Friday, September 28, 2012

The darkest hour is just before the dawn

1965, Claremont, CA, Perry graduates
with a Master's in Education
Sept. 19, 1945

My Darling,

I started to write you yesterday but was unable to finish. The thought that we wouldn't be getting any mail here again was too much for me and made me rather blue, so I gave it up. I am back at Cebu again. We surely didn't stop at Leyte long this time. We are up here to pick up troops to take up to Japan again.

The last time I was here, we didn't get any mail at all so the prospects of coming here again weren't very bright, but today we were happily surprised to receive mail. I got two letters from you posted the 6th and 8th. Darling, you are so sweet and in one you were sorta' blue. My sweetheart, I know how you feel and it pleased me so much to read in your other letter about your special prayer and the comfort and solace that came to you. My sweetheart, it makes me so happy to know I have such a sweet, sincere, and virtuous wife. I too have thought many times when things seemed pretty dark, "the darkest hour is just before the dawn."

Gene my darling, I know that I have been blessed and protected because of your prayers. I know they have not gone unheard. It says in the Bible that, "the prayers of a righteous man availeth much." That is why I am so thankful for you, my darling, because I know you are so clean and pure. I'm not trying to be philosophical, but darling, I guess I'm just pouring my heart out to you. I can do it much easier now that there is no censorship. I love you very, very much my sweetheart.

I am so glad we were married before I left because, honestly Gene, you have been such an inspiration to me and so much closer to me than you would have been otherwise. I don't know what I would ever have done without you, sweetheart. Even though we have been thousands of miles apart most of our first year, yet your spirit and sweet influence has been with me and I have not failed to feel it no matter where I was.

How I too wish that we could be together on our first anniversary. Right now that doesn't seem very probable, but God will hear our prayers and in His wisdom and mercy will bring us together soon. I am very sure of that. Possibly we might be able to be together for Christmas--who knows.

I just received a letter from Hazel and she says June is going to be Ezra T. Benson's secretary. Isn't he the one you knew in Washington DC? She is quite happy about it.

We are alongside the dock, have already started bringing cargo aboard, and are preparing to bring troops aboard. That means we are going to be crowded again. Already the tables have been put up high again so I am writing this standing up. We always eat standing up when we have troops aboard. Must leave you for now. Good night my love, Perry

Sept. 20, 1945 (Thursday)

My dearest husband Perry,

The letters I have been waiting for so very long finally came yesterday. Oh, Perry, darling, it was so wonderful to hear from you and to know exactly where you are and where you have been. I read those letters over and over. It's so good not to have them censored anymore.

Gene was always Perry's biggest fan!
Sweetheart, I started this at work today but got busy as usual and couldn't finish. I think of you constantly darling. Even tho I do have lots of work to do, my mind wanders off to you and I sometimes forget completely what I am doing. Everything is so secondary to you, dearest Perry. All I want in this whole wide world is you, my husband, and I won't ever be truly happy till you are by my side.

I keep watching the papers for anything that might mean you can come home sooner. The headlines tonight were about points being lowered for the Army. Everyone says then if that happens, naturally the  Navy points will come down too. Then I heard something in the news on the radio tonight about the government doing away with the point system altogether. Then, darling, I read about the Navy having a lot of the ships in Japan return to the US leaving yesterday. Oh, Perry, could your ship be in that group that is coming home? If it isn't, I hope and pray yours will follow very soon.

Perry, I love you so and I'm so very proud of you. I read parts of your letter to the folks, the part where you told me about your trip after leaving San Francisco and your experiences in the Philippines before leaving for Japan. It was all so interesting, Perry, but also quite frightening and I am so thankful that this awful war is finally over and you are coming back to me. My heart is very full as I thank our Heavenly Father.

Perry, I was thinking of moving to Mrs. Ballard's boarding house, but if you are coming back very soon, perhaps I should just stay here. It's such an awful job to move, and I have so many things. I guess it would be best if you left your civilian clothes home, darling. I have so much to take care of here, it's hard to find space for everything.

Oh, yes, Perry, we must go to Utah as soon as we can. I want to be sealed in the temple to you right away. I've been wanting to go thru the temple for such a long time. And, darling, I want to meet your folks. I can hardly wait to meet them. Can't we leave for Utah as soon as you get here if you get a leave, Perry? I'm getting so excited about it all. Oh, my sweetheart, write as soon as you can and tell me what I should do and when you will be here. Must go to bed now. God bless you and keep you safe. Your devoted wife, Gene

PS. Emily is expecting Dick by next month.

Sept. 24, 1945
Cebu, Philippines

My Sweetheart Gene,

It was two days ago that I received two of your very sweet letters. You seemed kinda' blue because you hadn't been hearing from me and so I wanted to answer them right back, but really my sweetheart, I've either been too busy or too tired.

I guess I never will be able to understand the Army and Navy. The war is over and yet we are still making practice launchings and that keeps us busy (and disgusted.) We still have troops aboard and are just waiting here for I don't know what.

I received a letter from June and she is surely thrilled about her new job. Did I tell you, she is going to be Ezra T. Benson's secretary? I think you knew him back at Washington DC, didn't you? The mail service here surely isn't very regular, but at least we do get mail once in a while which is surely a lot better than when we were here before.

If I can get over on the beach before we leave here, I am going to get you some mother-of-pearl. The natives have quite a lot of it over there and some I've seen looks quite nice. Do you think you would like that? You could have some pretty earrings or something made out of it.

Sweetheart, I'm so sorry you haven't been getting any mail. Guess that was at the time when I was moving around so much right after the Jap's surrendered. I wasn't writing much then either--I didn't have time. It should have improved by now though.

Sweetheart, I do love to write to you even if it is only to tell you how much I love you. I'm sure if you never tire of that, I surely never will. And I do love you, my darling, more than I can ever begin to tell you. I can only think of when I can be with you again and I get rather impatient, but I'm doing my best to control myself. Goodbye for now, my sweet little wife. I love you with all my heart. Always Yours, Perry

Sept. 24, 1945
Cebu, Philippines

My Darling Gene,

This will be the second letter I have written you today, but I feel so much better now than I did this morning that I am going to write you again. Also, the rumor (unofficial) is that we are getting underway tomorrow so this may be the last letter I will be able to send you for awhile.

I received two more letters from you tonight. Sweetheart, it seems that you should have been getting more of my mail. You always mention about not having any letter from me. Surely I have written oftener than that. Makes me wonder if it is being held up some place.

Gene, we have quite a few LDS fellows aboard among our troops and a Mormon chaplain. He is Chaplain Berret from SLC. We held services tonight and it surely did seem good. They said they held services last night, but I was on watch and for some reason I missed the announcement.

I went ashore this afternoon and looked around Cebu city and it surely is riddled from bombings, etc. I also got some mother-of-pearl for you. I've been thinking of something I could get you for our anniversary, but there isn't much out here one can buy so I guess you'll have to wait until I come back and then I can make up double. I also bought some perfume from our ship's store. It's called "Intermezzo." Is that good? (It smells good.) You will surely have plenty of perfume, won't you?

I got word from Mother that Keith Case, my cousin, has been listed as missing. You remember him, don't you? Chaplain Berret also knows another cousin of mine. He is in the division we are transporting. The chaplain is going to find out what ship he is on and I may be able to see him.

Your letters were dated the 12th and 13th. It seems you should have received some of my uncensored letters by now. Gene, we have an officer on board who used to be a lawyer. I know him quite well so I will see about this business of giving you the power of attorney so you can sign my name. I promise I'll find out and let you know in my next letter. Yes, every little bit like that will help our bank roll. I sent you $100 in money orders about two weeks ago. (Also tithing) I surely hope you receive it ok. Let me know if you do.

Sweetheart, I don't have time to wrap my little gifts now, but I'll wrap them so they will leave in the first mail when we arrive in Japan. Always Yours, Perry

Sept. 24, 1945 (Monday)

Sweetheart Perry,

Your letter of Sept. 9th which I received Friday was so interesting that I'm still reading it. Oh, darling, I liked the typewritten account of the story of your ship. It was just wonderful and I shall keep it with your letters. It sort of ties them all together, and I know everywhere my darling has been now. Golly, you sure have traveled a long way and I think you really deserve a long leave soon. Perry, tell me as soon as you know when you are coming home. I want to know just as soon as you do.

My dearest husband, I love you so and I want you so. You know there are times when I yearn for you more than at other times. And today I know that if we were alone together, I would love you more perfectly and give you more love than I ever have or thought I ever could since the beginning of our love. Oh, Perry, is it wrong to feel this way? I can't help it. Darling you have told me to tell you everything. Sometimes it is very difficult to express all of my feelings. Well anyway, you must know that all I want is you dear husband. And I pray so constantly for your safe return to me that I'm sure it must happen in the very near future.

Guess I'll just sit tight where I am at the Sorensen's till you come back. And my job will last till sometime in November unless they then put me on their regular payroll, which they haven't done yet. Perry, do you think you might be here by November or December? Golly, I wish you knew.

Mother and I and Nellie Card went to a radio broadcast last evening--missing church. But I have never seen a broadcast and was given three tickets at work. It was a symphony orchestra and very good. We all enjoyed it. Nellie will be baptized Saturday evening of this week at Wilshire Ward. Daddy is going to baptize her. Isn't that wonderful? Must stop here. Write often darling. I love you, Gene

Saturday, September 22, 2012

We left Yokohama last night

Sept. 11, 1945

My Darling Wife,

There was a while there when I wasn't writing you very often, wasn't there? That was because we were so busy and so crowded with troops, so I'll try and make up for it now because when we get troops again, it may be harder to write you as often.

We left Yokohama last night and are now on our way to Okinawa. The story is that we are going to pick up prisoners of war there and take them to Manila. I'm sure I don't know why we would take war prisoners to Manila, but the rumor seems to be fairly official. Guess we'll soon find out. There isn't any more "blackout" out at sea now. Last night all the ships in the convoy had their navigation lights on and we even had movies topside while underway. I'm beginning to believe the war really is over.

Gene & Perry on a family vacation to Northern California
I guess you've read by now about the Navy giving 1/4 a point a month for overseas duty. That still doesn't help me very much, but it does put me a little closer to the goal. That will be taking quite a few more off this ship. I still think I will be getting out next spring some time. Darling, that is all I can think about all the while I am awake and dream about at night the time when I can be back with you forever. I sometimes think I will be perfectly content then--just to be with you. I sometimes wonder if you really think and long for those things as much as I do. I love you so very much, my darling. How I wish I could hold you in my arms right now like I used to. Only the next time I take you in my arms I want it to be forever--never to have to leave you again. God grant that it might be that way.

Well, Sweetheart, I'm enclosing two money orders. I'm sending you $100 to save for when I came home and also sending my tithing for the last three months. (July, August, Sept.) $6.56 per month--total $19.68. There is only one advantage that I know of in being out to sea and that is you are able to save money. And that's only because there's nothing to buy, or worth buying. I don't believe there is a sailor who would give a nickel from his pay account for the whole darn Pacific.

Well, my darling, I'm going to try and catch up on some other letters I've been neglecting. I'm surely hoping I have some mail from you at Okinawa. I love you Gene. Always, Perry

Sept. 13, 1945

My Sweetheart Gene,

Last night our orders were changed so instead of pulling in to Okinawa this morning as scheduled, we are on our way to Leyte. The message said that the prisoners of war we were supposed to pick up had been given air transportation. I'll have to admit I am rather blue tonight for a letter from you. If we had gone to Okinawa as planned, we would have had mail by now. You see, except for those two letters I received once while we were underway, I haven't had any mail for three weeks.

I don't know what we will do at Leyte, but it is my own personal hunch that we will make another trip to Japan with troops. I would like to believe we would pick up troops and go back to the states, but things don't seem to be pointing that way yet.

Sweetheart, we have been married just eleven months today. I was once hoping I would be back by our first anniversary, but I'm afraid that is very improbable now. I'm still hoping I will be back by christmas. I don't dare do more then hope though. My darling, we have been together such a very short time since we have been married. I'm surely going to make up for all this lost time when I get out of the Navy. I mean I want to take you a lot of places and do lots of things, but most of all I think I'll want to just be with you all the while and never let you out of my sight. Do you think you can stand to have me around that much?

Shall I tell you what I think about most? They are just little simple things, but they express my heart's desire and a world of happiness. For one thing, I would like to be able just to walk to church with you by my side like we used to do. I often remember how pleasant it was going to church back at Adams and the days were so beautiful. What a very simple want that is, and yet I remember that as some of my most pleasant experiences.

As it turned out, for big meals anyway, Perry ended
up doing a lot more of the meal than just "licking the spoon"
Then too, I think how I would like to take you to a nice formal dance like the one we went to at Wilshire after we were married. I often think of how you would look in that white formal I am going to buy you. Then I think most of all how heavenly it would be to have our little home and just stay home and relax and have you there to talk and joke with. And I think how much fun it would be like at Christmas time to help you make candy and cookies. I would really love that and I could really help like "scraping the pan," "licking the spoon" and "tasting" and all of those very necessary things.

And then at such a time, I think it would be the most beautiful sound in the world to hear a little baby crying from the other room. My heart would fairly melt to watch you go "mother" it. Gene, I know this sounds kinda' silly (and I hope you'll destroy this letter after you've read it) but I know you'll understand. Whether this is silly or not, those are the things my heart longs for. I know I can be happy with those very simplest and commonest of things as long as I have you.

Darling, do you ever daydream of things like that? I love you so very much, my Gene, and can think only of the day when I can be with you forever. Always Yours, Perry

Sept. 16, 1945

My Darling Gene,

We arrived here in Leyte this morning. Was I ever glad to get some mail. I have three letters from you dated Aug. 28, 29 and 30th. Darling, they were such very sweet letters that it made the tears come to my eyes just to read them. I love you so very much, my sweetheart, and am so thankful for you.

I liked so much to read about the things we will have to do when I get out of the Navy. It makes it seem so close and so much more of a reality instead of just a dream. Yes, Gene, I really think I will be out of the Navy by next spring some time, but I'm still hoping I'll get to come back and get a leave yet this year.

Apparently you didn't understand the Navy point system so here it is if you still don't know:

  • 1/2 point for each year of age computed to the nearest birthday.
  • 1/2 point for each month of active service.
  • 10 points for dependency.
  • Then just recently they gave an additional 1/4 point for each month of overseas duty.
You need 44 points to get out. I have 34--ten more to go. I expect they will lower the point system in a few months--I hope!!

Yes, darling, I have the wedding ring with me, but I don't wear it. I keep it in my locker because I don't want it to get scratched up or tarnished. Things really do tarnish fast in this salt air. The watch you gave me is getting quite tarnished--almost looks like corrosion. I'll have it all cleaned up though when I come back.

I received a very cute picture of Hope's little boy. She said I could have it as a gift until I had a picture of a little guy of my own, and then I could only have it for a trade. Then she said, "Do you get it?" Sweetheart, those were certainly very good pictures you sent me. You look so very pretty and sweet (just like you are.) Emily's baby surely is cute. I've already showed the pictures around and told them that was my wife and little boy. Of course nobody believed me--I don't think!! I mean about the baby.

The rumor seems to have it that our next trip, after we pick up troops, will be the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. It sounds very plausible, but of course I don't know.

(Next day) Sweetheart, I stopped this letter last night to go see the movie. It was "A Song to Remember." I wanted to see it because you had told me about it. Then after the movie, I received two more letters from you. They were dated Sept. 1st and 2nd. In one letter you said you had been dreaming about me lately and dreamed I was there beside you. My darling, how I wish that were true. I pray constantly that it will not be too long before I can really be with you.

My Gene, it makes me feel bad that you have to be moving around so much. I surely wish I could be with you so that the next time you moved, it could be into our home as a housewife. I'm sending you a picture that was taken at Okinawa. One of the fellows smuggled a camera aboard. Those are three other signalmen with me. I'll stop now, my sweet, and hope I get another letter today. I love you, Perry

Sept. 17, 1945 (Monday)

My dearest Perry,

It seems like years, my darling, since I was last with you and so very long since I've heard from you. I look for a letter every day, but there has been none since those I received of the 27th and 30th of August--so long ago. I think of you constantly all thru the days no matter where I go or what I'm dong. I long to know where you are and what you are doing and when you will be home.

Yesterday was Sunday, but I didn't go to church as I had planned to. I was unexpectedly, at the last minute, invited to go with Clarrie and Jerry and their girlfriends and Viola and her date on a picnic trip up to the mountains somewhere northeast of here to spend the day. Clarrie's girl changed her mind at the last minute and decided not to go for some reason, so then there was room for me in the car. Lewis went too. Perry, it was such a beautiful trip. The mountains were so high and breathtaking. When we got to the top of this particular place, we parked the car and went by foot from there down into a lovely canyon.

In 1965, Perry took Gene & family on a summer-long camping
trip back to Illinois to visit some of her extended family
Oh Perry, how I wish you could have been there with me. I enjoyed it so much. It was the first canyon I have ever seen and been in. How wonderful it would be to spend a honeymoon there. I saw some pretty little cottages nestled down there in the pines, almost hid. At the very bottom of the trail, there is a mountain stream, so crystal clear and cool and so good to drink. We walked along the stream till we came to the end of the canyon where there is a waterfall which extends way up to the edge of the canyon. Oh, how beautiful it was. We all sat down near the falls and had our picnic lunch. It was so cool and nice there, so quiet and peaceful except for the sound of the water.

I'm home again, darling. I got quite busy at the office today so didn't get to finish this. I like to type letters to you tho. Do you like typed letters, Perry? I must finish telling you about my lovely day yesterday. We left at about 8:00 am. The kids woke me up and asked me if I'd like to go with them. So of course I did. We came back up the trail out of the canyon as the sun was going down. It was so pretty. Then up on the hill above the road where we parked the car, we found a table and benches and a place to roast hotdogs. So we ate again! We had hotdogs and marshmallows, and golly they tasted so good.

Finally we all piled back in the car and headed for home. I was so dusty and tired. I took a bath and went straight to bed when I got here. But Viola just got dressed up again and went out with her boyfriend again. I sure was stiff this morning when I got up. I could hardly move. Guess my muscles will be sore for awhile.

Oh, my sweetheart, I found such a wonderful letter waiting for me when I got home this evening. It seems so good to know where you are and thanks for the stick of gum, darling. I'm chewing half of it now. It surely took a long time for this letter to get here--golly 14 days! I hope I can soon have some letters of this month from you. I can just never get enough mail from you, dearest husband. When will you be coming back to me, Perry? Can't you tell me that too?

I think I've almost forgotten what it's like to be loved--it's been so long. But I do dream about those sweet times we had, my husband, and I haven't forgotten. My longing for you grows. I want to feel your arms about me again holding me so close to you. Oh, my Perry, do you understand?

[The rest of this letter is missing.]

Friday, September 14, 2012

This will be the first uncensored letter I have written

Sept. 2, 1945

My Darling Gene,

It's been so long since I received any mail from you, but I was happily surprised today when I received two letters from you. It was the first mail we had received for about two weeks and the first we have ever received while we were underway. The surprise and all made it rather exciting. This is the only mail we will receive for several days and there won't be any leaving the ship for a while either, but your letters made me feel so good I felt like writing. And also, this is the eve of one of our important anniversaries. I'm sure you remember, don't you? The peace was also signed today, so this is quite an eventful day.

There has surely been a lot happen since one year ago, hasn't there? Remember, I wrote you in a letter telling about how much can happen in a year. Sometimes the daily routine of things and some of the momentary sorrows offer to make it rather uneventful, but when the total score is added for a full year, starting from any time, I have never failed to recognize how well it has treated me and how richly I have been blessed. Would you like to speculate into the future a year from now?? I looks pretty good to me.

How I wish I could be there with you on this anniversary to shower you with my rather overflowing affection, but the time we lose now will be more than made up later. Possibly now when I come back, I will get a leave with enough time to do some of the things we have been wanting to do. Anyway, that is what my hopes and prayers are.

Your letters were posted the 17th and 19th. The 17th was written right after V-J day and you told me all about the big time you had, and it really did sound big! Made me rather envious that I couldn't have been there with you. I think I might have been back there with you by now if the war hadn't ended so abruptly, but it would only have been a very short stay again. I think it is much better this way.

Yes darling, I think it would be a good idea to get a temporary job so you can have something to keep you occupied, but you might have to quit it at a moment's notice in the not to far distant future so plan accordingly. To be sure you are set right about when I will be discharged, I'll only say not to expect it right away, but the Navy seems to be planning to discharge very rapidly from all the news I hear especially if they continue the draft. I really think I might be out by next spring, which sounds very good to me because that will be much sooner than I formerly expected.

In the meanwhile, I am just hoping, praying and planning. All I can think of is when I can return to you, my sweetheart. I love you so very much. Your loving husband, Perry

Sept. 5, 1945

Gene My Darling,

This will be the first uncensored letter I have written. It was just made official today so I'm taking advantage of it. I'm sending it along with the one I wrote the other day but hadn't mailed. I'm glad now I didn't. It surely is going to be wonderful to write you all I want to, where I am at, when I expect to come back and talk to you the way I want to.

By the time you get this letter,  we'll be in Japan, probably Tokyo Bay. That is where we are heading for now anyway and are scheduled to arrive there Saturday the 8th. We left Cebu where we loaded troops on the 1st. Sweetheart I guess you were rather disappointed that I didn't come back like I kept saying. I suppose you thought I was giving you some "bum dope" but I wasn't. We were on our way back and were at Guam when the Japs surrendered, so you see that changed things. But I'm surely not sorry it turned out this way because I think now when I come back I will get a good leave. That is only my personal opinion, nothing official. I can let you know now from time to time the way things look and when I expect to come back.

When we left San Francisco before, we had a big load of sailors for fleet replacement. That surely wasn't a very good trip because we were so crowded and it was so hot. Then we spent three weeks (for what reason I will never know) at Eniwetok, a tiny atoll in the Marshalls. That was the most barren, uninviting place I have ever seen. That's when I wrote some rather discouraging letters I guess when the water situation became so bad, etc.

Well, then we finally made it to Okinawa (after a few days stop at Ulithi, a small anchorage in the Carolines) and things were anything but pleasant there. It was supposed to be "secured" but the Japs were still making plenty of suicide attacks which kept us at general quarters about half of every night. Luckily nothing came very close to us, but there were plenty of ships hit, mostly destroyers out on the "picket line." While we were there, we were made a receiving ship and had to wait until different units of the fleet had called for all those sailors and at the same time bringing more aboard.

Before we could finally get out of there a typhoon came up, and they were afraid it was going to get so rough it would beach all the ships in the harbor. So all the ships present went out to sea together, sailing back and forth to try and ride out the typhoon. To make matters worse, I had to get seasick! (No remarks!!) After that was all over, we were really heading for home, but of course the end of the war changed things.

That pretty well summarizes my adventures since I left you. You have always been wishing I could tell you all the places I have been and where I am at, so here it is at last. Maybe I'll have more interesting things to tell you when I get to Japan. Of course, we won't be able to go ashore so I'll have to satisfy myself with one of my usual "long glass" liberties. I'm hoping we will pull up to a dock instead of anchoring out, which is usually our luck.

I'm not much interested in things out here though. All I want to do is return to you, my sweetheart, and be with you forever. I only want to be with you in our little home and have our children and those things which we long for so much. I always want to be able, after every day, to return to you and your love. I truly love you with all my heart my darling wife.

Perry in his "civvies" after discharge from the Navy
December, 1945
The Navy has just announced that we can wear civilian clothes when we are off duty--liberty or leave ashore. I still have a good dark dress suit at home. Would you like for me to have my folks send it to you so you could see what I look like in "civvies" when I come back? Would you have room? Maybe we could go some place special and you could see what it seemed like to be the wife of a gentleman instead of just a sailor's wife.

Of course if I got a leave, the first place we would want to go is back to Utah and through the temple and you could meet the folks. I can hardly wait. I can see this is going to be a pretty big letter. I must stop and go to bed. I love you, Gene, my darling. Yours, Perry

Sept. 9, 1945

My Darling Wife,

It's been difficult finding time to write you. Here we are anchored in Tokyo Bay, Yokohama. We pulled in here early yesterday morning and it was so cold and foggy it reminded me of when we pulled into 'Frisco harbor last time. This is really a large and modern harbor. It seems so strange to be here and have everything so peaceful. From the way things seem, you would hardly know there had been a war on. Of course a close observation through the glass shows that all the factories, etc. have had a pretty thorough going over with bombs and strafing. There are still a lot of large and modern buildings though.

This morning we pulled up to the dock and unloaded our troops and cargo. It surely didn't take us long because here we are, anchored back out in the bay this evening. Incidentally, the famous Mt. Fuji is visible from here, but so far it has been either too cloudy or foggy to get a very good look at it.

There is surely an array of ships in here including a few British, which must appear very impressive to the Japs who have been told our fleet was destroyed. What few Japs I have seen so far appear to be very docile about the whole thing. We even had a Jap pilot to take us alongside the dock this morning.

I surely hope we head back for the USA before long, but if I'm going to have to spend so much time out here, I'd sooner spend it here than any other place I have been in the Pacific. At least it is cool here, which ought to help us to get rid of an epidemic of "heat rash" that has been afflicting  the crew. Luckily for me, I have been out in the open enough that I haven't had it very bad as yet.

We haven't had any mail here as yet, but I'm surely hoping it starts coming in soon. I wrote you before that it was ok for us to wear civilian clothes while on liberty--well they cancelled it a couple of days later, so looks like I might have to postpone some of my ideas for awhile.

Sweetheart, it surely does seem good to write to you and know somebody else won't be reading it. I know my letters will certainly improve. What I'm looking for now is some letters from you to provide me with some spiritual food and really give me something to write about. I love you so very much, my darling, and can think only of the time when I can be with you and have those things we long for or as you said, "those things which come by love." Always Yours, Perry

Sept. 14, 1945 (Friday)

My Sweetheart Husband,

The lady I work under here at the office just received an interesting letter from a friend who is in Tokyo Bay in the Navy. She said he goes under water and cuts free all the mines so our ships can get thru the harbor in Tokyo. He told her about seeing the ship General MacArthur was on when the Peace Documents were signed. It all sounds so interesting to me. I'm so in hopes I'll be getting some uncensored mail from you, darling--real soon. I wish I knew what you were doing right now.

I had lunch in the drugstore across the street from here and when I started to leave, the cashier saw a dollar bill on the floor on my side of the counter. She told me to pick it up. No one seemed to see it and it had been stepped on by I don't know how many people. Then she said, "Let's split it." So we did, and I have fifty cents to the good now. Wasn't that an interesting little episode?

Manwaring family, Claremont, CA, 1968
The temperature has been up in the 80 and 90's for the past 2 weeks. I'm hoping it will cool off soon. What is it like where you are, darling? Is it warm or cool? I have been reading everything I can in the newspapers about the activities in the Pacific--especially Japan. General MacArthur speaks as tho the occupation of Japan will not last over a year and that by next year the men will all be coming home. All of the news sounds very good. Anyway, I know it can't be much longer till you will be coming home and we will really be able to have a little home somewhere.

Perry, I'm going to be the happiest most content little wife in this whole world then. Oh how lucky I am to have so much and to have such a wonderful husband. Come home soon, Perry. I need you so. God bless you and keep you safe always. I love you so much Perry. Always your own, Gene

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last week I think I went to three parties

Manwaring family, Claremont CA, 1967
August 28, 1945
Tuesday morning at work

My Sweetheart Perry,

Perry, please don't be angry at me for not writing you very often lately--I feel so bad already. I have not had a minute alone for the past week. Pierce left for camp this morning early. Last night I stayed at Mother's. We all sat up late talking and helping him with his last minute packing.

I wanted to write you last night after I read your letter of the 19th Sunday. Oh, my darling, you speak as tho you expected to be out of the Navy soon. Oh, how that thrills me. Do you think you might be out by Christmas? I liked being called your "ten point darling." Will you get any more points, Perry, or have you got all that is coming to you? How many will you have to have before you can get out? Darling, why do they continue censoring your letters now that the war is over? Oh, my Perry, I love you so and long for you so much.

Yes, darling, I am working again--just typing--and it's only a temporary job (till you come home.) It seems that most of the girls that are employed here are working only till their husbands or sweethearts return. Most of them talk as tho they expect the men home (discharged) at least by January. Is that being too optimistic, or do you think it is possible, Perry? Emily got a letter from Dick too stating that he expects to be home in a few months and before January. My darling, I pray always that you will be back soon, very soon.

Last week I think I went to three parties. All the kids went to Nellie's house Saturday evening for a party for Pierce. It was fun, but of course we were up very late. Then Sunday night after fireside chat, another girl had a party for him at her house. Now all I want to do is go to bed early every night this week. Those parties were almost too much for me.

Perry, I had such lovely letters the other day from your mother and father. How very sweet they are. I love them very much already. I can hardly wait to meet them. Oh Perry, it's all I can think of--going to Utah with my wonderful husband to be sealed in the temple, to meet his folks, to see that beautiful state with my darling. And I'll not ever want to leave your side, sweetheart, not ever. Oh, to be with you always--when will those dreams come to pass?

I'll write you again tonight Perry, when I get home. I love you. Always, Gene

August 28, 1945

My Darling Wife,

I've been waiting and hoping for some mail for several days now, but apparently there is no mail service here as nobody has been getting any. If I don't get some mail soon, I'm afraid it's likely to be quite a long time. It makes it more difficult to write when I don't have your letters to inspire me. (That is the reason I have been waiting.) But I guess I hadn't better let that stop me. Maybe my letters will help to keep your spirits up.

I've surely been wondering a lot about you these last few days, if you are working again, or what you are doing, but I guess I will find out all about you when I finally get some mail again. I'm writing this standing up again so hope it doesn't become too difficult for you to read. Will be standing up to eat from now on too so I guess it's going to be the same old routine all over again.

One thing though, it won't seem so bad this time as I will know it can't go on forever. Now that I can see the end to this and the realization of some of my hopes and dreams are in sight, I don't think I will mind some of these little inconveniences nearly so much.

My darling, I surely do hope you are well and happy. I think and pray for you always. I love you, my darling. Always, Perry

August 29, 1945 (Wednesday morning)

Dearest husband Perry,

I fell asleep last night when I wanted to write you. I am at work early this morning so will write now. Oh, Perry, I had another sweet letter from you yesterday when I got home. You told me so many things. Now I know I will see you sometime between now and Christmas and that you will be out of the Navy for good by next spring. I wish it were sooner, but now when I know about when it will be it makes me feel much better.

Perry in his Navy blues
Perry, I like to have you tell me your plans for us--they are so perfect and just exactly what I want too. Please tell me darling what will we do first when you get out? Will you have to have a new wardrobe of clothes, Perry, or will the clothes you have at home still be ok? What does my sweetheart look like in civilian clothes? You are so handsome in that Navy uniform and not having ever seen you in anything else, I think I'll miss those Navy blues.

Perry, when we go thru the temple, I want to have on that pretty white gown you said you were going to buy me--so I guess we'll be going shopping won't we--about the first thing. But Perry, what will I do with all of my things when we go to Utah? I have so much it seems. Will I leave them here or take them with me? I have a trunk and several suitcases, a typewriter, the record player, and all those things (glassware and china, etc.) that I got as wedding gifts. Guess I'll leave them here till we know for sure where we are going to live.

Oh, Perry, I hope we can have a little house somewhere just as soon as we can. Then I will really and truly feel like a married woman. Oh, how I yearn for a little house and my husband and children. When I have these, I shall be the happiest woman in this whole world.

I went to bed quite early last night so am feeling pretty good today. I washed my hair and after my bath I started to fix it and wanted to write you too, but instead, I laid across the bed and went sound asleep. I finally woke myself up and crawled in the right way after I said my prayers. Golly, I sure was tired.

The weather has changed and it is real cool now--makes me think of our days in San Francisco only not as windy. Perry, you have never mentioned it and I always forget to ask you, do you wear your wedding ring all the time? Remember, you were going to let me keep it for you, but you had it on till the last, so I s'pose you still do. I was so glad when you said you liked it. God bless you, my sweetheart, and bring you home soon. I love you so very much. Your little wife, Gene

August 30, 1945

My Darling Gene,

I guess there isn't going to be any mail service all the while we are here at this place, which I don't think, and I hope, won't be much longer. We are allowed now to say where we are at now, so at least I have something to write about this time.

I am at Cebu, on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. I have been ashore twice and found it rather interesting. Some of the native villages look like they may have been fairly nice at one time, but are now quite badly torn from bombings, etc. For the most part though the villages are very filthy and the people all look scrawny and disease-ridden.

I was also on the small island of Mactan, guarding the entrance to the harbor. It was on this island that Magellan was killed when he attempted to sail around the world. I remembered reading about it in history, but I certainly didn't think I would ever go to the place. They say there is a statue of him on the island, but I only saw one of the native chief who killed him. Rather ironical, don't you think?

Darling, I don't have much time right now, but I wanted to get this letter off and let you know where I am at the present time as the new regulation just came out. Also wanted to tell you how much I love you, my darling. All I can think of is when I can return and be with you. Next to that, the thing I am looking forward to most is when I can get some more mail. I love your letters so much, my sweetheart. Your letters are so sweet and do so much for me that when I have to do without them, my spirits sorta' lag.

Looks like Gene only chewed half the stick of gum :)
Sixty-seven years later, the rest is still attached to the letter!
Guess if it's all right to say where we are, it should be ok to say also where we have been so I'm sending a newspaper and a little souvenir I picked up while at the Red Cross Service Center on Guan. I wrote you a letter there. Goodbye for now. I love you, Perry