Here I am again as is usual at this time of evening. About the only diversion after chow is listening to the radio and that doesn’t always appeal, and listening to the tales from Tokyo gets irritating. This morning while gathering the news, for interest I turned on Shanghai and listened for a few minutes to a commentary on military affairs. Of course Shanghai is Jap controlled. This morning he discussed the members of the Special Attack Corps or what we call suicide divers. They harp on this Corps quite a lot. American naval and casualty losses that he gave sound like evangelistic exaggerations. Many remarks they make seem the work of a simple minded child.
I see by the bulletin board that censorship regulations here permitted more leniency in writing so I thought I would tell you about some personal experiences I’ve had. Last night started out quietly although the air raid siren sounded about sundown. After hearing a few artillery shells crunch some distance away, I managed to get asleep but woke up with a start around ten thirty by the thunder of anti-aircraft guns. Then I heard a plane swoop over pretty low so I sat up and peeked over the top of our foxhole. As I usually do I woke up my buddy. It seems better to have company at such times, although perhaps I sometimes get over excited. Whenever a Jap plane gets anywhere near, the sky fills up with red tracers and little dots of bursting shells. When I first woke up I saw a great burst of fire but I couldn’t tell just what it was. In most cases the planes don’t come too close to our position so it’s more of a sideshow for us. A round of applause always goes up when a Jap plane is hit – most of them burst into a ball of flames and crash. Finally the excitement died down and while trying to get to sleep again, the shrill shreik of a Jap shell whistled over and drove into the mud. It was a dud, thank goodness. The sound of shells heading your way, and the later bursting crunch so hard on my nerves and I think everyone feels that way. When a shell sounds it takes about 1/10 of a second for everyone to jump in a hole. But we found the Japs many times harder and it is a mystery to me that all Japs in the island are not raving maniacs. The bombardment on L-Day was the biggest and most devastating thing I ever saw. It is source of great confidence in our forces to see battleships, cruisers and destroyers lined up pounding the Japs where it hurts the most. The sky was filled with our aircraft and the Nips dared not come near. About the only time they can pull a raid is at night. I came ashore on L plus one and we were all surprised by the orderly cultivation and rolling green hills, by far more like our own, a civilized place than what we had previously seen. I think this [is] enough on this subject.
I told you before that I had been on Leyte but I didn’t’ tell you I was on Midway also.
Had two letters today – one from each of you, but not very recent. In Mom’s letter was many clippings and the pictures of Nancy and Phil. It seems to me that Nancy looks an image of Mom, and so grown-up I could hardly believe it.
I’m glad Jack paid you a visit and I hope it made you feel better. I also think he has changed for the better and Jack seemed very considerate during our visits on Saipan and Tinian.
Boy it seems like lots of babies are being born back there, Alice C. again and J. Lupher. How many does that make [of] Luphers? I wish I had some of my own and every time you write about fixing up the place, I try to hope that someday I’ll be fixing mine the same way. Dad made a lot of good comments about home and so forth and in every one of his letters, I think we get a little closer to each other.
The talk with everyone now is rotation – those planes are turning up again and I think most of the older fellows are expecting to get back in a few months. And somehow I feel the same way. Even the thought of getting home seems like a dream.
Better taper off I guess – I’m feeling fine and living careful, so don’t worry.