These letters were written by my father, Lt. Warren Fowler,
to 'home', in particular to his brother George (aka as 'Mike') who was a USMC major on the USS North Carolina battleship
in the Pacific. References to 'Johnny' was to another brother, who
was also in the Army during WWII.
July 17, 1944
New Guinea - 9p.m.
The other day, I received your big envelope, the two-page
wonderful two in one letter - and the picture. It was really swell to hear from each of
you, and learn of "The Big Fours" doings. Too, thanks for the addresses, and
news of a lot of the lads in the service.
Congratulations!! Sorry I didn't know of your anniversary date,
and more, that it was your tenth. I shall try to find something to send you from here,
'course, what and when are some contrasting elements. I'm not half-way near being a
craniologist, so I can't send you a skull - and its own geneology, so I'll have to cook up
something else for youse kiddies.
Didn't know that Bob had been transferred from his base in
California. Hope he is still having a lot of luck, and nearer to becoming a Captain. He
should be. I wrote C. Churchill, but as yet haven't had an answer. He certainly deserves a
promotion and a furlough. I've talked with a lot of pilots who had the great misfortune of
serving there. Rough!!
As for being a long way from home. Ha - I used to think my being
stationed in Arizona was bad. Good Christopher Clutch, and I had a woman there, too.
About my stuff with the black paper around it - I broke one just
after arrival (I mean by dropping it) (darn), but we consumed the other, ahem - to insure
that old slogan "Safety First". Yowee.
You mentioned that the airport has some Thunderbolts, and some
Super-Fortresses. Hope that when I'm home the next time they have a few
Pee-thirty-eighters there! I'll show you that they do fly, and do anything in the book. I
can't say anything about the new - or old ones, but the newer jobs are the answer to any
pilot's dream. They are what-cha-say O.K.
At our certain place, we have some forty-seven pilots, and each
time we're aloft, and don't have work to do, we look for them and have little dog-fights.
Naturally the twin engine beats the devil out of them. They have some good points, but a
thirty-eight has a lot more. One day I was flying along side a forty-seven, and he did a
slow roll, loop, emmelman, and some split "S"ing. I feathered one engine, and
did them all, and then dove to about four hundred and did two complete vertical rolls. He
tried that, and about killed himself. Gosh, I wish you were around sometimes Bart, and I
could give you a Piggy ride. Oh brother, what fun.
The other day, we got to see Jack Benny, Carole Landos, Captain
Lenny Ross, and some other stars. They put on a grand show for us, and really made us feel
a lot better. Capt. Ross, is stationed over here somewhere. We have our movies, too,
however the sound is a problem, so pictures aren't quite completely understood. That is
for recreational purpose. In our Ground School, it never fails, we have to sit and see
films on how to do this and that, and all but how to fly. Combat films are the only
training films worth while. From them - the Japs are certainly getting the hell beat out
of them - by P-38's!!
Well kiddies, best I close for now. All of you take a lot of care
of yourselves - and write soon. Keep lil Billy's hair cut - and Susie from getting married
too soon - gulp! All in all - just carry on as always.
Love to all,
August 9, 1944
Somewhere in New Guinea
Am writing this from a spot where I can't mail it from, so I'll
write you now, and after I get to my forth coming APO, I shall mail it to you.
Just after I had finished getting set to move, I went to check my
mail situation. It was wunnerful - but indeed. I received twenty-five letters in one shot;
came to where I'm writing from and received another three. So as I'm traveling around,
I'll hope to pick up some long lost mail. Hope so at least.
Rev. Terry sent me a swell morale building letter, thanking me for
my letter to him, and what I said of our great church. He's a very good Pastor, and I long
for the forth coming Sundays you, I, and all of us may step in to church and listen to
Auntie Charlotte also sent a swell letter - telling mostly of how
glad she was to have seen Johnny, Bette, and U.L. - oh - and how much she thought of the
candidates the Republicans are offering. Personally, I'm all F.D.R. Really can't tell
about each letter, but wish I could. All were very good, and appreciated.
You all write too, when you have time. You're doing swell. Give
Granny my best, also my O.H.O. lil "Hecken" - to the office crew.
Love to all,
P.S. Just a little heart I bought. The glass sort of stuff is
plexiglass. Our airplanes have a lot of that for the canopy - windows - etc. Best I hit
the slumber time. I gotta hit the blue tomorrow a.m. G'Nite Ma -
P.S.2 I'll send some Australian coins in the next few letters.
Lt. Warren R. Fowler
9th Fighter Squadron,
49th Fighter Group,
January 25, 1945
Dearest Brudder 'Mike',
Received your letter of January 6th, this morning. It came in
pretty fast fashion, so I believe that the service Buzz Benson if flying, may be bringing
us together the shortest way now. Hope so, as we can really shoot the Bull in a fast
The letter, was one of the best that I have received from you.
Only wish that I could knock them out as wunnerfully long, sweet, and intelligently--and
errorlessly--as you do. I'll try to make up for the PP way I've been writing you of late,
in this letter. The lights may go out on me, but I will none-the-less finish this in ample
time for tomorrow's delivery. Best I get slingin'.
Johnny wrote me on the thirtieth of Dec and I received that
yesterday. He was about set to finish his schooling in Ft. Riley, though he had no idea of
what the future had in store for him on completion. He stated that he may be kept at the
Ft. Hope so, and too hope that he is kept there for a long time to come. He and his family
deserve it. He was fine, and had received all of the Xmas gifts from the Folks, You, and
Enclosed you will find a two pesos note which you may put on your
Short Snorter (?), or keep as a souvenir. If you have a SS, let me know, and I will send
you another one signed. We are paid in this show-money, and its face value is one dollah
equals two pesos. The old Philippine monyay is identical though the Victory is not on the
Thank you for all of the poop of the whereabouts of a lot of your
classmates. I will see if I can locate Major Stout. At Leyte I attempted to locate Ditch
and Bud, as their type of planes flew from there. Will hope to find someone to have a short
visit with. Hangar flyin', Wow!!
Tried to figure out the status on the Red nosed Pee dash three
eight in your vicinity, but know it was not one of ours. I am right with you, in wishing
that it had been me. Wow!! At any rate I may in the future do just that thing, called
Buzzin', and will hope, sincerely, that your shoot-'em-down-lads will not open up. Gulp!!
Show them many pictures of a P-38.
Have done a lot of flying lately, and am now occasionally,
frequently, leading a four ship flight. Can't quite figure it out, as I'm still wearing
the goldie bar. Have learned that I am up for First, so by the time I'm all set to go
home, I may have it. About our missions, which aren't against any censorship regulations
to mention, with the exact days mentioned. We have been doing a lot of flying over Luzon,
strafing, bombing, escorting, recco-ing, patroling, fighter-sweep (ing), and in general
raising Hell. It must be advantageous for the lads on the ground floor, as their advances
are going in a very good pace. We have gone to Formosa, and expected plenty. Nary a Nip
hit the air in our direction, so our Squadron score is still in the two seventys. Lt. J.
Forgey, a lad I came over with, beat me to a Nip bomber we caught north of Luzon, so my
score is still two definites, two probables, one lost in a flipping match, and the lad I
accidentally (?) let float through my tracers while testing my guns for about a three
second burst. Incidentally he was a Japer. A sad affair, though very solly and
accidentally. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the accidental discharge. Couldn't help it,
as my mind went more or less blank, and things that I have seen, heard, and read about got
me going on him. It happened over enemy territory, and we've been told that if ever one
does bail out, and lives, he'll soon be up in the blue again--only very much more in the
know of aerial combat. A crew of a B-24 went that way near Balikpapen, Lt. H. Frank went
that way, and so did a helluva lot of our lads. Hope you aren't sore.
Glad to know that your lads are getting a rest. That lil episode
that arrived with the lovers moon had me all ears toward your area. Proud to know that
your kiddies put down damaged (probables) on every one that came within shooting distance.
Wish they could have caught the sneakers, as when you hit one of them --you'll see the
most beautiful auger job you've ever seen. Hope they didn't hit anything--they usually
don't. I personally don't like to have them drop the anti-personnel bombs, they have
luckily made it through our night fighters and able able and dropped a few clusters. Don't
do any damage, as they aren't beeg enough, but they do make a lot of noise- annoying one's
sleep. With the moon coming out, I will expect to see some activity, however, from what I
have seen on surrounding air fields a second thot causes me to believe that I will get
lotsa sleep during this period of the full moon.
You asked me one question, that I am very glad to answer,
'neither'. That is the one of whether I had malaria or dengue. I had a good temperature,
cold, and the GI's, all mixed up into some kind of a conglomeration. Was back into the
conflict by Christmas day, and have felt pretty darn good since then. Our Flight Surgeon
handles cases pretty well ordinarily, but with the fight going good at Leyte, he did a
super job of keeping us in flying condition. I'm taking all precautions on any tropical
Things may happen as far as us getting home together goes. From
all indications, I will be going that way about the dates all the way from your birffday
to Frontier Days. Gee, it will be super-deluxe if we can all get there at the same time.
Lets try 'er.
Our chow is getting to be very good. Can't gripe about it at all;
course we do have our off days, but they are all made up for. Have had steaks, corn on the
cob, some butter, some fresh eggs, and fresh spuds. We have shows over in the Group Hdqtrs
area every other night, also we have coca cola at the rate of thirty canteen cups a month.
So all in all things are in good shape.
Understand that B. Trout is in the Thirteenth Air Force as the
pusher of a 38. He was in the African Theatre as a pilot too. So may get to see him in the
very near future. Hope to see someone someday, darn.
Best I close for now Mike, I'll let you inform me on the timing of
this letter, and we'll see if the affair is improving.
Good luck to you and all the lads I know. Tell the Dentist that I
thought very much of him "Doc", as I was having some work done the other day.
Hope the Col. is havin a good time in Hawaii, and that he stays at that station. Write
soon, George, and Love to you as always. Your lil Bud, Bobbie.
Lt. Warren R. Fowler
9th Fighter Squadron,
49th Fighter Group,
January 31, 1945
Dearest Brother Mike,
No fooling, I think that our mail is finally getting in the
groove,and will get the news to and from as in one heck of a short time. Yesterday, when I
returned from the strip, I found your letter of January 18, mailed (postmarked) the 20th,
pretty fast eh wot? Though it had to go to APO 72, first. Hope that in the future all of
the mail goes like that, as it certainly is tops to receive the news 'nd stuff shortly
after it is written. The folk's mail is coming through very well, and at this APO. I
received a letter from Dad, and one from Mom, postmarked Chian, on the 18th and 19th,
respectively. In today's mail, I received a swell letter from that wunnerfull,
beautifullerest, and lovely lil relative--namely yo' wife. It was dated the 30th of
December. Guess she's been misinformed as to my APO, as she sent it to the first APO that
I ever had the misfortune of having, 929. I would enclose it, but all of the news is
probably very old to you. She sure can put a letter our way, however, and I enjoy reading
them very much. Sure hope we can get together in the states, as we have always managed to
do. "We've done it before, and we can do 'er again," may be in the good ole
summer time too.
Had the surprise of my life yesterday, when I received a letter
from a Pvt. in the Marine Corps, somewhere in the Pacific. The last I had heard of J.
Moss, I think he was attending a Military Academy somewhere in the states. I'll send you
his address, and maybe you can get in touch with him. It may be that he will be coming
your way soon. The lad is very well known by you, myself, and our family. Would like very
much to run into the devil--wow, what kind of bull?
Have done several hours of flying in the past couple of days, and
have covered quite a lot of territory. Haven't hit Formosa for what seems like a long
time, now, but hope to hit it again soon. Some of the lads on the Thirteenth Air Force
found some Japers up there the other day, and shot down three fighters. In a very recent
sweep there, a Squadron shot down nine Japanese aircraft. Five Zekes, Oscars, and Hamps,
and this'll kill you, they also shot down four more aircraft (?) --three Basic Trainers,
and topped it off with a dual flight in a Primary Trainer. That is the kind of meat that I
am looking for, wow!
From all rumors, I believe that I will get thirty good days, when
I do get to return to the states. It usually is something like ten days, but I'm for once
hoping for a rumor to come true. We'll have to keep on the writing status, and let the
news, rumors, or actual things about our getting these leaves --get to each other and
really plan on something. Gosh, that is certainly what I am dreaming of, we'uns getting
home, and if the sixth highest lad in the class at Ft. Riley gets a leave about that time
--Row de dow, guess we will just have to hope.
Haven't had a chance to inquire about Major Stout. There are some
of his type of aircraft in the vicinity. Will try at a later date. Wish ole B. Elwood were
in this area again, we could sure get into the blue, and raise merry hell with the Japers,
It is now about 0830, the morning of the Foist of February, and
what a sweet morning. No gotta go to the airstrip, had a late breakfast, a nice cool
breeze, and all the planes have already passed overhead and headed toward their targets.
So I'll be able to finish the letter, write to some other people, and then I may go to the
airstrip on my own hook, and should there be a lil P-38 sitting in a revetment, without
belly tanks on the crater I will go up to ream the heck out of it. Haven't done that since
the good ole days of fighting on Leyte. It makes a lot of difference, if a guy can get up,
fly the orneryousness out of his system, for with the belly tanks on most of the planes all
of the time, we can't raise heck --not even split esse.
Can't understand why the papers throughout the states ever got the
idea that Major McGuire was shot down. Anyone of us over here, that have flown with Mac,
know that there isn't a Nip pilot alive that could shoot Mac down, he was a natural. The
way he 'hung up his jock' was by fighting a Nip fighter on the deck. He did pull a head up
stunt, by not dropping his belly tanks, and in doing a tight maneuver he mushed in. His
wing-man also augered in which was something pretty sad. I am not knocking down Mac's
ability to fly, as he was one of the best, but I'm criticizing those write
ups I've read on
his being shot down. Can't understand what the heck they are allowing the Nips to credit
Hope the Major Petit and Major Ingraham are still in Kauai. Guess
they would rather be out there with their unit, however, if they can in any possible way
stay the heck away from it all it would be best for them, and more so, easier on their
Am trying to keep my 'hair' with all this helmet wearing, and
though American hair tonic is just a plain 'hain't', I'm not losin too much of the
stuff--a lil, gulp!! but not too much I hope.
Thanks very much for the snap shot of usn's three at John and
Jean's. It certainly brings back wunnerful memories (ha, even if at that time I did have
the mumps). That double exposure of your car and the lil quotation was super. I'll
certainly get some pictures to you soon. Well Mike take care and write soon.
Note the stationery stamp bearing the 9FS insignia.
Lt. Warren R. Fowler
9th Fighter Sqdn.,
49th Fighter Grp.
March 17, 1945
The Hon. Rev. Terry, Pastor
My Dear Pastor,
Please accept my apology for not having written to you lately. I
can say that we have been very busy since moving, however with the new conveniences
afforded by this place, I must confess my writing has been slowed down due to the extreme
change in living conditions. We have huts made of bamboo, instead of the usual tent, and
we are located approximately fifty feet from the sea. With the beautiful breakers most of
our time is spent swimming or playing baseball and football on the beach. Honestly, if you
could see our "Forty-Ninth Fighter Group Heights", you would cope with me!
Though I can't mention the locality, we are somewhere in Luzon. In
previous letters I have mentioned to you of this island before the actual return of
American troops. Now that we are operating out of a base on this island, and have a chance
of flying over and observing the countryside, instead of searching the sky for Nip bombers
or interceptors, I can confirm all that I have ever stated about this island's beauty and
landscape. Though war-torn the beauty of the countryside conceals the damaged towns,
bridges and the roads. As each day passes, I am growing fonder of the Philippines.
Before the ruthless abandon by the Japanese, Manila looked as
beautiful as I had always pictured it. I have not been to Manila, but from the air it
looks as bad as the news broadcasts say. It is hard to understand how any human could take
such frantic action; it seems that they undertake a lot of that sort of action, however.
In the past few months, I have had to do work against my will, but for the fate of many of
our ground forces we had to do it. We have been forced to dive-bomb and strafe school
houses and Church buildings, too, I have heard that the artillery has had to shell
cemeteries - all because of the Japanese using such places for storage of ammunition,
fuel, and supplies. It is hard, very hard, to scream down in a power dive with a House of
God in your gun-sight, and it is harder yet to begin firing your machine guns and cannon
into it, and then releasing two one-thousand pound bombs into its center. A mission must
be completed, and that is the only reason that I could ever do something like that. May
God forgive us for those actions.
Thank you very much for the way that you have personally sent
letters to me, and the way that other members of the Church have sent letters, the Upper
Room, and other Church articles. It is nice to know that the Church is doing so well, and
that the membership is growing all of the time. It makes me proud. It is doubtful as to
when I will be able to attend your services again, however I am quite positive that I will
be with you again before November. I pray so!
It seems that I can't learn the speed of mail from this part of
the globe. Enclosed you will find a personal check for fifteen dollars which I trust will
reach you prior to Easter Sunday Services. Please accept this as my humble offering for
whatever cause it may be used.
It is getting fairly late, and tomorrow we have an early mission
to Formosa, so best I bring this line of chatter to an end.
Tell my parents, and most all of the people whom I know, hello for
me, too, that I am fine, and the situation is very well under control in the Philippines.
Hoping that you, Mrs. Terry, and the rest of the family, are in
the best of health, I am,
Very respectfully yours,
Warren R. Fowler
Lieutenant - Air Corps
Lt. Warren R. Fowler
9th Fighter Sqdn.,
49th Fighter Grp.
June 22, 1945
Enclosed you will find one each (supposedly) Ninth Fighter
Squadron insignia that I purchased from one of the Filipinos. Tho it isn't exactly like
the one above, it is pretty good, and worth the two pesos --one dollar-- that I paid for
it. It is made from a coconut shell. Do what you care to do with it, and maybe I'll be
able to get something else in a day or so. I surmise that Eddie would be an appropriate
wearer of one of these, so if he does want it let him have it, and I'll bring several of
them home. OK? OK!
Things have gone pretty good today, though the mail didn't come
through so hot (that is the written matter). I received a swell letter from Ila which you
had forwarded and read. It was postmarked the fourth of June. As I stated in yesterday's
letter, a letter from Pop, dated the twelfth of June, arrived speedy like. I did however
get a great surprise, when your package of May 1st arrived in perfect shape. It had two
pencils, two bottles of the 'tail light' olives, one can of tuna fish, can of nuts,
package of of nuts, sandwich spread, and the roll of colored film. Even the parts of the
egg carton, used as the cushion- effect, was not bent into obliteration. A swell job of
packing, and a very good job of mail handling by the mail lads. They have a big job, and
though some packages are received in a technical knock-out form, some of them get though
in the same shape as my said package. Thanks a lot for doing such a prompt job, as now I
can take some good colored film, and show you some pictures from the Philippines in the
regular tropic color. Mike knows what I mean (plus).
Also received six newspapers; dating from April 28,
through the fifth of May --so Lil Abner was in pretty good succession. They also contained
the first articles by Lee Miller, the old Forty Ninth Fighter Group correspondent, who
took Ernie's job. Got a great kick out of the article written by Mr.
McCraken, in his
conversation with a man that had almost forgotten his wife's birthday. he is a great
editor, and a darn perfect writer.
Gee, from all the letters I have been receiving from you, I sure
hope that the 'secrecy' of everything over here will end up that my orders are on their
eternal way back from the Fifth Fighter Command. If they do, and if I can be as lucky as
one of the lads, I'll be home (wiff you'ns) inside of a week. Wonderful wooden desk,
though you are made of bamboo, I knock on you with hopes. Knock--Knock. Sounds like I'm
writing a play, but I'm in earnest, and I want youse kiddies to really and actually knock
on the formerly stated hunks o' wood. You too, Granny, beat it!
Had a lot of fun the last time I flew. It ended up in two good
combat missions and about five combat flying hours. We hit two targets, and the ground
controller said all was excellently done. On the first mission each of the planes carried
a ton of bombs, two one- thousand pounders apiece, and on the second mission we gave a
group of Nip machine gun nests a 'hot-foot' with the fire bombs. We also did some very
effective strafing, and definitely wiped out two machine gun emplacements, that had been
very menacing. On the way back I lead a pretty hot rat-race over the field before landing,
and we really did about all of the acrobatics known. It was fun, but I promise it was
about, if not, the last of my flying days, over here. May do a few local test hops, but no
Hope that Mike is there when you receive this, so that he will
know some poop on what is what with his lil flying brudder. Gee, I still can't get over it
all --Lt. Col. Geo. T. F. -- Capt. John F. F., and (non-mentionable) War. R. F. all in one
family and maybe with a little luck will all be together for the first time since the Xmas
of 1940. Gotta have a few beers on that when I get there. Whomever gets into the
Mayflower, give old Gus a hint that I'll be there sometime soon, and maybe when the
brudders are there, for him to have a good table set aside for eats and toasting
facilities. Ha, I can just see Jungle Geo. and Ditto Skinney at a table with real butter,
milk, steak, (get the idea? I could go on for a page, but I'm pretty hungry after just
those hints). I will personally pay for the entire bill, if anyone can eat half as much as
I can-- someone lay the bet, and I'll cover it and do the honors of collecting it when I
get there. OK? OK!!
Best I quit this line of chatter for tonight, the Group Officers
Club is having another big blow-out party, and I have to get in on that. Some of the lads
really have some nice women, and due to the fact that the transportation in our Squadron
is limited, I had to let the gal (ugh plus) that I had make other arrangements for a good
time. So for tonite I yamma gonna be a Wolf! Yowee, and a row-de-dow --that is the racket
and it's real fun. Many friends are made that way, with the gal, and with the guy.
So long for now. I'll write tomorrow, and so wiff dat --G-nite
To Harold Thorson photo...
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