Cover: “air mail” at left with vertical red stripes, and “air mail” on reverse, from: Ens. C.R. Cummins, USS LST 661, FPO S.F. Cal., to: Mr. and Mrs. CM Cummins, 6109 Greenwood Ave., Chicago, 37, Illinois, “PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR” stamp, initialed, 6¢ red airmail stamp, postmarked U.S. NAVY, 19 FEB 1945
Just before our chicken dinner—Your letter of Feb 14th came today, my esteemed Valentines. So you observe that I am not so very far away by mail, though I find that my actual prescence has found the distance to be an impassable barrier for the time being. Meaning, to all intents and purposes, that my torso will be bouncing around the waters of the Pacific for several more months Since we have been here there has been no progress whatsoever made upon the necessary re _ _ _ _. We will be here for an unpredictable length of time. A number of the LST’s that were with us are headed stateward—if we could run under our own power we probably would too.
Congratulations to Loyd for crossing his first gap on the road to higher learning. For weeks I have been intending to write him—but if I wrote all my apologies for not writing people I should indeed consume the majority of the remainder of my days in writing. The most important factor is that he does like his school, for that is a prime prerequisite. I have been most anxious to learn of his basketball feats, but no information has been forthcoming. I have my doubts as to whether Wheaton College is a tougher place than the alma maters of his kin—this type of question is such that its only future is an argumentative state. I have thought that perhaps he may be concerned because he cannot go into the armed forces. For his information, we out here wish him all the power in the world in the furtherance of his education. Patriotism is alright in its place—has anyone ever found a place for it? He is accomplishing more good for his country by studying than any of us are here.
Why are you beginning spring cleaning is early February, when the temperature is hardly above freezing? I imagine you do have a great deal to do—is it at all possible to find someone to help you with it? I believe you promised me you would if you could.
I like very much hearing of your so-called “trivial things” and having letters from you is a most pleasant sensation.
Poor papa and the oil burner. I can’t say that I envy you your job, or your loss of sleep, pater.
We have shore leave every other day. As yet only been off the base a few times. We have been busy obtaining supplies, I haven’t had any. I have had a bothersome cold (we are not accustomed to these cool nights), and the island is not particularly enticing in the first place.
One the whole, our stay here has been a most restful, relaxing period. Somehow, at sea there always seems to be a certain amount of nervous tension involvement—a continual, poorly defined pressure—constantly. Here we know we have plenty of time for everything we have to do, and accomplish our work when the urge strikes us. Too, almost the majority of the officers are off the ship most of the time, and the greater degree of solitude is most agreeable.
Our first hours in here were quite startling, in that we once again came into contact with those elements which had been commonplace to us—buses, women and children, civilians, actual rides in automobiles, French Fried potatoes, milk shakes, etc. (Milk is at a premium, so as yet I haven’t had any). Perhaps you can imagine what a sensation it was to sit down to dinner with a menu—and to gaze at the “passing parade.”
Last Sunday afternoon two Seabee officers took several of us on a tour of the island in jeeps. It was interesting to see the pineapple and sugar can fields. The thrills of the ride were driving through the two mountain passes (3500 and 2000 ft. high) and looking down upon the island and the Pacific from such a height.
Goodbye, for a few days, dear ones. With much love & many kisses,