Tyler Hoggan Rogers Events after WWII Homecoming and building the first Lindon home
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
I came home from the Pacific late in 1945. I have no memory exactly as to when. It was not the best of homecomings. I never told either Joyce or my folks that I was coming home.
I arrived at the Orem railroad station, in Pleasant Grove, as I stepped off the train I stepped right into my mother, her face turned an awful color and she saw what I really looked like. I thought she was going to have a heart attack. When all the fuss cleared up I asked her where Joyce was and she replied that she was staying with her cousin in Salt Lake City. I boarded the train and went back to Salt Lake with her and upon arriving I walked all the way to 13th East and 9th South. When I found her and approached her she looked at me and wouldn’t come close to me. I guess I looked worse than I thought. That night she wouldn’t sleep with me nor hardly talk to me.
We stayed with her cousin for a few days and must have gone to Lindon to stay with the folks. I know I arrived too late for Thanksgiving. I was on leave until sometime in the spring. I had not drawn a paycheck for almost a year so when one came we had a big time Christmas. I then had to return to Santa Ana, California early in 1946.
Mustering out (being discharged) was final in May of 46. That summer was a weird one for all I did and I had no reason for doing the things I did that summer. But that is another part of history. Some time that summer we went looking for a place to rent, they were hard to find.
We found a place on the corner of Highway 89 and what is now 4th North, in Lindon. It was the home of Paul and Gail Pack, they were living in the bottom of the home and there were two apartments upstairs with a common bath.
There was room for one more apartment. They had been brooding baby chicks in those two and half rooms. We rented for twelve dollars a month and the deal was that we were to clean the place up, there was one very large room a small room between the large room and a good-sized room that became our bedroom. There was a bed (sort of), a large coal burning stove in the large front room. Furnishings were scarce but we bought a few pieces and borrowed some.
Paul and Gail had two daughters and a son. Our son, Michael, and their boy, Leon, became close friends, too close. They were into trouble all the time and there were times when there was tension between renter and landlord.
The summer came and went. The next spring, Paul moved his chicken brooder stuff out to a larger space. That was when trouble began. Michael and Leon set a fire in the brooding coop. There was real tension with the Pack’s.
I had upon coming home talked to father about buying the farm and once again it was brought up and once again I was told that to try and make a go of farming would amount to failure on my part because of the size, equipment etc. I asked then if I could buy a lot so as to be able to build a small home. The result was that he would give me a small lot but the house was to be built his way and I was to repay him by helping on the farm.
The house was to be a ‘two car garage’. All of the materials that we didn’t get from used sources I got at Pleasant Grove Lumber.
And it was to be built with as much used material as could be. The reason for that was that the old Lindon Ward church was being torn down and there was material that could be used, as well as the fact that building materials were very scarce.
We started in the summer late and hired Lee Ercanbrack, a brick mason to lay the blocks. I was to buy the blocks and Lee would lay them. The blocks were twenty-five cents apiece and he laid them for twenty-five cents apiece. I can’t remember where I got the sand and gravel for neither the cement nor the screened sand for the brick mortar. The dimensional lumber was all hard aged red fir, perhaps forty years old. The nails were a bucket of old bent nails, many were the old square kind. I straightened and reused them. The concrete was mixed by hand as was the brick mortar. The lime that was used in the brick mortar we got from a small quarry that was on the side of the mountain just east of Provo. I think there are still signs of the quarry still there. The owner would heat the limestone to prepare it to be slacked, which then would be treated with water to slack it. My father and I did the slacking myself. And it was a messy and dangerous job the lime would get very hot and splash all over the place. It would burn like hell if it got on you. The windows were some basement tilt out, small things. The one single door was an old one; I don’t remember where it came from.
The size of the house was 24x24 feet with a wall separating the house into two 12x24 feet rooms. There was one, one half-inch waterline into the home. There were no bathroom facilities. Out back several yards was an old toilet that was placed in a wide-open view for any and all to see. I am not certain but I believe the little brown shack was one that was one that the folks had used as an outhouse. Later, when we acquire an inside bathroom we returned the shack to the big two barns that were the folks.
A large coal burning stove that did service as a cook stove, hot water tank, warming oven, and the regular oven first heated the home. The drain from the sink went out to the front of the home into a fancy septic tank sewer tank, which didn’t work worth a damn. Father, grandfather and I did most of all the building. Lee laid the brickwork and Doyle my brother-law did the wiring. The tension between the Pack’s and us had washed away and Paul did the plastering.
A story, not really related to the building, that still stands out in memory was as we were finishing the roof, I had a bout with malaria fever while on the roof. Father was a bit angry with me until Grandfather asked him to take a look at me. I guess I looked like death had overtaken me. They got me off the roof and all I remember is lying in bed for days sweating, pain all through my body and everything I could see was yellow. That was the last time I ever had a problem with either fever I contracted while in the war.
The inside of the house was separated down the center giving the two long rooms. The small windows were placed two on each side and two in the front none in the rear. The water was piped down the center probably under where the dividing wall was and to a place almost to the rear on the house to where I put a old used sink with regular old water taps (no faucets). All piping was done with half inch galvanized pipe. The cabinet that held the sink was built like a monster. And could most likely have withstood an earthquake. I covered the top with a piece of old linoleum. The house was heated with an old coal/wood-burning stove. The stove had a water tank as an integral part of the stove that we could heat the water to a warm, but not hot temperature. Above the cooking surface were two warming spaces. Several changes were made later mainly to heating and cooking and bathroom needs.
The main room was kept as one long room we had little furnishings so we made do with whatever we could buy, steal, beg or borrow. We did have a new wonderful bedroom set that Joyce purchased just before I came home. I think the total cost was around four hundred dollars. My folks just about had a fit but, but we sure did enjoy it for many years. Other furniture was just boxes and a couple of borrowed chairs. The floors were bare concrete for several years and the only covers were rugs that we made ourselves. There were no cabinets but we did have an old freestanding cabinet that my folks gave us to use that at one time had been theirs. The fact that we had to heat water for everything it wasn’t long before the need for better facilities became a must.
We replaced the coal stove with an electric stove for cooking and an oil-burning heater. I think that this was about the time that we made the first addition to the home. Two rooms were added to the back of the house and one room was for the boys the other became a washroom with an electric water heater and later a furnace. Shortly we installed a toilet and a shower and washbasin. I had upon the original building made the drain line from the kitchen a four-inch cast iron drain and changed the useless septic system out in front to a correct and workable one. In the washroom, a drain line was run from that room out to the back of the house to a water drain field
We did little to the large room that we used as our bedroom. It was in this room that our first daughter was kept.
Not long after this addition, I again added the large east side of the house with a large living room, a library, and a bedroom. The bedroom became ours, the old bedroom was now big enough to be suitable for our third and forth children. The new living room had a full sized fireplace that went the full width of the room. Lee laid the fireplace. I laid the blocks and Paul Pack did the plastering.
About this same time, Joyce announced that the small windows were going. I purchased two large picture type window frames and had a neighbor , Ab Mitchell, to put them together. They just hung around for some time then one day as I was leaving to go to work Joyce said that the little windows were coming out that day. I gave her a chisel and hammer and instructed her to be careful and save the blocks. She was careful but gaining little ground when neighbor Leonard Walker told her to take an eight-pound hammer and take the wall out. When I got home there were two gaping holes in the house no blocks but lots of rubble and room to put the new windows in. With these additions it did make the house look like a nice home.
The outside changes were not many. I dug and built an earth cellar and I think that a short time later I built the building that became a shop and a place for my amateur radio. There were two other buildings in the back yard. One was a pigpen to the far back of the lot and a playhouse for Shauna near the back of the house.
This was the way the home was when it was finished in about 1957. During that year, Atomics International, a subsidiary of North American Aviation, contacted me. They were building a nuclear reactor in California. They wined and dined us for several months and we finally acceped a position with them and moved to Canoga Park, California.
The home was sold to Ezra Swenson who was the father of Leah Jeanne, wife of Paul Christoffersen. When we returned from California the place had been sold to Dave and Donna Nielsen. I don’t remember any changes to the place at that time but Dave did do a great deal later on.
They Came To Count The Memories
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
They Came To Count The Memories
Sometime in the spring of 1997 rumors were about the “Young Family, of Walter and Marguerite Young” were going to have a reunion come the Memorial weekend. While visiting with Joyce’s sister-in-law Judy Young, the rumors became fact and the questions begot answers, I believe the first real reunion of the family. Oh there had, in the past been gatherings and picnics, but this was to be the first planned and organized reunion. I don’t know who was the “chief of the war party”, but the work had to be done by Ruby who procured the location (Lindon City Park) Blaine and Meetta For all the pushing and informing, Judy for all the backup and support work that has to be done for such a gathering maybe not in that order, but they are the ones who did it. It certainly turned out to be the treat of the year for Joyce.
There are only three living members of the Walter and Marguerite family. Each were asked to write what they could of their parents. They’d lost their parents so long ago, that such a task was difficult. I know not of their thoughts and feelings or what they were…but this of Joyce I do know. Joyce was very troubled about what to write, could she remember enough to write something worth while? Joyce has learned over the years to really talk to the Lord, not just repetitive prayers but to really talk. Her prayers on this matter were often and intense. The answers came as frequent and just as intense. Her choice was to write a letter to “ Mother and Father” and address it to the post office in heaven.
Walter and Marguerite have you received the letters written in your memory? Today the 19th day of July 1997, some sixty years after you went home, they did indeed come to count the memories. If you were permitted to view that gathering, what joy you must have known. Such unconditional love for everyone, have you ever seen such loving and caring of siblings toward each other? Children once little dirty faced angles now grown remembering with both sorrow and joy the pains of growing up without parents. Memories of a cold house-bare cupboards- cold days- warm days- wading in creeks- playing in pig pens and barns- mud pies left to dry on the fence- a baby brother being dumped from his buggy-paint spilled-an old blue stove- a special leather chair to be rocked in and sang to- a Dad who rocked and sang, who made up verses to little angels.
Mother’s ice cream- so special-big dinners memories of the dreams and struggles.
Perhaps the greatest memories were those of the promises made to a dying mother and Father to stay together and be good children. As the memories were counted there were more tears of joy than of failure or regret. Not sorrow for the walks of life. Just great joy for the life given them, Only three remain and sometimes they look forward to going home. They did indeed come to count the memories.
From those many memories have come the richest of blessings. Neither status, nor wealth could have produced the day of July 19, 1997 for the “Young Family”.
To the “Young family” my thanks to each and all. No amount of therapy or medication could have done what that day did for Joyce. Because of such heritage she’s known by the many doctors who care for her as “A tough old Lady” God Bless you everyone….
Love, Tyler Rogers
Husband of Joyce Young Rogers
Memories of a Long Lasting Hobby - Tyler Hoggan Rogers
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Memories of a Long Lasting Hobby
Tyler Hoggan Rogers
I don’t know when the interest in electricity entered my little peaked head but once it entered it never left. It grew. And over the years it grew into several directions. One of these directions was radio.
I remember when Dad (Alfred John Rogers Sr.) got his first radio, and stayed up late at night to hear stations, from what seemed to me to be from all over the world. Some of these distant stations were KSL in Salt Lake City. Which could be heard at all times of the day and night. At night there were two stations that seemed like magical voices. One station was KNX in California and one in Mexico. That one I can’t remember it’s call letters or its location.
I liked the Mexico one, because it had every thing for sale. I remember two items they sold. One was a way to paint any car. It’s secret was a “Lady’s Powder Puff” you painted the car with a powder puff. It was guaranteed to be perfect in the results. The other was a bottle of “Krazy Crystals” They were promised to restore youth. I never knew how good the powder puff worked. But I know my grandfather Raphel ordered the “Krazy Crystals.” The results were questionable. A certain amount was to be dissolved in water and drank. The known results were lots of gas and ample odors. I don’t think the whole bottle was used. At the time of this writing my Aunt Jewel, one of grandfather's daughters said that she still has a partly full bottle of those “Amazing Crystals”.
As my interest in this wonderful invention of radio grew, crystal sets became popular. Most I built worked. My brother Rusty also built these magical wonders. I badgered my mother, Doris, for an old junk radio that I could first tear apart, then dissect and try to rebuild. Oft times the results were disastrous! Dad and Mom though were patient and several radios became mine. Mom bought them from the Gammble’s Store in Provo. Those old radios started me toward a long and good life in electronics. On several occasions this self-taught youngster started a fire, blew fuses and the kitchen would smell of burnt wires and such.
As I neared my mid teens my interest in girls grew more than my interest in electronics and “My Joyce” was the one that caused these changes. Joyce and I were married in 1941. WWII became real for our country in December of that year. Electronics really went on the back burner.
Then in 1942, February, I lost my job where I was working (another story). Out of work and no education, Dad came to our rescue. He said, “He would pay all my living costs if l would go to a trade school in Provo to study electronics and all about radio.” To repay him, Joyce and I were to work his farm Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays. Joyce and I thought it’d be a good deal. Rent in Provo was twelve dollars a month. Food cost around five dollars a week. With no radio and no telephone, enrollment at the Trade Tech was free, and work after graduation was pretty certain at the new Army Airbase in Ogden ”Hill Air Base”. I attended both day and night classes so I could finish early. I needed work and more pay, Joyce was expecting our first child (Michael).
While attending the Trade School the interest in amateur radio grew again. While there I met a friend that has been a wonderful friend, for all these years and still is an inspiration to me. He was a “Ham” at that time and still is. His name is Lovell Killpack. No greater man lives.
Graduation came. With all my newly acquired knowledge and I went to Hill Air Base and took the job application test. My score was twenty-seven. I’d failed!! Then to my amazement, I learned I was third or so highest. A new job and annual pay of fifteen hundred forty dollars, we were rich!
New job, great pay, new friends and a brand new world of electronics! And most of all there were “Hams” to train and help me.
Late in 1942 a cousin of Joyce got a wonderful high paying job with what is now the FFA in Nome Alaska. I wanted something like that. I found a super good job, member of a flight crew as their radio operator. Our job was to ferry B-24’s bombers to Australia. There was a hitch though. I could not leave the continental limits of the United States without written permission of the draft board. I went to them and was denied the permit. I can’t recall all my words to the lady at the draft board but they must have been the wrong ones because in a short few days maybe ten at most, I was in Fort Douglas doing K.P… Drafted!
I left Fort Douglas, went the Hill Air Base did my basic training and because of my work at the base as a radio repairman and operator, I was sent to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to further training. I was then assigned to teach there. While teaching a few others and I took the test for our “Ham License.” I was granted an operator’s license. But because of the war no stations were being allowed. I did though from then on do a lot of radio operating and in 1944 to 1945 earned a commission. Being a commissioned officer in the military while teaching a Sioux Falls, I was a PFC “Private First Class” big deal!! One rank, a couple a bucks per month above what was known as a “Buck Assed Private”.
I attended schooling at Yale University as part of aviation cadet schooling. My training was in electronics-known then as Communications upon graduating (and that’s a story) I was declared by “Act of Congress and God” to be known as a “Officer and a gentleman” Neither Congress nor God made me an officer, let alone a gentleman. I spent much of 1945 in the South Pacific. Lots of communications there. When I came home in 1946, I received the license of a station W7JFQ that station has remained mine since that time. I went to Los Angeles in 1955 to 1957 where my license was K6YJV upon my return to Utah, I was very fortunate to get my first call numbers back and so it is today.
The following pages are of some of the way “Hams” recognize our contacts with others. Most of these experiences are a dim memory but one I’ll never forget was probably in the 1970’s. I was working the 21MC band when a “Midwesterner Ham” asked for help. Did I have the equipment and the time to make contact with the pacific Island of Guam? I did and we did. The purpose was a marriage between one party in Guam and the one in the Midwest. The marriage was by proxy and I was asked to relay the ceremony. The contact was made and the marriage was completed, all by proxy! I suppose the consummation did take place later.
And so it has been… A life long hobby…That’s been a blessing in my life.
My Diary for a Week.
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
My Diary for a Week.
1.Sunday Nov. 8, 1936.
Arose at 5 o’clock a.m. and went hunting pheasants all day. Returned home at about 8 o’clock p.m.
2.Monday Nov 9, 1936.
Went to school all day returned home expecting to go pheasant hunting but had to pass my bothers papers.
3.Tuesday 10, 1936.
Went hunting and was to tired to go to mutual.
4.Wednesday Nov 11 1936.
ARMISTICE DAY! Went to school and had an armistice day assembly after school went hunting pheasants and got my first pheasant and was invited to stay at my friends place accepted the invitation.
5.Thursday Nov 12, 1936.
Went to school nothing exciting.
6.Friday Nov 13 1936.
Went to school all day then went to the dentists a 4 o’clock.
7.Saturday 14 1936.
Worked in our beets all day.
I, Michael Rogers, put this hand written page into this file on Oct. 13, 2009. I am not sure who wrote it, but I think it is in my father’s (Tyler Rogers) hand writing. The spelling has been corrected.
Notes on Tyler's Personal History 1941
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Notes on Tyler's Personal History 1941
The fall that Joyce and I were married, I spent some time helping Joyce’s brother Doyle and brother-in-law Murri, gather wood in the north fields along the Provo River (north fork). It was a necessary task as coal at six dollars a ton delivered, was out of reach for their meager income. One time late in the season we were gathering wood, when an old ewe sheep was spotted. I for one was real hungry for meat so I proceeded to kill and dress it out. It was old and strong greasy and all the things that made her anything but tasty. I never got so tired of mutton and to this day  I would rather eat a mess of asparagus than a piece of mutton.
Question #1 Who were my best friends when a child?
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
March 20, 2006
Question #1 Who were my best friends when a child?
Problem! What years?
As a child? That covers a lot of years. I remember very little of those years. The earliest I can remember was living in a log cabin and a modern one room added o the log cabin. This place was on the south west corner of center street and second east in Lindon. The only neighbors we had that were close was the Mayhew’s that were right across the street to the east and all the family there were much older than I and so while good friends there was no association . I can remember a few things about that home. I don’t know for certain who showed me the well that was in the front yard I have always believed it was my older brother ‘Rusty” but I remember laying on the edge of the well and watching the water bubble up thru the sand, it must have fascinated me that incident has always been in my memory. Since there were no boys in the neighhood. [There were no neighbors] I suppose that Kennett was the one that I played with.
I faintly remember a “huge “motor cycle that was in the yard we were commanded [!] Never to touch it. Years later I learned that it was indeed a huge thing and it was of an Indian make. And that the command to never touch it was that dad was afraid that we kids might tip it over on us. Also there was garage close by with a model “T” ford in it. Apparently Dad used the motorcycle as his transportation to Edgemont where he taught school. All that I can remember that mother trying to learn to drive the “T” became confused about the way the car was operated for both forward stop and back [all by the three pedals on the floor she drove it through the garage and on through the rear and into the field beyond. There was a cellar in the front yard and it remained there for many years, some time in 1946 I helped Lee Ercanbrach destroy it. The add on room had been moved to the present home we had located where the Scott’s now live. It was used for years a “Bean house” where the bean crops were stored while they dried so we could thrash them. Later it was used as a bunk house for the girls that came to help harvest the berry crop. It was also a play house for everybody when not used for the help. I don’t remember the year but sometime about when I was very young the family moved to Lake View where Dad had accepted a job as janitor teacher and principal of the school in lake view. I don’t know how long we stayed there, nor any close friends except Kennett. There were many neighbors and the grown ups inter mingled abut I remember almost nothing of friends.
There are a few memories that I have there. I remember that one day some girls were walking to school which wasn't too far away they took me to school with them. I can’t remember how it all happened but they saw mother coming and she had a switch so they hid me behind the garbage can and went into school I do remember that I hurried home with mother right behind me I never went or was I ever invited to go to school there again. Another I remember about lake View was that near by close to the river [provo] was a railroad and many times the hobo’s that rode the rails would come to our house asking for cream and sugar. I guess it got to be too much. Dad got a big German police dog and it was trained to take the hobo’s back to the railroad tracks I learned many years later that they had coffee beans but wanted cream and sugar to go with. Mother also said that they helped themselves to the hen house also. The dog became so good at his job that he would come back sometimes with cloth in his teeth.
While at Lake View most of we kids came down with whooping cough. I don’t why but we were given milk of magnesia Mother called it blue cow milk. I’ve never been fond of that kind of milk.
While we were not in Lake View too long I can’t recall any close friend other than me and Kennett. I was not aware that Dad and his father were building a home in Lindon [the Scott residence] when we move there it was by wagon and horses. I do remember that we moved into the basement, the floors were packed dirt and plumbing was still out doors. How long before we moved upstairs I don’t know but as things were finished it became home. I think I was about five or six.
In the Lindon home we did have neighbors across the street was the Smiths, Rudger and Della and I think two boys and two girls. The boys were close to Kennett and I in age so we played a lot together the oldest boy was named R.D. at least that is all I remember he was called by. The second boy was Nyle. We did a lot together mostly mischief. There was little time though for play time as everybody was in the fields working and it was so until dark. Many times the day wasn’t over until around nine and by then it was getting dark supper after the chores were all done.
Mister Smith was a mean old sucker he could scream and swear like he’d graduated with that being the only language he knew. He gave the boys a hard time but they did a good job in return, insult for insult. Kennett and I when working in the fields south of the house would mimic him when he yelled and would swear like he did. You could hear him a block away. I remember that Kennett and came with the idea that would make him furious we would take a mirror and when he went into the house and we were in the fields we would shine the sun via the mirror into his kitchen and into his face. He and dad were civil and so the day came when dad received an order from dad that those actions were to stop. The smiths had a fruit stand so we kids often would get treats from Mrs. Smith and R.D would show us where the candy was kept and the soda pop so we did quite well in the sweet tooth capers. We learned where the cigars Rugder would put when he was working with customers. Often when we could we would steal the “short but to big around” stogies. They made us sick as sick but we never seemed to quit. Besides they were more fun that cedar bark and corn silk and makings like that. Coffee grounds were good also but we had to steal them from the Smiths
As to playing we had no toys so we made our own and since most of the time our free time was after dark we would play “kick the can”, ‘Tin can hockey”. A hard rough game of football. We also did a great amount of fighting. It would start out rather mild just fists if it continued for long it graduated to weapons of war, pitch forks ect. Dad never bothered to stop us until the weapons came into action then it was one word and one only we knew enough to obey
This should give a little bit of younger days there are still many happenings that will come to light and can be dealt with as they come to mind.
I can assure the youth years include much more of the life of mischief kept us busy
The Beginning of Heaven 1940 Tyler Rogers
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
The Beginning of Heaven 1940
The summer of 1940, I had a job with a neighbor that was trucking produce to Wyoming from our area. I was supposed to be a truck driver but was more of a flunky. The man that I was working for was not a member of my church and in fact was about as ornery as a man could be towards the church. Yet he would always want the fruits and berries that the local “Mormons" raised. I thought that I was a pretty cool man.
I had acquired a driver's license and was a truck driver. Two trips a week were made to Evanston, Green River and Rock Springs. Generally, we would load on a Sunday afternoon then leave about ten at night, drive near to our first stop, pull off the road and redo all the fruit into smaller containers. This enabled extra boxes of fruit. The smaller boxes were blamed on the “Mormon farmers”. This event happened twice a week.
The old man smoked like a Stanley Steamer. He could use about ten cigars a trip plus a can of Phillip Morris cigarettes, containing fifty each trip. Quite often he added a chew or ‘plug” as he called it.
That was my life during the summer of 1940. My parents had a fruit farm and among the fruits was a large raspberry patch. I had come home from one of the trips late and so had slept in quite late. When I got up, I came up out of the basement and was just going out into the yard when my mother was coming into the house. She said to me, “will you help the girl in with her berries. I like her and think that I will use her in the house to help me.” My answer was "let her bring her own berries in". A little voice said, “If you’ll get out of the way I will do that”. I turned and there she was! We looked at each other and something happened. Not another word was said, but bells chimes began to ring. This occurred on a Friday. Saturday, she had a date with a boy from Pleasant Grove and she didn’t want to go but go she did and I mopped like a lost puppy. By Sunday, we knew quite a bit about each other. I learned that she had lost her parents in 1937 in a flu epidemic. That she had two brothers and a sister older than she and two brothers and a sister younger than her. A bonding between us grew rapidly and by the end of the fruit season or at least the berry season, we certain of our outcome. The time for her return to Heber city where her home was and to start school. The big question was how were we going to see each other.
Time for a bit of my family history. I had two brothers that were older than I each had given my father problems with their smoking. The older one had graduated from high school and had moved to Heber City, hence the contacts to get help for the berry season. The second brother had developed a habit of drinking and just barely, if at all, lived inside the law. The tobacco problem caused many problems. I didn’t realize that my dad just couldn’t be around the stuff and he could and did quite often become more than angry. I remember one time that we had done the morning chores and were in the bathroom washing up for breakfast Dick (just older that I), and Dad were sharing the sink washing their hands. Dad looked at Dicks fingers and the first two fingers on his left hand were stained brown. Those of today's times would not understand but in those days the ‘cigs’ as they were called were made from tobacco that was in bags and called “Bull Durham”. You had papers that you folded, then dumped the tobacco into the paper, then rolled the paper around and made the “cig”. The burning was according to how well your “makes" were and no matter what you fingers became stained.
The conversation between Dick and Dad soon led to a challenge from Dick to Dad, saying “what are going to do about it?". Dad’ answer was to mother, that she was to clear the kitchen and put everybody but he and Dick into the dining room. The question of “what are you going to do about it” was soon answered. Dick never changed and always came out the loser. I learned a lot from that experience.
I came up with a solution to get me to Heber, to see Joyce. I decide that smoking was not for me. I didn’t want to face the furor of my father at any price. Father was at this time very much involved in his school work and so on Friday nights he would be at the high school supervising the ball games and dances. I was too small to play either football or basketball, but a great idea came to mind. The farm needed attention and it placed a real load on Father, between school and the farm work. I approached father and offered a deal first. I would not smoke. Second, since I was not athlete, I offered to come from school and do farm work. Third, I would tend my baby brother ‘sixteen year caboose” on Friday nights so Mother could go to the school events with him. In turn, I wanted the car to go to Heber on Saturday nights to see Joyce. Father thought for a while then agreed and he offered to put five gallons of gas in the car and give me fifty cents for the dance ticket. That solved the heartaches of how were we going to see each other during that long lonely winter.
There is lots to be said about the events of that winter but that will be a chapter in of itself, for it was a time of much maturing for both of us. Joyce knew that as soon as school was out and she had graduated she faced a decision as to where would she go and who would take care of her. As graduation approached, I asked her to accept an engagement ring. The answer was “of course”. However some where in the interim, she, under the fright of graduation and some family (older sister), she decided to date another for a little while so she sent the ring back to me. I was in a state of ruin. I was no good to anybody (father said so). That state of mind lasted about a month and Joyce told me that she didn’t like was she was getting into a renewal of life for both of us came as the summer months began.
Joyce returned to our place an again worked for my mother and that put us back together (oh joyous day). My folks knew that we would soon want marriage. They were not opposed to Joyce by any means but they were against marriage because of the need for more education, which was the farthest from our minds. I believe that the biggest concern they had was that we would need better education in order for us to survive. The Great Depression was just beginning to show signs of ending and the clouds of war were rolling worldwide. Income for one of my education at that time was less than a dollar a day. We, as two young lovers, could see nothing of these problems. We knew our destiny marriage was what we wanted and so it was going to be.
July 1941, the 30th, saw my eighteenth birthday. We wanted to get married so on a Sunday afternoon. We joined hands, walked from the dining room, into the living room, where mother and father were and shaking like scared puppies. We asked if we could get married. Father when reading the paper always held the paper high so about all you could see would be the top of his head. This day he was like that and mother was at the dining table doing something. We needed their permission because I was not twenty-one. The answer form Father was that he lowered the paper looked at us and flatly said, "NO". Mother gasped for a certainty she knew we had to. We left the room crying. A few minutes later, we decided that we would both leave and I would move with her to her hometown of Heber. Then we would move into her family home, where her older brother and his new wife were living. We thought nothing about what all this would entail, we just knew that we were going. On a Sunday afternoon, I just took father's truck, moved it closer to the house and began to load both our worldly goods. Father came by and I knew for sure that all hell would break loose. Instead he asked where I was going, my answer was that we were running away. The answer that he gave was not what I would have ever expected, "Be sure and bring the truck back". I did that later that night, said goodbye to my mother and hitchhiked back to Heber.
The days that followed were spent in looking for work during the day and helping her brother Doyle and brother-in-law Murri go to the north fields and gather wood for the winter. I was welcomed into the family but strict rules were set down as to where and when and all that I would spend time with Joyce. Doyle was working at the mines in Park City. I tried to get work there but in those days the shift supervisor hired and fired by the shift. The one I talked to be a big man, who looked all the part of a rough, hardened Indian. He looked at me said, "kid you aren't big enough to carry my lunch bucket! Get out of here!" It would have been good work if I could have done it. Doyle was a good-sized man and his job was 'mucking', which was to load the ore cars by hand after the blasting had occurred. I did find work at the large store in town, known as the Heber Mercantile. I became a "flunky" in the grocery department; the wage was fifty dollars a month for twelve hours a day six days a week.
One night I hitched a ride down to Lindon to see my mother. Father was at the school that night, so mother and I had a wonderful visit until she said to me, "your father will not sign nor give his permission for marriage." What I said to mother was not spoken as I meant it to be, I said to her, "but, mother, we've got to." Mother was the kind of a woman that just knew all the bad forbidden things went on. She gasped and cried. I went home. I believe that was on a Tuesday night but not sure. A few days later my father, mother, grandfather and step-grandmother, all arrived in Heber, papers in hand and insisted that we get married as soon as possible. I have no memory as to who did what but about this time. Doyle and Murri and their families had accepted employment in Morenci, Arizona, at the Phelps Dodge Copper mine. I do recall that they did not leave until shortly after we were married.
Joyce's grandmother had a large home on north Main Street and there were several aunts in the area. Somehow they gathered together and gave us a wedding and reception all in one in Grandma's home. Grandma Giles was a real straight-laced woman of frontier stock. She informed me that there would be no drinking at this wedding. My brother, who was just older than I, was, at the early age of sixteen, a confirmed alcoholic. He arrived early and totally drunk. The thing about him was that he was always at his best when drunk. He dressed perfectly, spoke the best one could want, he sweet talked Grandma and she fell in love with him and never did know that he was fully loaded.
Shortly after the wedding we learned that there was plans to shivaree us. That little shindig was a practice in those days where the newly married couple were separated and partied until the wee hours of the morning. The plans were to separate me from Joyce and then wheel her up and down the main street, and then I would do the same thing then finally wheel her to where we were to live. We out waited them all and then real late Grandma gave Joyce the biggest oldest longest night gown and we ran across the street to where we had a small apartment rented, with one room a little bath. So started our life that never ceased being a joyful one and it did indeed include some troublesome times.
This all occurred and became final on October 3, 1940. Shortly after this Doyle and Murri did leave for Arizona. Their leaving left Joyce and I and her younger sister Marjorie and Blaine alone in Heber. Work at the store was all right but very difficult to survive the money did not allow for much food and heat became the biggest concern. Illness all winter gave Marge a lot of trouble with ear problems.
One of the experiences came from the need for heat was what happened when I finally was able to afford a ton of coal, a huge amount of money ($6.75), to have it purchased and delivered. Across the street was a family of three(?) boys and a father that was always drunk. The neighbors generally seen to it that the boys were fed but at nighttime temperatures of minus forty, heat was indeed a premium. The boys started to steal the coal I tried everything to stop them but to no avail. I even tried a shotgun approach. I had a double barrel sixteen-gauge gun. I tied strings to both triggers stuck the gun out the window, made an alarm for the door where the coal was stored. When the alarm went off I jumped and instead of pulling one string I pulled both the gun went off and the recoil brought the gun back into the room across and into the opposite wall. It didn't stop the stealing. I had told a man that came into the store about it and he said to bring him a lump of coal. I never dreamed what was going to happen but when he brought it back he told me not to use the lump but to lay it where it was easily seen. The lump must have contained a detonating cap from the mine; it blew their stove into a million pieces but the theft stopped.
Tyler's Journal, from a handwritten journal - Trip to Germany
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
This section transcribe by Brian Y Rogers, Saturday, October 10, 2009
(?) indicates a word that I cannot read
We left early this morning for our Southern Germany trip. First we headed for Switzerland. The weather was superb. It was a long trip but arrived in time to check in at the temple Hotel, rest a little while and then go to the afternoon session. Words cannot express the feeling of attending a temple session in a different land and language. The language uses for the session was French. So we who couldn’t handle French had the choice of four other languages, English being one. So we donned our headphones and had the pleasure of allowing them to fit loosely and hear a mixture of English and French. What kind people. I wondered how the Lord could understand so many voices in mixed languages. The temple is a quiet peaceful place, perhaps more so than our Provo Temple. It may be that since its small in size and attendance, it naturally acquires service a peaceful nature. Everybody knew Shauna and Tom and all came rushing forth to greet them and to vie for the chance to hold the baby Stephanie.
After the session, we drove some distance into the countryside to a restaurant call the ‘Baron’, Shauna’s favorite place to eat in Switzerland. Very beautifully sit in alpine country and very good food. The hotel was one built by the church to accommodate the many who have to travel so far. Here the rooms are built to accommodate six people, generally all of one sex, so the men take one room and the women take another room. Down in the basement room is a large dining, a kitchen and shelves and fridge to hold food and other victuals. One just finds an empty room and uses it. We found ample space and used the food we brought with us. A quiet walk in the evening enlightened a great day.
We arose early, ate, and were in the temple again for another session. The chapel service held that morning really touched our hearts. All was singing “High on a Mountain Top.” I know of French, Italian, German, Dutch, and English languages. Tears came freely as I thought of the Lord hearing all give their praise to him in song.
We left later than we wanted to. Tom seemed very concerned about that, saying that if we didn’t get to Munich by 6 PM, we’d not likely have rooms. And the best way to get there he didn’t know since the country across Switzerland was new to him. Gasoline was another problem since all his coupons were only good in Germany. Mid afternoon we had car trouble and found the left front braking system was overheating so we had to stop long enough to let it cool. We had no choice but to try and limp to Munich, so on we went. It appeared that the hill country and getting through Zurich Switzerland caused a excessive use of the brakes, causing it to get hot because it gave us no further problem after that. We made it to the Switzerland autobahn and into Germany on the tank of gas so we were able to make Munich in time but didn’t know where our hotel was. It was found and we all collapsed and rested. Joyce became ill and was very miserable. We tried to doctor her up but has little to do it with. All the stores were closed so she had to suffer it through the night.
Joyce felt too ill to want to go on any tours so she slept while Howard (?) and I went on a city tour. Tom and Shauna went across town to the military commissary. Got enough junk to doctor her good. Did some laundry (?). Our morning tour was on of downtown Munich. Like all the rest of our trip, it was special. Our guide was not as pleasant as I think one could be but by far the most informative so far. We toured only that which was old and full of history. The best part of the tour to me was the old city square with the City Hall. I wish which more and more each day that I knew my history better. The City Hall was all but destroyed as was much of the entire city, but the wisdom of the Germans was good. They rebuilt as close to the original as possible. The glockenspiel or bell tower, with its dancing scenes was great fun to watch. It was interesting to see that this square of a great city is not different (any) other. There is always an abundance of ? around (hippies). And as usually found here also was a wandering jester. He was a one-man band (? with Blues Band).
We finished our tour of the city with a casual but short excursion to the Olympic Stadium and grounds. The government has made it a profit making attraction. The touching item to me however was the fact that the original site was the rubble dumping ground for the bombed out city of Munich. They took advantage of everything and it has been worth it.
The afternoon tour was the long awaited one to Dachau. Perhaps because I am a product of that time era but I truly felt a sense of painful quiet there. As I wandered through the memorial site, my thought was not only with those that suffer so much there but also with those who cause the suffering. I glad God has seen fit to reserve the judgment to himself. I saw many things in such a place. I can’t imagine space for 400 being occupied by 400. My mind and heart will often struggle over such happening to mankind but the memories will never flee. We were reminded by our guide that the granite monument in the museum placed there by the survivors (engraved with ‘Never again’) was not that those who lived thought there would never be another Dachau (for there are many such places today, just different names) but that they would never again enter such a camp. I can truly see why the Savor sweat blood from every pore, to redeem mankind.
We left early from Munich so we could arrive at Chinese Lake in time to catch a boat to the island in the lake. Tom was insistent that we see the summer palace of King Ludwig the second. It rained all the way there but then let up and became very clear and nice. Tom went with us although he had already been there. We soon found out the island looked like any wooded island that is until you walked about a half mile through the woods on a very nice path. Everywhere we saw the palace it looked its age and nothing special. We purchased our entry tickets and there were enough English speaking people that we were able to have an English guide. I don’t know how to express the beauty of the palace. It was breathtaking, so I did the only thing I could. I purchased some slides and cards. If the King was mad as they claim, then his madness was well mixed with beauty. His palace was to be a copy of King Louis the 14th of France with additional baths and it was all one could dream of. I had to buy a history of the place. We left Chinese Lake and arrived early evening at Berteschgarten late afternoon, collapsed for an hour and then started to poke around. Our room was at the General Walker Hotel. The area was at the recreational center for (?) and the area around there is full of (? ?). I went for a walk and found all sorts of things that intrigued me. Tom has tours already selected for us, to quench our thirst for history. The hotel is crowded and most are in a boisterous mood.
What a night. Just outside our room there was a drunk party. Wow – learned this morning that Tom called the desk about 2AM and told the clerk to either move them to another room, shut them up, or he’d call the MP’s. It became quiet very quickly. This day we went to Salzburg on a half-day tour. It was not the best of tours. Yet Joyce and I did really enjoy it. We enjoyed the ancient cathedral cemetery with dates in the 701 AD, the catacomb (?). We did want to go to the castle fortress but we learned it was not included in our tour price and it was quite expensive. So we went instead to the Mozart Museum. Just as well, it was his childhood home with all the family (?). We also had time to just wonder around. We visited a church that was started in the late 700’s, rebuild in 1628 after a fire, and again in 1953 after it had been bombed. We saw but did not visit the Von Trapp family house other such places.
In the afternoon, we went into town to just shop and look around. Berteschgarten is a small but beautiful city. We enjoyed shopping but I had more fun showing off our new granddaughter. I tell all that she was mine and it was fun to hear the old ladies laugh and say ‘nun’.
Late in the afternoon, after we’d eaten, Tom, Howard and I went for a walk and found many more interesting things he said that it was all described in one of the tours he scheduled and I’d find it all out in the morning. One of the things was what appeared as a ‘pill box’ with (?) holes. I knew the whole area was full of shelters for Hitler and his staff, so it wasn’t surprising. Decided that I’d take the tour for sure. Went to bed and never moved until the next morning.
What a day.
Chosen and Called - Tyler's call to be a Bishop
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Chosen and Called
Through out ones life comes many times, where the “blue bolt of lightening” strikes from above. One such occasion came to me, in July 1970. I had been serving as the executive secretary of our ward. What an insight to the government of the church as well as the workings of men. One of the assignments above that normally given to a secretary, was a call by the high council to assist them in preparing information relative to a division of our ward. I was so interested in the methods used and reasons for division that no thought ever entered my mind that a division would require at least one new Bishopric. Our Bishopric and other leadership meetings were held early each Sunday morning. Late one Saturday night in June, I received a call from the executive secretary to the Stake President asking “If I could meet with the Presidency early the next morning?” The time set was during one of our leadership meetings. Ever so unsuspecting the next morning I excused myself from the Bishopric and went to keep the appointment.
I entered the Stake president’s office completely unaware of what was coming. I was fully expecting that the meeting was to deal with the ward division. It did, but in a vastly different way. I felt like the “blue bolt” had indeed struck me, when the President in his kind and quiet way informed me that I was being called to serve as the Bishop of the London Ward.
In retrospect an interesting experience was that a few weeks earlier than that memorable day, Joyce and I were in the Stake President’s office for a temple recommend interview. There had been many rumors floating around about the division and the new Bishopric. One man a good man had even told his children he was to be the new Bishop. His children had made "much to do" about it. I felt it was wrong to tell his children such as this, and so expressed my feelings to the member of our Stake Presidency that was interviewing us. He smiled, put his arm around me and said to me “Don’t you worry The new Bishop has been selected and sent to the Prophet for approval and confirmation.” I felt much better and left with more concern for his children than anyone else.
From that day forward, for six years I experienced a way of life that only those that experience the call of a Bishop would know or understand. I was set apart in Salt Lake City on July 2, 1970 By Elder Joseph Anderson.
Even before I was to officially take charge the problems of the ward were given to me. My former Bishop had been laboring under many heavy problems. One of which was a constant one involving a member whom chooses to go the former Bishop with their problems. Consequently the morning I returned from the Stake Presidents Office he came to me and said, “You are the new Bishop aren’t you?”
When I answered him in the affirmative he said, “I could rest assured that he would never interfere with my position”. From that day forward he insisted that I was the new Bishop and all the work was mine, and so it was.
The division of the ward, new schedules, organizations, the whole “Ball of wax” as only miniscule and moved along well. It was the spiritual famine among the members that gave me my gravest concern. I was now to experience many wonderful events. As the mantel of authority was placed upon me. I sensed the reality of guidance and discernment.
I recall the organizational problems of the Primary. The President and one counselor had been selected, but who for the others? As that evening came to a close my lovely wife suggested a name. I very frankly informed her that it was not for her to become involved, She in just as frank a way informed me “That she’d not again become involved.” (she didn’t!!!)
As I knelt in prayer I asked for help in solving the problem. The next day shortly after I became home from work. The Primary President came to me and gave me the name of one of her counselors. The name had come to her during the night and it was the same name as Joyce had suggested. Thus began the many experiences of spiritual instruction from the Lord to direct the affairs of the ward.
Many of the experiences are of a nature that they must not be told. I’m sure that in the days of judgement and accounting these experiences will be of great value to my children, though I’m sure for some it might be to late.
On interesting sideline experience of great value to me came the first year as a Bishop. Shortly after being set apart a family problem came to light. To a new green bishop, It was tremendous affair, very taxing, night after night, long hours. I worked with this family until my very soul was taxed. During the late winter part of my daily work became involved in constructing a set of field instruments for a graduate student. This instrument was to be used in Mexico on the BaJa gulf. Mainland side. Some how the conversations become one of my going to Mexico to set the equipment up and make it operational.
It seemed almost to easy, but I soon found myself in Mexico at Puerto Penso for a month. The work took about a week and in the following three weeks in the warm spring sun I relaxed. Soaked the warm sunrays into a “Skinny” body read the scriptures and almost forgot about the outside world. Months after my venture to deliver the work, I learned that the Dean of the college (to whom I was accountable) having just been released from the office of Bishop. Thus having a feeling for what I was experiencing thought a good rest was in order and so readily agreed that I should make the trip.
The trip itself had several good spiritual experiences. I quickly learned that a change in living place can be good but also very frustrating. I knew no Spanish and few in town knew any English. If something was needed imagine the slow problems of communicating. I learned that more Mexican's there knew English that would admit and oft times would refuse to speak in English, but how they could laugh at our attempts to speak Spanish.
A phone call was a great experience! There were close to five thousand people in the towns. Twenty-four phones. Of which only two were public. I was never able to get a call from there to home in less than three hours. One was nearly six hours. I believe they made it so for their amusement and I do believe it succeeded.
I learned that while alone one can become very needful of the Lord. I decided to read the Doctrine and Covenants through verse by verse in order. I did but learned a very good lesson. I now believe that the scriptures are to be used for guidance and direction. To just read for the sake of reading is not the best use of ones time. But to apply a purpose with the goal as instructed…
Shortly after Tyler’s call to Bishop, Tyler and Joyce celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary
Sunday 28-Mar-76 - Memories
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Transcribed by Brian Y Rogers, Friday, October 23, 2009 from handwritten documents, on Lindon Ward Bishopric letterhead.
While the experiences of the spray wagon and coffee are not necessarily the proper experiences, they are memories. As we grew up, event the many hours of hard work bore good fruits in later life. I suppose one of the reasons for not liking the job of spraying was the problem father had in finding a good job of spraying. To me, I had no concern or interest in the thoroughness of getting the apples sprayed properly. All I know as the horses were difficult to handle. They were different to handle than on the plow or harness, etc. It seemed that in the orchard, they always wanted to eat the grass but we were not to let them do because if they had from spraying that was on the grasses, they were always going in the direction they were supposed to.
My job was to keep the barrels of spray stirred up so the arsenic (?) of had (?) and mash they were thoroughly mixed at all times. To keep the barrels stirred and the horses moving in the right direction and right distance were exasperating to say the least. If I made a mistake, I often received a powerful jet of spray directed to me by father reminding me to not daydream, but to stay alert on all things.
Besides the spraying, there were raspberries and strawberries to weed, water, cultivate and help pick. Beets to thin and water—hay to pile and haul. As I recall, I never minded the berries and their problems.
When we were young, we rode the horse on the single row cultivator to make it easier for one of the older brothers or father to cultivate.
Haying was not so bad. As the new hay was moved, the aroma was a pleasant one I still enjoy to this day. We often followed the mower because the pheasants that were so plentiful would get in the way of the way of the mower blade and lose their legs. Rather than let them just die, we’d make good use of them. If we could find a nest before hatching took place, we’d take the eggs and place them under one of the sitting hens around the barnyard. The hatchlings would remain only a short while and then their wild instincts would lead them away.
After the hay
(Document ends here)
Tyler Rogers’s history of World War II
Contributor: doddemagen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
I, Michael Rogers, transcribed this record from a copy given me by Brian Rogers, on Oct. 15, 2009. This transcript includes Tylers hand written corrections dated 11-30-99.
Tyler Rogers’s history of World War II
Mar 25, 1945
Due to the action on board our ship I have decided to write a few things about my life though I doubt if it will ever be of any great interest to anyone.
We are in the Admiralties, a group of islands in the South Pacific. The one we are on is at Maranis Bay. We have been at sea for 21 days. Why we stopped off here no one knows but we are here. The rumor has it that we are awaiting the formation of a convoy, which makes sense. Yesterday, it was Sunday, the Sunday before Ester and we were lying at anchor, all was peaceful and quiet. All morning there was a navy plane similar to our A-24 fighter that was buzzing our ship. I had been watching the action form our boat deck. The pilot would buzz under the fan tail, climb and do a loop, then so the same thing again. Since it was Sunday most were attending church services, including a few LDS boys. I had decided not to attend. The Chaplin, Roy Darling, from Salt Lake City came up and insisted that I go below and join them. At first I refused then gave up and joined them.
Shortly after 2 p.m. the A-24 made another pass and as he came up from under the fan tail he did an outside loop and lost power and that brought him right back in the same direction that he had started out but with no power he slammed into the side of our ship. We could feel the impact where we were. The engine came apart from the plane and came on thru the side of the ship into the crew quarters. The rest of the plan sank into the bay.
It was said that there was a passenger aboard with the pilot. Both went down with the plane. There were close to a thousand troops that were watching the accident. The plane would have hit the deck I was on. For some reason the plane dropped down and hit just above the water line, about six feet below where I was standing. I was on that deck and in line for the place to be hit. One crew member was killed and several injured. The irony of it all is that the pilot had just finished his fifty missions and was headed home.
Mar 26 - Apr 20th
These days were fairly eventful. The day after the accident to the ship we went into dry dock for repairs, the first I had ever heard of, let alone seen. It was quite a thing to see. I couldn’t imagine a thing like a dry dock. It was huge our ship had moved into the dry dock while it was full of water. Then braced or whatever in the upright position, then all the water pumped out, leaving the ship in a dry upright position. This all occurred during the night. In the morning we were really high and dry and all kinds of repair going on.
A few days later a convoy was made up and we started out for the Philippines. Probably, Leyte Island would be our destination. Our ship was in the lead since we were the largest troop ship afloat and also the only one that is heavily armed.
Our ship was reported as the largest troop ship afloat. It was named the USS Admiral Eberele (Eberle). There were thousands aboard, manned by the Navy, secured by the Marines. Troops included many Red Cross people and Army Air force Troops. There was I think two five inch cannons aboard one forward and one aft. There were several 40mm anti aircraft emplacements and several 50 cal. Machine gun emplacements.
For two and a half days we went thru one hellish typhoon that came down out of the Philippines. One tanker cracked its rudder which slowed us down. The little destroyer escorts would disappear under the waves. I sure felt sorry for those sailors. All aboard the troop ship were confined to below decks. After the storm passed, we had no trouble and finally dropped anchor at Tacloban on the island of Leyte. Our arrival at last in the South Pacific was on April 5, 1945. The bay is called San Pedro. All AACS and Air force debarked in the evening. I was surprised to learn that the replacement depot knew or our coming.
The next day we were met by our own AACS (Army Airways Communication System) people and moved out to the local AACS squadron. There I met my immediate superior, a Lt. Chuck Maupin. I learned that a former co-worker and friend of mine was also a close friend of Chuck Maupin and that Maupin has asked that our mutual friend transfer to our group. That leaves Lt. Gepperet and I out in the cold as far as good assignments are concerned.
That gives the group three range men in a place for one. There is a converted old loop range station here that is not operating as it should. Maupin, Geppert and I remained here to get the problems straightened out and to get our orientation training here. The range really isn’t in operation so we started to do the installation. One of the transmitters was in fair condition but the other one has been setting on the ground for some time and with no protection. We spent some time cleaning it up and getting it ready for operation. Then we found a new one that the navy had, so we did a bit of night time requisitioning. They had no knowledge of it being in their storage site anyway. The rest of the installation went as normal as overseas policies would allow. When we had the site finished and it came to tuning the transmitters we found lots of problems. It would not tune with an “L” pad resistance in one of the antennas which we needed to squeeze one of the legs to the directions we needed. After a few days, I asked Maupin if I could try it by myself. Finally he gave the OK and I started to tune the transmitter as I thought it should be tuned. I plotted the courses requested by the fly boys and went about the procedures as I had been taught. There had been two RF transformers that Maupin had insisted to left out, I put these back in circuit. The transmitter tuned up as it should and I put the station into operation and it is stable.
Yesterday a C-47 crashed near our transmitter site and it was quite a mess. I was at a rice paddy where we were installing a transmitter for radio range navigation. I was in the main tent doing whatever, when the radio that was narrating the control tower at Tacloban came alive with a may day, which is a distress call. The pilot of a incoming plane [the C-47] said he was out of fuel and couldn’t make the air field. The control tower told him to land in the rice paddy where I was, the one we were working in, and to land with his landing gear up. This sent me into a tizzy. That was our rice paddy and we sure didn’t want a downed aircraft in our front yard and it could well be a disaster for our installation. The reasons for such directions were clear. If he were to attempt a landing without a runway it would be in the country side. And a gear down landing would be sure to cause a disaster. A rice paddy like the one we were working in was a mud lake. Heavy thick mud that was about knee deep, a landing with gear up would give them a high degree of success. A gear down landing would have the heavy gear destroy the plane rather than a belly landing. As it was the pilot panicked and put the landing gear down. The gear caught in the tops of the palm trees around the paddy- the impact broke the plane in two places. The first was just behind the cockpit leaving those in the front unable to escape and the plane caught fire, burn them to death. Those in the back were lucky. The second break was just forward of the tail section, and they were able to escape the plane.
Special note: Since then and through the years I have often thought of the meaning of a command. In this instance the control tower knew the situation and consequences’ of obeying or disobeying. Had the pilot trusted those upon whom he call for help, he would have been alive from that accident. So it is with life. We are certainly free to make decisions, but what about the consequences? I often ask God for help then do it my way. “How come I’m smarter than God?
The crew of four was killed. From the crew quarters forward it was a total loss. There were several hitch hikers that were in the tail section that walked away unhurt. Also a few days ago, I went into Zamblon air strip to see if I could find some of my belongings. This is the airstrip near Manila. I found some of my belonging and took time to see the city of Manila. It is a once grand city now in ruins, ravaged by war. It is pitiful to see the once beautiful buildings now in rubble, the walled city is where the most damage seems to be, yet that is where most of the prisoners were kept. The smell of death is still strong. I suppose it is because of the many dead that are still buried beneath the rubble. When I completed that little sightseeing trip, I attempted to return to Leyte. The only way to return to Leyte was via a plane that was going to Laog (Lago De Ore, in the Philippines on the South China Sea), the northern most place on Luzon and then back to Leyte. I went. We stopped at Linguean for fuel and then on to Laog. At Laog the plane unloaded its cargo, and while it was refueling, I attempted to find a latrine. I guess I took too long because when I returned to the strip, the plane was on the taxi lane and nearly ready to turn onto the runway. I started down the road alongside the plane and tried to get it to come back for me but it was a no go. The only other plane going south was a troop carrier going to San Marcelelcone, near Manila. I took it and upon arrival I asked for a bunk for the night. They did better. They got me on a G.H.Q. plane that was going to Nichols Field, across the bay from where I need to be. From there I found a AACS detachment with excellent quarters. It was a former villa complete with a garden, tiled baths and a swimming pool. The next morning I went to the field and asked if there was a plane going to Leyte. They said there was one warming up right then, there were two marines also wanting a ride south, so we all three went running to the plane. The pilot of this plane was much different than the one at Laog, he smiled, cut his engines to the idle and we climbed aboard and returned to Leyte.
May 3rd, 1945
Upon installation of the range at Leyte and after I left for Laog, the range developed some problems. All the range men had been assigned and had left except for one. That left the two of us with Lt. Maupin to straighten out the problems. The three of us spent many long days and nights ironing out the problems. Several things left me with the impression that Lt. Maupin wasn’t as good as he wanted me to think he was. Several times when we were trying to trace wiring I ended up arguing both theory and practical application with him. His tuning procedures were “hop, skip and jump around”, certainly not the way I was taught. Around the 23rd, or 24th, the range was accepted and commissioned. I wonder what anyone that was listening on the range frequencies were thinking as they listened to us as we made the tuning adjustments. We must surely sounded like a bunch of kids, two of us were out in a jeep checking the field strength and the third was at the transmitter calling us on voice, “This is radio station WXKR, the radio range station in the middle of a rice paddy on the garden island of Leyte in the Philippines, just twelve miles north of the nurses’ station at the 126th General Hospital.”
That little spiel would then most likely be followed by a song if one could call it a song, noise anyway. When things had been taken care of, an old friend of mine that was flying for AACS, Phil Miller, came to me and asked me to do a little flying with him. He had no copilot and only an engineer. We went to the air strip and after warming up the engines moved out onto the strip and went full throttle only to have the steel netting that had been laid down on the sand come loose and fly up into our elevator. We didn’t try to fly that day. The following day we made a trip to Samar which was across the bay from our base at Tacloban. Then we made a trip to Zamboango and Melabang which are places on the far South end of the Philippine Islands. The day after we returned from Malabang I received orders to proceed to Australia at Amberly Field, Ipswitch, Australia. The people here really interest me. While it must be remembered that there are all kinds of people wherever you go, and there are exceptions to any general rule, I found them a very good, highly valued people. The general rule here is that you may look all you want but “no touch” and they mean it even among their own kind. Since I had received my orders and that my laundry was out I couldn’t leave for a day or so. One of the girls that was doing my laundry and house cleaning was a nice looking girl and very friendly. Jokingly I asked her if I could buy her. You can guess the answer. Her cousin said that if I gave her parents 100 peso I could indeed buy her, so for fun the cousin and I went to the parents and told them that I wanted to tease her, they went along with the idea. The next morning I gave the cousin the required money and then told the girl to come with me. She picked up a hammer that was lying on the tent floor and raising it toward me, said very loudly that she was not for sale and that the man she went with would be for love and for love only. I got my laundry and boarded a plane for Australia. We stopped at Angar overnight.
I had a good time, met new and old friends. I stopped by the PX and asked if I could get a few packages of cigarettes to be used for trading in Australia. I expected only a few packs but they took me to the storeroom and told me to help myself. The fellows up north were sure hurting for those things and here they almost threw them away by the case full.
We went on to Hollaindia, there I reported to group and to a Major Guence where he gave me my assignment in Australia. While there I tried to get some of my pay which did not work. While there I passed the WAC quarters and saw them showering, and all the nice things they wear were on the clothesline, sure set me on fire. From Hollandia we went to Port Morseby the last point in New Guinea for fuel, then headed into Aussie land.
We stopped that night at Rockhampton and it was so nice and so many women that we decided to stay overnight there. I sent a radio message to Amberly and they replied that they understood, most would R.O.N. at Rockhampton. The message that I sent was that we were having engine trouble… There at Rockhampton I had my first taste of “Ausie” beer, which to say the least a beer the likes of which I had never tasted. (I don’t think that up to this time I had ever had a full glass of beer in my entire life.) It was also the first time in a long while that I have had the chance to really eat. I had steak and eggs and lots of cold milk. I also went to the local dance and there learned firsthand about the girls I had been told so much about. They would fight over the chance to have a man with them and they did just that. They had a jargon of speech that took me right off my feet. I asked one for a dance and she politely declined saying that she was “all knocked up”, which to them meant that she was tired, different than our usage of that set of words. I returned to my hotel sober and tired but longing for my Joyce.
The next morning we arrived a little early at the plane and walked the props thru and fueled the plane up and then waited for the pilot. The pilot had acquired two women the night before, poor fellow, looked like he could not have flown the plane on a bet. We arrived at Amberly and I checked in, received office space and supplies that I would be needing, and a long list of work that needed to be done.
After getting what tools I could scrounge I went to work. I first tuned the Amberly Range transmitter then the towers and then flew the courses to make sure they were correct thou I had nothing to indicate that they were out of bounds for the navigators. I had trouble with the tower impedances they wouldn’t check out, one of the enlisted man that was going to be assigned to me showed me how to do it properly and so now all is alright. I then traveled to Brisbane and the airfield there is called Eagle Farm. It was the first time that I had been in an Aussie city of any size.
The Eagle Farm Range is in my opinion, the tops. It has been said that the man there that is in charge, messed up in Guinea, but from my inspection, he has more than made up for the mistakes that he may have made. This site has been laid out well and is in top condition. I did find some trouble in the RF sections but since the range is operation so well, I am inclined to believe that our impedance box is at fault. While in Brisbane, Ernie and I, (he is the enlisted man assigned to me) stayed at a hotel that was for officers only. Since he was with me at my request he was registered as an officer also. We spent about four days in Brisbane at least, we spent time until we were out of money. We did a lot of chasing around and having a great time. Brisbane is a fair city, still quaint in many ways; the street cars are modern and very well built. I should know!! I barely missed hitting one with our jeep. While there I took many pictures most were in the botanical gardens. I had to get permission from the “Lord Mayor” to take the pictures. He even said it was a silly thing to heave to do but that was the order from the king of Britain. This order had been put into effect many years ago and here it is in 1945 and I am taking pictures of kangaroos… The fourth day in Brisbane we decided to move out to the army base. Ernie went to the Red Cross station for billet; I was not permitted there, so went on base to what is called the Ascot rotation camp, formally the Ascot Racing Park. That evening we went to the movie and to dinner. I can’t remember the name of the movie but we had a very good steak dinner. We knew that it would not be long until we would be separated and both would be sent north. So we were getting full of everything “good” we could fill up on. The first night that I stayed in the Ascot Center, I went to the quarters assigned which were former horse stables. That night (I had left) in my jacket pocket, several packages of gum and an officers insignia. In the morning, I found a slit in the pocket and no gum or insignia.
That day at the range station, an incident was taking place. At this range, there are three men as fully assigned on site men. One of the fellows was a young Jewish lad, very innocent. He had remarked that he had a girl at home that had promised to be true to him. This caused the usual amount of joshing. True to the nature of life the next letter was a Dear John which of course broke his heart. (The) NCOIC (non commissioned officer in charge) there, was a rounder if there ever was one, and he decided that the innocent young man needed to become a “taken” young man. It was also learned that it took very little liquor to knock him off his feet. The NCOIC had a Aussie WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) that was his regular sleeping partner, she agreed to help with the set up by first getting another girl friend that would be the one to get the young man to take her. I myself care not what others do but have to admit that thou I was the officer in charge and I knew that what they were doing was wrong, it did stir the feeling within me and I did nothing to stop the process. Plenty of drinks were supplied and the party began. The affair took place in one of the wall tents that was used for sleeping quarters, with all being watched through the window by all. It was not long until the girl was drunk and the boy was more so. Whitey and his girl were soon as nude as could be and were coupled up in his bed. The young man was dumbfounded to see them co-habitation in front of him, he turned around to find his girl nude also. It didn’t take long until he was with her thou he never completely undressed. In the morning the girl awoke sick and the other girl told the young man that he probably had gotten the girl pregnant and of course all agreed scaring the kid all the more. It took a very short time until all in the squadron knew that the young man was no longer a virgin.
That day I was placed on emergency orders to go to Townsville to clear up some very nasty reports of range failures and personnel problems. While there I also received orders to proceed to Dobo Dura and Fall River in New Guinea, to make an inspection of each place and return with the findings. At Dobo I found an old fellow who must have been in earlier times a great man and well versed in his field of range navigation especially the “A N” kind, which we had. He was now living like a pig, drinking himself to death on alcohol in lemon extract. Since he was the NCOIC, the other men could have cared less and were fast becoming like he was. Since this was just a pass thru inspection, I made plans to return soon and correct the situation. At Fall River, the range had been under construction for months and was still not finished. From the observations that I made in the few short hours there, I knew that that place also need a return visit and the conditions there were far different than those at Dobo so I refused to accept the station as being acceptable and sent a radio message to that effect to Headquarters. I then returned to Townsville, to recheck the conditions there and then back to Amberly.
It had been some time since I had had a few days to myself and I had long had an interest in rocks so I took some time to get a few stones and tools. I acquired the stones and tools by trading booze and cigarettes that I didn’t use to the Aussies. I was planning to spend a few days fooling around with my newly started hobby but was again sent out to the field, this time it was back to Dobo. The living conditions there were pitiful, the range equipment was not operating well and with no decent living facilities the whole place was a mess. This installation was only ten miles from a fairly large base on the coast called Oro Bay. Ten miles may seem like a short distance but there in the jungles it is a hellish long way. There at Dobo we first made our inspection and then proceeded to change things around, and made the place livable. The range site was three miles from the small airstrip manned by the Aussies; other than that, there was nothing for the fellows to draw from for supplies. There was in the vicinity an old abandoned hospital, several old food dumps and the old camps that the hospital and food dumps supported. From these sources we retrieved the lumber to build board walks to the tented ares and the power generators. We stole all the cupboards we dared to steel from the hospital along with a sink and the necessary piping, pumps, water tanks, etc. At the end of the ten day stay, the place had a mess tent, a tractor trailer, with water tank for hauling water, board walks, food storage shelves, and other things to make life a bit more comfortable. By now, the Fall River situation had erupted in to a full blown fracas. The fly boys wanted navigation and there still was none. At Fall River the range officer is there but has done nothing. The rest of the detachment cares very little for him and I could see why. There was an enlisted man there that knows his stuff but has his hands tied. We soon learned to get along very well. We had known each other up in Leyte before. I found Fall River quite a place. The OIC who is afraid of his own shadow, men whose morale is as low as any I had ever seen, a range office that no one cares for and is off hunting in the jungle most of every day. I have Ernie with me. He and I with the T-Sgt already there inspected the range installation. Ernie is a wiz at tower impedances work. We soon find that the transmitter as well as the towers have been badly wired and in some cases miss wired. No wonder things are snafu. The mistakes are corrected and still I refuse to certify the station because of many other things that are not right as (with) this place.
I decided after about 11 days to continue my inspection tour, but received word to stay put, an inspection team was on its way. I am glad because then those from Hdqtrs can see what I am fussing about. Perhaps I can show then what they do not want to believe setting there at Amberly.
They came, a Col. Rocky, my squadrons Adjunct Chuck Woodward, and a whole cadre of officers I have never seen. Three planes of them, all from the 71st Air Sqdn. We showed them that evening the range and that it was now running, and several other things and the reasons that I refused to certify the station as a whole.
There is talk of a flight check tomorrow but we shall see. No flight check, they seem happy with what we have done.
Received a message while at Fall River, that informed me of a transfer. So while the Squdn Adjunct was there I asked him for release from the assignment. He agreed. I learned that I was assigned to the 140th up at Finchafen, New Guiena. Seems like the war has left me far behind. I sweated out transportation to Amberly, stopped on the way at Townsville to say goodbye to all the old gang.
The only passage that could be obtained to Amberly was via Brisbane on a mail and as usual Ernie and I made a bed in the mail sacks. Ernie always sleeps well because he steals the blankets off me and then curls up like a pretzel. At Brisbane there is no transportation to Amberly. I guess they didn’t get the wire that I sent them. We finally got a ride to Amberly. Home, one month later at 0500.
I think that was the hardest and longest trip home I had ever had to make. Because it was a mail plane it caused us to make transfers and cold as hell. I learned when we arrived at Amberly that part of the problem was that everybody was moving including ATC.
I was planning on a good week’s time to rest and get Joyce a few things. But that went to hell after only two hours rest I was called to hdqtrs and given that day to clear the files. I hoped then to at least get paid, this was on a Monday. Thursday morning I was not paid and given two hours to pack my flight bag. I made arrangements to have a friend pick up some of the stuff that I knew I couldn’t take with me. The ETD (estimated time of departure) came and no plane. There I spent the rest of the day and night sleeping where I could find a spot. The next morning I was awakened and found myself on a plane freezing to death. Thus came to an end my stay in Australia (for sure, I am afraid).
Only once while there did I cause any problems. That was the night before the first notice that I was to leave. Ernie invited me to the NCO club where we both promptly got drunk as skunks.
We landed at Townsville for fuel and to debark a passenger from our already overloaded and groaning B-25. We were grounded because of bad weather over the coral sea and at Finchafen. I stayed at the Detachment quarters while the rest went into town. I visited with old Pop Gaul, the Sgt. That was at Dobo. He looked a 100% better than the last time I had seen him and definitely a new man compared to the first time we met. He had spent eighteen months in New Guinea and the jungle can sure do strange things to a man. I helped him get a discharge so he could go home. He and I look a ride into town to find me some bananas and a hat to wear. I was dying for some fruit, when up in Guinea they were all green.
Last night was for sure the last night or day for me in Australia. Lordy, what a cold night, it was so cold my pecker shriveled up like a dried peanut.
Today we are at Finchafen. I have been assigned to the 140th, cannot imagine why. I have already had some unpleasant episodes here. Especially with the Adjunct, he is a jerk and a Frenchman to boot. He is one of those ribbon loving S.O.B.’s and the only thing he has to show is one of those ‘over here’ ribbons. The C.O. is a cranky ornery old bastard. I know that we will not get along very well, I will do my best.
June 30, 1945
I am up to date with all my work and letter writing. It being June 30, 1945. I am dying to write Joyce, but after the last group of letters I got, I can’t seem to do it. Somehow I must get her to see that she must look at life differently. I have let her live her way now and she can’t seem to make a go of it. I pray she will do as I have ask her to do, we could be so far ahead after this war. I have decided to stay on the farm. I think I would like it and I need her help. I know that as long as I will get letters like the last one, that I can just sort of hide and see what happens. What with my concerns at home and the problems here I know that I’ll be gray before I return home, probably be a tottering old, young man. And so I retire this day with a prayer in my heart, that my happiness will stay intact. Tomorrow I must go see old crab face, I wonder what he wants this time.
July 1, 1945
The meeting with Major Hauhan went as well as could be expected. We came to a mutual agreement that we did not like each other. I suppose though that it is not easy for him. He has four new officers and I had to set thru the same old orientation crap he gives to all the new assignees.
July 2nd, 1945
I was assigned to my old specialty that of range navigation. I learned today that two of my good friends are lost at sea making flight check at Los Negros. I have a funny feeling that I too am ready for a mishap but time will tell. Looks as thou I will just sit (here) for a long time. There are no forms for Inspections. The range here is working but I have no idea about the others under the 140th. Learned late today that my friends Greco and Flicker are listed as dead. The search has been called off.
July 3-13 1945
Nothing new. It looks as thou I will be sitting around for some time there are still no inspection forms. It rained like hell yesterday and I do mean rain. In these last few days things have happened in many ways. Things here at the squadron are taking better shape. The old man has finally decided that I am the range officer they said I was. Old friends from the fighting 39th came by. We had a grand old reunion. My biggest worry is that I am losing my wife. I worship her. I must not let her get control of everything I do or want to do. I have asked her to live with my folks and save her money. Along time went by, then the other day, (11th) I got the answer, was shaking with pain and fear as I wrote her the answering letter. I am afraid that I’ll not ever hear from her again. It is so hard to try and do the work here, wondering what is going on. It is not the jungle doing strange things to me; it is that I am powerless to do anything. God knows how I love her, yet this whole affair seems as thou it is a series wound motor going faster and faster to where it can only destroy itself. It seems as thou I have lost control and can only set and watch the whole of my world come apart. I pray that I can somehow stop it.
August 4th, 1945
It has been some time since the above writing. How things are at home is still in doubt but a few letters have come thru and all very encouraging. One letter was indeed tops, one of those that fills ones heart with such happiness, one that is special in the little unwritten thins that tell me what I want to know and feel. It was such that I do believe my darling could have been put in jail for violating postal laws if such laws exist, those letters are the kind that keep me alive and true.
At Clark Field I reported to Squadron Headquarters and learned that the C.O. was my old 130thy C.O. Maj. Hulsey, that made things much better and me a lot happier.
I have been given the assignment to go with the task force into Japan, but there is controversy at group. They say that I am needed at group and that family considerations are also a factor. Silly answer as far as I am concerned, undoubtedly somebody doesn’t want me to go.
The Clark range is in good condition with the exception of the towers and the fact that they have a completely new team at the site, they are trying now to erect the towers which are five miles away and that will be a mess to have the station so far from the actual transmitter site.
The towers are up, only one dropped and that was all ninety feet, an outside one, so no damage to the others. All of the range is now in good shape except there is no counterpoise but then they will learn all about that in the weeks to come.
At Lingayen it is wonderful. The range wasn’t even started but we really didn’t make this trip to see the stations. Just 100 yards from the range site there is the most beautiful beach and blue lagoon, all white sand. If you watch the waves you can wade out almost 200 yards and the swimming was wonderful, a fine close to a day that was long and rather difficult because of the bad roads.
It is beautiful to travel here. There are so many different kinds of Philippinos, the little barrios or villages are very interesting. Around Clark there is a difference for some reason they are more selfish and cannot be trusted. They make so many souvenirs but charge such prices, while here it is so different. At Clark the girls for the most part have become a herd of prostitutes with the VD rate as high as 80% so I have been told. This figure comes from a friend that was in charge of the “Glamour Boy Clinic” at the local military hospital.
I wonder why when war wreaks its destruction upon peoples and their cities that morals drop so low. Why must people sink so low?
I recently had an argument on morals and marriage. Is it God’s intention to allow indulgence and make common a gift so precious as procreation? Here among many of my friends there prevails a feeling that if single you are foolish if you don’t make free sex a part of everyday life, if married you are still a man and have that right but not the woman waiting at home. If Phil one of my best friends can leave his wife in the states and have a woman at every air stop and use the excuse that his wife is doing the same at home, is there a marriage? One of my friends recently said that marriage is no more than providing a place to live and the income to support and that love has little to do with marriage. After we argued for awhile, he said that there are ten percent good and ninety percent bad people, He firmly believed that thou he is at present among the ninety percent, that he would end up being one of the ten per centers in spite of the fact that he felt it perfectly alright to travel the world over, find new fields to conquer.
From Lingyoen to Laog was one of the most beautiful drives I have made. It was along the west coast and the country had seen very little if any American traffic. Thru the towns of Dagopyun, San Fernando, Viga and to Laog, the people were like little kids running alongside the truck and giving the victory sign and yelling “victory Joe”. At the rivers where the Japs had destroyed the bridges there were boys and men with bamboo rafts and they ferried us across, all very excited. There were hordes of people selling wares of all kinds. With only fifteen miles to go, having no problems for days, we have a flat tire on the rear duals.
The city of Laog is inaccessible by car because of the bridge being bombed out (our fly boys). Our air field and our AACS Detachment is on the sea side and so we were able to drive right to it. We arrived late in the day very tired, dirty and hungry only to find no open mess hall. They came to our rescue; the detachment fellows had built a snack bar and were able to provide us with some sandwiches and drinks. There was no spare living quarters so we slept outside the mess hall that was being built.
Our stay at Laog was not a trip of all work nor of all play. We were to pick out a site for a range station beamed for Japan. We could have done it all in a short time but then what becomes of the vacation part that we wanted to enjoy? We took about five days to just rest and look around. When we decided to get to work we went to locate the liaison officer. He had come at the onset of the establishment of the airstrip and had become very familiar with the surrounding country. He spent some time with me while the others went looking for vehicles and storage sites. Etc. The liaison officer told me that the only good site was some thirty miles north across the river and to a piece of land jutting out into the ocean. A jeep was borrowed and we were ferried across the river and then we traveled north. We took along some of the local boys, two to be exact, both had degrees in electrical work and were working for the squadron, good capable men.
The place is called “Bojeader Point”, I believe. The trip was a very interesting one, we went thru several small villages all with very old churches, some built around the 1500’s. One church in particular in the village of Bacarra Built much like all of the rest has been changed in structure by an earthquake that occurred some 200 years ago. The church itself was damaged much but it’s belfry was built off to one side as was the style but the earthquake lifted the belfry completely and then put it back down about 33 degrees to an angle and left it there. They no longer ring the bell but it is still there. Another church along the way had a door that was high enough for a man riding a horse to enter, now one must bend over to inter the very same door. It seems that the whole church has shrunk.
The decision was made on the spot to make Bojeader Point the site. Also on the point was a very old lighthouse, very beautiful and could be used if needed but was no used for navigation. The point juts out to sea and has a shear drop into the ocean of about fifty feet. The winds can pound the sea hard enough to put ocean spray over the top and this may present a problem, yet this site gives the best beams toward Japan.
Also at the site was a radar site and from the fellows there we obtained the necessary things for provisions such as roads and stream conditions villages and the attitudes of the people. We found the natives to be most enjoyable. They are forever giving parties. They keep the radar boys in fresh fruits and fish; etc.
So many of the range sites in the past have been the worst imaginable for men assigned to them, this is the best I have seen from Australia to here, such places as Tounsville Australia, Fall River, Merauke, Dobodovrs, Lae, and several in the Philippines. Here they will at least have clean air and an ocean breeze and company with both fellow Americas and friendly natives. God pity these range men, they seem to always be the first in and the last to leave. I don’t know if I have mentioned it or not but before leaving Clark there was a rumor that the war was all but over, something about a special bomb that did it all. If such is true, these range men will be all the more lonely and homesick.
While at Laog I met a very nice family by the name of Lucas, very wealthy by their standards. The Japs have taken most all they had but never their pride or dignity. The two boys working for us are sons-in-laws.
(somewhere before hear dad neglected to keep up on the dates)
We started our trip back with a few more provisions than we had coming up, namely food. Coming up we didn’t know what to prepare for and so we suffered for want of good food. This time thou we went back with 10 in 1 rations and the best in those that we could sort out. The trip back went very easy until we got to San Fabin, there we found the bridges washed out because of heavy rains. We back tracked about ten miles to another road that became a fifty mile detour up near Bagio, very close to the Jap lines. The detour roads were better than the ones we had been using, well paved and in the mountains with cool breezes blowing. I’ll bet though that in the summer it would be hot and dusty. Since we had made quite a detour we decided to keep inland and make a bee line for Clark. We arrived at Clark with only a sputtering and the gas gage reading zero. A successful trip and all felt it was worth it, in spite of flat tires and washed out bridges.
I didn’t go to group but stayed at Squadron where I had been assigned and just laid around for a couple of days and had some dental work done. There were the usual reports to make out and as usual since I was the one always out in the field, I was also the one without a desk or space to put one if I had one. It mattered not to me, I didn’t really care whether I got much work done or not. All the guys at group had received their promotions and I had more time in grade than they but that is the way of the Army. The peace rumors are flying like mad and they seem to be well founded. Seems like one bomb did it but no one here knows what kind of bomb could do that big of a trick.
The rumors were correct and Japan has surrendered. Nobody knows what is going on so I decided to return to Laog. The C.O. said the range must still go in. I have explained to him that there must be trucks, men, and heavy equipment to do the work of road building and such things. I will go up anyway and get all the ground work done that I can. When I arrived it didn’t take long to see that there was little I could do. I like Laog very much; the liaison officer lives in town with the Lucas family and invited me to come stay with them. I was taken in as one of their own. I’m going to like it here.
A few days after moving to town I was invited to a celebration for the Victory over Japan. What a party. Everybody was dressed in their best. I got some very nice pictures on both the movie and the 35mm cameras.
A day or so later I was invited to the birthday party for the liaison officer. The party was given by a sister in law of the Lucas family. She had a liking for the officer and he for her. Someday I will have to tell a little more about these two.
I would like to write a few things about this people and the country. On the southern parts of the Islands the people are much different. Most are of Morro decent and a people that like to fight. If they weren’t fighting the Japs they were fighting us and then if needed, and had nothing better to do they would fight themselves. In many ways they were more dangerous than the Japs. We lost two of our AAC’s men in Mindora because they were wearing clothes the natives wanted.
In Leyte they seemed to be a mixture of all kinds. Many migrated there during the war.
As soon as the Americans landed then they came, the language was mostly Pessia. But with many different dialects. Those on Luzon were again a different kind. Those around Manila were the most thieving lot one could ever find and not very trustworthy. The VD rate is very high and the general attitude is poor. I can’t see where even the Japs could of caused this, but it does exist. It is here around Manila that I first heard the screwball names given to the natives, such as “gooks”, “flips” and others that are not so nice. The quality of the people changes as you go north, they become cleaner, have more pride. The villages are cleaner and crops are present. Many have good educations, even college. These are good artists, craftsmen and such.
When you go to one of the family homes in the Northern part of the country, as most yanks will, it is because one of the kids have taken a liking to you and you to them. You will enter what appears to be a shabby bamboo hut. Inside you will find a clean well kept home with the woodwork all polished and waxed. They do not have the things in the home that we do, but then what country does?
Australia was supposed to be a modern country, yet they had little front room furniture such as we have, or central heat or refrigeration.
As you are invited to set down in the simple home you are at once served with a drink. Here in the North Country it is made from sugar cane and made like a wine. It is called bassi. It is tough stuff to handle until you get used to it. I should add that while living with the Lucas family they would not let me drink any water. All the water they had came from holes in the ground about two or three feet deep and was dangerous to drink for anyone not a native or having lived there all their lives.
This northern part of the country was damaged very little by the war although the first landing by the japs occurred a few miles south of here a Vigan. The gorilla band thou did do a lot of damage while they were here. They decided to make sure that there were no collaborators, to make sure they burned a few suspected villages. The people here in the north, survived the war quite well thou, since many were well educated and many were in the military. There were several instances of very cruel and inhumane treatment.
It was the custom among these that I knew and lived with that you may look at a girl all you wanted but you must not touch. All things were chaperoned among the native girls and it was the feeling of the Lucas family that we were not to touch their girls but they would provide “clean girls” for our enjoyment if we so desired.
If you were to ask those here in Laog what the world has done for the Philippines, they would answer that the Spaniards brought Christianity and the Americans education and success. They seldom mention any other country and say nothing about the Japs.
I returned to Clark to see about getting trucks and such. At Clark I learned that regulations had changed and that as a second LT I was oldest in grade and thus eligible to go home. How exciting!
Next day, I learned that all my records have been lost and that a promotion was in effect so that puts me at the bottom of the list for 1st Lt’s and thus I would be around for awhile. Good old Major Hulsey has gone home and the new C.O. is here. Major Hulsey was one of the finest men I have worked with. I will miss him.
The above writing is all that I have. I don’t remember if I returned to Laog or not. I do remember that I received permission from the new C.O. that if I could find a replacement I could go home. I was at an outdoor movie one night and heard the announcement for several of the guys to report to the replacement depot for departure home. My name was not called. It was a sad moment for me.
I do remember thou that I went to the incoming depot and found a brand new 2nd Lt. that looked like he could do the job and took him to the C.O> and promptly announced that I had my replacement. I reported to the depot and there awaited shipment home.