September 14, 1947
Well now I'm back at the old hitching post in Tsingtao again.
We left Goose Point Wednesday the 11th at around 8 and were here at 8 the next morning. The Chinese claimed that due to our search planes flying overhead and the ship's activity in the harbor we had: kept 20,000 Chinese from work, had caused one pregnant woman to lose her child and 4 to get sick, had caused 8 children to die of fright and one go insane also much property damages. Plausible isn't it considering they had fought the Japs and were then engaged in Civil War. We in reply told them that the stripping of the plane was a loss to us of many thousands of dollars and the bomb they planted off the St. Paul a heavy cruiser and an APD and an L.S.M. We discovered that the communists had the pilot inland at their headquarters and weren't going to turn him over as a matter of course but did say he is in the best of help and comfortable. There has been a lot of parrying with the gooks insisting that the conciliation party go "unarmed" to their headquarters and get the pilot. We then refuse and every day send a landing party in composed of 40 marines fully armed and the interpreter and various officers. Then they talk and talk and get nowhere. When the "jacheads" land they spread out in skirmish line and advance to within a certain distance. When they go in you can see a few troops here and there but then they seem to come out of the ground from all sides. There was a whole division of them camped but seem to have moved. You can see the crashed plane from here where we are anchored now about a quarter of a mile off the beach. Our part in this is to go in to the beach (within 10 or 20 yds) with the landing party and be ready to cover their withdrawal with fire if an emergency develops. We are constantly at G.Q. sometimes for four and five hours with our guns manned, loaded and cocked and small arms broke out. It's tiresome standing in the guntuh with a helmet on unable to even get a drink or sit down. Coming down here on Monday afternoon we held G.Q. and had gunnery practice and then fired our small arms at balloons. We fired our carbines, Thompson submachine guns, 22's and even fired our two 45's that are carried on watch.
The whole thing here makes quite a sea story to tell you when I get hime, of course I'll elaborate on it and make it sound like a battle.
The cruiser's planes brought our mail in today and I received your magazines and letters. You are about the only one I write to now as I just don't have the urge to write to others except occasionally. Thanks a lot for the magazines (I could have sold them for a dollar apiece) we have such meager reading material and no movies now or other diversion that they pass to each one of the crew.
I also got your pictures, you seem the same except a little heavier (must be eating better with me not there to eat everything). I can't get over Mary, she's growing fast. I really envy you at the beach. I haven't been swimming since Guam last December, I never thought you'd get that little swimming in the Navy & I love to swim.
Enclosed is a copy of one of the many
Page(s) missing -- not sure if following was end of this, or part of another letter
in the wreckage had showed hostile intent. It finally ended up with the crews and ship's services of the 4 ships present giving them, 2 cases of soap, 2 cases of canned mild, 2 cases of nickel candy and 10 cartons of cigarettes. The new evaluation of a marine pilot!
"We were highly commended for our part in the recovery."
Well Tsingtao is about the same if not worse. It's like coming home in a way seeing our old friends on different ships, and Chinese friends.
I had a chance to swap duty with a kid on an RL here which was going back to the states this week but the old man said it wouldn't work out. I would have gotten 20 days sometime in November but that's the way it goes. Also there's a new order out now that states that all men going home for discharge after Sept 30th are to be held till one month before discharge and then sent back to the states and get paid for their leave. If that's still effective next spring I'll be here till June & home in July. Not a bright picture but there's nothing I can do. I wanted to make Fran's graduation and my birthday but won't as it stands.
I told you I increased the allotment in Spring but was cancelled so yesterday I had it increased to $50, it will come in October.
I've been looking forward to the next batch of magazines which should be here shortly. We read the print off them.
Well I hope this finds you all well.