South Pacific
 Ewa MCAS | On Leave in Hawaii | On to New Hebrides | Efate and Russells | Bougainville | Rabaul
Letters - November 1943
Letter from Howard, November 1, 1943

Dear Brother:

Many thanks for the nice letter I received from you this morning. Was sure glad to get it. However, I'd like to know what you were drinking when you wrote it. It must have been some Jap beer. You dated it Tuesday, Oct. 28th. Well that was just fine and dandy a couple of years ago, but this year the 28th came on Thursday.

Sure glad to hear that I was right about the pictures of the F-6-F. I just knew it must be you and now that I'm sure it tickles me to know that I got the chance to see you fly. Also at the time I sat back in my seat, threw out my chest and told the people sitting in the 40 rows nearest me that quote, "See that Guy in tha second Hellcat! Dat's me Brudder! Ain't he a hell of a good flyer?" At the time I told Mother and Dad to be sure and see the pics and they did. Now Mother and Dad are tickled to death that they did.

How do you like the ritzy stationery? Some class, huh? A dollar a box at the 5 & 10 in Dallas. My horoscope sez that I'm a guy who in early life will have to get along with my champaigne taste on a beer pocketbook. True enou-gh. (Gad, what gramar. Breaking a word and carrying over two consanants . Hell, I can't spell either.) I think I'll run by the store some time and pick up your Webster's and keep it handy so I can write letters that my learned brother can read.

Ok, on the cheese and crackers, etc. It'll be waiting for you.


Say, Bud, how about busting loose with some dope? Give us a few hints as to what is going on. How many planes you've shot down etc. You can word it real cagey and get by. The other day a boy wrote a letter home to his folks here in Abilene and he said, "I'm where Christ was born and I wish to Christ I was where I was born." The censor wrote a little note in with it and said, "This is so good and original that I'm going to let it through." If and when you get in action in the Solomons that is any action of any kind in any part of the Solomons, in your next letter after that how about asking me if we have rebuilt bus # 22 yet?

Ain't I the one? Can't help it though. I'm dying to know what's going on out there. I see by the papers that plenty's happening, and I'm pretty good at reading between the lines on news stories, but I know I'm missing something. Sure wish I was a foreign correspondent and book - "They Call It Pacific"could get stationed in the Pacific with you. I'm reading the book by Clark Lee, AP correspondent who was with MacArthur when it all started and was at Manila and on Bataan during the siege. It's called "They Call It Pacific." Neat title, huh? Boy, is it a honey. But I'll bet it's not half as good as what you could write if they'd let you. Why don't you find out what you can write about? The dancing girls or airplanes or bombings or something? You know me. I've got the insatiable curiosity of 900 damn cats.

Well, Brother, I guess I'd better put a tail on this kite for now. As you used to say when you were in 'dia-dees' and flying kites, "It's got to have more ATTITUDE."

As ever, "Thumbs UP"

Your Brother, Howard
Letter from Jean, November 1, 1943

Dearest Guy:

Boo! Guess who? No, not a ghost – just me – Jean! Say did you hear about the three drunk ghosts -? Three sheets in the wind!

Seriously – I intended to write to you all last week but it seems I was very busy all week. Thanks for the nice letters – it's always good to hear from you -.

Really, I don't know any news because all I do is go to the Dr. office. I started those cold shots ½ shot every 2
D. J.
D. J.
days. He said today I should take at least 12 or 15 shots.

Dorothy Jean started her whooping cough shots – and you know any kind of shot hurts – a little. Well – D. J. was a perfect little lady when he gave her the first shot. As we left the office she said, "Momie, I sure am proud of my shot."

"People Will Say We're in Love" No. 1 on "Your Hit Parade" Sat. Oct. 30th. You guessed it – "Pistol Packin' Mama" 2nd, - 3rd – "Sunday, Monday or Always" – 4th – "Paper Doll" – 5th "If You Please"– 6th "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" – 7th "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" – 8th "I Heard You Cried Last Night" – 9th "For the First Time".

Judia Faye
Judia Faye
Judia finally learned to walk alone this last week - .

Did I tell you D.J. knew a few words of Spanish? Dorothy taught them to her when we were in Big Spring.

Howard is reading "They Call It Pacific" by Clark Lee and I can't get him to help me do anything -. I'll be glad when he finishes it. I had better close I'll write you again soon -.
Lots of luck to you –
Love, Jean

Letter from Guy, Monday, November 15, 1943

Dear Howard –

How do you like my girl-friend? She's just something to help pass the time. I picked her up sometime ago while we were in Hawaii. Not back for a "pick-up", huh?

"girl friend"
"girl friend" from Hawaii
When you see Dr. North tell him I said "hello".

Say – how are your corns after that walking you had to do? Must have been some hike up from where you started! Some hike up!!

No, I haven't received your package as yet. It takes a month or so for a package to get here. Thanks a lot for fixing up the knife and also for the Christmas package that is enroute. I should get them in a couple or three weeks. At any rate – by Christmas.

Thanks for sending Roy's and Richard's addresses. I'll write them in a day or so. There are two things I should have congratulated you for – your anniversary and your birthday. It's a little late, but congratulations just the same.

So you got the Packard fixed up now. Swell. I hated to see it sitting there in the corner of the station as it was when I was home. You need it for your work at the station. After all you don't like to go everywhere in a pickup, do you?

I surely wish all the tires weren't gone from my car so Dad could sell it. I wonder if he could get anything for it the way it is. If he can – I'll send him the papers on it and he can give it a try. You can let me know what he thinks about it. He will know best.

Yes, you're right about the film. And I did send a lot of stuff home, didn't I? Tell Dad if he ever has some long drives to make and it's cold and he can use that heavy flight jacket to help himself. He can't hurt it. And the same applies to you.

When you see Mr. & Mrs. John – tell them I said hello. Also Melba. They've always been awfully nice to me.

I got a nice letter from Frank yesterday. He and Roy both are still very interested in their work. But then you can't blame 'em -. They couldn't find many other things more interesting than what they are now doing.

Well, Howard – I guess I'd better close. Thanks for the swell letter and write again soon. Tell everyone hello.
Your brother,

Letter to Jean from Guy, Wednesday Nov. 17 1943

Dearest Jean –
Thanks for the very, very nice letter. And a very newsy one, too. And if there’s anything you can stand a lot of – it’s news.
Enclosed are a couple of poems I’ve been saving for Howard. I’ve had ‘em a couple of weeks or more, but forgot to put them in the letter I wrote him a couple of days ago. Will you give them to him? And tell him to type them on some good paper that will last – as he’ll probably want to read them to a lot of people.
Listen – if you keep going down you will be that 97 lb. weakling I’ve always heard about. About 110 is okay, but let’s have no more of that 101 stuff. Makes me worry about you. I’m afraid you’re skin and bones. And if you can wear V.J’s clothes – you’re only a shadow of your former self. But I sincerely hope those shots will help you.
Yes, I can be a nice little daisy in that sense, never worry about that.
There’s really not much I can write about. There’s a newspaper here I’ve been reading dates Sept. 28th . I suppose I could quote some of it. I think that’s the latest one around here.
Did I tell you what my ole ex-roomate, “Potsy” (Jack) Gates is in? He’s in the Navy with the Destroyer Unit in San Diego. I get a letter from him ever once in a while. He’s gone wild over some gal in Los Angeles. And I don’t know whether you know Potsy when he goes wild or not, but he’s really a “goin’ teddy”. You should hear him rave about her. I expect the moon was pretty bright across the ole Pacific the night he met her – and the glare’s still got him. But I suppose that’s the way it is – some boys like women for some reason or other. Never tough ‘em myself, though!!
Well, Jean, I’ll close for now, but I’ll write again in a few days. Thanks again for the very swell letter.
With love,
Your brother,
   Poem -- Our Fighting Men

Our Fighting Men
 A Marine told his buddy, on Guadalcanal
 "The Army is coming, think of it pal."
 His Corporal answered him, "All right then,
 Let's build a nice clubhouse for Our Fighting Men."
 "They can have entertainments, and maybe a play,
 Recreation advisers from the W.P.A.
 USO hostesses and movies galore,
 For the Army gives morale a very high score."
 "One thing," said the chow hound, "We'll eat better now.
 Depend on the soldiers to drag in that chow.
 They will start Post Exchanges, have ice cream no end;
 Life has to be pleasant for Our Fighting Men."
 A Seabee rolled up and asked, "What's the score?"
 The Wagons and Cruisers all laying off shore,
 With scads of Destroyers a-sweeping the bay,
 Is the Army finally landing today?
 They dashed up the beach when the boats hit the sand,
 Steel helmets, fixed bayonets, and rifles in hand
 Marines washing clothes asked, "You lads going far?"
 What the Hell is your hurry, have you heard of a war?"
 "Shut up!" said their sergeant, "Go limber your legs
 And swap this Jap helmet for a case of real eggs.
 This barking at soldiers must come to an end;
 You must be respectful to Our Fighting Men."
 "Their Generals outrank ours, so they'll take command;
 New rules and new orders will govern the land.
 They'll have some M.P.'s to shove us around;
 When the Army takes over, it sure shakes the ground."
 "We can take it," said the Raider, "It won't be so long,
 Till the Admiral bellows, and we'll shove on.
 And a little while later we'll be landing again
 To make Bougainville safe for Our Fighting Men."
 Author: A Marine On Guadalcanal

   Poem -- Doug's Communique

Doug's Communique
 For two long years, since blood and tears have been very rife,
  Confusion in our war news, burdens more a soldier's life.
  But from this chaos, daily like a hospice on the way.
  Like a shining light to guide us, rises Doug's Communique.
  For should we fail to get the mail, if prisoners won't talk,
  If radios are indisposed and carrier pigeons walk,
  We have no fear because we'll hear tomorrow's news today
  And see our operations plan in Doug's Communique.
  Here too, is told the saga bold, of virile deathless youth
  In stories seldom tarnished with the plain unvarnished truth.
  It's quite a rag, it waves the flag, its motif in the fray,
  And modesty is plain to see, in Doug's Communique.
  "My battleships bombed the Nips from Maine to Singapore.
  My subs have sunk a million tons, They'll sink a billion more.
  My aircraft bombed Berlin last night." In Italy they say,
  "Our turn's tonight, because it's right in Doug's Communique."
  "My armored tanks have moved his ranks, so Rommel's gone to hide,
  And the frozen Steppes of Russia see my wild Don Cossacks ride.
  My brave beleaguered Chetniks make the Axis sweat and pay."
  It's got to be, it's what we see in Doug's Communique.
  His area is quite cosmic, and capricious as a breeze;
  Ninety times as big as Texas, bigger than Los Angeles,
  It springs from lost Atlantis up to where the angels play,
  And no sparrow falls unheeded, it's in Doug's Communique.
  He used to say, "And with God's help", but lately it has seemed
  That his patience is exhausted, and God's on his second team.
  And the Cabots and the Lodges, too, have long since ceased to pray
  That they'll even squeeze a byline into Doug's Communique.
  And while possibly a rumor now, someday it will be a fact,
  That the Lord will hear a deep voice say, "Move over God, it's Mac."
  So bet your shoes that all the news, on that great Judgement Day,
  Will go to press in nothing less than Doug's Communique.

Letter from Guy, Sunday, November 21, 1943

Dear Howard –

I received your letter of Nov. 1st yesterday. Also one from Jean, one from Mother and one from V. J. How 'm I doin'?

I could have asked you a month ago nearly if you have rebuilt bus #22, but it was only in your last letter that you mentioned it and made me think about it. Have you rebuilt it? It's seen some action, but I believe it's in for plenty more. What do you think? Isn't it?

You said I must have been drunk when I put the day of the week and the date on a letter and they didn't tie up. Well – you see – days here are all the same – have been ever since we left the States. I not only usually guess at the day of the week, but also the date of the month. Can I help it if days all run together around here? Things are tough all over this year!! Ha!!

By the way – I didn't put a number on my envelopes when I wrote all of you last week. The number is supposed to step up delivery a few days. I hope it does. Letters are three weeks old when I get them as it is. It's Navy No. 140. You'll find it on the envelope of this letter. Tell Mother and all all about it, too.

The main reason for writing this was to give you the number and ask about bus #22. I've gotta run now.

Your brother,

Letter from Jean, November 29, 1943

Dearest Guy:

I sure am tired and sleepy – but I guess I'm not too tired to write you a letter – bein' as you're my brother as you is -.

Four hours of sleep isn't much sleep for a beat up – non-vitamin gal like me. Pooped is the word for it.

Say – I haven't said anything about it so far – but as you have already noticed – I can't spell. Please forgive – and do your darndest to figure it out because our family never could spell. When we write letters to each other we spell half of the words wrong – but we have had enough practice by now, that we know what each other means.

I'll start out with last Sunday – We had a brain storm – a beautiful day – Yes, a lovely day for a picnic - - - that's it - ! Mildred, Howard, D.J. – and me all went out to the state park. We made pictures and ate until we couldn't -. You know Howard – he ate 7 wieners, not counting the olives, potato salad, beans, potato chips, and peach cobbler – and coffee!

Monday – I went to the doctor's office and nearly finished my Christmas shoppin'.

Tues – I washed all the woodwork, stove, windows inside & out, floors and went to the show -.

Wed – I had all of Dorothy Jean's clothes wet and soapy – when – Howard phoned – 'Be ready in 30 or 45 min – we're going to Big Spring - !' D.J. & I were ready – too -. We got back at 12:00 that night -.

Thur -. Thanksgiving – We invited your Dad to eat dinner with us at Dayles Café. Your Mom & V.J. and Judia were in San Antonio -. After dinner we made the rounds to Charity's, Faith's to see your grandmother. Then we went to the "The Three Acres" formal opening. That's the old Ed S. Hughes estate down close to the Grande Lodge -. Mack Eplen bought it and made it into a swanky eating place -. $3.00 per meal – hmmm, be glad when Howard's rich brother returns from the South Pacific so he can take us - - - -!!! Ha! Then we went to a show and then to the Pig Stand and home -!

Friday – Back to the Dr. -. It rained all day – and I stayed in the bed the rest of the day because of old age, oh, I mean, a good back ache as a result of the cold shot. I've taken 10 cold shots up to date -.

Sat. – we just ran around -. Your Mom came home -.

Sunday -. Yesterday -. V.J. came over. Later Charity, Charlie, Lynn (V.J.'s brother) and your Grandmother and we all developed pictures. Everyone went home about 11:00 and V.J. stayed until 3:15 and helped me dry the prints -. Howard came home and we killed time until about 6:00.

A very dull week – nothing to do – huh! Whatta you think?
I know this is getting tiresome so – fare thee well – my fair fren' -.

Good Luck –
Letter from Mother, November 30, 1943

Letter No 24

Dearest Brother
Well at last the big important day has arrived. There was great excitement and celebration. Oh, you don't know what I'm talking about? Well I'll tell you. This morning we received four letters from a certain Marine that we hadn't heard from in four weeks. I was over at the bus station this morning when the mail came. I could hardly believe my eyes. Thought I must be dreaming. But no, there they were in my hand, one for me, one for Jean, and two for Howard I opened mine and read it. Then went and caught the bus and went to Howard's. He was asleep after being up all night but it didn't take me long to get him awake when he saw what I had. He and Jean opened their letters and read them. Then we started changing around until each had read all four and Howard read the poems aloud. They are very clever and we enjoyed them. Then I came on back home and just as I started to eat my dinner Howard came in. I asked him to eat with me. Just as we started eating your dad came in from the ranch and joined us. We told him the exciting news and got the letters out and read them to him and Howard read the poems again. You see we never tire of hearing your letters over and over. Really I just wish you could have some idea of how much they were appreciated and how happy they made us.

I am taking good care of your things you sent back. I forgot to tell you your dad has worn out all of his old winter ranch pants so Sunday morning before he left I dug out a pair of those wool cadet pants of yours for him to wear. They fit him tight as Dick's hat band and he misses the hip pockets that aren't there but he says they are good and warm and that he likes them. He wore them to the ranch again yesterday and again today. I'm going to let them out a little in the back so he can breathe a little better. Don't suppose you will ever wear them.

You asked about Uncle Jeff. Mr. & Mrs. Anderson (Dopey's parents) came down a week ago to see the Jackson's and they took him home with them for a visit. Mother is at Charity's. I imagine I will have to go several places to find all the books you wrote for as none of them here keep a complete stock of them but want you to know it will be the greatest of pleasures to get them. We started to put some of those pocket books in your Christmas packages but didn't know which ones you had read.

Thanks darling for all the swell letters. We were all very happy to get them and will be looking for more. Hope you are well. Sorry your tonsils have been acting up. Be real careful and take good care of yourself. Would you like to have some cod liver oil capsules? And would they stand up to the heat they would probably have to go through or guess I could send a bottle of the oil well packed.

Letter to Jean from Guy, Tuesday Nov. 30, 1943

Dear Jean –

This is the first attempt at writing a letter since I wrote Howard about ten days ago. As a matter of fact – it feels funny to have pen in my hand. I can lay-off writing a week of so – and do I feel clumsy?? Not only that – you can’t read it. I guess Howard really had a time showing Mr. Bridges son and the other boys a few radio tricks. He should be out here working on our radios. There’s always plenty to do.
In his letters he’s always talking about buses, corns, etc. I hope he remembers which was which when he asks me about the stuff. Did he?
Say – that shoe buying was really a scream, wasn’t it? But then – if you got the shoes you wanted – that’s the main thing. By the way – what size fangs were they? (and I don’t’ mean the shoes).
No, I didn’t have to pay any postage on a letter from you so don’t worry. Even if there were ever any due – those six cents would go through about a dozen mail centers, then clerks here, boys in the squadron and all before it ever got to me and it wouldn’t be worth it. I don’t believe they’d put “postage due” on a letter coming out to servicemen. At least they shouldn’t. Take me, for instance, I think I have about fifteen cents on me. I didn’t draw any pay for last month as there’s no place to spend it. Liquor is the only thing around here you can buy things with. With a quart of liquor you could buy a whole island, I believe. But money’s no good at all.
This isn’t much of a letter, Jean but I have made an effort to write. There’s just nothing to write about.
Oh, yes – I found out the other day that I’m a 1st Lt. As of Oct 31st.
Tell little Miss Dorothy Jean hello for me and that appreciate her remembering me in her prayers. She’s an awfully sweet little kid. I wish I had one like her.
Tell Howard and all hello. And the next time you ‘re over at McM and you see anyone I know – tell them hello, too – will you? Write again when you can find the time. I always enjoy your letters very much.

With love,
Your brother,

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