Jan. 6, 1944
Somewhere in New Guinea
I received a "V-Mail" letter from you the other day. In it, you requested that I send you a large photograph of myself as a birthday present. But needless to say, here in New Guinea there are no facilities to make that possible. So, that will have to be postponed until such time that I get back to civilization on maybe a furlough or pass. Well, like I said, I cannot send a picture as you suggested, but instead I am sending you 25 pounds or $80.00 [about $1,195 in 2020 dollars. - Ed.]. You can buy yourself a birthday present and do whatever you want with the remainder of the money. I hope that you used those three allotments for Christmas presents. You may think that I'll need this money after the war, but I won't. There is a bill in Congress now providing for the furthering of education of discharged Army personnel [the G.I. Bill - Ed.]. Also, another bill provides for the giving of around $500.00 [about $7,469 in 2020 dollars. - Ed.] to each man having served overseas at the time of his discharge. So, you see, I in all probability will not need the money anyway. Enclosed is an insignia of the type which I wore while attending O.C.S. You might want it as a souvenir. Also enclosed, you will find three pictures along with their respective negatives. In connection with these three pictures, I wish that you do the following: You will notice that one picture shows a kangaroo and another shows me and another boy standing in front of an airplane. When you have more copies made from the negatives, send one copy of each of these two pictures to the following address:
Mrs. R. Summer
7117 18th Ave
Brooklyn - 4
That is the home address of the other boy shown standing beside me.
Now then, in addition to this: When you have finished with the negatives, send them to the following address:
Mrs. James H. Wooden
That is the address of the boy shown with the kangaroo. These three negatives are to be returned to you after the boy's mother has finished making her desired amount of copies. It would be a good idea to state that in the accompanying letter.
Well, I have been here in New Guinea a little over a month. If I were to go to a cold climate now such as where you are, I would probably just about freeze. My blood has all thinned out. Whenever you get a little cut, the blood runs out like water and is, I find, a little difficult to stop. [It is a myth that your blood is thinner in a hot climate. Other factors may give this impression, such as small blood vessels dilating so that the body can give off excess heat. - Ed.] The other day some of the boys of the Australian infantry showed the boys of my squadron (I didn't see it) the skin of a 30-foot python snake which they had killed near here.
Last night, I worked on a very important job from 5:30 P.M. until about 10:00 P.M. The job consisted of working on the left engine of a general's private plane. Changing a fuel pump in a dark night with no light but that from a hand flashlight is not an easy job. This airplane about ten years ago was a good bomber. But now, being obsolete, it has been fixed up as a private transport plane for this particular general. There are even rugs on the floor inside. Well, this morning, the pilot, the crew chief, and myself went up for a test hop. We went up to slightly more than 11,000 feet and landed 50 minutes after our takeoff. Evidently, I had done a good job, as nothing happened. During the flight, we passed over quite a few places which not so very long ago were displayed prominently in most daily newspaper headlines. Tomorrow morning, I am to go along on another flight in the same airplane. I sent a few Japanese bullets off the other day to you. In about a month, you can expect to receive them. Well, that's about all for just now, so until sometime a little later -