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MacArthur's Letters to Jean During World War II
October 19, 1944 - General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area
This is my "ships" letter to tell you of the voyage. To begin with the Boise
is the most comfortable cruiser on which I have travelled. The suite I occupy
is much larger, has artificial ventilation and better cooking than the others.
In battle operation there is little to choose. The weather was good and I was
The enemy was active all along the line. We have had desultory air attacks --
the suiciders -- from the beginning. They have been in weak force and up to
now none have scored on our convoy. Not so just ahead of us where they
concentrated on the battleships and heavy cruisers and did considerable damage.
They don't sink the ships but bust them up a lot. The "New Mexico", the
"California", the "Louisville", the "Australia" and a number of others were all
hit. I am sorry to say that Gen. Lowsden was killed on the "New Mexico"
together with Chickering the friendly "Time" reporter. Admiral Chandler was
killed on the "Louisville" and there were a number of others whom I liked very
much. The divers go for the bridge so that the service loss is really heavy.
The loss has so far been entirely on war ships and not a transport or troop
carrier touched yet. A submarine fired two torpedoes at the Boise the second
day out but the captain dodged them and a covering destroyer rammed her from
the rear and sank her. Last night off Manila harbor a destroyer tried to sneak
up on us but was promptly sunk. We don't have a dull minute aboard. It looks
now as if we were going to make it without punishment.
On shore the enemy's reaction to bombardment has been light and I think we will
land the troops with little loss. It has been an anxious four days and I will
be glad to come to battle grips on land. I believe I have him but I will not
know definitely till I test his land strength.
At this time I am planning to put GHQ at the little town of Maugaldon about
four miles north east of Dagupau and south of San Fabian. I may change
however. You do not know the place but there are a number of good houses there
if we don't have to destroy them.
I hope this letter gets through. It may be several days before we can get our
courier service working -- I enclose the list of my party. I call it my "pony"
staff and it is a good one -- young and full of "pep".
With best love to you both.
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