William (Bill) J. Spielman

Corporal William J. Spielman, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Spielman, 606 North Eleventh Street, is serving somewhere in the South Pacific, according to word received by his wife.

He entered the service on August 7, 1942 and received basic training at Camp Crowder, MO. He also attended Radio School at Kansas City, MO and further training in California.

Corporal Spielman is now a High Speed Radio Operator in the Signal Radio Intelligence Company.

Southwest Pacific Letter Comforting to Home Folks
Corporal William J. Spielman of Eau Claire writes an interesting letter concerning life in the Southwest Pacific. The letter is printed here in full, since it concerns so many phases of the lives of the boys over there that are usually sources of worry to the folks here at home. 

"Bill" tells that the food is pretty good, they have movies and other sources of relaxation and amusement, and that the closer the outfit gets to tough going, the more they attend chapel. 

His letter to the editor follows: 

"Dear Sir:  I've been reading the letters which servicemen from Eau Claire have been sending to the Leader and Telegram, so I thought you might like to know about a few of the things down here in the Southwest Pacific. 

"When we left San Francisco's Golden Gate, no one except the captain of the huge transport knew if we were going to Alaska, Hawaii, or the South Seas. But, a few days later, when the sun began rising off the port side, the Southern Cross appeared in the sky instead of the Big Dipper, and the weather grew warmer, we all realized that we were approaching the equator and the Southern Hemisphere. After seeing New Caledonia and Guadalcanal, we once again put out to sea to our present location, which is a military secret.

"It was soon afterwards that my outfit saw action. Unfortunately, it wasn't the kind of battle held in Tennessee maneuvers. This time the Blues were playing for keeps and didn't give us our marbles back. 

"Life at present, however, is not so exciting, and there is absolutely nothing to worry about anymore. Our present worries are more concerned with dodging falling coconuts and keeping the big, green jungle lizards out of our tents. The other day, one of my buddies walked in with a huge fellow at the end of a leash. He said he was going to use the lizard to guard a box of cigars which had just arrived from home. 

"The native population here is quite large, with the greater portion of them living in villages across the island. They are all of a friendly nature and will offer a gesture of friendship whenever passed on the road. It is not uncommon to see natives from the ages of 6 to 60 years old smoking a cigarette or pipe, the latter being the most treasured article for bartering with the natives. On one excursion to a native village on a recently visited island, it seems that one of the natives was willing to exchange one of his wives for the much loved pipe. Not wanting to break up a happy native home, the offer was declined, and the pipe exchanged for lesser, unimportant articles. One other incident of bartering with the natives, a fellow buddy was fortunate in obtaining roosters and their mates from the chief of the village. Recently, the mother hen provided our outfit with five newcomers to the poultry stock. The hens have no special roost, which makes it common to find an egg on your shelf or amidst your excess clothing. We find only one fault with our feathered friends, and that is their disturbing crowing at the break of dawn, which is occasionally chimed with a hail of GI shoes and a barrage of rocks from nearby tents. 

"The jungle itself is pretty well cleared out by now around our bivouac area. The main portion was cleared by the simple method of bribing a Seabee bulldozer driver with our ration of beer, and the finishing touches we did ourselves with machetes. 

"Since this has been done, the mosquito problem has been lessened considerably, with our daily atabrine pill, together with the mosquito netting helping also. 

"The commanding general on the island has encouraged a variety of recreational activities, with everything from baseball to horseshoes being played. Leagues of various sports have been set up, and participation encouraged to all units here. Boxing was one of the main sports, which was held every Friday night at our service club arena, with record attendance. You are likely to find every unit with either a ball park; tennis, volleyball, horseshoe or basketball court near by, and many theatres throughout the island, which provide the American soldier and his Allies with  much needed entertainment, not forgetting the splendid work of the Special Service Command, which brings famous radio and screen stars to the Doughboy overseas. 

"Getting back to the original story, motion pictures are shown nightly in the many out-of-door theatres, and it is not unusual to sit through a tropical rainstorm to see them. When black-out regulations were in effect, some of the men saw shows during the day in a steaming hot tent. Musical comedies, like Broadway Rhythm, As Thousands Cheer, and Two Girls and a Sailor, being most popular. 

"Although every soldier gripes about the food in this war, as well as the last, it really is pretty good, considering it isn't my wife doing the cooking. Dehydrated eggs are the worst item we have to contend with but, with the few cold storage type that have been coming through, everyone seems to be well pleased.  

"There are numerous chapels of all denominations here, and the attendance at services is large. It is a fact that, the closer an outfit gets to the front, the more men attend.  Many of the chapels are very beautiful, since real mahogany lumber has gone into much of the construction. Mahogany trees are so plentiful on the island that it is not uncommon to have a couple of thousand dollars worth, in log form, covering a foxhole. 

"Well, the boys are lining up for chow, so I'd better do the same. Hello to everybody in Eau Claire, and I'd sure like to hear from all my old friends. Mail call is even more important than chow, you know."

Pvt. H. Clark's Reunions Disprove Theory by Kipling
WITH THE 37TH INFANTRY DIVISION SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA Kipling did not have Eau Claire's Private Harold  L. Clark in mind when he stated that "East is East....never the twain shall meet." In fact, he would probably rebel at the numerous friendships that this infantryman has remade since he has been in the Southwest Pacific.

Clark, a member of a 105mm howitzer unit, has set no mean record with his renewed acquaintances from Eau Claire. At present, they total five reunions.

First, on Clark's "Jungle Club" record comes Lieutenant Colonel Wilbur Strand, a West Point graduate, now serving with the island supply section.

Then comes Corporal Manley Nelson,  a Marine Corps radio operator, formerly employed with the Gillette Rubber Company.

Next is Corporal William Spielman, who bumped into Clark during a moment of seasickness at the rail of the boat that carried them from one island to another. 

Corporal Eugene Bergh is next. A crew member of a bomber, Clark met him after he had returned from his 20th air-raid.

The last serviceman met was Staff Sergeant George Day, a member of Clark's graduating class at Eau Claire High School, now serving as Transportation Chief  with a naval unit. 

Look again, Rudyard! The Marines, Navy, Army, and Air Corps don't give a hang for your east and west. 

Harold, the son of Mrs. Jennie Clark, was formerly employed by the O.K. Rubber Welding Company. He has been overseas since January and has been stationed on New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, and Bougainville.