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Letter typed by servicemen who was with the Far East Air Force. He speaks of War Torn Manila+ others

Article about: Page 1 Sunday night September 9, 1945 Dearest Mother & Dad; Spent this afternoon in Manila, and once again the trip really wasn't worth it. was really packed and jammed with military per

  1. #1

    Default Letter typed by servicemen who was with the Far East Air Force. He speaks of War Torn Manila+ others

    Letter typed by servicemen who was with the Far East Air Force. He speaks of War Torn Manila+ others
    Page 1

    Sunday night
    September 9, 1945

    Dearest Mother & Dad;

    Spent this afternoon in Manila, and once again the trip really wasn't worth it. was really packed and jammed with military personnel, so darn many sailors, and the usual number of army and air corps men. When you see the number of men here in Manila, you actually wonder if anyone is going home. There must easily be almost a million servicemen here in Manila alone. It rained most of last night and for awhile this morning, but the rain stopped about noon, and by the time I got into Manila, it was dusty as the devil again. I went in with two of the fellows that work here in the office, and we spent the whole afternoon going around drinking cokes. We had four in all, and each time we went to one of the Snack Bars, the line was a mile long and thus we had to wait quite sometime to get something to drink. Waiting in line made us so thirsty that we almost died before we got the coke, then when we did get the drink, it was not near enough to satisfy our thirst, so back in line we would go again. I never did get enough to drink, and we topped the afternoon off by drinking a lot of water. Actually the water did more to quench our thirst, but the cokes certainly did taste good. We spent a little time just walking around town looking around at the wreckage, and it certainly is a horrible sight to see. However, the Filipinos are really doing a good job of trying to get things back in shape again, and in about two or three years this city should begin to come life again. Of course it is full of life right now, but when one looks at the buildings -- all seems so dreary and dead. There are so many beautiful places in town—rather they were beautiful places— that are gutted and completely ruined with mortar shell holes in the walls and rifle marks all over the building. We were in the famed "Walled City" looking over the ruins, and from the battle scars left there that must have been on hell of a hot battle between the Japs and the Yanks. Every single building was simply shot to bits -- inside and out. They must have had to dig the Japs out one by one. You just cannot imagine what a city as devastated as this one can be. I understand that Tokyo is not near as ruined as Manila, and Tokyo took some pretty terrific bombings.

    We have been having some fairly good food recently, and I don't know what the reason is unless the army is preparing to tell us to make this neck of the woods our home because we are here for quite a long time. We have been having fresh fried eggs and fresh oranges for breakfast for the past few days, and last night I went to the midnight mess with the kid that was on CQ, and they had fresh fried eggs for the midnight meal. That is something quite unusual because the midnight chows are usually just coffee and bread or whatever was left over from the evening meal. Today at noon we had baked ham, and I happened to get a large freshly cut piece from the middle of the ham. For supper this evening we had large round steaks, and the steak I had was very good, but was too much for me to eat. I think I was really too tired to each much because these trips into town always knock the wind out of me. But this food situation has really picked up. First thing I know they will be giving fresh milk out, and when they do that then watch out—we are ready to get the bad news. As long as the food is not good then you can really kick the army all over the place, but when they start throwing eggs, steaks, baked ham, and oranges at you, they are expecting you to shut up the kicking about living over here. What I imagine has happened is that a convoy of boats arrived from the States sometime last week and they were probably mostly cargo ships, and brought quite a stock of eggs and oranges as well as fresh meat. I imagine that since boats have to come over to pick up what few fellows are lucky enough to get to go back, then they naturally fill them with cargo and since no ammunition or such material for waging war is now necessary, they fill the ships with food. More power to them if they do. Even though the food is improving, don't forget to send me some of that food from home. I don't care how good the food gets in this mess hall,
    Letter typed by servicemen who was with the Far East Air Force. He speaks of War Torn Manila+ others
    Page 2 :

    it still will never even begin to approach the food from home. Your telling more about the canning of those fresh peaches has me watering at the mouth, so get some packages on the way, please, please, please.

    In this daily paper of ours "Daily Pacifician", there is a column devoted to letters from the fellows in the service. It is called the mail bag, and for awhile they were printing only such letters as they thought should be printed. However, since the end of the war they are re printing all of the letters, and some hot ones have come forth. Many letters have been written on the system of discharge, but I am enclosing two of the letters that appeared in today's paper -- one of which is so true that it hurts. That is the article on "Re-enlistment" by M/Sgt Joseph Marino. This gives you the actual truth about the re-enlistment and just how well it is going over here. You said you had heard over the radio that the army expected enough men to volunteer for the occupation forces so the rest of us can head for home. Well, this letter expresses the sentiments of the enlisted men 100%, so you can gather just how successful this job of trying to get the men to volunteer for more service is coming along. The rank of M/Sgt is the highest rank that an enlisted man can receive and if a fellow holding that rank feels this way, think how we fellows of lower rank feel. A Master Sergeant gets just about the best treatment of all the enlisted menk in fact they are almost treated like officers sometimes, that is, until an officer comes along. But the whole letter is so true that it must have made many an officer sick to read it. It definitely reveals the caste system being used in this so-called "democratic" army. The last papagraph in the letter is just exactly how things look to us over here -- if the army would make some changes in their policy of governing the men and do away with the caste system, they would not have to offer monetary "come-ons" (and that is just what all of these offers for re-enlistment are) to encourage enlistments. That is so,so true. In one place he really hits the nail on the head when he says that men should be classified according to their particular education, training, experienc and such, and then he tells the truth when he says that things should not be as they are in this war -- inexperienced men as commanding officers. That one statement is so true that it is pitiful. The commanding officers now are the men that were drafted when the draft first started, the bar-tenders, truck-drivers, WPA workers that were kicked out of their jobs, the loafers and the general bums of the street. Those men were the first to come in, the first to go to OCS, and now they are our ommanding officers— our "superiors". Superior in what? Certainly not intelligence. The letter by the fellow on "Draft" is something that has puzzled me all the time too. The emergency is definitely ended for those at home, while the war is still being fought over here. For the men that should be drafted, Congress is trying to call the end of the war right now and that the emergency is over, but for we fellows now stuck out here -- the emergency still exists and thus we cannot go home. Also, if they are not going to draft men over 26, I cannot see why the army feels it should keep men in over 26. If the guys now in civilian clothes that have never seen any service and are over 26 are classed as too old for service, then certainly we fellows with two and three and more years of service should be too old for the army. It is one dam sure thing that we have had a much harder life to lead than these men that have stuck at home all of the time and lived quite a life of ease. If they are too old for the service— then so are we. Everything is so mixed up and wrong, there is so much gross injustice being dished out— no one understands it, but what can we do about it? I am still looking forward to some action from you people back there. After painting the picture as it really is, surely you must realize that my only chance of getting home within the next year to eighteen months is for you to get me home. So please, if you can, do some thing, even though it will not be my idea -- just anything so I can get home now because That is where I should be. My little trip in town left me rather weary, so think I will head for the tent and get some sleep. Good-night,

    All my love to both of you,

    Norman.Letter typed by servicemen who was with the Far East Air Force. He speaks of War Torn Manila+ others

  2. #2


    Interesting letter. Thanks.

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