From: Lt(jg) CR Cummins
USS LST 661
FPO San Fran. Cal.
To: The Cummins’
6109 Greenwood Ave.
Chicago, 37 Illinois
Postmark: U.S. NAVY 30 AUG 1945
Stamp: 6¢ red airmail, 2 3¢ postage due, pen cancelled
Handstamp: POSTAGE DUE, 6 CENTS, purple
Censor: double line, PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR, with AIR MAIL below, initials THS(?)
Your long lost son finally returns to pen and ink. You undoubtedly must think that I have long since been consigned to Davy Jones.
We pulled the other LST off the beach, two tugs pulled off a second one, and the third was left there to rot—on Japanese soil. None of the men of any of the three LST’s that were thrown on the rocks were injured, but the damage to the ships was great. About half a dozen men were lost that harbor that night. the crew of a YMS (small minesweeper) abandoned ship just before the ship crashed on the beach, a PBM (float plane) was thrown ashore—each of these lost men—and a few were washed overboard from other ships.
I don’t know what damage was done in other harbors in the area, though we did hear of some ship casualties.
It was definitely a rough night. Early in the evening I went to Bates’ ship. The storm was brewing and I could only stay for a few minutes. They were intending to go to sea to ride out the storm.
It took about four days plus the highest tide of the year for us to pull the LST 965 off the beach. The day after this we left for Okinawa—two LST’s towing two others. This four day run was uneventful. Upon arrival in Okinawa I was well prepared mentally for a few days quiet rest at anchor. the was not to be our fortune. the very same day the four of us were given orders to go to sea to avoid another storm. We went directly west until we were warned that we were in the center of a Jap mine field—over a hundred miles off the coast of China. By this time it was time to start back for Okinawa. We will be in early tomorrow morning. We evaded most of the storm—the only part that we encountered were huge swells (long, low waves). We rolled unpleasantly on these for several days. The towing cable between the other two ships parted once—this was the only towing casualty. We had to travel at one-third speed to minimize the strain on the towing cables. Consequently there were times when we were hardly making any progress.
Upon our last arrival in Okinawa I expected all our mail (3 weeks) to be awaiting us and to be able to get off a letter in answer immediately. The was not to be the case, as they had forwarded all our mail to Kyushu (where we were scheduled to go before the first typhoon.
A number of our men with enough points have been sent back. The captain has enough points. I have been concentrating on navigation so I can take over the job of executive officer if required. The exec will have enough points in a month—I don’t know what will happen at that time. We all think there is a mighty good chance of the ship being back in the states before the end of the year. We are one of the oldest ones out here, and they should have sufficient LST’s without us.
For now, love and hugs,