Chapter VIII: Crossing the Ledo/Burma Road

 

For general history of WWII in Burma see:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-C-Burma45/index.html

http://history.acusd.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/Pacific06b.html

http://history.acusd.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/detachment101.html

Also see supplemental material at the end of this chapter.

 

March 25, 1945 (1st trip across the Burma Road accompanying a Chinese Convoy)

Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Didnít get a letter from you today. We finally got started on our trip. Left our camp about 8 this morning and went where we were to meet the others. Got together and got started about eleven. Rained today so weíve driven slowly and piddled around a lot. Arrived where we are spending the night at about three oíclock. Started getting our supper when we got here and just finished. Really tasted good. Had fruit juice, sausage and eggs, bread and butter, peanuts, and coffee. Also lemonade. We brought army rations with us-- 10 in one and they are all very tasty. Weíve been sitting around chewing the fat since. We are stopped at an army camp which is what we will do every night. This ambulance is very comfortable to ride in and to sleep. We have two liters hung up and one will sleep on the floor. Itís a regular traveling hotel. Better deal really than the house trailers in the States. Our party has grown to quite a party Ė about a dozen other officers and enlisted men heard about our deal and are going along so it is really a cookís tour. The people with us are all very swell. All interested in travel and most of them were in geology and such before the war so it is very excellent company. Today has been a very beautiful drive through dense jungles up toward the mountains. The road is a military road Ė two lanes and pretty good. This type of scenery here is entirely different from anything we see in the States. The foliage is different, very pretty and extremely dense --bamboo, enormous trees, bananas, enormous vines and ferns. It is beyond description but when we get back I can send you a lot of pictures which we are taking. This trip really seems like a dream because it is such a wonderful opportunity to take a 10-day sight seeing tour while overseas. Iíll have lots to tell you about this trip when we get together after the war.

††††††††††† Iím thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you and I will always. A big hug and a pat and a kiss to all of you.

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

 

March 27, 1945

Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Got up early yesterday morning and were on the road by 6 oíclock. Drove until about four then stopped at an army camp. Had a hot shower and a good dinner at an officerís mess. Also hot breakfast here. I am writing this from the mess. I canít tell you about our route but the country we came through all day yesterday was mountainous and more beautiful scenery than I have ever seen anywhere. Weíre taking lots of pictures and will send you a full report in writing and pictures when we are back. This trip beats any vacation trip that anyone could possibly take.

††††††††††† After dinner last night went to a show here in this camp. Outdoor show, set among enormous teak wood trees -- full moon made it really a delightful spot. Show was Burma Mystery Ė pretty good with many newsreels and a picture of Bob Hope on his U.S.O. tour in Hawaii, which was a scream. Got to bed about eleven. There are some things here we want to see so will probably be around here until noon.

††††††††††† Yesterday morning came across an accident on the road. A Chinese driving an American truck ran off the road. I got him up and took him to a nearby dispensary. Am anxious to give you a detailed report on this trip when finished but until then know that I am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. There is an airfield here so you should get good service on this letter. Wish that I could write more but until I can, all my love.

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

 

March 28, 1945

Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Just got up and had breakfast and am waiting for the others to get ready. Believe it or not it is now 6 A.M. We went to bed early last night so woke up at 5. After I wrote yesterday I spent most of the day visiting a hospital, which is set up here and have a similar set up to what we will have. They are a unit from Los Angeles and are a fine bunch of fellows -- none of them that I know. They have been over here for two years and are ready for rotation. Had a swell lunch there and then we left and drove only about 20 miles to a very pretty river and camped here. This is very beautiful spot. We just loafed around most of the afternoon and looked over this place. This point is about the furthest point to which the Japs advanced and is where Merrellís Marauders began knocking them out. The Japs were driven out of there about two years ago. After supper sat around the fire shooting the breeze and then went to bed early. We are really having a picnic and it is just that. Know that I am thinking of you every minute and love you more than ever.

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

 

March 29, 1945

Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After writing yesterday morning started out and drove until about 4:30 in the afternoon. Drove through beautiful country all day. We came across 3 elephants along the road Ė 3 large and a baby so I got on one and got my picture taken. Kids should get a bang out of that. We got into Myitkyina about 4:30. I looked up Chaplain Magnon, Burlingame and Burns who are on duty with hospitals here. Also saw a lot of our enlisted men who are on duty here. Got a shave and shower and then had dinner with Magnon, then sat around all evening talking shop. This is very pretty country but the town is bombed into absolute rubble. The Japs were driven out of here about a year ago. There is not more than 2 or 3 buildings standing in the entire city. We saw one Buddhist Temple pretty well preserved. There are Jap skeletons lying all over the place with helmets over the skull with a big hole in it. This is the first I have seen of the destruction of war and I am glad that the war itself is far from here and will always be hundreds of miles from our place. Drove out about 15 miles to a spot along a beautiful river, the Irrawaddy, where the rest are camped for the night. Into bed about eleven and slept until six this morning. Just finished breakfast of peaches, sausage, coffee, bread and jam. We are going to stay here today and do some more looking around in town.

††††††††††† I found myself a Chinaman here this morning and got all my dirty clothes washed for the price of six cigarettes. Cigarettes in this country will buy a very great many services. Am having a wonderful trip and wouldnít trade this experience for a very great deal. Am thinking of you all every minute and do love you so very much.

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

Surely miss not getting any mail and hope these letters will get through without any delay. Martie Ann and Gregg what do you think of me riding an elephant? Iíll send the picture soon. Give Mommy and Mollie and Gary all a big kiss for me.

 

March 30, 1945

Along the Ledo Road in Burma

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Was up early this morning and just had breakfast. Very good Ė French toast, fruit juice and coffee. Itís now only 6:15 A.M. but over there sun comes up about 5:45. I spent the day yesterday in Myitkyina looking over the ruins and then about 5 went out and had supper with Burlingame and Burns. The cooks are all our boys so we got real service. I hadnít seen these boys since we left Bushnell. Came back to our camp on the Irrawaddy about nine and went to bed. Slept like a top. Had a good chance to see the Burmese people in town yesterday. They are just migrating back in here from India to where they fled in 1942. They are just beginning to rebuild. They build their houses up in the air on shelves out of bamboo and with thatched roofs, but they build very neat and quite substantial looking houses. The people themselves are small but very clean. The women wear very colorful clothes. A skirt wrapped around very tightly, ankle length, bright colored silk, mostly white net like tops, lots of jewelry, big straw hats. Men mostly wear shorts and skirts. Kipling wrote of the moon over Burma as have others and fortunately there is now a full moon and it is truthfully by far the most beautiful moon that I have ever seen.

The war news really sounds wonderful in Europe and I wouldnít be surprised to see a surrender any day now. Eisenhower sounds very optimistic and donít believe he would make such a statement unless he thought it would be over in a matter of days or weeks. Things are very good in the Pacific and over here. Believe the stage is set to knock out Japan from both sides in fairly short order and I still believe the war will be over and I will be home before the end of this year. We are having a wonderful little vacation tour. A captain by the name of Cook joined us last night for the rest of our jaunt so now it is really a Cookís tour.

Iím thinking of you all every minute and counting the days until we are together again. I love you all so very, very much and will always. You are the most wonderful little family in the world and I am so very proud of you.

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

 

March 31, 1945

Along the Ledo Road in Burma

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† We drove all day yesterday through beautiful mountain country and arrived at Bhamo last night. It was pretty warm yesterday afternoon so we stopped by a little mountain stream and took a swim. Cumbieís outfit is stationed here so I had dinner and spent the night with him. He was somewhat surprised when I walked in. Iím in his quarters now and weíre going to eave right away to go on our little journey. Weíre having a grand time and seeing the most beautiful country that Iíve ever seen. We are now in large teak wood forests. This town, like Myitkyina is bombed absolutely flat from when the Americans chased the Japs out last year. Not more than about a dozen buildings standing in the entire town. The others are waiting so Iíd better get going.

††††††††††† Thinking of you all every minute and love you so much. Gary was very proud of his namesake when I showed him the picture.

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

 

April 1, 1945

Along the Ledo Road in Burma

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Well here it is Easter Sunday. I hope that you are having nice weather and a little egg hunt in the backyard. Eat a hard boiled egg for me will you? Really miss not getting any mail but should have a great deal waiting for me when I get back.

††††††††††† After breakfast with Cumbie yesterday drove all day through the most beautiful mountain country. These Burmese hills are really rugged. Passed many Buddhist temples and villages that have been destroyed. Arrived in Namhkam last night and spent the night there. Camped beside a nice little stream and had a good bath. We just happened along at the right time last night to see the last rites for a Buddhist priest. They had the body wrapped in beautiful colors, decorated with tinsel and flowers and a huge rope of bamboo tied to each end and several hundred loyal subjects were having a tug of war. After the tug of war, women came from nearby houses, carrying trays of food as a sacrifice. When we got up this morning, went up to the Seagrave Hospital. Dr. Seagrave is the author of Burma Surgeon. You must read it now. I looked up Seagrave and had a very nice visit with him and took some pictures. His hospital was bombed out by the Japs but he now has it practically rebuilt. He has a very nice layout Ė two story buildings, his own home and about seven or eight wards. Seagrave joined the army early in the war and took his hospital with him into China. He walked out of China with Stillenelf. We are really having a magnificent trip.

††††††††††† In Namhkam there is an enormous Buddhist temple. Buddhaís of stone and wood ranging from seven or eight inches high to 30 feet -- very beautiful. We picked up a couple of small ones of stone and a couple of wooden ones. One is about 2 feet high of brass and also an enormous brass bell with much enamel engraving. Thought we could we use the stuff for decoration in our officersí mess and tent when we get set up. Maybe someday I can ship the brass Buddha home. It would be quite a thing to have sitting in a little garden niche. All the Buddhas that we have found except the brass one have their heads off. The Chinese break them up on purpose because they do not like Buddhism and are pretty barbaric. Must go now but know that I am thinking of you every minute this beautiful Easter morning and love you so very much.

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

From the veranda of Seagraveís home you can see China, Burma and Indo China

 

April 2, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Does the heading of this letter surprise you or are you getting so that nothing surprises you? After leaving Namhkam yesterday we came to the junction of the Ledo and Burma Roads. Soon after we came onto the Burma Road we entered China. The battle line is over 400 miles from any point that we will be near so donít get excited about that. The character of the people and towns immediately changes after entering China. The towns are all demolished same as in Burma. The Americans of course are the ones who demolished these towns when they captured them. Demolished by means of bombers and artillery fire. Every town is loaded with wrecked Jap equipment, huge bomb craters, etc. We drove all day through very beautiful mountain country with an occasional valley. In the valleys are huge rice paddies, banana groves and the type of plant from which hemp is made. Immediately after crossing the border American goods become strongly in demand. Cigarettes are the most sought after. A package of ten American cigarettes brings as high as 500 Chinese dollars. The present rate of exchange is about $1 American to $500 Chinese but it still makes American cigarettes very valuable. I understand that throughout China there is practically no merchandise of any kind hence the high prices. What the Japs didnít carry off or destroy has been used up by the people. We have joined an American convoy and will stay with this convoy for the rest of the trip since it saves a lot of trouble answering questions and explaining at the border customs, guards, etc. We are just part of the convoy and hence no questions. We are having a wonderful trip and it is really an experience of a lifetime. We are going to take slightly longer than we had originally planned and will probably spend another 5 days out before we return to Ledo. Miss very, very much not getting mail from you but will have a wonderful collection awaiting my return and that will be a happy day. Know that I am thinking of you and love you more than I can ever tell you. Martie Ann, are you still getting dressed up and painted up like a queen every day? You write beautiful letters so write real often. Gregg, how are you getting along with the boots and whips these days? Are you going pony riding next summer? Better make Mommy or the Goggies take you once in a while. Give Mollie and Gary a big hug and a kiss and a pat for me and mind your Mommy. I love you very, very much.

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

 

April 2, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote to you an hour or so ago but though I would start another while my impressions are fresh in mind. What is very impressive at first soon becomes commonplace so that it is easy to forget. We are going through country this morning that is true China as we have read about it. Flooded rice paddies everywhere with Chinese plowing with wooden plows and buffalo. Women with bound feet, many full-grown women with feet not over 4 inches long. Houses are mud and straw brick with thatched roofs. The towns all being rebuilt on the site of the old ones. All along the roads are women, children and men on the road to market. All carry baskets slung on the end of a pole across their shoulders. All along the roads especially in towns are old men sitting smoking their opium pipes. The percentage of opium smokers must be very high. The markets are filthy places Ė even more than India, with meat hung up, millions of flies and everywhere you look is the worst kind of filth.

††††††††††† The countryside here is very pretty Ė everywhere are Dog Wood trees in bloom and very colorful. All along the roads the kids stand thumbs up, yelling Ding How (everything good) or OK. I quit this about 9 oĎclock yesterday and will now finish it.

††††††††††† April 3, 7:30 A.M. Early yesterday morning we came again into the foothills of the Himalayas and they are the most magnificent sight that I have ever seen. We wound up and up, hairpin curves by the hundreds. Drove in low or 2nd gear most all day, then wound down into the Salween River gorge, which is really a sight. This country is more beautiful than any scenery in the States and one thing you can be sure of is that never will more than a few hundred Americans ever see this country. About noon we came out of the teak wood and bamboo country and then gradually came into evergreen country. The evergreens look like Austrian pine predominantly. There is a huge suspension bridge across the Salween. We crossed this and then climbed to the top of the next slope and camped for the night. We are still with the American convoy. At the point where we camped for the night, the Chinese and Americans were dug in and the Japs were across the river. This was one of the fieriest battles of the war -- the battle for the Salween Gorge. There are hundreds and hundreds of wrecked trucks strewn all over the place. Looks like a junk dealers heaven. I dreamed last night that I walked into my tent in Ledo and you were there and said you have a lot of mail from home. I said swell and started reading them and that was the end of the dream. Must be that I really miss your letters and I do. Not only in my dreams. We are ready to start out so better close and will write soon. Know that Iím thinking of you and love you every minute.

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

 

April 4, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Left the Salween River Gorge yesterday and drove until about noon. The drive coming out of the Gorge was most magnificent. Road winds up and up the side of the mountain, in many places during the morning we could look across to where we had been the day before. I didnít mention before that we had a time change at the border, which now makes us one hour closer to Omaha time. Actually about the time we leave Ledo we start getting closer to Omaha. It is still quite a smart distance. We stopped in a little village yesterday and some of the boys did a little trading. Believe I mentioned that prices here are very high but American goods bring terrific prices. The rate of exchange is $600 Chinese for one U.S. dollar or $2,000 Chinese dollars for 10 Indian Rupees. I saw some boys trade a few packs of cigarettes for $7,500 Chinese dollars plus some little China spoons and some chopsticks. Also they would throw in a dozen cans of dehydrated food. We arrived in Paoshan about noon and went to a hotel, which was taken over by the Americans. Had a hot bath and shave (first in ten days) and put on clean clothes. Got a Chinese boy to do up all of our laundry. Then went to lunch at a very good Chinese restaurant. Had sweet sour pork, friend chop suey, egg fu young ad tea. Lunch for three of us cost $3,250 Chinese dollars which is about $6 American. We spent the money that the boys got on the trade. This city is a very ancient one. Is entirely walled, wall of stone and earth about 30 feet high. Buildings are very old, much brick with tile or thatched roofs, narrow streets with bazaars and restaurants lining both sides. It is dirty here like India but not as bad because they do not have the d--- sacred cows all over the street and I believe personal hygiene habits are a little better.

††††††††††† We spent the afternoon loafing around, taking pictures and did a little bartering. Bought you a few trinkets. Bought a very pretty little bracelet for $4,000 and an opium pipe for $7,000. Donít get excited, I didnít mortgage the house. I of course mean Chinese dollars and it all simmers down to a carton of cigarettes. Some other prices that I noticed were a thermos bottle for $35,000, Scotch whiskey (very poor) for $6,000, rum for $2,000 and gin for $5,000. Itís a wee bit confusing and for 30 rupees you get so much money you can hardly get it in your pocket. Went to the hotel for supper and was very good Ė roast beef, mashed potatoes, etc. and chocolate pudding with cooked raisins in it. It is very good; try it sometime. After supper went to a nearby hospital to a show -- junk show, but afterwards met the C.O. and some other officers. Looked the place over and went to their quarters for coffee. Had a nice visit with them and they seemed delighted to have someone visit. They have been here for 16 months. It is a small group and it is pretty isolated so that they donít see many Americans. The officers by the way in all of these overseas stations are a wonderful bunch of guys. All are entirely different lot than you find in the States. All are glad to see you and want to visit about how things were in the States, etc. Many have been here for 2 and 3 years but most of them who have been here over 2 years are now getting to go home. Went to bed about eleven thirty and slept like a log. Up about seven this morning and went to the hotel for breakfast Ė 3 eggs, pancakes, honey and coffee. Sound good? We are going to stay here today because the convoy is laying over so we will be longer than I first thought on the trip. We will be about five days getting back to where we started from. Am having a wonderful trip and thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you.

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

 

Supplemental: U.S. Convoy which operates between Chen-Yi and Kweiyang,China, is ascending the famous twenty-one curves at Annan,China

 

April 5, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Well we are about ready to start on our little journey again this morning and have only four days to go now. I couldnít tell you the straight goods before starting but I am with a convoy as medical officer and have been the entire trip. I have a technician and a driver with me and of course there are a great number of other officers and drivers along. They have had a little trouble with some of the trucks and that is why we have been so slow. I am glad that weíve moved slowly because it has given me such an excellent opportunity to see the country and visit hospitals, etc. along the way.

††††††††††† We spent the day browsing around Paoshan and really looked the town over from one end to the other. Ate breakfast and lunch at the hotel and had dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant. Last night went to a movie, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in ďStrike Up the Band.Ē Itís a very entertaining show and believe Martie Ann and Gregg would enjoy it a lot. You would like it also. Hope my letters reach the end of this trip so I can get your letters. This is really a most wonderful trip. We are ready to leave so must close. Know that I am thinking of you every minute and love you more than ever.

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

 

April 7, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Didnít get a chance to write yesterday. Was very busy taking care of a lad. Arrived for our overnight stop about 4 oíclock. Had a bath in a beautiful mountain stream. Had dinner and went to bed about nine. Slept like a log. The country we are now in is more beautiful mile by mile. Wonderful mountains on all sides with terraced valleys below and very pretty mountain streams. All trees are evergreen here and it is one of the nicest forests that I have seen. In this part of China the people are extremely poor Ė exist and that is all. I would estimate that 90% of adults and 25 to 50% of children have goiters. I have seen thousands and thousands of goiters just driving along the road. Many goiters are as large as 3 or 4 grapefruit. Along with this are hundreds of typical cretins (thyroid dwarfs). The older women in this part all have bound feet but the practice has been discontinued. The way it was originally done was when the child was 2 years old the bones of the feet were broken and then bound and kept bound throughout life. They walk exactly as though walking on stumps and that is what it amounts to. Seeing this part of the country as in India and everywhere else makes one feel among the chosen few to be an American.

††††††††††† Am getting very anxious to have some mail from you. It has been exactly two weeks since the last letter and that is a long time. We will complete our little journey in 3 more days and I will be glad to get there. Bob Tate is on a deal just like this and I saw him yesterday morning. Col. Tyner also but he is behind us about 3 days. This has been an experience that I wouldnít part with for anything but it is now beginning to seem like we have been on the road for months. I brought some of your last letters along and read them over for lack of new ones. I know that you and the kids are all fine and want you to stay that way. Donít work too hard. Take care of your own health above all other things. I am feeling like a million. Have never had a single day of illness of any kind since I left the States and intend to stay that way. I always watch the food, water and mosquitoes. Am thinking of you all every minute. Have your picture with me and admire you rascals every day. I love you all only. A big hug and a kiss and a pat for every one.

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

††††††††††† There are lots of fresh eggs here Ė one cigarette for one egg. We traded a half box of crackers and 3 empty tin cans for 15 eggs. Good trade?

 

April 8, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Well here it is, my third Sunday on the road and what a wonderful experience. I am very glad that we have moved slowly since it has given me a much better opportunity to see the country but it does seem like we have been on the road forever. Yesterday the country that we came through was much more prosperous. People look better fed and dressed Ė not so many goiters and better type of buildings. The answer I believe is that we were in a wide fertile valley where food is more plentiful. We stopped at a large army installation for the night and were quartered in very nice brick buildings. Had an elegant supper and breakfast. Supper was fried chicken, potatoes, gravy, soup, and cake. Breakfast was bacon and eggs and oranges. In the valley we were in yesterday they raise very fine oranges. It is very high and quite cool. Donít see how oranges grow but they were for sale all along the road and we bought dozens of them. The price was $100 for 2 oranges or $600 a dozen (Chinese money). Watch the news reels Ė ďLifeĒ etc. for pictures of the building and convoys over this road. The first convoy went over in February so you should be seeing a lot of it. Keep any pictures and articles and Iíll tell you more about it later. We should arrive at our destination tomorrow. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you.

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

 

April 9, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† We are just ready to start another day on our journey and today should bring us to our destination and mail from you, I hope. It really seems like a long time out on the road and it has actually been only 16 days now. The country we passed through yesterday was very beautiful. High mountains, evergreen forests, wide fertile terraced valley and quite a few villages with impossible names Ė all with 30 feet high stone walls and an earthen bank 20 or 30 feet thick. The people are a little better class. We stopped at a Chinese temple and went inside. At the altar was a huge ferocious looking black-faced idle holding a huge club as though ready to strike. On either side of him was a very peaceful idle of a woman.In front of the idles was a crude bench like altar with pots and sticks of burning incense. On the altar was a bowl containing hundreds of carved bamboo sticks each carved differently and with an inscription on it. You select a stick from the bowl and give it to the priest. He takes the stick, looks at the inscription and then goes to another room and selects the corresponding printing block, inks the block and prints the inscription onto a piece of parchment. You then take the parchment to the altar and burn it. That is the way to pray. We got a prayer stick and the corresponding parchment. Iíll enclose the parchment and send the prayer stick later. We saw another interesting thing yesterday. All Chinese are buried in stone tombs above the ground. They save all their lives to build this tomb. The survivors from time to time feed the dead. That is what we saw yesterday. They take trays piled high with food and go to each tomb with the trays.

Iíd better not go into detail, since it might not be acceptable as far a Chino-American relations are concerned, but when I get home remind me to tell you of an example of Chinese barbarism and brutality in regards to the recruiting of men for the Chinese army which we saw. Also a few examples of discipline in the Chinese army which we saw. Believe that I can tell you different yarns every day for the rest of my life and never repeat. The experiences that we are having are like a dream. I have to pinch myself now and then to believe itís me. This whole experience is priceless. It should in later years be a great advantage to the youngsters. Must go now. Will write more later. Am thinking of you every minute and do love you so very, very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Always, Cline and Daddy

 

April 10, 1945

Along the Burma Road in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† After driving all day we stopped last night just about four miles short of our destination and are now at the outskirts of the city awaiting our reception committee (the M.P. escort). The country here is really beautiful. It is similar in most respects to the country around Denver. It would be a wonderful place to be stationed.

We had the most unbelievable experience last night. There was a small camp near where we stopped and we asked some boys if there was any place to take a bath. They directed us to a hotel about 10 miles away and said it was very good. We expected the usual mud brick flop house with public shower. When we arrived we found a very small city, modern in every respect with paved streets, running water, sewers and electricity. Every building was pink stucco with tile roofs. One beautiful house was owned by a Chinese general. The town is located on the site of a warm natural spring. The hotel is pink stucco, 4 stories high, built around a beautiful patio. We asked for a bath and they took us each to a room about 12 by 25 feet, all tile with little steps that led down to a pool filled with clean, warm water. Also in the room was a bowl and a shower with shower heads pointed from all sides. We were a pretty dirty lot so it really felt like we had arrived in Shangri La. We spent about an hour lounging in the pool. After our bath went in to the bar room which was strictly up-town. Had a Tom Collins then had dinner. What a dinner Ė liver soup and scrambled eggs with ham. Then the main course! Ė fried chicken, French fries and green peas. Desert was cake with nuts and fruit with delicious dressing over it and plenty of real good coffee. After dinner we walked around a while and went back to camp. Iím still am pinching myself. Got up this morning and went back to the hotel for breakfast. Had ham, 3 fried eggs, good toast, apple butter and coffee. Being stationed real near this place would be wonderful. While there last night we looked at their rooms. They are suites Ė living room and bedroom, beautifully furnished with modern furniture and inner spring mattresses. The cost at the hotel is $5000 per person which includes meals. Thatís about $10 American. This hotel was built only two years ago.

It is actually a resort and most of the people staying there are very wealthy Chinese. We saw many families there, apparently who have evacuated some other city and are staying there for the duration. Looked like very high class people. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you so very much. Will see Tate and many of our other officers today and also Col. Armstong and Lt. Col. Cavenaugh, the Theatre Surgeon and his assistant, both who are very good friends.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Love you so much. Always, Clint and Daddy

 

Chapter IX: Laying the Groundwork for the Hospital

 

April 12, 1945 Ė Somewhere in China (Kunming, added later)

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† I have been so very busy the past 2 days that I havenít even had time to write so please forgive me. I arrived here about noon on the tenth. Moved into a hotel with Fred Warren. Saw Col. Armstong and Lt. Col. Cavenaugh that after noon and then spent all day yesterday and today working with the surgeon for this section. Saw our hospital site yesterday and it is swell -- on a hill with mountains in the background and a big lake about a mile in front of the site. It is by itself away from all other army installations and about 8 miles from town. I havenít been in the town as yet since all of the army installations are outside.

††††††††††† Yesterday afternoon went to a nearby station hospital and who should I see but Dick Fitzgerald, who I went to school with, a KE, has been here 28 months and hasnít changed. He insisted I have dinner with him. On the way to mess hall ran smack into Freddie Simpson from Barkeley. He has been over here only three days. Gave me all recent news. Today I went into the SOS mess with the surgeon and I walked by a table a Col. ordinance caught my sleeve. It was Col. Burbank, a good friend of mine and a patient of Leoís, a reserve officer who went on duty about a year before I did. I believe you knew him He is a very large man. Isnít it funny that I run into so many people that I know. Spent all day today with the architects and engineers on our buildings then went this afternoon to see a site for a convalescent camp which will operate in connection with the hospital. This convalescent camp will be a tent city centered around a mansion built by a Chinese General. It is brand new, never been lived in. Itís built on a peninsula extending out into the lake, surrounded by orchards, lawns, flower and vegetable gardens, enormous patios, etc. I will tell you more about it later but it is grand. After leaving there stopped at the home and laboratory of Dr. Fong. He is an American educated physician who spent 5 years in post grad work at Harvard. He and his wife are most charming people and very gracious hosts. We had orange juice with wine in it, tea and rice cakes. They have a lovely home and a cute little boy about 19 months. Had three swell letters from you and one from Eleanor. March 17, 18, 19. So glad you received the package and like the things. Just one thing, the fez is a manís summer hat. Save it for me. I donít know who wears the slippers but they are Punjabi slippers. I have not been in that province. It is so swell to get your letters and know that you are all well. The kids sound so cute. Bet Gary is really something. Eleanor says he talks some. What does he say?

††††††††††† Mart, please donít worry for one minute when you donít get mail. There will undoubtedly be times when they just donít arrive for a few days. There is no reason for you to worry about me. I am not anywhere near fighting and wonít be. Iím getting swell food, good place to live and everything will continue to get better. We get plenty of everything in the P.X -- one case of beer, 3 cartons of cigarettes, candy, gum, peanuts, fruit juice, etc. every month. I wish you would make every effort to get about 3 rolls of 35 M.M kodachrome. We are getting some gorgeous pictures here in color. Capt. Johnson is doing it and Iíll send slides home but it will be some time. I do not mean movie film. If you get a chance ask Frank Grund in Howard Drugs to get you some or ask Quidy he might be able to get some from Piel, etc.

††††††††††† How are Dad and Hod getting along with the rings? Itís only nine oíclock but I have been busy and think Iíll hit the hay. I do love you all so very much and think of you every minute. Take care of yourselves, donít work too hard and above all do not worry about me. Guess I didnít mention before but the climate here is delightful. Itís similar to the weather in Denver, Colorado. Iím feeling like a million and do love you so very, very much. Will dream about you.

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

 

April 13, 1945 Ė Somewhere in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote to you last night just before going to bed and have really been busy all day today so havenít much to write. I came over to Col. Armstrongís and Cavenaughís office this morning where they have put me to work doing some work for them. It is very interesting work and will keep me quite busy for several days. Saw Frank Hagman this morning. He just arrived last night. We expect Col. Tyner in tonight and I have done the groundwork so that things are in nice shape for us. Sorry to hear of the death of F.D.R. but imagine that it will not change any of the future plans of our government. The war news sounds very good from all areas and I still believe Iíll be with you for next Christmas. Having very good food here; Iím enjoying the climate. It was just beginning to get uncomfortably warm in Ledo during the day. Didnít get any mail today so will hope more than ever for tomorrow. Must close and get to work for a few more minutes because it is about time to go to supper. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you all so very much. Take good care of yourselves and donít worry for one moment about me. I love you.

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

 

April 14, 1945 Ė Somewhere in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today so will hope some more for tomorrow. After writing yesterday, went to the hotel and had supper with Fred Warren. Sat around for awhile after supper and then to bed. Came to Col. Armstrongís office this morning and have been working like mad all morning. Am now ready to go to lunch.

††††††††††† Still have had no time to look around but have gathered a few impressions. This city proper is like all of the other walled cities. It has narrow paved streets and is not quite as dirty as the towns in Southern China. People of course are swarming everywhere. Rickshaws are the common mode of transportation and there are hundreds of two wheeled carts drawn by tiny little mangy horses. They also have a sort of two-wheeled, milk wagon carriage drawn by these tiny horses and haul nine people. The death of F.D.R. has caused a considerable change in the exchange rate. We are paid here with American dollars so the increase in exchange is to our advantage although prices, which are terrific, will probably go up. I got a haircut and shave yesterday for $180. Quite a haircut?

††††††††††† Today is a beautiful day and I am enjoying the climate and feeling like a million. Thinking of you guys every minute and love you more than I can tell you.

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

 

April 16, 1945 Ė Somewhere in China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote to you just before noon on Saturday and havenít had a chance since. Havenít had any further mail but that situation should straighten out soon. Am hoping that my mail to you is going through better.

††††††††††† Worked until noon when I finished the work I was doing and then Col. Tyner arrived. I met him and we went to see the nice house that I told you about. He was very well pleased. Met Fred Warren and Frank Hagman and went down town for dinner. Had a very good steak. Up early yesterday and spent most of the day with Major Thomas, the S.O.S. surgeon, then about 4, Warren, the Col. and I went out to Hot Springs Hotel. Had a wonderful bath and diner then home and to bed. Up early this morning and out to our site. Now in S.O.S. Hdqs. Waiting to see General Cheaves.

††††††††††† Yesterday afternoon they held a memorial service for the President. You should have seen the brass that arrived. Major General Cheaves, Chevault, Weidemeyer, etc. plus hundreds of lesser lights.

††††††††††† Am in a big hurry so must close but do want you to know that I am thinking of you every minute. I do love you so very, very much.

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

††††††††††† Hurrah! Was just ready to mail this when in came the postman with 4 letters from you Ė March 22, 24, 25, 27. So relieved to hear that you are all well. Always know you are but like to hear. Kids sound wonderful. Gregg you have discovered at an early age the best place to think and thinking once in awhile is a good idea.

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

 

April 19, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† If you look at the heading you will probably be a bit confused, but I left China Tuesday night and came back here. All in all, my trip was very wonderful -- eighteen days going over and 3 Ĺ hours coming back. As you can see I have flown the hump and it too was quite an experience. Fly at high altitude over the Himalayas, have to wear oxygen masks all the way and parachute. This is the first flying Iíve done where oxygen was required and only army flying is done with a chute. Didnít have any time to look around over there but was terrifically busy and accomplished a lot to our satisfaction. I will be here for a couple of weeks or so and then will go over the road again. Had six letters from you waiting for me here and received 3 just before leaving China. Also had letters from Hought, Riley Green, Bain Leake and Ced. Your last letter was April 3 and I have about all of your letters up to that day. So good to hear that the children and you are all well and the antics of the kids riot me. Gary must be some proud duck to be walking. Mollie, your Daddy too thinks you are a doll baby. The kids must have been cute in their Easter togs and will be glad to get the pictures. Hope they are good. The package should be here any day and really Mart there is nothing I need except would like to have film and 620 black and white or 35 M.M. kodachrome. Get Hod on the film business. He should know some sources. There are about 99 people running in and out of there with questions and I want to get this in the mail. Have a lot of work to do so had better get started. Thinking of you all every minute and love you so very, very, much.

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

 

April 20, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today but maybe in the morning. It is hot as a pistol here today and very sticky but it is cool at night so wonít bother much. Will be glad to get out of here and into that nice high altitude weather. Where we are going is supposed to be the nicest climate in this entire theatre and Iím sure that is right. I am very busy here getting a lot of odds and ends straightened out. Will be busy all the time Iím here. Tate is here but the Col. stayed in China and will remain there indefinitely. We will all be glad to join him. Havenít much to say and it is too hot to sit here in the office so will write more in the morning when itís cooler. Thinking of you every minute and do love you so very, very much.

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

 

April 21, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Hit the jackpot today on mail. Received your letters of April 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 including the clippings showing the snowstorm of April 4. You and the kids sound swell and it is wonderful to hear every little detail about them. Glad the kids like school and Sunday school. Have you given any thoughts to starting Martie Ann on the piano or does she show any interest? Think it is about the right time to start her if she wants to. Donít insist if she doesnít want to. None of them are ever going to take music lessons until they want to. That was the most horrible thing ever forced on me and was a complete waste of time and money.

††††††††††† Iím mailing a package today with the Masonic ring that I had made in Karachi; also a bracelet that I picked up in Paoshan, China and 3 little costume jewelry rings that Harriett Haginali sent me from Calcutta. I saw them and write to send them. Believe they wear one or two of them at a time on the same finger. Will look good with black and white clothes. Bob Tate found some nice silks in Kunming but I had no time to shop there so will get some things there later. Kunming by the way shows on many maps as Junan Fu (capital of Yeenan Province). Sending some pictures today taken in Karachi by Dan Johnson; also one negative which would make a good enlargement if you want it. Some of the pictures were taken on our hunting trip to Tatla. Read you letters over and over. You are having a much worse time getting things than we do. We have bacon 3 or 4 times a week. In Kunming, eggs and chickens are very plentiful. We have all the eggs we want every morning and chicken 3 or 4 times a week. We get about all the cigarettes, candy, gum, fruit juice, cookies, etc we want Ė one case of very good beer once a month and one quart of whiskey called jungle ration. Our food is excellent at all times and Iím feeling like a million all the time. I have never had a day since I left the States when I have had one thing wrong.

††††††††††† Am enclosing a brand new patch for Gregg, which is the Ledo Road patch and is worn on the right shoulder. I am now entitled to this patch so let him put it on his jacket. He should be getting his jacket pretty well decorated, or will when he gets the flag. I am awfully busy and have been interrupted about 99 times while writing this, so hope it makes some sense. Rained some during the night so is nice and cool this morning which is a nice relief. Thinking of you all every minute and counting the days until weíre together again and do love you all so very, very much.

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

 

April 22, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No letter today but canít expect them every day and I now have all letters up to April 8. A ship must have come in since I received about 40 World Heralds yesterday, the latest being about January 15. You might as well call them and discontinue my subscription since we get the world news daily anyway and you can send me any interesting clippings. Also yesterday received a copy of Guy Williamís rolling along and a dick of cards from the Optimist Club as a Christmas present. Was busy all day yesterday. Last night Julius Pearson and a bunch of the other boys asked me out for a snack. They really go for delicacies. We had lobster, shrimp, melba toast, hard boiled eggs, scramble eggs, bouillon -- all very tasty. Got up this morning and went out to a convoy assembly area and saw Readinger and Echert take off on a deal like I was on. They will not return. On the way back, stopped to see Capt. Cook my convoy commander. He gave me a marble Buddhist Idol which he had picked up in the temple at Namhkam and which I will send home. Itís the first one Iíve found small enough to mail. Mulford was with me. Got back here in time for very good dinner then slept and read all afternoon. Just now got back from supper. Julius is having another snack tonight and I may go to a show.

††††††††††† The kids sound good and Iíd love to see them in their new spring togs. Gregg, sure hope you get that big package next Christmas and Iím sure you will. Martie Ann, you tea party sounded very nice. Would like to have been there. Kiss Mollie and Gary for me and be good little children. War news sounds wonderful. The U.S. and Russians should join up any minute. Love you all so very much and am thinking of you every minute.

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

 

April 23, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Received two letters from you this morning, which are old. They had been forwarded to China and returned here. Very welcome nevertheless. Enclosed was Martie Annís note about the picnic and Greggís picture. Also had a letter from Gus Groeschell. Mrs. Groeschell died March 24 following a caesarian and the baby two days later. Very sad. They have three other children. Gus has a hospital ship and is in Charleston, West Virginia.

††††††††††† After I wrote to you last night went over to Al Freshmanís tent and was sitting there minding my own business to look up and see Joe Bacham getting our of a jeep. He stayed over night here on his way to his new station up the road a ways with a war hospital. He just happened to meet Frank Hagman and when he heard 172nd he asked about me, Tyner, Tate, etc. We spent a very pleasant evening talking old times and he had much news of Barkeleyites since he left there only recently. He arrived in Karachi April 8 and was there eight days. Itís really uncanny the number of people Iím seeing again in a few weeks or so. Am still very busy getting things straightened out here but things are shaping up to our liking. Thinking of you all every minute and love you all more than I can ever tell you. War news sound wonderful and Iíll be seeing you for Christmas.

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

 

April 24, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Nice letter this morning written March 20 and returned to me from China in a letter from Col. Tyner. Will try to pick up an amethyst dinner ring before I leave the theatre but Ka4rachi would be the best place so may not be able to get one. The Monsoon season could start anytime but it not likely for a month to six weeks yet. During the Monsoon season the humidity remains at about 100% and it rains day after day. Very hot too. We will be out of here before they get bad for which we are thankful. Martie Ann sounds mighty big to be taking Mollie and Gary around the block. Think it is so nice that Martie Ann and Gregg are so good to the little kiddies and Iím mighty proud of them for it. Sent three packages yesterday Ė not much in them. Two of the boxes are native drums which I picked up in Dibrigohi the other a Buddhist idol from the temple in Namhkam, Burma. Thought it was probably too quite around the house and believe the drums will take care of that. The drum heads will be loose. Tighten them by sliding the rings upl. Beat on them with the fingers. Was busy all day yesterday then Bill Hickle dropped in for supper. He was just down for the day. Tells me that Paul Reed is in a field hospital about 40 miles from here so Iíll probably see him too. We should organize a C.B.I. Barkely Club, donít you think? Thinking of you every minute and love you so very, very much.

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

 

April 25, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today so havenít much to write. Was busy all day, then went to a Chinese restaurant with Mulford for dinner Ė pretty good. Went from there over to a nearby hospital and spent the evening in the officerís club. Home about 10:30 and to bed. Up at seven and just now came to the office. War news sounds very good and I still think I can be home for Christmas. Thinking of you every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

April 26, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two grand letters this morning Ė April 10 and 12. Glad you received the things from Dibrigahi and like them. The silver thing is a stirring rod for drinks. That was Bahshush from the store where I bought the compacts. Bet the kids look cute in their robes and P.J.s. Guess you must know by now that I was on a convoy to China and after a few days there flew back over the hump. Spent one night in Bahmo with Gary Cumbie. Itís getting pretty hot here afternoons but nights and morning are cool so itís good sleeping weather. Was busy yesterday and went to a show last night. Edward G. Robinson Ė only fair. The poorest picture Iíve seen him in. Played the part of a professor; went to sleep in a club; made me think of Hyle and the Omaha Club.

††††††††††† Iím enclosing some snaps. Believe that Iíve sent some of them before but am not sure so will send them again. One of them Vic Rohan took without me knowing it when I was catching a little pad time after lunch one day. Did I ever tell you Mamie wrote to the Col. and told him heíd better change the name of his jeep? Sheís taking basic training and says ďIím not so hot.Ē The war news sound excellent all over and things for this theatre I believe look very good. When the war in Europe is over, or in itís final mop-up, that should release supplies, troops, and especially the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets of both U.S. and England and then I feel sure the Japs will wish they hadnít started this affair. Those combined navies will really put on a show that the world will never forget. I feel very optimistic about the possibility of getting home this year. Thinking of you al every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

April 27, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Nice letter this morning written April 11. Itís so good to hear that you are all OK and sound happy and well. That is all I want you to do is stay well and keep happy; donít work too hard; let the house go when necessary and take care of yourself and those precious pumpkins. Was busy all day yesterday and we are in something of a turmoil this morning. Had a most enjoyable evening last night. Went to a nearby town with Lt. Beavers and some other officers Ė Tate, Whitney, etc. This town is entirely owned by an English oil Company Ė all houses, stores, etc. It is out of bounds unless invited by someone there. Beavers knows one couple who invited us all over for the evening and dinner. We went over about five and went to a lake where we went for a boat ride and swim. Had some pretzels and beer then went to their home for a very good dinner. Came home about eleven. The couple were entertaining. They are British and have been here seven years. Seemed very good to be in a home with furniture and such luxuries. Am enclosing some pictures taken by another fellow on the convoy. Donít have ours finished yet. You should be getting quite an album of pictures by now. Glad you and the kids all like the Mandarin robes, etc. Makes it more fun to buy when I know you like the stuff.

††††††††††† War news is grand and I believe more firmly everyday that I will be with you for Christmas. Thinking of you every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

April 28, 1945 -- Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wonderful mail call this morning Ė your letters of April 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and also one from Martie Ann and the Easter pictures, alfalfa and the pictures drawn by Gregg. You and the folks and all the kids look wonderful. Gregg really looks like a man in his boots and Martie looks like a doll. She is really cute in her swing and looks like the imp I know she is. Can hardly believe that Gary is the same boy. Glad to see Eleanor, her babes and the folks looking so well. Itís wonderful to hear of the children congregating in our yard. What I would give to see them. They will never annoy me again, regardless of the number. Do you realize that I havenít seen a white child since I left Miami. The kids are doing beautifully in school. Martie Ann, your letters are so nice and newsy. Gregg, your pictures are fine. Glad to hear about the trees and see the alfalfa. Donít worry about the trees. We have an architect in the outfit who has drawn up the plans for our house and to my satisfaction, except for a few minor changes which he is doing now. Then Iíll send them home. Glad they let Martie Ann set up an exhibit. Wonder why you donít let Gregg take all the patches to school and also all the various types of money which I have sent. Iím enclosing some pictures which Rich took in Agra. I have seen these only from the air but may get a chance to see Agra and Delhi before leaving India. Would like very much to do that since they are both very well worth seeing.

††††††††††† Things here and on the other end are shaping up beautifully. Had encouraging letter from Col. Tyner yesterday. By the way, give Pet one of the calendars and better give Loretta something. Maybe one of the Calcutta rings when they arrive. I now have four packages on the way for you Ė 1 Buddha, 2 China and 3 Calcutta jewelry and 4 native Indian drums. Was extremely busy all day yesterday and we are very busy this morning so must close and get to work. Love you all and miss you so very, very much. War news is excellent and I know that the fortune teller is correct. Iíll be home for Christmas. All my love.

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

 

April 29, 1945 Ė Agra India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Guess in time you will not be surprised to hear from me from anywhere. It was not entirely a surprise but yesterday at 2:15 I was called and told to be on the plane for Delhi at 4:30, so I madly dashed around and arrived as they were making the last call. Am going over to settle some matters regarding 172 and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity. Had a very pleasant flight, reclining seats, slept most of the night and arrived here about 4:30 A.M. There was a full moon so a Lt. Col. who was a fellow passenger and I had breakfast then went out to the Taj Mahal so that we could see it by moonlight and stayed until after sun up. It is completely beyond description and I am sending some pictures also a little reader for Martie Ann which will tell you better than I can. It is of white marble, exquisitely carved and inlaid with jewels and variously colored marble, agate, etc. The carving is really something, some huge panels carved so thinly that they are transparent, marble screens, etc. The tombs of the Queen and King are in a subterranean room and then above them are replicas which are symbolic tombs. Originally only the family was allowed in the real tomb room and the public was admitted to the replica room. Originally in the kingís and queenís tombs were the greatest collection of precious stones in the world. They all have been removed and placed instead are imitations of the same color and are in themselves gorgeous.

††††††††††† On each side of the Taj is a Mohammedan Mosque and in front the gardens and pools, which are not like India but instead formal and simply beautiful. Many enormous trees with red flowers, also a few banyan trees. It took over 20,000 workmen 22 years to build the Taj. The entire thing by the way is perfectly preserved, looks brand new. Only exception is replacing of the precious stones. It is I believe about 400 years old. After being completely star struck went down to see Fort Agra which is almost the equal of the Taj, and represents much more work and material. This consists of a wall about 150 feet high of solid sandstone and about 1 Ĺ miles around. Inside, are four places built by the grandfather of the king who built the Taj, and lived in by the king who built the Taj. These palaces are white, brown, and red marble inlaid , carved etc. Many, many rooms, enormous marble pools, an area for wild animal fighting, huge stage in front of the main throne for the kinís jester. A huge marble court for playing Parcheesi laid out in colors where the king used the young girls of the court for the chessmen. An enormous series of rooms especially built for the king and queen and the members of the royal family to play hide and seek in.

††††††††††† One of the most gorgeous rooms is a domed room, the whole of which is inlaid with mirrors. They have a red light of some kind burning there and the effect is beyond description. Many places on the outside of the castles have various colored tiny mirrors and any of them that you look into you see the reflection of the Taj as though in miniature. There is another room lined with gold leaves, etc. There are two underground passages, one leads to the Taj, the other to the river where the kingís Hindu wife went to bathe (a holy river). He, by the way, had a Hindu wife, a Moslem wife and a Portuguese wife, hence the 4 palaces, each palace itís own place of worship. Hindu temple, Moslem Mosque, also the kingís private room for prayers. There are many towers and many dungeons for prisoners. Taj Mahal by the way means Crown Palace.

††††††††††† The city of Agra is a delightful place and an old part like other towns of India but also a new modern part. There are hundreds of beautiful homes with big lawns, trees, flowers, etc. The whole city has a heavy perfume odor of hyacinth, which is a revelation for India. The post here is the nicest I have seen in or out of the States -- wonderful mess, Red Cross rooms, etc. We are going to lunch now and will leave shortly after for Delhi. Will write you from there tomorrow. War news sounds better every minute. Russian, American juncture should wind up that show soon and then it wonít be long for the Japs. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell.

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

††††††††††† PS: I repeat what I previously said about this base being supper. After writing this had a real stateside coke, ice-cold, then came to lunch. Swell steak, French fries, white toast, fresh butter and ice-tea.

 

May 1, 1945 Ė New Delhi India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Didnít get a chance to write yesterday. Arrived Sunday about 2:30; slept until 5 then went across the street to Imperial Hotel for tea and sat around until dinner time. After dinner took a tonga and went over to Old Delhi and through the old fort. Was busy yesterday doing business and got it all done. Weíll leave tonight. Met Sondergard, one of our dentists, and had dinner with him, then got a recar and drove all around town. Did a little shopping in late afternoon and will send you some trinkets. Have nothing to do today but look around and have a car coming at 9:30 going out to Viceroyís Palace where the gardens are open to the public today. Will write about it tomorrow.

††††††††††† The capital of India was formerly Calcutta and in about 1920 it was decided to move the capital here because of central location and the enormous number of historic buildings, tombs, palaces, forts, etc. in this part of the country. Instead of the usual thing, they built a new city 4 miles from the old city. The old city is like any other Indian town but the new city is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. It is built in the form of a wheel with a hub consisting of a park about a half-mile across, then the streets radiate out. Around the central hub are the shops, every building exactly alike, two-story, yellow stucco with white marble pillars supporting a canopy over the side walk. All of the houses are about the same, all yellow stucco, one story, white marble pillars, wall around and enormous yard, streets are very wide, paved, and a parkway on each side out about two miles is the Viceroys Palace and the government buildings including the Secretarial (Palace of the Prince). The Viceroys Palace, etc. are of red and yellow marble and are the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. You enter through an enormous arch, then there is a road for about two miles to the palace, along each side beautiful parkway with pools etc. The layout is really magnificent and Iíll get you some pictures. Would give anything for a good camera and a lot of colored film. Why donít you check at Mathews some day and see what they have in the way of picture books of India. Will write more. Want to get going. Lt. Col. Arkin, who I am living with and traveled with, will be back in the states in a month or so and will call you when he goes through Omaha.

††††††††††† Wish you could be here and believe someday weíll have to gather up the little brood and come sailing over here to see this country. Maybe about the time Martie Ann and Gregg are both through high school. Thinking of you every minute and love you so very, very much. A deal came through yesterday so that if I had been here 15 months could go home, so with the imminent end of the war in Europe, doesnít it sound encouraging. Iíve been overseas 5 months now Ė time does fly. I love you all so very, very much.

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

 

May 1, 1945 Ė New Delhi India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote this morning and then got a staff car and went to the Viceroyís Palace. We were able to finagle it so that we could go through the palace proper. It was unbelievable and like going through fairyland. Throne room, large and small dining room, living room, large and small parlor, library large and small ballrooms, many guest rooms, enormous halls. All so elaborately done and decorated, gorgeous gold chairs, velvet upholstering, enormous chandeliers, gorgeous rugs, gold service in dining room, etc. Is absolutely beyond description. Hundreds of life sized oil portraits of Kings and Queens of England, etc. -- even a theatre. Went from palace to gardens which were also so wonderful, pools walks, rose gardens, etc, etc. Beautiful trees must cover 50 acres. Went from there downtown to an India coffee shop, which is a super place to eat. Had chicken sandwiches, coffee, ice cream (2 bowls), iced coffee and pastries Ė all very good. Went from there to Lakshimahri Temple which is a new temple built about 1938, very fine temple, the nicest I have seen in India. Just happened that the man gave the money to build it was there when we were. Drove around town some more and then back to hotel. Itís awfully hot here and weíre stripped to our shorts sitting under a ceiling fan. Temp is 106 degrees. Yesterday was very dry heat; this is the eastern edge of the Sind Desert. Going to take a shower now and then go out to the hospital with Savelegroed for dinner. Leave late tonight. After seeing Delhi, I know weíll all have to come back someday and see India. Itís a land of fabulous wealth and beauty and of poverty and disease of the worst kind. Must close. Will write you tomorrow from 689. I by the way will be at 689 for about another month or so. Love you all very, very much.

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

 

May 3, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Arrived back from New Delhi last night about 10. Left New Delhi at 5:30 A.M. yesterday and arrived at nearby airport about 8 and came rest of the way in a jeep. A.T.C. service has improved a great deal since I first started riding with them. They have a fleet of brand new Douglas transports, same as United Airlines, except new models. Plush seats, reclining, air-conditioned, coffee, ice water and sandwiches on board Ė very quiet, makes travel very pleasant.

††††††††††† Stopped in Agra, Soya Lalmonishat. I have now traveled about 25,000 miles, probably more, since leaving Miami by air alone. Accomplished a great deal in New Delhi and things are in very nice shape all the way around. Will certainly be glad to get set up and it wonít be long now. Have quite a bit of work to do here but itís coming nicely. Those of us in this area, by the way, have been awarded a combat star to our service ribbon. You can buy Gregg an Asiatic Pacific Theatre ribbon (same as he now has) with one combat star on it. I personally donít feel that weíre entitled to it, but if they want to hand it, out so much the better, and they do count points on the demobilization plan. Weíll probably pick up another one in China.

Had three nice letters from you waiting for me last night, also one from Hod. Latest was April 20. Sure good to know that you are all well and happy. War news sounds super and things are going nicely in this theatre. British doing well around Rangoon and guess you know that weíll open another land route to China, the old Burma Road, which will be a big thing since this whole show here is one of supply. Letter from Col. Tyner this A.M. The convalescent camp, located at the beautiful estate on the lake in China, is coming very well. I will command that until our place opens. Believe I told you about looking it over. Itís a brand new mansion owned by a Chinese General, built on a peninsula extending into Lake Kunming. Wonderful location away by itself, good boating, close to the Hot Springs Hotel. Hod suggested that he would like to send his camera and frankly I would give anything for it. You would have to send the film, preferably color but any would do. It would be marvelous to have it so will enclose a request. Our personal property insurance would cover it. Beg Ced, Horace and anyone else for al the film you can get. Sent some nice snaps from Agra and Delhi and have some large colored prints of the main temples, etc. Am enclosing a bill from the army for moving our furniture. Will you mail a check right away?

Itís quite warm here and sultry, but not as bad as New Delhi. Weíll be glad to get to the delightful climate in China. Send me Bennyís address and perhaps I can look him up someday. Jo might get a kick out of it. By the way, saw a boy by name of Bunham that was in school with me in Eugene (in Delhi). Had a quail dinner there last night with Sondergard. Must get busy so know that I am thinking of you every minute and love you so very, very much.

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

Still feel perfect; have never had a sick day.

 

May 4, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your nice long letter of April 23 arrived this morning. You ask about the hospital being tents. No, the hospital will consist of 96 buildings with concrete floors, brick walls and tile roofs. Inside plumbing, showers, etc. 3 messes, 3 recreation halls Ė one for patients, one for E.M. and one for officers. Our buildings complete will cost Uncle Samuel $100,000,000 in U.S. gold and that does not include equipment. Itís a terrific amount of money but building in China is extremely expensive. That is more than $1,000,000 per building. At the convalescent camp, mess, recreation, office and nurses quarters will be in the mansion; officers, E.M and patients will, as far as I know, be housed in tents, preferably with concrete floors. Will give you more details later, but it will be a wonderful set up.

††††††††††† Sorry to hear about Joan. Hope Cecieís eyes will be OK. Want you to have Judd see Martie Ann this summer to see what he thinks of her eyes. Kids sound wonderful. Gregg you shouldnít climb up on the house because if you slipped or the lattice broke you would hurt yourself very badly and your old Pappy would be awfully worried about you. I want you to have a good time always but please donít climb the house. When I get home Iíll build you a jungle gym and then you can climb all you want to. Itís pretty warm here but not as bad as Delhi. Mornings and evenings are very pleasant and I sleep swell at night, just the afternoons are hot and sultry. Was busy beating down some obstacles at headquarters all day yesterday. Iím trying awfully hard to get promotions through on some of our very deserving Captains. There are about a dozen promotions that I want to get through before I get my own. As far as my own is concerned it doesnít bother me at all. Would like to get it while overseas but believe I can have it whenever I want it and I do want these others through first. Many of them came in as Captains before I did and are still Captains so see what I mean. Itís cases like old Bain Leahe. Went over to a nearby club last night and had a couple of drinks and some swell fried chicken. Went with some of the officers that were on convoy with me. Things here are shaping up very nicely. War news is really wonderful and the time is going very quickly. Will still be home for Christmas and believe Iíll be out of uniform back into those very delightful things called civics soon after the end of this year. Do I have your permission to buy a green suit with pink stripes and a yellow tie for my first one? How about it? I picked the kids a bunch of tangerines from the Viceroyís garden and waxed them thinking I could send them home but they were all squashed coming back here. Will send you a few trinkets from New Delhi and Agra today. Hope you like them. Love you all more than I can tell you and think of you every minute.

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

 

May 5, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail this morning but canít expect it every day so will hope for tomorrow. War news is excellent. Should all be over in Germany in a matter of hours or days. I feel that the capture of Rangoon is the most important development in this theatre since it opened. It is far more important in my opinion then the opening of the Ledo Burma Road. At least itís another and much easier land route for supplies to China.

††††††††††† Was busy yesterday and last night. We had the final party in the club. The boys in the mess fixed us swell steak sandwiches, cheese and bacon sandwiches and French fries and coffee -- really an elegant lunch. Only about 25 people there since about everyone is now gone from this area. I will be the cowís tail along with a few others. It started raining about six this morning and rained cats and dogs until about nine. Makes it nice and cool this morning. Hope it will stay that way. Thinking of you all every minute of the day and love you so very, very much.

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

 

May 6, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Didnít have an envelope yesterday morning so didnít get the other letter mailed. Worked yesterday morning and then after lunch Dave Burlingaime and I took a drive in the jungle. Couldnít get through with a jeep after the rain so walked down the trail for a couple of miles. The spring jungle flowers are now at their best and we turned into Ferdinands instead of hunters. The wild orchids are now really gorgeous and there are hundreds of them. Hundreds of other kinds, some in my opinion, more beautiful than orchids. Also flowering trees such as Habiscus. We cam home with quite an armload.

††††††††††† After supper Dave, Carbaugh and I went over to our British friends at his nearby town where we were before. They were having a big dance at their club and we really had fun. There was a big crowd there, all women in formals and men in tuxes with a good G.I. band, so it was really a delightful affair. Dave was in the bar room harmonizing with about half a dozen Britishers and before long, as you might guess, I was with them at the end of the bar singing Por El Rel. They thought it was a wonderful song and sang for hours. It was really nice to be with a crowd of civilians again. They were all very jubilant about the European War and especially the capture of Rangoon. Many of them had walked out of Burma. We stopped just to say hello to another family on the way to the club. They have four little girls, 11, 1 Ĺ, 8 and 3. The little girl 8 was my pal in short order. It was a riot to hear her talk Ė very British. I about popped. Mail just arrived. I had 3, April 22, 21 and 24. Also nice note from Vern Hedge, Willardís brother. Guess you knew that Willard and two other KEís were killed in action just before Christmas.

††††††††††† Got up about 7:30 and just finished breakfast Ė fritters, sausage, apricots and coffee. We really get wonderful food and I wish you got more of the meat instead of us. Only thing we miss is fresh vegetables and yesterday we had cucumbers. Once in a while we get fresh tomatoes. Get all kinds of canned foods of course and fruit juices, so diet is more than adequate. I believe that every person in the organization has gained some weight overseas. A few of the nurses I have noticed have gained to the point that they should do something about it Ė 20 to 30 pounds or more. When I weighed in to go to Delhi I weighed 174 and that was in very lightweight shoes and clothes. Feel like a million all the time. This morning is really a beautiful morning, so fresh after the rain of yesterday. Think Iíll go back in the woods this afternoon. Donít have much to do this morning so may go to church. Sounds wonderful to hear about the kids. They are really precious and how I wish I could have all four on my lap this minute. Itís only fair to warn you that I intend to spoil them all when I get home and you too. Love you all so very, very much and do miss you.

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

May 7, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail this morning so will reread the three from yesterday which kept me busy most of the day. About 5:30 Dave Burlingame and I drove out in the jungle for a couple of hours but saw nothing. Jungle is really beautiful since we are getting a few rains. The rains have not yet started in full force but we are getting some rain almost every day. In this locality they have about 400 inches of rain a year, mostly during June, July and August.

††††††††††† When we get back from the jungle Major Retchey had a jungle fowl, which he fried up so we had chicken and fowl for a midnight snack. I just happened to think that you are entitled to P.X. and commissary privileges at Fort Crook and Fort Omaha and you could probably get cigarettes, Kleenex, etc. Better give it a try.

††††††††††† The war news is wonderful all over and I believe more every day that Iíll be home and out of uniform by the first of the year. Wonít that be a wonderful day. I can see you all right now meeting me at the airport. Love you more than I can ever tell you and think of you every minute.

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

 

May 8, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Got up early this morning for no reason at all except that I slept plenty and have had breakfast etc. Now at office and itís only 7:30. Heard the news by rumor last night and by British radio this morning and we all are very happy about the surrender of Europe. Itís really marvelous, less than a year from invasion and that is something. We should make rapid progress now with the Japs and not take too long. Also demobilization plans will soon be going into effect. In fact they are in effect now for anyone in this theatre who has been overseas 15 months or longer. I feel every day more sure that I will have my feet under the table at 5607 before next Christmas and that will be the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. One thing for sure about being over here is that I have placed new values on many things and know that I will appreciate more than ever before many little things and especially my wonderful little family.

††††††††††† Itís true that the unit is scattered pretty badly on temporary duty with other units and of course we do not like it. It will take us some time to get everyone together and that will be a happy day. There is just one consolation and that is that we were flown here. We were expected to be needed in the India-Burma campaign and fortunately the number of casualties was small enough that we were not needed so we were declared available to the theatre where we are going to set up. This of course caused a delay since they had not expected to get a general hospital although they had needed one for a long time. We will be the first general hospital in that theatre and I believe we will be set up before too awfully long. Itís too bad in many ways but I still canít help but be happy that we werenít needed. Also putting our people out on temp. duty has allowed a great many officers, nurses, and enlisted men to go home on rotation that could not have gone had we not been here. Also our boys and our officers have been used a great deal for convoy duty which is now the most important thing in this theatre. Many of our boys have been over the road 2 and 3 times. Itís been tough to keep up morale with all the kicking around but weíve got wonderful people and things will be OK when we do get together.

Glad Miss Fullaway is back to work. Give her my regards and also her brother Wilber. Sure swell to know that the kids are doing well in school and like it and Sunday school. Mollie and Gary really sound like cute bugs and I can just see Mollie going over the back fence. Give them all a big kiss for Daddy. I love you all so very, very much.

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

 

May 8, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Nice letter from you this morning and Martie Ann Ė very newsy little letter. Seems very funny to hear you just getting my news that Iím in China when Iíve been back so long now and been to Delhi and Agra and still back here for a week. Last night stopped in for a drink with friend of Readingerís and the subject came up as to when Readinger left for China. It was a Sunday and I started trying to count back Ė was in Ledo last Sunday, Agra the one before, Ledo before that, and China the Sunday before. I had to laugh. Iíve really been zipping around. It still seems quite unbelievable that I should be in India, Burma and China all in a matter of a few days when a year ago Burma was just something that Kippling wrote about to me.

††††††††††† Mollie and Gary really sound cute as bugs and how I would love to see them. Gregg and Martie Ann sound big and to think soon another school year will be over. Glad Miss Chase called you. I did not meet her in Burma. Tate and I heard that there was a nurse from Lincoln in a nearby hospital, leaving for the States so we went over to meet her.

††††††††††† Yesterday was very heavy until about four oíclock then Abe Schwartz got out a choice bottle of Haig and Haig to celebrate his birthday and VE day. We drank that then went to dinner. After dinner went over to a nearby hospital to a show. Was a G.I. show and only fair but after the show we (Schwartz, Dave, Mount and I) attended 3 different VE celebrations. Most people had saved their jungle ration for VE day and they were all fine parties -- much singing, cheese sandwiches, beer and whiskey. Each party had about 40 people stacked 3 deep into a Gasha.

††††††††††† One of the boys just now walked in with a bouquet as big as a bushel basket and probably 100 beautiful orchids. Itís raining this morning and they are really beautiful. He picked them all within a few hundred yards of our headquarters. Isnít that something? Things are shaping up very nicely. It takes a lot of time to get ďhumpĒ clearance and so on. They are very careful about who and what goes to China because as Iíve told you the whole thing there is a matter of supply and it takes a ton of food and supplies a month to feed three men. All of the supplies of course up until Rangoon opened have to go by air or over the Ledo Road. Both are costly transportation problems.

††††††††††† Martie Ann, I do so enjoy your letters. Your writing and spelling are very good and I am awfully proud of you. Your letters are so very newsy and I want you to write me often. Give Gregg, Mollie, Gary and Mommy a big hug and a kiss for me and hereís one for you x x. Love you guys so very, very much and will be with you for next Christmas.

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

 

May 10, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two swell letters this morning and another nice one from Martie Ann. Kids sound cutter every day and I know they must be awfully good most of the time. Mollie and Gary sound like dolls. Farm sounds good and I think most of the time about getting that little house built out there in the corner. Trees and alfalfa sound good.

††††††††††† Was busy yesterday morning loafed all afternoon. Rained and was nice and cool. Went to a show at a nearby hospital last night -- ďMeet Me In St. LouisĒ Really got a kick out of little Margaret OíBrien. Think she is a lot like Martie Ann, probably more like Mollie. Believe the kids saw it a while back. Started raining about midnight and rained hard all night. Nice and sunshiny this morning also will probably be hot and steamy this afternoon. Itís better when it rains since itís cool. Am getting anxious to get going out of here and shouldnít be too long now. Thinking of you every minute. Counting the days until weíre together and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

May 11, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today but canít kick much since your last was only about 10 days old. Things are beginning to pop around here and everything is shaping up according to our desires so was busy all day yesterday and this morning. Just finished lunch. No rain today but itís nice and cool.

††††††††††† Ritchey and Burlingame went hunting yesterday Ė got 18 great big rock pigeons so last night we ate pigeon and had a few beers. V.B. and demobilization, etc., are pouring over the radio and is very exciting. Point system sounds very fair to me. Critical point for first ones out is set at 85. I have 78. Imagine that month by month the critical point will be decreased until the army is cut to about 2 million. My points add up as follows: 32 for time in service; 5 for overseas; 5 for combat star; and 36 for children. Keeps sounding more encouraging all the time and feel sure that Iíll be home for Christmas. These deals will probably be different for officers than for enlisted men.

††††††††††† Have the house plans done and am sending them to you. They are not quite what I want but pretty close. Let me know how you like them. Thinking of you all every minute and love you so very, very much.

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

 

May 12, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today so perhaps tomorrow will hit the jackpot. Forgot to tell you yesterday that I was out to Hdgs. Motor Transport Service and saw Captain Ed Stoll who is M.T.S. surgeon. Ed was a KE and X. A good friend of McGoagonís. If you see Mac or call him, tell him that Iíve seen Ed. How is Mac anyway?

Was busy all day yesterday, then last night we had the final party in our club. This will really be the final. Joe Bacham was down and dropped in for the evening and Stoll came out so all in all we had a very pleasant evening. Joe is Exec. Officer of an Evos. Hospital up the road about 100 miles. He isnít very busy and has adopted the hunting method of shortening the war. War in general is very encouraging and I imagine that in about 90 days the Japs will find themselves very busy. Someone yesterday said that it looked like the B-29ís were now keeping the Tokyo fire department up nights. Rained last night as it is doing about every night now, but it makes it swell to sleep and nice and cool during the day. I sleep like a rock all the time and very rarely dream but last night I dreamed something about you and Gregg and woke up laughing. It was a very pleasant dream but I canít remember what it was about. Must have been the hot dogs that I ate at the party but whatever it was, very pleasant.

One of the officers, Cabaugh, is working on a deal to go see our British friends tonight so weíll probably go over there. Thinking of you all every minute and love you so very, very much.

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Always, Clinton C. Millett, Maj. M.C.

P.S. Iíve been interrupted about 99 times while writing this and just happened to catch the signature. I have signed a few papers this morning so guess that accounts for it.

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

 

May 13, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Things in the office are a turmoil this morning with many people running in and out of here so this letter will be brief and possibly confusing. Three nice letters this morning Ė April 30, May 1 and 2. Very good timing I would say. Martie Ann, your lovely letter written with pen and ink. I am surely proud of your letter writing. Gregg, the nice flower picture came this morning and you are also doing very nicely with your drawing. You are both getting to be very grown up. Surely love getting all the film and can certainly use it to good advantage in China since there is much to photograph. With the kodachrome Iíll send them to Eastern and they will mail them to you. Had a nice note from Jone Barham today.

With my trip to China, plus Delhi and Agra and the spree to Dibeigahr am running quite low on money and believe you had better send me $200 by money order and registered mail. Send it to 689. Hate to ask for dough again, but have spent most of it for stuff to send home and believe it is worthwhile.

Joe and I, with Carbaugh, went over to see our British friends last night. They were having a VE celebration. Beer and food, phonograph music, and they played some games. Also sang National Anthem and God Bless the King. One game they had me and Joe in the center of a circle blindfolded and then they bopped us with rolled up newspapers and we were to guess who hit us. The gag of course was that they took Joeís blind off and he was bopping me. I tumbled on the second smack. British humor.

We had a wonderful time though. These people are very, very friendly. Have been very busy this morning. We now have all details worked out and will be on our way in about a week or so. Weíll be glad to get out of here ahead of the real monsoons. Thinking of you every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

May 14, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Change my address to 172 General Hospital APO 627 N.Y., N.Y. We are not leaving immediately but by the time you get this we will be gone from here. After writing yesterday I picked up Joe and came here for lunch, then put him on the plane to go back. Iíll see him when we go through there.

Was pretty hot yesterday afternoon and is very sticky this morning so hope it will rain since that is the only way to get relief. It is still not too bad however and we will miss the worst of the Monsoon. Completely forgot about yesterdayís being Motherís Day but believe you know that I think you are the best Mommy and wife that ever lived and do love you so very, very much. You can call the bracelet, which is on its way from Delhi, your present. You must be getting quite a collection of costume jewelry by now and believe youíll like some of the things that are now on the way. One pin I think is especially pretty.

††††††††††† We are all getting more optimistic about the war every day and are beginning to look forward to pin stripped suits again. Believe Iíll be in civies for Christmas. Nice letter V-mail from Kay this morning. She sounded as though there was a good possibility of Bud getting into J.A.G. Hope so. Thinking of you every minute and love you all very, very much.

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

 

May 15, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Three wonderful letters from you last night. Our mail that we would ordinarily receive this morning was passed out last night. That is the best service I have ever had on mail. They were written May 4, 5 and 6, which is about 7 days on the last one. Makes you seem so much nearer when I get a recent letter. Glad the package went thru so quickly and that you like the things. Rings are from Calcutta, bracelet from Paosha, China. Think it is grand that Martie Ann enjoys reading so much.

Hotel not so good but whenever the hotel makes over $50 a month is 6% on $5,000. Iím glad that you got the kids their bonds and salted the $500. Keep trying to salt some every month if you can since someday it will come in very handy. Believe I look even better now than I did with Murphy and Readinger Ė more tanned. At any rate, I feel swell all of the time. Think itís nice that you are sending Kay one of the short Mandarin coats. Glad to hear that Joe Linsman is OK. I knew his boat had been bombed and that he was C.O. I had him in the pool when he got the orders assigning him and he screamed his head off, called me several times. He called Washington too trying to get his orders changed. Believe he was allergic to salt water. Glad you went to the 66 Club dance with Vie and Hod. You have to go out once in a while and have some fun. Hope you had a very good time and only wish Pappy could have taken you but will before long.

We were very busy yesterday getting things packed and loaded. The trip will take several days. Last night went to a show at a nearby hospital. Heddy Lamar in Experiment Perilous. Very good show but rather strange. After the show bumped into 3 of our nurses who are over there and went with them for a beer and a wonderful cheese sandwich. It was cheese one of them had gotten from the States. Weíll be busy today but itís nice and cool. Just started raining. Yesterday was a pup, really hot and sticky but it always cools off at night. Hope we get going real soon because believe the Monsoons are about to start seriously. They are due about June 1. Look at the recent snaps real often and think you all look wonderful. The kids clothes look awfully nice and they are really a cute bunch of bugs. Will really be swell to be with you again. That is about all that I think about. Think about your all every minute and love you so very, very much.

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

Martie Ann, your arithmetic is simply wonderful. Daddy didnít get many 100ís when he was in the 3rd grade. You are really an excellent little pupil. Give Gregg, Mollie and Gary a kiss.

 

May 16, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail this morning but canít complain after the three yesterday. Was very busy all day getting ready to move. Went down the road about 20 miles to pick up trucks. Made two trips so we were late getting back the second trip. Went down to our British friends for dinner. Very elegant dinner and then came back and was in bed by about eleven. Rained all day yesterday but not today so is nice and cool. Iím feeling like a million. Thinking of you all every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

May 17, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Mail service is wonderful. Mail was distributed last night and I received letters of May 6 and 7. Isnít that swell. You by now must have other letters from Agra and Delhi. Abut the time that you find where I am I am gone again so donít let it throw you. Mail may again be pretty irregular to you as it was on my last sightseeing trip. Also, I will be very busy on this trip and wonít have much to write since I have already described the country to you.

Doesnít seem possible that little Gary is past 14 months. He must be awfully cute walking around big as life. So glad that you went to the party and had a nice time. How did Mollie like the escalator? Must have been quite a crew to take to dinner. Very proud of Martie Ann and Gregg for having their own gardens. Surely hope they will grow well. Did receive toothpicks 3 or 4 times and wish you would send them once in a while. In China we will get them though so donít bother. Tell Hod thanks for all the film and keep the color film coming, 35 M.M. kodachrome, all you can get.

Mollie, you rascal you must keep your shoes on for your Daddy. Donít forget youíre my doll baby and your Daddy loves you very, very much. Got a big kick out of the Abilene closing story. Would like to see the place now. Iím awfully busy getting things straightened around. Itís been a terrific job but everything is now in the clear and weíll be moving before long. Thinking of you all every minute and do love you all so much. Mollie will be having her 3rd birthday before long. Doesnít seem possible. Big hug and a pat and a kiss to all.

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

 

May 18, 1945 Ė Assam India

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail today so should score again tomorrow. Have just finished lunch. Was very busy this morning. Today is really a scorcher. Water just pours off. The temp is about 100 and the humidity 100%. Hope it will rain tonight and Iíll really be glad to get out of here and soon. It wonít be very long now. Had the St. Romains come down last night and took them to the Officers Club for supper. Swell friend chicken. Itís too hot to write more so know that Iím thinking of you and love you all so very much.

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

 

 

Chapter X: Ledo/Burma Road Ė Second Trip

 

May 19, 1945 Ė Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Was very busy all day yesterday but went to bed about nine last night. Up at 4 A.M. this morning and through with breakfast by 5. Itís about 5:50 now and Iím sitting in my jeep waiting for a few minutes.

††††††††††† My mail will probably be a little irregular for the next several days. I told you before to change my address to 627 and guess youíve done it by now. Going to miss not getting any mail for the next couple of weeks but I know that you are all OK so wonít worry.

††††††††††† Rained most of the night last night, quit about fours this morning and itís a perfect morning, nice and cool, roads damp but not slippery so should be a clear day. Will be thinking of you guys every minute and love you all more than I can ever tell you.

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

 

May 21, 1945 Ė Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Have now been on the road for two days and we have the smoothest running outfit that ever went over the road. Started out at 4 yesterday morning and hunted along the road until about seven. Got a jungle fowl and some dove. Stopped along the road and had dove and chicken for breakfast. Spent the night with Joe Barham Saturday night. Had a fine drink of Old Grand Dad with him. He has been Exec. of a war hospital and is being moved now to command of a field hospital. Feel pretty sure that eventually they will be near us.

††††††††††† We pulled into our overnight stop about two in the afternoon, cleaned up, then Burlingame and I hunted along the road until about ten. Didnít see a thing but had a lot of fun. Slept like a log. Up about 5 this morning and on the road by seven. We will make our overnight stop by noon today so you can see how smoothly our boys are going along.

††††††††††† Road is quite a bit better now than when I went over before and the stops are well established with good camp facilities including tents, etc. We have our own kitchens with us and are eating like kings. Thinking of you every minute and love you all there is in the world.

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

 

May 22, 1945 Ė Along the Ledo Road

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† We are moving right along on schedule and having a very pleasant trip. Spent the evening last night in Myitkyina with some of our officers who are there on T.D. Later in the evening met a special service officer for this area. He is also the jungle ration officer for this area. He is engaged to one of our Red Cross girls. Jake Rvekr was with us and the four of us went to his quarter for whiskey cokes with ice in them. Really tasted wonderful. Had some good hamburgers also. When we were ready to leave he gave us a full case of Calvertís Whiskey. What a deal. Started out at six this morning and in here about one oíclock. Stopped at an Engineer outfit along the road for lunch. The road is now much better than when we came over before. Went over to see Cumbie this afternoon but he is on leave down at Darjehling, a rest camp north of Calcutta. Knew several of the officers there from last trip.

††††††††††† Had dinner with the C.O. who is very nice. He was good friend of Cressman, Sicke, Houce and Cavenaugh. All were in Panama together. Just came back to the camp and believe Iíll go to a show tonight. When I came over last time it took us seven days to get here and we drove all day, every day. A lot of difference in the trips. Camp sites are fixed up very well and weíre eating like kings. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can tell.

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

 

May 24, 1945 Ė Along the Ledo Road In Burma

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Have been very busy and havenít done too well at writing. Yesterday it rained cats and dogs all day so we didnít get to our overnight stop until 5 oíclock. We had to lay over here all day to grease the vehicles. We will also have to lay over a day at another stop so we will be twelve days on the road. Came through Namhkam yesterday and then on into the valley where we are now. This I believe is one of the prettiest valleys I have ever seen. There is a little town back about 8 miles with quite a big bazaar but nothing in it except what the natives use. The natives here are mostly Chans. They are pretty good people. Keep themselves and their houses clean. Women wear white skirt waists with light long wrap around skirts. Men wear short pants and jackets, all straw hats, very large. A few of the people here are Ca Chins who are not so clean. They wear colored leggings, pretty dumb looking. The Ca Chin however are very good soldiers and have been about the best in chasing the Japs out of Burma. The Japs were chased out of this part late in January, just before the first convoy went through. Hills here are studded with foxholes, bomb craters, shells, etc. Both sides had quite a few casualties here. Stopped at Seagraves yesterday. He has his place pretty well rebuilt. The temple in Namhkam is also being pretty well restored. There is a lot of difference in the towns now then when I went through in March.

††††††††††† They are pretty well repopulated and houses are being built very rapidly. The people are apparently pretty well back to normal living. Heard the news last night, surprised about Churchill. War news if fairly quiet but things must be getting ready to explode in Japanís face before very long and then it canít last long. A convoy pulled in here tonight. One of the officers was Lt. Budiceshi who was Dickís company commander at Barkeley. Heís with the 96th field hospital. Things are going very well for us. Eating like kings. Guess I told you we brought kitchens with us on a couple of trucks. The camp sites are all nice. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you.

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

 

May 27, 1945 Ė Along the Burma Road In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Have done a very bad job of writing while on the road this time, but have been very busy and so tired at night that I went to bed by 8 or 9 oíclock. The road from the Ledo Burma junction to here is much rougher than it was six weeks ago and weíve been making much better time. Also Iím driving my own jeep and they are pretty rough ridin. We are staying over here today to service all the vehicles and let the boys rest so we wonít be in Kunming until Wednesday.

††††††††††† The countryside is even more beautiful now than before. Thripoe had considerable rain here and everything is so green and pretty. We have a civilian with us who is reporting on the convoy and taking reels and reels of colored movies. I think that I can get a copy of them. Most mornings Iím driving ahead of the convoy and shooting our lunch. There are lots of very large dove along the road and I shoot 4 or 5 every morning, then we stop and cook lunch. Eat breakfast and supper out of our own kitchen. Night before last our kitchens made the wrong stop so we cooked our own supper. Traded for some fresh eggs. I took a can of corned pork, half a can of cheese and nine eggs and made an omelet. Two of us ate it all. Sound like we were hungry?

††††††††††† Iím feeling like a million all of the time as I have ever since I left the States. Eat like a pig all of the time but my weight stops at about 175 lbs. Last night Dave Burlingame and the two Sgts. riding with us spent the evening looking around Paoshan. I have told you about Paoshan before. Rate of exchange is now 850 Chinese for 1 American and prices accordingly higher. You can get a very nice dinner now for 4 to 6 or 1,000 dollars. Night before last and night before that went to show. In Bahamo saw ďThe Coin is Green.Ē Wonderful character acting. The other show was just fair. The outdoor theatre at Bahmo is a natural bowl, which seats 7,000 people. Itís the largest theatre in the army. Every one on the trip is having a swell time and morale is very high. Everyone glad to get out of Ledo and the Monsoons. It was getting pretty unbearable. The only relief was when it rained. Over here climate is wonderful. The last two days Iíve warn my overcoat until noon and sleep under 3 blankets at night. Will be glad to get to Kunming and will be out at the convalescent camp, which is the place on the lake that I told you about. Tate and Tyner are there now. Tate flew over the day I left for New Delhi. With me I have Burlingame, Ritchey, Mull, Mount, McKnight, Pearson, Weber, Schwartz, Al Freshman, Carbaugh, Boyd and a lot of enlisted men. Practically all the rest of the officers are over there and most E.M. and only a few nurses. Itís a beautiful cool day and I have nothing to do but rest. Will try to get a letter off every day now so forgive the lapse. Thinking of you all every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

May 28, 1945 Ė Along the Burma Road In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Just finished a fine dinner and feel very much at ease with the world. We left Paoshan about seven this morning and were in here by 1:30. Weíre taking it pretty easy and taking extra good care of the vehicles. These are our own vehicles so we want them in good shape. Weíll still be about 3 days on the road and am getting quite anxious. Mr. McKingie, who I told you was taking the pictures, has already taken 17 rolls of color film so I certainly want to get a copy of them. The road on this end is very rough. It is rice-planting time here so all of the coolies that should be working on the road are planting. It is very interesting to watch them. All of the paddies are flooded. They plant a seedbed and then transplant each plant. Yesterday saw a Chinese drawing the silk out of cocoons. They put the cocoon in a big kettle, boil them, stir around with sticks until the little silk strands catch on the sticks, then they fasten it to a strand which is wrapped around a large wheel where the silk drips. When dry, it is a bright yellow color. Where they go from here I donít know but it looked as though the thread was ready for use.

††††††††††† G.I.s have ruined the market here as everywhere else they go. Eggs are about $1,000 a dozen and American products are cheaper. Before we would trade empty tin cans for eggs and oranges but now they want money mostly. We are now in very interesting mountain country. We passed the highest point today Ė about 9,300 feet. Weather is very lovely Ė nice during the day, cool at night. Three blankest are not too many. War news sound good and things over here should soon be shaping up into a real show. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than ever. A big hug and a kiss and a pat for each of you.

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

Martie Ann and Gregg Ė Your school will soon be over and I know you will both pass. You are such good little children and I am very proud of you both.

 

May 31, 1945 Ė A PO 627

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Canít find any paper yet and am out of ink so will just write a short note and do better in the A.M.

††††††††††† Arrived here about nine last night, filthy dirty and plenty tired. I came in one day ahead of the convoy to get things set. Nice lot of mail was waiting -- May 8, 9, 10 11, 12, 13 and 14 and, where it has been I donít know, but one that you wrote on February 14. Also received a package of V mail stationary from the Optimist Club mailed December 11. Isnít it strange how some letters and packages stray for so long. Also a nice letter from Laurie Williams and a letter enclosed from Desda and the KE Newsletter.

††††††††††† Have been busy all day getting the boys in and settled so am going to bed. Everything here is OK. So glad to hear you are all well. Thinking of you every single minute and do love you all so very, very much.

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

 

Chapter XI: First Days in Kunming, China

 

June 2, 1945 Ė A PO 627 N.Y., N.Y.

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† The mail situation here has been wonderful. When I arrived your letters of May 8-14 were waiting, then this morning, received May 15, 16, 19 (two) and 20. Also one from Ced of 15th and one from Hod of 17th. Isnít that excellent service. Also the first package arrived this morning Ė two rolls of film, chicken, candy, fruitcake, etc. Really do appreciate the package. The food will make some wonderful snacks. I donít need food to keep my weight up, in fact better without it, but we donít get such little delicacies as fruitcake. Our mess is wonderful. For example today at noon had roast beef, brown gravy with onions in it (the best gravy Iíve ever eaten), mashed potatoes, peas, corn, apple sauce with pineapple in it and coffee. Does it sound good? Honestly, the army is doing a superb job of feeding its men overseas. On the road over here for example we had 10 tin, 1-cís and kís as our ration and still ate like kings. The food is provided and if it isnít good itís because of mess personnel.

††††††††††† We have really an organization and I do mean it. For example, Col. Tyner, Lt. Pearson, Capt. Boyd and Chaplain Moll and I, with 25 E.M., came into an absolutely bare tract of ground, and I do mean bare, not a stick of wood, a piece of canvass or anything (our temporary staging area). A beautiful spot near our hospital. We drove in here at 10:30 in the morning, had a hot dinner at 12 from our own kitchen, and by the time we quit last night, had quarters erected for the group. Just for meanness and to show what we could do, we invited Col. Armstrong and Major Thomas out for dinner today. They both raved about what we had done and swore it was the best meal they had ever had overseas and I believe it. To continue -- tonight we are moved in, the Col. and I together. We now have all of our equipment moved in, and tents up to protect it. We have electric lights in and as soon as it gets dark weíll run our own movie. This was all done by the 5 officers and 25 E.M but I will admit we have all worked like slaves for two days and will for another week or ten days until we are living even more comfortably than in Ledo.

††††††††††† Tate isnít out here with us as yet but will be in a few days. As a matter of fact he isnít feeling well. Ate something downtown and has the trots. Better not tell Rowna because it is nothing serious. The weather here is delightful -- wonderful warm days, bright sun, and cool nights Ė 3 blankets. The mountains completely surround this wide valley and we look out on a lake which is 4 or 5 miles wide and about 60 to 80 miles long -- very picturesque with hundreds of tiny fishing boats with Venetian blind type sails.

††††††††††† There is a school near here, a grade school. All the children are clean and well dressed. They are the only Chinese that are near us. We are about nine miles from the nearest town. Progress is very slow in this theatre and there are many complications but I am extremely optimistic about everything. And each day is one day nearer to being home. By the way, I have been awarded a second battle star, the little bronze star to the theatre ribbon for going over the Ledo Road. This I feel that I deserve. The trip from Ledo to here is a most wonderful experience and I wouldnít take anything for it, but it is really a rough go. You can get some idea when you consider that it takes from 12 to 23 days to travel 1,079 miles even with brand new vehicles and good drivers. Just for example, I believe that the best time any one could make, if by yourself with a jeep, would be ten days. You really cross 5 mountains from 7,000 to 9,000 feet high. It is a beautiful trip, no scenery like it in the world. Really got a bang out of Hod trying to call me on the phone. Congratulations to Hod on his birthday. Iíll help you all celebrate his next. Speaking of birthdays, I donít know Mollies but it must be June 6? Is that correct? She will be 3 and it doesnít seem possible. Give that little dear a big hug and kiss for her Daddy. Will sure enough be there for her next.

††††††††††† Call Charlie Seeman and congratulate him for me. Glad to see Bettle on the skids. You said that Cliff Jensen was over the Bushes for dinner and that he was in the army. Arenít you mistaken? Do you mean Clifton? Thanks to Hod for fixing Mollieís swing. She really must love it. Congratulations to Pete for removing the farmerís 90-foot stump. I just told Fuman the story and he is still laughing. Gary really doing swell on the teeth. He must really be a cute bug. Feel awfully badly about Bainby and shall write them. Martie Ann and Gregg will probably be out of school by the time you get this. Seems like yesterday that I took them over to school. Donít they grow and arenít they lovely children. Glad the weather is better so they can be outside. Next summer weíll turn them all loose on the farm. Have done a terrible job of writing the past two weeks but will now write every day. Hope you wonít worry because of not getting mail. This should make up for some. You rascals all be good and keep well. Gregg, donít climb too much this summer. A big hug and a kiss for each and it wonít be long until weíre together again. I love you all more than I can ever tell you.

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

 

June 5, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Nice letter today written May 22, also one from Pete and Mr. Vogel and the Optimist News. Pete sent me a photo of the famous stump. Mr. Vogel wanted me to write and tell him of any equipment that I wanted him to buy for the place. Wants to buy now while profits are high.

††††††††††† Gathered up my belongings after writing this morning and moved out to the convalescent hospital. I did nothing but inspect the whole place and called the officers together and let them know where they stand. Have Julius Pearson out here with me and two of our own Red Cross workers and our chief nurse. One of the Red Cross workers, Hagenski, is the one who was in Calcutta and sent the things from there. She brought up 4 silver bracelets, which I will send when I get time. You can join two of the bracelets together to make a necklace. The catches by the way are unusual. There is a little bolt which you unscrew.

This is a perfectly beautiful setup here and will make a perfect camp. I feel sure now that I can iron out all difficulties in short time. Iíll diagram roughly the layout and then tell you about it. A steep mountain comes up to the foot of the lake and then a peninsula about two blocks long extends out into the lake. A stonewall separates the camp from the main road. There is a gatehouse and archway. You then drive down the driveway to a 4-car garage with living quarters, guard house, etc. here there is another archway which leads into the grounds proper which are enclosed again in a stone wall. The grounds proper cover about a square block, nice gardens, huge veranda and from the veranda a path leading to the edge of the lake and then steps down into the water. The house itself is of gray sandstone, brand new tile, tiara and inlaid floors, many fireplaces, paneled rooms and 3 baths. Rooms consist of a huge hall, circular open stairs, huge kitchen, pantry, dining room, living room, den and four other rooms downstairs which I suppose were parlors of some kind. Upstairs is divided into two separate suites each consisting of two bedrooms and a bath. One has large enough hall to be a sitting room. The officers use one suite and Red Cross the other. Electricity was already in and the army put in the plumbing. Most of the enlisted men here are ours and very good boys. We have our best cooks out here. For furniture we have wooden furniture, unfinished but every person has a wardrobe, dresser, desk, chair, floor lamp, beds are single beds with laced rope for springs. Believe canvass cots would be better but these will do O.K.

Iím going to move slowly for a few days until I can see the score more clearly and on that basis should get along. Feel very proud that Armstrong and Thomas have so much confidence in me and hope I will justify it. Feel sure I can do it OK. We are having a show tonight. The patients all seem very happy here and hate to leave when they are discharged. Julius is talking about some nice things he saw downtown today. I still have only driven through the town so know nothing about it. Will get down soon and see what is what. Thinking of you all every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

June 6, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Unless my memory fails completely, Mollie, that little doll, is 3 years old today. Give her three little tiny spanks for me and a great big hug and a pat and 3 kisses. I have all of your pictures up now and the children are beautiful. Mollie is a real doll baby and Gary must be getting awfully cute. Gregg and Martie Ann are so big. Mommy is more beautiful every year that goes by.

Been busy all day today trying to get my feet on the ground and there is much work to be done but Iím going to move slowly in all things and they will all work out. Last night we had a very good picture, ďMollie and Me,Ē a good show for the kids. Weather today has been swell, warm bright sunshine and now nice cool breeze blowing in from the lake.

Frank Hagman and two other Lt. Cols from another hospital were out visiting today. No mail but bet there will be tomorrow. Thinking of you every minute and love you so very, very much.

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

P.S. We had a snack with your delicacies after the show last night. Very elegant. The almond Easter eggs are delicious. Iím munching them now.

 

June 7, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Three grand letters today -- May 22, 23 and 27 -- very good on the latest one. To tighten the drums, on one slide the rings towards the widest spread of the strings; on the other push the blocks of wood up. You have to tighten all the strings.

Dinner at the Athletic Club sounded good. It amuses me that you should feel sorry for Famella because Rudy is gone so much. Donít believe Max would be assigned to a ship platoon. Donít believe it calls for a D.C. Must be a ships complement. Wonderful that they are all together. Surprised to know that they were all in Omaha. Glad Martie Ann is starting music and hope she will like it a lot. Itís really nice to be able to sit down and play and along those lines Mommy should try it once in a while. Tell Aunt Rose hello for me. Itís really remarkable that she has lived so long. Kids must really be growing Ė Mollie and Gary sound so cute, and Martie Ann and Gregg so big. It pleases me that they congregate in our yard. Donít discourage it ever. The tutoring sounds good and should make the fourth grade much more easy. Doesnít seem possible that Martie Ann could be in fourth grade. Remember her riding the bus to Wiley school.

Sitting on the porch with you having a beer and cigarette doesnít sound good, it sounds perfect and like a dream but it wonít be long before weíll be doing that very thing.

Went out to our Hdqs. Last night and was about 12 when I got home. Itís 25 miles by road but actually only about 5 miles across the lake from here. Think we better inaugurate a ferry service from 172 to 3rd convalescent. Was pretty busy all morning and went into town after noon. Major Thomas the S.O.S. surgeon got orders today sending him home. Heís been in the army 31 months and in China 29 so he really deserves it. Heís a swell fellow and we all hate to loose him. Saw Col. Armstrong for a minute. He tells me that in the next issue of the China Lantern (theatre newspaper) we will be given a lot of space and pictures. If so Iíll send it along. There is a lot of new personnel coming into the theatre as replacements and believe that in general itís a good deal. Donít personally expect this portion of China to ever be very active but imagine that within a short time there will be a landing on the coast, which will be much better and much more easily supplied. This spot here is really rough to supply since every ounce has to come over the road or be flown over the hump. Either are rugged. When troops out of European theatre get to South Pacific all h--- should break loose and I donít believe the Japs can take it very long. I wrote a while back for $200. If you havenít already sent it just send me 3 or 4 blank checks. Donít believe Iíll need more than about $50 per month from now on but got a little behind while bouncing around so much and buying so much in India. Rate of exchange here is now 1000 Chinese for 1 U.S. Not much of anything to buy and prices are terrific. It takes a pocket full of $100 bills to buy a meal.

We have excellent movies here 3 times a week and some sort of Red Cross entertainment four nights such as bingo, quiz shows, etc. Patients here are very happy and really improve and gain weight very rapidly. Our program is all out of doors, calisthenics, bike rides, hikes, tours, work in yard a lot, tennis, volleyball, nice gymnasium, etc. Only one lecture a day and thatís is a current event orientations lecture which the boys all like. Itís really very pleasant here and things are working well. Love you all so very, very much, think of you every minute of the day and night. Do love you all so much and count the days until we are together again. Left Miami 6 months ago tomorrow. Talked to you on phone last 6 months ago today. Wish I could call you this minute.

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

 

June 8, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail today but always hope. Feel very guilty about the scariness of my letters while on the road. You must about now be hitting that spell. Spent the day looking around the place. Itís been a beautiful sunshiny day. Wish I could move you guys all over here. Gen. Chenaultís secretary and two Chinese women were out to look the place over this morning. This place is so attractive that we are bound to have many visitors. Good excuse for all the brass to take a drive in the country. Tate was out this afternoon and we had a long visit. As much as weíre together itís surprising how little time we really get to sit down and talk. We agree on one thing for sure and that is that Omaha will be the most beautiful city in the world the next time we see it.

Last night we had our show and it was excellent. The kids would love it Ė ďThunderhead Son of Flica.Ē In Technicolor taken out in southern Utah. Really pretty country. The patients are kept very well entertained. Busy all day and entertainment every night. Tonight we have G.I. short subjects sort of newsreels.

Wrote to Mr. Vogel today and am going to write to Bain and the folks tonight. Have enough leisure time now to catch up on a lot of neglected correspondence. Read your letters all over again (I mean the last four) and really love hearing about your doings and all about the children. Think of you every minute of the day and do love you all so very, very much. A big hug and a kiss and a pat for each.

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

 

June 9, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail so far today but we get delivery at about four oíclock. Iím going out to our Hdgs. For dinner and the evening so will be late when I get back and thought Iíd better write now.

Last night had a good movie, the entire story of the African Campaign. Very good. Was busy this morning. We discharged all well patients Saturday morning and held inspection of all departments. Col. Armstrong and the new chief nurse for this theatre were out for lunch. Col. Armstrong was well pleased with the way things are going here which is very gratifying. He had very good news for us regarding 172. The best news yet and weíre very excited about it. Canít say what but it means that we will all be together in the very near future. He told me the whole picture of the operations and plans in this theatre which was very interesting. Must go to get out to our place in time for dinner. Will write more tomorrow. Thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can tell you.

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

 

June 10, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

A lot of letters caught up with me that arrived in Ledo just before I got back there and have been to China, back to Ledo and then back here. They explained many things which I couldnít understand such as Muxsenís fire. They were written Feb. 18, March 8, 14, 15, 16, and on red hot May 29. Also two letters from Martie Ann and pictures from Gregg, a letter from Alyce giving me all the dirt on the doings in the good old Aquila. Pictures from Life of the Stilwell road were interesting but do not show the beautiful scenery or the terrible roads. We really do need a recreation room with the kids getting so big and they shall have one, the nicest you ever saw soon as this war is over. Glad that Gary and Mollie like being outdoors so much. Wonít they love the farm. So sorry that you were sick and glad youíre OK. You are probably working much too hard and just plain donít get your rest. Start napping every afternoon and let part of the work go. Am pleased to be little Stephenís God Father and glad you sent a money order. Glad Mr. Penrod called. I am now where you think. He was a very nice gent to call. Had a nice letter from Sgt. Heft today also written in March right after he called you. If Benny is in Kunming give me his address and have Joe tell him that I am 3rd convalescent camp. Have him come out here someday. Too bad about Muxsenís fire and Helen loosing her money. Isnít it stupid that she didnít bank it. They are really peculiar in some ways. I know that you have given Rowena everything that is hers. The goblets, ivory animals and sandalwood animals are yours. Gregg, itís wonderful that you are such a good climber but the garage is too high. Please donít climb so high. Mart, maybe you could get Pete to get someone and build Gregg a jungle gym in the backyard. Mollie you are a big girl to be able to undress and put on your Pjs all by yourself. Itís nice that Joe was with you and wish she would stay all of the time and let Mommy not work so hard. Martie Ann, you must be quite a young lady when you and Susie get dressed up. How about a picture? Your letters are very nice and Iím very proud of you using ink. Write real often. Gregg, your drawings are getting to be real good. Send me some more.

Iím enclosing in a separate envelope this weeks China Lantern which gives the camp a fair write-up. We will probably get a lot of publicity because the camp is so very nice. Donít be surprised to see pictures etc. anywhere. I am enclosing some photos of the place and will be taking a lot more now that I have some film. Went out to our Hdqs. For dinner last night and to give Col. Tyner the news from Col. Armstrong. The Col. is looking fine. Went out to dinner with a Chinese school master in the school near our Hdqs. He had some good news for me which I wonít be able to tell you for a few weeks. Picked up Fred Warren and Bill Hickle and took them along. Fred is acting theatre dental surgeon and Hickle is in office with Armstrong and Cavenaugh.

Hickle came out and spent the night with me. Heís getting quite anxious to get home and should before too long. This is Sunday and very quiet. We have no program except the Red Cross give a tea at 4 oíclock and we have a movie tonight. Have four good shows a week. We get good radio reception here from Chungking so get the news and lots of nice music. Itís an army station, no commercials, just news and music. In some of your letters you seem a little concerned about my well being. I know that China sounds a long ways away but actually it isnít so far and Iím living like a king. There is absolutely no hardship of any kind connected with my present se-up. The war is hundreds of miles from here and moving further away all the time. No bombing or anything like it. I am perfectly safe in all ways and feel like a million all the time. Excellent food, now fresh vegetables every day from our own garden. So please donít worry, there is no reason for it and I will be home before so many more months.

The way things are progressing I wouldnít be surprised if the Japs surrender any month now. If they hold out until we open our main offensive, which should come soon now with troops and equipment from Europe, they will be wiped off the earth. I personally believe that Okinawa was the key because from there we can bomb and with fighter escorts itís less than 4 hundred miles and they are already methodically destroying the four main cities.

Will be wonderful to get home. Wonder if Iíll have time to ever work. Iíll be so busy telling you about it and playing with the kids and making love to Mommy that I donít know if Iíll have time to work. Not at least for months. I do love you all so very, very much. I look at your pictures all of the time. Have them all on the walls now. Thinking of you every minute and do love you so much. Weather remains absolutely perfect here. Hope it is better in Omaha.

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

 

June 11, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail today so hope for tomorrow. Believe I wrote yesterday afternoon and then Julius and I went for quite a long walk. He is the screwiest funniest guy I have ever been around. Came home about eight and had a snack of cheese, beer and cucumbers. Donít believe the cucumbers set very well because Rubin, the other officer here, said that I was talking in my sleep, asking questions and Julius was answering but he couldnít understand either of us. Was busy today then about 2:30 went into hospital on business, had dinner there with Readinger, Warren, Gogman, Fogliano, Stone, Johnson, Burlingame, Walder, Bisahardt, Echert, Mulfor, etc. Went out to see Col. Tyner at our Hdqs. For a while. Heís in fine spirits, also Tate. Then back to hospital for clinical meeting. Itís not our hospital but so many of our officers and nurses are there that we have more than they do and about run the place. Every officer but one who spoke tonight was ours. Al Freshman, Canterbury, Collettli are also there. Quite a reunion. Meeting was excellent. We really have a fine staff. Just got home and itís bedtime and Iím sleepy. Thinking of you every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

June 12, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Wrote late last night and have been busy all morning. Started raining about two this morning and is still cloudy and raining so itís been a dreary day. The patients couldnít be out so weíve kept them busy in the house. Julius is at present talking to them on venereal disease and there are great outbursts of laughter every few minutes so I imagine that he is calling a spade a spade as only Julius can do.

I got back all the still pictures taken by Mr. Mackenzie on our last trip over the road. The prints are not too good but you will have an idea of the country. Two or three of them are exceptionally good and Iím getting enlargements made, which Iíll send along later. I have them all marked on the back but the paper is quite waxy so ink doesnít stick well. Maybe Hod could get you some stickers and you could re-label them. Iím sending them in about six envelopes so one of these days you should get a lot of mail.

Things here at the camp are going along very well and shouldnít be any more trouble. Whole trouble was mostly a matter of misunderstanding. I feel quite sure that within a very few weeks I will be able to tell you some very interesting news but it will have to wait for awhile. Wish I could tell you now. Patients here are all very happy as they should be since it is by far the best deal in China or probably anywhere else overseas.

War news really sounds excellent considering that we havenít really started putting the heat on Japan as they will know it in the near future. Donít believe they will ever fight like Germany did. Once we can bomb from Okinawa which wonít be long, I believe theyíll holler uncle and then we can all start for home and what a happy day that will be. Have your pictures all stuck up on the wall and itís very nice to see you guys smiling at me. Hope Iíll get a whole flock of mail today. Iím going to talk to all of the E.M. right after supper and then we have a show tonight and that is why Iím writing this afternoon. Thinking of you all every minute and do love you all so very much that I can never tell you.

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

 

June 13, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail again today so should get a handful one day soon. Wrote you early yesterday. After supper I talked to the boys for about a half hour and then we had a show. Weather cleared so we had it outside. ďThe Picture of Dorian GreyĒ. Oscar Wildeís story, very excellent picture. No good for the children but believe you would enjoy it. Just in time for dinner last night the officer, who I met in Myithyima, Allen Davis (the one who gave us the whiskey) came in and is staying with us for a few days. He is now a special service officer for the road and will be staying in Myithyima. Says he will send us anything we need in the way of athletic equipment including fishing tackle and another case of whiskey for me. I still have my share out of the last one and seven quarts which I brought in my footlocker. About all Iíve had to drink is the monthly jungle ration of 1 quart and that is plenty. Think Iíll save up and throw a party one of these days. Was busy all day until about 8 and then Julius, Allan and I went down the road about 4 miles to a silk mill. They extract the silk from the cocoons, weave the cloth and make it up and embroider etc. They make some very nice things and the prices were the best I have seen in China. All of the work is done by hand. Iím sending six hankies, two head scarfís. You might save the scarf with the gray and black dragon on it for me and Iíll wear it with my tux one of these days. You and the girls can have the rest or give some away if you want to. I sent one to Gregg to give to you as a birthday surprise and wrote him a letter so get someone else to read it to him if you can work it.

On the way home from the silk mill we stopped at Dr. Tongs and had tea, rice cakes and cookies Ė wonderful tea. I believe it is what we call Jasmine tea. At any rate it is a very light green tea and has flowers in it which give it a most exquisite taste and odor. I asked Mrs. Tong to get me two pounds and Iíll send it home. Put the leaves in the cup and then pour boiling water over it. Leaves stay in the cup. Itís delightful. Doesnít need sugar. This type of tea by the way costs $32,000 per pound. The exchange is now 1,100 for 1. Came home just in time for supper and had swell spaghetti and cheese, beats, peas, cake, lemonade, rolls and apple butter. We are really getting wonderful food out here. With the tea and supper I feel a little full right now and think Iíll go for a walk to settle it. Iím enclosing a poem that Julius wrote in Ledo. Thin itís pretty good. He is really a screw ball and there is never a dull moment around him He keeps the girls in hysterics by such as yesterday at breakfast, out of a clear blue sky, breaks into a dissertation on rape. Heís always talking of committing suicide but holds off only because he has so much insurance and doesnít want to leave Elsie a rich widow as fair prey for some no good.

The weather today has been beautiful. Cool after the rain but the sun shone all day and this is such a lovely spot. View out my window is fascinating. Took some pictures and want to get more soon. Surely hope youíll be able to get a least one roll of 35 MM kodachrome so that I can get this view in color. This place is so nice that if you guys were here I wouldnít be in any hurry at all to go home. I feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful assignment when there are so many bad ones overseas. Am mailing the bracelet from Calcutta in the morning so that Mommy will be your birthday present and here is a great big kiss to go with it. Will be with you to celebrate the next and every one after that as long as we live. Mart, I do love and miss you and the kids very much. You are all in my thoughts every minute.

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

 

June 15, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Three nice letters today. May 31, June 1 and 2. I donít especially worry about you but three or four days without letters becomes very disappointing and Iím always extremely happy when they arrive. I missed the date of Mollieís birthday. I could have sworn it was June 6. By all means send Lynn Mc a wedding present and give them my very best regards. Sounds very strange for our punks to be going to school for their report cards. Seems like yesterday that I was going to 42 and Dewey to get mine and as a matter of fact it has been nine years since I got the last one. Wasnít that a thrilling day too when I got that little piece of paper that I had wanted so long. Susieís and Mollieís parties sounded grand. Can see Mollie playing fishing pond and little Gary in the wastebasket eating ice cream. Itís hard to believe that they change so rapidly. Gregg in first, Martie in fourth, Mollie 3 and Gary licking the ice cream bucket.

Was busy this morning and for a while this afternoon. About four started working on my brief case again. Got the tooling all done and part of the sewing. Worked until 5 then had supper and started again and the first thing I knew it was 10 oíclock. Just had some Nescafe with Julius. Itís a lot of fun doing the leather work and once started itís hard to stop. Itís really fun and requires nothing in the way of tools. Iíll have to teach the kids and you when I get home. Pay off though, when I got my name all tooled in discovered that I had only room for one T. I had miscounted the letters and then centered so just spelled it with one T. Iíll never convince anyone that I made it myself, with with misspelling my own name. Havenít seen Col. Tyner or Tate for several days but get a daily report from the mailman and things are going along OK. Iím not worried at all about things since this is a very pleasant way to fight the war and I have no complaints. My eyes are tired from so much close work so better quit. I am thinking of you guys and love you so much. Weather still grand. How is it in Omaha? Sweet dreams. I love you. Goodnight.

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

 

June 16, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Two nice letters today, May 24 and 25. Have had more recent ones but these were very welcome. Glad you got the drum. Would love to see you settling on the floor playing it. When we get home weíll both get on the floor and have a pow wow. Glad you liked the house plans. They are of course quite rough, no detail and as Hod suggested need all of the gadgets etc. added, however, this is the general plan as I visualize what we want and what a happy day when we get started building it. Glad that George got out and fixed everything. Things do have to be fixed up about every so often. Speaking of Bellís dog, we have a pup here, cute as a bug. Itís a pup from General Chenaultís dog. The mother died when the pups were two weeks old. Will send some pictures of him soon.

Iím enclosing some snaps. Five were taken from different angles, all from our balcony looking out onto the lake. Also another snap showing me one afternoon after we got in to convot camp. I donít know for sure who took it, was just delivered to me in a plain envelope. I imagine that it was the Sgt. Who rode with me. Do I look relaxed? Notice the mustache. I grew this on the trip and then cut it off when I got here. Donít show this picture to anyone.

Was busy all day today except for a couple hours this afternoon when I worked on my brief case. Have it about finished and will send it home. We skipped dinner there tonight had a couple of drinks and then went down town for dinner -- the whole officerís staff and all patient officers. Had sweet and sour pork, noodles and bean sprouts, chow mein, egg fu yong, bamboo sprouts, chicken fried rice, barbecued pork. Getting quite proficient with chop sticks. In Karachi it was by choice. Here itís necessity since they do not have silverware. We came back here for the show. ďEadie Was a LadyĒ very dumb, but a few good laughs. Tongs were over and brought me two pounds of Jasmine tea which I will send to you. Iíve tried it out. Use only 6 or 7 leaves in a cup, boiling water over it, let it steep until the leaves settle, doesnít need sugar. Really delicious, very pale and not strong but fragrant taste and aroma. Hickle, Caenaugh, and another Lt. Col. were out for the show and had a cup of tea with us and just now left. Had a letter from Glen Walker today, clipping which I am enclosing from Laurie Williams and Optimist News always tickled to know that you and the kids are well and having fun and that the folks are well. Bet Mother worships Mollie doesnít she? She was always a bit prejudiced about little girls I believe. Donít worry your head about saving money. What we donít save now Iíll make when we get back into practice and I donít believe it will be too long. Thinking of you every minute of the day and night and do love you all so very much.

††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Goodnight and sweet dreams. Always, Clint and Daddy

 

June 17, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Havenít much to write about but have the time. Mail isnít in yet. We just finished dinner a couple of hours ago. Sundays are very quiet here since we donít have a schedule of any kind. Had bacon, eggs, and pancakes for breakfast then occupied myself until Noon. Saturday in the office but mostly read Esquire and ďMarco Polo.Ē After dinner worked on my brief case until just now. Have it all finished except polishing. Will send it home in a week or so and the tea at the same time. Itís a beautiful day, rained for about an hour this morning and is slightly cloudy but not too dark and nice and cool. The Red Cross serves coffee and doughnuts at 3 oíclock and after that Iím going out to our Hdqs. to see Tate and Tyner and the boys.

Guess I told you about Dr. Tong when I was here the first time. He was educated at Columbia and spent 5 years in P.G. work at Harvard. He runs a laboratory about a mile from here. Makes all of the vaccines etc. for U.S. army in this theatre. He and his wife are very charming and good people to know. They always come here for our shows. We have all been invited there for dinner next Tuesday and Iím looking forward to it a lot. Guess Iíll go down and have coffee and doughnuts and take off for Hdqs. Itís about an hourís drive. May have more to write when I get back so will finish then.

Just got back and itís now 10:15. Just as I was leaving, Hagman, Readinger, Stone, Johnson and Fogliano came out here so had coffee with them and showed them around. Got out to our place in time for a friend chicken dinner, very good, then spent the evening with Col. and the gang. He is in excellent spirit. He believes that Mamie is on her way over here but isnít sore. Sheís now on her P of E leave. Did you know that Tateís brother is being released from the army on points. He had 50 points for awards. My second star by the way was earned before May 12 so I get another 5 points for it making a total now of 83 which is pretty good for a medical officer and I feel more sure all the time that Iíll be home for Christmas and maybe back in civies soon afterwards. Wonít it be wonderful. Had 3 wonderful letters waiting for me Ė May 29, 30 and June 4. Kids sound so cute and so good. Iím really proud of our little brood. They are wonderful children. Got a big kick out of Greggís question about the Dr. sleeping with his patients. Feel a bit sleepy so guess I better go to bed and dream about my Mommy and all the little babes. I do love you all so very, very much.

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

 

June 19, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Didnít get a chance to write last night but jotted a note this morning and enclosed it with some pictures. Had two nice letters yesterday, June 5 and 6. The kids really sound swell. Wish I could have taken them to the Shrine Circus. Remember the first circus they went to and Gregg played underneath a $2.50 seat for most of the performance. Seems in a way like a long tie ago and I was just retuned from army maneuvers. War seemed very distant at that time but Iím certainly glad I got out of H.G. Isnít it nice that the Bellís and ours get along so well? Gregg must be quite advanced to hold Johnís devotion since he is so much older. Mollie and Gary must be cute as bugs. Still canít believe Martie Ann will be in the fourth grade.

Went into town early yesterday morning and was there until after noon. This is the first time that I have ever been out of a jeep down town except one night had dinner there on first trip over. Visited several shops but they havenít much. Did find one embroidery shop which had some nice things. I bought four embroidered silk landscape scenes which are very typical of China. I believe you can keep them or get them framed now which ever you like. If you get them framed go to Orchards or Whitmore Art. They will know how to handle them. Two of them will be nice in the childrenís rooms. I may use one of them in my office. After shopping for a while had lunch at a hotel. Good lunch, excellent soup, friend chicken, custard puffs, tea. Believe soups are the best thing the Chinese make. It is always delicious.

Weíve had a bit of a madhouse here past 24 hours. Special service brought an artist, Dan Content, out to do pencil portraits of patients. Heís doing beautiful work and will stay 3 or 4 days. Am hoping he will feel obligated enough to do me one. Also Col. Armstrong, Hickle, Guller, Bge came out for dinner and the evening. St. Sondergard, one of our dentists arrived by convoy and was here for dinner and the evening. That accounts for why I didnít get a chance to write then last night. I also had to go into the hospital to take one of their officers in who had been out visiting. This morning two signal corps photographers came out and are spending the day here shooting pictures of the buildings, grounds and all our activities for a report to the surgeon general. We will make it up in a book form and Iíll send you one. It should be excellent. Also special service will probably release all of the shots to the newspapers so you might start watching for pictures of Pappy. Since I started this letter I took the cameraman up on the mountain behind here for an air view of our layout. Itís a beautiful view and up there are three Confucian Temples.

I sent you some pictures this morning. One temple, the temple of a thousand gods has one huge room with hundreds of life sized idols, all different, and each one beautiful. Each portrays something as god of love, fear, etc. If this temple was in the States it would be world famous for its beauty. Here itís just another temple.

Weíre going over to Dr. Tongís for dinner tonight, which is an occasion Iím looking forward to. Will write you all about it tomorrow. We just got in 12 new patients, getting more every day. Will only be able to take about 40 more then we are full up. It is a very interesting place and the patients love it. All say itís best food in China, a better deal than the rest camp, etc. Iím really getting a big kick out of running the place and itís a swell place to live. Armstrong is very well pleased with the place. Guess Iíve covered the field so know that Iím thinking of you every minute and love you all more than I can ever tell you.

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

June 20, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

No mail today but canít complain too much. Mailed the two pounds of tea and the embroideredsilk today so you should get them soon. You had probably better put the tea in a tight can and there will be more than you want so give a package to some of the nice friends and the folks. Was in town all day today. Made a deal for two outboard motors and some other things that we can use.

After supper tonight worked with some of the boys for about two hours building a floating dock out into the lake. The lake is good for boating but we need a dock so we are building one. Yesterday afternoon Col. Crane the deputy theatre commander came out and inspected. He is very gruff and tough. He fired the other two C.O.s of this place. After he looked the place all over he said, ďI guess you know that youíre the third CO of this place.Ē I said, ďNo I didnít know that.Ē He said ďWell youíre doing all right. You must have had experience in this type of work before.Ē So I guess he was pleased and frankly the place has improved about 500% in the past two weeks. We are really running a good place and the patients love it.

Received two letters yesterday after I wrote but canít remember the days. I have all letters now up and including June 6, which is pretty good. Also got about 20 World Heralds, which I havenít opened yet.

Last night was a real occasion. As Iíve told you, we (the staff) went over to Dr. Tongís for diner. Also there were a Dr. Dickonson and another officer and another Chinese girl who worked at SOS surgeonís office. Dr. Dickonson and his wife are quite an institution in Central China. He is a Canadian who for 26 years has been professor of Agriculture at University of China. They have a very large home and it is open to all American travelers for food and lodging. All American officers going that way usually stop over for a meal or two and the night. They keep a guest book in which are registered over 10,000 Americans who have stayed with them. The Tongís have a very modern home -- even flush toilets. I used the toilet and moved the handle. The gush of water scared me to death. Itís the first Iíve heard since I left Miami. There is something about these silent toilets. You just donít feel like the job is quite completed without that flushing sound.

Iíve told you about Dr. Tong, but want to tell you more about this wife. She is the daughter of the governor of the province of Hunan, a beautiful woman, about 5 ft. 2 inches, olive complexion, cold black hair, nice figure. I imagine she is in her early thirties but it would be hard to guess. She is very timid, or retiring, but at the same time radiant. Last night she wore a Nile green satin dress with jade earrings and dinner ring surrounded by diamonds. They were really gorgeous and she admitted that they were practically priceless. The Chinese womenís dresses are all of the same cut. They have a high neck, short sleeves, form fitting, real tight around the legs, length about half way between knee and ankle and then each side is split up to about half way between the knee and hip. The cut is the same whether Nile green satin or blue denim. The real poor women wear trousers, always rolled up.

The main idea at a Chinese dinner is to get everyone high as kites, especially the guest of honor. I was guest of honor because of my rank. They served 3 or 4 glasses of mulberry wine before dinner and then Saki (rice wine) all during the dinner. At the end of each course, and almost any other time that an occasion arises, the host or hostess says Gom Boy or (bottoms up). The guests can say Sway Bien (as you like it). Then you can take only a sip, but the host usually repeats Gom Boy. Then you have to empty your glass. When you empty the glass you show it to the host and, with it turned upside down, tap it against your thumbnail to show that not a drop is left. They laugh and talk and drink and make little speeches and toasts all through dinner. We were at the table for about 3 hours.

Dinner consisted of salad, candied pork and chicken, bamboo sprouts, chicken livers stewed in rich sauce, then a whole fish about two feel long, cooked in ginger, then a whole chicken cooked in anise, then a whole duck cooked in ginger. Next course was octopus tentacles with bamboo sprouts. Then for the next course a bowl of soup which was out of this world and five dishes Ė rice, corn, a vegetable like spinach (but much nicer taste), preserved cabbage and fresh mushrooms. Last course was fresh strawberries and toddy and cookies, mints and more tea. Funny part is that after all the food you donít feel very full because it takes so long plus the wine and tea. Doesnít that sound like a wonderful dinner? It was really an experience of a lifetime. We were all seated around a round table with the food in one big platter in the center. Only the rice was served in individual bowls. Each person serves himself from the main dish into a little bowl. The very nice Chinese use two pairs of chopsticks, one to eat with and one to serve yourself with.. They had a white ivory pair for eating and redwood for serving. A spoon is the only other utensil and used for soup only.

Iím getting quite tricky with a pair of chop sticks. Can even eat rice Ė howís that? We took Dan Content with us and after dinner he sketched little Do Do (their baby). Heís 20 months and very cute. Dan went back today and did a charcoal of Mrs. Tong. Iím enclosing a negative. Get it printed some time when you get a chance. It is Lt. Davis, myself, Mrs. Tong and Do Do, taken in their yard the day we stopped for tea

We came home about 12 and all discussed what a wonderful evening it was for about an hour. Things here for the past two weeks have been so pleasant that I feel almost guilty. I want to entertain a lot of these very fine people in the States after the war, such as Tongs, Kunenmals, etc. and I think it is quite likely that they will visit the States some day. I want to bring you and the kids here to see this most wonderful country. Wonít it be fun? Weíll have to spend months to see it all. Iím quite tired so think Iíll go to bed and dream about my sweetheart and those four beautiful children. Iím thinking of you all every minute and do love you so very, very much.

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

 

June 22, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

Was in town all day yesterday and was late when I got back to camp so didnít write. The roads up here are terrifically rough and a trip into town about does one up. I had good luck yesterday and got 6 boats and an outboard motor so our camp is quite complete now. The chief consultant for the C.B.I. theatre inspected us yesterday and had no criticism and no suggestions. Said it was the best medical department installation in China, Burma or India, so we feel pretty good about it. Glad Floyd Wergeland called you and hope we will see him here soon. He might do some good in this part of the country if he wanted to.

Donít know what to say about the car but think that Dad would be very foolish to sell his since it is possible that I will be home in a few months and then he will be without a car and I doubt if he could buy one before a couple of years. So I think for his own good he had better keep the one he has. The letter I got last night was June 3.

Have got to get to work and will try to write more later today. Hope I get some mail today although I have all up to the 6th of June, which is pretty good. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you.

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

 

Chapter XII: Kunming, China Ė Running the Convalescent Camp

 

June 23, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your letters of June 9 and 11th arrived yesterday. None today. So nice that you and the kids went to dinner with the folks on their anniversary. I forgot it completely so by all means my tardy congratulations. How many years is it? The article concerning the hospital is not ours but I know all about these people since they are in a nearby hospital. Iím hoping that my mail is going thru on schedule now. I know you must have had about a week without mail because, while on the road, I was either driving, sleeping or eating.

Iím thrilled pink about the kids weights. They must be eating like little pigs. Iím so glad they do eat because they are very lucky children to live in a country where there is good food. The average Chinese child never eats any thing but rice, fish, a little pork and some greens such as cabbage; never any milk or butter or jelly, ice cream or candy or anything good. Iím so glad that our children have such wonderful opportunities. Gary is really a buster for a year old and the other kids weights are very good. Better mark their heights on the kitchen door so I can see how much they grow.

††††††††††† I had to laugh at you talking about you all at the airport waiting for my plane to come in because that is the way I always think of it. I have seen the very sight in my eyes a thousand times since I left you and wonít it be a wonderful day.

††††††††††† Parts of China are absolutely beautiful. I donít know about the coastal country or the north but all of southern China is beautiful and where we are located is, I believe, the most beautiful country that I have ever seen anywhere. We sit and look out across the lake by the hour and never tire of the view. We are entirely surrounded by mountains and the color of the setting sun across the lake is beautiful. There are some very swell homes and some nice buildings but the towns in general are not nice. They have stone streets, mud buildings, tiny shops, masses of people everywhere clog the streets, people carrying huge loads on poles across their shoulders, usually a funeral procession, rickshaws everywhere plus pony carts, ox carts, bicycles, cars. Streets and people are in general filthy and smelly. I have been in town once and that is enough. All army installations are built outside the walls of the city. All cities are walled. All of the land is terraced and continually under cultivation. Now is rice season, after that wheat and cabbage, etc. Men, women and children work in the rice paddies from dawn to dark, standing knee deep in cold water, bending over planting rice. I donít see how they stand it. Life is very cheap. Believe I told you about a woman who was brought here a week or so ago. She had been shot 3 times because she was chasing someoneís ducks. I took care of her and sent her to a Chinese hospital. It is not uncommon to see Chinese soldiers dead along the roads. They march until they drop and then no one bothers to pick them up. Their army doesnít amount to much. They are only the trash of the country -- not examined or anything, poorly clothed, usually no shoes, no medical care to amount to anything except what the Americans give them in combat. Trouble is that if we give them medical supplies they sell it to the Japs so we donít dare give them much.

††††††††††† To give you a pretty good idea of the wealth of the average Chinese, one acre of land here supports 4 to 5 people. That would mean 200 to 250 people living on our farm, and out of that they pay taxes and itís their only means of livelihood. Of course the rich here live like kings and I suppose extract it from the poor the same as everywhere else in the world. Enough of that -- I donít see much of it in this beautiful spot.

††††††††††† Glad Gregg got to go fishing. I can just see that monkey and wish his Pappy had been along. Weíll do a lot of fishing when I get home Gregg, and you can go too Martie Ann. The house must look very nice what with being all clean up.

††††††††††† Iím sending a lot of pictures in a separate envelope, most of the convalescent camp. The statues are in the temple up on the mountain behind here. It will give you some idea of the beauty of this place. Tate may have told Rowena and she might go bla bla, so I had better tell you, and this is true. I had one loose stool Tuesday, one Wednesday and three Thursday, so I went to the hospital Thursday night to be sure it was nothing serious. Never had a loose stool after I got there and guess it was just the rich food and wine that I had at Tongís. Came back to camp this afternoon. Was never sick at all and feel swell now. Spent most of time while in the hospital visiting with our officers and nurses who are there. Donít worry about it because I promise I was not sick and am completely over the diarrhea now. Was about like I got at the Field Club one night-- remember? Ė except that here there are such things as amoebas and itís better to be sure. I will never again eat anywhere except a G.I. mess.

††††††††††† Hugh Herbert is on in our show tonight and guess Iíve covered the news so will go see the show. Thinking of you all every minute and love you more than ever.

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

†††††††††††

June 24, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Itís been a quiet, restful Sunday. Started raining about ten last night and has drizzled all day. We all welcome rain on Sunday since it cuts down on the number of brass visitors and leaves us to ourselves. Sundays have been packed with visitors until today. Last Sunday we had over 50 visitors.

††††††††††† After writing last night I went to the show. A comedy with Hugh Herbert Ė very funny Ė and then ďEscape from the DesertĒ Ė only fair. Went to bed after the show. Up early this morning and had a good breakfast Ė pancakes and sausage. I had 3 pancakes. Puttered around this morning and read about a dozen World Heralds, which had accumulated. Had elegant dinner Ė turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, chocolate cake and coffee. On Sunday afternoon at 3 oíclock we always have coffee and doughnuts. I skipped the doughnuts because I wanted to be sure not to spoil supper. One of our Sgts. is at the packing house here as meat inspector and he sent me out four spring chickens. The boys cooked them for us for supper. We had the staff and all the officer patients Ė 16 all together. We have 10 officers, all swell guys. We have an officer dining room by the way and the girls keep flowers on the table and sheets for table cloths, so we had a very stateside dinner. Fried chicken (really good), mashed potatoes, wonderful chicken gravy and coffee. Sounds like I did nothing all day but eat and I guess thatís about right. The army really does do a marvelous job of feeding us here. We are now getting fresh meat 3 or 4 times a week and the canned meat is very good. It is all boned meat, beef, sausage, chicken, turkey, bacon, wieners, corned beef, etc. I am sure that we eat a lot better than the civilians in the states. Donít you think so? I wish I could send you home some meat and cigarettes and candy and gum, but we canít send anything that the army ships over here.

††††††††††† I awakened this morning feeling like a million so am for sure over the trots and back to my usual good health. After supper took one of the boats with the motor and went for about an hourís cruise on the lake. The boat s work swell and we should have a lot of fun with them. We are still working on our dock. We are building a dock about 50 ft. out into the water and then putting 2 floats out another 75 ft. or so and roping in between them for swimming. This will limit the swimming area to a small place and itís only about 5 ft. deep so the boys can have some nice dips without any danger. I just got back from boating when I started this and havenít anything to do tonight so will read and go to bed early. Things here at the camp are going along beautifully. We still have projects under way to complete before the place is the way we want it, but in about two weeks, it should be about perfect. Besides completing the dock, weíre getting overstuffed furniture to furnish 3 rooms as lounges and material for our curtains. We opened our new showers and latrines yesterday Ė brick buildings with concrete floors. We were temporarily in tents. Weíre building a photo developing lab for the detachment and patients, enlarging the craft shop and then as I see it, weíll be in perfect shape. Itís a lot of fun running such a nice place and where all of the patients are so perfectly satisfied.

††††††††††† The war looks a bit static right now but I believe it is the quiet before the storm and the storm should start in its full fury in the Pacific in very short order and then I am sure Japan will not last long. I still think Iíll be home for Christmas and that, that day will be the happiest day of our lives. Wonít it be wonderful to be together and doing and planning things together. It will really be wonderful. Didnít get any mail today but should tomorrow and by then should be getting your letters in reply to the first ones I wrote from here.

††††††††††† Iím enclosing a little bud, which the Chinese sell on the streets. One of the collies who works here brought it this morning. I think it is a gardenia bud and I believe they dip it in oil to preserve the fragrance. They seem to last a long time without drying out. Guess Iíve never mentioned flowers here but in the yard we have hundreds. Carnations and I donít know what all. This is the rainy season here but itís not like Assam. It rains a good deal but mostly at night of for an hour or so in the daytime and then the sun come out. Usually it rains quite hard when it rains, but today was different, and drizzled most of the day. Am thinking of you all every minute of the day and night. Have your pictures up where theyíre smiling back and Gary is about to jump out of the one picture. I love you all so very, very much and am so proud of you all.

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

 

June 25, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today so donít have much to write about. Spent most of the day out doors supervising the dock and some clean up work. Also various phases of the reconditioning program. A public relations officer was out with a story on the camp giving me and the staff considerable credit. It will go to the World Herald and is a nice story if they print it. Maybe some pictures with it. Worked on the dock for a couple of hours after dinner and then we had a quiz program, one team of officer patients and one of enlisted patients. Pearson was quiz-master and is a wow. The rest of us heckled from the back of the room. Was a lot of fun. Had hot chocolate and doughnuts afterwards and I just came up. Things here are running along very smoothly and I feel quite sure that 172 will be set up in very short time now, which will make us all happy. Am feeling like a million as I have practically every day since I left the States. Am thinking of you all every minute and do love you so very, very much. Am going to bed and dream about you.

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

 

June 26, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today and I really begin to miss those letters after about a week now. Believe the planes over the hump have been grounded a lot the past few days and that is probably the reason. Went into town today and then out to the hospital to coordinate some things between here and there and out to 172 Hdqs. for lunch. Had an elegant lunch including apple pie and ice cream. The cooks had saved me some ice cream in the ice box from one night that I was supposed to get out for dinner and didnít make it. Spent a couple of hours with the Col. and Tate going over some personnel problems that weíre going to have when we set up the hospital and continue to run this place. Readinger will come out here Friday and replace Pearson then when we open up, which will be real soon now, I will go down with the outfit and weíll leave Readinger here temporarily at least since we have another officer who can act as chief of medicine.

††††††††††† Was back out here in time for dinner and then worked on the dock for a couple of hours afterwards. By the end of the week should have it completed. Have a show tonight, Judy Garland in ďThe Clock.Ē First reel was pretty stupid so I came in to get this letter off. Fred Warren was out for the evening and just now left. He has 106 points but is going to wait until the hospital is running and he gets his promotions, so heíll probably be here as long as I am. Believe I told you that I have 83 points and feel very sure that, that will get me home for Christmas and what a happy day that will be. I know it will be the happiest day of my life, by far. I believe that you will find your old Pappy a very easy guy to get along with for the rest of my life because when I can get my hands on you guys again there will be very little else that Iíll need to make me the happiest man in the world. Better keep this letter to show me as a reminder just in case my memory is not good and I get out of line.

††††††††††† The pictures, which the signal corps made, came out today and they are swell. Iíll keep them until I get the write up done and then send them all to you. Going to bed now and dream about my very sweet little brood. I do love you all so very, very much.

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

 

June 27, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two letters from you today Ė June 12 and 13. You apparently have still not had any of my letters written after I got over here and settled but you should have been getting them shortly after you wrote these.

††††††††††† Sorry poor little Gregg has got the sneezes, and Mommy too. He must have your nose. It must be getting hot there now. It is really quite a miserable climate isnít it? Believe it will be much cooler out at 102 Blondo with a breeze up on the hill. Donít you think so? Weather here has been wonderful. Quite a bit of rain but some clear sunshiny weather every day and evenings are always nice. Iím feeling like a million now and sleep like a top.

††††††††††† Forgot to tell you that while I was at our Hdgs. Yesterday Major Jack Hommer from Lincoln came in to see me. Fortunate that I was there because he was only to be in town for a short time. He has been over here about two years, with a Chinese army all the time. Do you remember him? He pledged me to KE. We double dated with him some. After he was through school he ran a filling station north of Lincoln and I believe we stopped there to see him once. He remembered you and inquired about you. He was surprised to know that we have four chicks. He has two.

††††††††††† Spent all morning writing a special report on this place for the Surgeon General and will send you a copy. The pictures turned out beautifully. Worked on the dock again after supper and weíre getting it to where it looks like something now. Should be able to finish it this week. Red Cross had a program tonight Ė a quiz show again. It was very funny this time Ė ďIt pays to Be IgnorantĒ -- coffee and cake afterwards. Just now came up and am ready to hit the hay. In another envelope Iím mailing a silk map used by combat troops and included in Air Corps parachute jacks. Hope I get more mail tomorrow. It really helps a lot. Seems like the day is a week when we donít get mail. Thinking of you every minute and love you all so very, very much. Will dream about you.

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

 

††††††††††† June 28, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today and itís getting about time for a flick again one of these days. The mail is really the most important thing over here as far as keeping up spirits. Lt. Rubin, the assigned officer here, a second Lt. M.A.C., received a Red Cross cable this morning that his wife has do days to live. She had one kidney removed two years ago but has been well since and last letter he had she was fine and working. Poor guy will probably have to wait 2 or 3 days to get out of here and heís about wacky for which I canít blame him. Itís things like that happening all around us that make the mail so important. All that any of us want is to know every day that you very precious guys are O.K. Have been very busy all day polishing up the report for the Surgeon General. Had two inspectors here from Washington today. Think they were both fair haired boys who someone had sent to get a couple of ribbons on their chest because they didnít know what the h--- they were inspecting for or why. I showed them a good time for about an hour and sent them on their way. A deal came off today which put 172 on top of the pile. I canít tell you about it but I am really laughing up my sleeve because the very thing happened which Col. Tyner and I have been preaching ever since we hit China but no one wanted to listen to us. Now that itís popped, theyíre running to us for the answer. It sort of does us good to see a lot of the sons of Bís sweating it out who have given this unit such a doís life for seven months. Oh well, soon it will all be over and we can forget such unpleasant things, but in the meantime, it is dog eat dog.

††††††††††† Had a swell show tonight Ė ďA Royal Scandal.Ē It is wonderful. See it if you get a chance. Bankhead does a magnificent job. After the show had some melba toast and anchovies, which Julius received today and a couple of drinks to 172. Itís after twelve now and I am sleepy so will go to bed and dream about my beautiful little brood. I love you all so very much.

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

 

June 29, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Three very lovely letters today Ė June 14, 15 and 16. Glad you are now beginning to get caught up on my letters. Seems as though every letter that I wrote along the road was delivered at the same time, but better late than never. The letter that I wrote to Hod was a silly one. I didnít get hemorrhoids but it really is a rough trip. Wouldnít take anything for the experience but twice is once too often. When I was in China the first time, Col. Tyner came over and stayed here. I went back and moved the outfit up from Ledo. Tyner and Tate stayed in downtown hostels until I got here. Then we all three, with some enlisted men and other officers, went out to our area and set up Hdqs. in tents. They are all still there. I was pulled out of there after a few days and brought out to the convalescent camp but as soon as we are set up we will send another officer here, probably Rich, and I will go back to the unit.

††††††††††† Jonnie Bell sounds like a rascal but itís nice that he and Gregg get along so well. Also nice that Martie Ann has such a nice playmate as Susie. Got a big kick out of Gregg taking his PJs and stuff over to Johnnieís. Think you are wise to trade at Wohlnerís because a privately owned store will take better care of you. Received the checks and will cash 2 for $100 each then after this month should save money because there is very little here to spend it on. Canít even tell, I might even send some money home. Iíll believe that when I see it, wonít you? The weeks do go by awfully quickly. Seven month are now gone and it really doesnít seem too long. Gary boy really sounds like a buster. His weight is wonderful for a year. Glad you are getting his shots done. Keep it up until he has had them all. Sounds like you are in the Monsoons now instead of me. Would like to have seen Gary in the middle of the syrup. Does he miss anything? Itís wonderful that you can keep your sense of humor with the four of them into something all the time but you keep it up. Itís grand to be that way. Glad Mrs. Gillmore called you. Her son is a very nice lad. We also have another Omaha boy, by the name of Gary, who is a good boy. Thank you all you sweet children for the Fatherís Day notes. You are all writing very well. Think itís pretty good especially Gary and Mollie.

††††††††††† Went into town this morning and then out to Hdqs. to see Tyner and Tate. Both are fine. His brother is out of the Army on points. Most of his points are for decorations which the Air Corps hand out for a dime a dozen. But they do take a lot of risk. On the way back through town, I stopped at a stamp store. Mr. Vogel wrote and wanted me to get him some stamps. Thought while I was at it might as well get some for Gregg and Gary because someday they may want to collect them. I mailed them in separate envelopes. Also mailed the set of pictures taken by the Signal Corps of the camp. They are splendid and will give you a very good idea of the beautiful spot that Iím in. Got back just in time for supper then took a shower and put on my pajamas. Itís only eight now, so should get to bed early. War news sounds excellent but believe the big show is just around the corner, and soon after it, this war will be over.

††††††††††† Thinking of you all every single minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. When I get home Iíll never let you guys out of my sight again. Dreamed last night that I was promoted and was home and you were very pleased about it. Guess I was too but when I looked at my shirt this morning the leaves were still gold. They may change though one of these months soon, at least before I leave this theatre. Promotions here, like anywhere else, are tough to get through and up to date we have never been able to promote any officer except 32 Lieutenants, and that was automatic, because of a new 18 month in grade rule. It doesnít worry me in the least because Iíll get it some day. Love you so very much. Will dream about you.

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

 

June 30, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Four swell letters today Ė June 17, 18, 19 and 20. That is really elegant service and apparently mine are going through now in 9 or 10 days. As long as they come through this way I canít complain. Glad that Gregg got his tent up. He will have a lot of fun with it. Really got a bang out of his newspaper stand. The little guy always did have an eye for the dollar. Heíll probably be at least a millionaire some day. Too bad that Hodís knee is on the bum. Iíll have to rope him some day and put a cast on for him. There is quite an epidemic of cholera in China but it is 600 miles from here and they are getting it under control. Looks like you have a case on your hands with the boys now wanting to spend the night with each other. Theyíre getting started early. I remember though how thrilled we used to be to have company, like Gen Miller stay with us. Donít misunderstand me about the food. It was wonderful for you to go to the trouble but we really get excellent food and want for nothing. Think I should be sending you food instead. Glad you called Desda. You should do it often. Too bad about Daisy. She seems like a pretty horrible person to all of us but maybe she has her good points. Glad Rob is well. Would like to have seen Gary and Debby with their ice cream cones. Must be really a cute pair. Wish you could get away somewhere for a few weeks but I hope you wonít leave the pumpkins and it would be awfully difficult to try to travel with them When I get home weíll take another Rose Bowl trip to California or Florida and maybe that will make up for it. How about that?

††††††††††† The weather here today has been perfectly beautiful, if fact it is all of the time except when it rains and that isnít much. Tate was out this afternoon to pay our boys and we had quite a little visit. He really wants to get home and I believe he has some chance after the critical score is announced. He has 90 points and that may do it. I of course am hoping 83 will be enough and it could be. There are only about 4 officers in our outfit who have more than I do. They are Tate, Warren and I think Rich but am not sure. He came in 2 months ahead of me, but I have one more battle star. I believe Morr also but he wants to stay in the Army. He is a new dentist that we picked up in India. After writing last night Julius and I were sitting here and there was a knock on the door. The girls were hungry. The two Red Cross and Capt. Morvat. So we made coffee, had the chicken that you sent, some melba toast and anchovy paste and some delicious wine-preserved fruit that Smitty had. So we had a wonderful little snack and then went to bed. Was surprised that I didnít have bad dreams but didnít Lt. Rubin received confirmation regarding his wife and will probably leave tonight for a 30 days in the States. She apparently has a cancer of the kidney and doesnít know it. Spent the morning inspecting, etc. and have been reading all afternoon. Have a February copy of Coronet with some very good articles. Over here, by the way, we get every magazine you can think of and they are usually only about a month old. Things here at camp are going smoothly as silk. Think I deserve the Legion of Merit for straightening it out although it was really no problem. Just needed a little guiding hand with enough rank to talk back a little. Have about covered the news. I guess and itís about time for supper. We have a how tonight but I may go down town with one of the officer patients to his club at Hostel #11. Will make up my mind later. Iím feeling like a million all the time and havenít a complaint in the world except that I really do miss my Mommy and that lovely little brood. Think of you all every minute and love you all so very, very much.

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

 

July 1, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today but canít complain since such nice mail yesterday. Today has been rather drizzly all day. Was nice this morning so I took a little ride down the road to a Chinese prison camp and a cotton mill. The cotton mill is one that was moved here from up north 6 years ago and is a very modern plant which is nicer than most industrial plants in the States -- nice buildings, flower gardens, barracks for the employees, a place to swim, tennis, etc. There are some bright spots in China here and there.

††††††††††† Bob Burns and Anderson arrived from India yesterday and came out for the day. Also Readinger came out and Pearson went in which is a big relief. Pearson is OK but living with him is no good. He jumps around like a woman having a fit and chatters like a monkey all the time. Nothing ever suits him. Readinger, Burns, Anderson and I spent all afternoon chewing the fat Ė had coffee and doughnuts, then after supper, we had a band out. They put on a very nice program for about an hour and Ivan and I have been hashing things over until it is now eleven. Going to bed and dream about my wonderful little brood. I do love you all so very, very much.

††††††††††† I just happened to realize that this is July and the Mommy is going to have a birthday probably about the day before you get this. Know that Iíll be thinking about you and I hope you get one of the packages right on that day. Call the bracelets and pins from Delhi or Calcutta your birthday present will you and next year Iíll had it to you in person with a great big hug and a kiss and I do love you so very, very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Happy Birthday. Always, Clint and Daddy

†††††††††††

July 1, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today or yesterday but guess I donít deserve any because I didnít write yesterday. Had to go into town and out to our Hdqs. then back to the hospital so was about eleven when I got in last night. When I got here, Dan Content, with two war correspondents, were here for the night. The correspondents were man and wife, he with King Features, she with Colliers. Both are illustrators. We sat and talked till quite late. These people were very interesting. They had been through all the European war and will be here for months. Her name is Martha Sawyer, his impossible Ė Resweither or such. About four oíclock Bud Hancock, from Barkeley (do you remember his?) Ė a very nice Capt. M.A.C. Ė called and came out for dinner. Tate called and came out and the four of us have had a big session all evening. He finally got a transfer to the Judge Advocate Generalís department and will be Asst. Theatre J.A.G. He will leave here soon and go to Theatre Hdqs. They just left and itís now ten oíclock. Did I ever tell you that no once can be away from their quarters after eleven oíclock -- twelve on Saturday. Itís a good idea, we all get more sleep, and it is mostly to save gas. Am awfully glad to have Readinger here. He is very easy going and doesnít keep up the chatter like Pearson. Things here are going very well but I will be glad when we get set up, which wonít be long now, and back with the gang. This is quite isolated and rather dull. It is a wonderful place to live, however, and I shouldnít be complaining. It has rained a lot today but turned off nice late this afternoon. Am sort of sleepy so will go to bed and dream about all of you. I love you all so very, very much.

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

 

July 4, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today so should hit the jackpot tomorrow. Itís been raining and dreary all day today. Not at all like a July 4 should be. We did nothing and didnít have a training program this afternoon. The nurses from Ledo arrived yesterday so Capt. Morvat had them all out here for the day. I drove them up to the temple of a thousand idols and to the cotton mill after lunch. The Red Cross got a hold of a lot of Chinese fireworks and are now outside shooting them. They are not very good ones but some work pretty well. A few days ago one of our enlisted men told me of a Sgt. downtown who was going back to the States and who had a Chinese boy that he had had for two years. He wondered if I would take them and I said Iíd give it a try. They brought him out today for good measure he brought another boy. One is 9, Lu and the other 14, Chao. Both are orphans and very cute. We fixed the tent to live in and let them eat in the kitchen. They are both very smart but have had no education. I worked with them both all morning and they learn very rapidly. It started with spelling and numbers. They know a few English words but not many. I had some wool socks, which had shrunk, and got some field shoes from Capt. Morvat. The nurses all have G.I. shoes but hardly ever wear them. The girls are going to make them some clothes. They were barefooted and in rags, but clean, and after we had them take another bath for good measure and got shoes and socks on them, they looked very smart and were so proud of themselves and so very appreciative. Think it will be a lot of fun to fool around with them and after awhile I can probably learn some Chinese from them.

††††††††††† News is good for 172 and the war in general. Am sleepy although it is only nine oíclock so think Iíll go to bed. Enclosing some snaps and some stamps for Gregg and Gary. Am thinking of you all so very much and do love you all more then ever. Will be with you on the next fourth and would even consider a picnic if thatís what you guys wanted to do. Will dream about you. I love you always.

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

 

July 5, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today and itís getting about time. They must be having bad weather over the hump or somewhere. Itís always more difficult to write when we donít get mail so Iím hoping that you are getting mine in good time.

††††††††††† Have been comfortably busy today but had time to spend a couple hours with Lu and Chao this morning and about an hour after supper. They really pick things up in a hurry. They learn pretty well about a dozen words a day. They like the idea of taking baths and take two a day. They really sparkle.

††††††††††† Weather today has been better, sun shinned most of day but cloudy this evening. Guess the rain keeps up here most of the time until September. However we have no complaint here on climate. The nurse who came in from Ledo reports temperatures of 130 to 140 every day. Really sticky. Their clothes never dry.

††††††††††† Col. Armstrong was out for a while this afternoon. The date has been definitely set for us to take over another hospital, which is already operating here. We already have more doctors, nurses and about as many enlisted men in the hospital as they do so the change will simply be one of administration and command and the bringing in of the balance of our people and replacing theirs. This evening the weather is nice and the sun is beautiful shining on the mountains across the lake. Guess Iíll go to the show and then go to bed early. Am thinking of you all every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. I do love you so very, very much. Will dream about you.

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

 

July 6, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today so guess the weather over the hump must be bad. Was a beautiful day here. Was busy this morning, then this afternoon we got our first boat finished, which we built ourselves out of plywood and auxiliary gas tanks. Got our motor mounted on it and spent about two hours cruising around the lake. After supper worked on the dock for about an hour and then took another boat ride. Took Readinger, Morvat, Zerell out tonight and we had a swell ride. The boat goes about 15 miles an hour and is really sport. Will have to build the kids one when I get home and go sailing on Carter Lake. Started making a photo album out of leather and worked on it tonight until just now. As soon as I get it done will send it and the brief case together. This leatherwork is a lot of fun and not too hard. Just requires time and patience. Let my two protťgťs go into town today with one of the drivers and they reported back tonight all smiles. Iíll get a picture of them as soon as I get some film. Want to go into town in the morning on business and itís now 10:30 so think Iíll go to bed and dream about my little chicks. I love you all so very, very much.

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

 

July 8, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Didnít get a letter off to you yesterday but sent you a copy of this weekís China Latern, which I think you will find interesting. Had two letters from you yesterday with Berniceís enclosed and they were awfully welcome since they were the first in several days, almost a week. I heard last night that a lot of mail was lost during this week so I probably wonít get the letters at all which you wrote along about the 21, 22, and 23 of June, so if you wrote anything startling, better repeat it. Am hoping that my mail to you is going through with some regularity. Glad you were able to go out with Pete and Loretta and had such a nice time. Also with the kids and the folks to the depot. I know that Iíll be mighty proud to take that little brood out to dinner anytime. Iíve often thought of a family that you and I saw one day in the Athletic Club having dinner and put ourselves in their place with our little kidlets around us. Martie Ann you are doing beautifully with your spelling.

††††††††††† Glad you have made your contact at the Army PX and commissary and believe you will find it worthwhile. Col. Jenkins is not physically qualified for overseas duty but I imagine Tom will be coming over before long. Must be getting pretty hot in Omaha, speaking of shorts or swimming. Hurrah, mail man just arrived with your two letters of June 25 and 26. Also Ethylapnís enclosed, so sorry to hear about Ced, will write him today. Glad you have received the scarf and pictures. Hope you like the silks and other things Iíve sent. You must still have several packages on the way Ė the tings from Calcutta, New Delhi and some more things from China. Gregg you are a very good boy and I am very proud of you for being so grown up but you must mind your Mommy so that she wonít worry about you and donít leave your own yard unless you ask Mommy first. Donítí listen to Johnnie. You always ask Mommy so I will be real proud of my big boy.

The thing that Mamie referred to was the tragedy that I referred to in Ledo. Donít believe you would remember any of them except Kay Larkin. She was a very tall girl, very pretty, beautiful complexion and beautiful gray hair. Tate, I believe, brought her to the game dinner that we had in Brigham. Do you remember her? She was one of our best nurses. The others were all young girls and really the cream of our nurses. We still can hardly believe it. It was an awful shock to Col. Tyner. He couldnít have felt worse if they had been his own children. These 8 had all just come off night duty so had a Saturday off. We had all sat around talking to them all afternoon not knowing what they had planned for that night, so it was naturally an awful shock when we were called at two in the morning. There were eleven other nurses and twelve officers also killed in the crash. Only the eight nurses were ours. Everyone else from other hospitals and Air Corps officers. They had all gone to a dance at a nearby airfield and were on their way home.

††††††††††† Is Miltonberger a General or did you make a mistake? Sorry to hear that Cliff Jensen is leaving Omaha but I imagine that he has a good deal. He should really go places. Mollie, Gary, and the kidís sound wonderful and must really be cute. They are surly good kidlets. Iím enclosing a clipping from this weekís China Lantern, which is the theatre newspaper. This or some similar picture may be in an article in Colliers. You might watch for it. There is a new deal out on the point system. The average of our efficiency ratings will be multiplied by our points for our total and the critical score will be announced about August 1st. I think that I have some chance of being home early this fall and at least by Christmas time.

††††††††††† My efficiency ratings will not hurt me under this hew plan since I have practically all superiors except for about the first two months in the 52nd under Browne where I got an excellent, which is still OK. I can hardly wait for the day when I get home with you guys and I will never leave you again for any reason. The experience that Iíve had, and am having, are priceless but Iíve seen enough of the world without you along.

††††††††††† Went into town yesterday morning and was tied up most of the day because the Chinese were having a big celebration. Got out to the hospital about eleven and then went to our Hdqs. for lunch and was back out here about four. Two of our nurses were here and wanted to go for a boat ride so I took them out until 5. Col. Armstrong was out and we visited until about six thirty then he and I and Readinger went in and picked up Hickle and Cavenaugh and went over to the Chinese Tennis Club for dinner.

††††††††††† Had a fair dinner but a good visit and the club was very nice. The people there were apparently pretty much the cream of Chinese society Ė men and women Ė both very well dressed. One thing that was a riot was their orchestra. A Chinese orchestra with Hawaiian instruments and they were playing all American tunes, mostly hillbilly type, ďDeep in the Heart of TexasĒ and so on. Their rhythm was terrific. Readinger and I left about 10:30 and stopped at hostel 5 to take a look in at the club but just as we arrived they were looking for medics to take care of some accident cases Ė 4 people Ė pretty badly messed up in a jeep Ė 2 G.I.s and 2 Chinese girls. We patched them up a little and sent them to the hospital. Was about twelve when we got home and we were really tired.

††††††††††† Things for the 172 are shaping up beautifully and we will be operating in less than a month, which makes us all very happy indeed. Today is a beautiful day and being Sunday we are loafing. Ivan and I overslept breakfast but had an excellent friend chicken dinner. Our meals are really excellent every day and I am feeling like a million. The picture which I am enclosing was taken the day I came out of the hospital so you can see how sick I was. Things here at the camp are funning very smoothly and everyone loves the place. Weíve had a lot of visitors today, mostly officers and nurses from 172 to look around, and a lot of others also. Itís time for our coffee and doughnut hour so better close because I like to be around. Am counting the days and weeks until we will all e together again and what a wonderful day that will be. You guys mean so very much to me. You are all there is in the world and I love you so very much.

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

††††††††††† Would you like a set of Chinese dishes such as they use? Consists of tea cups, saucers, serving bowls and the little bowls that they eat from and chop sticks. A set for eight people, very nice China, would cost about $15. Will get it if you want it then we can give a Chinese dinner sometime. Havenít bought it yet because I know you have so much China. Let me know.

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

 

July 8, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote this afternoon but just got these pictures from Miss Smith, a Red Cross worker, so thought Iíd mail them. We must have had over 100 visitors here for coffee and doughnuts this afternoon. More rank than you can shake a stick at. Played volleyball after supper and have spent the last hour reading about a dozen World Heralds. Ivan is popping some corn for a snack so better close and help him.

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

 

July 9, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two wonderful letters today, June 21 and 22. I thought these were lost from some rumors that I heard. The clippings were wonderful. Surely glad to see that Miltonberger is a B.S. I have always contended that he was the best field soldier I have ever seen. If he was regular army he would be in Eisenhowerís shoes. While I think about it Iíve been meaning to tell you there are epidemics of cholera and plague in China but not near here and besides we are all inoculated against both plague and cholera and keep them up to date. We take stimulating doses of everything every six months. Just today I took a stimulating dose of Plague. We are immunized against Smallpox, Typhoid, Tetanus, Typhus, Cholera, Plague and Yellow Fever. Any bug that bites us shouldnít catch anything but hydrophobia from us. We also take atabrine every day, which as I today you before, prevents malaria. So donít worry about me for one minute. Glad you got the hankies and scarfs and like them. If you want more of them let me know. They are quite inexpensive since now the rate of exchange is about 1 to 2,500 so that makes the hankies about 30 cents and the scarfs about $1.25. Speaking of prices, our dinner Saturday night was $29,500. Sounds terrific doesnít it? The chaplain was telling me today that his collections on Sunday are terrific because the boys will throw in up to 5 or 10,000 C N when, if they were giving American money theyíd put in a dime. Glad you like the Lantern. Iíll send them every week. Hope Benny will look me up. Glad to know heís a Capt. Glad you have enough gas and are taking good care of the cars. It will pay because we may have to drive them for several years before better models are built and available. Gary must be very advanced to be going up and down stairs by himself. Can hardly wait to see those monkeys. Glad Gregg likes to play out of doors. Thatís the place for boys. Guess Millie loves it too from the sand pile and sprinkler expeditions. Martie Ann and Susie are really quite the pals. They are both lovely little girls, not so little either.

††††††††††† Glad Aunt Rose is well. Give her my love and tell her Iíll be home to take care of her soon. How are the folks? You havenít mentioned Dad for quite a while. Is he well? When I get home and we build that love nest at 102 Blondo I will keep your dressing table piled high with beautiful bottles of perfume and cologne and by that time Mollie will be big enough not to spill it. Donít be so big hearted. A dog belonging to someone else would be a headache. Itís wonderful that the kids mow the lawn. I received the blank checks and cashed one for $200. I do not need the money orders and will not need any more money. I am like you. When I think of getting off that plane in Omaha and having you guys all waiting, I about pop. It will really be the most wonderful day of my life except maybe the day I first met you my wonderful daring and then the precious pumpkins came along.

††††††††††† Wrote a long letter yesterday then a shorty last night. We had probably 100 visitors out yesterday afternoon. Colonels, a dime a dozen, and everything else. Itís nice though. We served coffee and doughnuts and hamburgers at four and then didnít have supper. We served about 450 hamburgers and 450 doughnuts in a half hour and ran out. After supper played two games of volleyball and then Readinger popped some wonderful popcorn, until we almost popped ourselves. Was in bed about ten and up early this morning. Talked to Col. Tyner and he is in high spirits as we all are. Talked to the patients for an hour and a half this morning on the pros and cons of Veteranís Care and socialized medicine. We have an hour a day of orientation, education and discussions, which are hot and heavy.

††††††††††† Chaplain Moll and Lt. Monkins were out for lunch. I did leather work and spent most of the afternoon with Chao. Heís doing beautifully with his English. Sometimes it takes a lot of contortions and explaining to get over to him the meaning o a word. Heís learning but 25 words a day and they seem to stick. He still takes two baths a day and is very proud of himself. Iíll have him write to Martie Ann and Gregg soon. Theyíll get a kick out of it and so will he. Iíll send a picture soon as I can. Lu is too busy most of the time to stop and learn but not Chao. Had supper and then took Moll and Readinger and a couple of enlisted men and took about a two-hour boat ride. Weíre getting our boats fixed up and now have another motor and are getting a jeep motor to mount in a third one. Itís as relaxing as flying and the lake is beautiful. As Iíve told you before, we are completely surrounded by mountains and the colors are rally gorgeous at sundown -- every color imaginable. It is really the most beautiful spot Iíve ever seen. Just came in from the lake at dark to find your letters and get started on this lengthy one. Things here at camp are improving every day. We got in Miss Zerell, the dietitian a couple of days ago and she took over the mess today. We already have by far the best mess in China and it should now be ever better. Our staff now consists of two Red Cross, Capt. Morvat, Zereel, I MACís, myself and Readinger and 37 enlisted men, most of them specialists in reconditioning, etc. We just today opened our own photo-developing lab, which will be a big help and one more thing for us and the patients to do. Last week we opened new showers and latrines in the tent area, brick building. We are now getting a new water tower for more pressure and a filter plant so our water supply will be good. We have to boil all water for drinking and will continue this because of amoeba. Weíre expanding the Craft Shop, have a nice barber shop, local speakers installed all over the plare and broadcast radio programs and play records 3 or 4 hours a day so itís really very nice. Also got a piano last week. Every one involved in the higher brackets seems very will pleased with the place.

††††††††††† Guess Iíve about run out of news. Will send you a package tomorrow with a couple of pieces of my leather work. Itís really fun and with time will improve although these arenít too bad. Am thinking of you every minute and counting the days until Iíll be home with you. I do love you all so very, very much. Am going to bed and dream of you.

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

 

July 10, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your nice letter of June 27 arrived today and Desdaís and clipping of Miltonberger. He looks same as always and very good. Was particularly interested in Desdaís letter. In one line she hoped that the children were over the measles. My beautiful little prevaricator, which ones had it and are they all OK now? You always get caught in your beautiful little white lies to your Daddy donít you my sweet? Itís wonderful of you to keep these things from me but you must have been through a terribly hectic winter what with whooping cough, measles and such miserable weather. I should be home with you helping take care of the dears and certainly wish I was. At any rate it wonít be too long now and I think as time goes by the kids and you will be proud of the fact that I came over and did my little bit. Surely hope that Ralph will be able to get home. He has really been gone a long time. You ask about Mrs. Tong. I believe I have told you about her clothes. She dresses beautifully but in Chinese clothes. Dr. Tong of course wears American clothes.

††††††††††† Rained most of today but I kept busy with inside work. Finished my photo album this afternoon and have the package ready to mail. When I get home Iíll arrange all the photos and mark them. Donít let me put it off like your Dad did. General Bayliss, who is Theatre Surgeon for India/Burma, and Col. Armstrong were out for lunch and to look the place over. The General was very delighted with the place. Tonight for dinner we had Col. Cogell, who is head of preventive medicine for China, Col. Mailes, who is Chief nurse for Inida/Burma and Major Burford, who is Chief nurse for China, also Fred Warren. We really entertain all visiting royalty here. It is really the bright spot of all China. We got a new outboard motor, a large one today. It was a motor that General Cheaves had sent over for his private use. He has returned to the States and rumor has it is now a Lt. Col. Anyway, we got the motor and itís a beauty. We installed It in a 30 ft. assault boat and it goes about 25 miles per hour with 15 to 25 people aboard. We tried it out after supper and were out until dark. It is really s smooth job and a big addition to the place. Every day that goes by we improve the place in some way or other and it is really becoming a show place. Itís eleven now and Iím a bit sleepy so will go to bed and dream about you. As I look back now I know that the few days when you wrote brief letters and missed a day or so must have been when the kids had measles. Are they all OK now? And are you taking care of yourself?

††††††††††† Today is your birthday and now you are as old as I am. Wish I could have given you a real nice surprise party tonight and promise I will next year, so you shouldnít be too surprised. Mart, as the years go by, you get more beautiful all the tie and I love you more and admire you more every year. You are such a perfect wife and Mommy. Happy Birthday and many more of them with us together for every one. Call the pin and bracelets from Delhi your gift until I am there to give you a better one. I love you all so very, very much and am thinking of you all every minute. Iíll dream about you tonight Sweet dreams to you. x x x for your birthday.

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

 

July 11, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail today but canít expect it every day. I did get a letter from Allen Davis from Myithyina with some pictures enclosed, which I mailed in a separate envelope. Went into town this morning and was in most of the day. Promoted 4 more motors for our boats and will get them soon. Saw Col. Tyner and had a nice visit with him. Heís happy as a lark and things are shaping up nicely. Iíll probably go down with him about the end of the month and you know what that means. We will all be very happy. We have waited for that day so long. Had lunch at S.O.S. Hdqs. Itís a hard trip into town and itís all because the road is so rough. Hate to go in any more than necessary. After dinner got the detachment together and did a lot of work, which was lagging, such as cutting weeds. Have the dock almost finished and another boat. Within about two weeks we can have everything here in ship shape and then Iíll be ready to move onto new pastures and Iíll really be busy then but very happy with it.

††††††††††† Just got in from working on the dock and a short ride in the new boat and am sleepy so think Iíll go to bed and dream about my lovely little family. Surely hope you are all well and over the measles. Thinking of you all every minute and do love you and you only so very, very much.

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

 

July 12, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Your wonderful letter of June 29 with Jackís enclosed. It had been returned for postage and was postmarked July 2 so that is wonderful service. We had the picture ďWithout LoveĒ here Saturday, although I didnít see it, so you can see we get them pretty fast. Too bad about OíHara forgetting the income tax. I will write him tomorrow. Ask him if heís getting the statements from the Natl. Co. Ė if not, have Pete give him a copy every month. I had this all arranged before I left and I canít understand his slipping up. You let it go and I will write him tomorrow. I donít think we have anything to report except what shows on the Natl. Co. statement plus my salary. We donít have any stocks or bonds. By the way, did Laurie ever recover the stocks, etc. which we had posted with the Connell Estate? Call him about it since they should be in our lock box. Glad Wohlnerís are so nice to you. Believe it pays to do business with individuals rather than chains when you can, even though you have to pay a little bit more.

††††††††††† Gary must be cute as a bug now shaking his head and what not. Iím dying to see those rascals and will certainly never leave any of you again. Mollie too must be a cute imp and the others so big and so good. You surely do have two swell Uncles in Ced and Jack, Rob and Desda too. Rob is OK just badly married.

††††††††††† Didnít do much today. Worked for a while this morning and then spent a couple of hours with Chao. After lunch took a nap and then after supper worked on the dock for a while and then took a nice boat ride. The new motor really works swell. Will carry up to 25 people and go bout 20 to 25 per. Capt. Johnson came out this evening with about 50 colored slides taken in Karachi and on our boar hunt. They were excellent and Iíll have them reproduced when I get back to the States so that you can see them. After that had our regular show, Jack Benny in ďThe Horn Blows at Midnite.Ē Only fair. Just came in from the show now. Havenít much to write but do know that Iím thinking of you every minute and counting the days until Iím with you again and forever. Surely hope that you and the kids are all well and as happy as you can be with me away and I do hope you miss me half as much as I do you guys. All the love in the world.

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

 

July 13, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† No mail again today. The service has been quite spotty lately. Did get a World Herald which announced the end of War in Europe. Must have come by boat. I ran across the cartoon which Laurie Williams sent me. It was in the very May Esquire. Would like to see that name on an office door real soon now. Had you noticed the name on the door in the cartoon? Readinger and I were talking about the eight nurses tonight and I happened to think of another one that you would probably remember. Her name was Henley but everyone called her Pinky. Se was tall and very slender and Col. Tyner used to tell Mamie that she was his girl. She was a very lovely girl and Iím sure that you have seen her around the Bushnell Officerís Club. Most of the time she was with Lt. Whitney, our mess officer.

††††††††††† Was busy all morning and then after lunch Readinger and I took one of the boats and were out in it until about four. After supper I puttered around down on the dock putting up a rope railing. It is now completed and is really a beauty. Looks pretty slick with the light boats tied along side. Weíve had the water tested for swimming and can not use it because there is too much contamination so that is out.

††††††††††† Things here are in nice shape now and we are close to having everything done that I want to do and then about time I will leave and go to 172. Things for 172 are shaping up better every day and the day is getting nearer and nearer. We will have very nice living quarters and a nice club. The hospital itself will require a lot of work before itís the way we want it to be. The living quarters, club, etc. are all brand new, many of the wards also. Some of the wards are old and will require the work. Weíre all looking forward to getting started soon. Iím feeling like a million all the time and have only one complaint that is, I miss you guys terrible and am getting so anxious to be with you again. I do love you all so very, very much, more than ever.

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

 

July 14, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Three lovely letters today Ė June 29, 39 and July 2. Also letter from Martie Ann, two World Heralds and KE newsletter. Martie Ann, I think itís wonderful that you write so swell and have learned the Ten Commandants. You should always remember these. They are good rules to live by. The Tongs are very wealthy. They have a home in Shanghai and came here 8 years ago. Theyíre very anxious to return. Their home is very nice Ė furniture purchased locally, American style, not very good, and they are terribly ashamed of it but can get no better here. Probably have a magnificent home in Shanghai. They have a couple of house servants. He runs a large modern biological laboratory and has many working there and on the grounds. They do not sit on the floor. Only the peasants do. I did not get tight. I know how to say Sinay Bien too well. Glad the kids like the pup. It belongs to Capt. Morvat but is sort of general property here. Capt. Pope is in this theatre with another hospital. Glad Eleanor and the babes are home and well and hope Max wonít be gone very long at a time. Glad you liked the Chinese embroidered pictures. They are not so very expensive Ė about $2 each. If you want some more for gifts to any of your friends or for bazaars, etc., let me know and Iíll get them, also hankies, scar, etc. Iíll get a set of chopsticks next time downtown. They are not too difficult to manipulate.

††††††††††† It is summer here now and the rainy season. We are quite far south here but the altitude is over 6,000 feet, so it really makes a delightful climate year-round. Summers are wonderful and in the winter the temperature goes down only to about 50 above. So it is really a perfect climate, supposed to be one of the finest climates in the world and I believe it. Glad to hear that the kids and you are all well and hope the kids sold only old detective magazines for Iím afraid Dad would be pretty peeved. They seem to be quite the business bodies. Believe Gregg will wind up like his Daddy by being a doctor/farmer and that would suit me for both the boys. Wasnít it nice of Mr. Vogel to send the flowers. Iíve been sending him some stamps for his collection. Weíll send them some other trinkets. Bill Noyes is a very fine lad. He moved some buildings on the farm fo me. Glad Mollie likes dresses and bet she looks like a doll. Gary must be getting awfully cute. Canít imagine him having a temper.

††††††††††† Went to the hospital this morning and looked over our quarters, which are practically completed. They are very nice. Iíll tell you more about them when we move in. Went to Hdqs. for lunch. Saw the Col., Warren, Tate, etc. The children are gradually being brought into the fold and all will be here by the end of this month and then weíll go to work with a vengeance. Col. Tyner is in fine spirits. Came back out here about four and just now finished dinner. Weíre having a show tonight so want to finish this letter early. Iím feeling like a million all the time. The nights are so cool that we all sleep like logs. Early to bed just about every night and often a wee bit of a snooze after lunch. Iím thinking of you every minute and dreaming day and night of that day when weíll all be together again. What a wonderful day that will be. I do love you all so very, very much.

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

Here are more pictures taken along the road on our last trip.

 

July 14, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Wrote this afternoon but wanted to write about this evening while itís still fresh in my mind. We just came in from a most enjoyable evening with the Tongs. There were four of us there and the supper was simple in comparison with last time, but so very good. We had rice, a pork dish, a beef dish, bamboo sprouts, preserved cabbage with pork in it, fish and cooked cabbage, saki and green tea. After supper played bridge. I played with Mrs. Tong and she plays a very good game. I had excellent cards all evening and we ran up a score of 3,700 to the good. I bid and made a grand slam. Mrs. Tong had on a jade dinner ring, beautiful thing. We were admiring it and she brought out all of her jade jewelry except one piece. She has 3 or 4 gorgeous dinner rings with earrings to match. Her good jewelry is all in a vault in Shanghai and she doesnít know if the Japs have it or not. There she has a brooch, which she described to us of jade and diamonds about 3 Ĺ inches across. Must be gorgeous from description. They have a very hard time of getting things that they want for Do Do. He is 23 months old but I would say about the size of Gary now. Would you want to get him some color books, maybe some educational toys such as pounding pegs and such or any other little things and maybe a couple of little romper suits or sweaters or such. Anything in the way of clothes better get them just a little large for Gary. I know that they would be awfully appreciative. If you can fix up a couple of boxes not too big, mail them first class so that they will get here soon. Perhaps you have some little suits or sweaters and such given to you that Gary wonít wear. Itís only 10:30 but Iím sleepy so will go to bed and dream about all of you. Goodnight. Iíll finish tomorrow.

††††††††††† Hi Ė here it is 11 oíclock Monday and Iím just getting back to my letter. Forgot to tell you about one luscious dish last night. For desert we had fresh strawberries with wine over them and it was something! I was busy all morning, then Col. Mailer and Col. Tyner came out this afternoon and just now left. Mailer is Chief Nurse for India/Burma and came on an inspection tour with Gen. Bayliss, a grand person, and we learned much, all good, and got many problems settled regarding nurses replacements, etc. News tonight is swell. The navy is shelling the shoreline of Japan. They will undoubtedly move in during the next two or three weeks and then I canít believe Japan will last for long. Iíll still be home for Christmas and what a wonderful day that will be. Took everyone for a nice boat ride after supper. Iím sleepy and itís late so think Iíll go to bed and dream about you. Iím thinking of you every day and do love you so very, very much. Sweet dreams.

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

 

July 15, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Two swell letters today and recent Ė one July 1 and the other July 4. That is excellent service. Ten days after it was mailed. Was rare the kids missing Sunday School to meet Craig. Wish I could have been there for the fourth but will be for the next one. Box from Desda sounded grand. Iím going to get some things soon and send to Dee, Ced, Jack, etc. Will get some hankies, scarfs, embroidered pictures, etc. Isnít it nice that Martie Ann is doing so well with her school this summer, and so big to be doing the ironing. Gregg and Martie Ann, your house sounds swell. Make it big enough for me to get into. Gary really sounds cute pushing his taylor tot and climbing around. He must be a monkey like Gregg and Mollie.

††††††††††† Went to bed after writing you last night then Ivan and I got started talking and first thing we knew it was 1:30. We were hungry so got up and had beer and sardines then went to bed and slept like a top. The weather here for sleeping is really swell. Had swell breakfast this morning Ė stewed fresh peaches, bacon and eggs (four of them), toast, jelly and coffee. About ten, drove around a while with Ivan and stopped at Dr. Tongís. They wanted us back for supper so we are going down soon. After lunch slept until 3 oíclock then had our coffee hour. Many guests as usual Ė Armstrong, Hickle, etc. Two of those here invited me to Mrs. Wongís home for dinner Tuesday night. Mr. Wong is number 3 man in the Chinese government. Heís second to Chiang Kai-Shek. Chevnault, Middleton and other high U.S. Army officials are to be there so should prove most interesting indeed. Weather was beautiful all day until about four it started raining and is still going, but as Iíve said before, there is nothing here to complain about. Itís wonderful weather. Iím feeling like a million Ė wonderful appetite and sleep like drugged. Keeping my tan by boating, etc., so really feel swell. Iím so proud of the kids and so very, very proud of Mommy for doing such a magnificent job of taking care of them and it is really a huge job. Iíll surely be glad when this is over and we can get some good help and I can help too. You tell Eleanor that I think she and Max should live in Omaha after the war. Max and I can office together and he can do as well there as anywhere. Then we can all live out on the farm and the kids grow up together. The folks can have a little home there too and maybe we can even get Bud there with us. He could be business manager for me and Max, take care of the hotel, real estate, etc. He is definitely interested so Eleanor you had better think it over. Weíll have a lot of fun and you wonít be so far away fighting it out with the long noses. Iím now in my eight month overseas and fully believe Iíll be home for Christmas. Max will be too I believe, then we can really go to work on building our practices and raising children. Itís beautiful sitting here watching it rain into the lake, but even more beautiful is to look at the pictures of my little brood who are hanging on the wall. The kids all look ready to walk right out of the picture. Must close and go down to Dr. Tongs. Will write you all about it tomorrow. Col. Tyner and Col. Mailer will be out for dinner tomorrow night. Thinking of you every minute and love you more than I can ever tell you. I do love you all so very, very much.

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

 

July 17, 1945 Ė In China

Mart Darling and Kiddies,

††††††††††† Just got in from the dinner party at Mrs. Wongís and it was some affair. There were two U.S. Generals and four Chinese Generals; about 5 Colonels; 10 Lt. Colonels, myself, 1 Captain, 3 E.Mís and about ten civilian Chinese couples. Never saw so much food in my life. Course after course until I thought Iíd bust and Gom Boy all evening. Madam Wongís husband is not here now. He was the Chinese representative to the San Francisco Conference and went from there to London and is now in Moscow.

Went into town early today and then out to our Hdqs. Our Hdqs. will move into our new quarters tomorrow and I will move down Thursday leaving Readinger in charge here. Our new quarters are super. Iíll tell you about them later. I will live with Col. Tyner in a bungalow built for the C.O. It is brand new and consists of bedroom, bath, living room, breakfast room, kitchen and a room for the coolie to live in. Living room has fireplace and whole house is very nice with a little open porch, etc. So it seems I move from one pot of luck to another in this army. Iím awfully tired so will write you more details tomorrow. No mail today or yesterday so perhaps tomorrow. Did some shopping today and will also tell you about that tomorrow. Thinking of you every minute and do love you all so very, very much. Iíll dream about you.

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

 

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