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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Jean Holdridge Reeves to Parents, 1945

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Object ID: WV0383.4.034

Description: Reeves has transferred to Clark Field at Luzon, Philippines. She describes seeing the destruction of Manila, her bullet-riddled house, local plant life, food, and natives. She suspects Betty's current illness is caused by love life woes and "being overseas too long."

Creator: Jean Holdridge Reeves

Biographical Info: Jean Holdridge Reeves (b. 1920) of Marion, Ohio, served in the Pacific as a member of the Red Cross from 1944 to 1946.

Collection: Jean Holdridge Reeves Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dearest Folks,

Here we are living in a house now— imagine that. It of course has had many repairs and bullet holes can still be seen. The plumbing is old but after so many stories we have heard we realize that we’re very fortunate.

Although the Filipinos are not civilized in our sense of the word, we have a feeling of being closer to that which everyone has talked about so much. The sidewalks hurt your feet while the cement roads are good for the seat. Right in front of our house is an old polo field the corner or which is used for a theatre.

What our work will be nobody knows as yet. We are supposedly attached to CRTC and hope to set up a canteen on the strip. This will be partially straightened up tomorrow, we hope but channels take so long and Hdqs. always keeps yelling about doing things the proper way.

On the way up we had lunch with Bettie Roberston. She looked fine and is very happy. Dinner that night was with Penny Clark— a girl with whom we worked in Lae. The next day I tried desperately to get Jim who was out in the bay. Perhaps I even saw his det[?]. But the Port Director wouldn’t signal him. I left a note to be sent to him. Just made me sick to be so close not get to see him.

July 14

The flowers here are beautiful— very similar to New Guinea. Lots of foliage of various kinds which I suppose you learn about later.

Went into a little village where there are open shops loaded with bananas, papayas, and other native fruit. All very dirty and so expensive it is out of reach and you are cautioned to be careful of disease. We’ll go slowly and see the lay of the land.

I have flown over Manila and seen some of the destruction. From the ground it will appear even worse when you can see the insides of buildings. This is the first that I’ve felt as if I really were in a combat zone because you can see the evidence yet. In New Guinea it was all cleared away— no bomb shelter or anything like that left.

Tom is supposed to be about 70 miles away I guess but haven’t found out where yet. Have been trying to get ahold of a girl who is in my class and working at Hdqs— Eliz. Holbrook— maybe you remember my telling about her being in the same cabin on the ship.

Our mess is good here. There are tables which seat about 8 and we may eat anyplace instead of at a special table as at Nadzab. That way it was very hard to meet people— especially so for Betty and me when we kept our Lae contacts.

Yesterday we sent Betty to the hospital for a complete check up. For months she has had a stomach upset which finally got her flat before we came. She was sick on the plane and had to be put to bed. Personally I think she has just been overseas too long. Love life bothering her and being a very emotional character anyway she is more easily upset. They will probably give her lots of tests and keep for a good rest.

Girls here wear culottes so suppose we’ll be getting some new uniforms. I’d like to get these worn out however. They are all in very good condition yet.

Dearies, am going to lunch now. Had a good dinner with some CRTC fighter pilots last night. They took us over to another camp to look around.

Bye now. Lovingly, Jean