Somewhere in New Guinea

November 30, 1944 

November 30, 1944 - 5 AM - Somewhere in New Guinea

Well here I am somewhere in New Guinea and sure feeling fine.  I had a fairly good night sleep for the first night here.  

I received my back mail when we came in here so I will try to answer them sometime today.  But this morning I thought I would just drop you a few lines to say hello.  You can tell them what my new address is because we are going to be busy fixing out tent, etc.  We have no floor in them now but it won't be long.  That is the same way with the light.  I will take some picture and you can see what the set up is.  Sure had a nice trip up here.  

November 30, 1944 - 7:30 PM

The day was fairly warm and I can feel the sun.  I don't know how I will make it but I think OK.  My arm and back is turning fairly good but my head is the only thing I have trouble of.  But maybe in time to come it will be OK.

We are still sleeping in tent and on  the ground for awhile.  The tent floors are being made but the lumber is hard to get.  You should see the lumber around here.  It won't last long that is one thing sure.  TI is on the order of cotton wood back home and in fact it is much softer and lighter.  But after we get the floor set up it won't be so bad at all.  i will take a picture of the tent and show you what our setup is.  We don't have lights in our tent yet but it won't be long until we have them.  Tonight I came up to the PX trailer and writing this.  Bliss is running the PX and special services now so he told me to come up here and help pass the time way.  I guess I will have lots of time on my hands now up here at nights.  Our PX hasn't that much but a person can't expect everything now because you can't get it.  But we have everything we need now.  Because all we need now isn't that much.

I guess you want to know how the food is.  Well the 5 meals that I have had here now wasn't so bad.  Really it isn't so much but what we have is good (so far)

I think I shall end for now (5:30 AM)  Well here I am again this morning and it started to rain last night so I took off for the tent.  I had a good night sleep.  Well I will say lots of love to all at home.  

December 1, 1944 - Somewhere in New Guinea

Dear Virgil - Well how are you making it by this time?  I sure hope OK.  I am getting along good and can't complain about much.  

As you can see I am now in New Guinea and no more Townsville, Australia.  Them days are gone forever now until I hit the states.  I came up in a plane and had a nice ride.  The weather was nice and I was able to see what this place looks like from the air.  It isn't much to look at that is one things sure.  

We are fairly well setup now.  I have no nights in the tent yet or floor but hope to soon.  We have our showers already setup from the water coming down the mountains.  So you know that helps out.  

I don't know how soon this will hit you but I hope it isn't too long.  You mentioned about moving so I thought I would drop this off until I hear your new address.  

So for tonight lots of love to you sure hope everything is OK.  Love Wes.

Inside of tent

Inside of tent with raised floor / cots and hanging gear

December 6, 1944

I sure am sorry that I am not writing often but I really haven't had the time.  Tonight I moved in a tent with a wooden floor and I guess in another day we will have lights I hope.  The lights are not working so hot yet so a person has to make the best out of it.  I am writing with a lantern so I sure hope you can read it.  

It will take us a week yet to get our tent fix up and then I hope I can get going on this mail.  

We are working fairly hard and when a person gets up at 5 AM and eat and off to work.  Then in the evening you come in and take a shower and eat and it is getting dark already.  So when we got the text fix up I hope to do a bit better.  

I have received a little mail from you.  In fact it has been fairly good.  Tonight I haven't got time to answer them but some day soon I hope to answer some of your questions.  

I don't know for sure or not if we will get Sunday off or not.  We had last Sunday off and I really put in a big day.  The first thing I did was get ready to go for a walk up the mountain and in the jungle.  So 6 of us went for a walk and what a walk.  We took our guns with us and we shot up a few things.  One thing sure I think that will be my last trip in the jungle.  I took some pictures in the jungle but it was so dark that I couldn't get enough light so they didn't come out so good.  But I am sending it home in the next letter.  Maybe this but I don't think so.  I was tired out when we came back and then in the afternoon I took out again.  We went to look for coconuts and banana.  We had a little trouble with the truck so we couldn't go very far.  We did run into some natives and the climbed the tree for cocoanuts.  We had a big kick out of them.  The only thing we gave them was cigarettes.  I think we gave the whole bunch 3 packages so that was 12 cents.  That is the only thing I get my cigarettes for.  WE also took some pictures of them.  I will be getting them back in a day or so I hope they came out good.  

We have a kid that is developing our print and we get 2 day service so that isn't bad.  The only trouble is that his paper is getting low.  I am out of films again and I am hoping that I will get a package soon with some more in.  Because I can really use them now.  But I guess I can thank you a million times for getting me as many as you did.  I know you done your best.  

The other morning we had a rain and the water was running through the tent and I took a picture of it and I sure hope it comes out good because that will show you what this New Guinea weather is.  

If we get off this Sunday Lovvorn and I are going down in the jungle and kill us a wild hog.  Then we are going to clean him up and put him over a fire.   I guess you know what will happen then.  

I have hit the sack fairly early every night here because you can't do much.  Last night I hit my sack at 7:15 PM so you can see I am getting plenty of sack time.  

I think I better end for tonight and again I will sign off with lots of love to all the dear ones at home.  Wes.

December 19, 1944

Dearest Folks:  Well here I am again feeling fine.  Today I received some more mail from you, one of the 30th and the 1st.  Also one from Elmer.  It was a Xmas card.  He really didn't have much to say.  He mentioned about being cold and doing teh same work.  

In the letter of the 1st you mentioned that you wanted to buy me a new posketbook.  To tell you the truth I really don't need any.  I still ahve the one I bought back in teh states before I left.  It is still in good shape.  After this month I won't have much money to pack so I don't think I will pack a billfold at all.  So really just forget about me.  There is no place to go around here.  This one I hve now I put some kind of cellaphaneon.  Anyhow it keeps the leather soft and also give it a protection coat.  The sweat does not hurt it a bit.  So just forget about it and maybe later I will write for one.  

It sure seems funny to hear you talk about how cold it is and how hard a time having to find gloves.  I guess everything is getting hard to get back home now.  The only reason we wear them over here is to keep from burning our hands on the planes because they sun is really hot and I don't mean maybe.  

This morning I went without a shirt and I can feel it tonight now.  But don't worry because I am watching myself.  

PS We have bananas hanging in our tent now to ripen up.  

December 21, 1944

To write a letter tonight I really don't know how I will do it but I will do my best.  News around here is very dead.  About the only thing a person can do here is sleep, work and eat.  So I am getting all the work I want and also sleep but the food I can't say that.  But it is fairly good for the conditions.  Last night we had a few things at the PX such as peanuts, cookies, fruit juice, candy and gum.  They get their rations twice a month.  The whole sqd had 30 jars of peanuts so you know how far that went down the line.  We were allowed 2 candy bar and 1 pack of gum.  

December 25, 1944

Dearest Folks:  Here it is Xmas afternoon and all is well.  I am feeling fine and sure hope this will find everybody at home the same way.  Well yesterday I had KP and it wasn't so bad but you know what I think about KP.  Today we have off all day.  Yesterday the guys work up till noon.  But I guess it will be the old grind stone again starting tomorrow.

The mail problem was fairly good yesterday.  I received 5 letters and 1 card.  4 from you 1 from Helen and a card from Meyers.

For today we had turkey and all the stuff to go with it.  We also had ice cream.  But one thing I think we were the only sqd that had ice cream.  Anyhow I think the day reminded a person of Xmas but it was nothing like home.  

I just wonder where I will spend the next one at.  But I guess it will be over here some place.  That is really kind of hard to believe but I think it is the truth.  It sure seems like a dead end to look forward to.  

I think I will go to the native village this afternoon and see their set up.  For the last 2 days they had a steady dance that lasted 24 hours a day.  It is mostly made up of the male race.  The natives keep the female well kept under cover.  They come out once in awhile but not very much.  They are dressed up in bright colors and have everything in their hair such as feathers, etc.  Laros took couple pictures yesterday and he doesn't know if they will come out so good or not because it was fairly dark.  But I think we will try and take some more because the sun is out bright today.  One thing you also have a hard time in taking picture is because they do not leave you in the village at all.  They did a small time yesteray afternoon but they had a policeman on duty and the really watch you.  I guess you ahve read about the natives tribes that they sue in hunting the Japs in the jungle.  They are really built and they are well armed.  The natives look up to them as a god, etc.  But they are a little more than the average native.  They are the best of the tribes.  The village is built along the road.  

The natives are building us our new day room and also we are using it for the pictures how.  The way I hear anyhow.  I guess it will be a good idea because every night we have a show it rains.  It rains at nights now and in the morning when I wake up is the first I know about it.  When I first came here I used to wake up whenever it rained at night time but not any more.  

When I get some more films I will take a picture of everything around here.  

I took the tow last pictures today of the tent and Xmas tree.  So I really hope they come out good.  Also some real clear day when there is no clouds in the sky I want to take the mountain scenes.  But very few days we are able to see the tops of them.

We have received no more packages so one of these days I think they should break loose.  Anyhow I am hoping so.  And you mentioned about the films being in them so maybe it won't be long.  

In the letter of the 7th you wanted to know if I knew the difference between a sortie and a mission.  Well here is the way I get it.  A mission is where you go on a bombing raid and there ain't much to meet you.  It doesn't amount to much such as bridges or a place where it has been fairly well destroyed.  But a sortie is where you really go for a bombing of someting big and taht is well protected by ground fire and also you ahve a little competition from the other side in the air.  He only has to put in 4 hours a month to draw his pay and you can go up in any type of plane to get your time in.  You can also just fly around the field.  

So at last the snow is comeing at home.  I just wonder how much or now long it will be before I see snow again.  I bet one thing the first winter that I am home I will freeze my -- off.  

This afternoon I went over to the village and today you could go up to where they were dancing.  They had about 5 bunches and you should see what they wear and some of the things they made.  This is a poor picture but they put the pole on their back and on the upper end they have a springy stick with a string attached to the bird.  Then they would jump up and down and of course the bird would go up and down on the pole.  We took some pictures but it will be some time before we get them back.  All I am hoping for is that they turned out good.  I would give any amount of money for a motion picture camera with colored film in it.  You could of redally had a real picture.  One thing most of them natives are really proud to have their picture taken.  The women are very hard to see and they don't care much about a person taking their picture.  This afternoon a woman had a kid and she laid it down on the ground and started to feed the kid.  After the kid started to sucking on it she went about doing her other business.  I kind of stretch it a bit but I do believe that she could use them for knee pads.  She gets double benefit out of them.  Ha. Ha.

I think today I had a better time than last Xmas I spend in Georgia.  The only thing is the over seas.  But really everything here was well set up.

December 28, 1944

Today the packages broke loose around here and I received 5.  So for one day deal I think I did fairly good.  3 was from you and one from Roger M and one from Gladys.  As you can see I received the stationery you sent me I don't think you should have put my name on it.  It makes it look too good to come from this part of the country.  

I don't know if I mentioned it to you or not but couple of days ago we had fresh milk for lunch.  It was nice and cool and really hit the spot.  I don't know where it came from but one thing sure there are no cows around here.  So guess for yourself.  

January 1, 1945

Here it is another year has started out.  I am still feeling as good as ever and sure hope this will find every one at home the same way.  I guess last night was the deadest New Year I ever spent.  And I don't mean maybe.  I was going to stay up and watch the new year come in but I thought I just as well leave it come in with me sleeping.  But some of the guys got some thing to drink some place.  I don't know where but it may of been jungle juice.  

January 2, 1945

I started this last night but then I decided to go to the show.  To finish the story about new year eve.  When it came to midnight they had their mess kits and they were beating them with sticks, etc.  Then they also had a few fire works.  But everything was not like the old days back home.  

I was glad to receive the picture of the 20th and Ohio.  It sure looks like the same old corner.  

I had my allotment increased to 60 so the next check should be up a little.  I started out with this month.  Now listen I am not cutting myself short one bit.  As you know there are no towns around here to go to and the little I spend for soap, etc isn't very much.  And I don't have the gambling fever any more so it just as well be saved at that end and when I come back home (?) I can make up for what I gave up over here.

I had all my hair cut off yesterday.  The sun was really hot today so I have a little white burr sticking out of a red head.  Over here a person don't want much hair on his head.  I think about 75% of the guys have burr hair cuts.  

I received some more pictures back today.  I mailed them the last day I was in Australia.  They were all of the planes except two.  Laros is waiting for a roll back and then we are sending them on rotation.  They all passed the censor and are really good.  I sure hope you like them.  

Tonight it is cooling off really nice.  Today it was really hot.  I would be afraid to say how hot it was but the way the wind is starting to blow and probably rain before long will make a good night sleep.  

This is a picture of me by the bulleting board.  There isn't much on the board because nearly everybody was up here by then.  In fact I came up on the second from last plane.  The day was really hot and I had a good sun burn so that is the reason the T shirt and the handkerchief.  You can see the Sad Sack at the top of the board.  That is the orderly room (tent) in the background.