Category Archives: Aboard ship

CRC 1944-7-15 to parents

Cover: plain with “AIR MAIL” stamped below censor stamp

From: Ens CR Cummins

FPO San Francisco Cal

To: The Cummins

6109 Greenwood Ave.

Chicago, 37, Illinois

Postmark: U.S. NAVY with 2 stars at 3 and 9 o’clock, 16 JUN 1944 over 6¢ red airmail stamp

Censor: PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR, initialed (maybe ER)

Stationery: red stripes, blue globe with place and “AIR MAIL”


15 July


Aloha, aloha, dear ones.

You would guess my whereabouts. Propaganda has it that when God was creating the earth, as he looked over his product he decided that the globe was not complete. Therefore he drop a few jewels and here we are –in the land of the grass skirts and fair-skinned maidens. Of course, the war has desecrated this land of the wonderful climate with instruments of war, and uniforms.

Our journey over here was quite quiet—in other words uneventful. I have been very busy with my work in gunnery, having had only time for a magazine or two in the way of reading matter. Have been preparing tests for my men for advancement in rates—then many sundry items, of exceeding uninterest.

The watch schedule was rigid, but a different system evolved and we will have adequate sleep with time for our “private lives.” This is the first night in a long time that I feel like a healthy, happy red-blooded man—due to a football game.

Since leaving California we have had our decks covered so that our basketball court was displaced—so we haven’t even had morning calisthentics. But tonight I had my exercise, just finished a shower—so, with a few scratches from the rough terrain, I feel that I, for a few minutes, drifted away from the sedentary existence of a naval officer.

The days here have passed with strolls thro’ town and numerous movies. Honolulu itself is a dingy, one-storied, dark-painted city. The major source of entertainment is movies, and we have full-length features on the main deck of our ship each night—giving me a supply sufficient for a while.

Yesterday I had a pleasant day in Waikiki—at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel—a magnificent structure that the navy has taken over. Here they have the renown Waikiki Beach, out-rigger canoes, surf boards, swimming, basketball, boxing, ping pong—anything you can think of. During the afternoon (liberty expires at 1800 for the enlisted men, 2200 for officers—necessitating the start of liberty in the morning) when the piano duo was not playing, the dance band was. They had various earing places, an officers’ lounge, etc. all in this enormous structure. In the lounge I met several U. of C. fellows—Louise will remember Dale Johnson, of H.P. and the U. of C.

He has been in small boats for quite a while—going thro’ Little Creek and starting the base at Fort Pierce. He is on board a transport—says we, on an LST, have the better set-up. They went thro’ Quajlelinn, Entwietok and Saipan (my spelling is not guaranteed, chillum’). In these campaigns they, from 29 boats, have lost only one man. They have used their guns only once—at Saipan as this lone Jap bomber finished its bombing run coming back in strafing—with the boats in the water and the guns on the beach, there were at least a thousand guns firing at one place—they hit him, too, with one of the little small boat .30 cal. machine guns. The pilots’ opinion was that the Japanese air force was but a butt for wisecracks in comparison to the US planes and men.

Tomorrow, if we are still here, I am visiting these friends of Joan. It will be marvelous to be inside of a home, probably tho’ not without a few inward pangs.

The two best thinks about hitting port are getting mail and setting foot on dry land—then, too, to simply “get away from it all”—to get off the ship, forget about gunnery, boats, etc.—even the war, almost. You almost forget what civilian clothes and women look like.

At any rate, it has been passive genuine fun—a lovely vacation spot.

Goodnight pop, mom,

Louise, Loyd



1944-7-24 to LDC

Stationery: red stripes air mail

Cover: from: Ens CR Cummins, OSSLST 661, FPO San Francisco, Calif

to: Master DL Cummins, 6109 Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, 37, Illinois


Postmark: U.S. NAVY, Aug 2, 9:30 AM, 1944 over “Free” handwritten

some arithmetic in pencil on reverse


24 July 1800

Dearest Ones,

Am all tucked in in my birthday suit prepared to sleep in preparation for a night watch. Can you imagine Robert going to bed this early? We lost an hour tonight, this being part of the cause. Tomorrow we cross the equator and the International Date line, and are consequently initiated into the mysteries of the orders of Neptunus Rex and the Golden Dragon—the former for the equator and the latter for the date line. [there are photos of this ceremony—msc]

The thermometer is high—accounting for my unclothed condition and perspiration marks in the paper.

Today I am beginning another one of my new programs—the novel components of which are: a period of sunbathing in the late afternoon (at the same time do my sadly neglected letter-writing), some form of exercise during the day (probably basketball after the evening meal), and eight hours sleep.

Honolulu was quite similar to any city of its size in the U.S.—except for the absence of apartment buildings, all buildings were one-story then, too, the high proportion of brown and yellow skins. The main form of entertainment was movies. Everyone must be off the streets by 2200.

The famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel On Waikiki Beach is now devoted completely to naval personnel. Here they had almost every form of sport plus other features such as movies, orchestra. Tom and I had a fine time swimming and playing Waikiki Beach this one day.

The day before we left I visited friend’s of Joan on the island. They have an attractive home overlooking a beautiful bay, surrounded by low-lying hills. We had charcoal steak—directly from heaven. They were pleasant, well-informed people—my knowledge of the politics of the island, and the history were much improved. It was wonderful to sit in an easy chair and almost forget about wars for a while.

The sea was rough the first three days keeping the Marines, our tough passengers in the sack for the major portion of the time. Since then we have had a slight continuous roll.

My reading has been fairly plentiful but I have had too many other affairs to attend too. I finished the tests I was giving my men for advancement in rates. This took a long time and much consideration.

We have had several instructional and reasonably entertaining films. Church services have been held each Sunday. These are simple gatherings conducted by one of our physicians—with prayer, music, and a few words of wisdom.

Mom, pop, sis, Loyd—goodnight for now—be back with my pen very soon.

Love and kisses,



CRC 1944-8-12 to family

Stationery: red stripes, blue globe with airplane flying across it, the words “Air Mail” over the globe.


Cover: From: Ens CR Cummins USS 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 Aug 14 1944

Censor: “Examined by Naval Censor,” initialed



12 August 1944

Dear ones,

We remain in approximately the same place and will be here for a while. Our background would probably be considered beautiful scenery, with be-jungled mountains and cocoanut groves—some of your best soap formerly came from these islands. Our recreation consists of swimming, fishing, movies, scouring the beach for shells and creatures—no women, alcohol, or such present themselves, if a person should be interested. The men stationed down here for years, haven’t glimpsed a white woman for just that period of time.

Most of my energy and considerable time is expended each day in one or two round trips in a boat to a bay 20 miles away—this means 4 or 8 hours a day under the torturing sun along a rather tortuous channel. In many places the coral shelves are only a few fee under the surface of the water—at low tide the simply bumps from one rock to the next. Here we can best see the underwater forms of life—livid green fish five feet long, smaller green fish, vari-colored ones, huge turtles, eels, deep blue starfish, plus beautiful flowery coral formations. We pass sever native villages enroute—they are absolutely black, come with a blondish-red hair. They wave as we go by. Their homes are made of sliced cocoanut wood or simply GI tents. Their clothing (haven’t distinguished any women) is a khaki or red breech cloth. Yesterday afternoon they were performing a dance—all lined up just as chorus girls. They have hallowed-out log canoes, seem to spend their time fishing or looking for coral objects to sell.—and sleeping (haven’t seen any in the afternoon).


            13 August


Am on watch, things are sublimely peaceful, so I shall write. The men are fishing from the side of the ship or from boats alongside. As yet tonight they have caught nothing. But the other night they hoop two tuna fish, that tasted as good as anything since home—pop would have reveled—he might not even mind the fishing—no mosquitoes, cool breezes blowing, starry sky, etc.

A few days ago I saw Paul Douglas, the former 5th Ward alderman, but did not recognize him as now he is as thin as a rail.

The other day First Lt. Marvin Mitchell (Marines) came aboard. we were good friends in high school & college, especially the former. when we were freshman at HP [Hyde Park High School] we had 8th, 9th, & 10th periods together—finishing the day with Miss Mix.

Three days ago he came aboard for dinner and the evening movie, and last might I returned the visit. He knows considerable about our coming operation. The marines have a rugged life ashore. Their main complaint though is the fact that they have been doing all the fighting on land over here, the army refusing to move in until palatial quarter, etc. were established. This would seem to be true to a considerable extent—that the army has lacked sufficient organization. On Saipan, with the Marines on the flanks, the Japs pushed right through the army in the center.

Another item that has kept me busy is the postcards for our absentee voting. When politics enters in, the gold braid necessarily takes every precaution to avoid trouble—so every senior officer up the line has to have a letter in which I state exactly every step that I make.

My other troubles consist of my ailments—just one thing after another to pester a person—sunburn, athlete’s foot, rashes, etc.—due to the heat.

But life in the main is an easy one. My physical condition, except for the my wind, is good—though we all seem to tire readily under the sun. The officers are a harmonious group, and the men well satisfied. Here we have beach parties, scouring the islands, and swimming parties each afternoon.

Father’s birthday should come along around this time, so hearty congratulations are in due order. I can almost taste (at least my mouth waters) the fresh garden vegetables e.g. the roasting ears. Many things well serve to remind me of my fine home and wonderful family. My next letter with be to little brother, with the prospect of college approaching.

Love and kisses,


CRC 1944-10-25 to parents


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 (?)


24 Oct


Hi! chillun,

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,


CRC 1944(?)-11-8 to family

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(?)


8 Oct



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,


CRC 1945-2-18 to parents

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


18 Feb

Sunday 1130

Dear ones,

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,

Your devoted,


CRC 1944-7-7 to family

Torn by JES, taped by MSC


Cover: “Airmail” stripes in lower right corner

From: Lt(jg) CR Cummins


FPO San Fran. Cal.

To: The Cummins

6109 Greenwood Ave.

Chicago, 37, Illinois

Stamp: 6¢ red airmail

Postmark: U.S. NAVY 8 JUL 1945

Censor stamp: “PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR,” initialed



7 July

Hello! Folks,

Well, I can’t say that there is much news–not any for that matter. The can of cookies came yesterday—this time my thank you is prompt, all times my gratitude is great. I haven’t tasted them yet—saving them for another day.

Enclosed are pictures taken a short time ago—to prove to you that I am managing to eke out a living That is out dog Phibby (short for Amphibious) in one of the pictures—just in from a swim. This was a little sandbar about 75 yards from the ship—the most ideal beach that could be desired.

For ten days (ending Monday) I have been suspended from all duties by virtue of this fact: I censored an outgoing package for one of the men. After I initialed it he slipped 1000 rounds of .22 ammunition in it. The offense was discovered by the coast censorship authorities and relayed to us for action.

I have had a delightful time reading and studying an assortment of subjects—sleeping to my heart’s content, living my own life almost exclusively.

But shortly our work begins again—the hot sun, glare of the ocean, loss of sleep, etc. I am frankly happy to see that period at hand, though I shall be just as elated to return to the easier routine.

When you are in port you want to get to sea, and vice versa.

I have had letters from Bob Walker, Chet Smith, and a Marine officer friend of the 1st Marine Div. Bob is skipper of his LCI—evidently in the Philippines. Chet is a Marine pilot flying from a light carrier—Okinawa, I think.

I shall take the best of care of myself—you do the same—

Love and Kisses,


CRC 1945-7-15 to parents

Cover: “AIR MAIL” in two red stripes in lower right corner

From: Lt(jg) CR Cummins

FPO San Fran. Cal.

To: Mr. & Mrs. CM Cummins

6109 Greenwood Ave.

Chicago, 37, Illinois

Postmark: U.S. NAVY 16 JUL 1945 over 6¢ red airmail stamp

Censor: PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR, initialed (maybe LHS)


15 July


Gutend abend, parential,

You didn’t know that I am a linguist, did you?—even Japanese, with “jima, shima, retta, gunto,” et

The ride was a placid one in every respect. We had a rougher day today at anchor than at any time underway.

My mail here so far has consisted of one single letter—from mom—none from Jonie. So once again we must have encountered a peculiar twist in the mail situation. Today I finished your cookies, finding the cake and the candle at the bottom. Thank you for the thought—here is my smile at the discovery [an arrow points to a wide ‘U’] (diagrammatic). It was just a little too hard to eat—but I could have eaten it smothered with fresh strawberries and a mound of whipped cream—have you ever tried this with cake that was rather past its better age? Here’s a great big hug and a kiss to all.

I remember Bernice Wilkerson’s name, but can’t recall her appearance.

Underway it was hot, per usual. The thermometer hit 100º several days, on the others 95º or so. The days must be at hand when your temperatures will equal ours. Our advantage is that the air is fresh and there is usually something of a breeze. Without that breeze, being under the sun is almost unendurable. I present quite a spectacle in my sun helmet, dark goggles, and grease coating—but have saved myself considerable punishment.

We hardly had a moment to rest from our work. Sleep was at a premium. Today I recovered I little of it—sleeping until noon—and I am off this moment to the land of dreams—


CRC 1945-7-24 to parents

torn by JES, taped by MSC

double stripe “AIRMAIL” in lower right corner

from: Lt(jg) CR Cummins


FPO San Fran. Cal.

To: Mr. and Mrs. CM Cummins

6109 Greenwood Ave.

Chicago, 37, Illinois

Postmarked: U.S. NAVY 25 JUL 1945 over 6¢ red airmail stamp

Censor: double stripe PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR, initialed FHL (?)


24 July


Good morning, family,

It has been many days since my last letter you way. Our incoming mail finally arrived, including four letters from 6109—really enjoyed having them. I had the midwatch (midnight to 0400) last night so my writing is not going to be up to its usual superlative standard.

Enclosed are two pictures of your erstwhile son One was an “artistic” shot of Shockey’s, but you can observe me in the far distant background.

It has ben reasonable restful here. We are annoyed at least once a night by an enemy plane attack on the island. Most of the planes are shot down or chased away by our fighters.

We went to sea for several days to weather a severe storm—and had the two roughest days of all time for us—rough by virtue of angry waters.

I haven’t felt equal to accomplishing any tremendous works recently—just in the mood for rest.

Once again I inhabit my room by myself. Though the doctor was the best of company, nothing can equal this delightful solitude. My room could use a little paint, but other than that it is in good shape.

We haven’t seen anyone here that we knew—it is such a large island and there are so many different anchorages.

The tank deck is now fixed up for basketball and badminton—giving me some much-needed exercise. My waistline isn’t exactly what it was when I was sweet sixteen—may I can cut it down some.

One day Tom, the mailman, and I went ashore to make a long land trip to get our mail which was on a ship in another harbor. We had a number of transportation problems—it ended in being an all-day trip with very little food during the course of that day. However, it was most interesting—the natives, their homes, the hills filled with tombs. The roads were worse than those southeastern Ohio roads of the early thirties—when the old lizzies couldn’t make it up the hills. The Seabees are working day and night (I suppose there are Army engineers around, too) to rapidly improve the island.

We have movies each night in port—the ones here haven’t been very good.

My health is as good as ever, and, except for moments, my spirits too. I love you dearly—sending you much, much hugs and kisses—


CRC 1945-8-5 to parents

double stripe “AIRMAIL” in lower right corner

from: Lt(jg) CR Cummins


FPO San Fran. Cal.

To: The Cummins

6109 Greenwood Ave.

Chicago, 37, Illinois

Postmarked: U.S. NAVY 6 AUG 1945 over 6¢ red airmail stamp

Censor: double stripe PASSED BY NAVAL CENSOR, initialed FHL (?)


5 August


Dear ones,

A lazy Sunday afternoon—most of us are rather tired because we were kept up half the night by air raid alert. This is the usual case for the majority of the island but for a few days we were in a sheltered nook where they didn’t pay an attention to enemy planes—consequently we had several beautiful nights of sleep. It has been raining consistently the past few days, giving us a more comfortable temperature.

We will be here for a considerable length of time, attending to any duties that they require of us. So far we have been very busy with an assortment of details.

At our last beaching we were able to see several of our old Marine friends. Those ashore are always most anxious to be gracious—partly because they like us and partly because we have many things that they can use.

Everywhere they supply us with plentiful transportation to view the surrounding territory—the devastated cities, empty villages, natives, villages packed with teeming humanity. We have had several interesting tours. The natives seem friendly, usually ready with a smile and a wave of the hand.

They are a mixture of Japanese, Chinese, and Portugese blood. They look strong and healthy, but there are many signs of disease.

Portions of the island were almost untouched by the effects of war. The foliage was still

full, everything in its natural state—except for signs of activity: road-building, trucking, etc. This period of time here has so far been the most interesting we have yet encountered. We have liked it very much and are thankful that were left here rather than sent back to lie around almost indefinitely.

Momie, I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday—here’s another big hug and a kiss just for you.

As long as I am this far away from the states I guess it isn’t much use to send cookies or packages of any sort. One thing I would like to have is a studio glamor (someone besides Ray) picture of pater and mater. What say you, chillun? I hereby appoint Louise as my executive in carrying out this request. Anything of this nature that you send, send airmail. Just last week I received half a dozen 3¢ letters mailed in November—my hopes of getting the rest of my Christmas packages rose. It seems that I have been fortunate in that most of your cookies have gotten through.

Sorry everything there is so scarce. We have been eating well, few things being absent from our diet. My waistline is certainly not shrinking any. Off and on out tank deck is empty and we can a play a little football game, basketball game, or badminton. As yet conditions have been such that I haven’t been down there much.

I don’t remember knowing any Marvin Miller, mother—perhaps you are thinking of Marvin Mitchell, of H.P.H.S. He is a 1st Lt. in the Marines—happens to be on Guam right now—I saw him in the Russells last year, he came to Pelelui in our convoy.

Am glad that you finally got away from the many binging ties for awhile. Some of this hilly, green country here reminded me of the Ohio hills—and the muddy roads (so muddy that a civilain car could hardly budge) of days in the past—e.g. on the hill up to Uncle Loyd’s. We should have mail tonight (first in a week) and learn more of your travels

With a superabundance of affection,