1298 Kapiolani Boulevard :: Honolulu T H :: April 6 1943
Your nice letter of January 29 has gone too long unanswered. I don't know why. Now I can tell you a couple of the places I visited, as statements have been released in the press to the effect that we have troops in both these islands, and I was also allowed to broadcast the same to the Mainland recently.
I spent some time in New Caledonia. My letter of January 20 to you was written from there. I was quartered in a hotel in Noumea, the capital; and was sort of officially attached to G.2, Headquarters of the First Island Command, under Major General Bush B. Lincoln.
Was also in Australia for sixteen days. Had a swell time there with plenty of good food, something I had not been accustomed to for more than a year.
I was twice on Vita Levu, one of the Fiji Islands. The last time I spent twelve days in Suva. The islands are British. The native Fiji police and East Indian Sikh police are very colorful. The newspapers recently published the fact that there were some American troops there.
In a former letter I told you about the old lady who pinched my leg. That was the first time I visited Vita Levu, and was at the other end of the island from Suva. The old lady was a Fijian, and doubtless in her youth ate people. She looked like she still might.
It seems a little tame and dull here now, but I don't expect to be given another assignment. There are too many correspondents out now. However, there is occasionally something to relieve the monotony. Yesterday, Brig. General White took me to Lieut. General Delos C. Emmons picnic at Waialae Country Club. On the way, we stopped to pick up a friend of his who was going along with us, and had cocktails at her apartment.
I have never seen so many silver stars gathered together before. There were about two hundred guests, and most of the men seemed to be generals. I knew many of them, and many of the other officers and civilians. The Pfluegers, of whom you have doubtless heard me speak, sat at the next table. I know hundreds of people here. I wish that I had a better memory for faces and names.
Supper was cafeteria style (buffet to you), and consisted of hot dogs, ham, potato salad, potato chips, and all the other things that are piled on plates. There was also coffee and beer, but no hard liquor. General White furnished two of his Negro soldiers who pattered and danced. The dancer, whose name I have forgotten, was a big time night club entertainer on the Mainland. He certainly let himself go in front of all those brass hats.
There was also dancing for the guests to an army band, and the party closed with a picture - Tripoli. I think - with Dorothy Lamour, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. There were some funny gags in it but otherwise was not so good. On the way home we stopped at the lady's apartment for a nightcap. It was, altogether, a very pleasant evening.
"Willum" White is one of my oldest friends here. I met him in 1935 during a former tour of duty he had here. He was a major then.
Had a talk with Major Shelton yesterday, and asked him how Hully was getting along. You know. you can't get a darned thing out of Hully finer than statements to the effect that he is a wash-out and a no-good. Shelton said that he is doing a swell job. that there isn't t another photographer in that outfit that can touch him. He says that Hully is a really top-notch photographer and that his work is appreciated by men in high places. When they have important photographic missions, they sent Hully. He also spoke of Hully's conscientious attention to details and duty. I was not surprised but it was nice to hear it. And Shelton knows, as Hulbert is directly under him. They office as well as quarter together. Their desks are backed up to each other so that they sit facing each other. There is a little lettered name plate on Hully's desk: "1st Lt. Hulbert Burroughs". They have a nice office and nice quarters - all new and modern.
Wilma Bird, wife of the Capt. Phil Bird I introduced to you by letter, had a baby recently, Anne Carol; and Phil has been doing handsprings ever since. I'll bet that baby has been toasted a thousand times. Wilma is home now, and I went up to see them Sunday with some other friends. Phil said some time ago that inasmuch as he had been introduced to you. he was going to write you. Phil has been staff duty ever since he has been here, but yesterday he was given command of a battery. He said that he had had an extra cot put in his quarters for me. He has done a great deal for me since I met him, and I have seen more of the Army because of him than I possibly could have otherwise. He used to cart me around almost everywhere he went.
Yea I got the picture of Jane, Jack, and John Ralston. He is a cute little rat. Looks something as Jack did when a baby. Ralph wrote me that Jack is working for Douglas. That is fine. I know that he will make good. Like Hulbert, he knows his profession. I am glad he is not doing that newspaper page any longer. That work was too hard on his eyes, too exacting in the matter of time, and had not much of a future.
Love to you all,