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Letters of Rear Admiral William J. Galbraith

Letter dated November 3, 1944 - Letter no. 74 
Short hand transcription - Dear Billy, This has been a great day as far as food is concerned. I think I have said that in cooking the rice about three percent of it is burned and that this is put out to us at the rate of about 200 grams to individuals a month. Today was our turn and in addition to that we had one of the best soups that we have had for months. Almost a pound of potatoes were in it. This morning I traded my soup, which was very weak, for 125 grams of rice and had the same at noon, so that tonight I had two and one-third rations of rice and the back soup plus about a spoonful of clams and three [?] -- the last to be an extra in honor of the Imperial Majesty's birthday.

Tomorrow, if the weather is good, I am taking a ten-mile walk to get chicken feed. 

Last night a group of officers went over the fence to the jackery [?] and this morning the senior army officer had them up for a talk and I think it will be the last time. It is very risky since if one was caught he might be beaten up and would at least have to put in time in the brig without blankets -- and in this weather he would be very apt to get pneumonia. 

One of the enlisted men just came in and told us that a woman at the place where they work told him that her children were starving and did not have enough clothing to keep them warm. 

The worst interpreter here has left, and for the last few days things have been very peaceful. This interpreter would on one day go about slapping people on the back and try to be a good fellow; the next day he would be causing all manner of trouble. He was fond of getting up in front of us and shouting or doing somthing to make himself conspicuous. Each time he was the interpreter at the weekly show, he would stop the show to say something or try to put on a show of his own. He even made a speech in a debate we were having and would talk in a loud voice and stop the show.

An officer from one camp told me today that he had seen a truck load of bread come in and be checked and then taken away without the prisoners getting anything, although it was all theirs. 

Written at top of short hand letter: "Dear Jack, Billy's school work on other side. Love, Mother" dated Dec. 20, 1943.

Published: Tue Aug 07 10:11:23 EDT 2018