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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: WV0383.4.047

Description: Reeves has had several trips to Manila to see Tom, who's imminent departure for Japan has been delayed. She mentions hearing a rebroadcast of the 6th World Series game, transportation problems in their area of the Pacific, a new wonder drug called penicillin, the damage of the Japanese occupying forces in Manila, and staffing shortages.

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,

Well, I haven’t earned my sheckles this past week really. Last Wed. eve Tom called late saying they were leaving shortly so the next morning several of us went to Manila. The next morning 4 of us took off for Baguio— the trip having been postponed several times already. Got back Sun. afternoon, worked yesterday A.M. Tom had stayed over from his Sun. night visit and then today we had to close the canteen because the drainage system is all stopped up. Hope we will be able to open tomorrow because we are the only installation operating anyway. No paper cups with which one can serve on the mobile units.

Three of us are going to Manila tomorrow on a business trip & shopping tour. If Tom can bring me back he will and then will stay until they get orders to move out. Originally were to have gone Monday, having loaded last Friday. He is headed for Otaru or Sapporo or H[o]kkaido. They have beautiful winter equipment. The articles about it are accurate.

Just hearing a rebroadcast of the 6th World Series games. Haven’t heard just how the teams stand but certainly would like to see the Cubs on top.

Bother Mother’s & Daddy’s letters were waiting for me Sun. It had been quite awhile since hearing from you so really enjoyed reading them.

It’s a shame that you can’t get the furnace installed. Still feeling the effects of the war. With strikes as they are it will continue to be ever present in your minds. Still think those people should have the “privilege” of seeing a little army life at $21-/month.

Say, isn’t it nice that Uncle Paul can help Helen and Walt out in the house predicament.

The medicine —penicillin— they are giving Mrs. S is wonderful stuff. It is used here for all kinds of infections— colds, dermatitis, abscesses and even venereal diseases. Shots are not painful but do result in a sore “fanny” after awhile.

Daddy, I enjoyed hearing about the real estate business once again. We don’t get on that subject very often here. Selling rice paddies would be a different matter too.

Terracing amazed me on the mountains at Baguio. That was a trip well worth 6 hrs in a jeep with no muffler & over rough roads. Slept 11 hours a night with 3 double blankets in a bed with only springs and got up so refreshed. Reminded me of our Michigan summers. We stayed with the Franciscan nuns who are very sweet & generous. They come there for rest from the convent and orphanage in Manila. Their facilities are poor now because the Japanese took their personal & household possessions & the bombings completely demolished many buildings. Contrary to the belief of the local personnel there were many Japs there. A seizure by the 33rd Div. would have been extremely difficult without air support.

The pine trees added a new touch for me overseas. The natives, called Igorots, wore different kind of clothing— very interesting to me. Even managed to get a piece of the material which is handwoven— native dyes too. You know me— I’d never be satisfied not having some kind of cloth. Have bought a pina cloth tablecloth which should be very lovely. Must get my box off to the children too. I’ve bought some jewelry but it won’t be delivered for 8 months— so many orders for the filigree work.

Men are being sent home very rapidly now. Transportation was very tied up for a month or so but is opening up here. So many supplies and personnel had to be transported to Japan that the need for shipping space must be tremendous. Entrance to their harbors has been help up 3 weeks in some cases for the removal of mines. So very often we don’t realize the necessary preliminary steps. Tom feels that transportation from the Japanese islands should be better than from here at present. He’s losing about 30% of his men today so will be that much under strength. Some unites have lost so many men that others have to help them load their equipment even. One unit of 170 men has 9 left— that’s just one example. The men here are so happy to see the men fresh from the states and I don’t blame them.

Love & kisses, Jean