Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Valentine's Day letter from Maj. Gillham

Today's heading may be a little misleading, since, although the letter is dated February 14, Maj. Gillham never mentions Valentine's Day in it.  Whether Frances takes offense to this, we'll have to wait and see, but I think she is probably just happy to get letters from Japan no matter what.

Added at the bottom is a letter dated February 7 addressed to Emily.  I found this letter inside the same envelope as today's letter, althought I somehow think originally it must have been mailed separately.  The attachment mentioned is an original copy of MacArthur's order establishing his command as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Pacific.  As soon as I get a scanner, I will add a copy of the order to this post.

14 Feb 1946

Dearest Darling,

One of the officers in our office received a letter from Carmel, Calif., today date 31 Jan.  My last from you was dated 25 Jan and received about 10 days ago.  The only thing I have received was some non-airmail which has been a long time coming.

I received the enclosed from Mother's nurse.  You will note that they haven't told her that I was in Japan, even though I have written a number of letters.  At least this letter tells me that they have moved to the new house, which is something I was never able to get an answer on from any other source.  As I read between the lines it seems that mother has become quite senile.  I wonder if there is any use in my trying to keep on writing to her.

I got a letter from Sam Wrightson recently.  He is now at Fukuoka and doesn't like it and wants to get up here.

Japanese theaters are off limits, but today I got the pass from the officer in charge of theaters and tomorrow I am going to take Geo. Bull to a kabuki play.  I think he will appreciate it more than anyone I know.

Do you have Col. Adams' address?  If so please send him the enclosed not and stamps.  I think he would like to have them.

We have been on dry rations for some time, but I think a new supply ship got in recently.  Last night we had celery and lettuce, and this morning  grapefruit and eggs, so things are looking better.

How is Flip-Flop?  I haven't heard anything about him lately.  How does he fit into the Atlanta household?

I have been getting some Japanese film lately.  I just took my first roll of it but haven't gotten it back from from being developed yet.

It is a pleasure to have such a nice family to look forward to coming home to.  I love you, my sweet, and I am still enjoying your pretty new picture.




Tokyo, Japan
7 Feb 1946

Dear Emily,

Enclosed is a rather historical document that I thought you would like to save.

A commanding general never signs anything except the first order by which he establishes his command.  After that all the other orders read, "By Command of General So and So," and are signed by some member of his staff.

This headquarters is not just the head of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, but as the name implies, it commands all Allied forces.

How is your arithmetic?  Maybe you need an abacus to help you out.  I must send you one.



P.S. This order is not a copy, but was run from the original stencil.

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