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MacArthur's Letters to Jean During World War II

October 19, 1944 - General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area
Dearest Jeannie

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 well.

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.

Sir Boss

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