April 8, 1943
Marine Private SHELTON BARBER, who has been at Parris Island, has been transferred to Dunedin, Florida, where, it is presumed, he will learn to operate certain monsters of war. Shelton said that when he left Parris Island he didn't know where he was being sent but it didn't take him long to realize he was headed back south - with joy.
May 6, 1943
SHELTON BARBER, who spent a few weeks in Florida at a special Marine Corps school, is now back at New River, N. C.
May 27, 1943
Another letter from SHELTON BARBER at New River, N.C. Shelton said he was on mess duty for 15 days and “we had a special chow for about x x x of the first Marine women to land here. We had quite a discussion with the many oh’s and ah’s punctuating the debate.” Shelton, knowing how this scribe loves coffee added “I imagine this war is rough on you with coffee so scarce.” (Yea, it’s tough, but being a fighting man is a h - - of a sight tougher)
June 24, 1943
Received a letter from Pvt. SHELTON BARBER, with the Marines at New River, N. C., the other day. Shelton seems to be going along OK. Incidentally, he is now company clerk for his outfit and tells about some of the distractions that go along with the job. (Funny thing, Shelton, we never acquire anything worthwhile without earning it. And that goes in civil as well as military life. Good luck to you)
August 12, 1943
Pfc. SHELTON BARBER of the Marines and from New River, N. C. has been here on a short furlough. Shelton says he is going along OK. He is now in the QM department.
September 2, 1943
Another letter from Marine Pvt. SHELTON BARBER who is now at Oceanside, California. He said he was OK but "it is fearfully damp and foggy and at night we use two wool blankets." (Thanks, Shelton for the fog and dampness dope. Just wait until we meet a Californian!)
September 23, 1943
Attention, SHELTON BARBER. Another Bunnellite is at Oceanside. Marine Cpl. Curtis Deen got transferred out there just recently.
September 30, 1943
Pvt. SHELTON BARBER of the Marines at Oceanside, Calif. writes that the weather there can't compare with Florida's "but you can’t compare these people with their weather. The City of San Diego has launched a drive to buy enough war bonds to fully equip a full division of Marines. They started a little while ago have almost raised enough and are still going strong. That's real Spirit." He added, “also, they surely are swell to all of service men," Shelton continued: "Instead of slowing down in our work we have been adding more and more until I feel the climax is coming soon. I hope that it will be what we are looking forward to. We've heard so much about Japs, studying their weapons and warfare, that everybody is itching all over to take a crack at them."
Shelton (or somebody) had added the following cynicism on the envelope flap: "Man is just a worm in the dust. He comes along, wiggles around for a while and finally some chicken gets him.” (We would add, however, that usually the man gives enthusiastic cooperation to the chicken-huh?)
December 2, 1943
Marine SHELTON BARBER at Camp Pendelton, California, sent us an illustrated and printed menu of his Marine Thanksgiving dinner. Believe it or not, that dinner was a darn sight better than most of us at home got. We hope, however, the service men continue to get the best at all times.
December 30, 1943
Received an interesting letter from SHELTON BARBER with the Marines in California. Told of his experiences on a trip to sea. He said that it was pretty rough and most of them spent their time "leaning over the rail."
March 9, 1944
Another Flagler County Marine now gets his mail "care of postmaster San Francisco," this time it is SHELTON BARBER, but he at least can tell us where he is.
Here is his letter, in part: "I haven't received any Tribunes in quite some time, but blame the delay on being transferred overseas. I am looking forward to the day when all those back issues catch up with me. Since it is OK by the censor, I can tell you where I am, at present. I am in the Hawaiian Islands. And it is beautiful, grass skirts, pineapples, and all.
Coming back from Los Angeles from liberty one night when we were yet in California, I happened to get on the bus and sit down beside Curtis Deen. It certainly was good to see someone from home. We had a long talk then, but I haven't seen him since. Give my regards to all the folks at home." (It so happens, Shelton, Curtis, is now, or was recently, with the Marines on Kwajalein. Incidentally, we hope those back issues do catch up with you. Jim Townsend, in England, got his first one since arriving. It was dated December 16.)
May 18, 1944
A V-Mail from Marine SHELTON BARBER in the South Pacific saying that his outfit was "in the Marshal Island campaign." He also slated that had recently made the rating of corporal. (Congratulations, Shelton, and we hope that The Tribs soon catch up with you. They are somewhere on the way)
August 10, 1944
We received a letter today from Marine SHELTON BARBER'S mother, who now lives in New Smyrna, telling us Shelton requested her to write us. Mrs. Barber said, in part: "His letter was written July 26th on Guam. Said he had just landed there recently and that they were giving the Japs H-.- . Plenty of dead ones anyway. In the best of health and good spirits by the way he writes. Said he would write to all just as soon as he can.
He has not been getting The Tribune for some time. Says it will be a great day when all Tribunes and letters catch up with him." (Thanks to Shelton's mother, and to him. All will be glad to learn he is still OK, we hope his mail has caught up with him by now.)
September 7, 1944
Bunnell High has started off on the 1944-45 term as usual and this season's football team has begun its grind of practice. News of which perhaps may seem to be out of place in this column. Yet the following letter is from a guy who only a short time ago was one of Bunnell's best gridiron men. He is now one of Uncle Sam's best Marine players on Guam - Cpl. SHELTON BARBER. He says
"It has been quite a while since I have written to you but the chance did present itself and
I am taking advantage of it. This outfit was in the Marshall Island campaign and we landed on Guam so we have been pretty busy. I did write to mother, however, and asked her to let you know that I am okay.
I haven't had a Tribune in quite some time but then the mail with the papers hasn't quite caught up with us yet so I am looking forward to between 18 and 20 of them. It will be just about like Christmas to get them.
You know there are thoughts that flash across one's mind at times out here that, at the moment, do not seem to have reality in relation to the situation facing one at the time. A lot of those thoughts have come to me and it’s surprising how much I remembered that I had thought were forgotten.
And a lot of these thoughts were remembering when you used to teach Sambo McDaniel, George Allen, V. W. McKenzie, myself and quite a lot of others in Sunday school. There are some of some of those lessons that I remember now particularly well and, I suppose, they will be never forgotten. I hope, for my sake, that they will not.
Hope you will excuse the stationery but we have to use what we can get out here. I am enclosing a Japanese bill as a souvenir of Guam. I understand that it is worth about 30 cents. The late owner or rather who used to own it has no future use for it."
November 23, 1944
First, a letter from Marine Cpl. SHELTON BARBER in "Pacific Area," dated Nov. 12: Shelton writes:
"I certainly am mixed up. By my return address you can see we have changed again. Our mail caught up with us but here is what is confusing:
All my Tribunes from last January up to the very eve of election came in. Then they jumped the election to now. So I know who were running for office but don't know who was elected. That is old news now so it is not even mentioned in letters and there you are. I'm still in the middle of an election and everyone else has moved on.
With all those papers, every spare moment I get I bury my nose into them. They are certainly well read, as well as the news of the fellows in service. I enjoy the editorials. They are good food for thought.
In your last paper that I received you said you were going to print the G. I. Bill of Rights that the American Legion put over and I certainly hope you do. You men should really be proud of yourselves and I know that we are. I have been saving with the thought of trying to make college for a while at least, and if I qualify under the bill for school. That is one of the reasons I am so anxious to read a complete, simple analysis of it.
After considerable thought, I have concluded that the only fate suitable for the person or persons discovering the K- ration, e- ration and dehydration method should have to live off of them himself for at least six months and take some of his own medicine." (Ed note - We did intend to print the G. I. Bill but concluded it was too complex. As there has not yet been made a complete "simple analysis" because all of it has not been completely interpreted. We can assure, however, that you can qualify for college under the bill. We are now attempting to get a quantity of printed leaflets explaining the main features of the bill and if we do we'll send you a copy).
December 28, 1944
Well, Christmas has come and "went," and now 1945 is just around the corner for all of us. Let us hope all of us will be able to celebrate Christmas of 1945 together once again.
The editor of this column feels today about like "Father Time" looks, acknowledges with appreciation greeting cards from more of you fellows scattered around the world.
Other cards received included those from........Marine Cpl. SHELTON out in the Pacific....
February 8, 1945
Now from Sgt. SHELTON BARBER in the Pacific-a heck of a large place:
"First off, I want to apologize for not sending you a Christmas card. And I don't want you to think I had forgotten you. Where I was at that time, it was simply impossible to get anything like that.
The paper was coming thru fine but once again I have changed addresses and would like to have the paper sent here. It's like I always have said, but I really believe it this time; that is, this one will be with me for a while. Still haven't seen anyone from home but by the paper I have come mighty close several times.
Excuse the short note but time is pretty crowded and I would like to get another couple of short ones off. Best wishes for a new year." (Forget the Christmas card, Shelton. To learn that you still all together and kicking is plenty of Christmas card for us.)
March 8, 1945
Here's a letter Marine Sgt. SHELTON BARBER out in the Pacific. Shelton says:
"It seems that as time goes by my handwriting gets worse instead of better, therefore I hope you will excuse it.
In the earlier stages of this war out here everything was spread out more and when a Jap took a shot at you, you had plenty of room to duck but now, as we get closer and things become more consolidated, even foxhole room is crowded at times. Nevertheless, a ground mole can be put to shame if necessary. And sometimes when you hit the deck you are so scared that you just naturally shake yourself a hole in the ground.. Don't think we are kicking, however, because we are not. Things could be quite worse.
As I have said before, one of the things most enjoyable about paper are the editorials. They have the spirit, strength and willingness to speak that I so much admire. As long as we have people like that back there, we won't have too much to worry about.
Thanks again for the paper and perhaps one of these days when we get home again we will be able to express our appreciation in some manner." (Thanks, Shelton." How we do enjoy a pat on the back [and who doesn’t?] for our feeble efforts at writing. Stop making excuses about your handwriting. It is sight better than a lot of doctors, lawyers and even teachers put out. If we had been out there as long as you have we couldn't even hit the keys on a typewriter.)
May 17, 1945
First off this week comes a letter from Marine Sgt. SHELTON BARBER headed "Pacific and dated April 5," but he must have meant May 5, because he says:
"I just received your April 12 issue and one editorial of yours especially hit something I have been thinking about for a long time, and that was the one about 'Local Initiative Necessary.' As you know, I have always lived in Flagler County. To me it is home. And I intend to have it so in the future. I like a small town like Bunnell and I see no reason why we can't be a bustling 'big little city.
To make more jobs, more money in circulation, we must be able to be offer potential investors and residents of our community something that they can be sure is an investment and, on this point, we have nature on our side. We have a good climate, good farm land, beautiful scenery and beaches and scores of other attractions. But for some reason these have not been developed, as I see it, as it could have been done.
It's not that a few haven't done commendable jobs, but that we are just about holding our own when we could be going ahead with an aggressive civic program of cooperation. I really believe that, in the future, we can be a 'going concern' with the right civic spirit. We have all the potentials in our favor. All it will take is a little work to start us off.
The above must sound terribly out of place, so I had better close. I am sorry I can't say anything about my activities out here but censorship - you know."
(Thanks, Shelton, for your comments. That was a pretty good editorial itself. When you young fellows get back it will be up to you to make Flagler county a more desirable place to live in).
July 5, 1945
Here are some excerpts from a letter written by Marine Sgt SHELTON BARBER to his grandmother, Mrs. J. D. Barber. It was written on June 28 from Okinawa.
"I haven't been able to write for quite a while but will try to explain. We took part in the assault phase of the campaign against Okinawa. After that we went back to Saipan for a short while, then back out here. We then cleaned out a couple of small islands around Okinawa and then back to Okinawa itself to participate in the final phase of the campaign here. We are still here but soon we will go back under strict censorship again and I won't be able to mention it even.
While I can, I might as well tell you some of the places I've been since being out here. Maui, T.H., Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, New Hebrides, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Florida Island, Marshall Islands, Guam, Saipan, Titian, Iehya Shima, and Okinawa. So you see I have seen some of the Pacific at that.
If there are times when you don't hear from me as lately, you will know that we are probably going to or coming from some destination. Usually while this traveling is taking place; we could write letters but there, would not be any post office to mail them at for hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles so there isn't much use in writing.
Air raids are quite frequent around here and when the ack ack starts bursting and the air raid sirens start blowing, me and, my long legs are usually up front in the running for the closest holes to get in. An air raid is something like a mammoth Fourth of July fire works with all the noise in the world thrown in. A bit more dangerous though.
Don't worry about me. I'm not even scratched."
In a letter to his mother, Shelton adds this interesting paragraph:
“Censorship around this outfit is more strict because we are called a specialist outfit in amphibious assault. That last three or four hundred yards in on the way to an enemy held beach is the longest ride a person ever takes. And Mom, I mean long."
September 13, 1945
We learned from Bill's letter above that SHELTON BARBER is on Okinawa. Here is a letter from Shelton, headed "Pacific":
"It has been quite some time since I have written you and I am afraid that it is entirely my I fault. We were really, quite busy for a while and then the war being over in both theaters, I have been so restless wondering, ‘what now’ that writing is one think I haven't done much of lately.
As you can easily guess, I want to go home but so do several million more vets. I only have twenty months overseas with not quite three years service. Two or three campaigns, I'm not certain about one as yet, two letters, one from an army general and the other from a marine general (neither one counting) no medals, or wounds, dependents either. So when it is all added up I have the grand total of sixty-five discharge points which is very low. So it looks like another year in service at least.
I'm not complaining at all because there are quite a few with the same or less and I can take it with them but sometimes it does seem like it takes a long, long time for those points to add up. So you can see that "what next" is a stupendous factor in our life at present.
I heard a news broadcast from San Francisco last night and it seems that there is quite a controversy over the draft system. If the draft discontinues, that means no replacements and to us that's bad. That means that assault and combat forces will have to carry on the occupation. And the feeling seems to be that they think by all rights and fairness they should not have to carry on that job after doing the fighting. Of course there are two sides to every question but I admit the opposite to this argument would be a bit hard for me to see.
I haven't much of an idea yet how all this will end as it's pretty early in the game yet, but we all have our own hopes.
Thanks again for the paper, Mr. and Mrs. Fuller. There is nothing like knowing what is going oh at home."
November 29, 1945
We learned today that Marine Sgt. SHELTON B. BARBER has arrived in the States and expects to be home soon. He has been in the Pacific theater about two years.
December 13, 1945
Discharged from the armed forces this week ....... SHELTON BARBER