|Cherokee County WWII War Stories
JAMES A. MORTONSTAFF
SGT. JAMES A. MORTON WRITES FROM CORAL ISLE IN PACIFIC OCEAN - Staff
Sergeant James A. Morton , aerial gunner and son of Mr & Mrs Fay
Morton of Meriden, may be on one of the Gilbert or Marshall islands,
scenes of great battles recently in the central Pacific.
In letters written January 21 and 22 to his wife at Meriden, the former Cherokean discloses:
are on a coral island in the central Pacific. It is pretty hot,"
he reports, "but there are a lot of coconut trees for shade. We
live in tents and they get awful hot in the afternoon."
Morton, tail gunner of an attack bomber, says "we get good food here
too. A lot better than we got the other place, even if it is
dehydrated. We get beer and Pepsi-Cola once in a while they give
us cigarets about once a week. All in all, we are living well."
flying sergeant found no mosquitoes on the coral atoll that is his home
for the time being, but "in the daytime the flies set a fellow nuts."
are natives on the island," his letter continues. "They are real
islanders, too. All they wear is a bit of cloth around their
hips. The men and women dress alike. Little kids don't wear
any thing at all till they get about four or five years old."
in the Pacific is no paradise these days: We have been in action
quite regularly here lately. We all get so tired that we can
hardly eat or sleep. I'll tell you, those few seconds we
spend over a Jap target seem like a lifetime and they are good shots,
too. Don't think they aren't. But so are we."
Morton says he sleeps in a tent "with a bunch of rebels from Georgia."
"All we do is argue about the Civil War. That keeps our
minds off other things."
Cherokee County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol 15, Num 1, Jan 1980,
Sec V, Pg 6. From the Cherokee Daily Times of Jan. 8, 1944.
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