Hey Vic...These things bring back memories of my USAF hitch from 1951 to 1955. I well remember buying what we called "chit books". For example a Five Buck chit book would purchase you 7.50 worth of drinks at the NCO Club. I betcha Forts Mac & Stot had similar arrangements. You spoke, in an earlier post or thread of how a Buck Private drew only 21 dollars a month in that era. So true, but in those days 20 bucks went quite a way when beer was a nickle and a pack of smokes the same. From this late vantage point those guys didn't have it too bad. That is, until the bombs started falling. My Uncle served in what was called the "China Navy" in the 1920s and he spoke of the lowest ranking Sailor living pretty good "on the beach". I guess he was referring to the beach of the Yangtze RIver. Just sayin'
Hey Vic....No, I have never read this book, but you can "bet your bippy" that I will hound my local library to dig up a copy. This book sounds just like something right down my alley. Those Pre-War Years in the Military, prior to the "build up" after Germany went into Poland, were escape hatches for so many young, depression era youths. As I havc stated, previously, the Armed Forces, especially units/ships, in the Far East or Hawaii, were Paradise as compared to looking an old grey mule in the butt in a Alabama cotton patch or hacking away in a Hardin County, Kentucky coal mine. Of course, Paradise came to a halt in early 1942, and to many of these unfortunates, that old grey mule or coal mine didn't seem so bad after all.
Hey Vic....I have a tidbit i.e. "artifacts, etc". I may have mentioned this before, but in case I haven't, I thought I would throw it out there since it is kinda interesting and connects with the 1941-42 Manila scene. My ex-niece In-law's Grandfather served in the pre-war 31st Infantry Regt as I have often stated on this forum as well as the Corregidor site. I was allowed to prowl thru much of his material, etc and recall an envelope and accompanying letter that was returned to his parents by the Army Postal Sevice. It had been mailed to their son from Oklahoma in March 1942. When returned, routinely stamped in Red Ink, as "undeliverable, Post Office Closed", Of course that Army Post Office was closed since the address on the envelope was "31st Infantry Regiment, Manila, Philippines". Maybe APO numbers were not in use at that time, but whatever, that impersonal postal stamp kinda struck me as an under statement on the situation in those dismal days. I was also struck by the fact that the "home folks" still, evidently, were not comprending the fact that those troops were surrounded and doomed for destruction or capture by that date, March 1942. Probably the parents were in denial or just not cognizant of how much peril their son was in at that time. I know this is off topic since we are talking Post Exchange tokens, but my mind wandered far afield, as seems to happen regularly these days. Cheers.