Letters from the Good War

A running series of World War II letters written by a Navy Seabee who served in the South Pacific theatre taking the reader through the entire war experience.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Dear Mom,

The erection of our tents is getting under way. I have my eye on a possible bachelor apartment. In the meantime I'm living in a tent with other fellows. The tents are 18' x 20', normally housing seven men, but only five men at this base, because we have more tents than we need. Our tent has a quiet, harmonious group, but there's nothing like living alone. The tent has two electric lights with as many attachments as we wish. All tents are screened, with fine screen doors and, for the ambitious, a porch. For the tropics it's comfortable living.
Storm warnings are circulating. We are advised to batten down the hatches. A typhoon is due within a day. At present the air is still, and the sky overcast, although not yet threatening.

I enjoyed Thunderhead last night. The horses, the scenery, the color and the background music blended into a movie of beauty.

I already have a laundry girl from the local village. If you speak their language you're in. They get a great kick out of hearing an American speak Tagalog. So few Americans have bothered to learn the language, even the more common expressions.

The showers here run warm water. The water tanks are heated by the sun. All those months in New Guinea I got used to cold showers. Our skin is always clean. We perspire so much that our pores stay clear. I drink as many as eight house size glasses of water at a meal and take a salt tablet or two a day and salt my food heavily.

I give my ration of beer and cigarettes to some of my friends. If I wished I could sell them at an enormous profit. Beer costs us $15.00 for a two dozen case. There was a time when I could sell beer for a dollar a can. Cigarettes cost me fifty cents a carton. The Filipinos gladly pay five dollars. Although they offer to pay more, I sell beer and cigarettes to other friends at cost. I don't need the money that badly.

I don't have much to say this evening. My love to all


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