[Written to Alice in Frankfort, Indiana. Return addressed: Richard, Co. G, 2nd Bn., 1st Mar., c/o F.P.O., San Francisco, Calif. Postmarked at U.S. Navy, on 5 Dec 1944, A.M. Envelope stamped on front, “Passed by Naval Censor,” and initialed by the Censor.]
Dec. 5, 1944
I’m sorry I’ve neglected you so long. I’ll try to make it up to you and do better in the future. O.K.? We’ve been having a lot of fun around here the last week. In case you didn’t know or I haven’t told you, as a Co. clerk, I work in the 1st Sgt’s. office. In here live the 1st Sgt. & Co. Gunny Sgt. – the 2 highest ranking non-commissioned officers in the company. They run the company in other words taking orders from the officers. Well, last week, Top and Gunny went home. Now, we have two new men out of the company in the office. They aren’t new men in the company but they are in the office. A Pfc. [drawn symbol] is acting 1st. Sgt. and a platoon sgt. [another drawn symbol] is acting as Gunny. 1st Sgt. is [third drawn symbol] and Gunny Sgt. is [fourth drawn symbol].
Now is that clear. You have to understand that to get full benefit of the situation. Well, the platoon sgt. doesn’t like the idea of the Pfc. ranking him. He’s stubborn and rather hard-headed. So, as it seems to me, he is going out of his way to get the Pfc. in trouble so he can get that one more stripe. There is going to be a big show-down one of these days. Then things will really start happening. I thought it was coming today, but it didn’t quite materialize. It started, but the end is still not in sight. The officers picked the logical men (according to their capabilities) and put them in the jobs. That’s the main reason nothing too drastic has happened yet. The Pfc. is doing his job and that’s exactly what the other guy doesn’t like. He thinks he should know about everything that goes on in this office. However, this is the 1st Sgt’s. office, and it is supposed to be exactly that. The 1st Sgt. is supposed to handle all administrative details and any men that the platoon sgts. bring in to him. The Gunny Sgt. is supposed to handle the men in the field but he has nothing what-so-ever to do with the office. The platoon sgt. doesn’t like that, however. He wants it all. As I said before, the Pfc. does his job and it makes the platoon sgt. very unhappy. It burns him up. I’m in a funny position. I’m on friendly terms with both of them, and they both tell me all about it. They tell me all their troubles and then I usually have to give them my opinion. If they ask me, I’m going to give them my opinion whether they like it or not. I hope they don’t ask too often, or I’m going to loose somebody’s friendship. I’m getting a big kick out of it all just sitting on the sidelines.
Another thing that has kept me busy is the receiving of a another group of replacements. I have to keep the roster strait and things are in a slightly confused state. I haven’t got it fixed up yet. I won’t be able to for another few days. I’m really having a lot of fun. That is both truth and sarcasism sarcasm.
I’m running out of time as usual, but I’ll try to finish before I quit. One of the dogs on the island had pups. So to get rid of them, they gave one pup to each company in the battalion. We got a little brown and white male. He’s the cutest little pup you ever saw. The bugler has been detailed to take care of it, so he sleeps in the same tent as I do. He has a little box with a skivie shirt as padding. He’s a smart little pup. I don’t know who trained him, but he was house-broke when we got. Well, anyway, he goes out of our tent. I’ve only heard of one complaint about that. That came about when he went out of our tent and into the next one to _ _ _ _ relieve his mind. It was pouring down yesterday evening and he decided he had some business to tend to. So, he climbs out of his box, wades across the drainage ditch, does his duty, and then jumps the ditch back into the tent. Boy, was he wet when he got back inside. He was the perfect little gentleman though. I wish you could see him. It seems like He spends most of his time sleeping it seems like. In telephone conversations, to distinguish “G” Co. from “E” Co., they call this “George” Co. So, the pup’s name is “Sack-time George.” How do you like that. I could tell you about a lot more little episodes with “Sack-time” but I’ll save those for my other letters. No kidding, there will be other letters, and there won’t be so much time in between. I promise you that.
I love you with all my heart.