Saturday, October 20, 2012

It has been so long since I heard from you

October 8, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Last night we left Hokkaido and are now on our way to Okinawa--at least that is our present orders. We pulled up to the dock the morning of the 6th to unload. That was really some "invasion." The first day we were there they granted liberty to 1/4 the crew of all ships, so I went on liberty in Japan the afternoon of the 6th. There was certainly no question but what the town was well occupied for the first two days. The Navy completely took over. Every sailor who could (including me of course) took full advantage of the chance to go ashore, look around and hunt for souvenirs. It was surely rather interesting and also amusing.

This seems to be kind of a poor man's country, or at least the city of Otaru is. It was quite dirty and shabby and stunk literally. All the stores seemed to have been out of stock for a long time and what they had left was soon bought out or looted by the Navy. There really wasn't much one could buy. I bought some pictures, newspapers and a few little trinkets not worth much.

Perry never did get all his Japanese money spent.
I was looking for a silk kimono or a pretty fan or something like that but couldn't find any. One thing, our money surely went a long way on what you could buy. I got 15 yen for one dollar and it seemed I just kept throwing it away and couldn't spend half of it. At least I have plenty of Jap money for souvenirs.

The first thing I noticed there was how practically everyone had some kind of a uniform on. Even the littlest kids had odds and ends of some kind of uniform on. All the women seemed to wear the same kind of black baggy--I guess you would call them slacks, or the Jap version of them. All the Japs seemed very docile and would hardly even look at you and always moved out of your way. Not even the little kids showed much expression although they would usually stare at us and sometimes laugh, which seemed so different from the "Hi Joe," or "cigarette Joe?" which we always used to get in the Philippines.

I felt rather confused at the irony of it all. After fighting the Japs for four years and used to all kinds of fanatical treachery, there we were mixing with them. They even had their own police and traffic cops (hundreds of them) all carrying their swords and yet looked as though they didn't have an ounce of resistance left in them. I surely wish I could have had that kind of a liberty when we were at Yokohama.

The fairly official rumor seems to have it now that we pick up troops at Okinawa and go to China. Anyway, it is on the northern coast of China. I'm beginning to become rather anxious about our chances of getting home for Christmas. Right now I can hardly wait until we get to Okinawa so I can get some mail from my darling. It seems so long since I've heard from you and even then we would hardly stop in one place long enough but to get a few letters. I must have lots of letters coming from you I hope.

It's been quite cool all the while we have been up here and sometimes much too cold to suit me. It seems the temperature is never just right anywhere out here. Must close for now, my darling. I do hope and pray you are all right. It has been so long since I heard from you. I love you, my sweetheart. Always, Perry

Oct. 11, 1945
Tokyo Bay, Japan

My Darling Wife,

Here we are back in Tokyo Bay. We pulled in here last night to get out of a pretty big typhoon that was coming from Okinawa. From all reports it must have hit Okinawa pretty hard and we are told it demolished the postoffice there. I surely hope they saved the mail because that's where our mail was waiting. We will stay here until the storm passes.

My darling, I keep thinking how close it is to our anniversary. At this time last year we were all busy planning and getting ready for the wedding. Sweetheart, we are gong to have every one of our other anniversaries together anyway. I surely do love you with all my heart and soul, my darling, and am surely not sorry we got married when we did even though we did spend such a short portion of our first year together. But even in that short time I have come to know you so much better and love you so much more than I ever could have otherwise. It has made me so very happy, even though we have had to endure this separation, to know that I have someone as sweet and lovely as you waiting for me.

With all my heart and soul I love you and shall always love you my dear sweet wife. Forever Yours, Perry

Oct. 12, 1945 (Friday)

My dearest Perry,

It's been almost a week since I've heard from you. I miss your letters so much, but I try to wait patiently. I know it will be a little while before you can write again or at least until the mail will leave your ship again. I keep thinking where you might be each day and know that by this time you are in Japan again. What is it like Perry? Have you been able to see more of it? I have heard that Japan is a very beautiful place. But, of course, most of all I would like to know when you are coming home. It's all I can think of anymore, darling. I know I must be patient, but the waiting seems so long. I love you, dearest Perry. I love you so.

Emily and I went to a movie tonight. It was a love story, very beautiful, called "Love Letters." Joseph Cotton and Jennifer Jones were the stars. Perry, do you think I look like her? I'm being told that wherever I go. Some woman at the office is calling me "Jennifer" now. Isn't it funny? But Emily said tonight she thought I was much prettier than Miss Jones--hmm!

Well Perry, Tomorrow is our first anniversary. Oh how strange to be spending it like all these other days and without you, my lover. But I know we will have all of the rest of them together--oh Perry, surely we will have all the other days together. I received our first anniversary card today from an old girlfriend of mine from Cumberland, Maryland. It was such a nice surprise. I must write her.

(Sunday evening) This is all the further I got Friday evening. It got kind of late so I had to "pop" into bed. Yesterday was really a day of work for me. After my half day of work at the office, I came home and cleaned my little room. I washed the windows, scrubbed the floor and woodwork and really got it all nice and cleaned. Golly, I was so tired when I finished that I just laid down on my bed and fell asleep. I went over to Mother's house for dinner. She gave me a pretty little anniversary card for us and in it was a lovely handkerchief for me made in England. Wasn't that sweet?

Then today after Sunday School she had a lovely dinner fixed especially for me. It was so good, roast chicken with dressing and everything else. Oh Perry, everyone is so good to me it seems and I am blessed with so much. Maybe I should be very happy and content, but I never shall be completely until you are here with me again.

The bishop is home again from Salt Lake and gave us a short report on the conference tonight at Sacrament service. It was so very interesting. Must go to bed now. Good night my lover. God bless you and keep you safe. Your loving wife, Gene

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