Letters From Arthur #26: 4 Dec 1944, Leyte

by Jess Clackum

Heavy machine guns cover soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division crossing the Antilao River at Ormoc, December 1944. (Photo: WWII Archives).

Heavy machine guns cover soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division crossing the Antilao River at Ormoc, December 1944. (Photo: WWII Archives).

Dear Brother Bill,

After such a long silence from me, finally we landed in the Philippines and no sooner we dug foxholes, I was handed thirty two letters, one from you, and four from May. I was really glad to hear from you once again.

Now here we are in the real theatre of war of the Pacific. We get nightly enemy air raids. Jap planes very unsuccessfully try to come down to strafe and bomb, but thanks to our wonderful planes, they stay up at high elevation and we really give them heavy barrage of fire, they never get away, we've shot down every plane that appeared in the skies, bouquets to the "Radar". It does a good job in plane detecting. I hear from May quite often and I try to write to her as often as I can. I'm glad she received a money order of $15.00 for mom's Xmas gift, I didn't know how much it would cost, so I'm soon enclosing another money order to make up the difference.

I sure was hoping to hear that you received your discharge - so I am disappointed I hope to hell you don't come out to the Pacific. It's a helluva place, full of disease and morale goes down lots, recreation is limited, and after awhile the black peoples of the Pacific appear actually white. But we don't bother with them, most of them have Jungle Rot and other diseases even the women look sloppy and worn. Well so long as we don't have to stay here for good, I'm glad. I'd hate to have to stay here after this war and so far from home.

Let's hear from you when you get the chance. I was surprised to hear about Mom buying a new home in Flatbush, I know she'll be lots happier there. Good luck and my best to May.

Your Devoted Brother

Arthur