January 2, 1945

January 2, 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Another day has slipped by and it has really been a full one. In spite of all that took place I thought of you many times and in many ways. I could not help but remember that we were together a year ago this time. I’m so thankful to our Heavenly Father for His great blessing to us, Dear.

Life Magazine. January 1, 1945.

After eating I had a talk with our Colonel as well as our Executive Officer about plans for the future in our battalion and regiment. By that time I had to leave in order to meet our Commanding General of this division. He seemed to be a good man. I must say I was able to have a good visit with him. At 10 o’clock we had a meeting of all the chaplains of the division. Many of them were not able to attend but I did meet some of them. 

After dinner, Chaplain Kern and I got some transportation and we called on our patients at three different hospitals. We really got to see some very beautiful sites on our trip to the various hospitals. 

It was rather late when I got back to my battalion, but after eating I had a good talk to a certain officer in our group. Later, there was a special meeting of all the officers which lasted for quite a while. As a result, it is late and I still have several things I must do before I can go to bed. 

Darling, this business of getting settled takes some time, but I hope in a few days to be better organized so I can write you a better letter. I will be so glad when I can start getting your letters again. 

Yours forever I will ever be in the 

Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

January 1, 1945

January 1, 1945

My Beloved Darling Sarah:

In that today was New Year’s Day, it was almost like a Sunday because we didn’t have any kind of training schedule. I thought of you several times and wished I could have a few of those letters that must be waiting back there for me.

Willis’ transportation to Hawaii and back.

Early this morning, I made arrangements to go and pick up my things that came up earlier on the plane. They included my bedroom, one footlocker of personal things and the other footlocker of Bibles, tracts, and literature of religious nature. While down that way, I got to see Carl Anderson. You will note that I sent a letter to you from the General’s offices because Carl thought the change of address letter may reach you quicker that way. As I have said before, it is certainly a privilege to know a fellow like him. He is a fine Christian officer and lives a clean-cut life in every way.

As soon as I left there, my new assistant and I came back here with the above mentioned equipment. A certain officer in another outfit invited me to have dinner with his men. I accepted the invitation and had a very nice time, it gave me an opportunity to become acquainted with more of the men. I, above all else, want to be a real servant and representative of Christ to the men of this regiment and division.

This afternoon I worked on and investigated the possibility of a Sunday evening service and a midweek service. I hope to be able to get definite information on the matter tomorrow. By the way, you will be interested to know that my assistant is from Joliet, Illinois, is a Baptist and hopes to prepare for the ministry someday. His name is Donald McClintock. He is certainly a fine consecrated Christian. We had a good visit this afternoon.

Immediately following dinner this evening, I had a good visit with two other officers. Later, I played some football with some soldiers. And then went over to the chaplain’s quarters, or I should say office. Two other soldiers and I had a good discussion on several Biblical questions.

Chaplain Kern and I made some plans for the future. That is concerning things that ought to be done. Darling, there are many things I would like to tell you but it is not advisable to do so now. I shall be counting on your prayers because I can see that there are definite problems to be faced here.

Well Darling, it is late and I do want to get some rest so I will close. I love you more than words can ever tell. God bless you Dearest in all things.

I am forever yours in the love of

Christ Jesus who makes us one,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. We had a very beautiful sunrise this morning. I know you would have enjoyed it. And tonight the sunset was beyond description. It slipped down between two rugged peaks which looked for all the world like two mighty spires on a great gothic Cathedral.

December 31, 1944

December 31, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, it is now 1945 back there, and it will be 1945 in about one more hour here. Darling, I have thought of you many many times and how thankful I am to God for you and your wonderful life and love.

Card sent from Willis to Sarah from Hawaii. December 1944.

It has surely been a beautiful day here. The surroundings are indeed a sight to behold. This morning I assisted Chaplain Kern in his service by reading the scripture and leading in prayer. I spent the rest of the morning working on my monthly report for December.

This afternoon I walked around to various areas to try to meet some of the men. I also played football with a group of men for over an hour. After that, I sent out v-mail change of address letters to several different people.

Then I worked on my message for this evening. I used as my text I Timothy 4:8-16. I entitled my message, “Profitable Living.” There were 33 in attendance at my services this evening.

After that, I went over to the chaplain’s building and visited with two other soldiers for almost 3 hours. They have never had prayer meetings, Bible classes or discussion groups here before so I talked to them about it and both of them seem to be interested. It may take some time to get them going, but I cannot be satisfied with one service on Sunday morning. Darling, I’ll be counting on your prayers in this important matter. I want above all else to lift up Christ to the men of this regiment.

In that I am very tired I will close for tonight. God bless you Beloved in all things is my earnest prayer. It is such a blessed privilege to be your husband.

Always and forever yours in the

Love of Christ Jesus who

Makes us forever one,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16,17

I Timothy 4:8-16

December 30, 1944

December 30, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This has been an extremely full day but nevertheless I thought of you many times and how happy we were just a year ago at this time. Real early this morning I woke up and thought about my arrival just a year before. Darling, I assure you that I love you much much more than I did even then. I’m so thankful unto God for your growth in Christian life.

Willis with General Richardson and his staff. 1944.

Carl and I had breakfast together this morning and then he left for General Richardson’s office. I took care of several other matters. And then just before noon I met Chaplain Sugg, the Chief Chaplain of our division. After we had dinner, we came out here to the 390th infantry Regiment to which I have been assigned. I’ve met a lot of the officers, but it will be some time before I’ll be able to meet and remember all their names because this group is many many times larger than our group where I used to be. Early Tuesday morning I am to meet the Commanding General and his staff of our division.

The other chaplain with me in this regiment is Chaplin Kern, a Methodist from Minnesota. He seems to be a very fine fellow and I believe we will be able to work well together. The Commanding Colonel of our regiment thinks we look enough like to be brothers.

I have temporary quarters now and hope to have permanent one in two or three weeks. This is certainly a beautiful place. The mountains with the clouds hiding the highest peaks are beautiful. And we are close enough to the ocean to hear the breakers. We have a full moon tonight which adds to the beauty of such a place. It seems so entirely different to smell flowers and beautiful green vegetation. As well as a nice garden spots. Where I came from you could see for miles and then nothing but glaring white coral dust.

I had my first meal with the outfit this evening. It was such an improvement over which I have been used to. I’m so thankful unto God for His every provision. Darling, there are many many things I would like to tell you but they will have to wait until we are able to be together again. Won’t that be a great day?

It was surely good to be with Carl again. He is such a fine Christian. We had prayer and read our Bible together before going to bed. Both of us prayed for his wife Ruby and baby Catherine and for you, Dear. He told me how wonderful it was to see Ruby again. As I told you before, General Richardson went back to the States and he went along and while there, the General gave him 15 days with Ruby and the baby.

This morning when I went into visit the Chief Chaplain of the Pacific Ocean areas, he greeted me by saying, “Well, here’s Reed from  Christmas Island. Did you see your picture in the Midpacifican?” He gave me this copy, so I removed the front page and will send it to you this way. See if you recognize me. It isn’t such a good picture, but it’s me. I thought you might like to have this copy. Today is our 2 1/2 year wedding anniversary. And how grateful I am for you and your wonderful love. I didn’t think about today being my birthday until almost noon.

Well Darling, it is late and I am very tired so I would like to get a good nights rest. God bless you in all things, my Dear. Give the folks my love.

Always and forever yours in Christ’s Love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S.  Please address all my mail as follows:

Chaplain Willis A. Reed 0-529294

Htq. 2nd Bn. 390th Infantry Regiment

A.P.O. #98 c/o Postmaster

San Francisco, California

I will be so glad when your letters arrive. I’m anxious to know what you have been doing since the 17th of December.

December 29, 1944

December 29, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This time a year ago tonight I was winging my way toward Chicago. So much has happened since that time. And as I have said before, each one of the months of our separation seem like a year.

Seventh Heaven. Willis’ transportation to Hawaii. 1944.

Today I had another nice flight in one of our finest airplanes. For about two hours we were in very rough weather and part of them did get air sick, but fortunately I didn’t. You will be interested to know I am on the island of Oahu and will report to my new outfit tomorrow sometime. We arrived here too late today for me to report to my new assignment. As soon as I know my new address I will get a letter off to you, for I am anxious for those back letters to start coming in.  I wish I could let you know how much your letters mean to me.

I came to Carl Anderson’s quarters and found him in so I am going to stay with him all night. He has a folding cot so I will sleep on it. It is so good to see him again, it means so much to have fellowship with a real christian officer. His kind are few and far between.

Before leaving down there early this morning, I had the joy of receiving four letters from you. They were for December 12th, 13th, 14th and 17th (afternoon letter). As you will note, I am missing your letters of December 15th, 16th and 17th evening.

Darling, I read those letters over three times already and I’ll probably read them many more before I get any more letters from you. I was so happy over the news about the Chief’s stand that I couldn’t keep the tears back, for I didn’t start reading your letters until we were in flight.

Darling, it is so very late and I’m tired and must get up early, so I will close for tonight and try to write you a better letter tomorrow evening. God bless you Dearest, I love you more than words can ever tell. It certainly means everything to have a good Christian wife like you, Dearest. Be sure to give the folks my love.

I am forever just yours in the love of

Christ our Blessed Lord and Savior,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

December 28, 1944

December 28, 1944

My Beloved Darling Sarah:

I’m still here and we didn’t receive any mail. I had hoped there would be mail but all of us were very much disappointed when the plane that did come in didn’t bring any mail for us. It is hard to tell how long I will have to go without mail now. This morning I spent most of the time visiting with different men. Some of these men have proven themselves to be real friends. Orville Wilson and I visited for almost half an hour this morning. This afternoon I spent the time visiting with some more of the men.

Willis post-swimming. December 1944.

Then later this afternoon something happened which kept Captain Wilkinson and I busy until just a few minutes ago. Three of the natives were very very seriously injured. I will tell you about it some day, Dear.

I don’t know whether you remember it or not, but a year ago tonight I took off from Los Angeles for Chicago. Remember, we were grounded at Salt Lake City for 11 hours because of bad weather. And I arrived at home with you at about five minutes after six on the 30th. You know that seems like years ago to me. I’ll be so thankful and grateful to our Heavenly Father when we can be together again. Each day without you only increases the ache in my heart, Dear.

Darling, it is very late and I will have to close for now because I will have to get up early. Remember, I love you more tonight than ever I have before. God bless you my Dearest in all things. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love.

Always and forever yours in the

Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16, 17

December 27, 1944

December 27, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, another day has rolled by and I am still here. And as things are now I have no idea when there will be another plane to leave on. When we have no planes that means no mail. I suppose when a plane does come in, it will have a lot of mail aboard and I will have to leave before I can get mine which will mean a couple more weeks without mail. I had hoped there would be mail today.

The men of Willis’ bible class. December 1944.

This morning Raymond and I called at the various areas to see the men. It was almost noon by the time we returned. After dinner I came back to my quarters and took most of the afternoon reading some more in my Bible. I also wrote a little article for the watch night service which the men will have even if I’m gone. I certainly hate to leave these men down here for they are really a fine group.

After supper we went up to the Air Base chapel for our midweek service. We had a good time in christian fellowship. They were only nine in attendance.

After we came back to headquarters, I took enough time to write a letter to Dr. and Mrs. Mantey. I am very tired, but I did want to let them know I think of them. When I get up there with the new outfit it is hard to tell what I’ll run into, and I may not have much time to write to them.

In that I’m tired I will close for now Darling and I hope to hear from you soon. Maybe there will be a plane tomorrow. God bless you, Dear. Give my love to all of the folks.

Only yours now and forever in the

Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I will send you my new address as soon as I know what it will be.

December 26, 1944

December 26, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

It is late but I want to take enough time to let you know that I am thinking of you and loving you more. In that there were no planes today I am still here and waiting for transportation. As I said in yesterday’s letter, from the looks of things it may be two or three more days before something arrives. All my things have been weighed in ready for the flight. All I have with me is a towel, my shaving equipment, Bible and pajamas.

Early this morning, Raymond and I left here for the infantry area to see a certain soldier. I had sent a request through the Red Cross for a welfare report from his father. He seemed much relieved to know about his father’s condition. We drove from there to the engineers to see another soldier about a problem I have been working on for him.

An Alua that Willis caught. 1944

Eventually we drove to the Air Base to check on planes. While there, I saw many of the soldiers and had a good visit with them. I got to see Orville Wilson and had a good visit with him. We would have visited longer but he had work to do. I hope to see him again before I leave the island. He is certainly a mighty fine fellow. I have certainly enjoyed the privilege of his friendship. I only wish we could have been able to know one another longer. After having dinner I returned to my quarters, read my devotional material as well as reading some more in the Bible.

Lieutenant Fox called and wanted me to go fishing with him in the lagoon. In that there wasn’t any plane due, another officer, Lieutenant Fox and I went fishing. I caught an Alua, which weighted around 35 or 40 pounds. I also got a shark. Lieutenant Fox caught two Aluas but his were much smaller, about 5 pound for one and about 10 or 12 pounds for the other.

In that it is so late, I’ll close for now and try to write you a better letter. God bless you beloved in all things. I love you much more than ever.

Yours forever in the love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

December 25, 1944

Christmas Night

Christmas Island

December 25, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Christmas day is almost passed and Darling, it would be impossible to tell you how many times I have thought of you. Many times I would look back at my watch and then try to imagine what all of you must of been doing.  Our Christmas day was about as good as one could expect in a place like this. Naturally, most of our thoughts were with those we love. I am certainly thankful to Christ for all you are to me, Dear.

Willis’ father (Earl) and Sarah. Christmas 1944.

I got up at the usual time and packed up all my things so I will be ready in case a plane comes in on short notice. I have everything packed now except my Bible, devotional material and shaving equipment. From the looks of things I may not get out of here for three or four more days. I hope it isn’t too late in the week though because it will make it rather difficult to arrive late and then prepare services for the men, especially in an entirely new set up. I’ll leave it in the Lord’s hands. At any rate, I am ready to leave as soon as the plane transportation arrives.

Shortly after I finished getting everything packed, Raymond and I left for our Christmas services at the infantry. There were a goodly number in attendance. There would or should have been more but as you know many try to catch the Christmas spirit by drinking what is known as spirits. No more need be said I’m sure. It is self-explanatory.

You will have noted already that my typewriter is gone. I took all of the property to Chaplain Brady after I completed this morning’s service. It was about 1 o’clock by the time I returned to my quarters. So I decided to lie down and rest for awhile. And it turned out that I slept almost 2 hours. I got up and took a shower and then dressed for our dinner which we had at 4:30. It was very very good. Our turkey was delicious. However Dear, no meal will ever be fully appreciated until you are at the same table with me.

Immediately following dinner, Raymond and I left for the Air Base to have a communion service for all would like to attend. There were 34 in attendance. We sang “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Beneath the Cross”, and “Onward Christian Soldier”. We also had prayer and a responsive reading. For the communion meditation I read the last few verses of John 13 and down to John 14:16. It was most appropriate in that it will probably be our last communion service together. Later, after visiting for sometime we came back and washed the communion set.

After having completed all things down here, I feel there has been a great burden lifted from my shoulders. And I find I am very very tired so I think I’m going to go right to bed, that is as soon as I wash out a pair of shorts and a pair of socks. God bless you Lover in all things and remember I love you more than words can tell.

Always and forever yours in the

Love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I’m enclosing a couple more Christmas Programs.

December 24, 1944

Christmas Eve

Christmas Island

December 24, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

This is another Lord’s day that is almost passed. We have been on the go since early this morning. And in spite of being very busy, I have thought of all of you many times. Darling, I love you so very much that hurts and my heart beyond description. As strange as it may sound, it is a good hurt, because after all, it makes me realize just how much you do mean to me; in brief, I would have it no other way.

I thought of you many times trying to realize you at North Shore with my father. I’m sure he was glad and happy to be there with you, Dear. I know that he thinks a lot of you, and I know he will even love you much more after having this privilege of being with you again. I am so glad he had the opportunity to meet Mom and the Chief. Again Dear, I want to thank you for all you have done to make this a wonderful Christmas for him. I would certainly be happy to be there with you, but the Lord has willed otherwise and I will do my best here. And how happy I am to know that you have been doing your best back there.

Both services this morning were very well attended. I used as my scripture for this morning services, Matthew 2:1-6. I developed a message around the theme, Christmas is a time when we as the wisemen of old ought to come and worship Christ. I developed and explained worship with several pertinent illustrations and then concluded with the necessity of the new Birth in each individual life. No one expressed a desire to follow or rededicate their life to Christ. But this I know, I did what I felt the Lord wanted me to do, and I especially felt His abiding presence with me during the last service. Even though I had a bad headache, I felt a power other than my own. I know you must of been praying for me.

This afternoon I rested for a while, then I got a few things ready so I’ll be ready for the first available plane. After eating our evening meal, I walked down by the shore for awhile and thought so much about you, Dear. It is always so good to be alone for a while. I will certainly be thankful unto the Lord when we can be together and pray as we used to, Dear. You know those times mean more to me now than ever. I think so many times of how beautiful it was to pray together in each others arms. Sweetheart, you’re such a good wife that I hardly know how to praise the dear Lord for His goodness. As soon as I came back from the shore, we left for the Air Base service.

I wish you could’ve seen how the men have helped to fix it up for the service. At the front of the altar we had made a large Christmas wreath out of two nice green palm leaves. At the center we placed three candles that we had carved out of bamboo. And we’ve managed to find a piece of red cloth that served as a bow. Everybody did their part and work very well. It was very good and I certainly appreciated the way the men took hold of the whole program. There were as many outside the chapel as there were inside.

It is rather late now and I am so tired but I do want to take enough time to answer a few of your questions and make some comments on the letter of December 11th. First of all, I forgot to tell you in last night’s letter that I also mailed you a package of first class letters I have received since beening down here. You will note that I have saved all the letters I received from Hollys and Gen and Paul. The one group marked “mixed letters” are a few I saved that I thought you might like to read. I threw the most of those away, because it would’ve taken too much to mail all of them home. As it is, I think the most important ones are in the package. You will also note I enclosed all of the Christmas cards and birthday cards I have received thus far.

Earl and the Chief on Christmas 1944.

Sweetheart, I am certainly glad to hear you received such a nice letter from the Hollys. They are such grand Christians. I know you will love them when you meet them. They love you very much already. I was very much interested to hear about the nice case the Chief brought home for you to keep the shells in. I will be anxious to see how you fix them up. You are so clever with everything you do anyhow.

Dear, I know the Chief must look nice in his new suit. From your description, it must be very nice. I will surely be happy when I can put on civilian clothes again. You know, I just now thought, I wish I would have had you take enough of our money and have the Chief go to town with my father to buy a nice suit. Maybe he has one now, but he didn’t have. There have been so many things to think about lately that it completely slipped my mind. Perhaps he was able to buy some better clothes before he started on his trip. Dear, I wish I could find words to tell you how much it means to know you’re doing everything to cheer my father and make this a happy Christmas for him.

Sweetheart, I would like to write you a much longer letter but I am so very tired that I am going to close and try to get a good nights rest. God bless you Lover in all things, and be sure to give all of the folks my deepest love.

Only yours forever in the love which wrought for us the

Christ of Christmas,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16, 17

P.S. Enclosed you will find five pictures.