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Thursday, June 12, 2014

February 5, 1945

Probably the censored location in the first paragraph is MANILA since he says they will start for it soon (and the taking of Manila starts about February 3 and continues into March. In the second paragraph the censored location would have been LEYTE. In this letter he may be describing the invasion of the Lingayen Gulf in the second week of January 1945 (his letter of January 15 says "its all over now" and he is now able to sit back and relax, so it was written nearly a week after the landing on January 9. Also, on the 15th there is a new-found passion for cock fighting, so I suppose that was on Luzon rather than Leyte. CP might mean command post.

[single page, no salution, no signature at the bottom, so perhaps rest of letter is missing]

                                                                                         5th Feb 45

     I don't know when I will be able to mail this, but since I now
have a little time before we start for [CENSORED] I will take advantage
of it and knock out a few lines.  First I will go back a few days
to the landing.  At H-60 on D day the Navy opened up with a barrage
on the enemy shore.  The Landing Craft Infantry that I was on was
about six thousand yards off shore, and although we were too far
out to get a detail view of the reults, we could see that the
shell were really ripping hell out of the beach.  Some seconds after
a volley was fired, we could see the flashes of the shells as they
tore into landing zone.  After ten minutes of fire, which sounded
like a prolonged thunder storm, smoke from the shells and burning
buildings practically obscured the shore.  The Navy continued to
shift its fire, nuetralizing enemy gun and infantry positions.  At
H-10 (minutes) they cut loose with over 1800 rockets, and the dim was
terrific, it sounded like an ammunition dump of five inch shells
were exploding like firecrackers.  By this time we could even smell
the cordite out where we were and a heavy bank of white smoke hung
over the shore.  At H-hour the infantry started to go in, this was
heralded by machine gun and rifle fire.  During all this time the
wave that we were in had been drifting slowly towards shore, but
because of the heavy bombardment we could see very little through
the haze of the shell and now small arms fire.  However we could
tracer fire of both sides and the enemy artillary feebly trying
to shell the beach with their one remaining artillary piece.  A
destroyer opened up with all its five inchers and knocked out this
small but deadly menace.  It was almost four hours after the initial
bombardment that I waded ashore.  Our casualties weere very light
and most of the enemy had withdrawn under the heavy bombardment.
There were still a couple of machine guns over on a point, but our
troops were effectively knocking out.

     We headed straight for the nearby town, and upon entering it
were greetted by the cheers and shouts of civilian Filipinos.  These
people were better educated and of a generally higher class than
those on [CENSORED], and they were very happy to see us.  In fact they
were almost crying for joy.  They invited us into their homes, and
gave us food and drinks, they almost gave us anything we asked for.
Where ever you would walk or ride the Filipinos would wave and shout
to you.  The girls put on their best dresses and some put on lipstick
that I imagine they had been hoarding for three years.  The men also
were slicked up, and put on some sort of demonstration in the city
square.  Most of them can speak English, and many are quite educated.
In fact they were trying so hard to make us feel at home that they
acted as "american" as possible, and in some cases I sort of felt
that their mannerisms were acquired not through contact mainly with
Americans, but with american films.  We all appreciated their going
out of their way even in this manner for such a warm welcome.

     For the first time since I have been down here, I was in a
building of brick with a hardwood floor, in fact I was not only in
it but we used it as our CP for a while.  This terrain is a real
pleasure to travel and flight in for a change.  In fact it is so
impressive that later on [ARROW] I will devote an entire paragraph to describ-
ing it.  For the first time in many months I also had the
pleasure, and after being hot so long it was a pleasure, of being
cold, yes nice and chilly, just like California up occassion.

[ARROW] "later on"
       has'nt come yet

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