18 October 1944

Now that Walt has relocated, he can tell where he had been—Biak Island, off what was then Dutch New Guinea. He seems to like the place better and thinks morale will be better, but also seems unhappy with the slow pace or lack of missions, which I guess are reflected in his status of Second Lieutenant, and his jealousy of the old friends he runs into who have their firsts.

A transcript follows the letter images.

Transcript:

10-18-44

Hello Sweetheart

I Love You.

Say—Do you realize what time this is—6:00 in the morning—Rather early to be writing a letter.

We are at our new A.P.O. now—Came up yesterday—Since we have moved I can tell you where we’ve been for the last few months, on—Biak Island in Geelvink Bay of D. N. Guinea.

The reason I’m up and writing so early is that four of us are on Fighter alert from 6:00 to 9:00—In case of an air alert—Of which there hasn’t been any for a week so there won’t be any now—we’re here just in case.—

I think we will get in quite a bit of combat time here as there will be quite a bit of work.

I ran on to Van Horn, Ostrander, Cunningham and Pappy Pierce yesterday on the way up here—They are at Middleburg fly P-39’s. Lucky aren’t they?

We have a nice camp area here, up high enough to catch the breeze of the water and no dust. There are Banana trees thru the area and Papaya (or sompin’)—Also Bamboo.

[unnumbered page 2]

We are using the bamboo to build bunk frames and so forth—Nice stuff to work with.

I’m going on a bomb mission and Ftr. patrol at 12:00—Those are the missions we will build up time on.

I think the morale will be better here then Biak—as we’ll have plenty of missions and a better place to live—Everybody was more or less disgusted there.

Those guys I met if you remember was at Ftr. School at Thomasville—They made their 1st Lt. last May—We’re still seconds—we certainly got the shaft (purple shaft)—when they sent us to Reconn.—This damn group we’re in is worthless—If I could I’d transfer to Ftr’s but I’d probably get in a jam if I tried it—so I think I’ll let it ride for awhile.—We have a new Gp. C.O. now and I hope that he will do better for us than the last guy—He was a stinker—the whole gp. hated his guts.

This certainly is a beautiful island here—palm trees everywhere—like a picture—wish you and I could travel thru here under favorable conditions—For a Honeymoon we haven’t had—

[unnumbered page 3]

I believe I’ll finish later as I gotta go and that is a must.

Back again.

While I went—I should say immediately following I picked up a Coconut—took the husk off and cracked the shell and presto—my Flight leader and I are eating coconut while I’m writing you—How do like that. It has ripened on the tree and dropped off—the meat is over one half inch thick—I can remember when I read about those things—but never tho’t I would get to see them.

The strip at Biak and Owi were made of corral—here they are steel mats—make a hell of a racket when you land on them.

I’m hoping we won’t stay here long but will move soon—I like the place allright but shortly there will be bigger things.

Believe I’ll say

Good Morning Sweetheart

I Love You

Walt.

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