News from the Front: Wedding Rings, Filipino Carpenters, and Car Maintenance Advice

Letter from U.S. Army Lieutenant, E. Co., 127th Infantry, APO #32, to wife at home in Iowa, U.S.

27 March, 1945

My dearest,

Not so long ago I wrote and asked you to send a wedding ring for me. Unless you’ve already purchased it, let it go for now, and we’ll pick out one together when I get home. Not because I don’t want one, but because I have one–at least that’s what I regard it as. Here’s the way it happened: the other day, a boy came around showing rings he’d made, and taking orders for them. They make a sell a great number of rings with the red arrow insignia of the division inlaid in them. So, out of curiosity at first, I asked him if he could make a plain round ring, and showed him how wide I wanted it. He said surely, that would be very easy, so I gave him the Australian florin I’d been saving–it’s very good silver, they say–and today be brought the ring back. It’s very nice–shines like your silver bracelet; it’s just a plain band, curved in a semicircle from edge to edge. So I consider it my wedding ring, and feel that much more bound to you.

No mail as yet.

This job of I & E officer (it’s Information + Ed., not Intelligence + Ed.) is going to be important–they’re really pushing it from the top on down. The reason seems to be that the division is due for a rehabilitation period soon, and during that time they want the men to either take one of these Armed Forces Institute Correspondence courses, or get in on a group study course which will be held under regimental supervision. I’m going to take one or more of these corres. courses, depending on the time I have–there are several I’m interested in; Air conditioning, airplane mechanics, automobile mechanics, etc. Each course costs $2.00, and they’re supposed to be pretty good. I imagine I’ll get roped in on these group study courses–I see they’re planning classes in several subjects at high school level, so they’ll probably involve me one of these days. This is a real break for all of us new officers–this rehabilitation period may last several months. Where it will be, we don’t know. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not anxious to get into combat ’till it’s necessary.

Between now + Friday I’ve got to work up an hour’s lecture on current news of the past week. I’m getting a bulletin board put up today, and have maps and various other material to work out for that.

I have the 1st Platoon-a rifle platoon. Got to get acquainted with everybody in the next few days. My plat. sergt. just returned from the hospital.

We have been having shows the past few nights–last night’s was not so god, a Laurel + Hardy thing–however I think tonight they’re showing “Hollywood Canteen.”

Bumped into Joe last night–his [???] bivouaced [sic] not far from here. He’s in “C” company–seems like he always draws that company. He’s as glad as I am about the way things are turning out.

Honey something else you could send me are some wrist watch straps–both cloth and/or leather. They should be this wide on the ends: |————| I guess I forgot to tell you my watch stopped on me again–I’m using one of the regular issue watches now, and it’s better than mine, anyway.

Censored a few letters this morning. These boys are not great hands for writing. Their Christmas packages are straggling in–some of the stuff, especially foodstuffs, is in pretty sad shape.

One fellow has a family in Cedar Rapids–his wife, 2 boys + a girl. All (children) evidently go to school. He wrote to all of them, very touching letters. I certainly hope he gets back to them.

Our Filipino carpenter, Elino, is about to finish our tent furniture. He’s made upright frames of bamboo, with a bamboo platform on top, to go over our beds–your mosquito net can be easily suspended from it, and you have a big shelf to store things on. Right now he’s making a table. He also completed this morning a wash stand helmet holder complete with soap tray + drain pipe–you just take a length of bamboo, split it many times to one joint, bend the split segments out until a helmet fits therein, and lace them together so they stay that way, then plant the whole thing in the ground. I never realized before what a (sp. oh hell) versitile medium this bamboo is.

Which reminds me–I was thinking about drinking out of a joint of bamboo–if you get the chance, send me one of those canvas water bags like we used while on the desert. It would really be useful over here.

Guess I’ll get out today while the sun is up, to swim–day before yesterday I got burned a little, so waited ’til the sun was down last evening. I hope I can get a fair semblance of a tan.

Well, honey-bun, I think I’ll end this installment for now. Don’t forget I love you, more every day–I have a deep abiding faith inside that it will not be too long before we are together again.

Love to everybody–mostly you.


P.S. – When hotter weather comes, better get the transmission + rear end grease changed; might not be a bad idea to have the radiator looked at and flushed again, and put on those new hoses I got which are in the back of the car. Don’t forget to wax the seat covers. I’m figuring we’ll be driving there for some time yet. ‘Bye now!