August 11, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

11 August 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

I had hoped that I would have a letter from you this evening but none came, maybe there will be some mail from you tomorrow. I do have your other letters and they do help me a lot you can be sure. Even though they have been read many times, they do assure me a new of your abiding love and devotion to Christ and to me.

Comic Willis sent to Sarah.

Just after finishing your letter last night, a news flash came over the radio about Japan conveying a message to Sweden and Switzerland to us that they were willing to surrender if we let them keep their Emperor. Dear, in less than five minutes this entire island was filled with tracer bullets, flares and anti-aircraft and machine gun fire. There were also many flares which were sent heavenward, and all over could be seen the anti-aircraft searchlights reaching their long fingers into the sky. Last night I, for the first time in my life, really saw mob psychology in action, men grabbed their guns and emptied the magazines. Honest to goodness they were shooting so much in all directions that many of us in our area hugged the ground as though the enemy were counterattacking. I’m sorry several men were hurt but thank goodness none seriously, honest, I cannot understand why a man would want to grab a weapon as powerful as our rifles and fire anywhere. And then to think it isn’t over yet, we still have to hear the final word that the Allies have accepted their surrender. And then we still have the job of going into Japan to occupy which isn’t going to be easy or nice. Of course, it will not be as bad as fighting our way in, but we must leave the whole thing in God’s hands, praying for His will to be done above all else. And then of course we had a lot of men who sought to celebrate by pickling themselves in alcohol, and as a result, I didn’t have a very good nights rest for two different officers came in very late and were well pickled and as noisy and profane as could be. Such a nice way to celebrate a bid for peace, isn’t it?

I can imagine that in the States they have been having a very anxious time also. I suppose everyone is waiting hourly for the news as we are that the war is officially over. It may be several days yet before it is over. But I do hope it won’t be much longer. If it is over soon, I imagine we will soon be on our way there to occupy some territory. That’s all that anybody has been talking about all day today.

Early this morning I came down here and wrote a letter to my cousin Jim and also a letter to Mike and Mildred and Uncle Jim. After that I spend the rest of the morning studying and working on my message for tomorrow morning. I will tell you about it tomorrow evening. Just before dinner I sent another group of letters to you to friends I have heard from within the last week or so.

After dinner the men came by and asked me to pitch another game for them. We won by a score of 11 to 8. I got along alright and was able to get three good hits and scored twice. It was certainly hot to play ball this afternoon, but exercise and sunshine helps a lot.

Until supper time, I studied and then having had my supper I came back down here and visited for a while with Don and went to the movie to see the news. I never care to stay to the movies, but I had heard they were going to have news so I went up to see it. I don’t care much for the movies, I would rather devote my time to answering letters from friends or talking to my Sweetheart through Uncle Sam’s courtesy.

For several days now I’ve wanted to tell you that I was paid for the month of July but have neglected to tell you. I drew $25 dollars for incidentals and had the rest sent to you by check. If I remember correctly, it will amount to around $105. By the way, my pay from March through June will eventually be straightened out, and as soon as it is, I will let you know. We will need to save all we can to buy our car, kitchen stove, dining room set and a few other necessary things for our work together for the Lord. That will certainly be a grand and glorious day when we can be together again in His work. For me, that day can come none too soon.

In that Cleo and Howard are going to be married I think we ought to think of a wedding present for them. Perhaps you have a better idea but I thought a nice picture of Sallman’s Head of Christ would be a nice present. However, I will leave it up to you to decide what you think is best. Perhaps you will be invited to the wedding. I’m sure it will be very nice. Howard is certainly a very fortunate young man for Cleo is a wonderful girl. 

I was surely glad to know that you had such a nice trip across Lake Michigan, from all you told me in your letter I know you must have had a very good time. I’ve traveled a quite a few thousand miles by ship now, but it was only half enjoyed because you were not along.

Well, Lover, it is getting rather late and in that I’m tired I will close for tonight. From all indications I may have some more interruptions in the night because they still have several bottles of that stuff around. God bless you my Dearest One in all things.

Just yours forever and so grateful

And thankful to be because of the

Love of Christ in Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Remember Dear, it was just 19 months ago tonight that we had the privilege of seeing each other. It seems like that many years to me. I only hope it won’t be too much longer until we will be able to be together.

Also find enclosed two clippings from Stars and Stripes.

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