Stationery: red stripes at left, “AIR MAIL” in blue with red stripes over and under on reverse
Cover: From: Ens CR Cummins OSS LST 661
FPO San Francisco, Calif.
To: Mr. C M Cummins, 6109 Greenwood Ave, Chicago, 37, Illinois
Stamp: 6¢ red airmail, postmarked U. S. NAVY A.M.
Censor: PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR, initialed THS(?)
Dear mom and dad,
Just returned from church services on an adjacent ship. The chaplain’s sermon (or oration) was on the plentiful profanity in evidence in the navy (or any branch of the male service). No doubt he had ample grounds for his speech, but it was disappointing to us who have so rare an opportunity to attend a church service.
Here am I back aboard the 661 on a bright, lazy Sunday morning—with no funnies, no pictorial reviews. Yes, we are once again afloat—though the betting odds were 5 to 1 against it for a long time. Joan should have a fairly good idea of what happened to us, though I did have to be obscure because of the censorship regulations. The only injury to our personnel aboard ship was sustained when one of the men slipped on the greasy galley ladder and fractured his arm—oh, yes, I have had a slight bit of heat rash and my wedding band cut a crease in my finger. Our troubles are due to low supplies and a minimum of water. The ship, though, isn’t as she was when she rolled off the ways in the shipyard.
We have had (or seen) as much action and interesting events as any ship in this operation—having a ringside seat, so to speak.
Because of my poor correspondence you have probably long since assumed that your wayward penny was disposed of by the honorable Japs. You should know by now that Robert will be eliminated by old age. We have been unable to get mail off the ship for the past week—and we can say nothing specific about our actions. Our lives and “social life” are the same always—an occasional round of bridge, a book once in a while, good natured haranguing, heavy watch schedule (just recently eased). Tom Shockey (from Evanston) and I are now “Officers-of-the-deck”—which means that we have entire control of the ship during our watch period. Previous to this (except in port) we stood watches under Lt. j g’s, though the sum total of our experience and knowledge were equal.
The next few weeks we will have a life of rest and leisure. We had hoped to be towed back to some form of civilization, but it looks as if we would be cared for in some out of the way place. I shall have o establish some form of athletic program. as our decks are empty I won’t have the space factor to contend with. We need some good exercise too. The I did have some strenuous work in a small boat for a few days last week, this is all that I can claim. The main trouble is that we are all so weary from our watch schedule.
You should be very happy that your son did not join the Marines. They really have a tough, unhealthy dangerous life. This battle here will prove to be the bloodiest yet. We had an opportunity to go ashore and observe some of the Jap defenses—and Nature’s obstacles. Even to make the island habitable without the enemy on it would be a feat. Anything that you hear about the enemy entrenchments (they had 22 years to construct them) are assuredly true.
Folks, the mail is shoving off and this to go with it–
Bye, bye, chillun,