James A. Harris to Family, Letter, September 10, 1945.
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2. know where we were going until we were out about 3 days, then the word started going around that we were going to Saipan. On the 8th we crossed the International date-line & every body who had not crossed it before got their head shaved--free of charge. 2 days later, the 10th we arrived at Eniwetok Atoll which is in the Marshall Islands. We were anchored there over-night & then started out again. On the 13th at about 6:00 P.M. we arrived at Tinian Is. in the Marianas. We unloaded a bunch of seabees there & then shoved off for Saipan which is only 6 miles from there. On the morning of the 14th I debarked at Saipan along with 53 other radiomen & we were taken to the Naval base in army trucks driven by Jap prisoners. After standing around outside a building for about 2 hours and haggling with a rough looking character who turned out to be the officer of the day, he finally found out what we were doing there (we didn't even know ourselves--and still don't) and sent us to a barracks. Our barracks was a 2 story outfit called a "Quonton hut" & was screened in all the way around. This was very nice for helping to keep mosquitos & snakes out, but was very hard on the guy who had to clean up the joint 3 times a day--namely, me, because the dust came in just like there were no walls at all, and believe me there was plenty of dust. I think I told you about my "hardships" there, so I won't go into that. There were a lot of Japs still up in the hills, but they were so well hidden and tricky that there were always more of our men killed than there