There was a cheque for USD $1,900 and change! Yes, in US dollars, drawn on a bank in New York. It is payment for my share options in SPL Worldgroup, a firm I used to work for. I figure it's alright to name them now, since the deal has gone through and they've announced it on their website. For the longest time I thought that the options were completely worthless for they were for shares in a private company. Their value was nominally whatever they said they were worth but in practice, nothing because they could not be traded, cashed or sold. They just sat there, until a few weeks back when corporate dealmakers seeking a merger issued an offer. So I sold them!
Then there was this huge, heavy cardboard box marked from Fort Lesley J. McNair. (For non-Americans: US Army base in Washington DC). When the sturdy packing tape was cut open, it revealed a letter dated 15 October 2004 which read:
Thankyou for your request of 3 September 2003. You had asked about obtaining a copy of a study of the logistics base at Lae from 1943-1945.
First, I must apologise for the tardiness of my reply. The main hurdle was the copying of the material. The older World War II studies are currently on flimsy carbon copies; consequently, it took considerable time at the copy machine. Also, the press of job requirements where the "official" tasks take priority over the "unofficial" ones like yours meant that getting the material to you was slowed down. Still, I wish that I could have gotten the material to you in a timelier manner.
As you will notice rather than just giving to the study of the Lae base, I've enclosed a dozen more studies. Their is an overall study of the US Army's Service of Support as well as a couple of other general studies. There are several histories of various bases in Australia and a set on some of the bases along the New Guinea coast, including Lae. To offset the tardiness, I send these to you free of charge.
I hope that despite the delay, you find these of use. The Southwest Pacific Area needs more study, and, particularly, in the area of logistics. One of my personal projects is a study of MacArthur's intelligence system in SWPA.
Good luck on your doctrinal work. Let me know if I can help you in the future.
Michael E. Bigelow
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
The material - some twelve inches worth - is magnificent and will be of tremendous value. I shall have to overhaul one of the chapters I've written already in the light of all the new information.
I shall write back (there is no email address) and thank him.