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|
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|
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