Bio: Martens, Donald (7 Dec. 1944)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Martens

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Thursday, 7 Dec. 1944

Mrs. John Martens has been good enough to let The Press have excerpts from a letter written by her son Donald Martens, now on an LCI boat in the Pacific. The excerpts follow:

"We are allowed to write a lot more now, so that should make writing a little easier.

I spent quite a few liberties in Honolulu, and had some pretty good times. I had never expected to see Honolulu the way it really is; it is an old city, and nothing modern about it. The people are so different from what I am used to.

I was at a lot of the Marshall Islands. I believe they’re the best islands I have seen so far. I was at Saipan, Tinian, the Admiralty Islands, New Guinea, and a lot of other small islands. I was in the invasion of the Philippines. There were air raids at almost all hours-day and night. I never lost so much sleep in all my life as I did there. Jap bombers flew over us so low that a person could hit them with a baseball. You have probably seen in the newsreels where tracers fill the sky so thick that you’d think that nothing could ever get through. We met up with Jap shore guns, machine gun nests, pill boxes, snipers, mortars, PT boats and a lot more stuff.

Some times ago we crossed the deepest depth of ocean known in the world - 35,400 feet. That ought to float almost anything, don’t you think??

"At one place where I was on shore leave, some soldiers had tame parrots that they had caught. Here’s how they catch them: They sneak up on them, and shoot them in the head, with something not too sharp, in a sling shot. That knocks them out. Then they tie them up for a week and when they left them loose they will stay close around and the boys can catch them any time. They are very beautiful-mostly scarlet and a few other colors.

The natives brought out a boatload of bananas the other day. They were sure good!"



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