Natives Wash, Clean and Sew

Friday, 23 November 1945, 3:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Another day closer to coming home.  Another week and I'll pick up my orders at NOB.  In a day or two after that, I should be on my way.  Some ships make the trip in fifteen days.  Others take as much as twenty.  In any case this Xmas will be a real merry one for us.
          These Okinowans are an interesting people.  Some native girls are sewing for three of us.  They are making kimonos for us.  Mine is all ready except for some Jap characters that will be embroidered on it tomorrow.  We gave the girls a few cans of rations and now we have four of them hanging around ready to do any chores we may have such as washing, ironing, sewing, etc.  Before they left at 4:00 PM they picked some flowers that look like daisies and arranged them in a coke bottle.  They don't speak English nor I Japanese, yet we are really getting to understand each other by sign language and facial expressions.
          You are probably curious about these natives.  Well, here is the arrangement.  They live in villages under the jurisdiction of the military government.  They are clothed, fed and housed without any money changing hands.  However they are supposed to work for the men stationed on this island.  They wash, clean and sew.  Their villages are "off limits" to all military personnel.  Trucks pick them up every morning and deliver them to the different camps by 8:00 AM.  They work here until 4:00 PM with an hour off for chow.  Then back to their villages. 
          In the northern end of the island, there is considerable fraternization.  We have a twenty-five man working party up there.  A few days ago several of the men were relieved.  Two of the "gook" girls broke down and cried when their "bed companions" left.  As for myself, I haven't been tempted to "go native" yet.
          Tonight's movie was "The Cheaters" with Joseph Schildkraut.  Now here I am.
          Goodnight Darling, I'll see you in my dreams.

 Natives Doing Laundry


 Off Limits Village