April 16, 1945

Okinawa Shima  – Ryukyu Islands

16 April 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

I have just finished reading your letter of March 29th and April 2nd. As usual Dear, the letters were beautiful and they helped more than you can realize. Out here you get so weary, dirty, tired and lonesome sometimes it seems ages before this thing will be over, you have to be on a constant alert as you go about to do your work. My units are very much scattered, and as a result, it means I have to do a lot of walking and riding from place to place. When you get up near the front you always have to be on the watch for snipers.

This morning I visited one group of my men and then went onto the hospital to see the men there. As soon as I returned, I wrote some more letters to mothers of sons who would have been killed in action. Just before dinner Paul Wells drove in with his Jeep, that was the first time I had seen him since we were separated in the Philippines. He looks good and is also very busy. His outfit has suffered more casualties than our outfit has so far. The enemy hit his sector very hard. We shared many of our experiences together thus far and thanked the Lord for His goodness in protecting and leading us. For some reason or other he hasn’t received any mail as yet so I read to him what you said about your visit with Marjorie over the phone. When you talk to her, be sure to tell her he is doing a fine piece of work and I only wish we had more like him. It’s really helped to see an old friend. We stayed here and we had our rations together then we went to another field hospital together. We had a lot of men to visit, so after a while I started walking to Division Headquarters. I wanted to see our commanding officer but he wasn’t around. However, I did get to see Chaplain Walt, our Head Division Chaplain. He is a rather a young chaplain for such a job. I would say he is around 36 or 38. I like him and I believe he will help rather than hinder as did the other chaplain in my old outfit.

I came back here and I stripped off and took a bath out of water in my helmet. It will certainly be good to have a decent shower again in a place that is nice and clean. Whenever you take a bath, always remember how I would like to have that much warm water. You are limited to the amount of water a helmet will hold but I certainly feel better after my bath.

Dear, I’m going to start with your letter of March 9yh. I like Dr. Mantey’s attitude about movies, that is the reason I would never say I thought it was wrong to go to movies. I think it is for each individual to make the choice. And I also think an up and coming church should have a wholesome recreational program for the young people.

It was interesting to hear about Arthur Anderson’s talk in chapel. I worked with him one summer at Northern so I know him pretty well. We washed apartment walls and painted. We worked in every building at Northern. Whenever you visit Taft Hall, remember your little sweetheart has washed a part of every wall in every department. I’ve washed walls twice in Wilkinson Hall.

I got a kick out of Mom picking a certain wall paper and then not being sure she likes her choice. From your description, the house must look pretty nice after the decorators finished. It will certainly be grand when we have our own home again and can plan things for ourselves.

 Darling, often you have said you would like to be with me; in a way I wish you were too, but Darling I would never want to see you go through the hell of battle. When you see men mortally wounded, children and mothers, you cannot help but breathe a prayer of Thanksgiving-“Thank God my dear ones don’t have to see or go through the atrocities of war.” As I’ve said before my Dear, there are things I wish I could erase from my memory forever. As it is Dear, you will not have that to remember or rather be reminded of on different occasions. It will be such a great day when we can share our joys and sorrows together again. A letter never half expresses the things I feel down in my heart. Just to pray and meditate together again will to me be standing in the portals of Heaven.

I was glad you received the $40 money order. I wasn’t paid for last month so I won’t be able to send any home to you now. By the way Dear, I heard today that the ship I came up here from the Philippines was sunk. That certainly makes me feel badly if it’s true, for there were some mighty fine men aboard. And those 47 letters and the $50 in cash I sent Captain Wilkinson was aboard besides your six letters. I utilized all my time to write those letters to different individuals and if what I heard is true, I wrote many letters in vain. I’m glad I registered the letter with the $50 to Captain Wilkinson, for if the ship was lost, I can recover the money for the natives cloth.

I’m glad you had such a fine time at your last club meeting. Be sure to give my love and best wishes to Teacher. You will be interested to know I met Minnie Lennon’s husband before I left and we had several good talks. I knew his wife pretty well through Chicago B.Y. work. I’m glad Teacher drove you, for I always feel better when I know you are not alone at night.

Well Dear, it is about dark so I must close for tonight. My desk is an ammunition case so I hope you can read my scrawling. Give the folks my deepest love.

Yours forever, and so glad to be

Because of our one Love in Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed is a letter from my father. I also got a lovely letter from Mrs. Schue and an Easter card and note from Hollys today.

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