January 27, 1946

Note: It seems Arthur sent the “circular” letters in with other regular letters to my grandparents, so he references the circulars in the present tense in letters which are not the circulars.

In the Office, Berlin, Germany,
Sunday, 27 January 1946.

Dear Family:

And I’m actively wondering these days whether it is a family of three or four. I still have to receive my first communication from anyone from home. It appears that the fantastic and purely fictitious APO address which they gave us means nothing, and that the mail sent to it rests in New York or Washington until the permanent address is announced. Not realizing this I was in no particular hurry to give APO 742 my change of address card – and so don’t expect anything for some time longer unless you have received notice of the change through my earlier letters and have dispatched some mail to the real McCoy.

This is the first of my circular letters and, while it is something of a repetition of much that I have already sent you, I shall see that you get a copy each time I emit a blast. Things are going well here except for this chest cold which I haven’t been able to throw off. But it gets no worse and I’m hoping for a change for the better soon. I’m digging into my work with all four feet and am beginning to come up with something which seems to be worthwhile. I’ve been focusing much of my attention so far to developing procedures which will make the transition of all of the succeeding civilian workers a bit less painless than has been in the case in the past. We had a complete lack of sound orientation in Washington and much false information was shoveled at us. The travelers have absolutely no guidance in getting through Paris, often following their orders to go by air and being held up for a number of days, only to find that the Finance Office here refuses to pay per diem for more than one day in that city. Then they get to Berlin and fall into the maelstrom here and are left to find their own salvation. I’m getting the situation pretty well in hand. A six page set of instructions has gone off to Washington, we are getting a bureau set up in Paris to guide the incoming workers and I’m now writing a detailed set of directions to the workers which will be handed to them at Orly Field, Paris, telling them, step by step, just what is before them and what they should do. I’m also trying to assemble a complete set of War Department Civilian Personnel Regulations and Circulars (something which, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t exist anywhere in the European Theatre) to use as an authoritative background for OMGUS regulations and procedure. OMGUS has grown too fast in responsibility and numbers to keep up with itself and the necessity for converting procedures from G.I. to civilian has never been sufficiently recognized to have encouraged getting out the proper documents in advance of the need. So that’s my job right now and it’s a large and pressing order.

I just lunched with Heath and am invited to one of his weekly Sunday night suppers this evening. He and Joe Henderson have a two man billet three doors from the billet I have just left and two blocks from my new and permanent diggings. I am due at the Berliner Hockey Club shortly for an afternoon exhibition of fancy skating, – the 1941-’42 champion of Germany, his wife and eight other gals. We surely get plenty of entertainment here. Yesterday afternoon I saw the first half of a four hour documentary film, liberated from the Krauts, depicting the rise and life of the National Socialistic movement – enormously interesting.—- ‘Bye now, I’ll write again soon.