Friday, August 17, 2012

Is the war truly going to be over within the next few days?

1958, Perry and Gene bought a house in
Claremont, California where they lived
for the rest of their lives.
August 9, 1945

My Darling Wife Gene,

Just before leaving our last port, I received two of your letters and Pierce's note on the bottom. It seemed almost unreal that he is actually back in LA after being so far away. Give him my best wishes and regards. Wish I could get to see him. I hope he doesn't have to go out to the Pacific now, which may be possible now with the new atomic bomb and Russia's entry into the war. [August 6th 1945 the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and August 9th another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered August 14th.]

That's what all the "shop talk" and "scuttlebutt" is about. I'll admit all this new news increases my hopes considerably of being able to get back into civilian clothes quite a lot sooner. It surely looks like the Japs ought to be able to see the utter hopelessness of their condition now. If they don't, it looks like it is going to be a mass annihilation of the race.

Always keep hoping and thinking about the time when I can walk in on you (or have you come to me) and especially of the time when I can come to you and know I won't have to leave again. That is the day I am really looking for. My thoughts are much more optimistic in that respect than they have been for a long while.

I'm hoping that soon again I'll be getting some more of your sweet letters. I constantly look forward from one port to the next destination just for that reason. One thing about this ship, we spend enough time in ports here and there to get mail fairly regularly. I don't know what I would do if I had to spend months out at sea without any mail from you.

Nearly time for taps, my darling, so guess I'll have to close. Will try and write you again tomorrow. I love you. Always, Perry

August 11, 1945 (Saturday)

My Sweetheart Perry,

Oh my darling, do you really think it will be true? Is the war truly going to be over within the next few days? The news is so astounding--it has come so quickly that I find it hard to believe. Oh Perry, if the war really does end soon, will it mean you can come home right away too? My darling, I am praying so hard that it will be true about your coming in again in a few weeks. How wonderful it will be to have you by my side again. I love you so much, Perry.

Darling, you had better not mention "Manx" again in your letters. In your last one, the censor cut the word out tho, of course, I knew immediately. [There was a Manx Hotel in San Francisco on the corner of Powell and O'Farrell that must be the place Perry and Gene stayed during his furlough. Apparently that's the place Perry has promised Gene they can go back to again some day.]

I received your letters yesterday--two such wonderful letters--I just keep reading them over and over. You will come home soon, I just know you will.

August 12 (Sunday)

My Darling, I started this letter to you yesterday but was interrupted. Everyone is so excited--hoping that it truly will be over officially soon. Yesterday and today too, we all have been close to radios listening to all the news flashes, but so far nothing has happened. The war is still on we are told. Darling, as I read your letters, I can see that you too thought this war would last much longer, so I can imagine your surprise too. I can hardly imagine how it will be to have this awful war over with, to have you back for good and forever to live in peace again.

I went over to the ward recreation ground last night with Pierce and Emily. There was a very small crowd out last night. We danced most of the evening. Tuesday evening the ward is having a farewell party for Max Thornton and his family. They are moving back to Utah. The ward will really miss them. I am wondering who will take Max's place in the bishopric when he leaves. Yes, Hortense Clinger is married now and so in love. Her husband was from the Wilshire Ward I think. Didn't I tell you about her? Also, Lewis's other dancing partner, Cheryl Sponseller, was married a few days later to a fellow from the Hollywood Ward.

I'm glad you finally heard from the "Era" about your subscription. I hope you get the magazines from now on. I've been quite sick today--all day. It's my first "sick" day this month, and I have had terrible cramps. I went to Sunday School but came home immediately after (to Mother's) and laid down. She gave me some medicine that helped, and I slept all afternoon. I was too weak and groggy to go to church tonight so came home. I'm feeling a little better and will go to bed early.

Perry, I'm still not working since I quit that job. I've been helping Mother thru the days with little Ricky. He is almost too much for her. I hope Dick can come home soon. Then Emily will be able to take care of Ricky herself. They will get a place of their own. Dick plans on going to school here at Southern California. Dad and Mother plan on buying a place too after the war. It seems so many things will happen "after the war." Oh, surely it will end soon.

From your letters, I think you have quite a lot of things to tell me. It sounds quite interesting, Perry. You must tell me everything when you come in.  Come home soon, Darling. I need you so very much. I do hope I have a letter from you tomorrow too. I'll write again tomorrow. I love you, my sweetheart. Always your own, Gene

August 11, 1945

My Darling Gene,

I received two very sweet letters from you last night and they were really sweet--just like you. Right now I am at a Red Cross Service Club on one of these islands out here. It's really quite nice here for a Pacific Island and it's also cool--some shade at last.

I was on watch last night when we received word of the Jap's peace surrender terms. Looks like the war can't last much longernow. Of course there is and will be a lot of criticism in accepting even that one point short of unconditional surrender, but still that would really be a great military and political advantage in that the people and generals will follow his orders (the Emperor's) which of course will come from us. Well, I don't suppose you aren't much interested in my political or diplomatic viewpoints right now.

I guess you can tell I am using one of these "post office" pens. I hope this will be decipherable. Now that I can begin to see the end of the war, and consequently the end of my Navy career, I'm beginning to feel and think much more optimistically. My thoughts are running wild with hopes, dreams and plans for our future and what we are going to do after I come back for good.

Of course we've got to realize that it will be some time after the war is over until I can get out because I'm quite a long ways down the line in the lower point brackets. But it surely makes me happy to know that that time can't be too far off now. I don't know if an end of the war would change any possibilities I might have of coming back to the States right away, but it's possible it might. But I can't feel too badly about that. Then, when I did come back, I might get a leave. I really don't know though, so this is all conjecture.

The "rigors" of family life
How would it seem to have a husband who was really yours? I mean without the Navy snatching him away all the time. (I'm surely having a hard time with this pen.) After taking orders in the Navy for this long, I think the life of a "henpecked" husband would be very wonderful indeed. In fact, I think I could bear up under the rigors of a home, wife, and family very well. I surely do love you, my darling.

Sweetheart, I'm surely glad you have such a good job. I knew you would find something, but like you, I would want you to quit if I were to come back for a few days, even at the risk of being fired. I hope that won't be necessary though. I hope you won't have to work too much longer now anyway. I still want you with me every minute I can be back there though.

I suppose you are really enjoying having Pierce home. Looks like he has timed getting back to the States just about right. If the war ends now, he won't need to come out here and can wait in the States until he can be discharged. That is unless he gets in on the Army of occupation.

Your description of you in your "nightie" and sitting on the floor barefoot and playing the phonograph was very good and I certainly assure you that our feelings are entirely mutual in regards to your expression that you wished I were there with you. How would you like me to walk in on you like that? I'm going to try and write some more letters now, so I think I'll have to close now. I love you, my darling. Forever Yours, Perry

August 13, 1945 (Monday)

My Sweetheart Perry,

How wonderful to receive a letter from you today--I wanted one so much. You wrote it on Sunday, August 5th and seemed in such good spirit. It was such a happy letter. I'm so glad your ship is not so crowded anymore and that you can live more comfortably again. I really can't imagine how you could eat standing up on board a ship, Perry. I would just think you'd have to sit down.

Oh, darling, I'm getting so excited about your coming in again. I just know you are and I can hardly stand this waiting. Perry, the censor scratched out the word "passengers" in this last letter. But, of course, I knew that's what you meant. If you have gotten rid of them, doesn't that mean you will be coming back this way. I like to think that anyway. I wish they would give you a leave this time.

August 14, 1945 (Tuesday)

My dearest, I started this letter to you last evening but was interrupted. Viola turned the radio on and we heard the most wonderful news--the Japs have accepted our surrender terms. We were both so excited we screamed for joy--jumped up and down and hugged each other. We kept the radio on till quite late listening to all the news, comments from New York, San Francisco, London, Guam, and Washington, D.C. Oh, Perry, I am so happy and excited and so anxious to be with you.

The dear Lord is answering our prayers. The war is over and you will be home soon. We'll be together again for always. Oh, Sweetheart, doesn't it all sound so wonderful? Write me, Perry. I want to know what you are thinking too. Your letters won't be censored anymore, will they? Now you can tell me where you are and when you'll be here, can't you? Oh, I hope I get a letter from you today and everyday now till I see you again. I love you, Perry. I love you so and I need you. Your own, Gene

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