This information is included to help determine where Perry is for the next few month. The attack-transport ship Perry was on was the U.S.S. Kittson which cleared San Diego 26 December 1944 with the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing aboard. She arrived at Majuro in the Marshall Islands 12 January 1945; unloaded the Marine unit; and sailed for Leyte, arriving 1 February. While operating in the Philippines for the next 6 weeks, the attack transport prepared for the Okinawa invasion.
January 3, 1944
My Darling Sweetheart,
I didn't write to you last night for unavoidable reasons, but sweetheart, you were so much on my mind. But darling, I missed you even more today. I had a chance to enjoy something beautiful for a change. Gene, I can't fully enjoy anything anymore without you and I offered a silent prayer that the time would not be too long before we could share all of our joys and sorrows together.
Yesterday I received a very sweet letter from Emily. [Gene's brother, Richard's first wife] I'm sure she must be all that you have said she was. I still haven't received mail from you, but I am patient because I know it is no fault of yours, and anyway, I will probably get mail sooner than you will at that.
Golly, I am surely having a hard time getting this written. I have had so many letters since I came aboard that I couldn't keep them all so I went through all of yours intending to keep only the best ones. I soon found that wouldn't do because when I got through I had about as many as when I started, so I have been clipping out just some of the most choice excerpts, but even still some of your letters are so good that I just have to save the whole letter. Now I am going to take and paste the clippings in an album or something. Don't you think that is a pretty good idea? That is what you are going to do with mine isn't it. Only you are going to type mine, huh? That will be my diary.
Darling, I miss you so much, but I am so glad I have someone like you to think and dream about. Knowing that I have someone so sweet waiting and thinking about me and the joy we will have upon my return makes this life much more bearable. Oh Gene, I am so much in love with you. If love is blind ,as they say, then I must be blind only to your bad qualities (they say we all have them.) But if so, yours seem to have passed my attention almost entirely unobserved, or else they have been entiely hidden by so much that is good about you. I pray it might always be so through the mutual efforts of us both: mine to ever look for the good and yours to ever be so.
"Jeepers" it surely is warm today. I'll bet the folks at home wish they had a little of it. I can just imagine Dad bundling up in about three coats to milk the cows and coming back in with "dew drops" hanging from his nose. It's so warm that every once in a while I keep thinking that it must be about haying time back home until I stop to think what time of the year it is.
Well darling, I must close for now. Goodnight and all my love. Guess I'll have to "kiss my pillow" as the song says, but that is a very poor substitute. I love you so dearly. Perry
My Dearest Perry,
Tonight when I came home I found 3 letters from you. Oh, Perry you are writing me everyday just as you had promised, and I feel so guilty cause I've skipped a few days. But sweetheart, I do think of you always. I love your letters so Perry, and you do have quite a bit to write about I think. I like best reading about what you are thinking and about your reminiscing of the times when we have been together.
Perry, I love you so much. I must answer all of your questions now. Yes, I am going to chorus practice honey, but tonight will be the first time since I got home from San Diego. So I don't know yet what we will be singing. But Verna will not be our director anymore till after she has had her baby. Guess maybe her husband will be substitute. He's okay too. Yes, Perry, guess what, your name was called off in church last Sunday evening (by ward clerk Spence Osborne). Your recommend is here at Adams Ward now as of December 31, 1944. I was so thrilled when I heard your name called. You can send it to the ward, honey, or send it to me and I'll keep your receipts for you. But be sure you write a money order each time. That's the only safe way.
I told you about the dance and then the party I went to. I have wonderful times with the crowd, Perry, but I always wish so much that you would be by my side having a good time with me. Tuesday night I went to Mutual. Virginia didn't go with me, so guess what, there was a fellow at the New Years party who sort of took a liking to her. He is not a member but has been investigating for several years I guess. Anyway, he knows several of the kids and he was there Tuesday. He asked me where my cousin was. Then after Mutual he said he would walk (escort) me home. He was very friendly and nice so I thought it would be okay. I would have come home alone otherwise.
He said he had tried to call Virginia but the line had been busy. Then last night he came over (mother and dad were home.) Ginnie and I had gone out. Her brother Ralph (from Chicago) is here for a week on business. He took us out to dinner at the Coconut Grove. It was wonderful. We danced to Freddy Martin's orchestra and had our pictures taken. (The picture was awful.) Ginnie's oldest sister's husband was there too. They are nice cousins, but quite worldly, smoke and have their cocktails too.
Sunday they are all driving down to San Diego to visit Martie and Lee and their mother. Ginnie is going too of course. They'll all go down with their brother Kermit in his big car. Yes, Ginnie is still with us and as unsettled and despondent as ever. She goes with me sometimes to the ward activities but does not mix well with the crowd for some reason. She is such a recluse, Perry, has the worst inferiority complex, seems to hate people. She's too much for me. I think I've done about all I can for her. I sort of hope she can find a nitch for herself somewhere in this world soon cause it's too much for mother to have her here very long.
I've just been reading your letters over again. Oh darling, they're so wonderful. I'll be reading them everyday till I get your next group. I guess that's the way they'll come. They were your letters of December 29, 30 and January 1 postmarked January 1, received today. Guess maybe you were in the Hawiian Islands or stopped there at least. Where is that ship headed for next, Perry, the South Pacific? Won't I see you now for quite awhile? Oh darling, come back and take me to Utah. I too think about our future. You put into words so sweetly your thoughts, Perry, about how you are going to treat me and make me toe the line. And just to know that just before you go to sleep you are thinking of those things that we will do when you get out of the Navy. I too go to sleep each night with those same thoughts.
Please don't worry about my not understanding your letters. You express yourself so very well. Always let me know your thoughts, Perry, please. I gain so much from them and feel so close to you. Darling, you mean the whole world to me. I shall always have faith in you. No matter how far we go in this world, or what we do, I shall always feel that we both did our best. Oh, Perry, let me be with you for ever and ever.
You spoke of getting seasick. I'm so sorry and I do hope you will become immune now. Is that when you get your "sea legs"? ha. But anyway, don't get sick again, please. I worry too you know. I hope you don't hit any more storms or rough seas. Have you gotten my letter with those pictures we took when you were here last? I hope so. We had such a wonderful letter from Richard the other day. He is stationed somewhere in North Africa in quite nice quarters at some base. Says they have a swimming pool and can play all kinds of sports. It sounds pretty nice I think. But said it gets very cold at night. He has even met some LDS fellows. Pierce is still in Holland and says the food they are getting is the best. He even thinks he is getting fat. He too has contacted an LDS group. The Lord watches over and protects all of us. I am so full of thanksgiving.
I hope you receive my letters as quickly as I have yours. Let me know honey. I'll write more tomorrow. All my love always, your wife, Gene.
P.S. We practiced a lot of songs tonight--some I've never heard:
"The Twenty-third Psalm"
"The Lord is Risen Indeed"
"The Lost Chord"
"Come Let Us Sing"
"Star of Descending Night"