Cover: vertical red stripes at left, broken by blue “air mail” script, on reverse “AIR MAIL” in blue, with red stripes over and under
From: Ens CR Cummins USS LST 661
FPO San Fran, Cal.
To: Mr. & Mrs. C M Cummins, 6109 Greenwood Ave., Chicago, 37, Illinois
Stamp: 6¢ red airmail, postmarked U. S. NAVY 25 OCT 1944
Censor: circular “PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR,” initialed THS (?)
I hope you are as happy and taking like as easy as we are out here. Mom, you might prefer our weather here to that that you must be having now—Winter is here for us too, or approaching—it is 110º-115º at the hottest (1400) but at night it drops away down to 85º-90º. We have done nothing outside of the regular ship’s routine for close to a month—except a little extra cleaning and painting though we could not carry much paint because of the fire hazard—of course we can carry high octane gasoline and high explosives. The guns are all in excellent condition—well painted et al.
My center of attention has been getting some form of athletic program—basketball has been our forte so far, with ping pong and horseshoes in supporting roles. We have a good basketball court set up on the tank deck. In our tournament the Gunner’s are leading—haven’t yet lost a game (plug). I have been playing for exercise’s sake and enjoying it tremendously—though perhaps the signs of old age and degeneration are not absent (22 ½ years old, whew!)
Last night a double feature movie entered our simple life (untainted by women, etc.)—“Gentleman Jim,” concerning the boxer Jim Corbett, was by far the better of the two. This was the first show we had seen in months, making it great fun—though my eyes were quite weary when it was all over.
Mail now arrives about every other day.
We spend the remainder of our free time in reading or playing bridge—but some of use seem to manage to keep very busy.
Here it is the following morning. I have been perusing your letters but find few answered questions.
Hugh should like his duty in Panama—at least for a while. Those that I talked to there seemed to have been weary of it all.
So mother was nervous before her first Round Table meeting—a campaigner such as she is, too.
Was sorry to here of Ellsworth’s misfortune—life as an officer is certainly a pleasanter and cleaner life, though in a specialty branch in the states it won’t make much difference. He used to be extremely healthy, but has hit a hard run of physical ailments.
By now you must have a good idea as to what action we were in—at least Joan does. How with the invasion of the Philippines having taken place without us, there would not seem to be many invasions remaining—but those that will come will be much tougher for the navy.
Yes, mom, I can picture you settling down, just caring for your grandchildren, darning & knitting. When I see this I shall truly know that the age of miracles has not yet passed. Just exactly when are you going to begin having grandchildren would be another good question. Though at the present time I am the only wayward son that has strayed for from home. The U.S. seems a long way away from here—farther than it actually is. Being at home with your loved ones nears seems such a far cry from here. We all miss it more than you will ever know—our thoughts and our dreams are always centered there, and we move through our routine as if we were some form of automatons. Our prayers are for you and your well-being, our worries for you and not for ourselves—so for us do all you can to keep healthy and happy until we shall be back to slam the ice box door and leave rings on the bath tub.
Your loving son,