July 23, 1944
Well Hon, I can't be sure just when you will get this letter, but I am writing because I am and have been thinking about you. You are something good to think about and it helps to pass my extra time. All of the time that I have on this boat is extra time. But there will be a day when I get off this boat, then there will be a lot of work to do. We are still at sea, and I guess we will be on this boat for a while yet. We had church aboard this morning. It is the first time that I ever went to church on the high seas. I don't think it will be the last, tho.
I can't be sure when and where this will be sent back to the States, I am writing this now because I hope we pass some ship or some port where it can be mailed.
The longer we stay on this tub, the hotter it gets. It rains in the afternoons. The ocean has been perfect for traveling. This vacation of mine has been just swell so far. I do a lot of reading at the present. Good for the education they tell me. I am not sure but I think my education will be alot different in the future.
For a fact Dear, words that I could put on this paper couldn't tell you how much I miss you, so you will just have to use your imagination. I hated to leave when I did, but it was out of my hands. I consider myself very lucky tho, Hon. Oh well, we have a lot to look forward to when I get back. A lot of people haven't even got that. How do you feel Dear? I hope you feel as good as I do, but not as lazy.
Dear, you ought to see my beard!!! I haven't shaved since I left port. I won't shave till I hit port either. Do you still say that you won't talk to your husband if he comes home with a beard?
The chow on this ship is bad. The worst I've ever had to eat. I wish I had some of your hotcakes. The only thing that I've seen since I left is fish, birds, and lots of water.
Hon, I hope this finds it's way to you some time soon.
August 6, 1944
I am writing you this note in the mess hall, so it will be a mess. I am still on a ship in the ocean, we haven't seen a thing except flying fish and a few birds. We have passed a few ships since we left, and last but not least lots of water. This ship is rather a hard place to write a letter on. It rolls a lot, so you see it is difficult to write on.
Today Dear we crossed the equator. So today I was made a shellback. They made us strip off to our shorts, then turned water on us until we were good and wet, then we had to walk through the belt line. They cut a strip through the center of our hair. You ought to see me now, Hon. Boy, I sure am brown. You thought your back was tanned, if you could see my back you would see a very brown one. It is so hot we sleep on deck at night. Our clothes are always damp and we haven't had a fresh water shower since we left. It has rained on us some every day since we left port.
Well, Hon, I will write you as soon as we land.
August 7, 1944
Hon, we landed today and after getting my sack put in a safe place, the place where I will stay for a few months, I decided to write to you.
This isn't such a bad place, most places the mud is only ankle deep, but once in a while one will find a place where the mud is knee deep. It rains a lot here and they say the rainy season is over! This camp is built on land that was jungle a few months ago, and there still are a lot of cocoa nut trees here. The nuts are good eating if one doesn't eat too much. We are on the bay in this camp. All in all this is a good camp.
From what I've been told, I will be a welder here. I sure hope so. There is a lot of welding to be done here, so I think we will be here for some time. I am sending my dress blues back to the states. I don't have any place to wear them to, and never any liberty. So you see I will have to behave myself.
Well Dear I am now in New Guinea, that is all that I can tell you. For a fact, Hon, this place isn't such a bad place. It is raining again, this is the sixth time it has rained today. Not bad for a start.
When I got here I had a swell beard. The trouble is that they made me shave it off. My face is sure sore at the present. My hair is as short as it can be cut. I look like a peeled onion.
Well Darling, do you realize that your old man will be twenty-six in two days? What a place to spend your birthday in. If I were in L.B. I sure could think of a lot of things we could do. I sure miss you Hon.
August 8, 1944
How is the best wife in California? Tops I bet and hope. Do you feel any different now? When you were in Oakland you said that you didn't feel like a married woman. I was just wondering if you felt any different now.
Have you been to any dances lately? How was it, and where was it? Did you have a lot of fun? I hope you did. How about the shows, have you gone to many lately? We have shows here at the base. One gets rained on once in a while when he goes to a show. The show is out in the open.
Honey, I will enjoy hearing about the shows and dances while I am here, so please tell me about them. What good times I will have here will be through your letters. I want you to enjoy yourself while I am gone, but please live up to the bargain that we made dear. I don't worry about it, because I know that you will keep your end of it. Knowing that is worth a lot to me while I am out here.
The weather was fine here today, it only rained three times. That is good for this place. There is a hill back of camp that has a cloud on it ever since I came here. The jungle is beautiful from a distance but up close it isn't so hot. We are not allowed to go into the jungle when we are off duty. One gets hell for even thinking about a native camp. Also they made us check our knives in when we first got to camp.
One can go swimming here but the fish are rather large for that. Then one can go fishing if he has the equipment, but I haven't. So you see the shows are the only thing that one can call pleasure. Boy the mud sure is bad here. It is winter here and therefore it is the rainy season of the year.
There is a coconut palm tree over our tent, and one fell last night. Boy I thought we were bombed. In fact it scared hell out of me. That is just another one of those things.
I saw a couple of the natives just a few minutes ago. They were the strong and silent type. They looked so strong that I just stayed silent. Boy, they sure have plenty of hair.
Well Hon, I hope this hasn't been too boring. I sure miss you Dear.
Lots of love,
August 9, 1944
What are you doing today, the day that I am twenty-six? What a hole for me to spend my birthday in. Could be worse, I guess.
As I write this letter it is so hot that it is very uncomfortable. This is the life, rain then it gets hot. We have to sleep under a net. The thing fits over our bunk, or cot, as if it were a tent. It looks funny. We have to air our clothes out every few days because of the dampness of the air.
Hon, I sure miss my wife a lot. I often wonder if you miss me as much. Hon, I will miss you all of my life if you are not near. For the best part of a year I missed you. And again for a year I will miss you, but more.
When I first met you, you always said that you were going to have a big party at your wedding, but you only went to Chinatown. Were you disappointed? Well Darling we will throw that party when I get back to the States. What a party!!!
We live in tents out here. They are open on the sides, the floor has cracks about an inch wide in it, which makes it easy to sweep, and they sure get hot during the day.
Chow time now. Oceans of love and a kiss for each wave.
August 12, 1944
I wish I could get a letter from you. This place wouldn't be so bad. Some of the boys have worse camps. I have been guard down at the docks for a while, it isn't so bad I guess. I stand guard at night.
Have you been to a dance lately? I wish I were there, we would go to a dance.
I went out on a reef today, and while I was out there the tide came in and I sure got wet when I came back to shore. As I came in I got all of the sand that was on the beach in my shoes. Well, more or less. There sure are a lot of beautiful shells here on the beach. The boys save one type of shell called a cat eye. They make rings out of them. Do you want one, Hon?
Things here are somewhat different, the trucks drive on the lefthand side of the road. That is the English style. We find a lot of Aussie money here, too. The chow here isn't so bad, almost as good as it was in the States. The heat and rain is the part that I don't like.
Well Honey, I can't think of anything else to say that you would want to hear except I love you. I hope I hear from you soon.
Oceans of love,