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|
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"
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.]