September 23, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

23 September 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

What a long long day this has been, and mainly because again we failed to receive any mail. The men are really sick and tired of the way they are being treated now that they’ve dumped us off over here. The same rations every day, and actually, most of us haven’t eaten a good meal for about five or six days now. I wish some of those bright birds who prepared them had to eat them for about a month or two and they would see how tiresome it becomes. They sample the food back in some quartermaster kitchen back in the States and say very very good, but that’s the last of it; they immediately go home and eat a good meal and feel what a great job they have done. They have so much pork in the rations and fixed and mixed every imaginable way, and after about so long everybody is sick of that which they put out. Forgive me for complaining Dear, but it does get rather tiresome to read that they are saving all the best cuts of meat for the men overseas and then see all the rear echelon commandos eating it while we have our C rations. I cannot understand why we in the Infantry should always get such poor breaks when it comes to food.

Chicago

This has really been a beautiful autumn day, but at its very best it was hardly half enjoyed because the best part of me is back in Chicago. I will be so happy when we can be together again and enjoy such things. I had my service at 9 this morning. There were 114 present which was exceptional when considering how many were on guard. I spoke on, “Unlimited Power.”  My scripture was taken from Ephesians 1:15-23. My theme being this, that the war taught us that many things we have taken for granted are limited, but that in Christ there is no limit. And to accomplish and attain that which we desire we must take Christ into our hearts. The most important part of a powerhouse is the control room, and the most important thing in our lives is the control room of our heart. If other than Christ is allowed to be in charge of the controls we can expect power shortages, short circuits and broken power lines, for the devil specializes in those things. I concluded by asking them to let the Master Controller in the Person of Christ enter their hearts. Give Satan his eviction orders. Our Regimental Colonel just over from the States was present in the service and told me after the service, “That the sermon was the best he had ever heard since being in the Army.”  Very gracious of him, and I’m glad he thought it all right. Sometimes I don’t have the opportunity to work out my messages as much as I would like, but I always try to do my best. I got up very early this morning and came down here to the Chaplain’s office and went over my sermon again and had a little quiet time. For some reason or other I didn’t sleep very well last night. After the service several different men came in to see me and we visited until dinner time. After eating a bit of what we had, I came back here and work on my message for this evening. This evening I spoke on, “Start Where You Are.”  My scripture was Mark 6:31-44. I used for the theme of the sermon; we cannot build anything or hope to accomplish anything on our doubts, so therefore, let us build on our beliefs. And then I reiterated some basic beliefs concerning Christ and God’s way of Salvation, and that’s where we are to begin. There were 34 in attendance this evening.

  By the way, we were paid today for the month of August. I drew $25 in yens and had the rest sent home to you by check. If I remember correctly, the check will amount to $100.50.

  This afternoon I visited with several men and then helped a couple of others with problems they had. You know, it seems like ages since we landed here and I think it is mainly because we are not getting mail. I do hope you are not having to wait for mail like this, this is bad enough here.

  Just before I started this letter to you, I wrote a letter to Katherine Riley. I’m going to send an envelope of letters to you tomorrow. From what you said in one of your letters, I imagine you will be working for Mr. Paul quite often. I’m glad you can help them, but please don’t overwork yourself. After all, to have our own family you will have to be strong. It is good you want to work a little to help us out and I appreciate it, just be careful though, won’t you Dear?

  Dear, the Pearl Harbor affair is a hot potato and some of the boys in Washington will have red faces if they investigate it thoroughly. I have always believed poor Kimmel and Short were made victims of some foul play in higher offices. A court martial would make some people very uncomfortable, therefore, they are willing to forget about it and not court martial Kimmel and Short. It is easy to see that Truman is playing politics and doing all he can to please all by straddling the fence on some things.

  Well, Beloved, it is rather late and having had a poor night’s sleep last night I think I will retire for now. God bless you in all things. I love you more than ever before, Dear.

 I love just you, my darling

 wife in Christ, forever and ever.

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

September 22, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

22 September 1945

Dearest Darling Sarah:

This has been another long long day, mainly because there was no mail from you, Dear. In fact, there was no mail at all, official or otherwise. I suppose it will be two or three more days before any comes in, I’m so glad I have your old letters to fall back upon.

  Most of the morning I studied inside to prepare myself for tomorrow’s services. I also had my devotions and went over our study for this evening in our Bible class. By the way, we got down through the 42nd verse of the first chapter of John this evening. There were twelve men in attendance, which isn’t so bad when you consider how are men are scattered and on guard so much of the time. After dinner I took care of several things and then two different men came in to see me. And I gave out some more Bibles. And I also got out two more letters (follow up)  to those who lost loved ones in our campaign at Okinawa. I believe I told you some time ago that I’m sending out letters enclosing Dr. Dana’s, “When Young Men Die” and the poem which Holly wrote entitled, “ God Remembers His Own.”  By the way, I wrote to a young mother of 22 years today who lives in Lisle, Illinois. She wrote me the finest Christian letter you would ever want to read. Their little son Larry Jon was born after his father was killed. I told her that you and I would certainly remember her in our prayer, for we realize that upon her shoulders rest a great responsibility and privilege as she rears Larry Jon. I gave her your name and address and telephone number so if she comes in to Chicago she may call you or write you. Her name is Mrs. Joyce Ham in case she ever calls or writes. Being young and facing a great responsibility I thought you might be able to help and encourage her in case she ever writes or calls you. I cannot be satisfied with sending out a form letter of condolence as some chaplains do, I always try to make my own personal. Of course, there were cases where I could hardly write anything but a foreign letter because the chaplain who preceded me did note keep up his letters of condolence, and as a result, I had to write many letters concerning men I had never known. However, even in the case of these men I’m making the follow-up letters as personal as possible.

  After Bible class I came over here to our chaplain’s headquarters and wrote two letters before starting this letter to you. One of the letters was to Arthur Mitchell. I’ll send you his last letter soon. And then I wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Craft. I had just read the article by Mr. Kraft in The Link entitled; “God is My Partner”,  so I thought I would express to them my appreciation of the article. I’m going to enclose it in this letter so you can read it. I think it is very good and I think you will agree. Dear, be sure to keep it for our files.

  It rained most of the morning and was cloudy about half of the afternoon, but it cleared fairly well and we had a most beautiful sunset. I wish you could have seen the beautiful colors on the mountain peaks off in the distance. This is really a beautiful country and I would like to be able to get around and see some of the beautiful spots. Darling, the people back in the United States ought to be so thankful for their fine houses of worship and the privilege to go to church unmolested. The faithful Christians here in Korea have gone into the mountains and hills during the night and had their humble services. All were faithful to the admonition, “Thou shalt not forsake the gathering of thyselves together.”  Last Sunday was the first Sunday for several years that they have been able to have their worship services and not be fearful of having a spy in the congregation. It is so unfortunate that when the church becomes rich in possessions that often she becomes poverty stricken spiritually. With all we have, we ought to be very rich spiritually. Tomorrow all the Christian churches here in Kyongsong are having a choral festival in the afternoon, singing songs of praise to God for His deliverance and for the bright hope of religious freedom. The one thing the English speaking Koreans ask me more than anything else is, “ How soon will the United States send missionaries and teachers to Korea?”  They are not asking for lend-lease but for Christ and education that they may become a strong nation. More and more I realize what a tremendous task is ours in the United States, for most of the people over here think that everyone is a good Christian in the United States and they are eager to be like us. Darling, Korea is white unto the harvest, but I’m afraid as Northern Baptist we don’t have any missionaries or Christian tachers ready for this mighty harvest field. These people are willing and receptive. Please pray for Korea and ask friends at Northern to pray that there will be some at Northern hear the Macedonian call of Korea; “Come over and help us.”

Soldiers move a wounded comrade. Okinawa 1945.

  I so wish we could talk over so many of these things, it is very hard to do so in a letter. Won’t it be good when we again can pray, talk and discuss things as we used to do. By the way, you may be interested to know that I was recommended for the Silver Star for rescuing wounded under fire on June 6th at Okinawa. I, with three other men, managed to get seven men back alive. Two of our men were killed and another very seriously injured. I thought you might be interested to know that. God was so very good to me during some very difficult situations. I assure you that I was afraid, but somehow or other there was a quiet and an assurance in my heart which cannot be described in mere human words. We had to go right out into the clear and drag them out on ponchos. Our only means of protection was our own men pouring heavy rifle and machine-gun fire into the enemy lines, we also had two smoke grenades. I hated to see two of those men cut down but we did get 7 back. Our own artillery was screaming over our heads as we were getting the men back. And then just when I got into what we considered a fairly safe area, one of our own short artillery rounds came over and landed about 30 feet in front of a litter I was helping carry. And Dear, it was a dud, if that had ever gone off we may well all have been killed instantly, but all it did was throw a piece of rock about the size of a goose egg and hit one of the men in the chest, fracturing two ribs. Things like that cannot be explained by any other way than God must have kept that 155 artillery shell from exploding. Of course, it was defective that is true, but that it should have been defective and a short round also is still harder to explain. So much for that; Darling, I know your abiding prayer, praying above all else His will carried me through some very dark  days.

  On the 28th of August you really went to town writing letters and I know there must have been a lot of people happy to hear from my Darling Sweetheart. Dear, concerning my future over here I don’t know anything for sure, but as soon as I do be assured that I’ll let you know. Remember all the things they say before Congress and then the news releases don’t always apply. We will just have to wait, but as soon as I do know anything for sure, I’ll let you know. I wish I could tell you it won’t be long but I won’t do that until it is on orders with my name as the one concerned.

I was glad to hear that the check for $105.25 reached you safely. As you know, it was sent to the Chicago address while you were out to the Dunes. I was also glad to know that the March through June bonds reach you at last. Perhaps the pay for those months will also be straightened out pretty soon. 

I got a kick out of reading about little mommy getting the paint bug. She is so sweet and I love her so very much. You know the Lord was so gracious in giving me you for my counterpart and companion, but just think, He heaped the measure up to running over with such a good Christian mother and father-in-law. I do so want to be a good Christian husband to you and a son-in-law of whom the folks can be rightly thankful.

  Dear, as things are now, I think it would be unwise to send a request for anything except something which can be sent by Air Mail like the 1946 diary which I have asked you to get for me. I know mom’s soap is good but it takes so long for things to get here so I think it best not to send anything now.

It was so sweet the way you described your feelings about going with me wherever we go anywhere when I get back. I thought that would be the way you would feel and that’s just the way I wanted you to feel for I don’t want to ever be away from you for so very long again. You are such a good Sweetheart and I love you more every passing day. God bless you in everything, my Dear.

 I love you more than ever

 in Christ’s ( I said it last)- 

Love.  Remember darling???

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

September 21, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

21 September 1945

My Beloved Darling:

Another day and no mail, and all of us really feel it and the men are really complaining about it for they feel they could fly mail into us if they really wanted to do so. Well, tomorrow is another day and I will be hoping for some of your precious letters then.

  All day long I’ve been on the go taking care of things and trying to study a little as well as taking the time for devotions. After dinner Chaplain Vogel and I had another service for one of the companies of our regiment which is a very long way from here. It took most of the afternoon to take care of the service and get back here in time to eat a snack. I used the same message which I had yesterday, “Test Me Now.”  There were twenty-four men in attendance. And then after eating we had our continued study in John. We got through the 28th verses this evening. There were 14 in attendance. This guard business really makes it difficult for me to get away for any kind of service.

  I had a long talk with some of the men this evening about some questions they had about the Bible and other related subjects, as a result it has grown rather late and I am tired. However, before starting this letter to you I wrote a letter to Jeanne Wyckoff  for her birthday. I know it will be late but I wanted to let her know I thought of her and was praying for her future. I sought to encourage her in the Christian life. And then I wrote a letter to the Galilean class thanking them for the nice box which they sent me. You will remember I received it just before we sailed from Okinawa for Korea. Also this morning I wrote a letter to the mother and the father of one of the very fine young men, congratulating them upon their fine training of their son. I thought it might make them happy.

Sarah at the Dunes. August 1945.

  Darling, in your letter of August 26th you said something which helped me more than you will ever know. I quote, “And I know this, that I love you more than ever and I never could and never want to love anyone else. I’m yours for always, Dearest, no matter what comes to pass.”  How I praise God for you Beloved and I say those words right back to you, for that is just the way I feel about you. Isn’t it good to be always each others? Those words; together, us, our, we and in Christ means so very much to me, Dear. I can never think of Christ in all His blessings without thinking of you, Dear.

  I’m glad you were able to have such a good rest up at the Dunes. You needed it and it will probably mean a lot to you and your work this fall at Northern. I’m anxious to get some letters from you to know how you have been coming along with your work this fall and how you like it. If it is possible I hope we’ll be able to have a little time together before we get back into full-time work.

  You were wondering how many points I have, as of V-J Day I had 58 points. I’m not counting on much of anything. I’m just hoping it won’t be too much longer before I’ll be able to come back to you, Dear. Things are most uncertain over here and they are really upset. We have a lot of high point men who are still here and probably will be for quite some time. This Army is most unpredictable and I will not count much anything until I see the good old Golden Gate.

  Dear, I think it is fine the way you are saving our money for the days ahead and I fully agree with you about buying things and then having to ship them to a new place. We will not buy very much until we are sure we will be settled down for some time. I do hope they improve the quality of things before too long. I’m sure the Lord will lead us aright if we trust Him fully. He will never fail those who seek to do His will.

  Well my Dear, I will close for tonight hoping that tomorrow will bring us in some mail. God bless you my Darling in all things is my earnest prayer. Be sure to give the folks my love.

 I’m yours ever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

September 20, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

20 September 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling Wife:

Well, another day has slipped by and there was only one letter for me, it was from Connie; for some reason or other it had been miss sent to another outfit, and as a result, it was delayed in reaching me. I do hope there will be some mail tomorrow for I am getting pretty lonesome to know what you have been doing since September 4th. I’ve got your other letters and I read them over but I like to know what you are doing from time to time. I hope they start getting our mail in better than they have been. With all the air transportation there is available now they should be able to fly mail over here to us. The rations we are having now are getting pretty tiresome, but they would be a little more bearable if they would get some mail into us. I have become very tired of the rations and about all I can eat is some crackers and jam or jelly and corn and beans when they have it, which isn’t too often. I generally try to drink some coffee to help get the dry crackers down.

After the baptisms on Okinawa.

  This morning I did some studying and planning for future programs and services. I also took care of some more problem cases. And then I wrote a letter to the wife of a man who lost his life on Okinawa. By that time it was time to go over to try to eat something. It is quite difficult to accomplish very much when you are so often interrupted. As soon as dinner was over I came back here and prepared to leave for one of companies which is a long way from here. Chaplain Vogel and I had services for them this afternoon. There were nineteen men in attendance and I used as my message this theme, “Test Me Now”, taken from Malachi 3:10. The King James reads, “Prove Me Now.”   I used the idea that in this day of fast-moving inventions and industrial progress that the most important part of any up-and-coming concern is a good laboratory where their products are tested. Sometime later I hope to have enough time to develop the message more fully. Perhaps I will be able to preach it when I come back and you will hear and see what you think about it. It was rather late when we returned and as a result it was almost time to eat. 

Having had something to eat I came back over here to our chaplain’s quarters for a while and then left for our chapel where we had our first bible class since our arrival in Korea. There were 14 in attendance and we started out studying the Gospel of John. We got through the 14th verse. I certainly love the Lord’s word the more I read it and study it, and above all, I love to teach it for it seems to reveal to me greater light and understanding. Please pray for our class Dear, for my one aim is to create within men a desire to study the Bible. The lack of Bible knowledge is most appalling among those who claim to be Christians. Personally, I realize my own weakness and I want above all else to be fully prepared.

  After the Bible class a couple of soldiers visited with me for some time about the Bible. Both of them are young fellows and have only been in the Army a year or so I want to do all I can to help them. It is easy to drift so I’m anxious to help them as much as possible. Before starting this letter to you I wrote a letter to each of the following:  May and Connie, my father and Louise Davis. I have a lot of letters to write and am trying to get a few out everyday.

  It is really a lovely moonlit night and it is just cool enough to wear a field jacket, and how I would love to take a walk arm-in-arm with you, Dear. It will be so good to just be by your side again walking down the street, holding hands or walking arm-in-arm. From the very first time we sat side-by-side at prayer meeting in November 1940, I have enjoyed being by your side. I don’t know how to describe it, but it is such a good feeling and fills me with much heaven wrought joy.  For some reason or other the air and the crisp moonlight makes me think of those lines written by John Whitcomb Riley, “When the frost is on the pumpkins and the fodders in the shock.”  I do so hope that we will be able to be together a year from now. Anywhere with you is all I care.

  It is surely good to know that Donnie’s eye is improving. Perhaps in time it will be back to normal. I surely hope so. I’m glad Kay had such a good time at camp, the main thing is that it helps her spiritually. I’m also glad to know that her teeth are straightening up.

  I’m sorry you ran out of the paper Kitty gave you for Christmas for it is just nice size and files away so well in the folders which I keep them in. The other is more bulky and doesn’t press out so well. I do hope it won’t be too much longer before we can forget about writing altogether. And just talk, love and pray like we used to do. What joyous days and hours, Dear.

  Lover, I will close for tonight, more tomorrow evening. God bless you my Dear in all things. Be sure to give our friends my love and best wishes.

 I love you so, Dear, for

 ever and always through Christ

 in whom we are forever one,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 John 1:4

September 19, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

19 September 1945

Sarah, My Dearest Darling:

Well, one more day has slipped by and I am so thankful for that means we are one day closer together. I had hoped there would be some mail today, but none came in. Perhaps there will be some tomorrow. I’m glad I have your old letters to read.

  This has been another rounder of a day, on the go from daybreak until this very minute. This morning I tried to do some studying but was interrupted several different times. This afternoon it was the same story all over again. There were several cases to take care of and then I was trying to get my service planned for this evening. By the way, you will be interested to know that this afternoon I gave a Bible and some tracks to a Japanese officer who wanted them. He is a Christian, but naturally being in the Army he was not allowed to have them; that is knowingly. He says he believes Christianity is the only hope for his country. He wants to tell people about Christ when he gets back to Japan. Please remember him and me in prayer until he is returned to Japan. I gave him the tracks because I thought they might prove helpful to him.

News from September 19, 1945.

  There were 24 at our evening service which isn’t so bad when you consider how things are right now. I spoke on this  theme, “Acquaintances or a Friend?”  My scripture was Revelation 3:20.  It worked out very very well. Just before starting this letter to you I wrote a hurried letter to Holly’s and let them know that I haven’t forgotten them all together.

  It has been rather chilly all day and on several occasions it sprinkled. I’m not sure but it may be sprinkling right now. As I said several times before, this weather and climate makes me think of Chicago and the surrounding area. Naturally that makes me more lonesome than ever.

I’m going to answer some of your questions and make a few comments on your last letters, then I’m going to go to bed and try to get some rest for I am really quite tired. I’m so thankful to the Lord to know that Mr. Paul is getting along so well. I do hope that he doesn’t have any more trouble and that he will regain his health. I’m happy that you have been able to help them during this time of their trouble. I was rather surprised to hear about Bob working on some farm somewhere but that is better than lying around. Perhaps by the time this letter reaches you he will have his discharge, if not I hope so. I assure you that I’ll pray for him and Margie and I do hope they will be able to get started soon. Has Bob made any kind of a statement as to what he intends to do? I do hope Mom won’t worry about it too much. I’m wondering if she is starting to do any worrying about us?

  I think that was all right what you told Mrs. Scheu about the refrigerator. Things are very very uncertain right now and it is very hard to know just what is best concerning this matter. Those dresses you made while on your vacation sound very nice and I’m sure they will look good on you, Dear. 

I think that was very nice of Captain Wilson to send the negatives to you. And when I write to him I will thank him for his kindness and thoughtfulness. I was sorry to hear that Delores Nelson isn’t feeling so well. I hope she gets better soon, as you say, she never looked too well. She is extremely nervous and of course that doesn’t help any.

  Well, my Dear, I think I will close for tonight and try to get some rest. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love. I love you more than ever, Sweetheart.

 It is so good to be just yours

 for always Lover in Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Sweetheart, when you get the 1946 diary for me please get as thin as one as possible. Otherwise it will make my pocket look too bulky.

September 18, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

18 September 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

No mail today but I hardly expected any after getting so much all at once. However, I am still missing your letter of August 22nd. It should be coming in soon. The only letters I did receive today were from Mrs. Hansen and several from who lost loved ones on Okinawa. The letter from Mrs. Hansen was very very nice and she said she had just received your good letter.

  This has been a most beautiful day, just like a good autumn day back in Illinois. They came around and took our sizes today for our winter clothing so I suppose sometime in the near future we will be obtaining our warm clothing. That will be the first I have had to wear since leaving the States. I worked on another message this morning and then shortly after 10 Chaplain Vogel and I left here to go to one of our groups of men and have a service for them. A good share of them were on guard, and as a result, I only had 12 in attendance, but that is the very best you can do under conditions like these. As soon as we were through we came back and had a snack of c-rations and then I came on over here to our Chaplain’s Headquarters office and studied for a while and was interrupted several times to take care of some problems different soldiers had. I also had to take care of two more Red Cross cases. Just before time to eat this evening I wrote a letter to Al Beaudoin and his wife Ruth (the present pastor of the church in East Moline) expressing our congratulations on clearing the church of debt, and I further expressed our prayers and wishes for them a most fruitful ministry in that church. I thought that would be a good gesture on our part, Dear.

  After eating some this evening and taking care of another problem which needed attention, I came back over here and wrote letters to the following ones before starting this letter to you; Daunt and Mil, Sergeant Visconti and Raymond Cox. I will mail their letters to you so you can read them, Dear. I’m really behind in my letter writing but I am going to do my very best to catch up with all the other things there are to do. I love to receive letters. Yours are the very best of all Beloved and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have them to refuel me and encourage me in these days of our separation.

Willis and Sarah Reed on their wedding day.

  Last night I had the best night sleep I have had it since we left Okinawa. Along with that good night’s sleep, I had a wonderful dream about you and our first born. Beloved, it is so very good for a man to have a wife like you, for everything about you makes me want to be my very best for Christ. Those days which separate us from being with each other again can pass none too soon to please me. Dear, it is pretty hard to be halfway around the world from the one who is your partner and counterpart. I’m convinced that my greatest joy this side of Eternity will be the privilege of being with you again, my Dear. From the very hour we met you have changed my whole life and the joy and sunshine which you are life has wrought mere human measurements could never express.

  I want to start with your back letters and answer questions and make comments on other things you said in your letters. Dear, I’m glad you were able to read Mrs. Montgomery’s translation of the New Testament. It is very good. I also enjoy reading the Goodspeed translation. And in fact, I always read some from it and the King James everyday if at all possible. Reading such a translation does help a lot.

  I was so glad to know that Paul, Gen and the children had such a good time up at the cottage. I’m only sorry that they were not able to be out there long. I’m surely looking forward to seeing the boys for I know they have grown a lot. And I know it will be something to hear Dukie talking.

  The party which you had on the occasion of Jeanne’s birthday sounded very nice and I’m glad you have such a good time. I have always loved her and I prophesy for her a real future. She is such a sweet Christian girl, our nation needs many more just like her. I do hope that you and I can be an encouragement to her.

  Several times in your last letters you have asked me how much I weigh thinking that I have lost weight. I know I have lost weight, but how much I don’t know. I don’t believe I’ve seen a scale on which I could weigh myself now for at least seven or eight months. Don’t worry Dear, I will take care of myself as much as possible.

  Yes Darling, I have been receiving the Army and Navy Chaplain Magazine from time to time which you have addressed to me. I cannot understand why that one should have been returned. By the way, I was interested to know that Buena wasn’t so interested in Dr. Martin. Remember, any man who ever had the task of following Dr. Hepburn would have a tough job. Dr. Hepburn is a fine pastor and they will go a long long way to find a man to take his place. However, I do hope they do before the church slips too much.

  Well Darling, it is rather late and I am tired so I’m going to close for tonight. God bless you Dear and give the folks my love.

 Forever yours alone, 

for We Are One in Christ,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 Philippians 3:8-10

 P.S. Darling, the next time you can go to Harder’s or some such office supply store, will let you please buy me a good 1946 diary. It is impossible to obtain them over here and they are so helpful for me to keep records in. The one I have now measures 3 by 5 inches which is a good size in that I can carry it in my pockets at all times. Please send it by Air Mail. That is a special request. 

September 17, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

17 September 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This has been a very full day for me and I have hardly had enough time to do any of the things I had hoped to finish or get out of the way. For the highlight of the day was the arrival of four more of your back letters, they were for August 25th, 27th, 28th and September 1st. Those letters were such a great blessing and help to me, Dear. As soon as I can get a breather I’m going to read them all over again. As things are right now I just don’t have the time do all the things I have to do. Besides your letters I got nice letters from each of the following:  Louise Davis, Miss Pettus, John Stroo, Arthur Mitchell and Lieutenant Erb.

  All morning long, Don and I spent our time fixing up a place which will be our permanent headquarters for the chaplains of this Regiment. For a while Chaplain Wells will probably not be here but perhaps in the future he will be. As always in the Army, things are most uncertain; immediately after having a cup of coffee and a couple of crackers for my dinner I moved to a new place where all Regimental officers are to live. Of course we will be scattered all over and to reach the men will mean a lot of running around, but with only our division to cover so much ground that is all that can be done. As I said in yesterday’s letter we are short on chaplains as it is.

  After that I had hoped to accomplish some things here at the Headquarters when three different soldiers came in to see me about problems which they had. That took quite some time and then I tried to have my devotions when again I was interrupted.

Chaplains of the 7th Division

  Chaplain Vogel and I had made arrangements to go out to one group of men who are a long way from here for a service for them this evening. Don and I came down here and waited for a long time but Chaplin Vogel failed to show up and we had then waited almost an hour. Finally the phone rang and who should it be but Chaplain Vogel saying he had forgotten about picking us up until they were almost there. He sent the driver back to pick us up. Naturally that took a long time, meaning more waiting. Finally we arrived out there way after dark. We had our service in an old warehouse with one feeble light to guide the men in the singing of the songs which we sung. I used the same message I had yesterday morning, first because I hadn’t had time to prepare another and besides these men hadn’t had the privilege of being at church yesterday anyhow. There were 40 or more in attendance. In the dim light it was rather hard to know how many were there altogether. It was a long cool ride back in our old wide open Jeep. Fortunately, we had a couple of old army blankets to help keep some of the wind off us. It took about 45 minutes to make the drive back here. I wanted to be able to write you a good long letter tonight but as things are now it won’t be so easy. At least I’ll use a typewriter so you won’t have to read any more of my scrawling. And besides, it is a little easier to use the typewriter.

Darling, there are many many things I would like to talk to you about at length but letters are so inadequate and rather cold. The personality and the presence of the other means so much in discussing things near to our heart. Having made the rather long journey tonight to that outpost, we had the privilege to see a lot of things and a lot of people. I reserve some of that for a later letter. However, I would say my heart goes out for them and I am so anxious for them to know our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Upon our shoulders rest a great responsibility Dear, and how thankful I am to our Lord that I have the privilege of being your husband. After all, you are all and far more than I could have hoped for in a good wife. And it is my earnest desire to be a real servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus be partially worthy of your wonderful abiding love. I only wish you knew what a great inspiration you are to me even though we are separated by all of these thousands of miles.

  Well today began my 26th month in the Army and I do hope there won’t be too many more months before I’ll be out of the Army and with you my Dear in the world we both love so very very much. There have been many discouraging days in the Army but the hardest things to bear was the separation from you, Dear. Even the worst of combat was not as hard on me as the loneliness and ache of heart which has been mine since last we saw each other. Out of all this I have learned many things and I do hope it will more fully prepare me for our life work together. And as I said before, I do hope that you will be able to see some genuine improvement in many different ways. I know naturally you will be glad to see me and may have a tendency to overlook things and feel there is improvement, but I want you to pray for me Lover, as I know you are, that I grow in such a way that I’ll be a blessing to you and worthy of being a servant of Christ. I’ve not been able to accomplish all I hoped for from time to time, but I’m honestly seeking to make every single movement count, for I realize full well that, “anything less than our very very best for Christ isn’t good enough.”  Dear, I want to be a husband and partner of yours in the Lord which you can honestly respect in the light of God’s word as revealed it to us through Christ. I sincerely believe that true unreserved love for each other now and eternally is based upon the foundation of respect for each other; in the light of His word. Darling, in brief, that is why I love and cherish you and love so much. For now and ever I could have nothing but respect for love so devoted, fine, sweet and constant as yours. That may all sound hazy and cold to you when you read this letter my Dear, but please remember that no matter how many thousands of ways I could try and say it, I know tonight I love you more than ever I have before and will only always love just you because you are to me the counterpart of my life now and eternally. Again I say thank you for being such a fine Christian wife and lover.

  I must close for tonight and be sure to give the folks my deepest love. God bless you Dear always, I love you so very very much. 

Yours forever in Christ’s wonderful love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

September 16, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

16 September 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

What a banner day this has been and mainly because I received nine wonderful letters from you, my Darling;  I only wish you could know how happy they made me. It has been cloudy and rather dismal all day but the joy of heart and soul could never be dampened with such good letters to cheer and help along these lonely days. I will be so very happy and thankful to our Lord when we can be together again. Words cannot fully describe how my heart aches for you, Dear. Nothing can ever take your place Dear and it will be so very good to be with you again and talk over the things nearest our hearts.

  The letters I received from you were for August 23rd, 24th, 26th, 29th, 30th, 31st, September 2nd, 3rd and 4th. I’m still missing yours of August 22nd, 25th, 27th, 28th and September 1st.  They ought to reach us pretty soon. I also got three letters from Paul and Gen, one from each of the following: Vivian Shaffer, Connie, Arthur Mitchell, Dolores, my cousin Jim, Louis Davis, First Church Long Beach and several letters from those who lost loved ones on Okinawa.

Memorial Day service on Okinawa led by some of the chaplains.

I was up at the break of day and have had my hands full until this very minute. However, I did write a short letter to Paul and Gen before starting this letter to you. They are so sweet and I love them so much. The letter from Gen was a jewel and when I read her description of you waiting for me and being so sweet and lovable I got all choked up and had to shed some tears. There is no doubt about you being in my heart for now and all eternity. When I think of you my heart hurts and thrills and fills with joy all at the same time.

  We are four chaplains short in the Division now and with our troops scattered all over with occupation duty we really have our hands full. For this morning’s service I used as my scripture Exodus 10:21-29. “ Lighted Dwelling Places.”  My theme was along the line of letting our lives be an example of light to all men in the darkness of this day. It worked out very well. This evening I spoke on, “ Not Interested.”  Mark 8:34-38.  It also worked out very well too, Dear. Everything considered my services were very very well attended. Chaplain Wells’ battalion is a long way from here so I took care of all the rest of the Regiment in this part of the city.

  I didn’t have time to read your letters over too well but perhaps I’ll be able to read them over tomorrow. Right now I’m so tired I can hardly hold my head up or my eyes open. Dear, I’ll try to do better tomorrow evening. Even though this letter is short, remember I love you more than ever, Dear. God bless you Beloved and be sure to give the folks my deepest love.

  Yours alone forever in Christ’s

 perfecting love. I’m so glad to be

 you husband, Dear,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed find three letters from Paul and Gen, Faith Allen, Laura Pettygrove and John and Helen Mueller.

September 15, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

15 September 1945

Dearest Darling:

About all I can say for this day is the fact that we are one day closer together. Days like these certainly try your patience and from all indications there’ll be many more of them. This rounding up and looking for soldiers or enemy peoples is indeed difficult when there are so many obstacles to overcome. Actually, things are so poorly managed that you cannot help but wonder how much longer you will have to put up with such foolishness.

  There seems to be no one concerned about getting US mail through to us so I suppose we will spend a good many more days without mail. This kind of situation would be just a little bit more bearable if I could hear from you now and then. It will soon be a month since I’ve known what you have been doing.

Bob and Marge Price at the Dunes. August 1945.

  We did some more moving today and naturally had to clean up some very dirty areas. I will not go into detail. Suffice it to say they were very very dirty. From all indications we are going to have a lot of running around here. Our troops will be scattered all over creation. Two of my boxes were broken into on the trip coming up here. It seems nowhere men have honor anymore. It seems like it’s all right to steal someone else’s belongings as long as you are not caught.

  A few more comments on some of your last letters and then I must try to get a little rest for tonight. By the way, just before I started this letter to you I wrote a letter to Laura Pettygrove. I’m going to enclose Mrs. Allen’s letter in here for you to read, I answered her letter yesterday.

  I’m glad Margie was able to spend one day at the cottage with you. From all you have told me she is certainly a marvelous girl and Bob ought to consider himself most blessed of God.

  I’m surely happy to know that they have a patch over Daniel’s eye now. And I hope his eye is strengthened so he will not have to wear glasses or have trouble of his eye crossing. I suppose Kay will have a nice time at Lake Winona.

  How is Leann coming now since her operation? I do hope she will be able to hear better in the future. When you see her be sure to greet her for me.

  The news about Mrs. Textor’s husband was surely a great surprise to me, and from all I know, I think Mrs. Textor  has done a wonderful job. I do hope Jane wakes up and treats her better.

  Well Darling, I must close for tonight and God bless you in all things and I hope mail will soon be forthcoming. Be sure to give the folks my love.

  It is so good to be just yours for

 always Dear, in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 Ruth 1:16-17

September 14, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

14 September 1945

Sarah, My Darling:

I have just finished writing a letter to John and Helen Mueller and to the Allens. I have a quite a few letters to answer but under conditions like these it is very difficult to do anything at all. Things are really, “ snafu,”  here as far as we are concerned. I hesitate to describe it. Nobody seems to know what the scare is in the first place, and far too many don’t seem to care. We, as one Division, have a terrific task and will have until some other divisions and troops get here to help us with the task before us. Our men are scattered all over creation, and without any means of transportation or a central headquarters, it is really one pretty headache from one day to day. I had so hoped that there would be some mail from you today, but no luck. At least some mail from you would have eased this mess and situation some. I certainly hope Bob is able to get out soon. I’m so glad he is still in the States, if he would have been stuck out here like us his chances wouldn’t be so good. He ought to have enough points now. Of course I know Margaret must be very very happy. I do hope he is out by Thanksgiving or Christmas time.

The Price family at the Dunes. September 1945.

  In brief Dear, very little was accomplished today so I’m not going to go into detail. Under conditions like these it is entirely impossible to make plans of any kind whatsoever. I shall make a few more comments on some of your back letters. I certainly hope my mail is getting through better to you than they are taking care of us now. There is certainly plenty of plane transportation, they can’t use that excuse.

  I’m glad you were able to drop out to the cottage (I mean farm) several times while at the Dunes. I’m sure Kenyon must be very busy with his corn crop. The way Gen had the house decorated sounds very attractive. That was certainly sweet and thoughtful of Gen to give you such a nice bouquet of flowers. As you say, she is such a lovely girl and I’m really proud of her. So Gen, Kenyon and the folks are still late in their arrivals out at the cottage.

  Dear, I’m glad you liked John R. Mott’s, “The Larger Evangelism.”  I think it is a very good book and most challenging. I suppose you have finished reading it by now.

  I’m glad John Groom is getting along so well at the Naval Chaplain’s School. By now I suppose he has been assigned. Hope he gets a good assignment.

  I was certainly surprised to hear about Hoppy Halsinger and his wife leaving Berkeley. If he were in the Army for a while he might be a little more cautious about such actions, without forethought.

  Lover, it is late and tomorrow will be a lulu so I must close for now. God bless you Beloved in all things. 

With my deepest love forever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3