…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.




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