June 26, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

26 June 1945

My Beloved Darling:

Just a few moments ago the mail orderly handed me two letters, they were from Paul Vogel and Connie. Whenever I receive mail I always immediately look to see if there is a letter from you, but tonight I was disappointed when there wasn’t a letter or two from you, my Dear. Your letters are always such a help to me. This morning I spent most of the time taking care of some things that needed attention. I don’t know whether I told you or not, but Pete Smith of Lexington asked me to see if I could get some lead pencils for him. I managed to get around 20 pencils and some Japanese fountain pens. The gathering of pencils happens to be his hobby. While over to the post office, I sent you a little package also. You’ll find enclosed in the package a Japanese flag inscribed with the name of some of the former soldiers of the Japanese force which took Nanking. Remember what has been called “The Rape of Nanking.” Also, find two little fans which I found in the debris on our great maneuver of breaking the left flank of the famous Yanabaru, Shuri, Naha line. They don’t amount to much but they are something. Also enclosed you’ll find enclosed a dozen or so parachute flare silks. I believe they are made of nylon or some synthetic cloth. These are used to carry a very bright flare during the night to detect any movement of the enemy. Most of the time they are destroyed or allowed to disintegrate. Some of these may not be usable, but I sent them to you and you can probably use them for something. I noted some of them were scorched and some quite dirty but you will know which are best and which can be cleaned. I think you might be able to make a couple of blouses, a few underclothes or maybe a nice cover for a pillow for our baby and a little crib blanket cover to match. Maybe you can figure out something better to do with the material. I couldn’t help but think that there is some value in them. When they arrive let me know what you think about the material. I think the young people will probably enjoy seeing the flag as well as some of our friends. I sent it to you first class so it shouldn’t take too long to reach you.

The World Charter was signed on June 26, 1945.

I’m going to answer your letter of May 26th. Dear, I know just how you feel when you say you had a good cry. I’ve never mentioned only on occasion or so about shedding a few tears. Several different times at night I have thought about all the good times we have had together in prayer, joy, sorrow and Christian fellowship and the tears naturally flowed.

Yes, our division shoulder patch is a red circle with a black hourglass in it. Sometime when I can find a write up about our division patch I’ll send you a copy so you will know what it signifies.

It was good to hear that Earl Adams resigned, but if we had prayed more and criticized less, I’m sure God would have intervened and there wouldn’t have been all the trouble over the missions board. Riley’s and Marguerite Simonian told me about Dr. Brownsville resigning. It is not going to be very easy for them to get a man to take his place. I’m sure he will do a fine work in the evangelistic field. I do hope you will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Brownsville someday. I was glad to hear about the new church school advance. I only hope they make it count for Christ. We need to exalt Christ in all things, and this promises to be a real opportunity.

I had a little time before supper so I wrote three v-mail letters, they were to my grandmother, Pete Smith and Betty Weiskopf. 

I know what you mean about having a good time reading your Bible. I haven’t had enough time to do such studying for quite some time, I certainly look forward to the day when we can have our prayer and devotion together. 

I’ll certainly be glad when we can be back in our own home again. Well Dear, I must close for now. God bless you, Darling.

Yours alone forever in the love of

Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 25, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

25 June 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

I’ve just finished reading your letter of June 17th, your letter of June 16th is missing, it may arrive tomorrow. Well, Bob and Margaret are married now and I know all the details from your description of the wedding in Dr. Hepburn’s study. I’m glad to know that it was such a nice quiet wedding. I hope them much happiness and joy and I do hope that from the beginning Christ will have first place in their hearts and lives. Are they going to stay at the folks place until Bob leaves for duty at Sioux Falls? You said Margaret liked the dishes we gave them, I suppose you told me about them in your letter of the 16th. I’m glad that Margaret is such a fine girl and I hope she is able to help Bob and encourage him to start what he likes and sticks to it. There is no doubt about Bob having ability, he has great ability but he needs to settle on an aim and purpose in life. From all you have told me from time to time about Margaret, I’m inclined to believe she will be able to help him in many ways. From all you have told me they are extremely happy and I’m sure they must be suited for each other.

Well, this has been one of those days when you are on the go all the time, and try as you may, you cannot see where you have accomplished very much. I saw two or three things today which almost tore my heart out. I only pray if it will be God’s will that we are able to give holy and unreservedly our lives to the helping of the spreading of the good news in Christ Jesus our Lord. We talk of a civilized world, but all around we see evidences of a society infected with the cancer of sin. Many people rather shy away and mock the word sin. You can call cancer by another name, but that doesn’t change what it does to the body upon which lives. Men call jealousy, selfishness, etc., by other names but they are all of the group which God designates as sin.

Just a few moments ago the sun dropped below the horizon. It looked as though it were being thrust by a great hand into the East China Sea. From the beach to the horizon could be seen a flaming trail which reminded one of broken cobblestones.

I wish you could know just how good it is not to hear the loud report of artillery and screaming shells overhead. Of course we still have heavy and light machine gun and small arms fire and will for a few more days. But then we are hoping for a little rest and quiet.

It is so good to have Don here. He is such a fine clean cut young man in his life is a real example of Christianity. He does many fine things to help me in whatever maybe at hand to do.

I shall answer a few of your questions in your letter of May 25th. Dear, I’m glad to know that these years at Northern have proved to be a blessing to you and I’m glad that you have done so remarkably well. It has cost in much heart ache, loneliness and hours of meditations but to be true sympathizers a couple must be real suffers. Dear, I only wish you knew how much I love you and how much more you mean to me since last time we saw each other. Just to be with you again and talk about the deepest things will be just a foretaste of glory divine.

Early 26 June 1945

Good Morning My Dear:-

I wanted to finish this letter last evening but a man wanted to see me and it was dark before he left so I couldn’t finish the letter. I really had a good nights sleep, only awakened a few times. It is noisy now and then at night, but to what it has been it is almost quiet. I’m still so tired from so many nights poor sleep that when I wake up I’m still rather tired. We have such a pretty sunrise here this morning. The sky is ablaze with the same color in the finger shells I sent home to you from Christmas Island.

The picture you bought of Sallman’s Head of Christ for Maurice and Edith sounds very beautiful and I’m sure they must have been happy with such a fine gift. I’m so glad they are leaving NSBC for they deserve a much better place to use their talents for the Lord. Under Dr. Wilson they were limited as to what it was possible for them to do.

You have certainly had a lot of rain in Chicago this spring. I do hope that doesn’t mean they will have a dry summer in the Midwest. For we really need a good harvest this year.

The poems which Edna enclosed in the letter she wrote you are beautiful and I appreciate reading these very much. Edna is a wonderful girl. Does she still go for hear from the soldier you told me about one time in one of your letters? Dear, I do not have a jeep now and it’s hard to tell when or if I ever will have one. Out here under conditions like these often they are shot up or completely blown to pieces, so under such circumstances I’ve given up hopes of ever having permanently assigned transportation. If I go places I’ll walk or catch rides.

I was certainly glad to know that Warren has written to his folks. Undoubtedly they will feel better knowing he is in a comparatively safe place.

By the way, where is Bob Larson now? I suppose a lot of NSBC young men who have been serving in the ETO will start showing up in services in the next two or three months. By the way, yesterday started my 17th month overseas. The time cannot pass too soon so I can come back to you, my Dear.

Well, I must close for now Dear, God bless you and the folks in all things.

I am yours for always because

We are together Christ’s forever,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 24, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

24 June 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Another Lord’s day has slipped by and I’m thankful, for it means we are that much near to the Lord’s day when we can work together for the Lord. You are such an inspiration to me in all ways. Right now you may not realize it, but the very thought of you inspires me in my work out here among the men. And every day only makes me want more than ever to be back there with you in the service of the King of Glory.

This evening just before my evening Vesper service, I received your wonderful letter of 15th June, and of course it was beautiful as is every letter I ever receive from you. I had to read it hurriedly and now that the evening service is over I want to start this letter. This morning I had a service for our men and there were 117 in attendance, at 11 o’clock we had 19 in attendance. This evening there were 37 in attendance. This morning I spoke on, “Responsibility,” Ezekiel 36: 16-27. And this evening, “From Crisis to Christ.” I Corinthians 10:1-13. This day has been crowded with activity. I got to see Major Wilhelm, it was certainly good to see him again. I was so happy to have Don in a service again with me. We cannot have an organ with us until we are through patrolling and rounding up prisoners from caves and crevices. God bless you Lover, I’ll write more in the morning. I love you Sweetheart more than ever.

Willis

Early 25 June 1945

Good Morning My Dear:-

I was awakened several times during the night with spurts of small arms and machine gun fire but on a while it was the best nights sleep I’ve had for over a month. This morning it is nice and cool and there is a very nice breeze coming in off the Pacific ocean. As I sit here facing you and to east I can just see the sun announcing the arrival of a new day of light.

Sarah’s group of children that she taught at church.

To finish this letter, I will answer and make comments on your letter of May 24th. Yes, my Darling, I hope to come back to you as soon as possible, as far as I am concerned the main thing is to come back to you. Working at NSBC is okay but I’m sorry that most of all you have to do is office work rather than contacting and doing personal work. Of course you will gain some real experience from being in charge of VCS. Today is the day when it begins, you can certainly be assured of my prayer for you as you lead. I do hope you have a better school than they had a year ago. I was glad to hear you had such a nice visit with John and Annie Jo Davidson. I have always thought a lot of them, when you see them be sure to greet them for me and give them my best wishes.

Won’t it be grand when we can be together again in our own church? I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll be able to do some real study of the word. Out here I have learned things, I have been more than ever impressed with the greatness and holiness of God. But I am very much concerned about studying and preparing more thoroughly my messages. I know you must have had a good laugh with Ruth Reid over her teaching experiences. I really get a kick out of some of the things she says. Ruth is really a witty girl. I know Clara Ives is going to be a great loss to your teaching staff at NSBC. I’ll certainly miss seeing her and her mother when I come back.

I’m certainly surprised to know how few people at NSBC read the Secret Place. In a place like that they ought to be setting the example. They do have such great possibilities if they would only do some real work on the spiritual level.

I’m glad to know that Laurie Larson has promised to help you along in VCS for a while at least. I suppose Larsons are very happy to know that Vic will be at Great Lakes, and now with Warren so near to starting on his way home, they have more to be thankful for.

Well Dear, I failed to mention last evening that I sent a Japanese officer’s saber to the Chief. I hope it makes as good a time as did the bayonet. I want to send a rifle also but they will not let us send them for a while. I have a good rifle for the Chief if they will ever let us send them. Don’t tell him that I’m sending him a saber. Let him be surprised again. The blade in the saber is one of the very best as he will see when it arrives. I was certainly disappointed when I couldn’t send the rifle to the Chief. Perhaps it won’t be too long until I can get them on their way to you and the Chief.

God bless you my Dear and give the folks my love.

Yours alone for always

In Christ’s love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 23, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

23 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest One:

Well, Beloved, this evening I was made happy with the arrival of your letters of June 13th and 14th. I’ve already read them twice and will probably read them over again tomorrow morning early. Besides your letters, I got letters from the following: the Chief, Mrs. Weldon, Esther Mason (Capt. Mason’s father), Dolores, Connie, and news from Northern Baptist Convention.

Bob Price. 1943.

Of course, the surprising news in your two letters for me was the announcement of Bob and Margaret’s proposed marriage. After all, it is their decision to make and I do hope both of them the best of everything. I only wish he was being discharged, it will not be so easy to leave this time. Having been given four battle stars for being in the Air Corps stationed in England, he should have enough points for discharge. That was indeed a break for him. We in the Infantry face direct enemy fire and all the privations and dangers that go it, and still only receive one battle star for this Okinawa campaign. In this campaign we were in direct contact with the enemy for 82 days before all organized resistance of the enemy was broken. We still have the problem of mopping up, blowing the caves and crevices. Until all are captured will be threatened with sabotage and infiltration. I’ve had occasion to be in contact with several different branches of the service and the Infantry under combat really has it harder than any one branch of service. I’m glad Bob got 25 points so easily. A man on this operation only has five additional points after all these days of tough fighting.

Well, Bob’s marriage turns out just like my brothers. He was married before I ever knew he was intending on being married. Of course, before you ever receive this letter you will have written me all of the details of their marriage. From today’s letter their plans were most indefinite.  I do hope they have it so at least you and her folks can attend. Has Bob ever given any indication of what he plans on doing when he leaves the Army? All I can do is hope for them half the joy we have experienced as each other’s in the Lord Jesus Christ. I do hope they put Christ first in their home and all their relationships together. I gather from what you said that Margaret is planning on working until Bob comes back. Personally, I wish Bob would get out of the Army now and then he might be able to get settled in some civilian occupation. It is a sure thing he will have to settle down and start preparing himself for his life work. Because he will have an additional responsibility in caring for Margaret. I hope them God’s riches blessings.

I was very glad to receive the pictures you enclosed in today’s letters. The one of you and mom together was really good. I also like the one of you and Margaret together. The picture of Stan and Lee and the children was exceptionally good and I was really glad to have it. Well, Lover, I’ll write more to you in the morning early.

Early 24 June 1945

Good Morning Sweetheart:-

We still had activity a quite a lot of firing here around our area but I slept a little better and a little more than I did night before last. To go to bed and not be interrupted with all the things that make for war will indeed be something. It is breaking day in the east now and the sky is indeed a beautiful sight. It is grand to know 10 hours before you too have seen the same sunrise.

I’m answering questions and making comments on your letter of May 23rd. I’m sure Batten’s must have been overjoyed to hear from Roger, and especially to know he is on his way home. Isn’t it the truth how poorly people support the Lord’s work? If just half of our memberships tithed what great things could be accomplished for the Lord. For instance, NSBC could give over twice as much as they give now for missions.

I was very sorry to hear about the woman backing out of the beginner’s superintendency. But if you can get Dorothy Reid that will be fine. She is very good and a fine Christian so I feel definitely she would be a good leader if you can get her. It is a shame the way you have to beg and plead for people to help in a which they profess to be so important. I do hope Mrs. Milne will cooperate and seek to make one whole unified program. I shall be interested to know how things come along. I assure you of my earnest prayer on your behalf. Glad Ray Johnson was in prayer meeting, I would like to see Ray again sometime. We have had a lot of fun together. I believe he will do a good job as Director of Evangelism for Illinois.

The letter from the Chief was very nice and I’m glad he liked what I sent him. I have a couple other things to send him and I have a few things for you, but it will be a little time before we can send them. At the present time we have so much to do that it is impossible to send these things off. I love the Chief very much and want to do all I can to make him happy. Well my Dear, I must close for now and may God bless you and the folks richly.

Forever yours alone in Christ’s love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 22, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

22 June 1945

Dearest Darling Sarah:

Well, another day has almost drawn to a close and we are one day nearer to being together. As I’ve said many times before, that day can come none too soon for me. This has been another one of those days when I was on the go since daybreak but it seems very little has been accomplished. Be that as it may, I have sought to utilize every moment. Between several different lulls I got two letters off to you with letters I thought you might like to read, and then I wrote v-mail letters to the following people: Joan Cable, Jack and Bertha, John and Helen Mueller and Lyle Baer.

It was rather hot today and we were very busy rounding Japanese prisoners and civilians. I just found out this evening that Admiral Nimitz officially announced the campaign over as of yesterday. That means organized resistance is over but there will still be plenty of mopping up to do. There will still be men lost day by day through enemy action. Well, at least the worst is past. Of course, you will know by the time this letter reaches that General Stillwell is the new commanding officer of the 10th Army of which we are a part now. Darling, I shall write more to you in the morning. Good night, Sweetheart. 

With all my love in Christ,

Willis

Early 23 June 1945

Good morning sweetheart:-

Well, another night is past and I’m thankful for the daylight because with so much firing at night you cannot help but be on the alert. However, the firing last night was nothing like the two preceding nights. Another thing which is a relief is the cessation of artillery fire. Some of the barrages were enough to keep you awake under almost any conditions. It will surely be something to go back and rest for a while. To have warm food regularly and a folding cot to sleep on will be a treat indeed. And to be able to take a bath somewhat regularly and put on clean clothes will help a lot also. We probably won’t leave this forward position until things are pretty well set up back there. We will probably rest for a while then the future for the Seventh Division is most uncertain. The older (men with type points) will probably all be replaced. Many of them are very anxious to be relieved.

Dear, this morning I’m starting with your letter of May 22nd. You mentioned the new National Geographic, it will certainly be a treat to be able to sit down with you and look at that good magazine. Out here you have little time for such things. Many times I think of you and our home to be.

It was good to hear how well prepared the VCS material is and I hope your teaching staff will take advantage of it. You never have told me when is it is supposed to begin, but I imagine it maybe this coming Monday, June 25th. I hope they have a good school. I’m so proud of you Dear because I know you will do your very best. I do hope they have a better attendance this year than they did last year. Be assured of my prayer as you lead.

I was surprised to hear about Carl doing work at Guam. He is an observer for electrical equipment on our larger naval craft.

Concerning a wedding gift for Lois, I suppose you will have already bought something by now for her wedding is tomorrow evening. For things like that, you go ahead and purchase them because what I may suggest may be very hard to get, and besides, your choice or idea will be just as good as mine and probably better. I was also surprised to hear about Mrs. Hardy having another baby. It will be very nice for their baby boy to have a playmate.

It was certainly good to hear about the new job Margaret has in the doctor’s office. Where is her new job located? I can see why she is so happy about the whole thing. I’m sure Bob and Margaret must be having a fine time now and I’m happy for them. Words cannot possibly describe how happy I’ll be when I can come back to you, my Dear. You have no idea how lonesome I am for you at times and how my old heart hurts.

Dear, I’m enclosing a copy of Baptist Freedom. I have another copy which I will send to you later. I wish you would send in a subscription for us. Have it sent to you and then after you have read them you can send them to me and I’ll return them later to you for filing away. “Love you with all thy mind,” by Harold B Jensen. What do you think of “A platform of Baptist liberty?” Personally, I think it is good. You will also be interested in News Item concerning the first Church of Muscatine. Having read what John and Helen have written us, I’m sure you can see through some things. Well, Beloved, I must close for now. May God richly bless you and the folks.

Yours alone in the love of Christ

Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 22, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

Early 22 June 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Just shortly before dark I received your grand letter of June 12th. It was a beautiful letter and indeed a great help to me. The enclosed pictures were good and such a real help to me. You know how I feel about pictures. Dear, you look sweeter all the time. God bless you my Darling. Beside your letter, I got a nice letter from each of the following: my father, Dr. and Mrs. Allen, Dr. Mantey, Jack and Bertha, Dolores, Harold Fulkerson, Mrs. Carson and Mr. Mason, (Capt. Mason’s father). I also received more letters of inquiry about loved ones who have been lost in this campaign. Because of something which came up last evening I was unable to start this letter to you. A soldier came to see me with a very difficult problem. It is a wonder a man under such conditions can keep going after knowing what this man knows about his wife.

Marines on Okinawa. 1945.

Last night was another terror. This thing will be extremely dangerous until we have completely rounded up all of the enemy soldiers. I cannot go into detail now but even if I could I would have very little desire to do so. Scenes and experiences such as these only tend to fire my desire to more than ever preach and teach the unsearchable riches of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our future is with the younger people. We must do all in our power if God so wills to lead young people in the way we know in Christ Jesus.

Every letter I receive people tell me they have been and are continuing to pray for me. Dear, having gone through some close ones in this campaign I realize more than ever that God has protected and helped me through the united prayer of our loved ones and friends.

Dear, in all the confusion of yesterday and the night before I thought I had mailed my letter to you for the 19th. Please forgive me. It seems like ages since I’ve been able to write you a decent letter.

Darling, I must close for now and may God bless you, the folks and Bob.

Yours alone in the Love of our

Lord Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 20, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

20 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

This has been a very busy day but the thing that impressed me the most and helped me to a real spiritual refreshing was your letters of June 10th and 11th. Sweetheart, those letters were very beautiful and so very helpful to me after having seen and gone through all the things of this long almost heartbreaking day. When I say heartbreaking, I mean just that, for a man would have to have a heart of stone not to be touched or moved by things like those which I witnessed. Thank goodness it cleared after I wrote to you this morning and our men were able to advance very well bringing just a bit closer our ultimate goal, the southern end of this Island.

Several times Don and I had the opportunity to visit today and it is such a blessed joy to have him here again. There is nothing like real Christian fellowship. His life is a splendid testimony and if our Lord so wills, I look forward to some real opportunities in helping these men to become better acquainted with Christ.

Bob Price, Sarah’s brother comes home from the European Theater. He is in the top row – right. Sarah is seated in the middle of the front.

This day has been filled with many and varied experiences by the way are of such a nature that I care not to write about them now. After all, it is very difficult to write such things in letters. In spite of the bad night last night and the little sleep I had, I do feel good this evening. I’m certainly hoping we have a better night than last night. Bullets and shrapnel were flying in all directions. Honestly, I don’t know how come there weren’t more of our men injured. God was indeed with us. We had to go out and pick up several different men in a very dark and stormy night. Thank you and all our loved ones for their devoted prayers, for I know they have carried me through some close experiences. I was really overwhelmingly surprised with the news of Bob’s homecoming. I hardly expected him so soon. I know Margaret must’ve been overjoyed as well as you and the folks. I guess I’m tenderhearted but when I read it my eyes filled up and such a hurt gripped my heart that I actually had to catch my breath. Even out here in all this dirt, mud, bracken, hurt bodies and destruction I longed for you and was so grateful for Bob. I’m most thankful to know that Bob hasn’t had to go through such experiences. I hope Bob doesn’t ever have to go through combat on the front lines. Well Dear, more in the morning. I love you more than ever, Dear.

21 June 1945

Good Morning Sweetheart:-

It is late but I couldn’t help it. Many enemy soldiers came through during the night. There was a lot of firing and as would be expected, we had a hard time rounding up prisoners and enemy wounded and civilians. By the way, I couldn’t get yesterday’s letter off so I’m enclosing today’s in the same envelope. I know all of you must be having a fine time together. I only hope this thing doesn’t go on much longer. God bless you Dear as well as the folks.

Just yours forever I am, in the

Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I guess I’m mixed up a little for I did mail yesterday’s letter-

June 19, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

19 June 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Sweetheart, we moved up again today and we are getting very near to our final objective in this campaign. We moved up to the last high ground and we can see the ocean and the beach. It will certainly be good to finish this campaign. To our left we see the mighty Pacific and to our right the East China Sea. Of course you know about Gen. Buckner being killed, he was our 10th Army commander. When the news reached us here at the front, we could hardly believe it was true. We will probably have trouble with scattered and bypassed Japanese for a while but we will have patrols and guards for sometime.

This evening I got some mail but there was none from you, Dear. I received some more inquiries about soldiers, a letter from Paul, First Church of Long Beach, Mrs. Allen, (this was an old letter – April 23rd), Kitty, and the North Shore Baptist. I’m hoping we have at least about two or three more good days and that will help us in finishing up this campaign. It will certainly be a treat to go back and have warm food and regularly prepared meals. Don and I really had some experiences today but I cannot tell you about it now. Darling, it is growing very dark-more in the morning. God bless you my Dearest Darling Lover.

Willis

Early 20 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest One:-

Battle map for the Okinawa campaign.

I’m very tired this morning after a very trying and miserable night. The enemy is pushed into such a small area now that they are completely confused, doing all things. We received very little fire from the enemy but there was so much from our positions that it was actually dangerous. There are a lot of them who would like to surrender, but under conditions like these, that is not as easy to do as it may sound. A person who has never been up to the front for a while does not fully appreciate what great confusion there is. We rounded up a lot of civilians this morning as well as some enemy soldiers. Quite a few soldiers had been hit and wounded. One young mother I shall never forget. Oh! How I pray that this thing will soon be over. War is only the selfishness of men and nations come to the forefront. Christ came to eradicate and deliver men from the cancer of sin. But man in his selfishness and desire to satisfy himself regardless of how it affects the other fellow has replied by life in action, “we prefer the cancer of sin.” As Paul the apostle said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the rulers of wickedness in high places.” Thank God Satan will not always assorted a high place. The initial victory has been won by Christ and how thankful I am that soon Satan shall soon be shackled and bound, no longer to have power in men’s lives. Right now man could be overcome in the power promised to us by Christ, but seem to prefer our own ways and suffer the consequences of a people disregarding our Lord; only giving Him occasional lip service.

Before us and all who really love the Lord is a mighty challenge. If it be God’s will, I only hope we can have a good many years in serving our Master.

I will start with your letter of May 21st. Dear, I think your suggestion of a Montgomery New Testament in leather for Jimmy would be a most appropriate gift. It hardly seems possible that he is graduating from high school.

I was glad to hear about Marguerite being over for supper and I’m glad you took some pictures. She must be a wonderful girl and Bob is certainly a fortunate young man. By the way, does she attend O’Hare church regularly? From all I can gather, she is a splendid Christian. I do hope I have an opportunity to meet her someday soon. I know what Bob said is true, but remember, a good lot of those men are going to be private civilians and that will make a difference. Im sure Bob’s facilities and equipment is better than anything we have ever had since coming overseas.

I know Head’s must have been happy to hear that Ralph will soon be home. If this is ever over, there will certainly be some good reunions. And I imagine that Batten’s will soon be seeing their son. And of course that will be glad day for them.

Well Dear, I must close this letter for now. God bless you, my Dear.

Yours always my Dear, in the love

Of Christ Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 18, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

18 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

This has been a day of many experiences, but as for me, the best was the arrival of your letter for June 8th. That was such a good letter, as is every letter that comes from you, my Dear.  Besides your letter, I had a letter from Aunt Annie Scurlock, Dr. Hepburn and Timete. Timete’s letter was very nice. I’ll send it to you later, Dear.

Early19 June 1945

Good Morning Sweetheart:-

I’m very sorry but I was interrupted after I started this letter last night, and by the time I was able to start writing again it was too dark. I slept fairly well considering everything last night. I’m hoping there won’t be many more nights when I have to try and sleep like this. We really have the enemy pressed into a small pocket now. And all will be glad when we reach the southern end of this Island.

Willis with his assistant, Don McClintock.

Yesterday morning we had some men injured but considering all things in the advance we made we did very well and casualties were light. I returned it to our Regimental Aid Station and while there who should walk up but Don-my assistant who used to be with me in the 98th. It was certainly good to see him and I’m surely thankful that he is here now. Outside of the arrival of your good letter, that was the highlight of the day. We visited for quite a little bit from time to time and he certainly seemed happy to be here with me again. By the way, we got several Japanese prisoners yesterday.

We have a solid overcast this morning but I’m hoping it breaks and clears for that will help our advance.

I’m going to answer questions and make comments on your letter of May 20th. From the way the Youth for Christ programs and services were conducted, I can easily see why they were not too successful. It is a shame, for with all they have, they certainly could have done better if there had been real and genuine interest.

I think you have been doing very well with the intermediate BYF but to grow or have interest, you must have real interest from above. Parents are to be challenged as to the great possibilities in training youth for Christ. I shall continue to pray for you as you work with that fine group of young people.

According to Edith’s letter, as well as your letter, she certainly had her hands full preparing for Lois’ wedding. To make all those clothes and dresses in itself was a mighty big job. Edith is a hard worker and a very good mother. I’m lonesome to see all of them again. I’ll be glad to have another good visit with Grandma Norman. She is really sweet and such a humble sweet Christian.

I was certainly shocked and sorry to hear about the home going of Dr. Dana. He will certainly be missed, we need more good men like him.

Well, Beloved, I must close for now and may God bless you and the folks in all things.

I love you for always in His

Precious love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

June 17, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

17 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest One:

Beloved, this has been a very mixed up day and I am pretty weary. I was only able to have one service and that was this morning at 9 o’clock. I spoke on a theme I used while with the 98th, ”Freedom. What does it mean to you?” The scripture was Galatians 5:13-21. There were about 150 in attendance. I had an another service planned for 11 o’clock but because of our moving it was impossible to have it. We are back up there where things are hot and dangerous. For two weeks the commentators have been saying we are mopping up now. Those fellows don’t know the half of it. They come up for a while to take pictures, make some notes and go to the rear areas. Whereas the old infantry stays up here facing the enemy all the time; from things they release over the radio and newspapers you would think the enemy wasn’t doing much. We have plenty of machine gun, small arms and mortar fire. But it seems now we have knocked out all of their artillery which means a great deal in speeding up the ultimate victory. However, for sometime we will probably have to send out patrols investigating caves and crevices.

Well Dear, I was just interrupted and it was a very good interruption, for just a few minutes ago our mail quarterly gave me three letters from you, they were for June 5th, 6th and 9th. The letters were such a great help to me. I can easily see that you have been very very busy trying to get things organized for Vacation Bible School. Besides your letters, I had a nice letter from Bertha, Pete Smith and Capt. Wilson. Some more young peoples magazines also arrived. The men like them very much.

We had a long march up here and it was really hot and dusty. But I’ll take the heat and dirt rather than the miserable rain. The passing armored vehicles and tanks really threw up great clouds of dust and dirt. Dear, it is getting late so I will close for tonight. God bless you, Lover.

5:15 AM 18 June 1945

My Darling Sweetheart:-

Well, another night has slipped past and a new day is here. I’m always glad for each day’s passing, for it means we will be seeing each other that much sooner if God so wills. In spite of being very tired last night I thought of you a whole lot, for some reason or other I couldn’t get to sleep very well so I thought I ought to devote the time to something which means a lot to me. I naturally thought of those things nearest and dearest to our hearts. Such as a family of our own and years of companionship and working for Jesus Christ.

Dear, you will be interested to know that I can still see a few of the brighter stars scattered here and there in the sky. From all indications we are going to have a beautiful dawn. There are a few light grey clouds racing across the sky toward the rosy tinted eastern sky. Many times as I face the dawn I think, that’s where my sweetheart is and how I long to see her. As the sun is rising here it is late afternoon there. What a glad daybreak it will be when I’m able to start for home and you, my Dear. It is entirely impossible to keep track of how often such thoughts come into my mind and heart. It is certainly a strength and sustaining courage in these long lonesome days to have hidden deep in my heart that one precious thought. “If our Lord so wills I’m going to see the dearest of all sometime.” How long before that glad day I know not, but I’m constantly encouraged and challenged by that thought.

Sallman – head of Christ

This morning I’m going to start with your letter of May 19th. I’m glad you got the picture of Sallman’s Head of Christ for Marguerite. It is my earnest prayer that He may have first place in their home. And it was good to know you had a talk with Mrs. Finn for a few minutes. She is really a go getter for the Lord. I certainly agree with her about North Shore and only having such a short school. They have certainly fallen down in reaching the youth for Christ. I can’t remember when Auntie Skoggs had her VCS. And many of the young people of the church, those in service and in business, are ones she reached back there a few years ago. My Dear, I shall certainly remember you in prayer as you lead the school. I feel confident that Christ, through you, will be able to do an effective work.

You said you bought Ruth Bell and Don Williams a wedding present. I guess you told me about them going together but I never knew or realized until just now that they were.

For all you have been telling me in your letters from time to time, I’m sure “The Shepherdess” must be a very valuable and good book. You must have had a good time at the C.E. party at Buena. I’m glad you are able to get down to Buena every now and then to see old friends.

Talking about pictures Dear, why don’t you try and buy a colored film and a roll of colored pictures. You won’t be able to take any inside, but it would be grand to have some of you and the folks. Be sure that you are in most of them. Several of the men have received colored snapshots from loved ones taken with color film and they are nice. You’ve been asking me from time to time if there is anything I would like, well that is one thing I would very much like to have. Don’t worry about me having things, Dear. Out here it is almost impossible to carry things with you. Sometimes you’re so dirty, tired and weary it’s about all you can do to carry yourself around.

Dear, I agree with you fully about the “Youth for Christ” Movement. We do not necessarily do a lot for Christ when we have the frills, fancy choruses, mottos and ditties. Christ is life and life and living is serious business.

By the way, I have something I’m going to send you which appeared in a magazine, or I should say a leaflet, about the Muscatine church. The whole affair makes me feel very badly. (I’ll send it in another letter).

Well Darling, this will be all for today. God bless you and the folks in all things.

I am yours only and for always in

Christ’s perfect love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3