanted my GI soap, but I gave him a piece of Sunlight soap instead to get rid of him. Worked on own trucks this afternoon. Goldbricked mostly though. Played horseshoe with Peck as my partner. Lost 2 games to small arms, but won 2 from Instr. section. cigarettes & PX supplies given 3 R’s worth at a time today and yesterday.
5-8-43: Went to **Dibruggarth on pass. Hitchhiked up. Got Chev. at 12. *Ordered a ring for myself & Fred. Rode in car with four nurses. Got back about 9:30.
5-9-43: Sunday–Late breakfast. Cleaned up around basha this morning and went to church. Pitched a few horseshoes this afternoon and then laid around the rest of the afternoon.
5-10-43: Worked at 85th.
5-11-43: Worked at 85th.
5-12-43: Guard. D. S. boys return.
5-13-43: Washed this morning and made me a shelf to put some of my stuff. Rained all afternoon so I cleaned my gun (disassembled) and took it easy. Wrote a letter.
5-14-43: Received 4 letters 1 from Dot, 1 from folks, V-Mail from Carl Getz and an Easter card from Laura Cooper, Lakeside. Wrote V-mail to Carl and started air mail to folks. Went to show at 48th Evac. Double feature, “The Hard Way” and “Life Begins at 8:30.” Got to bed shortly after 12.
5-15-43: Saturday, worked at 80th. Helped put in a transmission in International Truck on dead line. Put up drive line. Took good bath and talked to Fred about Fords, etc. in the basha until bed time.
5-16-43: Sunday–8 o’clock breakfast. Washed in morning. Went to church. Shined shoes after chow and cleaned up in basha. Laid around about an hour till inspection at 4.
5-17-43: Worked at 85th with Les on International truck again. Almost finished it. Shop trucks came in today.
5-18-43: Stayed here today and checked over tools in Automotive tool truck. Guard tonight 3rd shift (10 till 12 & 4 till 6). Have been reading some of old mail. Sure wish I could write back and tell them just what I’m doing. (eight lines marked out)
5-19-43: Worked here again today, placing tools and parts in the spare parts truck. Checked tools in the 2nd Echelon set #2.
5-20-43: Checked over tools again today. Received 3 letters today noon, 2 air mail from my wife, and one from my folks. Received 2 V-mail letters tonight. One was from Mr. Bucholtz and the other from folks written about April 11th. Last letter from folks mailed April 27th. Last letter from Dot mailed Apr. 26th. Wrote nice long letter to Dorothy tonight.
5-21-43: Checked over tool boxes and spare parts truck. C. O. came back from inspecting new area. Expects us to move out next week some time. Finished writing V-mail to my folks.
5-22-43: Rained all morning and the ground is very sloppy. My feet have been wet all day. Have been checking and re checking tool boxes. Finally got 5 completed as near as I could with what we have. Have to make out a list of tools in them tomorrow. This kind of work is about as hard on a fellow as anything a person can do, I believe. We probably (some of us) will be moving out of here Mon. morn.
5-23-43: Work all day trying to get truck in order.
5-24-43: Move up road about 24 miles [30 MP]. Lt. Br. commanding. Shop area in very bad shape. Sloppy mud axle deep in places. Spend afternoon digging ditches and trying to drain area. Tents with electric lights hooked up to generator on truck. Awful hot. (exhausted).
Editor’s note: Road construction moved eastward in sections. Sections were marked with mile posts [MP] starting from Ledo. Some mile post markers had colorful names that only GI’s could give. As the road moved, so did those providing support.
5-25-43: Got up at 20 till 7 this morning. Breakfast at 7. Good. Work at 8. Worked on truck today. Morris & I. Parts came in this evening. Took bath in river tonight. Water cold and refreshing. Wrote 2 letters. 1 to Mrs. Cooper, Lakeside and one to Mr Buchholz, Had coffee. I believe I’m going to like this place.
5-30-43: A lot of parts have been coming in the last few days. Been very busy. Area is improving with a lot of work. Today has been the hottest yet. If it gets any hotter I’m done for. I’m all in tonight. Took a bath in the river again tonight and stopped at the Chinese camp to see if there was to be a show, but the projector was broke. Pay day today. I received 26 Rupees and 2 annas ($7.90) $3.20 out for statement of charges.
6-7-43: Has been rather warm today. Moved the two parts trucks today behind the shop. Put the rear ends together and stretched the canvas cover. Some of the boys were issued boots today. Went up river tonight to wash clothes and take a bath. Took monkey with us and she hung around my neck all the way up there. Got a letter from my Dad tonight mailed on the 2nd of May. The first letter that I ever received from him when he wrote by himself.
6-10-43: It has been a busy daylike most days are now. Went on sick call this morning with feet and had them treated. Painted them with a solution for ring worm. Lt. B. went with me. We drove a weapons carrier and had to go back down the road about 4 miles to Horse medics. Picked up some Chinese soldiers on the way back. We are to hear the Articles of War tonight at 7 o’clock. The area is getting a lot better now since the boys have hauled in so much gravel. I think of home a great deal during my spare moments. I don’t have too much time to think of such. Fred B. [Bratton]. Went back up the road to the company this morning after spending a week here with us. I hope Fred and I don’t get too far apart. I hope we can go home together like we did when we went home on our last furlough 7 mo. ago.
6-11-43: Went on sick call again with my feet. They feel worst. My left foot pains me some and I have a headache. I think I’ll go to bed early.
6-12-43: Admitted to 73rd Evac. Hosp. in the evening. Find the “Doc” medics from the company in my ward (D-3). Lots of malaria patients.
6-13-43: Three boys leave this morning. “Doc” one of them. Harry Grant comes in this afternoon with malaria. Soaked my feet this morning in a solution of potassium permanganate and water. And and then powdered them afterwards. Found a book to read about nature–Australia.
6-15-43: About the same today. Nothing unusual except heard them practice firing guns up in the hills this morning. Still no mail. Read a book today. Captain North in “Exile Murders in Singapore.”
6-16-43: Barton brought Harry G. and I some cookies and candy from our PX have been reading about how the hardier varieties of wheat were introduced in our midwestern states and Canada. The title of the book is “Hunger Fighters” by Paul DeKruf. There are several good articles that I yet have to read. It is interesting as well as educational. I think I’ll write a few lines to my folks as I haven’t written for over a week.
6-17-43: Received 6 letters this morning written all the way from May 9th to May 22nd. Saw Gorski last night and (Pismo Pete) Merlin Peterson a little while ago. I think I’ll answer some of these letters now while I have the inspiration to write.
6-18-43: I am still reading “Hunger Fighters.” Very interesting and educational. I found out how hybrid corn was discovered. Some colored boys came in this afternoon to visit some of their buddies and I was quite amused at their speech. Played three games of checkers with Keelong, the fellow next to me, this morning. My toes are almost dried up. I think a few more days will be all that it’ll take.
6-19-43: Had slight fever this afternoon.
6-20-43: Felt OK today.
6-21-43: Had temperature about 101 this afternoon and a slight chill. Beginning to look like malaria. Blood smears showed no malaria.
6-22-43: Feel all right today. Doctor says I can leave soon.
6-23-43: Felt fine this morn. Doc said I could leave tomorrow. This aft. had a bad chill and run a fever close to 105. Blood smear still shows negative.
6-24-43: I was supposed to have left today, but they started giving me quinine. I felt fairly good this morn. outside of being weak.
Editor’s note: It wasn’t like Dad to miss diary entries. Soldiers suffered from fungal infections and various mosquito-borne illnesses.
7-2-43: I’m taking atribine [atropine?] now and have been for 4 or 5 days. I’m ready to leave, but may have to stay another week. Have been in hosp. for 20 days now. Finished reading “A Blind Man’s Eyes.” A very interesting book. Returned to Chaplain Hurt’s office and got another. Wrote a V-mail to Wendell D. yesterday. Wrote an air mail to my wife yesterday and a V-mail to my folks. Received a V-mail from folks yesterday morning dated June 14th and an airmail dated June 7. Heard today that I’ve been made T/5. I’ve waited quite a while for that. Hope I can keep it.
7-4-43: Here it is 4th of July and I’m in the hospital. I wonder what they are doing back home today? We had a nice fried chicken dinner today.
7-8-43: This is my third on Plasma pills. I finish on the 10th. I should leave here on the 11th for my company. Wrote a V-mail to my wife. Hard to write letters as there is so little to say. Haven’t heard from her for week or more.
7-11-43: Came back to station at 24 MP today. Got here in time for a chicken dinner. Very hot here this afternoon. I took my things out of my barracks bags and bring them out to dry as they were damp. Wore me out completely as I was weak anyway.
7-12-43: Went back to work and found that I was way behind on my knowledge of stock on hand.
7-17-43: Ate only supper. Off at stomach and bowels. Received 4 letters. One from Carl G.; and 2 air mail from Dorothy. Sent one wedding picture.
7-18-43: Sunday–8 o’clock breakfast. Pete S. went to Hell Gate. Going to write some letters today. Sort of expect Fred down.
7-31-43: Going to write to Dorothy tonight. Got a letter from her yesterday and answered it last night. Went to Chinese show last night. Couldn’t understand it. Didn’t make sense. It was my first and last.
8-8-43: Made my first trip to Hell Gate this morning with water trailer. It rained on my way up and part way back. Road was sort of slick. Saw Fred and he said he was coming down next Saturday.
I haven’t gotten any mail now since last Sunday. We just finished our noon chow. We are going to have duck for supper. Some of the boys cleaned them this morning. We’ve had them running around here for the last few days. It reminded me of home to have ducks around. They are the colored kind though.
We got our first ration of American beer last week. It sure tasted good in comparison to this Indian beer. We got 12 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Rupperts beer. We also got 24 pack of cigarettes this time.
I washed some of my clothes last night before dark. Coveralls are the hardest to wash as I wear them every day and they get dirty, greasy and sweaty. If I use a brush I can do a fairly good job, if not, grease spots will show. A person has to keep his clothes dry over here or they’ll mold if they lay around long.
On your last letter of July 11th you spoke of having the wheat cut. I don’t suppose that threshing will take as long this time. Probably by the time you read this it’ll be over. Did you have any oats this year or was it too wet to get them in? I hope that your corn crop turns out better this year than it did last. I imagine that it is rather hard to buy corn anymore and is rather high. A person can’t make much on hogs if he had to buy all their feed. The price of hogs has come down too hasn’t it?
I often get to thinking about things back there and it makes me eager to get back on the job again. I keep planning on what I’m going to do.
I am surprised to hear of Harvey Crowder getting married. When I was around home he was just a kid yet. He probably married some young thing that doesn’t realize what it is all about yet, but got married because everyone else seemed to be. Maybe I would have been better off if I had gotten married when I was a few years younger. If I could have found one with some money it might have worked. Ha!
One of the boys bought some souvenirs that look nice. He bought a little ivory goddess and a pair of red pajamas for his wife. He also has some silver pins that were made over here. Some of the fellows were buying stones such as rubies, etc. Until they found that they weren’t genuine. That sort of dampened their interest.
I would like to have a few things to take back, but I’m in no hurry and I sort of hate to let go of the money. I guess it would be all right to have a few things, but not too many. I’ll have to close for this time. Hope you are all well. Write often.
PS: I forgot to tell you that you might as well save the money that it costs to buy air mail stamps. The postal authorities sat that letters sent air mail seldom travel any faster than ordinary mail. When there is a bag of mail to go out they sent it whichever way there is room for regardless of whether it is by plane, train, or boat. I’m going to take advantage of the free postage from now on and save that 6 cents. I would write more V-mail but a person can’t write enough on them. If he could type a letter on them it would be all right. Even at that, after it is reproduced it makes small print. I think I’ll mix V-mail with regular mail. I told Dorothy the same thing as she has been sending all her letters air mail and has even been sending me air mail stamps. There doesn’t seem to be much difference in the length of time it takes the different types of letters to get here. It all depends on the mail service anyway.
8-10-43: Made 2nd trip to Hell Gate today. Stayed for dinner. Talked to Fred for quite a while.
8-11-43: Went to river tonight. Water was very swift and cool. Laid the windshield down on the weapons carrier. Shaved my chin whiskers off tonight after having over two weeks of growth. It was a good start. Maybe I’ll try again sometime. Got our PX supplies last night. Bought some peanuts, pencil leads and Kleenex. Handy to clean my glasses. Haven’t gotten any letter from Dorothy or folks since week ago Sunday. Should be getting some any day now. Received letter from Aunt Mary Trill yesterday.
8-12-43: Signed payroll this morning first thing. Made trip to Hell Gate today with water trailer. 3rd trip. No mail at all today–11 days now since I heard from folks or Dot. Corgialotti came back today from hospital. Road good. Sun shone all day–hot. In case I forget, we call the 24 MP [mile post]–Pissin’ Post Junction–sign along road where the drive is. Wrote V-mail to Dot. tellng her of Christmas parcels. Fred bought me 2 large bars of Palmolive soap today. Cost 3 R’s (96 cents) way too much to have to pay for soap–these robbing Hindus!
8-19-43: Wrote to Dorothy tonight. A couple of nights ago got our second ration of Am. beer and other supplies. Got 2 packs of gum and 1 carton of cigs. besides candy (Walnettos) and mints, etc. I have very urgent desire to be home tonight as I gaze at Dorothy and my wedding picture. I hope she realizes how much I miss her and would like to be back home. I suppose she misses me and wishes just as much that I were there.
8-21-43: Has been terribly warm today. Was on fatigue, but didn’t work very hard as was too hot. Went after sand from river and took a swim while we were there. 3 natives fishing. One swam across river with his fishing pole and fished on other side. Wrote 3 letters tonight. Got V-mail from folks dated Aug 3rd. Boys here played volleyball with team from above and got badly beaten last evening. Have felt tired and blue all day. I think I’m getting homesick.