World War II: Letters Home

Written by Dr. Clinton C. Millett to his wife Martha and children

From the China/Burma/India Theater Ė 172 General Hospital Unit

December 1, 1944 to October 2, 1945

 

Introductory

††††††††††† The 172 General Hospital was activated in Camp Barkely, Texas in July of 1944. All enlisted men and some officers were assigned while the unit was in Camp Barkely. On August 15 the unit was transferred to Bushnell General Hospital in Brigham City, Utah for parallel training. While the unit was at Bushnell the Red Cross Workers, nurses and balance of officers were assigned.

††††††††††† On November 10 some officers and all enlisted men were shipped by rail to California, then by water to Bombay India, and then by rail to Ledo, India. The balance of the officers, all nurses and Red Cross workers were shipped by rail to Miami Florida Ė three contingents by the end of November. While in Miami the personnel were processed for overseas duty and sent out by air in early December.

††††††††††† Personnel in 172 General Hospital consisted of approximately 500 enlisted men, 85 nurses, 5 Red Cross workers and 36 officers. Key personnel in the unit were Furman H. Tyner and Clinton C. Millett, Executive Officers; Robert Tate, Adjutant; James Pearson, Personnel Officer; Frank Monkus, Supply Officer; Frank Hagman, Chief of Medicine; David Burlingame, Chief of Radiology and Edith Mowett, Chief Nurse.

††††††††††† The itinerary which I followed after leaving Miami was: Berumda, Azores, Casablanca, Tripoli, Cario, Abadan, and Karachi, India. While in Karachi I went to Calcutta for two weeks and then returned. After two months in Karachi, moved to Ledo, India. While in Ledo, accompanied a convoy over the Ledo Road to Kunming, China. After a week returned to Ledo by air; then to New Delhi and Agra for a week of temporary duty and then returned to Ledo. We then moved our hospital to Kunming, China via the Ledo Road. After the war ended we moved the hospital to Shanghai.

††††††††††† My return to the U.S. was by air to Kunming, Manila, Guam, Kwajalien, Johnston Island, Hawaii, and San Francisco. The following letters were written to my wife Martha and children, Martie Ann, Gregg, Mollie and Gary.

 

An Outline of World War II

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 8, Congress declared a state of war with Japan; three days later its allies Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The nation rapidly geared itself for mobilization of its people and its entire industrial capacity. All the nation's activities -- farming, manufacturing, mining, trade, labor, investment, communications, even education and cultural undertakings -- were in some fashion brought under new and enlarged controls. By the end of 1943, approximately 65 million men and women were in uniform or in war-related occupations.

The western Allies decided that their essential military effort was to be concentrated in Europe, where the core of enemy power lay, while the Pacific theater was to be secondary. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Allied forces landed in Normandy. On August 25 Paris was liberated. By February and March 1945, troops advanced into Germany. On May 7, Germany surrendered. The war in the Pacific continued after Germany's surrender. On August 6, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima and on August 8, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. On August 14, Japan agreed to terms set at Potsdam on July 26 and on September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered.

 

 

Chapter I: Getting Ready for Departure

 

Friday, December 1, 1944

Most Darling & Kiddies,

††††††††††† It was wonderful to talk to you this morning and in the mail there were two letters from you and one from Hod.

††††††††††† We had a nice trip down here, a tourist sleeper and a small Pullman with an observation car. No one in my group caused any trouble. All stayed sober enough.

††††††††††† We had a nice lay over in Denver -- 8 hours, Amarillo -- 2 hours, Memphis -- 9 hours, Jacksonville -- 4 hours. At each long lay over we got a big hotel room and everyone had a both, a drink and a chance to rest up a little so all in all it was very pleasant.

††††††††††† When we arrived here we were met with busses, which brought us to the Floridian, which is a wonderful hotel. Readinger and I are in a room together. He, by the way, is a very fine fellow. We have our meals in the main dining room Ė 50 cents each. The hotel is located on a big lagoon on a bay. Tied up behind are about a dozen nice cabin cruisers available for deep-sea fishing. Weíre going Sunday afternoon. There are two swimming pools, one indoors and one outdoors. Both are ultra, ultra. We are 5 blocks from the ocean but I havenít been there yet. We were kept busy processing today and will be tomorrow. Then we are on our own except to report at 8:15am and 1:15pm daily and eventually you are given a 24-hour alert.

††††††††††† It appears that we will be here for a week to two weeks or longer. We are in no way restricted except that we canít tell why we are here, where we are going, when we are going or who is going with us.

††††††††††† Was swell to talk to Gregg and Mollie this morning. Will talk to Martie Ann Sunday.

††††††††††† Havenít eaten dinner yet so will close now and write again tomorrow.

††††††††††† I love you all more than I can ever tell you and wish that you were all here with me to see this beautiful place.

††††††††††† Weíll see it later anyway together.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I love you, Daddy

 

Saturday, December 2, 1944.

Most Dearest and Kiddies,

Just finished lunch and we are still busy processing but we will be through by 4 today so then can begin to see the sights.

Went to the Miami last night with a gang and had dinner at the enclosed place which was very nice. The sea foods here are wonderful.

We had two lectures this morning and have another this afternoon. The lecturers are wonderful, regular orators and what a show they put on.

Readinger and I are going out for deep-sea fishing Sunday P.M. We have to go to a class now so maybe Iíll write more tonight. I love you all more than I can tell you and am thinking of you every minute Ė a big kiss to all. By the way, stop using Xís since they may be interpreted as crypt or code and should not be used.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I love you, Daddy

 

Sunday, December 3, 1944

Most Darling & Kiddies,

††††††††††† Itís really wonderful to be able to call and talk to you like this morning. The children sound swell and it is a great relief to have them all so well. Too bad Gregg that you canít make a snowman. Itís probably because itís too cold and as soon as it gets warmer the snow will stick O.K. Craig also sounded good. I should have said hello to Eleanor.

††††††††††† After talking to you, puttered around until noon, and then after lunch started on the deep sea fishing expedition. Quite a wind came up by that time so we didnít go out. The fellow who runs the boat that we were going on is very swell and invited us to stay around so the eight of us went on board and stayed there until dinnertime having some drinks and loafing. He has a very swell boat Ė 42ft. long - a cabin cruiser with accommodations for eight people. Itís really slick. Now itís hard to get gas so they donít go out unless the weather is pretty good. During peace times he takes lots of parties out to Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda etc. and for six months a year Joseph Leiner, (Leiner Dress Shops) uses his boat all of the time. So we had a very swell boating, (better yachting party) and didnít leave the deck. Had dinner with Tyler and Rich and Readinger and they all left now to go to bed and believe Iíll do the same when I finish this. There are so many things to do here when we get started seeing things so hope the weather will be good. The racing season has just opened as has the winter season here so many things are just beginning to get going.

††††††††††† We are all having lots of fun kidding about the terrible hardship of the Army and scared to death that the draft board will find out about us and send us home.

††††††††††† In spite of the very pleasant duty here, still wish that you were all here and am thinking of you every minute. I do love you and miss you all so much and being away is very difficult. So hope we will be together very soon. Good night.

I love you, Daddy

 

Monday December 4, 1944.

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Weíve had a real spell here Ė windy and cold (temp. down to about 50) so havenít been doing much today. After I wrote last night went to the club in the basement here where they serve a Dutch lunch at 9 oíclock and drank beer. Went to bed around 10 and slept like a log. Still too cold and windy to go fishing. Hope it will clear tomorrow. Did nothing all morning but loaf around an am doing the same this afternoon. Bought a couple of boxes of gum and mailed them to the kids. Hope they will arrive O.K.

††††††††††† Wish you would tell me the kids sizes for clothes and shoes by return air mail, and your own too so that if I want to buy anything I can come near the right size. Believe I could guess pretty close, but would be better to know.

††††††††††† Just finished lunch and have nothing to do the rest of the afternoon. Readinger and I changed rooms this morning. Am now in a corner room for two with a private balcony, which opens over the bay and is really swank. Ate lunch with Julius Pearson. He had heard from Ursula since she talked to you. Julius thinks I should by all means practice here, after the war, but personally donít believe I could stand the Brooklyn Indians who are about the only ones down here.

††††††††††† Am enclosing a couple of post cards. Collins Avenue is about two blocks from us. We havenít been out much yet, but believe Readinger and I will try out a few of the night spots tonight.

††††††††††† I have only received 3 letters up to date so suppose the rest will eventually catch up with me. Hope the weather has let up a little in Omaha; must be part of the same cold spell as we are having.

††††††††††† I am thinking of you all every minute and counting the days until we are together again and I do love you all the more than I can tell you. Be good kids all of you.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I love you, Daddy

 

Wednesday December 6, 1944.

Most Darling and Children,

Was so wonderful talking to you again this morning and I didnít say so on purpose, but I have a hunch that I wont be able to call again because after we are selected we canít make calls and it should be coming along now one of these days.

Mailed three packages today. Candy to you, gum to Bell, and cigars and candy to the folks for Xmas. Hope they all arrive O.K.

Received four letters this morning, one from Mother, 3 from you Ė all forwarded from Brigham. Have had four other letters from you so far. Thank you for the turkey Gregg and we will have a 100 like that on the farm if you want them.

Have been a little busy getting laundry out and buzzing around so guess I havenít written since Monday night. After dinner Monday night Readinger and I, Gallegher and Bleyfus went to the Club Bole for the nine oíclock floor show. Had a couple of drinks each (bill $8) show only four, then went to the Clover Club and had two drinks each (bill $ 8.65) and saw a very good floor show at 12 oíclock. Stopped at a sandwich shop and was back here about 2 AM.

Yesterday after the one oíclock meeting took the Pan-coast Boat Tour, which is a swell sight seeing tour. There were 17 of us who went together Ė takes all afternoon. This entire place as you probably know is a series of islands, which has been built and are separated by waterways. All the fine homes and hotels face the waterways so you can only see them from a boat. There is no industry of any kind in Miami Beach Ė hence no smoke and not much noise. Would be a wonderful place for a vacation.

When back from the boat ride went to the fine Oclesk Bar and had a couple of drinks. At 5 there is always one on the house, which we had. Then came back to the hotel for dinner and a couple of drinks with Readinger and went to bed. The boat ride plus the drinks seem to make me quite sleepy.

Itís very cloudy today but warm and no wind. Iím afraid that weíll have to forget the deep sea fishing and do it after the war so weíll have that and the deer to look forward to when we want to vacation.

It is wonderful to know that you and the children are all so swell and am certainly glad that you are with Eleanor and the folks and so many nice friends.

Donít worry about me or anything else and I know that the time will go very rapidly and that you will all be very proud of your Pappy because Iím doing what I can and I do believe sincerely that the whole cause is worth anything we can do.

I love you more than ever and know that you are the most wonderful wife and Mother that has ever lived. Know that I am thinking of you every minute.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Love, Daddy

 

Thursday December 7, 1944.

Most Darling and Kiddies,

Was awfully nice to talk to you and Gregg and Mollie yesterday. Shortly after noon the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. Went swimming in the outdoor pool and sunned for a couple of hours. How do you like hearing such things with the temp. at zero in Omaha? Surely wish you could all be here to enjoy this gorgeous weather.

Jimmie Pearson and I took off last night Ė went to the Seven Seas for dinner Ė squab with all of the trimmings Ė from there to our officers club for a couple of drinks and from there to the Clover Club. There was a new show at the Clover Club and not half as good as last week.

Am thinking of you all every minute and wishing that you could be here. I love you more than you can ever know. A big kiss to you and each of the kids.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Always, Clint

P.S.Your nice letter which you had written Sunday after I talked to you arrived this morning

 

Thursday December 7, 1944.

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote to you this morning but have some exciting news which couldnít wait until evening.

††††††††††† At about nine this morning eight of us chartered a boat and went deep-sea fishing. I caught the only fish caught, a 35 Ĺ inch Dolphin and what a thrill. They really put up a fight and there is no question when you have a bite. The line went whizzing out for about 50 yards and then the battle began. Was really thrilled when I got him in the boat. I thought of having it mounted to hang in the tack room but they charge 12 dollars per foot and I thought that, that could wait so I had a picture taken which will be mailed to you collect. I will not be holding it in the usual manner but you can see the fish, and the boat with the skipper who took us out.

††††††††††† Wish that you and Martie Ann could have been along. Gregg after the war weíll come down here and try it again. Havenít called Dad & Mother because it is very difficult to get calls through in the evening so you tell them hello and all the news and Iíll write to them soon. I love you more than anything in the world and will be thinking of you every minute.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Always, Clint

 

Friday December 8, 1944.

Most Dearest and Kiddies,

No letter today but a nice one yesterday and maybe there will be one this afternoon. Donít have much to write because I didnít do anything yesterday afternoon. Was a little tired from the expedition in the morning and had a little puttering to do. Had dinner here and then went to bed.

Today is another beautiful day and should be a good day for a swim. I feel guilty to be down here swimming out of doors when the weather is so lousy in Omaha. After the war when the weather gets real nasty in Omaha weíll hop a plane and come down here for a week or two. How about it?

I had the skipper of the boat get a picture of my prize catch so you can see the fish and the boat and the skipper.

I am thinking of you all every minute and counting the days until we can be together again. I love you Ė a big kiss for you and all of the kids.

 

Chapter II: From Florida to India

 

Friday December 8, 1944

Bermuda 8:30PM

Most Dearest and Kiddies,

Hope this wont surprise you too much. Had a wonderful trip here. Had a flight nurse make some purchases for you, which you should receive in due time.

Have only a few minutes so will write more later. Am thinking of you all every minute and do love you all sincerely.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint

 

Saturday December 9, 1944 - 3:30PM

From the Azores, Islands in the Atlantic West of North Africa (added later)

Most Darling and Kiddies,

Canít tell you where I am or anything else about it except that it is very nice here. Had a Red Cross worker and Jones buy you some trinkets, which should be coming along soon. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you move that I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint

 

Sunday December 10, 1944

North Africa 1:30AM

From Casablanca (added later)

Most Darling and Kiddies,

Arrived here about 2 hours ago and just finished eating bathing, shaving, getting into a hotel etc. Only field grade officers are quartered in hotels so as usual rank has its privileges. I have written you two very hurried notes before this since I left Miami only a few hours before I left. I hope that they will all eventually get to you and make some kind of sense. There is of course a definite limit as to what we can say. A flight nurse was with us from Miami to Bermuda who was very nice and I gave her $10 to buy you something with and feel sure that she will do it. I could not get down town to do it myself. At the next stop I had a Red Cross worker, a Mr. Jones, go out and buy some trinkets not knowing that I would be there long enough. Fortunately he made the purchases and was back before I left so I saw them. They are sliver jewelry that is gold plated. There are two pens, a large and a small one, and a bracelet. You keep what you want or give one to Martie Ann and one to Mollie or give one to Mother. I had Mr. Jones mail them to you. If you receive these packages be sure to drop a note to these people because they were so nice to do it for me. Just before I left the last stop I saw none other than Fred Cressman and he was a very welcome sight. It seemed like one of the family. He is being returned to the U.S. and so I gave him our phone number and he promised to call you. I feel quite sure that he will, and I know that you will get a big kick out of it. Conroy is still with his unit the 62nd general in England. Sonny is in Miami. Too bad I didnít know it.

This experience so far has been most unbelievable and also quite pleasant, we have been well cared for with very adequate meals and plenty of sleep on route, although this is the first stop at any length. I have four nurses and one officer with me and they are standing the trip well. I canít send a cable from here but will as soon as possible. Canít tell you much about this place but assure you that this town and hotel are a great deal different than any that I have ever seen before.

Donít believe I dare tell you any more but can go into more details later. Want you to know that I am thinking of you all every minute and wish I could write at length. Someday maybe we can all make this trip together I hope. Tell the folks and Hod and Vie and everyone all about it and give them my regards.

I love you all more than I can ever tell you and donít ever forget that for one moment. The time will go very rapidly and we will soon all be together again. I do love you and miss you. Must go to sleep. Am writing this in bed and I will have a big day tomorrow. I will see you in my dreams.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy

 

Wednesday December 13, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:00AM

Most Darling and Kiddies,

Since I last wrote you it seems as though I have seen most of the world and like weeks have passed. This has been the most wonderful experience that anyone could ever possibly have and Iím wondering if I will wake up and find that Iíve been dreaming. I canít tell you how I came here or what route I took, but maybe as times goes along you can put things together for yourself.

When I last wrote from Casablanca I was in bed and mailed the letter the following morning. Got up about 8AM and had breakfast, called for a jeep and had about a two hour drive around the city. It is a most interesting and very different place, because it was a Sunday the shops were not open. The city is a mixture of old and new. Very filthy, the natives are Arabs, barefooted dressed in long robes, turbans, very cool, there. Donít know how they stand being barefooted. There are a few cars there mostly horse drawn carriages, many burrows, push carts, camels, people carrying enormous loads on their heads.

Stayed at the Atlantic Hotel, drove to the Anfa Hotel which is very beautiful and the place where Casablanca Conference was held. Located on the Atlantic which is very rough-rocky but beautiful. Also saw the hotel where Rommell had his headquarters when he was there. The driver that I had going into town was native. Donít know who taught him to drive a car but Iím sure that the 15-mile drive was the most dangerous part of this trip, he couldnít start the motor and then finally did. Started out like you first drove the old Pontiac and never improved much during the 15 miles. After about one mile he stopped the car by the side of the road Ė turned off the motor and then cranked up his window Ė then proceeded about a mile further he stopped again, turned off the switch etc. and lit a cigarette. The next morning I had a G.I. from N.Y. and he was a welcome sight.

Just before leaving Casablanca saw Pat OíBrien and his troops just returning to the States. We all got his signature on our short-snorters. A short-snorter you know is anyone who has flown across a large body of water, you get $100 U.S. and get other short-snorters to sign as you go along. In each new country you get some of their currency and attach to the original and continue getting currency from each country.

My own short-snorter is now about six feet long and very interesting. Keeping track of money and values is very complicated since we have used so many kinds in such a short time. I have picked up metal coins at each stop and will send them Ė would make a nice charm bracelet for Martie Ann and Mollie or yourself sometime.

Wish I could tell you more but cannot so will close and write more very soon.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love, Clinton

 

Wednesday December 13, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:30AM

Karachi (added later)

Most Darling and Kiddies,

The letter writing has been a bit irregular lately but in time they will catch up and you can put the ends together. Was very busy all the time that I was in Tripoli so didnít have a chance to write. Not much of interest there except that I ate camel meat hamburger for the first and I hope the last time. Grade 4 beef is a luxury by comparison. Tell the kids to eat all of their meat and vegetables because in most of the places that I have been outside of the U.S. the meat is very bad and the fresh vegetables are not safe to eat because of Typhoid, Cholera, etc. The danger of course is that they universally use human excreta for fertilizer. Am in quite a hurry so will write more later.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† All my love, Daddy

 

Wednesday December 13, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:45AM

Karachi (added later)

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† There will probably be quite a lapse in my letter writing but I have been doing the best possible and in time will get around to telling you as much as I can. When I was in Cairo I would like to have written but was very busy most of the time. I had one most interesting day there. Was up early in the morning and took Pearson, Nulford, Lunde and Tasker with me. Went into town by bus and went to the Shepard Hotel. They had a full house so couldnít get a room. Told them that we only wanted a room for a short time to get cleaned up. The clerk, a native, said ďyou want a bathĒ and we said yes. He then had each of us register, charged us 10 piastes each (about 40 cents) and called an Arab for each of us who escorted each of us to a separate bath room. We discovered later that you always rent a room or a bath separately, never together. The Arab attendants were very attentive, drew the water etc. thought for a while that mine was going to get in the tub with me. He came in and out about six times while I was in the tub Ė mostly picking up my clothes etc. I had made the mistake of giving him a 5 pioatie note when he first took me to the room and I found out later that 5 piootes (20 cents) was enough tip for a week hence the attention. After a bath had breakfast, which was very good in the main dinning room and again there were about 5 Arabs waiting on each of us. Had a good breakfast, cost 53 piootes for the 5 of us. I gave the headwaiter 60 piootes, and told him to keep the change and I believe he is still smiling and bowing.

††††††††††† Arranged for a car and driver and a guide before breakfast and had it waiting when we were through. Drove out to the Pyramids and Sphinx and they are really quite a sight. They would be a difficult engineering feat even with modern equipment. The largest stands some 600ft. in the air and as you know are simple, huge blocks of stone, one on another like bricks. No mortar and in each is one tomb. I didnít realize that in connection with each large one are enough smaller ones for the children of the family. The largest had three smaller ones in front of it for the 3 children. The large one for the King and Queen. Thatís how the tomb of Tutonkeman (Tut) was. The tomb itself I believe has been moved to Met. Museum in N.Y. but the pyramid stands. On the way to the pyramids we drove along the Nile. The Nile Valley is very fertile, land is worth 1200 to 2400 per acre in U.S. money. They raise five crops a year, grow anything. All sorts of fruits, flowers, vegetables etc. Also on the way passed the hotel where the Cairo conference was held. On the way to the pyramids it was quite foggy and only a few minutes before we arrived it lifted so that we could see perfectly and then a few minutes later had descended again. Sort of like the morning that you and I saw Yosemite Falls. The guide noticed the miracle and stopped Ė said over and over ďEl Ham de La La El Ham de La LaĒ each time he said it he kissed the back of his hand then the palm then raised his eyes and hand to the sky. This all means, ďThanks to be GodĒ, he felt that the lifting of the fog was no less than a personal favor for the Major.

††††††††††† Cairo is quite a modern city in some respects but like all other towns in that part of the country is a mixture of old and new. The wealthy people there have beautiful homes, many new ones, large modern Italian architecture, beautiful grounds and gardens usually walled. All of the men wear either turbans or ------. The women all are veiled and the veils have various meanings. If the face is exposed they are single, veiled married, another veil widowed etc. Again very few cars, mostly horse drawn carriages, camels, burrows, and the people carrying loads on their heads, again everyone is barefooted.

††††††††††† Drove by the Palace, which is enormous and beautiful and happened to arrive there as they were changing the guard. The guards were in gorgeous uniforms and the ceremony very formal and impressive. A few blocks further saw the palace mounted guard out exercising their horses. Again very colorful uniform, mounted on beautiful white Arabian horses. Along the Nile are thousands of old boats with sails, quite a sight. Went to the Bazaar where they make and sell everything but especially silver, coffee, leather, and perfumes, also all kinds of food etc., very interesting shops. Bought two bracelets one linked and one solid, a leather billfold and a riding crop which enclosed a long knife. Wish that I could have spent a lot of time there since the prices are what you can jew them down to and it takes a long time to buy anything. They understand only when they want to and follow you around for blocks. Purchases are usually made about 3 blocks from the store and usually for about one fourth of the original price. One of the bracelets I bought for a pound and the original price was four pounds. A pound is about $4.13 U.S. Didnít have a chance to mail these from there so I will mail them from here in a few days.

††††††††††† The Sahara Desert out of Cairo is very desolate, no vegetation, only endless sand dunes which seem to extend forever. The change from the fertile Nile Valley to the desert is very abrupt. Only the portion which floods annually is fertile. Do have some things to do now so will pick up later, and in time so that you can put it together. Again I say this is the most interesting experience of my life and I want to bring you all to this country after the war and spend some time seeing it. I am thinking of you every minute and know that I have the finest wife and kiddies that ever lived. I love you so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy

 

Wednesday December 13, 1944

Somewhere in India 10:40AM

Karachi (added later)

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† The time change between here and Omaha is 12 hours so here it is 10 in the morning Wednesday and in Omaha it is 10 in the evening Tuesday. So when Iím going to be you are getting up and vice versa. Was awfully tired yesterday so didnít get a chance to write. Had breakfast around 8AM them came out to camp. Saw Caltyaer and all of the others and got straightened around here then went to bed around noon. Slept until 7PM then went to the Club, had a brandy and soda then fried eggs and a hamburger and came back and went to bed about 10PM. Woke up early this morning and went to breakfast about 7AM. We are very comfortably situated, living in stone buildings with showers etc. including electric light. Native Indians are swarming the place as orderly bearers etc. I meant to tell you in a previous letter what an interesting sight the Suez Canal was with the Red Sea on the right and the Mediterranean on the left. The war is as remote here as in Omaha and everything seems like business as usual so donít worry about me. After a good nightís sleep I feel like a million this morning. Iím thinking of you every minute and do love you all so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

 

Wednesday December 13, 1944

Somewhere in India 3:20PM

Karachi (added later)

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Will try not to bore you with letters but as you probably know we cannot give information as to routes etc. but probably in time I can tell many things that are impossible now. After I had breakfast etc. this morning went to the Bicycle Shop and checked out a bicycle. This camp is very widely scattered and motor transportation very scarce so the bicycle is the accepted mode of travel and everyone has one including Tyler and Pickens. I rode down to headquarters to get a ration card, Beer, cigarettes, razor blades, etc. are rationed but the allowances are extremely adequate. As a matter of fact I am drinking a can of Budweiser right now. The afternoons are quite warm here but it is comfortable inside. The sun is very hot, need sunglasses and helmet and its better to stay out of it in the afternoon, although at present the season is winter and the weather is very pleasant.

††††††††††† I believe that I have never told you what an interesting experience it was to see Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Jericho. The three towns all in Palestine, being very close together and only a little further is the Jordan River emptying into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is about 1200ft. below sea level. The Jordan is very winding and practically dry at the time that I was there. On beyond Jordan lies the Syrian Desert and a little further in Iraq is the Euphrates and a little further is the Tigres. The Syrian Desert is very desolate, very rough, absolutely no vegetation, but quite beautiful because of the intense erosion from heavy winds. The Tigres is very winding and is a very fertile valley. In the most fertile part is the spot which is supposedly the site of the Garden of Eden. The Tigres and Euphrates are like the Nile, fertile only in the valley which floods and barren desert extending away from the valley.

††††††††††† My trend of thought has been interrupted a few times by the boss man so please excuse if it doesnít make sense. After I got back at noon today had lunch which was very good. Hamburgers etc. after lunch had a meeting. Just got back from the meeting and have some scarce transportation arranged for I want to go into town and send a cablegram. Canít say anything but O.K., or am well etc. hope it will be delivered shortly and wont confuse you.

††††††††††† Know for sure that I am thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can tell you. Call the folks and Hod etc. since I believe they will get some kick out of the experiencing Iím having. Will try to get caught up on the letters soon. I love you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint

 

Chapter III: Karachi, India -- Longing For Mail

 

Thursday December 14, 1944

Somewhere in India 12:30PM

Karachi (added later)

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Feel like I was almost caught up on letters and hope you will get them before too long. Yesterday afternoon got a staff car and went to the airport and sent you a cable, which I hope you will get today. In a cable you canít say much of anything so I wrote all well love and guess you will know that I had arrived.

††††††††††† I didnít get a chance to write you when in Abaden, Persia because we were in there only a short time and I was quite busy. The Persian Gulf is very beautiful sight. The people there wash the same as Iíve seen all along. Went with Col. Tyler last night and went over our future plans for the theatre in general. It was very interesting indeed. After I left him went to the Officers Club. The Club here is small but they have a good radio, nice bar and good food. Can buy Indian Whiskey or brandy or gin. The cooks are G.I.ís the waiter an Indian and very funny. He wears a turban and large loose trousers (white cotton) and a shirt with long tails. Barefooted of course like all of the natives. No one can pronounce his name so we all call him Murphy. Some of the boys taught him to sing ďI am a goonĒ and he thinks it is very funny, but wonders what a goon is. When he wants to be real nice he scratches your back for you. We have Indian orderlies and they have a very definite cast system. We have four kinds here. Bearers, who only carry packages and luggage; sweepers, who do nothing but sweep the rooms; orderlies, who do nothing but make the beds and pick up the clothes, shine the shoes etc. It is that way all over India. Around here they also have laundry boys etc. In town (I havenít seen it yet) they have guides, beggars etc. one never infringes on the others work.

††††††††††† We have a good PX next door to us. They have gum, cigarettes, toddy, candy, cookies, and toilet articles. The money here is English Rupes, annas. A Rupee is worth 31 cents. Iíll enclose some paper money for the kids. Am going into town this afternoon and will try to pick up some things and get a package off in the next few days. Send me your own and the kids shoe sizes and Iíll get some boots made for you. Here like everywhere, few cars, many camels, burrows, and horse drawn carriages. Must go to lunch and will write more later. Am thinking of you every minute and do love you ever so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy

 

Friday December 15, 1944

Somewhere in India 12:40PM

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† I havenít received any mail as yet and suppose it will be sometime yet but will keep up the flow and hope that service is better at your end.

††††††††††† After I wrote yesterday had lunch and then went into town for the first time. It is 15 miles to town. Rode in by bus, loaded to the gills with our officers and nurses. The bus is a charcoal burner and is very funny. One thing I havenít mentioned before is that all driving in this part of the country is on the left side of the road. That was another thing about the Arabs in Casablanca that was driving me crazy since that was the first time that I had seen the left hand driving. The country right here is very much like Texas. Tyler has some transportation so will close and write the rest later today.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† I love you, Clint

 

Friday December 15, 1944

Somewhere in India 3:30PM

Karachi (added later)

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Finished up my last letter very abruptly so will try to take up where I left off. On the way into town saw Indian road crews building roads. They do it all by hand, carry the and rocks in buckets on top of their heads then lay each rock in place by hand. They are also working on an airfield and itís the same, pulling enormous rollers by hand, 50 or 60 Indians pulling each roller. No other machinery only small hand tools to chop stumps etc. Here again there are practically no cars or trucks, camels pulling enormous wagons or burrows pull it little carts or either with loads on their backs, some buffalo with pulling carts or pulling wagons and people with enormous loads on their heads or on poles over their shoulders. There are two types of natives distinguished by their dress. The Hindus and the Moslems. One wears a --------- and the other a turban. India by the way is about twice the size of Texas and has a population of 400,000,000 about 3 times the population of the United States.

††††††††††† When we arrived in town there were 40 or 50 small boys and beggars at the bus stop. The first thing to do is hire one boy to chase the others away. Readinger and I picked up Chatanooja, heís about Greggís size only twice as tough and probably about ten years old. Chatanooja, speaks pretty good English and has a complete vocabularity of profanity. The town has a population of a million and you wouldnít guess that it was over 50,000 because only the rich have any kind of a home. The rest live on the streets day and night. The streets are absolutely filthy, sacred cows walking all over the place -- on the sidewalks, in the stores or anywhere. Better be discreet about who reads the rest of this letter but think you would be interested in some sort of picture. If a sacred cow walks into a store and relieves herself it is considered to be good luck. They are never disturbed, go where they please. The streets are lined with beggars, blind, leppers, cripples, girls the size of Martie Ann with babies a year old in their arms and the babies even hold out their hands. You see mothers sitting in the streets playing with (I mean masturbating) their babies to quiet them. Children two years old are running around by themselves begging. The people relieve themselves in either sense wherever they happen to be. Full grown men squat in the streets and do their business, snake charmers with cobras and mongoose etc. put on shows for a rupee, a mongoose can kill a snake. The shops are not so bad. Mostly ivory, brass, sandalwood, and silver trinkets, and leather goods. I bought some junk which I will send along in time.

††††††††††† They have jewels of all kinds, but prices are quite high and itís hard to know what you are buying. I bought a little ivory animal, sandalwood animals, some cigarette holders, bill folds, a little brass ---------, one on elephant bill that you can use for the table, some riding crops. You can keep what you want of any of this and then give the folks, Bells etc., anything that you donít want.

††††††††††† The boot shops here are interesting. In a hole in the wall half the size of our kitchen will be a boot shop with 12 or 15 men working, all sit on the floor, work with their hands and feet and turn out 40 or 50 pairs of boots a day. Custom built boots are turned out in 24 hours and cost 18 to 35 rupees, $6 to $10. Give me your own and the kids foot sizes. Better trace the foot with a stocking on it and Iíll get some made up. They are really a high top jodpur and will be cute on the kids. We wear them as mosquito boots, stick your trousers inside them. The Army requires them although there are no mosquitoes here now since this is the dry season. I guess by the way I havenít told you that we wear the China Burma India patch. The beautiful shield with a sun and a star and red and silver stripe. Iíll send some along for the kids when I mail a box. We are allowed to send only one package a month and that is why I am waiting to pick up some things. After a couple of hours of fighting the filth and beggars we went over to the U.S. Officers Club which is like an oasis in a desert. It is a beautiful big old home furnished beautifully and with good food and a good bar. It is the only place in town where we dare to eat or drink. We had a couple of Tom Collins and a fried chicken dinner with apple pie and ice cream. An excellent dinner with only one suggestion of India, that being the cream was from Buffalo Milk also that the waiters are Indians in turbans, white pants and shirts wide sash and barefooted.

††††††††††† Came back to camp about 8:30, about 20 officers in the back of a G.I. truck. Went to bed about eleven and slept until 10 this morning. Donít believe that Iíve completely caught up on sleep from the first trip. It hardly seems believable that only one week ago right now I was taking off from the part of embarkation, do you know that we didnít sleep much coming over, right? When I got up I shaved and showered, the water is cold by the way, that being about the only inconvenience and then went bicycling over to see the chief nurse on some business. When I got back went to the PX with Readinger and bought two cans of orange juice and two tomato juice. We can buy that every day and it helps because the water is loaded with chlorine and we do not have cokes at least at present. After lunch started to write and then went with Tyler to collect our per diem, $7 a day extra pay while traveling. By the way, the natives including the beggars are pretty sharp on their English in some ways. The beggars hold out their hands and plead, ďNo father, no mother, no per diem, no flight pay, give me an anna.Ē Next plea is usually, ďPlease give me one anna and Iíll take a powder.Ē They are also very smart about flattery. They come up and say, ďyou major, you big shot, you boss man.Ē In the stores if you become interested in anything of any value they have you sit down, pass the cigars, and may even bring out a quart of scotch. Tyler and Rich bought rings worth about $75 and drank 3 quarts of scotch before the deal was closed.

††††††††††† From there we went to the Tailor Shop to get some battle jackets (the kind Montgomery wears) and some bush coats. English type of low collar, belted, log tail, big patch pockets, worn as a shirt. Rich is taking a lot of pictures which I will send along when they are printed. The first mail for any of us came through today, a letter for Stone so Iím hoping for tomorrow. Iím thinking about you all every minute and love you all more than I can tell you. All be good kids and Iíll be back before you know it. I do love you all so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

 

Saturday December 16, 1944

Somewhere in India 12:10PM

Most Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Havenít much to write today because I wrote late yesterday. After writing Readinger and I did a little carpenter work putting up a rod to hang clothes on and moved our beds around etc. The bearer said we didnít keep our cupboards right. We have a big cupboard with shelves and we were using alternate shelves. He informed us that that was wrong. One master should use the top ones and the other the bottom so to keep him happy we let him move things. He calls us master orhasahib. We bought an elephant bell yesterday to ring when we want him and he likes that very much. Our bearer is quite a character. It is very dusty here and every time we walk in he comes over and takes our shoes off and shines them. He shines the ones under the bed everyday even if we havenít worn them. The price we pay a bearer is 18 rupees a month, about $6, and that is his total salary. After dinner Tyler, Readinger, Hartford, Tote, Warren and More went to the Officers Club and played bridge. Very fast game, 1 rupee a game and when you won it there were 25 to 50 rupees in the kitty. I won three times so came out about 50 rupees to the goal about 17.00. Had a few brandies and soda and a cheeseburger and had Murphy sing, ďI am a goonĒ and then came peddling home about eleven. Slept again until about 9:30 Tote and I inspected the nursesí barracks and am now waiting for time to go to lunch. Tote and Tyler are leaving soon for a trip to headquarters of this theater. Rowena should hear from him while there and any item of news will interest you. They wonít be gone so very long and I will run the show here while theyíre gone. I love you more than I can ever tell you and think of you every minute. Write every day.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint

 

Saturday December 16, 1944

Somewhere in India 7:30PM

Most Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† It was sort of a lonesome day today and we still have no mail which makes it worse but maybe the mail will start arriving about tomorrow I hope. After lunch yesterday went into town as did most all of the officers. The buses were loaded so most of the officers hitched a ride with G.I. trucks which isnít too bad for transportation and also not too good. When we arrived in town two of us, Hogmaki and I hired a carriage, on horse open-four wheel job with a little skinny horse. Cost 2 rupees per hour, about sixty cents. Drove all around town and did some shopping. Am getting oriented to people and custom. The main people here are Hindus and Moslems. Hindus mostly rich and Moslems have nothing. Hindus usually better dressed and cleaner. They arenít around on the street much. We saw a few very well dressed Hindu men. They usually wear white jodpur type trouser with close cut legs. The Hindu women wear very colorful clothes, long flowing affairs with long pants etc. Women of both casts wear rings in their ears as do many of the men and children. The women all wear a jewel or a ring in their nose when they become engaged. You gradually see more sights of interest.

††††††††††† Yesterday saw barbers working on the streets both barber and customer sit on the sidewalk, facing each other and the shave takes place. Looked like a dry shave as near as I could tell. Mostly trimming of beards, donít believe they use haircuts; at least they donít look it. The street cleaning (such as it is) is done by a certain cast as is everything else here. As soon as a horse or sacred cow does his business one of the sweepers comes along and sweeps it up and puts it in a basket. They are not paid but sell the manure to a place that airs it and sells it for fuel. Between jobs they carry these baskets on their heads. Human excreta is also sold for fertilizer and that too is carried in baskets on top of their heads. It is not too uncommon to pass a basket of it on the street and judging from the consistency they must all have dysentery.

††††††††††† Went down to the railroad yards where they were unloading box cars. All freight is hauled away in huge camel drawn wagons, and there were hundreds of them around the railroad yards. Went by a crematory yesterday but could see nothing but the little chapel and the open fire, mostly smoke. There are three ways of disposing the dead here. The rich are cremated in open pits, the middle clan are buried and the very poor are placed in burial towers, the buzzards do the rest and the bones are ground up for fertilizer. Donít read this trash unless you want to, but its all truth. Did some shopping and then went to the Officers Club, which I repeat is an oasis in the desert. You really feel like taking a bath when you hit there. Had a couple of Tom Collins and then dinner, fried chicken, potatoes, peas, apple pie and ice cream, coffee, all very good. After dinner hired another carriage and went riding again. On a back street came across an Indian native street dance, very wild affair. Music of tom-toms, symbols, and a squeaky wood wind instrument of some kind. The men only dance and they each carry a steak in each hand and jump around in a circle hitting sticks with the ones next to them. Gets very wild but they seemed to be having fun. I donít believe that the women leave the house much except the beggars.

††††††††††† Two hours past since I wrote the last line to go to a show. Now 10:45PM. Thereís an outdoor theatre about one block from our barracks, show tonight 4 ------- in a jeep and several short, very good show. The nights are getting quite cool, tropical are comfortable during the day but need a field jacket at night and sitting in the show was a bit cool.

††††††††††† Anyway after riding around for a couple of hours last night caught the 10 oíclock bus and came back to camp. Another charcoal burning bus with an Indian driver and that is quite an experience. They are horrible drivers. Slept until ten then puttered around until dinner time. Had a good dinner with strained chicken and ice cream, sound good? Tyler, Rich and I went into town after dinner to pick up orders for Tyler and Tote and when we got back I slept until dinnertime. Had Spam, cheese, potato salad, coffee, and pie for supper and then started to write this letter.

††††††††††† Iíll mail you a box tomorrow, but donít know when you can expect to get it. Anywhere from 6 to 7 weeks to 5 or 8 months so donít get too anxious. Iím quite sure it will be slow this time of year. Gift buying here is not good. Items are limited, nothing for children at all. Iíve bought some brass, ivory, and leather that I am not too happy about but hope that you will find it of some interest, at least its from India. Maybe further in the interior, later I can do better.

††††††††††† Not knowing how long it will take for this letter to reach you I will tell you now Happy Anniversary, this is our tenth and I hope you receive the little remembrance I had sent from Utah; please know that I love you more now than ever before and that is really quite a lot. I believe you know that. I do hope we can be together for the next one, and have a happy a celebration as last year. Weíll both think of that one until the next one. Know that I am thinking of all of you every minute and do love you so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Forever and ever,

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

Monday December 18, 1944

Somewhere in India 2:00 PM

Most Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After I finished a letter to you last night tucked Tyler and Rich into bed then Jim Pedies and I had a can of beer and went to bed. Slept until 9 and then worked until noon and had lunch. Just finished lunch, hamburgers, potatoes, peas, coffee. Today is greatly like a lot of days we had at good old Camp Barkley, wind and desert blowing so that we cant see across the street. Very fine dust in your teeth etc. The camp by the way was built by the English, buildings are very scattered and cover and enormous area. Our building like most of them is built of stone with a tile roof. Porch extends on all four sides. There are two latrines which adjoin the porch on one side. Two wash barrels, tow toilets and two showers in each. No hot water but that is the only draw back. We have electric lights, good cots and mattresses with white sheets and pillows. A bed table, chest of drawers, chairs, built in electric fan in the ceiling. There is no heat in the buildings but we donít need it. Last night was supposed to be as cold as it ever gets here and the temperature dropped to 68 degrees. I guess right here it gets very hot in the summertime. Hence the stone buildings and electric fans. Our mess hall is about 50 yards away and the PX about 50 yards the other way. Officers Club almost 3 blocks from here. Food is O.K. and sometimes especially good. G.I. cooks and Indian waiters. Our bearers make our beds, pick up our clothes etc. and shine shoes plus carrying anything such as luggage. Ours is named -------- we call him George. He calls us master or, if excited, Sahib. All of camp closes from 12 to 2 and during that time the bearers and sweepers all sleep in the sun. Iím hoping that by now you have received my cable and soon will be getting letters. I hope that you will keep all of my letters so that someday I can use them to refresh my memory if need be. The country here sees to be agreeing with all of us since all are well including myself. The sinus boys are having their troubles today with the dust, but they always do. Iím sending a cable today, which I hope, will arrive on time. Donít know for sure what the airmail service will be so Iíd better be telling all of you Merry Christmas. I do hope that you will all have a nice Christmas and Iím sure that you will. I know that it will be strange with Bud, Max, Gregg, and me away but if you keep your chins up and weíll all be back before so very long. Get yourself and the kids anything that you want and always have good clothes and go where you want. Give each of the pumpkins a great big kiss and hug and a pat for me and Iíll be there for the next one.

††††††††††† Martie Ann I hope that you will have a real nice Christmas, and a nice vacation. Iíve heard of a Polish refugee camp near here where they make nice dolls and Iím going over there as soon as I can get you one. Iíll also get you and Gregg some boots as soon as Mommy sends me a picture of your foot.

††††††††††† Gregg you take care of the family while Iím away, you know that you are the headman now. I have sent you a whip that you can use when you go pony riding and another one to chase the cows with, out on the farm. I hope that you will like them.

††††††††††† Mollie how is your jumping coming along, and can you turn a good somersault? Better keep practicing so that you can do it real good for me when I get home.

††††††††††† Gregg how are you doing with standing on your head? How is school for both of you? Suppose little Gary is blooming like a rose and maybe standing up by this time. How are the teeth?

††††††††††† Well do have a nice Christmas and know that I will be thinking of you every minute. I love you all more than I can ever tell you and do miss you so much. A big hug and a kiss for each.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love always, Clint and Daddy

 

Tuesday December 19, 1944

Somewhere in India 1:30PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Still no mail but my hopes are still high that today will be the day. Tate got a letter yesterday dated December 1 which of course was six days before I left Miami and have talk to you since then. I imagine that the N.Y. post office is a mad house now with Christmas mail and with a new unit especially split like ours, it takes time. I may have mail at the port where the enlisted men will arrive. After I wrote yesterday I got busy and wrote 17 other letters, the folks, Bells, Burkes, etc. I wrote mostly --- mail since it doesnít take much to fill a page so of course I couldnít say much.

††††††††††† Had dinner last night and kept on writing letters then went to bed. Got up late this morning and puttered until lunch time and just now finished lunch, very good. Readinger and I are going into town at 2:30 so maybe tomorrow I can tell you some more tales of India.

††††††††††† Its cool today so put on pinks and blouse and had the CB2 patch out the blouse. Really looks very smart. Temperature here today is about 70 and it is windy but not as bad as yesterday. Hope that I get a letter today but if I donít Iíll keep hoping. Please get all of your pictures made soon and send them airmail and get one of Gary every month. He is bound to change a lot. I love you and miss you all more than I can tell you and am thinking of you every minute.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

Wednesday December 20, 1944

Somewhere in India 5:45PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today but hopes are still high for some tomorrow. What I hope most is that my hundreds of letters are getting through to you. I just talked to Tate long distance to give him some information that he and Tyler needed. After writing yesterday, Readinger and I went into town and hired a ------ and drove around town for about two hours. Saw more of the same and donít have much to add. Went to the Officers Club at about six and had a few rum cokes and then a very nice dinner. Fried chicken, peas, potatoes, apple pie, and ice cream. Really a good dinner. We bought a book yesterday on the Hindustan language and started practicing on the waiters. In about two minutes we had every waiter in the place standing around helping us out. They seemed to be nuts about the idea of us talking Hindu. Today we worked out on our bearer and he also thinks its nuts. We can now tell him to ďcome here, thanks, hurry, that is all, close or open the door or window, and bring a chairĒ so we are making hay with the bearer. Itís a lot of fun.

††††††††††† Came back to camp about 11:30 after waiting an hour for the bus. Got up late this morning and got a haircut. Good G.I. barbershop in PX next to us. Had to work all afternoon getting the information together that Tote and Tyler called for and then called them back and just finished talking.

††††††††††† Iím thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Be sure to write to me often and tell me about everything. I do miss you all so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

Thursday December 21, 1944

Somewhere in India 8PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Havenít much to write about today. Still no mail and its getting to be a long time without any letter and do certainly hope mine are getting through to you. Readinger and I went to the Club last night, practiced a little Indian on the waiter, had a couple of Brandys and soda and then came home. Up late this morning as usual and spent most of the morning talking to Col. Plen who is C.O. of the hospital here and an OK guy. After lunch got some transportation on an ambulance, and went tot the post office with the many purchases, got it weighed and spent most of the afternoon wrapping and packing. Hope you will get it before too many months. The bracelets and light leather wallet are from Cairo, everything else from here. I repeat that this is not the sort of stuff that I would have liked to pick up but it is at least from India. Jim Perkins has a star sapphire ring which he bought in New Orleans in a pawn shop for $15, and the local jeweler offered him 200 rupees for it (about $75) so you can see what a bargain stores are here. Quinn, the boy who hauled Gregg around in a jeep at Brigham, leaves soon to join Tyler and Tate. He and Pearson both still talk about Gregg. They liked you very much Gregg.

††††††††††† Just finished dinner, had meatloaf, Spam at -------, both OK. We get lots of white bread, peanut butter and jelly and we all eat lots of it to make up for lack of sweets. No fresh milk but plenty of tea and coffee. So we are dining OK on food. Feeling like a million all the time and do hope you are all well. Take good care of yourselves and Iíll be seeing you in my dreams. I do love you and miss you more than I can tell.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

Friday December 22, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:25PM

My Dear Little Martie Ann,

††††††††††† I havenít been getting any mail over here yet but I just know that you have been writing me some nice letters. I sent a box yesterday with some ivory animals and some sandalwood animals in it for you and Mollie and I hope you will like them. I also have sent some bracelets, they are probably too big for you but if you like them Mommy can have them cut down, I also sent a lot of coins from everywhere that I have stopped. You and Gregg can have them and some little girls make bracelets out of the small coins, like charm bracelets.

††††††††††† One of the whips is for you if you want it. How is school and how is Susie? Do you go down to Susieís often? Are you good to Molly and Gary? I still have to laugh every time I think about you all dressed up in the formal and with lipstick on. I still say that when I get home you and I will have to go to a dance. How is your music coming along? You should practice.

††††††††††† Be real good and mind your Mommy and the teacher and write to your Daddy real often. I am thinking about you every minute and love you very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

The coin is from Cairo Egypt.

 

Friday December 22, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:40PM

Mart my Darling,

††††††††††† Ten years ago tonight I had this little idea that I would be writing you a love letter from India tonight, and I certainly hope that never again do I have to write you on our anniversary. It would be so nice to tell you in person how very, very much I love you instead of writing. I have been thinking all day about what we have done to celebrate our anniversaries, and my memory is very clear especially about last year. Wasnít that a nice party? We will do it all again next year if I have anything at all to say about it. Iím hoping that you received the candy from Brigham and the cablegram.

††††††††††† After writing last night went over to the Club and played hearts with Christopher (mother will remember him) and Warren and some others. Had a hamburger and a brandy and soda and came home and did a lot of thinking, mostly about you and the kids. I decided that you were all perfect as far as I am concerned.

††††††††††† Today went bicycling over to the Tailor Shop to have some patches put on then went to Finance and Personnel etc. on some business. Rich and I were together most of the day. He took some pictures of me and Readinger on and off our bicycles. Iíll send them when the roll is finished. Rich and I, Readinger, Warner, Schltz, and Weaver, had a drink of some African Cherry Brandy and then rode over to an approved Chinese restaurant about 3 miles from here and had an elegant dinner. Fried chicken chow mein, chop suey, French fried rice, egg fu yong, and French fried shrimp and tea. All very good. We all ordered different things and then ate family style. It was the best dinner weíve had here. The only trouble is that by the time you pedal over 3 miles and pedal back the 3 the dinner is about used up. We stopped at the Piccadilly Cinema on the way back but had seen the show so Rick and I came back to the Club. Had a rum coke and then came on home. I just wrote a note to Martie Ann and Gregg and will start writing to them more often. I suppose they would like getting their own letters. You can probably expect the box about two months from now.

††††††††††† Mart, I love you and the kids more than ever and want only one thing, and that is to be with you every day for the rest of my life. I do love you so.††††††††††† (Still no mail)

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint

 

Friday December 22, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:15PM

Dear Greggie,

††††††††††† I sent you a patch the other day in a box that I sent to Mommie, there are two whips for you. You will have to be very careful with the long one so that you wont hurt yourself or any of the other children. Better save it until were on the farm and then you can drive the cows with it. This patch is a very hard one to get. How do you like school? Did you get the picture of the fish that I caught in Miami?

††††††††††† You get out the map and look up all the places that Iíve been and someday weíll all come over here together. I have a little Indian boy about 12 years old working for me. He sweeps the floor and keeps a fire going in the stove where we heat water to shave by. Over here the horses are real small, there are no ponies, there are lots of little donkeys, and lots of camels. Everyone goes barefoot all of the time. The people here are very poor and donít have any homes or any money and not very much food. No one here has any milk to drink. Be a good boy and write me real often. I love you very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

 

Sunday December 24, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:40PM

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote just before I went to bed Friday night and didnít write yesterday so will have to catch up on account. In the first place we still havenít received any mail. A few stray letters have come in but so far none for me and I certainly wish they would get started. Do hope that my letters and the two cables have gone through without delay. Saw Bob Tate late last night and he was telling me about a trip that he has had. Said he mentioned me in a letter to Rowena so you might give her a call.

††††††††††† Yesterday morning I inspected the officers and nurses quarters and then after lunch went into town with about 15 officers. Two of us and Mendez (our boy from Puerto Rico) and I got a -------- and went riding. Always see something new each time. Yesterday went down to the waterfront and saw the public bath. Itís simply a long wide concrete stairway that leads down into the water. A big high wall separates the men from the women. Only funny thing is that from anywhere on the street you can see into either place. Donít know why they are so modest in the bath because most of them seem to take their baths with their clothes on anyway and also it is not uncommon here to see people on the streets completely nude. Also yesterday saw an old man sitting on the curb looking at the passerbyís, and completely nude. Also saw an Indian train. The engine is about on third the size of our smallest ones and the boxcars are very small, only about one third as long and one half as high. Looked almost like a toy train.

††††††††††† Found a very nice little leather purse for Martie Ann yesterday and saw some very nice sandals and some that were hand embroidered gold slippers, make nice formal slippers that I will get you when I get your size. Picked up a pair of boots for myself that I had made, required here, called mosquito boots, wear our pants inside of hem after six oíclock although there are no mosquitoes here because it is the dry season.

††††††††††† About five oíclock we went to the Club and had dinner then went out to the British Officers Club and had a couple of scotch and sodas. A very nice club. They were having a dance. Quite a conglomeration there. British, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, and Scotch officers, a few Americans, many English civilians, and few very high class Indians or Hindus and their wives. Looked like Negroes but guess that there is a difference. There dancing is stiff like everything else they do. The formals worn by the women looked very old fashioned. Came back to camp fairly early then Readinger and Rich and I talked about this and that until two oíclock. Slept until noon today and then went to dinner. After dinner went to an eggnog party at the Officers Club. Rich and I had only one and then went for a ride, on our bicycles of course.

††††††††††† We rode about 15 miles and were back just in time for dinner. Had a good dinner, and chewed the fat until now. Rich and Readinger are both excellent company. Believe that the bicycling is getting rid of a little of my waist line and its really a lot of fun when everyone travels that way. Martie Ann and Gregg when I get home I can go riding with you. Maybe Iíd better sell the Ford and buy a bicycle huh?

††††††††††† Pickens, Readinger, Rich, and I are going into town with the Episcopalian Chaplain at 10:30 and attend the midnight service at St. Andrews Church of Scotland. Wouldnít Dr. Clayton be proud of me? Itís the same as Episcopalian and they have a very nice church here. Things are working out well for the unit but as you might guess it will take some time to get our own plans set up and really started to work. I understand that Frank Hagerman is somewhere in India but I havenít had a chance to see him. Iíll probably be seeing him one f these days before so very long.

††††††††††† Well down here it doesnít seem at all like Christmas Eve and maybe its just as well because it wont hurt so much. The weather is like summer, no Christmas tress or decorations anywhere except that the words are decorated in the mess hall some. They had 6 nice trees at the Club. Main thing is that no one has any mail, or packages and especially no families here to celebrate with. Iím guessing that you will have your tree at home and that the folks and Eleanor and youngsters will be there. I surely hope that you will have a nice Christmas and donít forget that Iím going to be there for the next one and then it will really seem like Christmas. I hope that Santa Claus brought you all exactly what you wanted and one of these days youíll get some more packages from him that will be real late getting there. Iím feeling fine and as happy as can be when Iím away from you guys, but will never be satisfied or happy completely until I get you all right under my wings again. All be good kids and have a very nice Christmas and New Year and know that your Pappy is thinking of you every minute and loves you so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

Monday December 25, 1944

Somewhere in India 10PM

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Merry Christmas, bet just about now our household is a riot, it is 10 oíclock in the morning in Omaha when its 10PM here, so suppose you are still in your pajamas and making whoopee with the Christmas surprises. Wish I could take just a tiny peek. After I wrote last night went into town and attended Midnight Mass at the Church of England. There were about 30 or 40 officers and nurses from our outfit mostly officers who went in for the service. The service was long and very different from Episcopalian although there are some similarities. They served Communion, and it was quite a sight. Many, or should I say a few Indians have adopted the Christian religion and there were probably 30 or 40 of them there who took Communion. A great many Americans, British, Australians, and New Zealand officers and soldiers there.It was about two when we got back here and we had a snack, Spam, sardines, cheese and beer. Slept until noon and then had a very good Christmas dinner, canned turkey, at first I thought it was tuna fish but it is very good. Dressing with nuts in it, cranberry sauce, peas, potatoes, gravy, fruit, Jello, mince meat pie and ice cream. It was almost as good as it sounds. After dinner Readinger and I went over to see one of our nurses who is in the hospital and then we went to a program that was given for the Polish refugee children who are in a camp near here. The children put on the program, said pieces, sang songs, and danced, very cute, all Polish but they were beautiful little girls and all wore beautiful hand made Polish native clothes. After their program they had a Santa Claus who drove up in a Jeep with a cigar in his mouth. He was American who spoke Polish, very tall and very skinny. The suit was definitely not made for him so it was padded and he had a terrible time keeping his pants from falling off. He gave a present to all of the Polish children and the adults too. The officers and nurses in our outfit collected the money for the presents and I guess everyone here in this camp contributed.

††††††††††† The program was in the outdoor theater and it was really too warm to be comfortable. Can you believe it? The temperature outside right now is 72 degrees. This afternoon was real warm. One of the Red Cross workers who was with us on the train brought a present to me and Readinger today. A pint of ----- Rum. She by the way taught at Wayne Normal for 2 years during about 1935-1938 or so. Knew the Berryís quite well. Weíll save the present for New Years or some such event. After the program puttered around until supper time and then after supper Rich, Readinger and I pedaled over to the Piccadilly Cinema and saw ďJohnnie EagerĒ. Must be quite an old show. The film was badly worn and broke about ten times and most of it was missing I believe. The Piccadilly is not a G.I. show. It is English and operated by the Indians. At the most exciting place in the film they stop and have a half hour intermission. Isnít that a deal. We just now pedaled home so you see we spent a pretty nice Christmas day. At least we kept busy and didnít notice it except that it doesnít seem like Christmas at all.

††††††††††† We still havenít any mail but hope that the Christmas rush is now over and it will start coming soon. I surely hope that you are all having a nice Christmas day as I write this and donít forget that Iíll be there for the next one. I am thinking of you all every minute, a big hug and a kiss for each one of you and you kids all give Mommy an extra pat for me until I get there to give it myself. I love you so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

Tell me what Mollie and Gary thought of the tree. Bet Mollie was plenty busy.

 

Tuesday December 26, 1944

Somewhere in India 11:25PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Went to bed after writing last night and slept until about nine this morning. Had the usual and dreaded ice water shower and then Fred Warren and I bicycled around camp running a few errands until time for lunch. After lunch Warren, Readinger, Rich and I took two cameras, one loaded with black and white film and one with colored film and got a staff car and went picture taking in town. We got a bunch of swell pictures and Iíll send you some prints in about a week. Believe youíll be able to get a pretty good idea of this place after you see the pictures. Got back here just in time for dinner and then Rich and I piddled around taking some colored film of the sunset. Went to the outdoor show tonight and came home about ten. Lot of short subjects and newsreels plus ďNative Barn DanceĒ at the show. I will probably become quite a show fiend over here. Itís a good way to spend a couple of hours and just about everyone goes every night that theyíre not in town.

††††††††††† Rich and I have been having a beer and chewing the fat since we came home. Have been intending to urge you strongly about getting your picture and all of the kids real soon and Garyís and Mollyís especially often because they will change very fast. Also did you get a barricade built across the basement steps so that Mollie or Gary of any of the others wonít go bouncing down onto the concrete. Do that right away if you havenít already. You must be very busy all the time and believe itís a good thing to stay that way but get out once in a while, and donít work too hard. The work will wait.

††††††††††† I suppose that it is hard for you like it is for me to realize that I am so far away but also that doesnít take too long to get here. Also I want to repeat that here there is absolutely no more danger than in Omaha. Probably less because here there are so few cars. The only danger here is that Rich and Readinger are as bad as I am on a bicycle and I expect a collision will take place eventually. Martie Ann and Gregg how would you like to see your Pappy fall off a bicycle? Seriously though Mart there is nothing here to be worried about and we have to read about the war in the newspapers. My health is excellent in fact I believe better than usual because I am getting much more walking and especially bicycle riding. Hope for some mighty important letters from you guys real soon. Am thinking of you every minute and do love you all so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

 

Thursday December 28, 1944

Somewhere in India 7PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Still no mail but know that any day now we are going to hit the jackpot. Some mail is beginning to get thru and today there was quite a bit. Most of it was old stuff forwarded all over the country. Well maybe tomorrow. Surely hope that my mail to you is getting through better.

††††††††††† Was busy yesterday getting ready for a big Christmas party that we had last night. We had it at the Officers Club. Drew names, had a Santa Claus etc. Warren and I had to round up the liquor and make the punch. The party was a big success and a large time was had by all. This is the first party that weíve had since we left, so it was quite a get together. Rich says to tell you that I was well behaved last night. He and Readinger are sitting here coaching me. Rich and I had a bull session after the party until about 2:30 this morning so we slept until almost noon. I spent the afternoon reading a book on Indian customs.

††††††††††† I meant to tell you that on Christmas morning the Indian bearers woke us up and gave us each a lei of fresh flowers. I didnít know it but everyone wears leis here on festive occasions. Rich and I are going to the show and I donít seem to have much to write about today but want you to know that I am thinking of you every minute of the day and night and do love you so very much. Rich and I are going into town tomorrow so will have more to write tomorrow night.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Goodnight Pumpkins, I love you,

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

Friday December 29, 1944

Somewhere in India 8:50PM

Dear Gregg,

††††††††††† Iím sending you some pictures that we have taken here. How do you like these funny things that people here ride in? Most of the time when I go to town I ride in a Saree (horse drawn carriage). They cost 2 rupees an hour. How would you like to have this barber give you a haircut and how would you like to buy peanuts from this man? I love you very much. How is school? Be a good boy.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

How are Craig and Gary?

 

Friday December 29, 1944

Somewhere in India 8:50PM

Dear little Martie Ann,

††††††††††† How is my little sweetheart? Write and tell me all about your school. This is a very funny country here and I am sending you some pictures. Does this look like Dr. Roberton and Uncle Max to you? How would you like to ride on this streetcar? In the laundries here they do not use soap but beat the clothes against a rock until they are clean. The clothes donít last long either. A cobbler like this one made me a pair of nice boots and he will make you some as soon as Mommy sends me your size. Be a good little girl. I know that you are the smartest one in school and get 100 just about every day. Give Mollie and Gary a kiss and a pat for me.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† I love you, Goodnight, Daddy

 

Friday December 29, 1944

Somewhere in India 8:30PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Have had a busy day today in town with Rich shopping around and mostly taking pictures. Iíll start enclosing some of the pictures in every letter and weíre really getting some nice ones. Will you mark the name of the town on them so that there will be no confusion later. I guess that you know where I am although I donít know that you do. Every time we go in we see more of the same but usually something more of interest. This is quite a large city so there is a good deal to see. I hope that you will enjoy these pictures; they are all very ordinary sights that we see on the streets every day. You may not want to show some of them to the kids but keep them together. I have now been out of the states for 3 weeks and 5 hours, which seems like a long time but the time goes fairly fast. I hope that all of the time will go very rapidly for all of us. Still no mail but maybe tomorrow. We came back to camp tonight in time for dinner and have been chewing the fat since. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Am going to bed early and want to write Gregg and Martie Ann.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Goodnight, Clint and Daddy

 

Saturday December 30, 1944

Somewhere in India 9:35PM

Mart and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Well another day without mail but things are picking up. Readinger got a letter today, dated December 14. She had a card from Mamie and Mamie had received the Cols. arrival cablegram. At least I fell more sure that some of my letters etc. are getting through but I would really like to have just one letter, little, tiny letter. Would be a nice New Yearís present. How about it? I hope.

††††††††††† After writing last night was just ready for bed and Col. Tyler walked in, we had a lot of things to talk about and guess it was 2:30 or 3 before we got to bed. We had 3 meetings today. One with the officers and then the nurses in two groups. The Col. had all news that was good to listen to and everything is working out just the way we would like it to be. We are going to have a most interesting experience. Today I was busy with the Col. all day with the meetings and straightening out some other matters. Things here are really on the up and up.

††††††††††† As you know we are in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre and are entitled to wear the ribbon now. We have also of course been in all three theatres but are not entitled to wear the other two because we were not on duty there for a long enough period. So the collection of ribbons has begun. I am enclosing one for Gregg to wear and weíll send one for Martie Ann tomorrow. Am also sending some more pictures and will be sending some every day for quite a while. I have almost 100 finished now. Am thinking of you every single minute and love you more than I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

Saturday December 30, 1944

Somewhere in India 11:25PM

Dear Gregg and Martie Ann,

††††††††††† Here is an Asiatic Pacific theatre ribbon that one of you can wear and Iíll send another tomorrow. Here are also some pictures again. I forgot to tell Mommy in the other letter that after dinner tonight we all went to a U.S.O. show and just got home. The troupe was a musical troupe, highly classical and very good. A pianist, a tenor, violinist, and contralto. We really get excellent entertainment here.

††††††††††† Gregg how would you like a cow like this one to milk on the farm? Be good kids, give Mollie and Gary a big kiss for me. I love you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

 

Monday January 1, 1945

Somewhere in India 1PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Mart, I suppose you are just about getting home from a New Yearís Eve frolic with Laurie and wife. That was a date the last I saw Laurie. Hope you had a nice evening and wish that we had been together. Next year for sure weíll start it together. O.K?

††††††††††† Our mail is apparently being miss sent or something. None of us have now had any mail for two days. Keep writing airmail but as soon as you get this write three or four V mails and weíll see how they come in. I would certainly like to have one little note just saying OK and love. Tyler and I went into town yesterday morning and were in until dinnertime. First some business and then drove around for a couple of hours seeing more of the same. After dinner loafed until about three and then spent the afternoon getting paid setting up mess bills etc. After supper last night Tyler, Rich, Readinger, Warren and I started a little celebration on a pint of Utah whiskey and after a few went to the Club where they were having a party. Was a pretty nice party except there were probably ten men there for every woman and I donít believe anyone could dance because of the tagging. Came home about one and shot the stuff for a couple of hours. Got up about ten and worked until time for lunch.

††††††††††† Iím feeling swell and have no complaints of any kind except wish we would get some mail. I love you very, very much. A big hug and a kiss for each for the New Year. I do love and miss you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

January 2, 1945

Somewhere in India 2:30PM

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Still no mail but checked with the post office today and as near as they can tell we can expect to start getting mail regularly any time from now up until 3 weeks from now so guess we had better relax and enjoy it.

††††††††††† After I wrote yesterday I went out on quite a deal. There is a Chinese pilot here in the hospital who has had excellent results from surgery and thinks that the American doctors and nurses are really something. He wanted to do something for them so invited Miss Lee (our nurse who has spent ten years in China) and some of her friends to have dinner with him. There was this Chinese pilot and three of his friends, another American officer who is a patient, Miss Lee and 3 other nurses. We went to a Chinese restaurant, which caters to the Chinese here, at about 3 oíclock and had tea at which time he ordered the dinner and then we went down to the beach and fooled around. Took a few pictures there which should be good. When we got back and had dinner it was really something. We ate for about 3 hours and they made many little speeches about how they appreciated the American doctors and nurses and how we should always be friends with the Chinese etc. They were all extremely polite. All understand a little English and speak some. Lee did a lot of the interpreting both ways. There was no silverware in the place, so we all ate with chopsticks. At first it is impossible but after just a few minutes you can go right along as well, almost as if you had a fork.

††††††††††† I have never seen such a dinner. I would guess that there were about 15 separate courses and all absolutely delicious. First sliced clams cooked in soybean sauce, then shrimp fried in some sort of candied tomato sauce and then served with a relish of sprouts, onions, peppers, etc. very good. Next they served what they called spring rolls, made of dough, baked, stuffed with meats and vegetables. Next they brought in a whole fish, including the head and tail, baked in very rich sauce. It was the most delicious fish I have ever eaten. Next they brought in a whole duck baked in a very dark, very heavy sauce, also wonderful. The duck too was cooked with the head on including the bill. Looked very pretty on a tray believe it or not. Next they served what they call sweet sour chicken which is good but I donít know what it is, chicken and vegetables in sauce of some kind. Next course was of little dough balls cooked like boiled dumplings and stuffed with meat and vegetable, something like ravioli. Next was chicken chow mien and then they wound up shark fin soup which is considered a great delicacy and really wonderful.

††††††††††† Gallons of Chinese tea was served with the entire dinner, both hot and cold. Does that sound like a good dinner? Weíll have to try out the works when I get home if I can get it all ordered. Another funny thing is that you are supposed to eat certain amounts of some things such as 5 of the spring rolls and 10 of the ravioli like things. You need 3 hours to eat dinner. New Years is a big day for the Chinese and I guess ordinarily they have a feast, which lasts the entire day. These boys were all fine boys so I brought them back to the quarters and introduced them to Tyler, Rich, Readinger and think weíll all get together some night this week and go back to this place again.

††††††††††† Got up fairly early this morning about 8:30. It doesnít get light here until 8:45 to 9:30. They use the same time all over India and actually the time here should be an hour later to be correct. That is why the late breakfast. Was busy all morning. Had a good lunch, canned turkey and dressing etc. Readinger and I went for a bike ride when we were through and just got back. You are probably wondering if there is anything I need and there is not. We can get everything we want her in the PX, cigarettes, Kleenex, cookies, candy, gum, fruit juices, beer, cigars, cokes, razor blades, etc. I should be sending you things, right? We will get two quarts of liquor a month which will cost us 6 rupees a quart (about $1.75) Havenít started getting it as yet but will soon. We can buy all kinds of clothes here so you see there is at the present absolutely nothing that I need except mail and pictures.

††††††††††† Iím feeling like a million dollars and have nothing to complain about and Iím not kidding. Think Iíll spend the rest of the afternoon writing letters and maybe someday they will produce results. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you and miss you more than I can ever tell you. Why donít you at least twice a week write me air mail registered if you can at least until the mail gets started coming regularly. Do that as soon as you get this will you please. I love you all so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy and Clint

 

 

Chapter IV: Karachi, India -- Youíve Got Mail

 

January 2, 1945

Somewhere in India 11PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote to you and Martie Ann and Bells this afternoon and immediately after mailing them the mail arrived and we all received some mail. Happy day! I received your letters of December 14, 15, 16, & 18, on the 18th you said that you hadnít written on the 17th. I still do not have any letters written between about December 6th through the 14th so should get some more soon. Imagine it will come along OK now. You cant believe how this bunch of grown men have been watching for mail, all the same and what a happy gang today. I also had a Xmas card from Alyce Richmond with Alís new address, quite a surprise. Also Tangier Shrine News, one from John and Mercer Lodge and Xmas card from George and Mrs. Grisson (the old Omar man). Remember how he used to call and if I wasnít there ask Mary Joís advice? Spent the rest of the afternoon reading the mail and comparing news and dates etc. Glad you received the cable so promptly and should have another by now. I had been here about 36 hours before I send it so you can guess how rapidly I traveled.

††††††††††† Hope the pumpkins are now all over their colds and am so anxious to hear about Christmas. Itís nice that you and Eleanor are together so much. She and I always squabbled a lot but she is actually a very grand girl. Hod has certainly been swell and hope that someday I can even things up with him. Iíll certainly try. Send me Johnnieís foot print, Cecieís too and Iíll send them some boots, also send me Craigís. Hope you will enjoy the pictures. I have dozens yet to send. One of my old pool boys was here Saturday morning on his way back to the --------- and I told him to call you collect. Donít know whether you like strange men calling or not but if you like to hear that way I will probably have the chance real often. Sorry you didnít open your anniversary candy until Christmas but guess you wouldnít be able to guess.

††††††††††† Hope you have now received the gifts from Bermuda. You would laugh if you could see Mr. Francis Jones who you addressed as Miss. Thought it was awfully nice of him to write besides all of the troubles of buying and wrapping. I have written to him and also the nurse in Bermuda.

††††††††††† After dinner tonight Tyler and I went to the show. Many shorts and news, then Eleanor Pomell and big cast of stars in something or other of 1945. A musical review --------- and very good. Did you ever get the pictures of the fish from Miami? If you think of anything here or hear of anything here that you want, by all means let me know, since we can send one package of ten pounds each month. Was going to spend the afternoon writing letters but was much more happy to spend it reading letters. Hope tomorrow brings as many.

††††††††††† They certainly do mean an awful lot now. I believe that a two-month-old World Herald would have been welcome until today. Am thinking of you every minute and do love and miss you so much. I will really dream about you tonight.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 2, 1945

Somewhere in India

Dear little Martie Ann,

††††††††††† How is my big girl getting along? Here is the ribbon which we wear in this theatre and you can wear it if you want to. The people here are very funny and Iíll tell you all about them when I get home. Give Mollie and Gary a big hug and kiss for me and you and Greggie be good little kids like I know you will. I love you all very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daddy

 

January 3, 1945

Somewhere in India 7:40PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote to you last night just before going to bed but am still gloating over yesterdays mail and have read it over and over. Received a Xmas card today from John Becker, The Pullman Lease which looks OK now and I will return soon and a very nice letter from Ced. Col. Tyler, Rich and I went into town first thing this morning and came home just in time for dinner. Had a good dinner. We were busy in town on business but bought Gregg a couple of patches which I saw. We had lunch at a hotel occupied by permanent officers. Good lunch, stewed chicken. We really get pretty good food, what with going out to such places pretty often, at least Iím not losing any weight.

††††††††††† Iím thinking of you all every minute and do love you so very much. Write often, donít work too hard and all you kids be good little kids.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I love you, Daddy and Clint

 

January 3, 1945

Somewhere in India

Dear Martie Ann,

††††††††††† This patch is one worn by the British. Did you have a nice Christmas and are you having fun during your vacation? I am getting along just fine over here and like it very much but would sure like to be home with my good little chickens. Give Mollie and Gary and Mommy a hug and a kiss for me. Send me some pictures real soon. I love you.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daddy

 

January 4, 1945

Somewhere in India 2:30PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Jackpot finally arrived today. I had about 30 letters with 3 yesterday and 9 the day before so am about up to date. I now have all of your letters written from November 25 up to December 19. Some that I received today you had written the day that I left Brigham but were still wonderful reading. Opened them all and arranged them by date and then read them like a book. Am returning Lois Barkeleyís letter, two checks and Francis Jonesí letter. I signed the hotel leases and returned them today. Received Berniceís enclosure and was surprised to hear of Tom but know he likes it. Had Xmas cards from Henry Iske, Bob Springer, Alyce, John Beeker, Laurie Williams, Bill Kernold. Believe some of them came yesterday. Nice letter from Hod written December 12, one from Bud written December 10, one from Max written the day that he heard from Eleanor that I would be in Atlanta, Jackís enclosure. KE newsletter etc.

††††††††††† Martie Ann, I received your letter and your Thanksgiving story. Thank you very much and do it often. Gregg, I really enjoyed your picture of the hospital tent and the Xmas tree. Received the shoe and clothes sizes. Glad Sonny Cressman called. Didnít she tell you where Fred and I saw each other? Guess you must by now at least know it was the Azores Hotel ----------------- swell in November. Have you paid off Dad and Mother yet? Nice of Ned and Edith to call. Would like to see the house now that the kids have it all decorated. Sounds like you must have had a nice Christmas. Did you ever get the gifts from Bermuda? Too bad about Dort Rasgorchick. Hope Gregg gets to New Zealand soon. Glad you received my letter from Casablanca so quickly. Send me the Johnsonís address and I will write to them. Bill sounds as though the Navy had been a fine thing for him. Wish I could see Gary standing up and with all of the teeth. Must be a cute boy as I know he is. Would love to see Mollie putting the doll on the toidie and in for her bath. Give all the P.E.Oís my regards. Thank Hod for everything and let him drive the Buick anytime on short trips. It will be better for the car than standing idle. He had really been grand to all of you. With the mail coming along now it will be much more pleasant here and by now you must certainly know exactly where I am. If you donít, say so.

††††††††††† After writing last night, Readinger and I went to a sort of tea party that some nurse gave. Very dull so we came home and went to bed. This morning the mail arrived early and no one has done anything but read letters and write them all day so I have no news. It rained very hard here last night so is cool today. Need a field jacket. We of course have no fires so it really isnít very warm. Your letters are grand and just the stuff I want to hear. I love you very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daddy and Clint

 

January 4, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Dearest,

††††††††††† Just now started one letter and in walked the mailman with your Christmas card. Thank you my darling. I love you.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Always, Clint

Here is a flight officer bar for Gregg

 

January 5, 1945

Somewhere in India 5PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Havenít much to write about today because I have been mostly writing letters since I wrote yesterday. Got letters off to Gregg, Max, George, and many others. Tyler and I went to a show last night, which wasnít much. We along with Readinger, Rich, Echert are going into town in a few minutes and try another shot at the chop stick place with the Chinese. No letters today so read the old ones again. I am thinking of you every minute and love you so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daddy and Clint

 

January 6, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After I wrote yesterday, Tyler, Rich, Readinger, Echert and I went into town with the four Chinese flyers and had another gorgeous Chinese dinner. About the same as last time and just as good. Itís really fine food and the others enjoyed it as much as I had the first time. These Chinese boys decided last night that I should have a Chinese name, so they talked it over and decided on one. One of them, a Capt. Tsa, came over this morning to inform me that my name was Ma Le Ta, which means Establish Morals. Why this meaning I donít know but they said that this was a very fine Chinese name, and that if I ever go to China the Chinese people would like it very much. So now I have a Chinese name but have no reason to believe that I will ever need it and I mean that.

††††††††††† We worked all morning this morning and then about four oíclock Rich and I went into town. I ordered you and all of the kids a pair of boots which I think you will get a big kick out of although it will be a week before I get them, so be patient. Had dinner at the Club and just now came home. Iím thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Had a Xmas card today from Eder but no other mail so weíll dream of you tonight and hope for a letter tomorrow. I love you,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

 

Chapter V: Karachi India --
Experiencing the Culture; Waiting for War

 

January 6, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After I wrote yesterday, Tyler, Rich, Readinger, Echert and I went into town with the four Chinese flyers and had another gorgeous Chinese dinner. About the same as last time and just as good. Itís really fine food and the others enjoyed it as much as I had the first time. These Chinese boys decided last night that I should have a Chinese name, so they talked it over and decided on one. One of them, a Capt. Tsa, came over this morning to inform me that my name was Ma Le Ta, which means Establish Morals. Why this meaning I donít know but they said that this was a very fine Chinese name, and that if I ever go to China the Chinese people would like it very much. So now I have a Chinese name but have no reason to believe that I ever need it and I mean that.

††††††††††† We worked all morning this morning and then about four oíclock Rich and I went into town. I ordered you and all of the kids a pair of boots which I think you will get a big kick out of although it will be a week before I get them, so be patient. Had dinner at the Club and just now came home. Iím thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Had a Xmas card today from Eder but no other mail so weíll dream of you tonight and hope for a letter tomorrow. I love you,

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

 

January 7, 1945

Somewhere in India -- 2:30PM

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote last night just before going to bed and have been working all morning. Had a good dinner, boiled chicken, dressing, peas, ice cream and coffee. Sound OK? The mail is a little erratic as yet but received wonderful mail this morning -- your letter of December 23, 24 and Hodís letter of December 26. I donít have any of your letters from 19 to 23 but they will probably hit in the A.M. The pictures taken in front of the Xmas tree were swell and the best Xmas present that you could have sent. I am really pleased and will probably wear them out showing them. These are the first pictures that anyone has had from the states and you should see the other officers crowd around. You would think that you belonged to the whole unit. The point is that everyone is so hungry for any sort of news or anything from the states that we even enjoy letters and pictures that arenít our own. Hod said that you received two letters, December 1 and 25, so suppose they were the first to get through. You must be worried about censorship. It is all right for you to write about anything that I have told you. I mean for instance that it is all right for you to say that Fred Cressman told you that he had seen me in the Azores. Anything I write is OK. Believe that the letters from Bermuda and the Azores should not have been headed as to place but we enquired and were told that is was OK. Had a note this morning from the nurse in Bermuda and imagine that you have received the package by now. She apparently had a bad time of shopping because of Christmas.

††††††††††† Was swell of Hod to take the picture and you thank him for me. They have certainly have been swell friends. The anniversary letter written by the three of you painted a fair picture of drunkenness and made me wish more than ever that I could have been there but there will come a day and then believe me will appreciate each other even more than ever if that is possible. Right? You should by now have received a flood of letters and pictures. Do hope they are going trough in fair time. You and the kids really look swell in the group picture. Little Gary has changed a lot in the few weeks. The group is a very good picture of each of you, which is unusual. I want you to send something on this order every month at least so I can see the change.

††††††††††† Gary is really a buster. Mollie still cute as a bug. Gregg you really look like the man of the house. You are getting so big. Martie Ann you are beautiful. Is that a new doll that you are holding? Looks like a dress exactly like yours. Mart, both pictures are good of you. A big hug and a kiss to each of you and keep looking as good and as well as you do now and I shall see you before too long. I have now been out of the states for one month and it has gone very quickly. I do love you all so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

 

 

January 8, 1945

Somewhere in India -- 8:30PM

Mart and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Well I have now completed one month and five hours of overseas duty and, while in some ways it seems like quite a while, in other easy the time has gone very rapidly and Iím sure that it wonít be too long until we are together again.

††††††††††† No mail today but Iím still gloating over the pictures and previous letters. The pictures are really wonderful. After writing last night wrote about six other short letters and then Tyler, Rich, Readinger and I went to the show. I had a meeting with the nurses and did some other work this morning, then after lunch, went into town again. The main reason for going to town today was to get hunting licenses. There is an abundance of doves and partridge here and we have procured some shot guns and shells from the M.P.ís and are going out Sunday to get some partridge. There are ten of us going, Tyler, and I, Rich, Readinger, Burns, Hitz, Warren, Christopher, Booshardt, and Johnson. Getting the licenses was quite an experience. We had to buy one license for each officer Ė cost 5 rupees. Then one of us had to have a permit to carry the firearms and the other names endorses thereon. That was also 5 rupees. After buying the permit and looking it over, noticed that there was room for hundreds of names on the place for endorsement and started inquiring and found that the permit is a permit to operate a private army or police force and that you can have as many recruits as you want by just having their names endorsed on the permit. Itís in a book form and is really quite a deal. Iíll show it to you when I get back. While I was in the Magistrates office getting these permits and licenses a huge Indian, very well dressed, and very well-educated, came in. After chatting with him for a few minutes found that he was the public prosecutor for this province. He was very interesting and is interested in knowing Americans since he someday hopes to travel in America. He invited us to have dinner with him tomorrow night at a local club, which should be quite an interesting experience. I think that this country will unfold many more interesting stories for us if we can meet a few of the right people so am very pleased to make this contact. While in town we went by the Chinese restaurant and ordered another of those famous Chinese dinners for Wednesday night and eight of us are going to it.

††††††††††† Meant to tell you about a very interesting figure that Rich and I saw in town Saturday. He was a ďSaber.Ē They are holy men who live in Canes in the hills and come into town only once in a great while. They are very colorful, faces pointed hideous colors, hair plastered down with mud, clothes are colorful and very filthy and they have money belts and tassels around their shoulders. They carry a shell in one hand to receive money in and a sort of poker with a ring in it in the other hand. They supposedly sit in front of a fire day and night for months at a time and then bring a sack of the ashes and come to town. They beg and every Moslem who sees them gives them something which is unusual for beggars here. In return the Holy man places a speck of ashes in their hand, which is supposed to bring the giver great luck. Crazy isnít it? Hope you wonít get tired of hearing all of this crazy stuff but it is really interesting to see. Keep the letters and maybe I can elucidate more clearly when I get home.

††††††††††† In town today we did a little shopping and have another box about ready to mail. Got four beautiful dolls made by the Polish refugees here and have a bunch of other trinkets. By the way Iím getting about bankrupt and wish that you would send me a money order for about $300. Send it airmail and registered. Hope I wonít have to touch you too often but think I might as well buy stuff that I see and believe some of it you will get a kick out of. When I send duplicates, give them to whoever you want to. The Public Prosecutors name by the way is Parmanand Kundanmal. Isnít that a pip? Weíll have to name him Murphy too. That reminds me that our bearers name is Shereef Kahn and he wants to go with me and Readinger wherever we go. His salary is 40 rupees a month or about $2. He, by the way, at first he thought that we slept too late and used to wake us up about seven. We told him that we worked nights and had to sleep days so now he tip toes in, in the morning and wonít let the sweepers in until we are all out of bed. Did I tell you that we now have hot water for shaving and showers and that it is a real luxury. Really we are awfully well off here and miss our families and will be awfully glad to see the states. My health is super. I really feel like a million all of the time.

††††††††††† I miss you guys terribly and think of you every minute. I love you so much that I can never express it in words. Write every day and send pictures every month. Donít forget. They really do mean a lot. Iím thinking of you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

 

January 19, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail yesterday or today from you. This morning had a nice letter from General Hefflebower and a world atlas from the U.N. Wish the letters from you would get through better but especially hope mine are getting thru to you. Worded all day yesterday until about four oíclock and then cleaned up and Col. Tyler and I went in to town. Loafed around town and at the Officers Club until 7:30 then went to the club for our evening with the Provincial Prosecuter, Rarmanand Kundanmal. He had the governorís secretary with him and we spent a most enjoyable evening. We sat and talked and drank good scotch whiskey all evening. Didnít have dinner as you usually think of it but had food brought in a couple of dishes at a time all evening. It was all Indian food. Very delicious, on the order of hors díoeuvres. Kabobs, Sambossos, Pakoras, Chapaties, Kofta, all are very highly seasoned. Much hot pepper, garlic etc. Kabobs are made of mutton rolled like sausages, Sambossos are dough stuffed with highly seasoned meat and vegetables, then baked. Pakoras are another dough and vegetable deal. Chapaties are like meat balls Ė very hot. Kofta are like pancakes Ė very tough and highly seasoned. Quite an experience. We learned a lot abut Indian politics, religion, customs, etc. Find that the Parsis here, the merchants are the same people as everywhere else and hated same as we do. The prosecutor recited a saying that I though was especially good. ďOne Englishman an idiot, two both a statesman, 3 a nation. One German a scientist, two a beer hall, 3 a war. One Jew, a merchant, two a calamity.Ē This club was very nice Ė a quiet place very sedate like the Omaha Club. Col. Tyler and I were the only whites in the place. The Indians were very high class. Was surprised to learn that both of these gentlemen that we were with were Master Masons. Also Masonry here has only three degrees but they are the same as ours. Col. Tyler and I still pinch ourselves once in a while to make sure that this is all not a dream. We are really having a most fascinating experience.

Was quite late when we arrived home last night and so I slept until noon. Just finished lunch. It has turned very cool here the past two days and we are into wool with field jackets. Have a couple of stoves and we are all huddled around them. That is why the pencil today. Eight of us are gong to the Chinese place tonight and taking the two Indians with us as our guests. As you might guess, we are trying to cultivate these Joeís a little bit. The Chinese pilot just now showed up with Chinese names for Rich, Warren and Tyler. The names are Lie Chi, Wu Ling and Tai Na. Am hoping to get some mail tomorrow. I still havenít received a letter back from you to the effect that my first letter is through but know that it must be from what Hod said. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy and Clint

 

January 11, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart and Kiddies,

Well another day and no mail and itís getting to be very discouraging. Wish the post office would come to life and get itís letters through a little better. Surely hope that mine are going through better.

After I wrote yesterday we went downtown and had dinner at the Chinese place again. Same food as before except we added a new dish, boiled ham, which was also very good. Quite a party of us -- Tyler, Rich, Readinger, Warren, Burns, Pickens, Weaver, Junitt, and the two Indians. The Indians had never eaten in this restaurant and thought it was quite a treat. They are very nice and have asked us back to their club next week. We came in early and I was in bed by ten oíclock so got up at eight this morning. We had fresh eggs for breakfast so was worth while. Quite chilly here today. I imagine about 60. A fire would feel good, in fact, we have two small wood heaters going and are huddled around them once in a while. We were busy this morning and this afternoon Tyler and I went for a bike ride after lunch. Just now got back and have nothing to do until diner time. Will go to the show tonight. Donít know what is on. Guess Iíve never told you but we have a radio and get the American programs transcribed. We heard yesterday of the invasion of Luzon which was very welcome news and hope it will go well because I believe it is the key to the quick finish of Japan. Guess you like to hear it as I repeat that we are here in no danger whatsoever and are very comfortably situated. Donít need a thing of any kind except mail from home. We are looking forward to our partridge hunt this coming Sunday. Surely hope we have some luck. They are supposedly quite plentiful.

Gregg Ė Iíll be glad when you are old enough so that we can hunt together and what we bring home weíll have Martie Ann cook for us. How about that? Col. Tyler is sitting here writing to Mamie, and he always has great troubles thinking of something to write so heís grumbling about it loudly. Iím thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you. Hereís hoping for sixteen letters tomorrow from all of you. By the way I wrote a chick today for $100 made out to Mrs. A.T. Schwartz. Schwartz had some extra money so cashed my check and will send the check to his wire. I love you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 13, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Didnít write yesterday so have a little catching up to do. O letters from you yesterday again but received one from Glenn Walker, a Xmas card from Cal Davis and the Optimist news. Isnít it a pain in the neck that mail like that comes in and yours doesnít. Well, maybe today will be better.

Went to a show Thursday night. Worked yesterday morning and then Col. Tyler and I went into town. We took a saree and went riding and shopping. I bought a few linens that I believe you will like. A table cloth and napkins, two card table covers and a Kashmir shawl for a head wrap for you or Martie Ann. Also bought an ivory chess set which we can use in our old age. I bought it only because it was an unusually nice set and a real bargain. Also bought you, Eleanor and some of our friends each a cigarette lighter. They also are good lighters and will make nice souvenirs from India. Iíll mail them all Monday. Your boots will all be finished Monday so will send them at the same time. They are really cute for the children and think you will like them too.

After shopping and riding we had dinner at the Club. We had previously made a deal with the Provost Marshall to accompany the M.P. raiding party into the out of bounds area so they picked us up about eight and we went over to where the place was. I wonít go into any details except that we went into probably 50 different places, all about the same. The only thing that the M.P.ís are interested in is keeping the American soldiers out. We didnít find any and I guess they usually donít unless itís someone awfully stupid. The average charge is 8 annas -- about 15 cents. They were dong a fair business with the Indians. Iíll tell you more of the details sometime if you are interested. Remind me about the bluebirds, the dance places, etc. We left the patrol about ten or so and came back to camp in a taxi with 3 Air Corps boys -- 1937 Chevrolet with 29 horsepower motor. Yesterday rounded out one month for me here and the Col. and I were marveling about how quickly you become accustomed to the filth, the sarees, the camels, donkey carts, the ever-present beggars, and peddlers, and everything else that goes to making this India. Also how good it will be to get back where we donít have these things. I have another roll of film finished but we had bad luck, must have been a light leak, none are good but Iíll send them along for what they are worth and you can use your imagination. I just got up and we are going to be busy today and go hunting tomorrow so I may not get a chance to write until Monday. I love you more than I can ever tell you and miss you so very much.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Daddy and Clint

 

January 15, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart and Kiddies,

After I wrote to you Saturday received two letters, one written December 26 and the other December 27. I still havenít received your letters of 20, 21, and 23 but suppose they will be along any day now. Sounds like you all had a mighty elegant Christmas and Iíll be there to see for myself next year. How about that? Also a card from Cal David. Had a letter from John Sloan yesterday. He is Executive Officer to the base surgeon Ė Base no. 2 at Calcutta. He seems to be very well satisfied with his assignment. The war news today sounds very, very encouraging and you know this thing could fold up pretty rapidly now, and then we could all go home for good. Hope it will move swiftly in the Philippines as it has started and believe that it will. After writing Saturday a gang of us took off on a hunting expedition which was a most marvelous trip. Tyler, Rich, Readinnger, Warren, Hitg, Burns, Johnson, Bosshardt, Marshall and two sergeants plus an Indian guide named Moe. We had a 2 Ĺ ton truck and a trailer. Took bed rolls, food, rifles and shotguns. We went to a place south and east of Tata on the banks of the Indus River. We made many stops on the way to look at the sights, just before we at Tata,we came to an Indian cemetery which has been used for hundreds of years for the burial of Rajahs and their families. The grounds cover miles and miles and are covered with monuments. The monuments consist of burial temples. Some are enormous, cover about an acre with many domes, arches, etc. All are made of stone with beautiful hand-carvings all over. Inside are as many as 10 or 12 graves each covered with a stone marker. Outside in the courtyard the servants are buried. In my opinion this burial ground exceeds the pyramids for architectural skill and beauty although they are not so large. A few are made of porcelain bricks in many bright colors and are really beautiful. Most of them are very well preserved but some of the oldest are falling down.

The city of Tata is older than Karachi, the present capital of the province. In Tata the streets are all so narrow that our truck would just go through the main streets. After we left Tata we went on south and east about 20 miles or so and stopped at a little village. We stayed at what is known as a Dask House (maybe Dok), the British government has built all over this country for traveling representatives of the government. They are very nice little stone houses with a living room, fireplace, two bedrooms but only one bed. Tyler rated that. The rest of us slept on the stone floor but we all slept well because we were quite tired. As soon as we arrived and unloaded, eight of us went hunting. The rest fixed dinner.

The guide went into town to get the beaters lined up for the next day. Birds are very plentiful and we shot plenty although we had to be a little careful because shot gun shells are scarce even here. We killed black partridge, sand partridge, quail, wild pigeons, dove, parakeets and several species of hawks just to look at them. We killed 43 birds all together. We really went up there for bore hunting. Yesterday morning was windy and quite cold so Moe had trouble getting the beaters out and after he did get them going they didnít work as they should. Anyway we got started bore hunting at 2:30 yesterday afternoon and it was really an experience. We made 3 drives, the hunters take stands and the beaters drive the game towards you. Itís very exciting, the only trouble being that we didnít get any bore. One of the sergeants saw four and one deer and got one shot at the bore but missed. As a matter of fact he hit him but he got away. The rest of us didnít even see any. So we shall try again later. The trip was worthwhile anyway from the standpoint of seeing these natives out away from the cities. They are so terribly poor that it is pathetic. They consider an empty beer or fruit juice can, or an empty ration box a real prize and a dozen will stand and wait for an hour for us to empty a can that weíre drinking from. Besides the bearers, we each had a gun bearer. They carry your gun, coat, canteen, rations, etc. When all through Moe paid them. -- probably 50 to 75 for them all together and he paid them 30 rupees (about $10). They seemed well pleased but always yell for more. You should have seen the hunting party going through the woods, stretched out for a mile. In the truck I donít see how so many could possibly get in Ė all of us plus probably over 50 Indians and about 6 big dogs all in one truck and trailer. Well, at any rate, it was a most wonderful trip and we were plenty tired when we got back. On the way back we picked up a British Major whose car was stalled. Quite a character. We got back here about 12, really dirty and tired.

Slept until noon then shaved and took a much-needed hot shower and went to lunch. Just now finished lunch. Just remembered that Saturday afternoon we passed a native funeral procession Ė body carried head high on a bed. Fifty to one-hundred natives following along chanting. Am thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can tell you. Will be so glad to all get together again and hope it will be soon.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† I love you, Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 16, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two nice letters this morning and one this afternoon. Believe that now brings me up to date of the 28th of December except maybe one missing about the 22 so that is not so bad and I guess that letters about 16 days old is as good as we can expect here. Had a nice letter from Floyd Wergland this morning stating that he received my change of address. Have you ever received the 5 or 6 letters, which I wrote all about December 13 and 14 telling of my trip over? If not let me know. The bracelets and the two gold pins sent to you by Fred Jones were from the Azores. I saw them after he bought them, then he mailed them for me. I have written to both him and the nurse thanking them.

††††††††††† After I wrote yesterday realized that I had misspelled boar and pigeon. Donít tell Martie Ann because she will think I didnít study my spelling in school. Thank your Gregg for your nice letter telling me to hurry home so we could live on a farm. I agree and will hurry. Do you know where I am? Al Freshman wrote his wife telling about a trip that he made with the MPís same as Tyler and I made. She wrote back today and said that she had doped it out from his letters that he must be stationed at Lahore. Good deduction I would say. Are any of my letters being opened by the censor? They may or may not be since officers censor their own mail. The base censor, however, sometimes checks them especially on new outfits. None of your mail is censored. Didnít do much yesterday but loaf and recuperate from the hunt. Last night we had a big dinner of all the hunters and consumed the birds. They were all very good. We sat around afterwards chewing the fat. Slept until 9 this morning then worked until noon. After lunch packed a box for you and Tyner and I cycled to the post office and mailed it. Believe that parcel post from here is now going by air so you may get it in about a month. Sent some linens, purses for the girls, a couple of silver glasses, some sandalwood idols, a couple of fezís for Gregg and Martie Ann. They are not very good but it is difficult to find nice ones in small sizes. They I guess will get a kick out of it anyway. Also sent about 4 jiggers. Keep one; give one to Eleanor; one to Hod and one to Laurie or whoever you want.

††††††††††† Sent Gregg another bullwhip. He can give one to Craig or Martie Ann. They should probably not play with them. Also there are 4 dolls made by the Polish refugees, very cute I think. You will find tied to one of the jiggers two Egyptian puzzle rings. Give the 4 ring to Dad and the 6 to Hod. Tell them to look at them carefully before they let them apart and after they try putting them back to see a Dr. G.A. Young. They may need him. Do not try to force the rings at all because they bend quite easily. Iíll show them how to work them when I get home if they are still working. When you write tell me which letters you have received and then recognize them as they come in. You are now married to a definitely middle aged man Ė today 35. The officers and nurses all sang Happy Birthday at noon Ė no speech. I love you and think of you all the time.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 17, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No letters today but canít expect them every day over here. Last night I read them back over all of your letters in sequence and they make more sense than reading one and then a week later reading one written previously. Believe that I told you that I have now received every thing up to and including the 28th of December.

††††††††††† Tyner, Rich, Readinger and I went to the show last night -- ďThe Three Monahans.Ē Only a fair show. Went to bed about 11 and Readinger and I talked until about 1:30. We have a bad habit of doing that. You wonít believe that I go to bed and talk will you? Maybe Iím finally getting caught up on sleep. Was up about 8:30 this morning and did some work but mostly the Col. and I went bike riding. I gave an hour of instruction to the officers after lunch and then Tyner, Rich and I went into town. I got you all your boots and they are quite a slight, 5 pairs of a kind; hope they will fit. I will send them in the next few days with someone elseís return address, someone who isnít sending a package. I also picked up some cigarette lighters. They are all engraved with the names on them and you can pass them out. They are the best lighter that I have ever used for out-of-doors. Wonít go out in the wind. Also have a reserve fluid tank. Donít know that Iíve ever mentioned it but every thing that I have sent is entirely handmade including the boots and lighters. I have watched them make most of the things that I have bought. The tools that they use are practically nil. The shoemaker for instance has nothing but a wire cutters, a tweezers, an engraving tool and a wick in a little bowl for a flame for the soldering. All workmen here sit on the floor. All shops are extremely small. Most of the customers stand on the sidewalk, surrounded by peddlers, beggars, shine boys, cows, etc.

††††††††††† We came back to camp about 7 and had dinner at the Club Ė eggs, grilled cheese sandwich and beer. Just came home. Tell Rudy Mueller to write me the details on the airport. When I was home I simply said to save me a share for when I came home, but would like to know what the deal is. I love you more than I can ever tell you. Hope you enjoy the stuff I send along. Goodnight. See you all in my dreams.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

January 18, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today so should score heavily again in a few days. Received a Xmas card from Mrs. Perrin Ė remember the sister-in-law of the man whose name was on the Fibber Magee tickets? Went to bed after writing last night and worked this morning. This afternoon Chaplain Moll, Tyner, Readinger, Rich, Warren and myself went over to the Polish refugee camp. There are about 1,300 people there, mostly women and children They live in the tents with a big mess hall. Their chapel is built of wooden crates that they have picked up from the U.S. Army camp. Itís British operated. Strangely these people were not jubilant about the Russian capture of Warsaw. They fear Russia more than Germany. I personally feel very optimistic about all of the war news. We are also becoming very optimistic about the possibility of a quick end to the war in Europe and to the conquest of the Philippines.

††††††††††† Remember that I mention that coming back form our boar hunt that we picked up some British officers and the head man decided that I was the one in charge. The next day we discovered that he was Major General Heid, Commander of the Province. I am enclosing a note that I received today from him. He has the name a bit screwed up but I am surprised that he caught it at all.

I got a box packed today. It will have Tateís return address on it. Inside are four items for Rowenda, a purse, a cloth, two small boxes, they are marked Tate. Will you take them to her. It is the box so full of boots and lighters. Hope the boots will fit. If not let me know. There is a party at the Officerís club tonight and all of us are going over to take a look. They are supposed to have some quantity of scotch. Am thinking of you and love you all.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 19, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail from you again today but more aggravating was the fact that I received two letters from Omaha dated January 6 Ė one from the Optimist Club and the other a Masonic bulletin Ė both with 3 cent stamps. Should for sure hit the jackpot tomorrow. After writing last night went to the show Ė very fine Ė ďHome in Indiana.Ē If you havenít seen it go, the children would enjoy it also. After the show we went over to the club where the party was in full swing but didnít stay long. Worked this morning and this afternoon. Tyner, Rich, Warren, Johnson, Burns, Booshardt and I went out about ten miles and hunted birds we had a very nice shoot. Got 89 birds all together Ė some partridge, quite a few quail, the rest dove. Stopped and had a beer with the Provost Marshall on the way home. We borrowed the shotguns from him. Got a full case of shells from an Air Corps officer. When we got in we cleaned up a bit and then went to the Club for a sandwich and just got back. Things here are going very well but as you can guess we are not as yet busy but will be sometime soon. I am feeling like a million dollars, getting plenty to eat and lots of exercise. Am beginning to get quite a tan. It was quite cool here last week but the past two days have been like summer. Guess the winter here is over and it should be nice al of the time now. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Iíll love you always, Daddy and Clint

 

January 20, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Three nice letters today Ė 3, 4, and 19th of January. In letter of 10th you had received mine of the 1st of January, so that makes 20 days round trip, which is wonderful. Your mail is not coming in order written so suppose mine is jumbled also. Had a nice letter from Phil Johnson with picture of him and the two dogs. Mary Laneís column about proms is very amusing. Personally think old man Colins should have the bronze plate. Sorry about Charlie Crone quitting but as you say, he worked for me and your Dad, no one else, really was a trouble maker, and his marriages indicate that he is not easy to get along with. Tell Dad that he is to hire help and not do the work himself. The kids and their carryings on really amuse me. I can see Gary getting dry ones while standing up.

††††††††††† Was dead tired last night so slept like a baby, shoulder a little sore this morning but not bad. Missed breakfast as usual, had orange juice in bed. That is the usual thing. Readinger and I set the cans out before we go to bed and the opener so just reach for them in the morning and have breakfast. After we got up inspected the nurses quarters Ė one of my Saturday morning duties. Had coffee in each barracks, then cycled down to the post office with your package. Hope it will get through soon. Thank Pete for the licenses. Donít worry your head about the hotel. That is what Pete is paid for. PEO meeting sounds good. It is an awfully nice group.
Give them all my regards. Party for Hyle and Mardelle should be good. Also wish them my best.

††††††††††† Weíre having our bird dinner tonight at 7 and then the eight of us who went to the Chinese place and took Kundanmals along are going over to the club and spend the evening with them. Col. and I have been there before but the rest havenít so they should enjoy it and the Col. and I can learn more about India. A letter the Col. received from Barkely today says Gen. H. is now commanding the Camp including the hospital. Fox is going to the hospital ship Queen Mary Ė a wonderful assignment.

††††††††††† Gregg, I know that you are a great big and very good boy to be shoveling the walks. Martie Ann, do you and Suzie ever have shows like you and Judy had in Abilene? It was a very nice show. Both of you be good to little Mollie and give her and Gary a hug, a pat and a kiss for me. I love you all very, very much, and always will.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love, Clinton and Daddy

 

January 21, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† This has been a happy day. Five letters from you this morning. This brings me almost up to date of January 9. Believe only January 2 and the 1st are missing now, so that is pretty good. Believe the fact that we were a new unit plus the Xmas rush of mail were the big factors so now they should come through quite regularly. Glad that you received Tateís message so now you surely know exactly where we all are. I repeat that your mail is not censored and that anything you know is all right to mention in your letters. It is also all right for you to guess if at any time we are moved or anything and you donít know where I am. Hope that all of my early letters will arrive OK since in several letters I wrote you of my trip over. I have sent about 100 pictures to you all together Ė usually 5 or 6 at a time. I have not yet received the pictures from Hod but did of course get the 4 that you sent. I should get Hodís any day now. I look at the pictures daily and I can sincerely say that I know you are the most handsome family that anyone has ever had and Mart, you really do become more charming all of the time. This is not because I am so far away. I have thought that for a long time.

††††††††††† After I wrote last night we had our bird dinner. It was very good. Sixteen of us and plenty of birds for all. Itís really a lot of fun. After dinner we piled into the back of a truck and went to the club for the evening. The two Kundanmals had invited us. We had a most interesting evening Ė good scotch and more fine Indian delicacies. It was their regular Saturday night dance. As you know the Hinduís and Moslems do not take their women out but a lot of the higher class Indians adopted the Christian religion and many Western ideas. There were many men there without their wives but there were also many wives there. We saw for the first time what any of us consider as beautiful Indian women. They were all dressed magnificently and wore beautiful jewelry and there were about 4 or 5 of the younger ones who are really stunning. One in particular attracted us. She had a gorgeous ruby in her forehead. I donít know how they fasten them. Dressed in a golden brown silk affair with much gold hand worked on it. Yards and yards wrapped around her from head to foot and beautiful rings, bracelets, ear rings, etc.

††††††††††† They had quite good music and play mostly American tunes. Even played deep in the heart of Texas and Pistol Packin Mama. You understand of course that these people at such a club represent only the cream, probably less than 1% of all the men. Those that we met spoke perfect English. We didnít get to talk to any of the women. They are kept quite in the background. The men are very anxious to meet and be nice to Americans and I suppose that we met 100 or so. Among those we met were the Assistant Premier of this province; the Premierís son, who is a gentleman jockey; the Provincial Defender and many others. We are to go back next Saturday as guests of the Assistant Premier and surely hope we can make it. We were also invited to the next race meet and some other functions. Believe as time goes on they will show us India. We sang Ole King Cole and Iíve Got Six Pence all the way home. Too bad Burlingam isnít there to lead Chookie Chookie Coo. We should see him soon. Slept until ten this morning, then went after the mail and read your letters until dinner time. Had an excellent dinner, roast chicken, dressing, etc. and ice cream. Sound like C rations? After diner I read a condensed volume of the Burma Surgeon, which was very good. We have some long lay back reed chairs, well-upholstered, out on the porch. Was just right in the shade but too warm in the sun. About four oíclock went over and played volleyball for an hour without a shirt. Iím getting a swell color and as Iíve said before, I really am feeling like a million. The weather her is now swell, plenty cool enough to sleep well under a blanket at night but in cottons all day since weíve been here. Not windy but one day since weíve been here. We had about one week of cool weather when we needed wool shirt and field jackets part of them, also 3 blankets at night. After volleyball cleanup and had cold cuts for dinner, just finished and the Co. is waiting to go to the show so weíll sign off and go along. That is about a three times weekly event. I love you more than I can ever tell you and will always love you only. The kids really sound swell. A big hug and a kiss and a pat for each. Glad Max got home. Hotel was swell during November and December. Pay the folks, then salt down the cash.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 22, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After writing the lengthy letter yesterday, went to the show ďJanie.Ē It is very entertaining. Kids would enjoy it. A seven year old steals the picture. Up early this morning Ė eggs for breakfast. Worked all morning; had a good lunch; played volleyball for an hour or so; then cleaned up and read until dinnertime. Readinger and I went for a bike ride after dinner and then Iíve been playing jack rummy all evening with Julius Pearson and some others. Readinger and I are now having a beer. No mail from you today but a nice one from Bill Hiehle. He is in the thick of the fighting and expects to get back to where he can look me up at the end of the campaign, which is his second. War news certainly sounds encouraging and could be over much before any of us expect.

††††††††††† Today was a beautiful day Ė sun shining brightly, nice and warm, very comfortable playing volleyball outside in shorts, getting lots of sun but not too much. With the exercise am getting rid of that very potty tummy of mine and hope I get rid of it. Never did like it. Am also feeling very swell all the time. Have an appetite like a pig and sleep swell so you see the overseas service is agreeing with me perfectly. Donít for a minute waste time worrying about me. All desires are well under control in this area as long as you leave native food alone which we do absolutely. Hope Omaha weather will improve soon. I love you all and will dream about you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 23, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† As you can see there has developed one shortage here, writing paper. No letter today but did get one from Bud, John Holt, and McQuiddy. All nice letters. Went to bed after writing last night. Worked this morning. Tyner and I went for a long cycle ride after lunch and then came home and read the CB2 Roundup which is the Theatre Newspaper. It comes out once a week and is very good. Mostly news from this theatre but some world news. We get the radio news every day and it sounds very encouraging. Jimmie Pearson is sitting here and said to tell Gregg hello and that he didnít have any jig saw puzzles here for him to work. Tyner is rushing me, wants to go riding again and I havenít much to write anyway so will close. In Tate,s letter today she told about you and Rowena having a long telephone talk. Am thinking of you every minute and love you all more than I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 24, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your letter of January 3 came today and one from Hod Ė very funny Ė and a note from Ced and one form Mother with two enclosed from Gregg. So I did pretty well today on mail call. Mail is still, and I suppose always will be, the biggest thing every day.

††††††††††† After I wrote last night went to a show. Was an all G.I. cast, a traveling troupe and very good. Was all based on a G.Iís life in India Ė bearers, rupees, beggars, etc. Theme song was the Baksheesh Jive. Good enough to show anyplace but you would have to have been in India to really appreciate it. Moving picture afterwards Ė Bennie Goodman in ____ and Law, also very good. Worked all day today except dulled for an hour after lunch. Still feeling like a million and getting more color every day. Weather is beautiful. Food remains good. Readinger, Echert and Julius Pearson are leaving in a few days to attend the theatre school of Tropical Medicine. Will tell you about it and where later. Have told them to see John Sloan while there since it is in the same place. The two Mr. Kundanmalís are coming out soon and Col. Tyner and I are taking them to the Club for dinner and the evening. I mailed three envelopes last night with a silk kerchief in each. These are Chinese printed silk. Hope they arrive OK. Also sent Gregg an insignia and a couple of good pictures. I have some more pictures being printed that I will start sending soon -- some of our boar hunt, etc. Havenít much to write today but do always want you to know that I love you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 25, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Went to the Club last night and had a steak dinner. The steaks were really tough but had good flavor. Kunanmals were not able to get out so Rich, Tyner and I went anyway. Came home fairly early and went to bed. Worked this morning until noon, then the Col. and I cycled over to the tailorís shop. Tyner had had a pair of trousers made. When he put them on he noticed that the pockets were all seed closed. Things like that are not unusual for the workmen here. After lunch played two games of volleyball. We have organized five officerís teams and are playing a tournament for a dinner. The teams are Richís Raiders, Booshardtís Buffaloes, Warrenís Warriours, Mollís Maulers and Millettís Marauderos. We beat Mills two games today. Richís team won both so we are tied for first. Much fun and lotís of enthusiasm. After that we got cleaned up, and Tyner and I went into SOS Headquarters, and made a deal for a jeep for each of us. Will be a big improvement since we can get around much better. Probably wonít get them for a couple of days yet. After that we met Rich at the club had one drink then went to the Kil___ Hotel where we had a very excellent dinner.

††††††††††† From there took a Garee over to the club to see Mr. Soball and the Assistant Premier for a few minutes then took the Garee over to the Paradise, an Indian theatre and saw ďSong of Bernadette.Ē It was 16mm film, black and white, so not especially good. Believe it was Technicolor in the States. After the show took a charcoal burner home and just arrived. On the way home saw a large camel caravan going out across the desert. It was very pretty in the moonlight and reminded me of a very funny incident that had everyone laughing a while back. One of the Air Corps boys saw a huge caravan at night and drove up to it in a jeep. He noticed that the driver on the lead camel was asleep so he turned the lead camel around and started him back. All of the others followed and the last they saw of them they were plodding right back to where they came from.

††††††††††† No mail of any kind came today so will hope for a pile in the morning. Still feeling like a million and getting plenty to eat so havenít a thing in the world to complain about except I wish that I could be with that very nice family of mine. Take good care of yourselves, and Mart, donít work too hard. Iím thinking of you every minute and really do love you more than ever if that is possible. Itís 1 oíclock. You are probably having lunch, but it is my bedtime. See you in my dreams. Goodnight.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 26, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Went to bed after writing last night and slept until 10 this morning then puttered until time for lunch. The news which we got just before lunch daily certainly sounds good to all of us. After lunch played two games of volleyball and lost both so are now in 3rd place. Can do better. After our game Tyner, Rich, Chaplain, Magnon and I went into town and over into the out of bounds area. Happened on to a Moslem funeral so followed it. They carry the body on a bed over their heads. Bury in shallow graves. We saw the burial. They have their service at the church. While putting the dirt they pour in gallons of water from pottery jugs. Guess itís to pack the dirt. Went from there to a Hindu Ghatt or Crematory. Here they place the bodies on a pile of wood, grease the body all over and then place sandalwood next to the body and set it afire. When the fire goes out they collect the ashes in a can and they are sent to a Sg. Ganges River, which is sacred, and there thrown in the river. These Ghatts are very clean and believe this type of burial is the most sanitary thing in India. Burial prices by the way are very inexpensive. They charge 1 rupee, 8 annas for the cremation, an extra 8 annes if they want the body bathed and an additional 8 annas to bathe the body in warm water. So the deluxe job costs 2 1/2 rupees which is less than one dollar.

††††††††††† Out that way we came across an irrigation project (I sent you a picture of it). Two oxen pull a goat skin bag up to the top of the well and then it overflows into the trough. We also saw a large public laundry, which covered acres. Guess you know that they simply wet the clothes and then beat them dry against stone or concrete blocks, then wet them again. Donít know why it gets the clothes clean but that is the way all of our laundry is done, even our woolen clothes. Also went by a big pottery plant where they make the large typically Indian water jugs. All made by hand. No wheels.

††††††††††† Went to the club and washed up, then went to Ernoís and had a fine dinner as usual. Then went to a Moslem Temple. Itís was a beautiful red sandstone building with many domes. Inside there was an enormous ballroom, two balconies, downstairs floor, all marble covered with straw matting, and beautiful chandeliers. The men pray downstairs; the women pray in the balconies behind the screens. Five times a day the priest goes to the tower and calls the people to prayer. When we went in we had to remove our shoes and socks and wash our feet before entering. We simply went in and sat down and watched.

††††††††††† The Moslems came in and laid down a prayer rug, changed their clothes and then squat in rows behind the priest on their prayer rugs. When the prayers begin the priest leads and they all follow. Much saloming and kneeling and bending over so their faces are on the floor. Lasts about 15 minutes. The Moslems believe in God, Allah, with Mohammed as their prophet. Their Holy City is Mecca in Saudi Arabia. They always face Mecca when they pray. A great many arrived late so they came running in, changed quickly and then went through the motions very rapidly to catch up. Quite a sight.

Forgot to mention that this afternoon we went to a Hindu temple. These temples are entirely different. They have two very beautiful altars and you can go in and pray anytime. Also you have to remove your shoes but you donít have to wash your feet. You need it when you come out however since the temples are very open and there are thousands of pigeons around the place. We made one mistake there Ė went into the wrong place. We went in where the women pray. Men and women pray in different places. Priests here are naked to the waist. Heads shaved except for a pigtail at the back of their head. Hindus also believe in God, with many lesser Gods, such as a Fire God and a Sun God.

Also this afternoon was in a Bazaar section and bought a bright colored pair of woven rugs, one for the floor and one to cover the bed. Rooms here are very dull, plain white walls and these rugs will look very good. They cost 11 rupees each. Rich and I had quite a laugh yesterday. We were looking at a very pretty young lady, about 16 or so. She looked very clean and had on a very pretty sari. We were just saying what a pretty Indian girl she was when a sacred cow came along and deposited a big pile about two feet from her. She promptly squatted down and made a nice big patty and went carrying it into the house. That is India. You can look in any direction at any time and see someone squatting down. By the way have I told you that the men squat for both jobs. Also did I mention that while we were up hunting and had the great congregation of beaters along, we were walking along the trail and Tyner and I stepped to the side of the trail. All the Indians started laughing. We asked Moe what they were laughing about. It was because we were standing up. Such is life.

Last night we noticed a very nice looking Hindu woman in front of a rather nice apartment house. Squatted beside her was about a 5-year old doing his duty. When he finished he started making a patty and his mother didnít seem at all concerned. I thought of you the day Martie Ann was doing something like that when about a year old. Do you remember?

††††††††††† Also found this writing paper downtown today. Really had a most enjoyable day. When I first arrived here about the 13th ofDecember, I wrote letters describing my visits to Cairo, Tripole, Abadon, and the Holy Land. Did you get these letters? I wrote 4 or 5 in one day and perhaps 2 or 3 the next. Probably should be about 8 letters written December 13 or 14. Hope you got them. If not, let me know. No mail today again. Last letter you wrote was January 9.

Really having a most interesting experience. Had a letter today from Frank Hagmon. He and Dave have been deer hunting from elephants but also no luck. Iím feeling swell, plenty to eat and no complaints. There is absolutely nothing for you to worry about. Am thinking of you every minute and do love you more than ever if that is possible. Must go to bed. Will see you in my dreams.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† I love you, Clint and Daddy

P.S. Bought myself a hand-embroidered summer weight fez today. Will wear it when Iím Potentate of Tangier.

 

January 27, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Havenít much to write at the present but received two letters from you this morning. One was written December 31, the other January 1, so they are quite slow. Received your letter of January 9 last Saturday or a week ago. These letters bring me up to January 9 except missed the 8th. Also a letter from Laurie and the Optimist Bulletin. Wrote a very long letter yesterday. The reprint from the World Herald by the way came with the Optimist Bulletin. Worked this morning and went into town this afternoon to pick up our jeeps. Col. and I each have one now so weíll get around much more freely, not that weíve been so terribly tied down. Weíre going into town again this evening so should have more to write tomorrow. Love your letters, especially stuff you are telling about the kids. Such as Mollie and Duke. Think itís very amusing that they have made up. They certainly are different personalities. Also think its very nice for Duke but am of course very jealous. Love you all more than I can tell you and miss you very much. Do not worry about me since there is absolutely no reason.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 28, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

After I wrote last night we loaded in the jeep and went to Sum Chowís, a Chinese place on the post for dinner and then after dinner Tyner, Readinger, Moll, Hitz and I went to the Club and sat around all evening. Weíre becoming well-acquainted with many very influential people and they are always apparently very glad to see us. Came home about 12 and went to bed. One letter from you today written the 8th of January. You are apparently getting my letters pretty well now and yours are doing better all the time. Loafed around until after dinner today and then went out on a sightseeing and mostly picture taking tour -- Tyner, Rich, Readinger, Johnson and I in one jeep. We really saw more of this town today than any other time. Got down to the beach, into better parts of town and worse parts. Went back to the burning Ghatts where whey had just finished with three bodies but they were through when we arrived. Saw another Moslem funeral procession, then we stopped a camel caravan and each took our turn at mounting one of them and getting our picture taken. Iíll send them along when theyíre finished. We how have a nice collection of colored projections but canít send them. Will have to wait until after we get back because they have to go to Rochester for processing. Went to the club about 5:30 for a Tom Collins and then went to Ewas for dinner. Had the usual Ė spring rolls, sweet and sour fish, shrimp, etc. Itís really swell food.

Got home about ten. Weíve just finished laughing until weíre about sick. Readinger had a ring which he was going to mail first class. He had it all wrapped and sealed last night. Today he realized that it had been several days since he looked in the box and that it could have been stolen so he unwrapped the package to make sure. After unwrapping and being sure he put it back and the left the room to get some sealing tape. While he was out Tyner took the ring and laid it on Readingerís table. We all sat then and watched Readinger rewrap the package and seal it, etc. and then discover the ring. Tyner and I about laughed ourselves sick. Iím rather tired and havenít much to write tonight so better go to bed. Am thinking about you all every minute and love you so very much. See you in my dreams. Goodnight.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

January 31, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Didnít write on the 29th or 30th so donít look for those letters. Have been terribly busy the past two days and will tell you how. Yesterday the mail man was good and brought me your letters of January 13, 14, and 15, also the shoe sizes and the anniversary cards from the children. Also nice letter from Rudy Mueller and one from Harry Bruner. So glad that my mail is getting through to you and do hope you enjoy reading about my travels as much as I am enjoying it. You had better talk to Rowna Tate again. I have not been in New Delhi at any time. Bob and Col. Tyner have been there and Bob tells me that he wrote from there with a message for you. Most of the time mail arrives here in bunches and apparently you are getting it the same way. Wasnít the 11 day a jackpot!

Now to get caught up on my doings. Monday morning the Col. and I went into town and took care of some business then back to camp for lunch and played volleyball and puttered around until dinner time. After dinner we went out on a deal which was the greatest sport that I have ever participated in. Tyner, Rich, Readinger, the Provost Marshall Fergison and I loaded into a jeep with top and windshield down and had a huge spotlight and two sawed off automatic shot guns. We went out into the desert near here to hunt jackals. The idea is to see oneís eyes with the spotlight and then run them with the jeep until close enough to shoot. The problem is to dodge ditches, bushes, rocks, etc. faster than the animals. They run about 60 miles an hour. Well anyway, we took turns with the guns and the light. One gun in right front the other in left rear and the light in right rear. There are other animals beside jackals. First we got two dogs, then a cat, then a jackal. It was a real thrill. We were doing about 65 across the desert. I got him on the third shot and Iíll swear he skidded 50 feet. Rich got the fox; the Col. the two dogs. I got one cat with a 22 pistol and Rich the other. Itís hard to describe but it was really fun. Hod will enjoy this episode. Wish he had been along.

We quit about ten oíclock and were really tired. Got up late yesterday and then the mail arrived. As soon as I read your letters went to lunch then we took off on a tour. Went back to the Hindu Ghatts and were lucky this trip. They were burning four bodies when we got there. We also saw two Moslem funeral processions. Went from the Ghatts to a crocodile place, several miles out in the desert. There is a Hindu temple there and a graveyard and then an alligator pit with about 50 in it. They are sacred and are fed goats. They are really big. Went from there to a Leprosy Institution. Itís the largest in India. We looked over the most interesting of dozens of cases. It is not a pleasant sight. Most of them have no fingers or toes, noses missing, etc.

Some there are man and wife with children as young as seven months with leprous parents and children are not removed from the parents. Nice start on life.
Went from there to the Officerís Club and had a couple of Collins then came back to camp and had dinner at Sum Chowís a Chinese place here on the post. Had friend prawns, chop suey, fried chicken, and egg fu young. All very good.

Came back here right after dinner and went to the show, ďHail the Conquering HeroĒ. Very good show. Was really tired and went right to bed. Slept until 9 and have been busy until now. Itís about time for lunch now. The enlargements came yesterday from Hod and they are really swell. Iíll wear them out looking at them. Pictures, as I have always said, is the only thing that you can send me except letters. We donít need anything else. How did you catch Gary and Mollie both yawning? That is a priceless picture. They are all very good. The Bellís look good to me too. I am going to open an art gallery and charge 1 anna admission. Have already mailed boots for all of you but if they donít fit let me know and I will have more made for you. Iíll keep the patterns.

I am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. You are really a wonderful family and I am so very proud of you. Mart for the way you take care of the children. I do love you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

January 31, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Wrote to you just before noon so havenít much to write now but have some time and I just finished reading back over your letters. Think it is wonderful Martie Ann that you can get dinner almost all by yourself. I believe that you and Gregg together could run that house. Gregg can scoop the walks, you do the cooking and Mollie can clean the house. Certainly makes me mighty proud of you kids to hear such good reports and I want you to keep on being good kids until I get home.

Col. had a letter from Mamie that she was joining the A.N.C. He called her back not to. If she joined the A.N.C. he would lose $162 a month from his pay and she would get only $171 so it really adds up to only $9 a month pay which isnít much.

Moskowitz got a letter today that his new son had arrived and there is great rejoicing on some old Overholt that he had hoarded for the event. Readinger still hasnít heard and is pretty dumpy. Played volleyball after lunch and we were beat in two games, puts us in 3rd place out of 5. We will have to interrupt our tournament as of today and finish it later since several of the officers will not be available to play any more. As you know I havenít seen Fronk Hagman as yet but he is in this theatre and we will all see him pretty soon. We were paid this afternoon so we all have a pocket full of rupees and annas again. It is like stage money but does buy merchandise and doesnít seem to go far. In one of my letters I told you to send me some dough. If you havenít done this you donít need to. I gave Col. Tyner a check for $200 today so Iíll have a pocketful of rupees for a while. Enclosed is a card which I used some time back. This is a British Club and very nice. It is not the club where we have gone so many times. About time for dinner so know that I love you all very much.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

Chapter VI: Karachi India

And a Side Trip to Calcutta, Agra and Panagahr

 

 

February 1, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

After I wrote you last night mostly puttered around all evening and shot the stuff with the Col. and Rich. Drove Tate into town and dropped him off. He came back later on the bus. Got up early this morning and was busy until noon then after lunch went into town with Rich and the Col. We had some business there and then we stopped at the Indian Arts and I picked up some rings that I had made there. I spent all of the money that I had so it was lucky that when I got back to camp the registered letter was waiting with the $800 in it. I wasnít quite broke but only had just enough to get by on so now Iím flush again. Thank you for sending the dough so promptly. The rings that I had made are for you, Martie Ann and Mollie. They wonít fit the girls but you can have them cut down. Perhaps you will wear them for a while if you like, especially Mollieís and then have it cut down later. The rings for the girls are about alike -- one is a star sapphire with two rubies, the other a star sapphire with two emeralds. Think theyíre both sweet little rings and they were not very expensive. Yours is a fire opal with four zircons and was also not expensive. I certainly hope that you will all be pleased and believe you will. At least theyíre from India and are hand made. Iím having one other ring made which may be a bit foolish but I believe not. Iím having them duplicate my catís-eye in the center and a ruby on each side. It is not finished as yet but believe it will be very pretty. I though that someday I would give Gregg the one I have and give Gary the one Iím having made. What do you think? I will wear it until he is considerably older but then we will have them for the two ladies. Also bought some little gold Indian slippers for you and the two gals which I think you will like. The Col. also bought a pair for Mamie and they will be in your package when you get it so send them along to her. Her home address is written on the sale. I wonít send these for a while. May have some other gadgets before long and then will get a package off.

We drew our jungle ration today. Why they call it that I donít know but we get it once a month -- One quart of Old Schenley (6 rupees or $1.75). Was back to camp by four oíclock and had dinner here. No mail today except the registered with the very nice letter from Martie Ann in it. Thank you Martie Ann and I certainly hope you will like the ring and the slippers. You give Mollie and Gary a big hug and a kiss for me and give old Gregg boy a big pat. Gregg, it is a little bit hard to find things here for you but I will get you some things that I know you will like. I knew that you wouldnít want a ring because Iím going to give you mine when you grow up.

Am thinking of you all every minute and love you so very, very much. Iím wearing the pictures out looking at you gorgeous people. Itís about 8:30 now and there is a show on so guess I better go see it. Thatís one good way to shorten the war a couple of hours. The war news really sounds wonderful, doesnít it?

By the way I guess you realize that our stay here is not permanent and that we are waiting for buildings to be completed. I will probably be the last to leave here, as has been the case on all moves. I know where we are going and it is a very nice place and is eventually a safe place such as this. I repeat that the Col. and other may be leaving very soon and I will probably leave within a few weeks to a month or so. When we move our PO will change and I will cable you the new one if I can. At least I will let you know soon and our mail will follow anyway so continue the present number until you are notified differently. You might however as a safeguard start dropping Frank Hagman an occasional note for me. His PO is 689 and I will probably see him sometime after I leave here. I mean only write him one or two letters just in case our mail is slow catching up that way they will be there for me. I love you all very much and will be thinking of you every minute until I see you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Pappy

 

February 2, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

After writing last night went to the show Ė ďSweet Rosie OíGradyĒ which I had seen somewhere, but it was very good. After the show went to bed and slept late this morning. Wonderful mail this morning Ė your letters from January 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 and 19 Ė which makes all now arrived up to January 29 which is pretty good. I will tell you the dayís happenings after I answer some of your questions. You mentioned our unit and I want you to know that it will take some time for us to get into operation but it is the best general hospital I have ever seen. The more that we see of other units, the more proud we are. It is really tops and we are set for a spot in the picture where we will eventually make a name for ourselves. Every ounce of work and horse-trading has proved to be worth while since things are very tough here from the standpoint of other units.

††††††††††† Johnís Hopkins and Pennsylvania both have their units in this theatre and I am honest when I tell you that in my opinion they are both second rate by comparison and we now have the theatre surgeon sold on that idea. We will, in a few months, be the fair-haired boys in a certain part of the world. Our present number is a temporary PO and hence you cannot send a cablegram except an emergency one.

††††††††††† Tate is not like me. He is probably downcast in his letters because he mostly spends his time playing cards and such which is a hell of a waste of time when there is so much to see and do. As far as needing anything is concerned, I have found that there is absolutely nothing that we need here that we do not have except tooth picks. Rich and I have agreed on that one thing that the army forgot about. So if you want to send something, stick a few toothpicks in an envelope and that is all that I need. I especially enjoy your telling Mother how to raise babies and know that between the two of you, Pam should be well-spoiled. I feel very badly about Mrs. Mueller falling. Mart, I carry insurance which will pay all of her bills. Believe it is with the National Company and Rudy might as well file a claim because that is why we carry it. We pay a good premium for this protection so you insist that Pete have their claim man call on Rudy for a settlement. Talk to Rudy first of course. Alyce is not quite right about Cumbie being near me. However, she is correct as far as the unit is concerned. I have not seen Frank Hagman as yet but expect to very soon. I have not seen Tyner or Rich all day today but will give them your message when I do see them. The man in the picture which you received from Miami is the skipper of the boat. Guess I have never explained. In Miami, we attended a call at 8:30 and 1:30. When our names were called we were selected and could not leave the hotel. Also could not make calls and all mail was censored. On the day that I went fishing I knew that I was about due to be called.

††††††††††† Returned from fishing at 12:55, made a deal with the skipper for the picture then ran to the meeting and my name was the first called. I did not leave Miami however until 3:30 the following day, which was December 8. All pictures taken in India were taken in Karachi except the Taj Mahal. That is a postcard sort of print which I bought. I have not seen the Taj, but hope to. Thank you so much Martie Ann for the very nice valentine. I really do like it very much and your Daddy does really love his little gal.

††††††††††† After lunch today Jim Pickens, Warren Mulford and I went into town. We had a most wonderful afternoon. They had not been to the Ghatts so we first went there and saw a couple of disposals. Then went downtown and Pickens and I had some pictures made which I will send you and I know you will get a big kick out of them. Give one to the folks and one to Hod when they arrive.

††††††††††† When we first arrived here shopping was not at all satisfactory. The G.I. American has it ruined. However, as time has found we have become acquainted with a few very fine and reliable merchants. In these good stores, which are off the beaten path you go in, sit down and spend the day (also your bankroll). They pass the cigars, very good ones, serve tea, and very fine scotch whiskey flows abundantly, after you are acquainted. We spent the afternoon in such a place -- The Indian Arts. We have a special clerk there, Chandiran G. Sadarangany. We call him Chan Do, which is much easier. At any rate it is the same store where yesterday I bought the rings. Today I bought some things which I know you will like. I bought three bags, one for you Mother and Eleanor. You take your own picks. I also bought a bracelet for you that I believe you will like. Thought you could give the opal ring I mentioned yesterday to Mother. The bracelet is your birthday present so save it since it will arrive a wee bit early. Bought Gregg and Gary each an identification bracelet which you will have to get cut down. Bought myself a paper weight, which is simply silver bouillon. In another store, which we were in earlier, I bought two saries. Donít try to wear them but do try them on. They are simply wrap around and drape over. Believe they wear a sort of bodice and petticoat under them. At any rate these are the things worn by all Indian women. They are of course made in all sorts of materials and colors. Thought that you could have these made into P.J.s for yourself and the kids. Each will make two pair for you. You figure out what to do with them but if you wear them wait until I am there. Also bought what they tell me is enough material for you to have a waist made from of silver brocade -- 1 Ĺ yards, is that enough? Looked at the ring that they are making me and it is really going to be pretty. May send my ring home and wear this one.

††††††††††† After our shopping spree went to Ewos for dinner. Had fried shrimp, sweet and sour vegetables, sweet and sour fish, chop suey and tea. Really swell. After dinner back to camp. Readinger received a cable today Ė a boy Ė born January 26. Mama and babe doing well. The whole outfit was under the influence of yesterdayís issue of jungle ration. All they needed was an excuse and this was it. When I came in Al Freshman was doing a native dance. After that it got worse. They are now retuning from the club where they went for a sandwich and most are ready for bed, and I do mean ready. At present I hear Pollack and Walker arguing about which one pushed which one in a ditch on the way home. Guess I have about written a book so better quit. Really tickled to get so much mail and it is really fun buying stuff for you guys. I hope you get some kick out of it because it is really fun getting it for you. I love you all more than I can tell and really do miss you. You are really a wonderful family. Write every day and tell me all about it. Pictures are in another envelope.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy and Clint

 

February 4, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Wrote you late Friday and did not get a letter off yesterday. Was busy all morning up to lunch time. After lunch Pickens, Burns, Readinger, Weaver and I went down town and attended the races at the race club. Races here are fun in the opposite direction to ours. Betting, etc. is much the same. Believe itís a little bit more of a gentlemenís sport. Gentlemen jockeys, etc. I was quite lucky. Bet the first four races and made 25 rupees. Itís a nice track and best of all was the conglomeration of people there. After the races went to Indian Arts and had one drink and then stopped at Sum Chows for dinner. After dinner three of us went to the club where Mr. Kundanmal gave a party for us. Col. Tyner and Rich were supposed to go too but were not there. He gave a very nice party and had a lot of big shots there. The Premier of this province, C.O. of the Indian General Hospital, C.O. of the air base and many other influential Indians. We had a most wonderful evening. These people are very cordial. C.O. of the Indian General has invited me out to see his hospital and have lunch with him and also to a dinner party that he is giving next Friday. C.O. of the Air base has invited me there for lunch tomorrow and wants me to go with him this week. He has to fly down to Calcutta one day and back the next. Will be a nice trip but I probably wont be able to go. At the party we had good food and scotch. So, all in all it was a most interesting evening. Slept until about nine and have been busy the rest of the morning. It is now time for lunch. Had a letter from George Melton yesterday. He is the proud father of a boy. This makes three in the outfit in the last week or so.

Am thinking of you al every minute and love you so very much. By the way, yesterday on the way to the races stopped at the Ghatts and saw a complete cremation. I personally approve of their method. I love you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 5, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Had dinner after writing yesterday and then had to go into town on a business deal regarding one of our boys. Was in all afternoon until dinnertime. Stopped at the club to wash up, etc. Three of our nurses were there so I took them down to Ewos for dinner. Had shrimp, etc. as usual and I really am fond of the stuff. Why donít you try King Fongís for sweet and sour vegetables and fish. They may have it or be able to fix it. Also ask for spring rolls. The four of us went for about a one-hour gharry ride after diner and then went back to camp. I was in bed earliest yet, about ten. Up early this morning and back down town to check on the deal of yesterday. Came back just in time for lunch. Just now finished lunch and am taking some of our other officers to the leprosarium this afternoon -- Al Fresman, Colletti and two others. No mail today or yesterday but tomorrow should score. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can every tell you. Feeling fine, getting a wonderful tan, plenty to eat etc. So I really have no complaint except wish I was with you guys.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 6, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Today was a wonderful day. Your letters of January 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 all arrived today, which is pretty good service on all of them. Iím certainly glad that you know where I am. No, I havenít moved. I have been at this station since my arrival in India, except for the weekend that we went hunting.

After writing yesterday noon I took Al Reshman and three other officers out to the crocodile pits and the leprosarium. Also stopped at the burning Ghatts. None of them had been there before. We saw a new deal at the crocodile pits. They feed the things whole goats. They kill the goats and skin them and then toss them in. The fight for food is really something to watch. We were back in town by about 5 and stopped at Indian Arts, then went to Ewos for dinner, then came home. Was up early this morning and busy all day. I was downtown most of the day but took time to go to the air base and have lunch. The Col. and three other officers have a home there. They rented a beautiful two-story house, with about 2 acres of gardens around it. The house has 3 bedrooms with a bath for each. They have quite a collection of bearers around to wait on them so they are really living in luxury. We had an excellent lunch, very tasty. Came back to camp in time for dinner and here were all you letters and one from Hod. He is really a riot. He enclosed tracings of the kids feet, but I am not sure that I will have an opportunity to get the boots made. Craig either, but I will try because I know that they will like them. You know that I guessed the sizes for ours and mailed them before I received the tracings. Hod asked if we wanted to sell the Buick. I think we had better keep it. It will be quite a while before we can buy one as good and I sincerely expect to be home in less than one year. I feel very optimistic about the war. Germany canít last long and I donít believe the Japs can either. The Philippines campaign is certainly going well.

Just finished dinner and went to the show Ė ďThe Good Earth.Ē I sent you some silk hankies for head ties again today. If you have enough for yourself and the punks give them to your friends. Keep writing every day. Your letters are just what I want to hear. I am thinking of you every minute and do think you are the grandest family in the world. I love you all so very, very much.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

Thank you Martie Ann for the very lovely valentine. The silk hankie that I sent is your Valentines Day present Ė Mommy and Mollie too. Gregg, I sent you the patch worn by all English troops in this province.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love, Daddy

 

February 7, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

I left our quarters early this morning and have had a most interesting and very busy day. I will write you in greater detail when I return to Karachi. I had the very good fortune of being called by Col. Goodrich yesterday and he was kind enough to invite me to accompany him on a trip. So I rushed through a few days leave and am now touring India. I cannot tell you where I am tonight but will write you details later. Today at noon we ate lunch at an officers mess at an airfield, which is supposed to be the best mess in India. We had fresh steak and fresh milk and vegetables, the first since leaving the States. They have their own gardens and dairies. Tonight we are the guests of the CO of another air base and had a most wonderful dinner including ice cream and leg of lamb. Tomorrow some time I will call John Sloan after I arrive where he is stationed, which is near here. The best of this trip so far has been a glorious view of the Taj Mahal, which is really one of the wonders of the world and deserves to be. I expect to be back in Karachi in a very few days so until then know that I am thinking of you guys every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Have had a long day so will go to bed now and will be dreaming of you. Goodnight.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† All my love always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 8, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Wrote to you last night so donít have much to offer this morning but may not have a chance to write again today so though I would drop a line. Went to bed last night after writing to you and slept like a log. This is a very nice small post, very isolated, buildings all adobe with straw thatched roofs. This is my first experience staying in grass tops, beds were wooden frames with rope laced into net for springs. Slept swell. It gets light here at about 6:45 so was up much earlier this morning than I have been. You see all of India is on the same time, so there is a considerable difference in the time of sunrise. We had a very elegant breakfast, fried eggs, bacon, toast, real butter and coffee -- the best breakfast that I have had in India. Col. Goodrich will be busy here until noon so we will leave here right after lunch. I am just loafing around this morning. The weather is beautiful, bright sun, no wind, very comfortable in cottons, about same as in Karachi. I am feeling wonderful all of the time. This country really agrees with me. Getting a wonderful tan and have no complaints of any kind. Will be anxious to get back to Karachi to see what the mail has brought from you. I have everything that I could possibly use so donít send anything. Was amused about Mamie and the Vaseline. Along that line, the Col. has been most well behaved at all times. Drinks very little. I have never seen him with too much since leaving Brigham. He and I and Rich, Readinger, Pickens, etc. are much more interested in seeing the country, hunting, etc., so donít have time to get into mischief. As you know I havenít seen the Col. or Rich for about a week now but will see them again quite soon. Tate was with me in Karachi, not on this trip.

Do you understand that we cannot tell where we are but after we leave a place we can tell that we have been there. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tall you. Am having a wonderful experience but do miss you all terribly much. I will always love you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy and Clint

 

February 11, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Have done a very bad job of letter writing the past two or three days but will explain in a minute. Your letters of 25, 26, 27 and 28th were all here last night when I got home. That is excellent service. Hope it will continue and probably will now that Christmas mail is over. You ask about our quarters. They are stone, with tile floor. Wasnít Mollie cute saying good night to my picture. I hope that the boots will fit because I will not have another chance to have more made. You will have to explain to Hod and Craig. Have Laurie get the security back from Connell Estate and put it in the lock box. The Jensen party, especially the steaks, sound wonderful. Glad you are going out some. Desda makes me laugh about Field Club, etc. Hope you wonít make any trips without all of the pumpkins although I know you wouldnít any way.

Now to explain the delay in writing. I left here Wednesday morning, went to Calcutta and returned here last night. On the way we stopped at Agra and Panagahr. I wrote you a couple of notes from Panagahr. I went with Col. Goodrich. He was on business but I was simply seeing the sights of India. After eating lunch in Agra, the Col. was kind enough to fly around the Taj Mahal so that we could see it from the air. I have not as yet been inside of it. The country around Agra and from there on east is very fertile and ever so thickly populated with many canals, rivers, etc. We also went over Jodpur, which is quite a city. All over the fertile parts of India the population is terrific and from the air you can count hundreds of villages from 25 to 100 houses at any time. In India no one lives in a house by themselves, always villages and 90% of the population live in small villages.

The Taj is really a magnificent sight. Its beauty lies in its architectural lines plus the white marble. Originally there was to have been a duplicate across the river in black marble and the two joined by a silver bridge.

We arrived in Calcutta about 3:30 Thursday. It is an enormous place. The present population is estimated at over nine million. We drove part way, then took a ferry, then drove the rest of the way. This is the quickest way to get downtown from the airport. We stopped for while at Air Corps Headquarters so by the time we reached the hotel it was 6:30. We stayed at the Great Eastern, which is an enormous place, about like the Sheppard in Cairo. The largest dining room I have ever seen and a waiter for each table. I called Sloan so he was at the hotel when we arrived. Was swell seeing him. He looks and acts the same and is still a Captain but expects promotion in March. He is Executive Officer to the base surgeon. I had to be a Lt. Col. to stay at Great Eastern so Goodrich signed me in as such.

After we got cleaned up we went out to the hospital, the 142nd. Our Red Cross workers are stationed there temporarily. We took them all with us and went to the British American Club for dinner. A very nice place to eat but it was a meatless day so had an omelet. I weighed yesterday by the way and now weigh 175 but do not look it or feel it. Getting plenty of exercise so guess it is pretty solid weight.

Friday Goodrich was busy so I got a car and started early, about eight. Picked up two of the Red Cross girls who have been here and know the town and spent the entire day seeing the sights. Calcutta is enormous, filthier than anywhere I have been, crowded; in fact itís a mad house. Itís warm and sultry there, not as nice as here where it is hot but dry and very pleasant. In Calcutta there are no camels. Chief mode of transportation is rickshaws of which there are 40,000 in the city. Also there are many Gurkas and Sikhs. The Gurkas all carry a knife with a long curved blade. If they draw the knife, they must draw blood even if on themselves. I bought a couple of these knives and sent them in a package that I mailed today. Weíll have them in the tack room someday. We picked Sloan up and had lunch with him then continued sightseeing until about five when I took the gals home. Spent the evening with Sloan. He has very lovely living quarters, living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bath for two of them. We went to the 300 Club for dinner and had the best steak that I have eaten since leaving the States. Spent the evening talking.

We left Calcutta early Saturday, had a strong head wind so it was about 9 when we landed here and 10 before I was home. Good to be back but a really swell trip. I was too tired to write last night and besides had to tell Tate and all the rest about the trip. By the way, during the afternoon we stopped at a Red Cross Canteen and had ice cream sodas. The first since leaving the States and they were wonderful. I had two, both chocolate. See why Iím gaining? Also when we had lunch, I had Indian Curry. Here none of the Indian places are in bounds but in Calcutta they are and very good. I am enclosing in another envelope a Red Cross circular which describes some of the places that we visited. I have them checked. I stopped at Red Cross Headquarters on some business and me a girl there, Anne Carter Greene, who is a great friend of Morriss Palmerís sister Jean who is now in the Waves in Washington. If you see them tell them.

Iím afraid this letter has been very disconnected because I have been interrupted several times. I have been rather busy today getting straightened around and got a package ready to mail. In it are a pair of slippers for Mamie. Mail them to her. Also two things for Tate, some aluminum cups filled with other things and a box for you. There are 3 purses, 2 saris, some cloth for a waist wrap, a fez for me, the Gurka knives and some junjobie slippers for you Martie Ann and Mollie and I believe some other odd jobs. You keep one of the purses, give one to Eleanor, one to Mother or to someone else if you like. I am sending another box, separate, in which there will be two rings, one for Martie Ann and one for Mollie, a bracelet for you, a dinner ring (give either this ring or one of the purses to Mother or both if you like) two identification bracelets for Gary and Gregg. I hope you will like the things. They are your birthday presents in case I canít shop later. If you get as much fun out of them as I got out of buying them, then itís a good deal.

Also today I picked up and mailed some pictures that I had made. Pickens, Rich, Freshman and I all had them made and believe you will get a big kick out of them. Give one to Bells and one to the folks but make them Indian gives so someday you can get them back. The photographer furnished the clothes. From the moment that you get this letter write me at APO 689 since it appears that I will leave here soon and join the others. I had a letter from Tyner today, which I am sending you. They are in a very nice place. You can see what I have to look forward to and I am getting very anxious. So donít worry about me. I am feeling fine, have everything that I want, except you guys, getting a good tan, gaining weight and having a most marvelous experience. I think of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you. You are the most wonderful family in the world, and I still say Iíll be with you next Christmas or before. I love you only.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 12, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail today but Iím still not too bad off having received all up to January 28. There will probably be more in the morning. Received a short V mail of January 30 from Kay and Bud today.

Went into town early this morning to pick up my ring and your bracelet. My ring turned out beautifully as did your bracelet. Ordered boots for Johnnie and Cecie and for Craig. Will get them sent someway. Happened to be in early enough to be in Indian Arts before most of the clerks arrived. As the clerks arrived each faced to the east and prayed before starting to work. They are probably asking forgiveness for skinning the Americans. Ha!

Was back to camp for lunch and after lunch got two packages wrapped and mailed. The jewelry I sent registered so it should go right through. Surely hope you will like all the trinkets. Had a little work to do and then about four played volleyball, then a shower and dinner. Right after dinner 3 of us went into town and attended an Indian Masonic Lodge. It is a Scottish Lodge, quite a bit different than ours in ceremony but the same in thought. One big difference is that they have a bar in the Lodge and all had a nice sociable drink before the meeting and then after the degree work, we went down and drank a couple of toasts and had a lunch. I passed on the lunch, not knowing if it was Army approved. Up to now I have avoided everything that is not approved and I intent to continue, since up to date I have not even had one tiny G.I. upset, which is very common here. Just came home and itís now eleven thirty so had better go to bed. In case this should reach you before yesterdayís letter, address all future mail to APO 689 New York, NY. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you ever so much. Iíll dream of you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 13, 1945

Somewhere in India

Dear Martie Ann,

Thank you for the nice valentine. It was very nice and I hope that some of the things that I have sent will reach you by tomorrow so that it can be your valentine. I hope you will like the scarves, boots and the ring that I sent you. How is school? Do you get 100 in spelling every day? Do you mind your Mommy and are you and Greggie good to Mollie and Gary? I want you to eat like a good little gal for me and always mind Mommy and be good to Mollie and Gary. I love you very much and will see you next Christmas. How do you like the funny picture that I sent?

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love, Daddy

 

February 13, 1945

Somewhere in India

Dear Greggie,

How is school? I know that you are the smartest little rascal in your class. In the picture you certainly look like the man of the house and I know that you are a big help to Mommy. I hope you like the boots and the bracelet that I sent. I also sent some knives and whips. You keep these and someday weíll hang them all up in the barn out on the farm and you can use the whips when you ride your pony. When summer gets here I want you to go out to the farm real often and see how things are getting along. Over here there are not many cars and people ride in buggies, ox carts, donkey carts, on camels, in rickshaws and on elephants. No elephants here, but in some parts of India there are. I want you to eat real well, go to bed like a good boy and be good to Mollie and Gary. Always mind your Mommy. I love you. Give Mommy a pat for me.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Daddy

 

February 13, 1945

Somewhere in India

Dear Dad, Mother and Eleanor,

I know that you are seeing my letters to Mart so itís difficult to write without repeating, but itís good to hear from you about the family. I had a most interesting trip to Calcutta and there by saw a very great deal of India. This whole experience has been unbelievably wonderful and I often have to pinch myself to be sure that I am awake. Only two weeks have been chilly; the rest of the time the weather has been ideal -- bright sun and warm but not hot and it is dry. Not dusty and only a little wind.

I have honestly never felt better in my life. My weight is up a little, 176 pounds, but I am getting lots of exercise so it is solid and no noticeable gain. Have sent you all some things in packages to Mart. I hope you will like them. Write after to APO 689 hereafter.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love, Clinton

 

February 13, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Went to bed after writing last night. No mail yet today, but this afternoonís is not yet delivered. Up for breakfast and was busy this morning. Col. Williams, the Theatre Surgeon was here today and talked to us at eleven. He is the Williams referred to in Burma Surgeon. Heís a very interesting chap with many medals.

Had a good lunch and then went over and visited with 3 of our nurses who are patients in the hospital. All of them are in for minor things. Played volleyball then just now got cleaned up. Am going to talk to the nurses after dinner and then go to the show. Wonít write any more now because I want to write to the folds and the kids. Again I repeat that if this letter should reach you before the others, address all mail from now on to APO 689 New York, NY. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you all there is.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Wrote to you this afternoon so havenít much to say except that I had one of the boys pick up the boots for me in town today. I am mailing 3 pair in the morning, one for Cecie, one for Johnnie, and the third pair were made from Greggís pattern. If they fit Gregg better than the first, give the others to Craig and vice versa. These have a little added touch, a CB 2 patch. If this creates a disturbance I can mail you some more of them and you can have them sewed on. Hope the boots wonít create too much of a disturbance at school. When you get them all, line them all up and get Hod to take a picture I threw in a collection of riding crops for good measure. Keep the crops. I mean donít give them all away. Over here they cost one rupee (30 cents). Talked to the nurses after dinner and then went to the show ďAbroad with Two Yanks.Ē Very funny. See it if you get a chance. The kids would enjoy it also. Must close now. I have some packing to do. Will dream about you. I love you all very much. Goodnight

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

February 14, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Four nice letters this morning, January 29, 30, 31 and February 1. I now have all of your letters up to February 1 which is pretty good. So glad that you received the box and liked the contents. There should be more there by now. I believe there are about four more on the way including boots for Cecie, Johnnie and Craig which I mailed today. The jiggers are either egg cups or whiskey jiggers. They are known as pegs and half pegs. The British call a short peg. The rings are Egyptian puzzle rings, very tricky. Of course, the fezes are the real thing. Most people here have much smaller heads than the average American. Fezes are worn by men and boys, not women. Women wear only scarves or the end of the sari. Very few women here are veiled except an occasional Moslem. The Moslem women are however kept very much in the background. Wonít let you take a picture and so on. The leather piece is a sofa pillow; the wooden figures are sandalwood; the hunting license is written in Hindustani, which is the common Indian language.

By now I now have a small vocabulary. Can get by with common wants such as panee lau (bring water), mihrbahnee (thank you), kitus pisa (how much?), etc. We have not started to work as yet. All pictures sent so far have been taken here except the ones of the Taj Mahal and Jain Temple. By the way, in one box I believe the first, there is one light leather bill fold, a solid white silver bracelet, and a tiny ring for Martie Ann all from Cairo. In the last box I sent a crop and dagger, also from Cairo. Everything else is from here except the large Gurka knife from Calcutta. If I recall correctly, besides the table cloth and napkins there were two card table sized clothes. Give one to Mother if you like. Also I have sent a purse and ring and some hankies that I have written about before that you can give to Mother, Eleanor, Vie, or whoever you like. Would like to have Mother have either the opal ring or one of the nice bags but you do what you want or trade back and forth. The linens by the way are all Kashmir linens, all hand-loomed.

Another nice letter came from Wergland today. It was Mrs. Freshman who thought we were in Lahore. Tate and Tyner went from here to New Delhi when we first arrived here, then they both returned. Tate wrote from New Delhi but you guys missed the boat. Hagman and the enlisted men are not here and I have not as yet seen them, however, I will soon and Tyner, Rich and many others have now joined hem. I am right where you think and have been here all of the time except when I went to Calcutta last week. Guess that answers all questions for the time being

Martie Ann and Gregg your nice valentines arrived just in time. I really do like them and Martie Ann you are writing beautifully. Know that Gregg will be next year. Iíve just been admiring the pictures while sitting here and they are really precious. Send more when convenient. Donít wait too long.

Went to bed last night and was up early this morning. Spent a very quiet day of just waiting. Had two very good meals. I ate today at a different mess in this same part of the country. Went to a show tonight with Tate, Pearson and Rohan. Very god, ďCrime at Night.Ē I must go to bed since I may be up early or even have my very lovely sleep interrupted. So glad you liked the things and know that you will get a kick out of some of the future shipments too. Will dream about you. I love you more than I can tell.

Always, Clint and Daddy.

 

February 15, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Slept like a log all night last night and have sat around doing nothing all day. The food here, as I told you yesterday, is very good. Read all day started and finished ďMark Twain in India.Ē -- very good and he sees most things as I do but not all. Of course, he was here quite some time ago. Played bridge with Tate, Pearson, and Rohan all evening and am now ready for bed. Am now hoping that our sleep will be interrupted tonight sometime. No mail today so reread the four from yesterday and admired the pictures again. Would have gone downtown but we are confined to this area same as we were in Miami the last 24 hours that I was there. I believe that I told you about how they make things here -- everything by hand. Workmen always sit on the floor. Boot makers for instance use only a hammer and awl and knife and hold the leather with their feet.

The Ganges, of course, is the sacred river. Have I ever mentioned that Hindus living along the Ganges, who cannot afford cremation, put their dead directly into the Ganges and the turtles do the rest. The remains are seen all up and down the river. Have I ever mentioned the Parsees. They are the merchants, mostly wealthy, only about 200,000 of them. They dispose of their dead by placing them in what are called Towers of Silence. The vultures eat the bodies and the bones are thrown in a well within the tower. No one is ever allowed inside of these towers. There is one here and I have been to it but not inside.

Hope you will soon get the rest of the packages, especially the last which was registered. I know you will get a bang out of the stuff. Well, Iíll go to bed and dream about you guys again. Know that I am thinking of you every minute and do love you so much.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 16, 1945

Somewhere in India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Went to bed early last night and had a good nightís sleep. Have been sitting around all day, reading and playing bridge with Tate, Rohan and Pearson. Had two good meals. The news of the Navy and Air Corps bombing Japan sounds good. I sent some pictures today taken at a leprosarium 10 miles north of town. Tate took these pictures and they are very good. Also sent some small leather patches, which you can put on the sides of the kidís boots if you want to.

I am in quite a hurry at the present time so must close. I expect to be leaving here soon. I want you to know that I am thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you in writing. If there is a slight delay in mail do not be surprised. I love you.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

Chapter VII: Assam Valley

Prelude to Crossing the Ledo/Burma Road

 

 

February 17, 1945

Assam Valley, India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† You will notice that I have been quite a busy little bee since I wrote you last. We had a very pleasant trip arriving here this morning. We just finished a very good lunch and got shaved, cleaned up, etc. It is now just after Noon. Col. Van Aucken is stationed near here. He was a very nice regular army officer who I knew at Barkley. I talked to him this morning and am going over there to see him this afternoon. Two of our officers, Johnson and Christopher are temporarily on duty with his unit so will see them at the same time. We are only a short distance from our final destination, but will not go there until tomorrow. The place where we are at present is very interesting, but I can tell you no more. I am at present sitting in front of a bamboo basha hut with a straw roof, which is where I am quartered. It is a beautiful day and this is very pretty country, bright sun, nice and warm, comfortable in cottons only. Canít say too much.

††††††††††† Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you. Tate and the other two are with me and Tate is getting ready to take a picture, which I will send you. I love you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 18, 1945

Assam Valley, India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Just finished breakfast of orange juice (canned, bacon and eggs, doughnuts and coffee. Sound like awful hardship? We will leave here this morning and join the boys by noon, which will be a happy reunion. Tyner and most of the others are there. After writing yesterday went over to see Col. Van Aucken. He has a very nice laboratory, complete in every detail, set up in bamboo buildings in the center of a tea plantation and they are dong a lot or work. Saw Johnson and Christopher there too.

††††††††††† Had about two hours sleep yesterday afternoon since we hadnít any the night before. Had a good dinner last night then went to a show Ė ďBowery to Broadway,Ē very good. Was in bed by nine and slept like a log. We have a Mr. Penrod staying here and he will call you when he hits the States, which will be soon. Write down what he tells you so you can do some map work. Verify what he tells you in your first letter so I will know that you got it straight. Last night our bed was a spring made of large bamboo strips with a pad on it. I slept like a log and thought about the big walnut bed that we threw out because I thought it was no good. Would give a lot of rupees for that bed here. Guess I was a little spoiled. Over here have slept on bamboo, springs, rope springs, army cots, and when boar hunting, slept on a stone floor. Always sleep like a rock. Feeling swell, now weigh about 175 pounds, wonderful tan, and have never felt better. Thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can tell you. Must go now.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

††††††††††† Get all the 620 film you can buy and send it to me. After you talk to Mr. Penrod write to Mrs. Rohan, Tyner, Rich and Pickens. Please call Rowena.

 

February 18, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote this morning right after breakfast, but am going to be busy all day tomorrow so thought Iíd better get a note off tonight. Have been moderately busy today, mostly walking around getting acquainted with the area. Did get the wheels started to turning on a few things today. This place still seems like a dream to me but I guess itís true. Iím sitting here now in my tent looking out at the most beautiful country Iíve ever seen Ė a wonderful variety of foliage. Enormous trees, vines the size of my arm, many palms, bamboo etc. Beautiful range of mountains in the background. The towns near here donít amount to much but we have everything here that we could want. When they first arrived here they lived in bamboo bashas, which were two years old and very poor. As soon as the Col. arrived he drew the British tents and theyíve torn down most of the bashas. Kept a few large bashas for supplies, headquarters, etc. The tents are much better to live in. We have here young Indian boys for bearers and they are very good. I have one coming tomorrow who is well recommended by the former ďSahibsĒ.

††††††††††† Many of the boys have caught baby monkeys and tamed them as pets. They are very cute and great pets. I played with one for a while today and they are a riot. Will get a picture soon for the kids. Went into the native village near here today and bought myself an easy chair and a couple of little foot rests. Bamboo wicker and very comfortable Ė 20 rupees for the works. I donít want to appear to rave but wish I could describe this beautiful, wild country to you. It is really a wonderful experience. The Col. and I are going to a hospital near by for a show tonight so must get started. Believe me I am in no danger, feel like a million and am very happy about everything. The war news is really wonderful. I told you Iíd be home for Xmas and I still believe it. I love you more than I can tell you. Iíll dream about you tonight. Ask Hod what he thinks about the elephants and monkeys, etc.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 19, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After writing to you yesterday I was met at the airstrip by Col. Tyner driving his new jeep ďFlaming MamieĒ. Had dinner with the boys and then moved into my new home with Dave Burlingame as my roommate. Unpacked my footlocker and bedroll and that was like Christmas. We have lived with 65 pounds of luggage since the boys left Bushnell and itís wonderful to get your things together. Last night after dinner the officers here rounded up all of our officers who are in this area and 15 of our nurses who are near here and we had a big homecoming party with beer, peanuts, and much talk. Weíre situated in beautiful country. We are in a clearing but with lots of trees, shrubs, grass, vines, bamboo etc. The real jungle is about 5 miles from us. After supper last night Tyner took us newcomers for a ride into the jungle and Mart it is out of this world. I looked this morning to be sure I hadnít dreamed about it.

††††††††††† In the first place we came across an old Indian Fort. It was abandoned centuries ago, but still standing. The first thing that made my eyes pop was to see a tree swaying wildly to discover a family of monkeys playing in the top. We drove along an impossible road for about five miles and stopped along the banks of a river to discover a herd of wild elephants out in the river having a bath. See why I have to pinch myself to make sure itís me. The wild game is not near camp and stay out of sight of course is what I will do.

††††††††††† My quarters are very nice. Dave and I have a British type tent about 25 feet square. The British tents are much better than ours. They are double and the inner wall is made like a quilt. Very warm and also cool in summer heat. The floor is made of elephant matting which is of course manila, burlap like material about a half inch thick. We have a wood stove in the corner for mornings and evenings. Our beds are canvass cots, which the boys have built a four poster bamboo canopy over and itís very deluxe. Have shelves built of bamboo and empty boxes and a long clothes rack of bamboo. Furniture consists of native made bamboo wicker chairs, a table, footstools, baskets, etc. We have electric lights, hot water for shaving and showers, a very good mess.

††††††††††† In fact I am walking on air and very happy about the whole setup. We are really very comfortable and I wouldnít trade places with anyone I know. We do of course have a big job ahead of us and I am going to work today with a vengeance. The Col. and I have some business at headquarters so must get going. I am feeling like a million, have no complaints. Love you all more than I can ever tell and think of you every minute. Will write more later today if I have time. I love you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 20, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Itís about 15 minutes until time for lunch so better write a note while I have time. After I wrote last night, started to a show then changed our minds and dropped in at a near by hospital to call on the C.O. Walked in to find one of my old coffee hour buddies from Barkeley to be the C.O., Lt. Col. Maler. You have met him. Do you remember? A very large man. We spent the entire evening swapping yarns. He was attached to Tom Deabin Sr., while in Barkely waiting for his hospital to be activated. Very nice and weíll see him more. He knew that I was coming and had been watching for me. Home and to bed about ten. Slept like a log until nine this morning.

††††††††††† I got out my air mattress and inflated it yesterday. It is really just like a beauty rest. Up in time for breakfast. You would laugh if you could see us all lined up at a bamboo bench standing out doors, shaving. We have hot water and use our helmets for wash bowls. That is the only thing we need here. We have been down to headquarters this morning and met many interesting people. All very nice. Just got back and am sitting in front of my tent. The weather here is beautiful, like the nicest California weather. Cool at night but swell in the daytime and I repeat itís wonderfully beautiful country. Must go to lunch. Am thinking of you every minute and love you more than ever.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 21, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† The mail hasnít caught up with me as yet so havenít had a letter from you since I left Karachi, however, about tomorrow should bring some. Have had a most interesting time since I wrote to you yesterday. After lunch, Burlingame, Ritchey and I took off in a jeep to go hunting. We drove up the Ledo Road about twenty miles and then took off on a side road into the jungles. The jungles here are really beautiful, enormous trees, vines, bamboo, ferns, etc. very dense. Got into where we were going about six oíclock. Had a bite to eat then took a collapsible boat and floated down the river for about three hours. We saw only one animal, an enormous deer (samber deer). We should have killed him but were not properly organized with our spotlights etc. and he got away. Paddled back up and arrived at our little camp about 2:30 A.M. The night was beautiful, nice moon, beautiful sky, very quiet, quite an experience. When we got back we got warm by the fire and then slept until about 4:30 and then started out hunting along trails in the jeep and hunted all the way back to camp but didnít see anything.

††††††††††† Got in here about 9:30 and went to bed. Slept until four then got cleaned up. We had a big party on tonight with the Provost Marshall for this area and a lot of his officers and ours. Went to a fine Chinese Restaurant and had about ten courses, all entirely different from the dishes in Karachi. The Chinese are wonderful cooks. We just now got home and Iím going to bed. Donít feel very sleepy though in spite of the fact itís 1 oíclock. Too much sleep today.

††††††††††† This country is really beautiful and Iím thoroughly enjoying it. The weather is wonderful. Iím still feeling like a million and there is absolutely no reason of any kind for you to worry about me. Believe me because that is right. Will write more tomorrow and until then know that I love you more than ever if possible, and will dream about you tonight. Goodnight Darlings,

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

February 22, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Dearest and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your nice letter of February 5 came this morning. I have not received February 2, 3, 4 as yet but they were probably delayed by the move. Tate got a letter written same day, after you had been there for lunch. She spilled the beans you beautiful fibber. Why was Martie Ann in the hospital, when, and is she perfectly OK now? You are wonderful to have such troubles and keep them to yourself, in fact, of course you are just plain wonderful. I guess you have received the second box. I believe that Rowenís things were in with the boots so you must have written about in one of the letters Iím missing. Havenít much to write today for a change. Just finished supper and have been working most of the day. The Co. and I went over to a nearby hospital and had lunch with the C.O. today and looked over their setup, which is very good. It is surprising how well we can set up out of practically nothing but salvage, truck bodies, oil drums, etc. become bridges, showers, garbage racks etc. They are operating a perfectly beautiful truck garden raising enough radishes, lettuce, beans, peas, cabbage, and tomatoes to supply their mess. We are all going over to Col. Malirís place tonight for a little get together in their new club. Still feeling like a million all of the time and think this a wonderful country. Am still perfectly happy and having wonderful experience. Love you all more than I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 23, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today so should get a pack one of these days soon. After I wrote last night we all went over to Col. Malierís new club, which is a bamboo basha lined with burlap and trimmed with enormous palm leaves. Many colored leaves around in vases. They have made very clever indirect light fixtures out of tin cans and the whole result is very delightful spot. They had a small very good orchestra playing; served punch and barbecued wieners; so it was a most pleasant evening. Slept until about eight this morning and have been busy all day today. We have just moved into our office. We have headquarters, which is a bamboo basha, lied with burlap and an elephant mat floor. Divided into three rooms, one for headquarters, one for personnel and the other a private office for me and the Col. Just put your picture up so itís quite homey. Crude as these things may seem they are very comfortable.

††††††††††† Iím enclosing a clipping from Time concerning the Nagas. The tribe mentioned in the article is not near here but in the hills of Burma. However these Nagas are thick around here. They wear only loin clothes, have enormous ornaments in their ears and noses and always a small bone in their hair. Men and women both wear long hair. They carry a knife about 2 Ĺ feet long and never draw it except to kill an enemy. They are by the way perfectly friendly to all except neighboring tribes with whom they occasionally have a war. By the way, Time Magazine gives very good coverage on this theatre and it would be interesting to you to read all of them. You ask about the World Herald; I have never received one. Give them my new APO and for the time being clip anything of interest for me. Am hoping that by now you have received all of the packages and am anxious to know what you think of the things. Are you receiving the silk handkerchiefs which I mailed in separate envelopes? Was just looking at the kids pictures and am praying that they are all well. Let me know about the children every day. Iím thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 24, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today so am due for the jackpot any day now. Last night after I wrote you Dave Busligne came in with eight beautiful steaks so a few of us cooked them over an open grill and they were really wonderful. Really State side picnic. About 20 of our nurses are over at a nearby hospital on temp. duty and they staged a tent warming last night. All of the officers who are here went over and we sat on the floor and drank beer, had peanuts, cheese etc, sang songs all evening. Itís the nearest that we have come to having the outfit all together since Bushnell. Came home about 10:30 and slept like a log as usual. Up early this morning, had a good breakfast and was busy all morning. Had to inspect the mess, special service, chaplains office, supply headquarters, the dispensary and the barbershop. So was busy until noon then after noon played volleyball until a few minutes ago and then had a shower. When I got back to the office Col. Matir was here and weíve been chewing the fat until itís time to go to supper.

††††††††††† The weather is still delightful and Iím liking the place more all the time. Am enclosing the picture that Tate took of 3 of us on the way over here. Iím still wondering every minute about Martie Ann and do hope she is OK now. I feel quite sure that she is because in your last letter you said she had gone to Cecieís party. Do hope all the children are well and want you to tell me everyday. Love to hear about their antics. Mollie must be a case now and Gary awfully cute. He will probably be a year old about the time that you get this so give him a big kiss for me. Am thinking of you all every minute and dream of you at night. I do love you so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy.

 

February 25, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two letters today but neither what I wanted Ė one a Phi Chi Bulletin, the other an invitation to the Potentates Ball of Tangier so perhaps tomorrow will bring a jackpot from you.

††††††††††† After dinner last night four of us loaded in a jeep and drove down the same road as the first night here. We had spotlights and guns, but didnít see any game. Went to bed about ten and got up at 4 oíclock. Tyner, Ritchey and two fellows from OWL went hunting again. One of their men, Mr. Young, has lived in Burma all his life, and is supposed to be the greatest hunter in this whole country. Again, we came back empty-handed except for a big broadbill. We felt much better about some of our unsuccessful trips when Young also came back empty-handed.

††††††††††† It was a very pleasant morning though with a full moon and beautiful sunrise. About eight I cooked breakfast, coffee, bread, friend bacon, and melted cheese. There was a tame elephant standing in the field about 100 yards from our camp. I was sitting on the ground frying bacon and Tyner said ďI donít know who that is squatting there by a fire cooking bacon, in the jungles of India with an elephant for a background, but it couldnít be Millett so I must be dreaming.Ē It does so often seem like a dream. It just seems impossible that we could be in the jungles hunting halfway around the world form Omaha. That by the way is gone good thing about this place Ė anywhere I go from here is getting closer to Omaha and you guys. An interesting thing over here is that whenever you go out anywhere and pitch a camp within a few minutes the natives will come along and set down and just sit and watch in a circle until you leave and then they examine every piece of paper and cans and pick up any cigarette butts lying around. Well anyway, itís really a fascinating experience and I wouldnít take the world for it. Went to bed when we got in and slept until about two then puttered around until dinnertime. Just finished an extra good supper with our first ice-cream. We have our own mixer set up now. Tate and some others just came in from hunting this evening, also empty-handed. We do by the way shoot about all the doves we want. Am thinking of you all every minute and do love you so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 26, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No letters from you today but received the KE newsletter of February 10. Isnít it funny the junk gets here and the oneís I really want are much slower.

††††††††††† After supper last night went visiting with some of our officers who are at present on temporary duty with nearby hospitals. Nothing startling Ė home early and to bed. Have been busy all morning and just finished lunch so havenít much to offer today.

††††††††††† One of our enlisted men is being returned to the States because of family illnesses. He is Sgt. Harry Heft. He will call you collect from New York. Thought you might like to hear from someone once in awhile who has seen me over here. As time goes on will do this once in a while if you like. Am hoping that my mail to you has been going through better than yours to me. Am very anxious to hear if you have received any more packages and what you think of the merchandise. Iím glad that I bought a lot of stuff in Karachi because there is nothing here that you would want. Am thinking of you al every minute and love you so very much. Am still feeling like a million and very happy about everything in general.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 27, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† I hit the jackpot today Ė six letters. This brings me up to and including February 11th. Am so relieved to know that Martie Ann is OK and all of the others. Certainly have had your hands full. You are a beautiful liar and I wouldnít have guessed that anything was amiss had Tateís wife not mentioned it. Your guessing about our whereabouts is amusing. We were in Karachi, Tate and the Col. went to New Delhi for a week, later the Col. came over here and then a week later Tate, Pearson, Rohan and I came here. If you take one good look at the map you can put your finger on our present whereabouts. So that you will not be confused, just before I left Karachi, I took a trip to Agra, Panagaha and Calcutta. Was in Calcutta a few days then returned to Karachi. You must certainly have it straight now. Tate and I really get a bang out of comparing your letters as to our whereabouts. Tell me in your next letter where you think I am at the present.

††††††††††† Give Gregg the second pair of boots that I sent. After all he is entitled to one pair. Hope Craig can wear the others, but Iím afraid not. Sorry too but for the present I will not be able to get any more.

††††††††††† After I wrote you yesterday Frank Monkus and I went out on a little jaunt. We werenít hunting too seriously, mostly looking around the woods. We left about four and cooked supper of sausage, coffee etc. After supper we hunted from the jeep, drove very slowly shinning a spot light. About 12 oíclock we had the thrill of our lives. A water buffalo came up to the road. We drove past him then stopped, keeping the motor going and let him have it. They are really rough to kill. He was still moving after we had hit him 8 times with two Springfields Ė all head shots. I shot the 5th shot into his chest and then changed guns and emptied a carbine into him. We kept at a very respectable distance at all time. After this kill we started for home. About two minutes later a large civet crossed the road. I shot him twice and we killed him but he crawled into the underbrush to die and we couldnít get him. Civets here are not like the American. They are larger than a raccoon. Have beautiful fur and are very good to eat. Anyway, after that we came back to camp and got the butcher and 8 boys with a big truck and went back to get our buffalo. We gutted and quartered him there and then loaded him and brought him in. He was very large, bigger than a large steer in the States, with enormous horns. Now here is the big laugh. When we cleaned him we found that he was lacking certain vital organs, steer, so must have been a domestic buffalo that had gone wild or strayed. We have been laughing all morning about what we did with the plow and harness. What did we do with the cart, the driver and the harness etc. Just now got back from lunch and the boys really were razzing us at lunch. The story has now been brought up to us shooting a cow while an Indian was milking. Anyway it was great sport and besides there was a full moon and it was really beautiful in the jungle. For questions, no chance us going to Philippines. Glad Hod liked the things. Let me know how he and Dad get along working the rings. Sorry I made the remark about Bud going overseas but knew he would later, be glad of it. Maybe plenty of time though. I still think Iíll be home for Christmas. Thank you for the Valentine Martie Ann. Gregg I guess you are bigger than I think or I would have sent you larger boots. Hope Craig, Pam are OK now. Glad the hankies arrived. Believe I sent about eight all together. Glad to hear about Ed Foster being home. Anxious to hear about Hodís Boston trip. Also what he says about the buffalo kill. Know he will split laughing. Was up early this morning and was busy until noon. Have some work to do now so better close. Also must watch the paper shortage.

††††††††††† Do love you all so very sincerely and am so relieved to know that you are all well. Will always love you guys like nobodyís business and am very proud of the nice way you are getting along.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

February 28, 1945

Near the Ledo Road in the Valley of Assam

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† It rained last night and is still drizzling this morning so we are sloshing about. It is a warm rain, however, so not bad. A little fire makes it very comfortable. The monsoon season isnít due here for a month or two yet so it will probably clean up.

††††††††††† Worked until about four yesterday then the Col. and I took a drive out in the woods to see if we could find the civet. We found him and he was a real beauty. About 3 feet long and very pretty fur. Was glad we found him because I was sure we had killed him. We then drove on down the road a ways and met a couple of Wallas riding on a huge elephant. They stopped and wanted a cigarette so we traded them four cigarettes each for a ride on the elephant. He lay down and stuck his rear way out. We almost ran up his back and then he got up. Really feels like youíre up in the air when riding. So now I have ridden on a camel and an elephant. We hunted for a while on the way home but didnít see anything.

††††††††††† Went to bed quite early and slept like a log. Got up for breakfast this morning and we had fresh eggs and sausage, which is quite a treat. Believe it or not I ate five eggs and didnít feel too full. Guess a little knocking around in the woods is good for the appetite. Just got to work and shouldnít be too busy today. The Co. and I are just looking at your picture and admiring my little brood. Do hope you are all well and feel sure that you are. Am thinking of you guys every minute and love you more than ever.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 1, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail this morning, but canít expect it every day and I am probably going to have some delay because of the change in my Army PO box. By the way, you could now send me a cablegram in the event that you wanted to. Was pretty busy all day yesterday and did nothing of any particular interest. Last night Col. Tyner, Col. Malir and I went to a nearby officerís club, which is very nice and had first a plate of chicken livers and then fried chicken. It was very good food. All the way around we have had nothing to complain about on food or anything else. Our own mess is excellent and then the occasional expeditions to restaurants and clubs avoids any monotony. Frankly we are in very good shape all the way around. Our tents are very comfortable, have good showers and there is plenty to keep us busy. There is a selection of about ten pictures to see every night in this immediate vicinity.

††††††††††† By the way it will interest you to know that the army has made some recent discoveries regarding Malaria. It is now possible to prevent al of the serious forms of Malaria and to do away with symptoms from the more mild forms by the taking of daily atabrine. We began taking atabrine about two weeks ago and will continue indefinitely every day. Some get reactions from the atabrine, but I have had none at all. It is very comforting to be able to pretty well dismiss the possibility of Malaria. Also of course our tents are screened, we use repellent. Keep covered at night by wearing boots etc. Also Malaria control units have practically eradicated mosquitoes from this area.

††††††††††† I am feeling like a million and there is nothing whatever to worry about here. Love you more than I can tell you and will.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 2, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Couldnít think of much to write about until just now. I walked into the office to see Col. Tyner sitting at his desk with one of the pet monkeys, ďMaggieĒ sitting on this arm asleep. I pinched myself to make sure I was awake. He just left to put the monk in bed with Chaplain Moll. These little monks are very lovable creatures and like to snuggle up inside your coat if they can get there. Wouldnít Molly be jealous if she could see me snuggling a monkey? How about the Martie Ann and Gregger.

††††††††††† I was busy all day yesterday then last night a bunch of went over to Malirís club and had a little get-together. Came home early. Burns, Pickens, Swartz, Moll, and Christopher came in yesterday so we now have most of the gang here. Iíve been getting up for breakfast every morning here and the food is worth getting up for. Our mail arrives early in the morning. I received a nice one from Ced and Tangier news, none from you today Ė probably tomorrow. Col. and I are going bird hunting this afternoon. Am thinking of you every minute and love you more than ever. Hope my mail is getting through OK.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

 

March 3, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail yet today but it has not yet been delivered so could be. Was busy until noon yesterday and then Chaplain Ritchey and I went out hunting. We got a few doves and I got one squirrel. We got home about eight, friend the doves, made some coffee and sat around in my tent eating until abut nine and then went to bed.

††††††††††† Was up for breakfast this morning and just now got to the office. Bob Tate received pictures of Gailís wedding today and he looked mighty sharp. Today completes two weeks here which does not seem possible. The time is going faster than I have ever seen it before and hope it will keep it up. Jim Pickens moved in with me yesterday and should be an excellent tent mate. He is so very easy going. By the way, guess I havenít mentioned that we have bearers here. I have Caesar, the Col. Octa and Tate, Taffy. My boy is a Bushman, the highest caste of Hindus and is a real good boy. Do you suppose we will all be spoiled when we lose our personal man-servants? I donít because the housekeeping at home is so much better that we will all be glad to get back to it.

††††††††††† Just got two letters, 6 and 7th of February and clipping about Winship. Was so glad to hear that he was liberated. I have wondered about him a great many times. He is a fine fellow. Martie Ann glad you are OK again and loved your letter, you do write nicely. Gregg, are you still sleeping with your boots on? That is the way cowboys do it. Your letters are so newsy Mart. I love them. Thinking of you all every minute and do love you so very, very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 4, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Put in a very busy day yesterday and then after supper the Col., Pickens and I drove out along our favorite jungle trail to see what we could see. We saw an enormous wild boar, tusks and all but didnít get a shot. Home and to bed early. Our sleep was interrupted about two in the morning by news of a dreadful tragedy involving some of our people I canít give you any details, but you will have heard it over radio and newspaper by this time. It was nothing that any one in this organization was to blame for or could have prevented, but we have all been terribly in the dumps all day. I will write you the details when I can.

††††††††††† Slept this afternoon and then tonight Burns, Pickens and I went dining again. Tonight we saw a black panther, which was a beauty but again didnít get a shot. Our hunting up to now hasnít produced much, but we are gradually learning when and where to look and itís a lot of fun. Sooner or later weíll be in the right place at the right time. There is no danger in the way we hunt because we never get out of the jeep. Saw Frank Hagman this morning and got your letter of February 16 which was the latest I have had. That is not too bad service. Am so glad you are all well and want you to know that I am in perfect health, feeling like a million all of the time. My appetite is enormous and I sleep like a top so there is absolutely no reason for you to worry about me. Glad you like the hankies and that your friends like the lighters. At least it is a souvenir from India for them. Iím hoping that you by now have the other boxes because the last two had the nicest things. I believe that I mentioned it once before but will repeat that we have insurance which would cover Mrs. Mueller and she should collect on it. Give her my sympathy and best regards. Am thinking of you guys every minute and donít ever forget that I love you more than ever. Am going to bed now. Good Night.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

March 5, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Three nice letters this morning Ė 11, 12 and 13th of February, so now am up to February 16 except for one letter. I donít remember sending a clipping from Life regarding Jarpur. I canít imagine what it was but must have been just common interest, nothing to do with me or this unit. Time is going by very rapidly. I arrived here two weeks ago yesterday and seems like no time at all. The weather has been perfectly delightful except for two rainy days. This morning is really a spring morning. As you may have guessed there are no large towns near here and the roads are not good enough to drive any distance so that our social life will have to consist of what we make for ourselves. Glad we had such an excellent opportunity while in Karachi for shopping etc. We will not stay here or set up our hospital here. We know where we will set up and it is a large city quite a ways from here. While here we are busy and most of our people are kept busy working in other hospitals in this vicinity.

††††††††††† I am hoping while I am in this theatre I will have a chance to visit in Burma and China. They say that Kunming in China is a most excellent place to live with a climate very similar to Denver, Colorado. I am hoping that before too long I will have an opportunity to visit there. Certainly am envious of you for your anticipated trip to Denver. I know that you will find it very interesting and like living there. Let me know when you get there, how you like it. I just got to work about an hour ago. I was in bed at 9:20 last night and up at 7 for breakfast and to work by 8. I was just sitting here admiring my little brood. I have all of your pictures up in front of me. Would certainly like to see and hear that little rascal Gary saying Da Da. Mollie must be the same little imp. I really get a kick out of her carryings on. Really laugh at her marrying me and calling me up. Line up all of the kids in their boots and let me have a picture some time soon. Donít forget that I want pictures of all of you real often. Donít for one-minute worry about me because I am perfectly satisfied with my lot and wouldnít take anything for the experience. We are in absolutely no danger here of any kind and I am honestly feeling better than any time. I feel like a million all the time.

††††††††††† Am thinking of you guys all the time, every single minute and do love you all so very, very much. I have now been overseas almost three months and it has gone very quickly. Know that the rest of the time will too and then that most happy day will be here.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 6, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† A nice letter sneaked in today Ė February 23. It really came through nicely. Iím missing 4 or 5 now but they will catch up. So glad you got the jewelry and hope you really like the things. Go ahead and have them cut down to fit the kids except believe you can wait a while for Mollieís and you wear it in the meantime if you want. It is probably rather tiny for you, however. Hope Mother will like hers. I expect that by now you have received the other two boxes or should soon and that will be all for the being. No guess there are three. One late, one with boots for the Bells and Gregg.
Guess you still donít have the first one mailed in December and the one with the saris etc. in it. Was glad to hear about Paul Martenís baby. Know he must be very relieved. Canít understand Maxís letter being censored. That is most unusual in the States.

††††††††††† I was very busy yesterday, worked here all morning and then spent the afternoon as a member of a board of investigation in connection with the tragedy that I previously mentioned. If I never spend another afternoon like that it will be too soon. I believe you can guess what I am talking about after this catastrophe is announced in the States. Rohan, Pearson, and I went for a ride for a coup[le of hours last night. When we got back Readinger was here. He, Pearson, and Echert had a swell time in Calcutta and enjoyed knowing Sloan and attending the school of tropical medicine. Went to bed at nine and was up a 6:15 for breakfast. Just got to the office. The time here is much better than Karachi. Sun comes up here about 6 whereas it was about eight thirty in Karachi. They use the same time throughout India. Tate and all of the other officers are fine. All looking good, well-tanned. None of us have been sick at any time. Am enclosing some pictures that Tate took. You must be getting quite a collection by now. Someday Iíll get around to mounting them in a book. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 7, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Swell mail this morning, your letters of February 18, 20, 21. Also letter from Tom Deakin which I am enclosing. Readinger brought me some typical pictures from Calcutta which I am mailing in separate envelopes. Also a clipping concerning Eules, one of Richís brothers in law. Received also this morning award of service from the dollar consistory. I will mail it home when I get another package. Will try to get you an opal ring if you want one. Could also get some other dinner rings such as an amethyst to match your bracelet. Col. Goodrich is CO of supply squadron, air base in Karachi. I met him at Kundanmalís last party. The get-up that I wore when I had the pictures made is not typical of Hindu or Moslem either. The wearing of headdress at one time was significant, each village caste, etc. had its own meanings until now there is such a conglomeration that these things mean little. About the only typical thing is that the high caste Hindus usually wear turbans and jodpur trousers. Women from one province wear trousers like affairs (Purjob). Indians in this province wear little clothing and are not as good a class of people as in Calcutta, Bombay or Karachi -- more primitive.

††††††††††† Martie Ann is getting to be quite a social butterfly. Would like to see her in all her activities. Yesterday was Garyís birthday and I intended to write but was terribly busy. I was however thinking of the little rascal. He must be quite a bouncer by now and I know is awfully cute. A lot has certainly happened during the last year, and hasnít it gone by in a hurry. I was busy all day yesterday with this most unfortunate incident that I have mentioned before. At six last night attended the Catholic memorial service here and then went to a nearby hospital and attended the Protestant service at seven. Both were lovely services, but so tragic.

††††††††††† Lt. Col. Maley, the chief nurse for this theatre is touring India with Lady Mountbotten and spent the greater part of the day with us. I was escorting her around to the services etc. Col. Tyner attended a luncheon for Lady M. Sunday. Am really awfully bust so donít have much time to write, but want you to know that I am thinking of you every minute. I am still feeling like a million, weather is beautiful and we are all fine. Bob is in excellent spirits and getting along swell. Sorry that heís in the dog house. Better not tell Rowena that I write so much. Give Gary a birthday kiss for me and give them all a big kiss and hug and I love you and miss you so very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 8, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your letter of February 22 this morning. I am delighted to hear of Maxís wonderful assignment. That is the one assignment that I consider better than my own. Here is the laugh Ė The Queen Mary is commanded by Col. Fox of St. Hosp. Camp Barkeley. At least that is the dope that we have. Small world isnít it? This is one of the finest ships afloat and Max will be well off. They live like kings and of course go all over the world, but best of all they get back to the Sates every few weeks. T/P is good on these big ships and I should think promotion a possibility. I have been busy all day yesterday, then last night after dinner the officers played the enlisted men in volleyball. We won the first and lost the second, which was pretty good we thought. Iíve been spending a lot of time getting our Officerís Club, Enlisted Day Room and our Chapel fixed up. Our club is finished now and is really swell, a large tent, lined with green mosquito net, indirect lights made form 5 gal. tin cans, bamboo bar, all decorated with many colored leaves, palms, etc. We bought bamboo wicker furniture. It is really very swanky for having nothing to work with. Tell Rowena not to worry about Bob. He is fine, looks good, probably just hits the dumps once in a while, which is a luxury that I do not allow myself. There is far too much to see and do here to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. I am feeling like a million all the time, never felt better in my life and we have nothing in the world to complain about. Weather is still very nice. Love you all more than I can ever tell you. Tell Eleanor not to worry about Max. He will be OK, and has a swell assignment.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 9, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two nice letters this morning, February 24, 25. Also the very nice letter from Martie Ann. Martie Ann I am so proud of your letters. You do so very nicely. Write every week. Glad you received the Maharaja pictures and like them. Donít you think I have adjusted well to Indian ways of life? After writing yesterday, the Col., Peckins, and I took off on an expedition. Drove about 35 miles over the worst road I have ever seen. Had chains on all four wheels and in many places all had to unload except me. I was driving. Not dangerous, but very muddy. A jeep was all that could have gone through. Itís a jungle road. Got back about six, had diner and a bath then I met with the non-coms for a short meeting. Went to bed at eight and slept until eight this morning. Just had breakfast and came to the office. Tate, the Col. and I are leaving right now to go to a funeral in connection with what I have referred to before. Must go so will write tomorrow, I love you all more than ever.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 10, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Nice letters this morning, both written February 16, also clippings from life of the Maharajaís party. No I did not attend this party, but would have liked it. The war news is wonderful in Europe and over here the capture of Lashio and Mandolay are definite milestones. Still think the Axis will definitely be beaten this year. Donít see how they can possibly hold out. Was busy all day yesterday and then last night we opened our club. Told you some about it but it is even better than expected. Itís a tent, lined with green mosquito net, palm leaves along the wall, indirect lights, colored leaves and foliage in corners and across the ceiling. The furniture is all bamboo wicker. Round tables under each pole made from cable spools -- very modernistic, bamboo bar with rail and canopy over top. It is the nicest club by far in this area and the other places are permanent installations. We had a turntable and microphone set up, played records and broke in with news flashes, such as, ďFlash, we havenít been able to get the name of the famous buffalo hunter but his initials are Major C.C.M.Ē They are still having fun about the tame buffalo. They have now named it ďBessieĒ about 30 of our officers were there and 3 nurses and two Red Cross workers, Col. Tate, Pearson, Rohan, Whitney, Canbaugh, Pickens, Schultz, Echert, Christopher, Johnson, Moukas, Halpen, Swelser, and others. A big time was had by all. I went to bed about eleven since I was a little weary.

††††††††††† Up for breakfast this morning and just got to the office. I love your letters, and they have been coming through beautifully since I arrived here. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Am feeling swell; weather is still nice. Donít work too hard and keep well.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 11, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today but canít complain for one day only. Was busy yesterday morning and then just before noon Bill Hickle showed up. He is located about eight hundred miles from here but as soon as he knew I was here he flew down. He has had a very rugged 14 months here, all with combat troops and has really had an experience. He looks very good, is in the pink of condition, has lost about 50 pounds, very tan and it was good to see him. I didnít realize it before but he considers me as his best friend. We took our Scottish Rites together, remember? Bill has another friend here with an air evacuation unit so we went over there yesterday afternoon, had supper there and then came back here and sat around all evening. He will be back over after lunch for the afternoon and wants to go to a show tonight. He hasnít seen a show for a year or over. Col. Tyner got a letter from ??? this morning and she went and did it. She is now Lt. Tyner. The Col. is quite mad about it. Says he has never spanked a Second Lt. But is going to as soon as he can get a hold of her. Itís a beautiful morning. I slept until 8:30 and it is now after ten. We have our own chapel now so think Iíll go to church at 10:30. Might be a good example for the boys. Probably wonít hurt me either. Bill sends his regards. Iím thinking of you every minute and love you all so very, very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 12, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Mail call was very good this morning, but none from you, which of course is by far the most important. A very nice letter from Col. Wergeland, one from Hyle and the Optimist News. Hyle writes a very funny and most newsy letter. Iíll enclose and excerpt from the Optimist News. Spent a most quiet day yesterday. Went to church after writing you. The Chaplain was most pleased. The service was very nice. We had a most elegant dinner Ė chicken and all trimmings, ice cream, plenty, had some left over. We have built our own motor driven freezer and will have ice cream now 2 or 3 times a week. We, by the way, have the best mess that I have ever seen in the Army. It is already recognized by the other units in this area as the best they have seen overseas. After dinner Hickle came over and we loafed and visited until supper time. He is a swell guy and most interesting to talk to. Forgot to mention that Saturday night I ran into some of my former good boys and was very glad to see him. After supper last night Bill went to a show, but I stayed in the area. Most of the officers in this area were over and we sat around our new club. The Col. went on a drive and shot a crane, thinking it was a goose. Iíll try to divert some of the hunting heat to him.

††††††††††† Went to bed about nine and was awake at six which is about daylight. Have quite a bit to do today so will probably be quite busy. Try to get time to write the folks but donít get to it very often so have them read this letter. I am concerned about Dad and the hotel from the standpoint of lack of good help. The hotel is not important enough to us for him to ruin his health by working too hard so if he is doing that insist that he let up. Also, donít let Mother and Eleanor work too hard with the kids. Get some kind of help. That of course goes for you too my dear. Donít worry about Max. He has the choicest assignment in the army and will have a wonderful experience. Just admired the pictures of my little brood and wonder what you are all doing. Gary looks like he is climbing out of the picture and expect any minute to see him get out. The kids and you sure look swell. Send some more pictures one of these days soon. Donít worry about me. I am swell, having a good time, enjoy my work and have no complaints. Think about you guys all the time, love you more than ever if possible. Do so want to be together again soon, next Christmas sure.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 13, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote yesterday morning then was busy until noon. Bill Hickle came over after lunch and stayed for supper. He wants to be remembered to all of you. Sat around awhile last night and then went to bed early. Up at 6:30 this morning for pancakes and bacon. We have wonderful pancakes. I ate four. Was quite busy all morning. Among other things I had the unpleasant job of writing the letters of condolence in connection with the tragedy of a week ago.

††††††††††† For lunch we had roast beef, creamed peas, hominy, potatoes, gravy, peach pie (2 pieces) and coffee. Iím wondering if I can keep my strength on such meager rations. Pretty rugged life, donít you think? Was busy this afternoon. Went over to a neighboring hospital and down to base section headquarters getting things fixed. After dinner the officers and enlisted men played volleyball and we just finished. The enlisted men get terribly enthused about playing the officers. We have played five games and beat them three. No mail today so reread yesterdayís. Hope mine are going though with fair regularity. Wondering if you ever received the other packages. War news sounds good all over and in parts I am sure it is much better than is realized. I keep intending to tell you that in this section are a great many large tea plantations. They are beautifully kept, mostly British owned with hundreds of Indian laborers. Col. Tyner and I are invited to a dinner Friday given by O. W. L. Should be interesting as most of the men are characters in that office.

††††††††††† Thinking of you every minute. Would certainly like to see the kids performing. They must be so very cute now. Itís hard to believe but Martie Ann must be quite a young lady. Take real good care of yourselves and know that I love you very, very much and shall always.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Clint and Daddy

 

March 16, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† I didnít write yesterday but received your letter of February 28 and this morning got your letter written March 3. That is swell service on both. You mention that they donít have anyone to take Charlieís place. Dad and Mac cannot do that by themselves. Call Pete and insist that he get someone immediately. They could use a woman if they canít find a man. They must get someone before Dad and Mac break down. This is Peteís responsibility for which he is well paid and he shouldnít sit down until he has found someone right away. Let me know. Thank Gary for the kiss and for saying Da Da. Keep it up. So glad the other box arrived and that you like the things. This stuff was a little more junky than some of the later ones. Believe there must still be two on the road. One with the saris, etc. The other only three pairs of boots and a bunch of whips. By the way, the bracelets and ring in the first box are from Cairo, also white leather billfold. The ring is only junk jewelry which I thought Martie Ann might get a kick out of. Think it cost $1. The bells are know as elephant bells and are made in many sizes and tones. If you like them I could get more here. Ask Bob this morning why he wanted warm pajamas. Said he didnít have any and that it might get pretty cold, or that we might go where it gets pretty cold. We do not have our hospital set up and will not set up here. Itís hard to explain the details but it may be a couple of months yet before we are operating our own hospital. A lot has hinged on the rapidly changing military situation and in a couple of instances by the time they were ready to use us we werenít needed in that spot and it does take time to set up buildings fort a unit the size of ours. Remember that when we set up we could about take care of the patients in all the hospitals in Omaha.

††††††††††† Received a post card today from the Red Cross worker who showed me around Calcutta. The only thing wrong with this picture is that it is underdone. It should show G.I. vehicles of all kinds plus streetcars, ox carts, hand pushcarts, bicycles, tongas, and more people. The cabs are typical -- always large cars, open, two Sikhs as drivers. In Calcutta there are 100 people a day killed in traffic accidents. This girl by the way is the one who used to teach at Wayne Normal and knew the Berrys, etc. When she says ďworkingĒ she means showing Calcutta to patients at the hospital. Tough work huh?

††††††††††† Wednesday morning the Col., Pickens, Chaplain Ritchey, two enlisted men and I went hunting for big game. We were out a week before and built a stand. We spent Wednesday night in stands that we built up in the tops of trees. It was a long night. We had only one chance to kill big game and that was a wild elephant so we didnít bother him. They are too nice to kill and not good for anything. Came back yesterday. In case you are worried about this hunting you can now relax because this was our last attempt. It is awfully hard work and we are not properly equipped. So we are through, and I do mean through.

††††††††††† We drove about 35 miles over impossible roads, then packed about 100 pounds each for two miles over an impossible trail, made two trips in. Then settled down for the night; that is, sit all night. We were really bushed yesterday so have quit the idea for good. I went to bed at seven last night and slept until seven this morning. Just now got to the office. After all, many experienced hunters with all equipment get only one or two tigers in a lifetime, so I donít feel bad about it, although it would have been fun if we had clicked. We did shoot a lot of pigeons, which are very good eating. Am thinking of you guys every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. So glad you are all well. Spring should arrive soon and that will be better. All my love.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

March 17, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail from you this morning but one from Hod, February 27, said you received nine letters the day before. That is a record isnít it? Also letter from Rudy, one from Kay and Bud, Aksarben News and my first copy of the World Herald, Dec. 14. Nice sending. The men seem delighted with their lighters. If they should inquire, they are handmade as is everything else that I have sent. So glad you all like the things Iíve sent. I was busy all day yesterday. Spent the afternoon as president of a court. Last night Col. Tyner and I went to a dinner party given by the Office of War Information. They had wonderful food Ė fried chicken, French fries, many delicacies. This group is like a storybook. The entire organization is made up of people with special knowledge of some part of this country. All nationalities, including Japs and Chinese, Burmese, but mostly Americans who have lived here for long periods in these countries. Olds lived 25 years in Japan; Young spent all his life in the Chan States of Burma; heís the great hunter. You could write a book about anyone of them. Really an interesting cosmopolitan group and very good fellows. Two or three women, one they call Queenie, who is very pretty, about 200 pounds. The women are secretaries. We left the party with three of them and came over to our Club where we were having our Friday night get-together. About the whole gang was assembled.

††††††††††† Up at seven this morning, fresh friend eggs, worth getting up for any day. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. General Bayliss, the new theatre surgeon, is coming to see us this morning.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 17, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today and havenít done much since I wrote yesterday. General Baylias was here about Noon and was very nice. He is awfully well impressed with our outfit, which he should be. Went down to headquarters yesterday afternoon on business. Jim Pickens and I sat around our tent chewing the fat until about 9:30 then went to bed. Guess you knew that Jim and I were living together. Heís really a very swell guy and good company. We often talk about the days at Brigham. What a party that was. Slept until 9:30 this morning and by the time I was shaved it was eleven. Seems like Sunday in the States except no funny papers and no family. We have our own photo-developing lab and run off 4 to 8 prints a week for everyone that wants them. Enclosed are this weekís; you should be getting quite a collection by now. Someday weíll mount them in a book. Itís sprinkling a little this morning but is very nice. The Monsoons are not due here yet but before long.

††††††††††† Thinking of you all every minute and counting the months until weíll be together again. Love you more than I can tell. Iíve been here now one month. The time does fly.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Love Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 18, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two swell letters this morning Ė March 1st and 6th. Have quite a few blanks now but they should rapidly fill in. Received Tangier News and am sending you a clipping. You should have no difficulty in figuring where I am. It is very obvious. An atlas may not show enough detail to spot the town, but if you look at a map showing the road, you canít miss. I donít know the name of the river that we hunted on. Some of the mimeographed maps, which I have sent, show good detail. I get a big kick out of reading of the kidís escapades and would certainly like to see them. I know that I am going to enjoy all of you guys more when we are together again and want that to be a happy day. Hope you are over you cold with no trouble. Do take care of yourself. Donít work too hard. I spent a very quiet day yesterday. Had a wonderful diner Ė ice cream and all. Sat around the Club all afternoon and evening with the gang. Went to bed about 10 oíclock and slept until 7:30. Really getting plenty of sleep. Itís a little rainy this morning but very nice. My letters may be a little irregular for the next two weeks or so. I will write every day but am not sure how the pick up service will be. Three of us are starting out on a sight seeing tour of these parts and will be out about ten days. I am going with two enlisted men Ė one a camera man and the other a member of the Explorers Club.

††††††††††† We are not so busy but what we can get away and feel that it is an excellent opportunity to closely see what this end of the world has to offer. We are not near the combat zone here and will not be on this trip. We are traveling by ambulance because we will be able to sleep in it. We will carry all of our food and water with us. Am really looking forward to this experience. I will be back before this letter reaches you. This unit by the way is of such a nature that we will never be near a combat zone. All patients are flown to hospitals and for this reason hospitals can be kept at a great distance from the fighting so you will never have any worry along this or any other line. Am feeling like a million all the time. Thinking and loving you all every minute. Know that I am loving you every minute.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

John Sloan is now Major Sloan. Glad to hear it.

 

March 20, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† The daysare rolling past so fast that I can hardly keep track of the dates. Your nice letters of March 3 and 4 came this morning and one from Gregg.

††††††††††† Your bank balance sounds swell. Income tax is paid every three months and you will get a statement. My insurance is due about every month except January, February and March. I missed those months to get over Christmas and save for income tax which was paid once a year in March. If the folks donít want the $1,000 forget it until they do want it but we shouldnít pay interest so make out a check to Dad and Mother for $1,000 plus interest and give it to Mother and she can keep it as long as she wants to. Later on when they know what they want to do we can give them new checks in the same amount. Wish they would start speaking to each other on financial matters. They should be getting fairly well acquainted after 40 years. If we ever get that way letís hit each other in the head with a frying pan and start over. How about that? They wonít cash either check so it will leave your balance large so I would cash a check for about $1,000 and get it in $20 bills, seal it in a double manila envelope, mark it Clint and Mart personal, and stick it in the lock box. Will be better not to tell anyone about it. Do this every couple of month or when you can. I would really like to have $10,000 in cash in the lock box when the war is over and then we can do anything, anytime with it and some day it will buy a lot. The kids donít have their 1945 war bonds yet so buy them $175 each in their name and yours and have Laurie put them in the lock box. Buy one $100, one $50 and one $25. Maybe they can get them all at school or you can get them all at the post office next to lees. Every time you can spare $500 put it in the box. It will grow very fast youíll see.

††††††††††† The rest of our people all arrived from Karachi yesterday so we had a big get-together at the club last night. The club is known as the Jungle Room of the 172 Hotel. It is really nice and every one is dumbfounded to see what we have built out of nothing in the jungle. Have some work to do, am thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can tell. All my love.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

So glad the kids are all well and eating like pigs. Will be a happy day when I see you all. Yes Iíll bath them and not complain. Will even wash dishes if you want me to.

 

March 22, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two nice letters this morning and one yesterday. Also a letter from Mother and one from Einer Berg. The personnel in 172 are being used in other hospitals until our buildings are ready, then we will all be together again. This will still take some time. O.W.I. means Office of War Information; E.M. means enlisted men, R.H.I.P. means rank has its privileges. The last two I remember you have asked before. I am not at Camp White but feel sure by now that you know where I am. If you read my letters carefully you canít miss. A Walla is a driver. Tonga Walla, Ghare Walla, Elephant Walla, etc. We have am excellent mess Ė friend eggs about twice a week. Eggs here cost about $1.50 a dozen and are fairly small ones. Rationing makes me laugh. We have more pineapple, catsup, peaches, etc. than we can eat. I am still getting razed plenty about the buffalo kill. The natives are very friendly, very timid and very curious. Wherever you stop they gather around to watch.

††††††††††† Iíve watched natives cook their lunch, especially Nagas. They build a fire, get two pieces of green bamboo, bamboo is jointed, cut below the joint, makes a long hollow pipe. They put rice in one and water for tea in the other. Pick a big leaf to eat their rice from, use it like a plate, eat with their fingers. Usually gather up a little handful of jungle leaves for greens and in about nothing flat lunch is served.

††††††††††† How is Hod doing with the puzzle ring? Too bad Eleanor has had such a winter with her little monks. Glad ours are all OK now and hope they will stay that way.

††††††††††† Mart donít worry about me. There is no fighting even near here and we will never be close. Also practically no chance of disease here because our mess is OK. The people who get intestinal diseases always get it in combat zones from drinking from streams. We treat our own water. Also some use Indian or native labor for waiters of KPs and we do not allow them even near our kitchens and never will. The combat outfits sometimes have to use natives in kitchens because they need all their men for fighting. We are still taking atabrine and will as long as weíre here, and that prevents all serious forms of malaria. So you see, there is absolutely no reason to worry, and I do mean it. Also there is no chance for dissipation Ė one quart of whiskey a month.

††††††††††† A lot of stuff we shipped was broken or stolen. I have only two left. I am saving them for the day of the Armistice. OK to consume them quick on that day? Yesterday I had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Pickens, Chaplain Moll, Schultz, myself and six of our nurses took an ambulance and went to a town about 65 miles down the road from here. Itís the nearest place to do shopping of any kind so we splurged. Got there in time for lunch. Shopped all afternoon; came back so we were home about 8:30 or so. Things there are very expensive, but I bought some things so you could have a souvenir from Assam. Bought two solid silver compacts and a cigarette case. You keep both compacts; they are very expensive. Keep the cigarette case for me. Bought Gregg a leather flag, which all troops wear in China. Itís worn on back or inside jacket; shows that you are American and friendly to Chinese and tells them about it in Chinese. In case a soldier is lost it helps him return especially from remote parts. Believe it also offers a reward. Let Gregg sew it on the back of this jacket. Also sent Gregg, Martie Ann and Mollie each a Mandarin robe, one pair of pajamas which should fit Mollie. Bought three Mandarin robes for you -- two short and one long. Donít believe you will like the long one so give it to Mother or someone and keep the short ones if you like them. If you donít like them, give them to the church bazaar or something. Seems that I recall your saying that you didnít like this sort of stuff but itís sort of pretty so I bought it anyway.

††††††††††† A troop of native dancers, two musicians and a child about three cornered us for Baksheesh (charity). We were near an out door studio so we cornered them and got a picture, which I am sending in another envelope. Also sending some Japanese invasion money which all Japs carry in large amounts to wreck currency in occupied territory. Bill Hickle brought it to me. The soldiers take it from dead Japs. Dear Bowen had a note in Einerís letter. Said Don Munsell has participated in eleven invasions. He is probably now at Iwo Jima or the Philippines. Glad to know that Austen and Jensen are home. Bought myself a wool plaid auto robe to put on bed, bright colored. Would cost probably $35 in States about $5 here. Wool is the one cheap thing where we shopped yesterday. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. Dream about you all every night and itís swell. About the twin beds, I agree. When I get home Iíll never sleep in a bed unless you are in it. Believe we should have one built beg enough for all six of us. How about that? Still think a lot about the farm and what a wonderful place it will be to live and raise our little brood. Would certainly like to be getting started at it soon. Well it wonít be long. Next Spring Iíll be out there planting trees again. I do love you all.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 23, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Mail call today was the best ever. A boat load must have come in. February 17, 26, 27, March 9, 10 and 13 and one from Hod, February 19. Probably all came by air but often there are backlogs in Casablanca, Karachi, or Cairo. Nice letter from Pearl Leake. Really got a big bang out of Gregg and Mollieís conception of me on an elephant. The drawing is elegant. Thank you so much and thank you Martie Ann for the nice valentine. You are all such very nice children and I am so very proud of you all.

††††††††††† In a package I mailed yesterday are 4 bells from Calcutta. Rickshaw drivers tie these to their finger and bang them as they go. Tie one around each child and you can find them easily. How about that? Wish I could see Gary standing up and beaming and the kids playing with him Must really be a sight. So glad Sgt. Heft called. Seems real close to talk to someone who has been here with us less than a week before. Am not sure I told you but Tate and I heard of a nurse, Susan Chase, from Lincoln, Nebraska who was on her way home. We went over to see her and she will try to see you. She will be back over there in about two months. Wanted her to see you and the kids and give us a first hand report. Hope she gets to Omaha and that we can meet up with her when she gets back. Nice hearing that Mary Joe was there. Bet sheís wild about the little pumpkins. It is so good to know that you are all well. Max must have completed one trip by now. Isnít that swell overseas duty. If he went to England would have two ribbons end of first trip. Will really be some decoration.

††††††††††† Was quite busy all day yesterday. Stopped at OWT about four; had tea with them. Last night Col. Tyner and I went over and had dinner with Col. Matir in his quarters. Tomatoes, lettuce, and lobster salad, curry, blue berry pie -- out of this world. Salad was loaded with garlic and I can taste it this morning. Had a rain and slight windstorm last night. Didnít bother the tents but the bamboo basha type mess had blown down. No trouble though; they simply set it afire and put up a tent over the floor and breakfast was served as usual. Have been busy this morning. Was down at headquarters this morning. Had a nice visit with General Pick about the Missouri River project. He is responsible for building the Ledo Road. Gave me a copy of a Congressional report on building the road, which I will send along. The three of us are leaving on the sight seeing trip that I mentioned, tomorrow morning. We are bound to have a wonderful time. As I told you before, Iíll write every day but letters may not go through too promptly. Weíll be back by the time you get this. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you. War news is grand and Iíll be home before too long. I do love you all so much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

 

March 24, 1945

Near the Ledo Road, Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your nice letter of March 12 arrived this morning. The information that Sgt. Heft gave you is correct. You did not get the name of the town in China correct though. I received the letter to Frank Hagman two weeks ago. The riding crop with the knife in it is from Cairo. Glad you were able to get out to the farm and to hear that the trees look good. In about another year they should really amount to something.

††††††††††† I was busy yesterday afternoon and then last night we had our weekly get-together at the Club. Had about 15 of the men from OWI. Four of them were anxious to see the country so are going with us. We didnít get away today but will leave tomorrow or next day. Was busy all morning and just loafed this afternoon.

††††††††††† Just finished supper and am sitting in the Cols. Tent. You ask about fresh vegetables. We donít get any except occasionally but we take vitamins every day to make up for it. Do get lots of fruit and tomato juice. I repeat that my health is perfect and there is nothing al all to worry about. You guys take good care of yourselves and donít worry about me. Gregg, you must be quite a climber to get up in a tree but you must remember to be very careful so as not to fall because you might break a bone and then you would have to go to the hospital. If you mind Mommy you will be OK. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clint and Daddy

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