David Hillman

Sgt. Theodore Kittilsted Tells of Life in Pacific
Looking forward to a "White Christmas," after 32 months overseas in New Guinea and Australia with the 32nd Division, now with MacArthur on the Philippines, Sergeant Theodore A. Kittilsted of the Military Police is here on furlough, visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lee, 504 East Grand Avenue.

Home for the first time, since November 1941, Sergeant Kittilsted returns to active duty on January 9.

"You can't imagine what a thrill it was to see the Golden Gate as we entered San Francisco Harbor,"  he said. "On the way to Fort Sheridan, the train seemed to be traveling backward, and the 24 hours we spent there seemed like a week."

Enjoys Seeing Friends
Sergeant Kittilsted is really enjoying seeing old friends of high school days and said that being home for the holiday season is the best thing he can imagine, after spending Christmas of 1943 and New Year's Eve on a small island off New Guinea.

"Cigarettes were never too short over there. If we didn't get them one week, we received them the next," he told. "Mail came through in l5 or 16 days with a few exceptions. The boys receive their Christmas parcels in good order, with only a few being lost in transport."

Australian Women
In discussing Australian girls, the Sergeant said that they were the same as girls all over--some good, some bad, and some indifferent.

''Perhaps you can imagine how it would be to get along with one new dress every six months," he said, in explaining that the Australian can not dress as well as Americans since their strict rationing cuts them down to that limit. When the ration tickets run out, there is absolutely no way of buying a single article of wearing apparel, he told. The men can buy one suit, a pair of shoes, stockings, and underclothing every six months."

For Americans who "gripe" about the gasoline shortage, Sergeant Kittilsted mentioned that Australians travel on only two gallons per month. They stand in line for the strictly rationed meat, butter, and eggs.

MP's Gallant Duties
Military police have the same type of duties as those in the United States, while at Australia but, when they get to one of the Pacific islands, they spend their time directing traffic and handling prisoners of war.

"Since we live with the troops, there is no such feeling against us as there might be here," he smiled.

He told of seeing Staff Sergeant David Hillman, also from Eau Claire, recently home on furlough, while overseas. 

Sergeant Kittilsted left Eau Claire with the National Guard Field Artillery in 1940 and then trained with the Military Police at Camp Livingstone, LA and Fort Devons, MS. He was in Australia 17 months, before being transferred to New Guinea.

New Guinea Natives
The natives in New Guinea have started cutting their hair and the women's hair is not fuzzy like the men's, he said. Their teeth are discolored a dark brown from the betel nut which they chew constantly.

Their clothing is rather poor, having improved with the coming of American and the Allied Forces, and they have several types of diseases which one does not see here, he said.

"Many of the native men work under the 'Angau' plan. This is an Australian plan, under which they build hospitals and other buildings. It is due to the 'Angau' that there are very few tribal wars, now being settled by talk, with the 'Angau' officials presiding." 

He said that one would see very few South Pacific Island women, since most of the villages were out of limits.

Realistic Viewpoint
Sergeant Kittilsted takes a very realistic point of view toward war or death. He says that the job has to be done and, although when in high school he only thought of Australia as "the biggest island in the world and a place where sheep were raised" and had never heard of New Guinea, he knows there are several million other soldiers all doing their jobs and that he does enjoy certain phases of his work.

He plans to return and march through the streets of Manila with the 32nd Division, as General Douglas MacArthur has promised through their commanding officer.