August 20, 1944

Sunday

The past three days have progressed rather rapidly, with little of inspiration to report.

Went to the 3rd attack group (Grim Reapers) with Johnson and Bourke. Saw the same show as last night,1 but it seemed more interesting than before. Dinah Shore’s singing was extra torchful and quite touching. Enjoyed very much Jeanette MacDonald’s rendition of “Beyond the Blue Horizon”. She is probably the most famous singer in motion pictures at this time, but is being superseded by Deanna Durban. After the picture, we had another bull session on the old days, plus a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, very good.

Spent the past few days working on hauling detail and rebuilding the bulletin board. For leisure, witnessed the show “Show Business”.2 The drunken scene done in it by Eddie Cantor was the best and most comical I’ve ever seen.

These words were the essence of my thoughts when thinking of Bonnie one evening, when all the world was made for love.

Longing caused the stars to lose their luster. Memory contains those last tears you shed. Those tears had a time of their own. If there’s such a thing as the sound of weeping, bleeding hearts, our hearts were washed with those selfsame tears. We liked our flowers in great clusters. A thick carpet of these, in my mind, was our nuptial bed. A priceless bit like olden sculpture there lay revealed, excellence from tip of toe to top of head. There lay, bonny beauty whom I wooed, essence of loveliness that I wed. Sweetest words that poet ever said, not a candle in comparison to you. Laughing princess you’re the epic of my mood. Parting was such embittering sorrow, but reunion sweeter than heaven will be, tears forgotten when we meet tomorrow, love united in subtle tremolo.

Flew for four hours yesterday and found my nerves in a not too good condition.3 Did a little buzzing and saw a lot of ships in the harbor, more than at any one time in my life. Mayhap something is in the wind.

Am getting more eager for combat flying. If destiny be there and God calls I want it to happen soon. If not, I want to know the sweetness of life with Bonnie for long, long years. If perhaps I should I always want my memory to live in Bonnie’s heart. I cannot ask that she remain alone and lonely all her life. I only ask that she live a full life, with all the kindnesses and comforts that can be given to her by a tenderness equal to mine. I ask only that once in a while she will give a sigh in remembrance of the beauty we’ve had. Only that she will give her children a small picture of me. Only that she teach them to avoid the famine of the Lord’s words and to not only read the good book, but to heed what it says. Knowing this, I shall have found peace and together, we will live again. We’ll live somewhere between the stars and the earth and as a child of God’s. That feeling has persisted ever since we met. Every touch of her has brought me peace, every thought, a beautiful dream. How hard it will be to leave her if God finds need of me elsewhere.

Had been thinking of all the people turning away from the teaching of the Bible in recent times and adopting the morals of the crowd. People are prone to believe that what the crowd does is right. So a million wrongs make a right? We all know tis not so. The chaplain, today, echoed my thoughts when he chose this subject for his sermon today. He brought forth the words above and formulated my thoughts of this morning. Turn to God as I’m turning to Him always! It’s hard, I know, but can anyone say the few small sacrifices are not worth the comforts of the spirit? I think not! Have begun to read the New Testament and have read the first 25 chapters of Matthew thus far. Am trying to read 5 chapters each day.

Lt. Fincham reported in from Sydney rest leave this noon. Looks very happy and seems to be in much better spirits. First thing he wanted was mail, but we, of course, have none here. It’s pretty dull about when no mail arrives and we’re all suffering from the dearth of it. Would like anything to be back on Fincham’s crew. There are rumors the boat bearing our ground crews will be in Hollandia Harbor with a load of mail. Surely hope these are true.

Notes & Commentary

1 At the 3rd Attack theater, Wayne saw the movie, Follow the Boys, that he had seen the previous night. This was at least the third time that he had seen the movie. He reported on August 16 that he had seen it the previous evening.

A review of the music in the film suggests why Follow the Boys was a hit with the troops. The sound track included the following songs:

I’ll Walk Alone sung by Dinah Shore

A Better Day Is Coming danced by Vera Zorina and sung by a chorus

Tonight danced by Vera Zorina and George Raft and sung by a chorus

The House I Live In sung by Delta Rhythm Boys

Beyond the Blue Horizon sung by Jeanette MacDonald and joined by the soldiers

Sweet Georgia Brown performed by Louis Jordan and his Orchestra and danced by George Raft

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby performed by Louis Jordan and his Orchestra; vocal by Louis Jordan

Merriment performed by Carmen Amaya and Her Company; Flamenco Dance by Carmen Amaya

Kittens With Their Mittens Laced sung and danced by Donald O’Connor and Peggy Ryan, accompanied by Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra

Shoo-Shoo Baby sung by The Andrews Sisters accompanied by Freddie Slack and His Orchestra

I’ll Get By sung by Dinah Shore

I Feel a Song Coming On danced by Vera Zorina and male chorus, including George Raft

The Bigger the Army and the Navy sung by Sophie Tucker

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot performed by Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra

I’ll See You in My Dreams sung by Jeanette MacDonald

Liebestraum No. 3 (A Dream of Love) performed on the piano by Artur Rubinstein

Bei Mir Bist Du Schön sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits

Hold Tight, Hold Tight (Want Some Seafood, Mama) sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits

The Beer Barrel Polka sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits

The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits

I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits
Pennsylvania Polka sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits

Victory Polka sung by The Andrews Sisters in a medley of their hits

Good Night performed by Ted Lewis and his Band; vocal by Ted Lewis

Auld Lang Syne in the score after the final performance at the Palace theater

Besame Mucho played by Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra

Anchors Aweigh in the score for the U.S. Naval Training Center

Mad About Him, Sad Without Him, How Can I Be Glad Without Him Blues performed by Dinah Shore

Some of These Days sung by Sophie Tucker

Furlough Fling

Follow the Boys, soundtracks. IMDb.com. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036832/soundtrack?ref_=ttqu_sa_6 : accessed 15 August 2014)

Sounds and smells have a tremendous capability to evoke memories and emotions. Reading through the list of songs performed in Follow the Boys, I can only wonder at the memories and emotions such music must have evoked in those who lived through these terrible times.

2 RKO Radio Pictures released the musical comedy Show Business in May 1944. The movie starred Eddie Cantor, George Murphy, Joan Davis and Nancy Kelly. Show Business. IMDb.com (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037274/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt : accessed 15 August 2014).

3 Except for a mission on July 15 and his flight from Stirling Island to Hollandia in early August, Wayne has not mentioned flying for over a month.

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4 Responses to August 20, 1944

  1. gpcox says:

    Wow, that sound track is a musical transport back to WWII!! Fantastic!

    Like

    • a gray says:

      The vision of hundreds of young men watching a movie outdoors in New Guinea is forever locked in my mind. Watching or listening to the Andrews Sisters or Dinah Shore perform will never be the same again.

      Like

      • gpcox says:

        My father never mentioned music or movies once the division left the US, but I know he must have. For one thing, he had a great appreciation of ALL music.

        Like

  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    Did you know Dinah was Creole?

    But your uncle’s letter was so very touching… To think these beautiful words poured out of his heart while surrounded by all that death and violence speaks to his character.

    Like

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