Saturday, July 10, 2010

Encouraging news about the arrival of Japan-bound mail

Another quick letter from Maj. Gillham, and we find out exactly why his last few missives have been so short.  The letter was written over a two-day span.

He mentions JOAK in this letter, which was the main radio transmitter in Tokyo, founded in 1925. During the War, the notorious Tokyo Rose radio broadcasts were made over this radio station.  By 1950 the name was changed to NHK, which it is known as today, and it it very similar to our PBS.

He also mentions the phrase "watakushi-wa" which is a formal way of saying "I am" or "My name is."

16 Mar 46

I hear that there is a slow freighter approaching Japan that has over 2,000,000 air mail letters aboard.  It will be great to hear from you again.

I am duty officer tomorrow (Sunday), so I will try to write you another letter then.

Today Wilson and I drove out and had lunch with Bull.  It is about 15 miles out there.  Bull is going on a trip next week something like the one I went on recently.  He is looking forward to it very much.  I hope he gets better weather than I did.

I have a radio in my room now that Wilson loaned me.  It is a lot of company.  I can understand a little of the Japanese that comes over JOAK.  I also get the Armed Forces station.

For some time, I have meant to mention to you a rather novel custom of the Japs.  I may have done it, and if so, here it is anyhow.  When they refer to themselves they point to the end of their nose.  It is amusing to see a very dignified Jap bowing, saying watakushi-wa and pointing to his nose.

It gets hard to write a good letter when I haven't heard from you in so long.  We got a letter from Col. Unger that was sent by official air courier.  He said he had called you up.

There is some possibility that I might get home sooner, but I hope to be there not later than June 1st.  If it should be sooner, you will probably know it before you get this.  I will cable you when I know I am leaving.

1 Mar -- at office

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  It is snowing here. It snows every Sunday.  Being duty officer, it doesn't bother me much today.

More civilians are coming on every boat.  Some of them may be fairly able, but a lot of them are plain carpet-baggers.  I have four civilians working for me now.  They are O.K.  One, an ex-enlisted WAC, is a statistical clerk;  one of my old G.I. typists is now a civilian in the same job;  a lieutenant that I knew at Charlottesville is my civilian assistant editor.  Also I recently got a girl from the Washington bureaus as an analyst.

I am counting the days until we will be re-united, my love.  It is certainly good to have something as fine as you and my sweet girls to look forward to.

Lots of love,