Saturday, December 10, 2011

Maj. Gillham writes a letter from work

Today our letter from Maj. Gillham was written at work, in the Dai Ichi Building, where he had just finished his sixth and final summation.  I own copies of the first five summations (the non-confidential versions) which, as you will find out later, he sent back to Atlanta before leaving Tokyo. 

9 Apr 46

Dearest Darling Love,

I am duty officer tonight, so I am writing at the office. I have to stay here until 9 P.M.  As I wrote you yesterday we have just finished our 6th Summation and it was quite a relief to get out from under it.  I don't think they will get much work out of me for the rest of the time I am here, for I expect to be gone before it's time to work on another.  Of course, you can never tell until you are actually out of the army.

At noon I got a car and we went out to Bull's for lunch as planned, and then went around to look at some cherry blossoms.  The principle place we went was not quite in its prime yet, but some varieties are at their peak already and we saw many interesting things.  We took some color movies and also still shots. I have gotten a light meter which I hope will improve our photography when I return.  It was the first time Linzel had been out of Tokyo, so naturally she was very interested.  Wilson and a girl that works in his section also went with us.

A few nights ago I went out and had dinner with Maj. Daugherty, who works here with me.  He lives at the former Philippine Embassy and it is a beautiful place.  I could have moved there several months ago, but it is not nearly so convenient in many ways as the Dai Ichi.  I suppose that if you had your own assigned jeep it would be O.K.

I got a letter from Cora today thanking me for those things I sent.

How is our car doing?

I know Bryant is glad to see Carl. I hope they can be together for a while now.

The officers here who are staying on are now getting all excited, making arrangements to bring their families over.  They generally had to sign up to stay over here two more years.  It would have been interesting for you all, but with my own job situation, and with Martha as young as she is, I couldn't see it.  The country is badly beaten up and many facilities are lacking.  Things like typhus, smallpox, typhoid and even cholera are liable to break out any place and are already epidemic in some.  You would have made a much better pioneer than many who will come, but I think we will do better in the U.S., come boom or depression.

I am afraid my girls will all be so big when I get back that I will scarcely know them.  After I wrote you last, I ran into the enclosed article in Time about travel in and around the U.S.  When I get home I would like to rest and recreate for a few weeks somewhere, and then settle down and go to work before all my terminal leave is gone so that some of it can be used for profit.

Lots of love,



The term "terminal leave," for those unfamiliar with army jargon, sounds a bit foreboding, but it simply refers to leave that is taken after release from the service.  That is, any accrued leave is given after all the paperwork is completed and, even though out of the service at that point, the soldier still draws pay until the leave is over.  A good civilian analogy would be severance pay -- the concept is different but the end result is the same.

No comments: