Sea Flasher

Wed. Feb. 6, ‘46

Aboard U.S. Sea Flasher

About 200 miles from Honolulu


Dear folks,

We’re dropping off mail at Honolulu in the morning so I’ll write a little bit. It’s our first stop since leaving Manila and this one wasn’t scheduled. I hope you can read this but my pen is dry so I had to use pencil. The last letter I wrote was from Manila Jan. 21. I left for the Repl. Depot Jan 22 and was there 3 days. Our first day we were processed, filled out our forms, got our influenza shots (the roughest we ever had) and were assigned to Separation Center Groups. We are each assigned to a particular 25 man group going to the same place. I go to Fort Sheridan which is just out of Chicago. Most of the fellows in my group are from Detroit. One is from Lansing and one from East Lansing. There are 6 or 8 groups altogether on the boat that are going to Sheridan so there’ll be plenty of us. Our second day out at the depot we got our issue of winter clothing. I did O.K. on everything but the blouse. I got new O.D.’s, and one of the old type short field jackets. It’s a brand new one and if I can get it by I’m going to keep it. They make a comfortable jacket to slip into. I got one of the short battle jackets for a blouse. It’s an Aussie blouse but when I went through all they had were size 40 so blouse is really the word for it. I think you could almost get in it with me. After we got our stuff we waited for a ship and early Fri. morning Jan. 25 started out. We got out of the Depot about 9:00 and by the time we rode through Manila and got on the boat it was about noon. We pulled out in the afternoon of the 25th (the 24th back here). We crossed the date line Mon. so we had 2 Mon. in a row. Actually today is our 14th day at sea although by calendar dates it looks like only 13. We started out rather slow and just started to make speed the last 3 days. We should have made it in about 18 days but we expect to hit Frisco about Mon. which is 20 days. There are over 2000 of us on board. Living conditions are about the same as they were coming out here. We get 3 meals a day except Sundays but the noon meal is usually pretty light. There isn’t a whole lot one can do to pass the time. We have a movie every night which is really a break. Some of the pictures have been very good. They have a ship’s band which blows off a little steam occasionally and they put out a lot of recorded music for us. Naturally time is dragging on this ride more than usual because we have all been waiting for the end of this one for about 3 years.

The weather has been pretty good but quite windy and this old girl has done a lot of rolling. There were some pretty miserable boys the first couple days. I just kept myself full whether I wanted to eat or not and when I felt a little too dizzy I just headed for my bunk. I kept everything down O.K. and after a couple days my stomach caught up with the boat and I’ve been all right since.

We lost one day by having to swing off our course to leave a sailor at Guam in the hospital. He fell off a boom while painting and I guess the steel deck didn’t do him any good. Now we have a broken feed line and have to go into Honolulu for repairs. They say it will take about 4 hours but I rather imagine it will be longer. I hope we can see a little of the place. We expect to be in Frisco Mon. or Tues. which is the 12th. We’ll be in Stoneman for 2 days or so, spend 3 or 4 on the train to Chicago, another 2 or 3 at Sheridan and then out. So I ought to be ought [out] between the 20th & 24th sometime. Naturally I can’t be sure but it’s a fair guess. Until then, so long and I’ll be seein’ you,


The Japs Have Quit


Tues. 14 Aug. ’45 8:30 p.m.


Dear folks,

Right now I feel the best I’ll probably feel until the day I see that “Golden Gate” again. About 5 minutes ago they announced to us that the Japs have quit. It seems almost hard to realize that there really is no more war but boy does it feel good. We happened to be in a pretty good place for it to end. I don’t imagine I’d better tell you where but I don’t think I’d care to stick around. It looks pretty rugged and not too long ago they were kicking Japs out of the jungles. It’s too hot and dense for my liking. What happens to us is the question we are waiting to see answered. It could be good but it can’t be too bad (we hope). Get my clothes out of the moth balls and stock up on food ‘cause one of these months I’ll be barging in and I’m going to be hungry for some of your food.

So long for now,


Pouring It Out

Tues. 31 July ‘45

At Sea


Dear folks,

Just about time I wrote a line or two I guess. There isn’t much that one can write about. We stopped “somewhere” a few days ago and I mailed a couple letters which I had written. You won’t get them for awhile though as they hold them until quite awhile after we left. I don’t suppose it would get by if I named the spot so I’ll just skip it for now. It really seemed good to get off this boat for a little while. They really had a nice setup for us. They put on a couple very good shows for us with some really good music. There was free ice cream and plenty of everything we could want. It was like a little hunk of the U.S. stuck off there. Naturally we were restricted to a small area and didn’t see much of the people. The ones I saw all seemed to know English.

We picked up about 90 sacks of fresh mail on the dock which was good. I got your letter of July 7 and 2 from Gram postmarked the 4th and 11th of July. I also got a picture of Julius which he had taken down in Texas. It’s quite nice but I’m afraid the cardboard frame will take quite a beating before I’m through. I think I’ll put it into one of the leather folders I got back in Germany. You know eight months ago none of us ever thought we’d say we wished we were back in “good old” Germany but now we almost do.

I just realized it’s been about 2 weeks since I last wrote. It doesn’t seem possible but the time really flies. We’ve had a good trip so far for which all of us are thankful. The sea gets a little rough occasionally but our stomachs are used to it by now. The days go fast. We are up about 6:15, dress, and maybe shower before breakfast. I take 1 or 2 showers a day and still I’m dirty. I always did sweat a lot and I’m really pouring it out now. My shirt gets soaked in no time. By the time we eat breakfast it’s nearly 9:00. From 9:30 to 10:00 we get “oriented.” Then there’s an hour or so before dinner which goes in no time. The afternoon goes fast and after supper we have reports, etc. to take care of. I’m surprised that I am no more “tired” of the trip than I am. It’s a lot different from the last. I’ll be glad though when we get set up once more. I’m sort of anxious to see how well our section operates under its new organization. I think it ought to do pretty well myself. If we get what we hope for we’ll be all set. The war news is really encouraging now if it only holds.

Well there’s not much else to say for the situation right now so I’ll sign off and get ready for bed once more.

So long again,


I’m Still “Around”

Tuesday 17 July ‘45

At sea


Dear folks,

Guess it’s about time I wrote another line or two your way. I could write oftener than I am but I have no idea just when they might be mailed and besides there isn’t a great deal one can talk about due to censorship.

The ocean has stayed remarkably smooth. It is a little ruffled today but by now I am used to the rolling motion again and it doesn’t seem to be bothering me any. The time is going unusually fast, certainly not like our trip from the states to England. This morning we had a rifle inspection so it took a little time to look that over. It seems in pretty good condition considering the beating it took in France. Never have I ever “endured” the dust we lived in back there before.

Our food is holding up as good as at first. If it keeps up I should gain a little weight unless I sweat it all away. It’s really hot today. In no time one is soaked with perspiration and I don’t dare leave off my shirt too long at a crack as I know how easily I can get really burned.

I’m still ordering the P.X. rations for our section, which takes a little more time. So far I haven’t figured out any way of making a profit on the deal. It is developing into a full-scale problem in bookkeeping and I shall be happy to just “break even” when it’s all done.

They have organized a sort of band or orchestra of some nature from among the boys which is making its big “debut” tonight. I’m in the mood for some real music again. They broadcast some over the P.A. once in awhile but not enough. We haven’t heard much since we left England. The “Armed Forces Network” back there put out some really good programs.

We have lots of reading material floating around but so far I haven’t finished the one book yet that I started 3 or 4 days ago.

I wonder what’s “going on” back there. I imagine it’s pretty warm if it’s a typical July. I wish we were on that “one way trip” home but that’s something it’s better not to think about I guess. Someday we’ll be making that trip and then we won’t be caring about conditions or accommodations just so long as we get there.

Well there isn’t much else I can talk about now. Part of the letter I wrote the other day may be clipped as I understand the censorship is rather strict. Anyway you’ll get something at least so you’ll know that I’m still “around.” So long again until “next time.” Take it easy,


Maybe We Should Have Joined The Navy

Sunday 15 July ‘45

Somewhere at Sea


Dear folks,

Well it’s about a week since I have written, most of which has been spent “at sea.” We are several days on our way now but there are a great many more yet unless I miss my guess. It’s hard to tell when this may be mailed.

Things aren’t so bad as they might be fortunately. I guess it’s safe to say we hit an American ship this time and what a difference. We are getting the best food we’ve seen in months – the best prepared and the largest quantities. Maybe we should have joined the navy. The big difference between this and our previous voyage is that we don’t eat and sleep in the same place. We have our compartment with a bunk for each man. Except for a morning inspection period we can sleep at any time we like. Naturally we’re a bit crowded but that is expected. I have an electric fan near my bunk and so far it hasn’t been too hot to sleep.

The time goes along much faster than last time. By the time we’ve gotten up, dressed, sweated out the chow line for breakfast it is around 9:00. It takes about an hour each time to get through the chow line but with three square meals a day we aren’t kicking. In between I’ve done a bit of reading and naturally we have some work to do as morning reports are an eternal thing.

We have some music broadcast about the ship which sounds pretty good.

Yesterday for awhile I didn’t feel too “healthy” so I hit the bed for a few hours and got over it. I certainly ought not to be seasick as the ocean is very calm. I don’t suppose it can last but I surely hope it does.

Somebody decided I should have a job to do I guess as I find myself in charge of ordering P.X. rations for my section. That takes another hour about so before we know it almost, the day is over.

We have shower facilities, fresh water at certain hours, salt water always. They issued out salt water soap so we are all set. About the biggest difficulty now is laundry. We are “hurtin” in that department but whether we’ll get any service is hard to say.

Maybe you notice the difference in my address. As of July 12, 1945 I am a Technician 4th Grade, the one with 3 stripes and the “T.” Just to make it sound good I’ll use Sgt. It’s the same grade and the same pay. They promised us our stripes once we got on the boat and they were as good as their word. Our boy Kumins pulled out on us and we left him in the hospital at the last minute. So that made quite a few openings. The boy ahead of me made Tech/Sgt. so I got his T/4. A T/5 took over my job with “C” Co. I like the job I have but I almost got thrown out of it on my ear. I don’t think it shall happen again. It better not anyway.

As I said I don’t know when this will be mailed. We are hoping to stop someplace and drop mail and maybe pick some up. Any that we left behind us I’m afraid will be quite awhile catching up now. This is still my old address but once you get my new one I’d like to get a few more letters than I’ve been getting lately. Do I need to say more?

It’s about chow time for our compartment I believe. We had ice cream for dinner today for the first time. No wonder these boys in the Navy put on weight if they always eat this way. By the time we get off I should have gained a little.

Well that’s about all there is to say on this “peaceful” Sunday afternoon. The war seems awfully remote out here on the clear, very blue ocean right now but it probably will be brought to us again, soon enough. I’ll write again probably before this goes “out” so until next time,

Take it easy,


They Really Do Drive On The Left

[date has been cut out by censor]


Dear folks,

I’ll start you a letter now and write until I’m able to mail it sometime. I think its O.K. to say our trip is nearing its end. [section cut out by censor]…we left the states. I got a fair night’s sleep last night. There isn’t very much I can say right now. This will probably be cut a lot as it is. Food is a wonderful subject, I’ll start with it. Breakfast – oatmeal, milk, bread, jam and a boiled egg. Supper – potatoes, beans, bread, butter, cold meat and an apple which I saved for the rainy day. I got one of those big Hershey almond bars from the canteen today along with a bunch of life-savers. I’m storing up a little for the day I’ll need it. I never ate life-savers until now but I find that they are sort of good to have to eat from time to time. We were issued “K” rations today and I guess their content is no secret. They come in 3 boxes, one for each meal. Breakfast has coffee & eggs, dinner – cheese & a fruit drink, supper – meat loaf & bouillon. In addition each has biscuits, gum, candy & cigarettes. It isn’t bad stuff to eat, its compact but really fills you up. The cheese is best.

It’s a beautiful starry night outside. A light is occasionally visible in the distance. To me that light is beautiful but I don’t suppose many people see anything in it. What happens each day from now in becomes more & more and uncertainty. One thing sure, if I never knew there was a war on before I do now. A [cut by censor] flying overhead is a beautiful sight. Well it’s nearly bed time so I’ll sign off for today and continue this when I can again. I think I’ll go see what I can and then get to bed. Good night or I should say good afternoon as it’s only about 4:30 p.m. for you.

[cut by censor-date?]

I’m back for a few more words. I’m taking the chance of saying that I’m somewhere near England I think. I couldn’t prove it but the fog is thicker than any I’ve seen even at San Francisco so I take that as an indication. Not much to write as we’re sort of just waiting. It’s a little colder but otherwise, except for the fog blanket it’s O.K. Naturally we don’t know for sure where we are and we have no idea where we are going. Time will tell that. We missed our little candy snack this afternoon. Breakfast was fair – oatmeal, milk, prunes, bread & jam. I’m waiting for supper now. Old mopping detail comes up again tomorrow. Well its chow time so I’ll sign off and see what delicacies are in store for us tonight. Back at 9:30 after supper. Naturally – spuds, bread, butter, sauerkraut, & rice. I almost feel like a civilian on a cruise tonight. No blackout. Instead of stumbling around in the pitch dark, its’ light enough for me to write this out on deck. I can see as far as the rail and then fog. It’s really swell to see the lights and I’m not kiddin’. The fog lifted this afternoon but she’s back now. Right now I’m listening to Harry James play “Two O’clock Jump” as I write. Well its’ bed time so I’ll sign off and head for my hammock pretty quick. Good afternoon to ye.

[cut by censor-date]

Hiya. Well here I go again. I may make our friend the censor unhappy but I can’t see anything wrong with what I’m about to say. First of all I’m here. “Here” for the time being I’ll call “somewhere in England.” Last night I stayed out until 10:00 but it was so foggy you couldn’t see anything. I dug into breakfast pretty heavy as these meals are kind of far apart with no extra candy & stuff in the middle. Let’s see, it was oatmeal, bread, butter, jam & potatoes. I got up on top as soon as I could this morning.

Back again at about 7:15 p.m. Now to begin where I left off. I was on deck from breakfast until mid-afternoon except for a time when I did my mopping. I had a very interesting time and saw a lot [of] things I’d like to talk about but guess maybe I shouldn’t. Anyway I never saw so many or so many different kinds & sizes of boats in my life as I did on the way in. Now let’s see what else can I say without giving any info. Trees & green grass surely looked good again to me. The first thing I noticed on the skyline were several church spires. They are very numerous. Two things impressed me – the tall steeples and so many domes on buildings. The jockeying into position at the dock was quite a thing. Naturally all of us were at the rail to see what we could of these strange new people. They gave us quite a welcome but why shouldn’t they? You already know my attitude toward the British in this war and I haven’t changed any. They had a pretty sharp looking band out to greet us. They played several marches & slow tunes & then reorganized & dug a little “American” jive or tried to. That made a much better hit with the G.I.’s naturally. I stayed up and took in all I could before coming down to shave & clean up a bit before chow tonight. I was just up on top again but there’s no one around this area now naturally. I was surprised to see that there is no blackout. Evidently the Luftwaffe doesn’t come around anymore. I think its O.K. to say I saw no evidences whatever of any bombing which also surprised me. Now let’s see what else I can say. The people ah yes the people. One word could describe them – “tired.” They look like they could use a good long rest & vacation. They are a bit smaller than Americans – are slim faced & a bit longer nosed. Their clothing is what we’d call a little worn & old fashioned – what I saw. Still they seem to have quite a bit of spirit. The bicycle seems to be the chief means of individual transportation. I couldn’t be sure but I guess they really do drive on the left side of the road here. Naturally I couldn’t see too much as I’m still on the boat but I saw a couple right-hand drive vehicles. That’s about all I can safely say I guess about what I saw. To me the place looks very interesting and I’m hoping I can get a pass pretty soon to see the most I can of what’s to be seen. I want to hit a post office or whatever they have at the first chance & buy one of every stamp they have. I’ve way too much cash with me any way so I’ll advance my hobby.

Well that’s about all I can say. We are pouring over maps to get the situation in mind and see where it is we’re headed. Anyway I believe I’ve covered it & this is getting long enough so I’ll sign off from Southern England “somewhere” and write again next time. I’ve still written every day as usual. Good night & good afternoon (its 2:50 your time).

Love to all of ye’


Watching The Scenery


Mon. 18 Dec. ‘44

Somewhere at sea


Dear Mom,

I just finished an Air mail letter to you but I’m sending this on the chance it might be faster. You’ve got a flock of letters on the way to you. We’ve had a long but pretty good trip so far. Except for a couple days it’s been quite smooth. I’ve never been “really” seasick although I got pretty close to it a couple times. We’ve had a few movies and some programs on board to pass the time. A few details from time to time also accomplished the same thing. Sleeping in a hammock was something new for me. I’ve spent a lot of time on deck watching the “scenery.” We mess twice a day but these people don’t know how to cook. I’m hoping we have our own cooks for Xmas dinner. I got your long letter and your Mon. Dec. 4 letter after I got on the boat. I’m all O.K. and you had better be too,

Love to you all


My Little Hammock

Mon. 18 Dec. ‘44

1:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m. there)


Dear folks,

This will perhaps be the first letter you get after quite awhile. We can’t mail any more on the boat after today so I’m putting stamps on it and hoping it will go air mail. I have a few stamps that I’ll nurse along as long as possible so I’d like you to put in a few air mail stamps every once in awhile when you write.

Here’s what to look for in the way of letters. Dec. 7 letter you should have gotten a week ago today. Dec. 8 is a V-mail letter. This one is air mail and the ones between – Dec. 9-17 inclusive are all sent “Free.” That’s 11 letters in all. They are sent as you can see by all possible methods and in all probability will go out together so you will be able to tell which goes faster. I imagine the V-mail will get there first.

It’s a beautiful day today for which I am thankful. I can’t seem to make it seem that Xmas is but a week away. I got a good night’s sleep last night again in my little hammock. This morning I found myself on a little mopping detail again but it helps pass the time away at least.

It’ll sure feel funny to walk on something that doesn’t move. I’ll probably walk stiff legged for awhile. Maybe some of the things in this letter don’t tie up very well but they will when you’ve gotten all the letters. Everyone around here has grabbed pen in hand and is furiously writing. I’ve written every day just as if they were going out because I know you and how you like to get letters.

There really isn’t much I can say except I hope you get all of these pretty fast and that I have mail waiting for me. But if you get mine O.K. I won’t complain too much. One never knows how long we’ll be in one spot from now on so getting mail may be a problem.

That’s about all I guess so I’m going to sign off and write a V-mail also so you’ll be sure of hearing from me as soon as was at all possible. It might possibly beat air mail and I know you’ll be looking for the date to see how “far behind me” you are. So long now,



…So I Exterminated It

Sun. 17 Dec. ‘44

2:10 p.m. (whatever time we’re on)


Dear folks,

Right now I’m just sort of wondering what I’ll be doing at this time next week. It’s hard to tell. A week from tomorrow is Xmas but I don’t imagine it will seem much like it. You won’t have received any mail from me yet either probably. These letters written “Free” will probably take 2 or 3 weeks to get there after they finally get mailed. I must have 2 or 3 packages on the way. Edna’s sending one, & you said Elmo was too. I think Marie may have also. I hate to think of what Edna’s will look like as she never wraps anything securely. Even from Mich. to Ark. the pkgs. were all broken up.

Last night I tried a new experiment (for me) in sleeping. Up to now I’ve been sleeping on a mattress on a fixed spot. By that I mean a part which moves with the ship in its rocking and rolling. For a change I tried a hammock last night. What a difference. Instead of moving, you just hang still and the boat moves around you. It’s a real improvement but getting out on the floor in the morning proves to be quite a shock. We’re in rough water today and this boat is rolling plenty. I slept until time for breakfast this morning. It wasn’t too bad today – oatmeal, bread, jam & boiled eggs. There isn’t much you can do to an egg anyway except boil it. Someday when it has no longer military significance I’ll tell you a little more about this trip but for now I can’t.

After breakfast I went up on deck for awhile but it wasn’t very pleasant today – windy, rainy and rough. At 10:00 I got a little conscientious and went to an hour church service with a couple of the fellows. It was pretty good and I’m glad I went. A couple chaplains, one a Negro Captain, held the service. When that was over I took a swing around the deck and came on down and washed up a bit and shaved. I cultivated a mustache for a few days but it began to get that sort of sickly look like the ones Pop used to raise so I exterminated it. Now before I wrote this I dug out my typewriter and knocked out V-mail letters to Edna and Rudy so I’m even with my mail once more.

I just got the low down on the air mail situation. Letters written “free” go by boat to the U.S. and by train to you. Letters written “air mail” go by boat to U.S. and by air from there. That would make less than a day’s difference for you probably so I guess there isn’t much to be gained in that. V-mail is photographed, sent by air to the states, reproduced and then sent on by train. It might be faster but it is held naturally on this side until a complete reel of letters is photographed so all in all the 3 will probably have about the same speed. I wrote one V-mail and I’ll send one air mail so you can compare them and tell me which is better. I imagine I’ll end up just using the old “free” mail system.

I forgot to mention that Dick Heil & Ken Hammond looked me up the other night. Several other Lansing boys are in their outfit but most of them I didn’t know.

It must be storming up on top judging by the movement of the ship and also the fact that everyone is down here instead of up on deck as usual.

You know I’d be getting in to Lansing tonight on a 15 day furlough for the holidays if we’d stayed on that side awhile longer.

I wish I’d kept a few more of those pictures I left at home. I was just looking through the ones I have now. They really look good. Stick a picture in once in awhile when you write, will you? Even though I may have seen them before its O.K. and I wish you’d take a few once in awhile and send too.

Well I guess I’m running down a little so maybe I better quit for this time. I’ve been writing on this for an hour. So for today, So long, Take it easy.




I’m Not Supermouse

Sat. 16 Dec. ‘44


Dear folks,

Well one more weekend is here and I’ve been wondering how to spend it. I can’t decide whether I’ll go to town tonight or not. But since I’m not Supermouse and have no water wings I’ll probably be right here where I am.

I feel a little disgruntled today. The boat is rolling quite a bit but that doesn’t bother. I’m just a bit sleepy as I couldn’t seem to get much sleep last night. The motion of the boat sort of rolled me around a lot. As soon as I could I got up on deck this morning and stayed up until about noon reading a small pocket book “The Case of the Stuttering Bishop.” It wasn’t much of a book but it’s something to do. When I came back down I spent about 3 hours trying to sleep off a headache but didn’t get very far so now here I am.

Nothing much I can talk about. I’ll really be glad when this trip is over as its getting pretty tiresome. We’re all getting a bit on edge and a bit on the argumentative side.

So far they won’t let us write where we think we are going although these won’t be mailed until we arrive and by then we’ll be writing our letters from “Somewhere in Timbucktoo or Nagasaki” or wherever it may be. I consider we are lucky to be headed to where we are and I hope we’ll stay for awhile. I’m going to miss being able to buy anything I wanted to eat so long as I had the money. When we were back at our last camp I did a pretty good job on the stuff I like – ice cream, milk shakes, milk, etc. Over here most of all that sort of thing will be unavailable. Remember those Bismcarcks I used to like so well? Well, they sold them at the P.X. and I really got my share of them for the short time I was there. Well this isn’t getting me anywhere, except hungry, but it’s something to talk or write about. I’ll really lay into some good food when I can get at it again.

As I mentioned once before we get a little work on languages. One of them I like and could catch on to fairly fast. Of course all they teach us are phrases to get directions, ask simple questions, etc. and we really learn nothing about grammar or construction but I know a little about it so I could grasp it fairly quickly. I’ve intended to do a little studying but never have done much yet.

Maybe I’ll get ambitious and answer Rudy’s & Edna’s letters tonight so I’ll be caught up when we arrive. I’m hoping we’ll have mail waiting and we should have quite a bit.

Well I guess that’s all I have to say for today so I’ll sign off until next time again. So long,

Be seein’ yo’all



Chicken Feed

Fri. 15 Dec. ‘44

[cut out by censor] (5:20 p.m. your time)


Dear folks,

Well I feel pretty good today. Right now we are listening to some music being broadcast from the recreation room here on the boat. I got a good night’s sleep last night and the world looked a lot better this morning. As soon as I washed and shaved and ate my breakfast I spent the rest of the forenoon on deck. The old ocean had smoothed out a little and also I guess I’m getting used to it by now. I got stuck for a little calisthenics this afternoon. I don’t mind it but it’s really been a long time since I’ve done any. They just sang a couple Xmas carols. It takes me back a year to the nights when the girls from the Tri Delts & Chi Omega houses used to go around signing [singing] evenings back at Arkansas Univ.

Not much to write about tonight that I can talk about. When you get that first check use it on the “outside” for little things such like a few Air Mail stamps. I’d like to send these air mail but I’m hoarding my stamps to use so you’ll get the last letters, or I should say newest ones, first when I land.

We just had a little practice with the monetary system of the nation we expect to be in pretty soon. It is going to be a headache I’m afraid if we get a chance to do any spending. I still think Alexander Hamilton had the right idea with our decimal system of currency. I can learn the American equivalents of their currency pretty easily but making change with their chicken feed is something else.

We’ve been issued books on a couple foreign languages and also have had some classes. One language I don’t know anything about and wouldn’t learn very soon I’m afraid. The other I know a little about and think I can catch on to pretty fast.

Well it’s nearly bed time so I’ll sign off once again until next time,

So long



Rambling On

Thurs. 14 Dec. ‘44


Dear folks,

One more day to cross off the list. I’m in a little better spirits tonight fortunately. That wasn’t much of a letter that I wrote last night. I guess first I better recapitulate a bit. I’ve been numbering my envelopes but the censor tells me that’s out so I’m doing a little differently to let you know how many letters to look for. So far I’ve written something every day and so long as possible I’ll keep it up. If and when there’s a break I’ll let you know when I did write and when I didn’t in the next letter so you will be able to tell about what to look for. So when you start getting mail again it will take up right where the last one left off. I wrote once by V-mail and I’ve use “Free” mail ever since which will probably be a lot slower. When I am where the mail will go right out I’ll use air mail perhaps so you’ll probably get the V-mail & the air mail first and then these will come tagging in. I imagine you’ll get better results than I. I expect mine to come in groups of ½ dozen or so letters but then I may be luckier, at first at least. I’m hoping we have plenty waiting for us when we arrive. I presume you’ve been writing regularly – so if it’s by air mail it ought to be there. Today we were told to leave the APO # blank on our envelopes that we mail so we may have a new number. All the letters I’ve been mailing have the old 17567 but they’ll probably change them for us or let them go as is. I’ll get it all O.K. so don’t worry about having written to the old address. That explains that a little I guess and I’ll get to something else.

I got to bed at about 9:30 last night but didn’t sleep too well. I felt a little steadier this morning and as soon as I ate I beat it up on deck and spent the whole forenoon outside in the air. It’s the only place to be when you don’t feel too good. I stood for over an hour just watching the water go by. I’ve discovered that watching the waves doesn’t make one sick. I believe the sea was just as rough but one can get used to it. I was a little distressed at the beginning of the trip, then got used to it until it got rougher, now I’m used to that. If it doesn’t roughen up more maybe I’ll make it. I came down this afternoon and started doing a little work. Sgt. Kumins hunted me up and told me I had to finish by tomorrow so I worked steadily all afternoon until I finished a little before supper. I just had my nightly stroll around deck. It’s mighty dark out tonight.

We change time again tonight. This is the 3rd time we’ve been set ahead an hour and always at night so we lose an hour’s sleep. I can just guess that when we come back some day those extra hours will be during the day instead of night.

I was really surprised today. Remember that little kid, a T/5, that I was talking to one night when we were sitting downtown on my furlough last June? His name is Dick Heil. I was walking around with Buck today and I saw someone that looked like him. By the time it dawned on me he was gone. If you’ll remember, he said several fellows from our old High School class were in his outfit. So I started keeping my eyes open. I haven’t run into him again but tonight I ran into another one, Dillard Garrisson. So some of the old home town is on here too, by coincidence. I believe Ken Hammond and a couple more are in that outfit too. I’m going to try to look them up if I can because, once we land, we’ll probably be separated. It was good to see a couple old familiar faces. I’ve know these 2 since Jr. High at French.

Well I’ve rambled on for 3 pages and haven’t said too much but really there isn’t too much I can say. I have a couple letters here to answer so maybe I’ll do that yet tonight. I also have a book that was in that Red Cross kit which I’m reading at. Anyway I guess I’ve run down for today so I’ll sign off and turn this over to the censor. So long for tonight,



I Can’t Get Off And Hitchhike

Wed. 13 Dec. ‘44


Dear folks,

This won’t be too long tonight as there isn’t much to say. I don’t have any more letters to answer now. I don’t feel so hot today and haven’t all day. The sea isn’t too rough I suppose actually but boy it’s throwing me around too doggoned much. This boat is rolling in 4 different directions I’d swear. I have an easily upset stomach as you know. I’ve stuffed myself at both meals today when I wasn’t hungry just to keep full. I’ve kept it down O.K. too so far which is more than a lot have done. I’ve spent nearly all day on deck as our quarters down here are no place to nurse a lousy feeling stomach. We don’t get quite enough circulation of air in my opinion. It’s still a little early but there isn’t much I can say. I hope this ocean irons itself out by tomorrow. We still have way too far to go for me but I can’t get off and hitchhike. I’m going to fly back or something as I can’t see doing this again. Well enough complaining for one day so I’ll sign off.




The Lt. Licks Them

Tues. 12 Dec. ‘44


Dear folks,

One more day at sea. I’m almost losing track of the days. Same old lineup today. The wind is really blowing and we are rolling quite a bit. I got a pretty fair night’s sleep last night and breakfast was fair. I guess I’m getting used to the food now. They prepare it with virtually no seasoning. They seem to use no salt at all on stuff. Let’s see — I had bread, butter, jam, a boiled egg, and oatmeal for breakfast. I spent quite a bit of the day watching the waves splash. The spray was flying and I had a little trouble as when the water evaporated it left salt all over my glasses. I was on a mopping detail for awhile this morning so that kept me busy. I actually did a little work this afternoon. Sgt. Kumins got us together and put us to work for awhile. We got our usual lineup of stuff from the ships canteen today. I’m getting a small cache of food stored up now for that rainy day sometime.

So that’s about all I have to say about today. Some people think I’m foolish to write so many letters but I know what I’m doing. I figure you’ll be nearly a month without mail so if you get a lot of letters at once, even though they are pretty stale news (and very little of that) at least you’ll have some to read for awhile. If I know you you’ll appreciate a lot of mail as much as I do even though a little late.

I still have one letter of yours to answer so I’ll get at it. Mon. Dec. 4 – Yeh, a month ago I was home. A year ago I was too and I believe it’s about 2 yrs. today since I got my first notice. Xmas day completes my 2nd year. I know my letters aren’t the same as always but I can’t help it much. Where was that Geo. In the Pacific? I am pretty far behind in the news here. We get some war news occasionally over the P.A. system but I miss our old radios. We really got good programs and good reception on the coast. I don’t know where Vox Pop was broadcast from last night but I wasn’t there. I mail my letters unsealed, the Lt. licks them. So far you have seen names of Lt’s Harris & Vidugiris, Co. officers. You’ll usually see theirs or a couple other Lt’s names maybe. All 5 of those letters were mailed at once. I got only one pass. We were alerted a few hours before I got another one or before I was to get it. You should have gotten at least 6 letters plus Xmas cards and an extra letter or two before the break came. On a day or two I wrote twice as you’ll note. You probably got the last ones yesterday. I may use air mail if I can get the stamps and it saves time. I imagine it helps quite a bit. I made 5 trips home up through the old Arkansas, Missouri to Chicago route. I carried that bath towel until the last place. There we had to get rid of all that weren’t O.D. in color so out it went. After we all got rid of our low cut shoes we found we could have kept them but that’s the way it goes. We write on one side so nothing will be unintentionally obliterated should the censor decide to do a little cutting up. Your glasses don’t need changing – you see perfectly. As for your choice of phonograph records I don’t think you could have done any better. You got exactly the right ones.

Well that covers your second letter and answers all I have from you until I get some when we land (I hope). I’ll probably get quite a few at once. I have a couple letters to answer from Rudy and Edna yet before we land but I guess I’ll have lots of time.

Bedtime is approaching so I’ll be signing off until next time. So long




I erled my rifle today

Mon. 11 Dec. ‘44


Dear folks,

Another day, another $2.64. I make 20% more pay now for overseas service. This won’t be so long tonight. Some of the things I said last time, I can’t say so I lined them out. The censor may clip them. The day goes faster now as I’m getting accustomed to it all. I got a good night’s sleep last night and either I was hungrier or the food was better because it tasted pretty good. I guess I can tell you what it was O.K. – bread, butter, jelly, oatmeal & potatoes. After eating they gave each one of us a little kit prepared by the Red Cross. They are quite nice. I got the little bag which when empty can be used for toilet articles, and inside it were some envelopes, a tablet, pencil, comb, razor blades (double edge unfortunately), life savers, shoe laces, soap, soap dish, a book and a pkg. of Chesterfields which I gave to one of the boys. I spent most of the morning on deck. I hope we keep on having good weather. It was really swell out today. The motion of the boat doesn’t seem to bother me any more for which I’m thankful. This afternoon we got a chance to see a show. It was on old one: “Coney Island” with Betty Grable & George Montgomery. When I saw it the first time conditions were much different. I saw it over a year ago at the good old U-Ark. theater in Fayetteville and the theater didn’t rock a bit. Today we were up a bit high and the higher, the more you rock. Anyway I still enjoyed it.

I got ambitious and erled my rifle today. It was about time too as rust was beginning to form. They inspected it this afternoon and it was O.K. We got our provisions from the P.X. this afternoon. They cut our ration every day but I have a little store of food I’m slowly building up, just in case. Supper tonight wasn’t bad – potatoes, carrots, bread, butter, and rice pudding. Tomorrow I’m on a mop detail to help clean the place after each meal.

I won’t answer your other letter tonight as it’s nearly bed time. I was up on deck awhile ago with one of my boys. I’ve picked up a new buddy or I should say he picked me up. I’ll tell you about him sometime. I’s swell out tonight, lots of stars and it’s good to get up for fresh air. Some of the fellows were singing Xmas carols. It makes me homesick as the dickens but I still like them better than any other music.

Well I’ll call this quits for tonight and start preparing for bed. So for tonight,

All my love,