Coastside WWII: Excerpts From Letters Written By Staff Sergeant George Dunn, Jr.

February 1945

From the Half Moon Bay Review

(Note: S/Sgt Dunn is the son of Mr and Mrs. George Dunn, Editor and Publisher of The Review and Pebble. He has been stationed in the Pacific War Area for the past 18 months…S/Sgt George Dunn is with the Sixth Army Corps, the 160th Infantry of the 40th Division who landed on Luzon in an 800 ship convoy on January 9th when General Douglas MacArthur started the liberation of the Philippines.)

Letter from S/Sergeant George Dunn, Jr.

“If you don’t mind me writing in a “fox hole,” I’ll get a long delayed letter written to you. I expect my dear you know I am somewhere in the Philippines, in fact I suppose by now you even know, from the radio and newspapers, just where, and probably know just what we are doing.

“Our landing was most exciting, in fact, that word doesn’t express to well what we went thru that day.
“I’m getting a little ‘breather’ today, surely was tired for a few days. Haven’t had my clothes off yet, my change should be up from the ‘rear’ soon.

“The Filipino people are greeting us with open arms. They are very poor after three years of Jap control, but even so, they give us eggs, chickens and bananas in exchange for American cigarettes.

“They have been more than willing to dig my Message Center holes, believe me I have surely dug enough of them. It is a good thing they do help because we haven’t always had “quiet” time enough.

“I can tell you this much, a Jap is no one to have around until he is dead and I’ve seen plenty of them. Our Army and Navy Air Corps, and the boys up here in the front lines are really giving it to them.

“I had quite a night last night. It was raining very hard, in fact there were four inches of rain in my fox hole, thought I could stick it out tho until a small pig crawled in with me, that was too much. I got out and took cover under a shack. I traded my underwear for a barbecued chicken this noon, did tht ever taste good.

“You have no idea how it feels to get out of that jungle and see some civilization, at least this seems civilized to us after where we have been. There are a lot of very old churches here and very huge. All of the houses are built off of the ground and made of bamboo, but even they look good to me.

“In the last town we liberated, I had a chnce to go through the most beautiful Catholic Church I have ever seen. It was 300 years old, all the pews were worm eaten, proven the age, I guess. It was very large with beautiful statues. We climbed up to the bells on a ‘rickety’ ladder and looked over the countryside.

“The country is very pretty, at least one can see a few miles without running into the jungle. The landscape is composed mostly of coconuts, bananas, rolling hills and rice paddies. The water is drained off of the rice now, but the fields are knee deep in mud. Makes it rather tough on the push. The weather is, well, like Florida they say (I wouldn’t know), the days are warm and the nights cool. The darned chiggers and mosquitoes aren’t too friendly though.

“Upon entering this tow, a fairly good size place, there were thousands (safe to say hundreds, I guess) of people o greet us. Were they glad to see us (and thank God they are our friends). I’ll never think badly of another Filipino again, they are …missing words…

“Their main means of tilling the soil is with Water Buffalo. They are quite a sight, very slow, but strong. While taking a bath in a stream tonight, two of them decided to wash up ahead of me, needless to say, they had their way.

“Just finished my supper., had a change of diet. Traded my can of meat and beans for six eggs, two of them very spoiled, so I had four, all of them must have been taken from a sitting hen.

“Capt. Conrad and I were the first ones to arrive in this town where we are now. The natives were all out in ‘force” giving us the V for victory sign. We had to poast a guard to keep them away from my Message Center, they kept crowding around to see what was going on. The further we go inland the better the people seem to be dressed (which isn’t good if you know what I mean.) One lady said she would do my laundry for nothing but for 11 days now I haven’t take off these pants. I only have one suit, you can imagine how I feel with all the dirty clothes I have on. Don’t suppose I will ever see my barracks bag again.

“When the next break comes, I will write you again. I am sorry my letters are few and far between, but I know you are understanding. Don’t worry about me. I am well.”