At last we are aboard ship and will probably sail late tonight or early in the morning. The name of our ship is, “Mexico Victory.” I got aboard about 15 minutes ago and I’m very weary after carrying my bags so long and so far. We were well soaked a couple of times this morning and this afternoon it about melted us and the humidity is terrific.
Lover, this will be my last communication until I hit the good old USA soil. God bless you and the folks in all things. I’m hoping to hear your precious voice soon. This letter is being carried ashore by my good friend Captain Riley of the Replacement Battalion.
Well, this day is about gone, and thank the Lord it brings us one day nearer to the day until we can be together again. Lover, it is impossible to describe to you how wonderful I feel. 2 and 1/2 years separation from the one you love is entirely too long.
We had rain almost all night and it rained most of the time until noon. It is almost all clear now, but it is very hard to estimate how long it will remain clear.
I spent a good share of the morning reading my Bible and some other material of a religious nature. I also finished reading the book on the life of Alexander Woollcott. About 10:30, all of us who are scheduled to leave on this next ship were notified to go to finance and have our Yen changed for US currency. This afternoon I started to do some more reading and when we were notified to leave for another area to receive our final physical examination before boarding ship. It was almost 4 o’clock when we finished our physical. There are supposed to be 129 officers on this first ship.
I had only about 50 minutes before supper so I decided to write a short note to Don McClintock and to the Hollys telling them I’m now on the way to the good old United States.
From what we know now we are supposed to leave here tomorrow morning and go to Jinsen by train and load aboard a ship tomorrow afternoon. We will probably not sail until Saturday morning August 10th. I’m not sure of the name of our ship, I’ve heard two different names so I’m sure it must be one or the other of the two following names: (1) Williams Victory (2) Mexico victory. And as far as we know, we are supposed to dock at Seattle. The only other alternative would be San Francisco, California.
Well, Darling, I will close for now and as it looks now I’ll probably only be able to write you one more letter from Korea.
This has been a very full day, the best part of the whole day was the arrival of your good letters of July 23rd and 24th. The one of the 24th is the one I’ve anxiously been awaiting for. That letter arrived here just in the nick of time for I’m inclined to believe that will be the last letter I will receive from you over here. You have no idea how much it relieved me to know for sure one way or the other. There has been so much uncertainty the last few months that it has been trying indeed. Lover, I know it made it very difficult for you, but I hardly knew what else to say in my letter to you. As you said in your letter, it is most difficult to make such decisions after being separated so long. I cannot help but feel that something will come out of this whole affair which will be best for us and our service for Christ.
Just this minute it started to pour rain, I’m sorry that it messed up the top of this page, but it so happens that my bed is right under a spot where the roof leaks. Our cots are nailed to the floor so before I could get my bed moved last night during the downpour, I got pretty well soaked, as well as my blankets.
Besides your good letters, I received letters from the following people: Jeanette (her letter was mailed from Chicago on July 29th, I’m sorry you didn’t see her), a nice letter from Seattle, Captain Knight mailed it when they landed on July 26th and the other letter was from Mr. Kraft. I decided to take Mr. Kraft’s letter to Rody immediately; it had been pouring since 4 o’clock this morning and did until about 1 o’clock this afternoon. It only sprinkled a couple of times this afternoon until the downpour which started about five minutes ago.
I hitchhiked into Seoul and fortunately found Rody at the conservatory. I gave him Mr. Kraft’s message and then he wrote a letter for Krafts and one for Homer Rodeheaver. I’m bringing them with me. Then he also gave me a set of his plans for his proposed building program of the school. I’m going to show them to Krafts and also Rodeheavers for I know they will be very much interested. Rody is indeed a fine man and above all a fine Christian. He is liked and respected by all who know him. He is Korea what Arturo Toscanini is to America and is and has been playing a most important part in our military government work in Korea. When we are together I’ll be able to tell you many more interesting things about the Hyuns.
I left Rody’s place for he had several men to see. I managed to catch several rides and arrived out at the 29th General Hospital around 11:15 am. I saw Captain Schunke right away and made arrangements to have dinner with him. I visited with a number of old friends just before going over to dinner. Captain Schunke and I had a good visit and were just back in his office when I was paged over the public address system. I checked up immediately and found all of us were to return to the place as soon as possible. Things look better now and from what they tell me we are to have our occupation money changed for good old U.S. currency tomorrow.
Well, it has quit raining now and it ought to be a good night to sleep. It appears to be clearing up in the west now.
Lover, it makes me happy to know you are having such a good rest with Mom out at the cottage. Well, I must close for now and may God bless you and the folks in all things.
Yours alone forever in Christ’s love,
P.S. Just before starting this letter to you, I wrote a short note to Dr. Russel S. Orr telling him that I was in a disposition center and expect to arrive home shortly after the 1st of September. I know I need not ask you to pray about our future – I only wish you to know how much it means to have a wonderful wife like you.
Well, this has been another long tiresome day around this Replacement Depot. I’m very thankful for the fact that it wasn’t as hot today as it was yesterday. It is growing quite dark but I want to get some kind of a note off to you before it is completely dark. I wanted to start this letter to you as soon as I had finished my evening meal, but Alrik wanted me to be his partner in playing horseshoe. We must have played 20 or 25 games and managed to win every game. Several different players played against but we defeated all of them.
We made up several volleyball teams this morning and we played until almost 11:00. After taking a good cold shower I came back over here to my barracks and read until time for our noon meal. We had very good meals all day, I must say they certainly feed a person very well. This is continually the best meals I’ve had since being in the Army.
After dinner, I unpacked all my bags and repacked them cramming them just as tightly as I could. I believe I got the presents packed in just as good as possible, and fortunately, they will not take up too much more room. However, my things are going to be plenty heavy. But I think I’ll be able to manage them all right.
Following that, I washed out some of my dirty clothes and spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the life of Woollcott. As you can see, it hasn’t been a very exciting day, but it does bring us one day nearer to the time when we can be together.
Well, Lover, I shall close for tonight. God bless you and the folks in all things.
With my deepest love forever, in Christ,
P.S Don’t count on me being there for the retreat at Lake Geneva. I’m inclined to believe that I’ll be arriving at Fort Sheridan just about that time. It just makes me sick that I cannot be there for that occasion.
It is quite late and almost dark but I wanted to get a short letter off to you before it becomes too dark. This has been another long tiresome day around the Replacement Depot. First of all, I will tell you the good news which is the fact that I am to sail on the first ship which comes in. The name of the ship is the, “Williams Victory” but now for the sad news, it is not scheduled to arrive until the 11th of August which means we will not sail before the 12th of August if we are lucky. And that means we will not be reaching Fort Sheridan until around August 31st or September 1st. And we will probably be discharged around September 2nd or 3rd. As soon as we reach Seattle I’ll send you an airmail letter letting you know any further details. And of course, remember I’ll keep writing to you from here until we are aboard ship and underway.
After roll call this morning, Alrik and I went to a place where I had heard we could buy some nice things. Darling, I blew myself for you and I certainly hope you like what I bought for you. There are three different things and I think all are very beautiful. I saw something else I would have liked to have bought for Mom, but I hardly knew whether I should spend that much money. I’ll present the things to you when I return, what a joy it will be to give them to you in person.
This afternoon I went into Seoul (hitchhiked) to see if I could find Rod, I just missed him at his conservatory and went to three other places, but didn’t have any luck in finding him. However, while at his office his secretary gave me a package and a note. The package contains a very beautiful present for you from Rody and Mrs. Hyun but I’m going to keep it as a surprise for you when I return to the States. There were three other presents addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Kraft, Mrs. J.N. Rodeheaver, and Homer Rodeheaver. He asked me to take them with me. In brief, I’m going to be more than loaded down but anything for my Lover and dear friends I’m glad to do. I did some reading in my Bible and also some more in the book on the life of Alexander Woollcott.
It tried to rain several times during the day, in fact, it was cloudy most of the day and most unbearably humid. Following the evening meal, we played volleyball for an hour and a half and then I took a shower before writing this letter.
Lover, I can hardly wait until we can be together. I had so hoped that Dennis or someone from the hospital would bring me out some mail. But it may be that the weather has been so poor for flying that no mail has come in for us. If possible I may try and hitchhike out there and see if there is any mail tomorrow. Well Beloved, it is very late and dark so I had better close. God bless you and the folks in all things.
Well, here it is nearing 6 o’clock and I’m quite weary, not from work but just this continual sitting around. You will recall last evening I mentioned the fact that it started to sprinkle, well, so far it hasn’t let up. It has rained very hard several times during the night and day. The mud around this place is terrible and you have to wander all over to avoid the slop holes and muddy paths and streets. Even though this was Sunday, I found it hard to sleep so I arose at the usual time and cleaned up and then following the breakfast hour I read until time for morning worship service here at the Replacement Depot. Chaplain Riley had the service this morning. It was the first service (communion) that I have sat in since the last one we had together on the first Sunday of January 1944. All the other services (communion) I have officiated at myself. I’m hoping that it is our very last communion service apart. From now on, I hope every one is to be had together with many other Christian friends. I came back and decided to rest until time for our dinner. Our dinner was most unusually good today.
Following dinner, Alrik and I visited for a while then I came over here to my barracks and decided to read some in the book I found on the life of Alexander Wolcott. After reading for a while, I decided to rest again for a while.
Around 3:30 I wrote a letter to a mother who was interested in finding out about the death of her son. It happened last November 18th. With all that has happened to the Army since that time, it made it very hard for me to check up on the case. After much research, I found out he was killed in a jeep accident. He was driving alone, was drunk and killed instantly with a broken back and neck.
Our evening meal was fair but nothing to be compared to our noon meal. We know nothing more about our situation around here. The 7th of August is drawing nigh and there is no sign of a ship.
Lover, it is growing darker and I must close for now. God bless you and the folks in all things.
Forever and only yours because we are one in Christ’s love,
Following our evening meal we played horseshoe for about 1 hour and a half so I must write this letter now before it becomes too dark. There are still no lights in this building, so that means I have to do all my reading and writing during daylight hours.
The sun has shown very little today, but in spite of that fact, it has been very warm. It is cooler this evening and I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep. A good share of the morning I had to spend taking charge of a detail of men cleaning up one of the barracks building for the general inspection which they had here this afternoon. The rest of the morning 12 of us got together and played volleyball until time for our noon meal.
So far the meals have been unusually good around here. This very minute it’s starting to sprinkle, and from the looks of things, I wouldn’t be surprised if it rained all night. Already it has started to cool off so that means we ought to have a good night’s sleep. By the way, as far as we know, the ship will be coming in somewhere around August 7th. I’ve been running into a lot of men I knew at one time or the other. It is surprising how many of them were patients at one time or another out at the 29th General Hospital.
Several times during the day, Blomquist and I visited and as you can imagine, we are most anxious to get out of here and on this ship back to the good old United States.
For quite some time this afternoon I read. Good reading material is hard to find in a place like this. I do have my Bible and two little devotional books with me.
Darling, it did my heart good to know that Ruth Sword is such a fine girl. I certainly wish there were many more like her. I’m hoping to have the privilege of meeting her when I return to you, Beloved.
Well, my Lover, I think I should bring this letter to a close because it is pretty dark outside. God bless you and the folks in all things.
It is about 1/2 an hour before time for our evening meal, so I think I will take advantage of this time and start this letter to you. It has been very hot since 10:00 this morning. This afternoon has been very hot, and as a result, I’ve spent most of my time right here around my cot. Only now and then does a faint breeze slip through this old barracks building. As I’ve said before, since arriving here I’ve been so tired and weary and have been able to sleep like a log. Part of the afternoon I devoted to reading my Bible and a couple of little devotional books I have. Then for an hour and a half, I slept and very well at that considering the heat. I also dropped over to Blomquist’s barracks and visited with him for about half an hour.
Following our roll call this morning, we played horseshoe for about an hour. After that, 12 of us played volleyball until after 10 o’clock, we were soaked and wet with perspiration so we all took a shower. After that, I came over here to my quarters and washed out some of my clothes and then read until time for our noon meal. There are about 80 officers waiting now along with 1,500 enlisted men. As far as we know the ship is not due now until the 7th of August as I told you before. I wished it would come in sooner, but that won’t be too bad if we don’t have to wait too long before pulling out of Jinsen for the good old USA.
Today I just happened to think about the fact that you may not have had the privilege of meeting Jeanette if you and Mom were going to spend a week or two out at the Dunes. I told her to call you from Fort Sheridan, but from what I gather, Margie and Bob would be there during the week but over the weekend – no one would be there. When she left here she was interested in checking up on her chances of going to Northern, she was hoping you could take her out there and show her the campus.
I do hope your rest up there proves very helpful and I’m hoping we will be able to spend some time there together. In your letters of yesterday, you mentioned the fact that you had just read the book, “The Brother.” I never have read it, but from what you said, it must be pretty good.
Well Beloved, it is almost time to eat so I must close for today. God bless you and the folks in all things.
It is almost so dark I cannot see to write this letter but I want to get it off to you before it is completely dark. This letter may be short but I do want to tell you briefly of the event this day. Early this morning we had roll call and immediately after that I started to hitchhike out to the 29th. I made pretty good connections and arrived there about 10:30.
My purpose in going out to the hospital was to pick up my pay for July. As you know, our pay was increased beginning with the first of July. As a result, my pay was increased by $30. I received $163.25 yesterday. They paid yesterday but I couldn’t be there on account of reporting here. However, Lt. Eady very kindly saved my pay until I could get out there today. And then I was most thankful to receive three more of your blessed letters, they were for July 20th, 21st, and 22nd. I’ve read them several times and they helped me so very much. I’m so very glad you were able to go up to the Dunes for a rest. From what you said in your letters, it must be very nice and I assure you it did make me very much lonesome for a good rest with you up there.
When I opened your letters of July 22nd I had so hoped that you would find out something for sure about the situation at Northern, but I’m afraid I’ll make the whole journey back to the USA not knowing for sure the situation. I sent you the cable on July 29th, so I’m hoping you received it by the 30th which will mean you will discontinue to write to me over here. So, unless you go to Chicago between the 22nd and 30th and find out something for sure, I’ll have to sweat it out all the way back to the States. I’ve been doing it this so long I suppose I can sweat it out until I arrive home. This uncertainty is very trying at times.
Darling, I guess it must be the let down because the last two days I’ve been very tired and have slept a great deal. I must quit now for it is so dark I cannot see any more. God bless you and the folks in all things.
Yours alone in all things through the love of Christ Jesus,
Well, here I am at the Replacement Depot. I left the 29th this morning at 7:30 and arrived out here about 8:30. By 10 o’clock I had been checked all the way through, now all I have to do is await the arrival of the ship which now is supposed to be the 7th of August. The place where I’m assigned to sleep doesn’t have electric lights, so I want to finish this letter before it gets too dark. Alrik met me as soon as I came in and showed me what to do so that helped a lot.
It has been cloudy and very humid all day. Around 5 o’clock this evening it sprinkled for about half an hour. It is still very cloudy and I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t rain some during the night.
I’ve really been tired this afternoon, following the dinner hour four of us played horseshoe for about an hour. Then I came over here to my bunk and laid down for over an hour. It must be the let down for I am really weary.
Darling, I’m sorry for the poor letter I wrote to you last evening but I had very little time and several old friends from 7th Division came out to see me. That was certainly nice of them and we really had a good visit. And then of course many different ones at the hospital were always coming up to see me, and naturally, it was very late before I was able to get to bed.
Because of the short time I had last evening I didn’t tell you about the ballgame we had. It was the final game because I was leaving so now the officers don’t have a pitcher. We beat the other team 6 to 2 and I had the privilege of scoring one of the runs and driving it two others. I wish you could have seen it. We were playing a tough team and there was really a lot there to watch the game. Out of the 31 games I pitched for our team we only lost five. We really had a good team.
This morning a rather large number came down to the front of the hospital to bid me good-bye. Little “Willis Jr.” the pup seemed to feel very badly about my leaving. Lover, it is certainly going to be wonderful to start home to you. I still find it hard to believe that I’ve gone this far now.
Well, I want to take a shower before it gets too late, so I had better close for tonight. God bless you and the folks in all things.