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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

April 26, 1945

The Times Pony edition was printed for members of the U.S. Armed Forces overseas beginning at the end of 1942. Div CP would mean Division Command Post.

                                                                                               26th April

Dear Arnold,

     Received your V-mail of 6th April.  After what campaign?  We were
going to get a rest, but the situation changed  and here  we are kicking
the Japs around with everything or anything.  They are about as hard to exterminate
[ARROW] as cockroaches in a good old Calif home.  I am going up to work with the
Guerrillas, as an intelligence officer.  It should prove interesting.

[from ARROW above in margin]
but we are just the guys who can and are liquidating them

     Although the rest did'nt pan out we did get ten days of perishable
rations, and have had fresh meat and eggs for breakfast practically every day
day now for the last seven days.  However, it will soon be back to bully
beef and spam again.

     At present we ar set up in a coconut grove, near an ex-town ( completely
destroyed by the Japs).  The weather is hot and muggy, but it is better this
way than if it was raining all the time.  I sure hope we finish this deal
up before the rainy season starts.  I don't want to have to go through another
nightmare like we had on Leyte.  Of course we would be there during the
typhoon season, and I have never been wet so much for so long in my life.
We use to have to stand in ankle deep mud even in the chow line, and keeping
dry feet was just impossible, in fact keeping dry was impossible.

     We have had a little rain here, and I can see that this place will be a
regular mud hole too, when the rains come.  It rained just as much or more
on Bougainville, but the ground quickly absorbed the water.  Also it would
usually rain about the same time every day for a week or so, and then change
the schedule.  In Leyte is just rained all the time every day.

     Say I want to thank you again for the pen and pencil set, it is now one
of my prized possessions.  I don't know how I got along without it before.
Also thanks for the Air mail edition of TIMES Pony, that is something that
is hard to find around here, and they are always read to death.

     I have lost a lot of weight, and you probably would'nt recognize me now.
Things have been rough, and I am glad that you won't have to got through any-
thing like this.  It is no fun, believe me.

     A while back when we were at a certain extown, we had a bit of excitement
right in the center of the Div CP.  It so happened that I was duty officer
this particular morning, when I heard the guards open fire.  Now this in its
self is not uncommon, in fact I was cussing tthem out, because the bullets
were wanging around, and the only things they seem to hit are horses or dogs,
or just the ozone.  Suddenly a man came running up and said that they wanted
me to go over and search a Jap that they had killed only about a hundred yards
down the road from the G-2 office.  Now the interesting thing is that this Jap
was armed with a US .30 caliber carbine, and upon checking the number it was
discovered that it belonged to one of our men, and had been stolen from the side
of his sack while he was asleep earlier in the morning.  In the dim pre-dawn
light this Jap was thought to be a guerrilla, and was finally killed walking
down one of the main roads only about 100 yds from the center of town.

     Well I'd better close now, write soon.
                                                  [signed] Leonard

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