April 6, 1945

Okinawa Shima 

6 April 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

It will soon be dark again so I will take a few minutes to write you a note on my lap. It has remained cool all day and most of us get pretty cold during the night.

Last night was about the best nights sleep I have had, I was awakened by gunfire only two or three times, that is until daybreak. I spent most of the morning in the rear areas. I found an old man with only a tattered garment on. I took him back to one of our civilian camps. He was very very frightened at first but I gave him a bit of my ration and he seemed very happy, and when he saw all the others he certainly showed real joy. Most of them are under the impression that we are going to torture or kill them.

There were some snipers around in one of our areas this morning so we got out of there as soon as possible. More of the enemy infiltrated during the night but all were killed or captured. Under conditions like these you are always glad to see daylight. However, dusk in the morning and the evening is the time we have to watch for air raids. We are only a little over an hours flying time from Japan proper so you can see they can get up some planes. However, our air cover has been superior. You cannot imagine how good it is to look up and see our planes constantly patrolling the sky.

I met a marine chaplain this morning and we traveled for a little way together to see what we could do. However, I left him at one of the hospitals to see how the men were getting along. This afternoon I spent some more time in one of our hospitals. And after walking back here I fixed my bed up a little for the night so I ought to be able to sleep better. You get so tired you can almost sleep anywhere. I haven’t seen Paul Wells since we left the Philippines. He is in our division also. I hope to be able to see him one of these days.

There are so many things I would like to talk with you about but it isn’t easy to write about them. You cannot be any place like this under such circumstances without coming to some definite conclusions. Darling, more than ever I am convinced that Christ is the only answer to the needs of this world. Such a mighty challenge lies before us. It will certainly be grand when we can be together again in the work we love. Darling, it means everything to have you as my counterpart in Christ. It will certainly be good to get our own pastorate again. So many times I feel so guilty because of the inability to do much. I have always wanted to do things that count but out here you feel so unable to cope with a situation which is of such a nature.

Well my Darling, I must close for tonight. God bless you and the folks in all things. Thank you Dear for being such a good Christian wife and companion.

Forever just yours in the love of Christ

Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Willis

Colossians 3:3

John 15:16

P.S. Enclosed is the last letter I received from Vivian Shaffer. By the way, a month ago yesterday was the last letter I received from you and I’m so lonesome to hear, but I’ll be hoping pretty strongly in two or three weeks. You should soon be receiving my letter about my assignment to Special Troops of the 7th Division. 

One thought on “April 6, 1945

  • John T Reed
    April 6, 2019, 3:25 am

    These letters form Okinawa are heart-wrenching and harrowing, indeed.

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