24 January 1945

If Walt was shot down and missing for a few days, rescued and recovered from exposure, he seems to be in yet another location now, saying that he had been at Mindoro and that the new place is not quite as pretty. His APO is 70 again, but I don’t think that tells us a lot. Maybe he corresponded by telephone after his rescue, which would explain the absence of letters, but I don’t know how easy that would have been. His opening Aloha makes me wonder if he had been recovering in Hawaii.

Walt has just written to Franklin’s parents, which makes sense if he has been on his own adventure since Franklin’s death on the 8th.

The rest of the letter shows Walt’s observations of the local Filipinos from his position of cultural naïveté.

A transcript follows the letter images.

Transcript:

Jan. 24, 1945

H’Aloha Sweetheart

This isn’t Aloha country but has the same climate and is very beautiful so I’ll use it—I’m not sure whether it should be at the beginning or the end—Ha.

This is a lovely evening and as I didn’t fly today I am writing this before the sun goes down.

You know honey—during the day I think of things to write to you about but when the time comes to put it on paper I lose my memory.

This place isn’t quite as pretty as the last one (Our location I mean) the last place (Mindoro) was very pretty—The mountains in the background were very beautiful.—There are mountains here also but further away.

We (the boys in our tent) got us a “Number One Boy” today—A little Philipino who speaks English—He is our handyman—keeps our

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water bags full, our tent cleaned up and any similar we might have for him. Purty neat—eh?

A Philipino woman does our laundry and does a pretty good job of it considering all they have to work with.

You should see the younger girls here—the ones who would compare with 17 and 18 year old girls at home.—They are slim and very graceful—there posture comes from carrying diferent articles balanced on their head—Look pretty neat from the rear—Ha—You needn’t worry tho—I haven’t reached the stage where they look white—Ha.

Little kids up to 5 and 6—maybe over—run around everywhere without clothes—Looks funny as hell—Like little Mexicans.

A lot of the people are surprisingly well educated—Speak good

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English—(Better then I—But you know my English)—But they have had a fairly rough time during “Nip” occupation.—Clothing is what they need most—They haven’t been able to buy any for a long time and what they have is patched and repatched—They keep very clean and are rather nice in appearance—They have a lot of Spanish blood and traits—After looking over Southern Texas and here I’d say tho Spaniards didn’t wast any time Ha—

Some of the churches that were demolished during the bombardment were built in the early 1600s. It seems too bad but was a necesity.

I just finished writing to John’s parents and family—I tore up the letter twice—It is kind of hard to write a letter of that type but it was on the must list. Besides I feel very sorry for them.

I have also written J. J. and

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Garner and told them of the accident.

I will give you John’s address and wish you would send his people a card—Sign it from us both. I know they will appreciate it.

Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Franklin
Jonesboro, Ark.
or
Mr. J. H. Franklin, Sr.
or

You know more about such things then I—So use your own judgement (add family if you wish as he had several sisters.

Gee it is pretty here tonight—Our tent is along the bank of a small river which is lined on both sides with palm trees—Wish you could be here to see it at this time of day—Wish I could see you also—In the evening when it is quiet I miss you most—Then I would

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be happy if you were just here beside me, Just so I could look at you and might just might give you a kiss once in awhile—Of course if I did kiss you I’d expect a little one in return.—Think I’d get it?

Well Honey—Think I’ll whisper I Love You and turn over and go to sleep—In a couple of hours—Meantime I think there is a show tonight—So

Good Evening Sweetheart

I Love You

x Walt x

Don’t go walking down the street in that swishy skirt or you’ll be in for a severe reprimand—Ha.

I Love You

x Walt x

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