September 16, 1944

September 16, 1944

My Beloved Darling:

Another day has slipped by and I’m still waiting to get a plane back to our island. This waiting around is surely tiresome. I like to be busy and have things to do. Perhaps you have heard the expression that most men use in the Army, “Hurry up! And wait.” You will not be able to appreciate that statement for you have not had any close contact with the Army. From all indications I will have to wait two or three more days before I get out of here. This inactivity is monotonous to say the least.

One of Willis’ friend’s and dogs on the island.

I waited around here for some time this morning, and finally when I found out I could not get out today I decided to call the Chaplain Cavender and we planned to be together for a while this afternoon. We contacted Chaplain Brown, so we spent about five hours together this afternoon. Chaplin Cavender left a little early because he had some things to do. Chaplin Brown and I had dinner in Honolulu and had a very good visit. He is really a fine fellow and is planning on going to Northern to finish his seminary work. We have a good many of the same ideals. We are about the same age and his wife is just a little older than you are. They’ve been married five years. He is anxious to get back with his wife, just as I’m anxious to get back with you, Dear. He came into the Army as a chaplain two months after I did. They also look forward to having their own family. So many of our ideals are like that it is amazing.

I arrived back here just about sundown. I read magazines and newspapers to help pass the time away. There are no more to read, so I guess I’ll have to twiddle my thumbs.

I surely hate missing services for the men tomorrow, but I’m not able to do anything about it. I just have taken a nice warm shower (so good after nothing but brackish water) and will read my devotional material and retire for the night because I’m tired, even though I haven’t done anything.

Well Darling, in closing let me remind you that I love you much more than ever. Be sure to give my love to the folks.

Now and forever yours in the love of the

Lord Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

September 15, 1944

September 15, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This has been another busy day, and it seemed the day just flashed by. There are a lot of things I would like to tell you but I will not be able to do so now. However, there are some things I can tell you.

Early this morning I left Honolulu to go to the Chief of Chaplain’s office. While there I had a good visit with him about the problems we face.

Later, I called upon several other officers about needs we have down on our island. I’m hoping they will do something about them for it is a sure thing man cannot give their best when needs are not supplied.

I returned to my room in Honolulu and had a good dish of ice cream for my dinner. I wasn’t very hungry. I packed all the things I bought for men down there and prepared to go to the airfield to get a plane back. Shortly after dinner Carl Moller (Louisa Hae’s husband) called me and wanted me to have dinner with him this evening. So I arranged to do so.

Immediately after that I left for the airfield to make arrangements for my flight. It took over two hours to get everything ready, and at that I’ll probably have to wait two or three more days before I catch a plane.

On my way here I stopped by the Pacific Ocean Red Cross Headquarters and sought to get some help from them with some urgent needs down on our island.

I met Carl downtown at 6 o’clock and we had a very good dinner as his treat to me. It was good to visit with him, he seemed to be very happy to visit about Louisa and Evelyn.

In the meantime, Chaplain Cavender and Chaplain Brown came down to Honolulu and looked for me at the place where I stayed. Fortunately, I met another chaplain friend who told me so I found them and all of us really had a wonderful visit. Chaplain Brown knows a lot of our friends so we really had a feast of fellowship.

There is nothing in all the world like Christian fellowship. I have missed such fellowship for a long time now. Chaplin Cavender’s wife has had a very serious operation, so please remember her in your prayers, Dear. I wish you could know him, he is surely a grand a chaplain and the kind I like. Chaplin Brown is a fine man also, his wife is attending William Jewell College, our Baptist college in Missouri.

Well Darling, it is late and I’m tired so I think I’ll close for tonight. God bless you in all things, my Dear.

Yours always and forever in the Love 

of Christ which makes us one.

Willis

Colossians 3:3

September 14, 1944

September 14, 1944

My Beloved Darling Wife:

Another day is rolled by for which I am thankful. I would surely like to have heard from you today but there isn’t any hopes as long as I’m here. Each passing day I find more reasons to be grateful for your wonderful love.

This is been an eventfull day because I had the joy of seeing and meeting chaplains I have seen and been with before. The greatest joy for me was the privilege of meeting Alrik Blomquist again. I had not seen him since we left Chaplains School.

Another great joy was the privilege of meeting and seeing my dear friend Chaplain Cavender who I told you about sometime ago. He has returned from the area where his outfit fought. He told me all about his experiences. After the chaplain’s meeting was over we decided to go through the Dole Pineapple Factory which was some experience, you would have enjoyed it I’m sure. I’ll tell you all about it some day.

Royal Hawaiian Hotel. 1944.

Now I’ll tell you about the surprise of surprises for me. When I left the Mainland, Holly’s gave me the name of a friend of theirs who teaches English at the University of Hawaii. I tried to get her when I was here before but was unable to do so. This evening I went out to her apartment to see if she were there. She lives near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel right on the beach. She had just returned from a months vacation on the big Island. There were several friends visiting her and two technicians. During the course of our visit they asked where I was from and said I said Chicago. One of the technicians said he was there about two weeks ago to visit relatives and friends. One thing led to another and I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear and know that it was Carl Moller, the husband of Louisa Hae (who used to sing at Buena) and his sister is Mrs. Evelyn Tannehill, who directs music at North Shore. I met her while she was leading music down at Woodlawn Baptist. I don’t know whether she remembered that or not. If I mention a Earl Longfellow I’m sure she will remember. That is really some occasion I think, in the home of a friend of Hollys in the Pacific Ocean I met Louisa’s husband and Mrs. Tannehill’s brother. Be sure to tell her when you see her. He was planning on telling Louisa and Evelyn all about our visit and meeting when he writes.

Darling, it is very very late and I’m tired so I must close for now. Tomorrow will be a very busy day. I hope to get a plane out of here Saturday morning.

Always and forever yours in the love of

Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. I had to write this letter on my lap so it is poor writing, I hope you can make it out. 

September 13, 1944

September 13, 1944

My Beloved Darling:

There has been a lot to do and I have been having some varied experiences but still miss your letters. I do hope when I arrive back at my old outfit there will be mail waiting for me from you. Darling, I will be so happy when we can be together again. It always meant a lot for me to talk over things with you. And especially did I enjoy our prayer and fellowship together. So often I think of the good discussions we had with Paul and Gen into the early hours of the morning.

I saw several more Chaplain friends this morning. That is, I became acquainted with them back in the States or on our trip overseas. An old Chaplain friend invited me to a good steak dinner. It was really a treat for we don’t have such good food down where I am assigned. Perhaps it will be better now that General Richardson has been informed of the situation.

As I told you in a former letter, I’m on Oahu for five days detached service. There are several things I am seeking to take care of while on the island. Immediately after dinner I came down to Honolulu to do several things. Some of the things I sought to do turned out to be disappointments, but at least I tried to help the men down below. I still have some more to do in the morning. I’m going to get it done as soon as possible for our Chaplain’s meeting begins at 11 o’clock.

I really have a very nice room to sleep in here tonight. It is so nice I don’t know how to act. I’ll tell you about it some day.

By the way Dear, I’m a polywog now, that means you have been across the equator. I’ll tell you all about it when we are together. I do wish you could’ve been with me on part of my flight, for it was our largest cargo plane. It was just like traveling in a large flying coach of one of our ultra modern railroads back on the Mainland.

This was such a beautiful day. I couldn’t help but note the beauty of the mountains that looked like broad shoulders holding on them beautiful white thunderheads with dark undersides. The smell of green grass and flowers after the shower was really a treat after seeing nothing but glaring white coral and palm trees. I’m sure I need not remind you but this place is a beehive of activity. Everywhere you look you see great numbers working. I just found out today that Captain Hirsch is somewhere near here now, but I will not see him. That is almost all I’m able to tell you, so I think I’ll close for tonight and get a good nights rest for tomorrow we will be busy I know.

I love you more than ever Darling, and may God richly bless you in all things. Give my love to all our friends.

Yours always alone, in the love of 

Jesus Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. If you send me your picture for Christmas, please have either a 6 x 8 or an 8 x 10 picture taken for me. And remember, I don’t care if it reaches me two months before Christmas, I’ll still consider it my Christmas present. Remember, that is the best thing you can give me. I love you, Darling.

September 12, 1944

September 12, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

This has been a good day, after six months it was good to see some old chaplain friends. Of course, many of them are no longer here.

Early this morning I met the Chief of Chaplains of our Base Command. We did some driving around. Eventually we arrived at Chaplains Mitchell’s post. (You remember, he was at my present assignment when I arrived there.) He has an extra bed at his place so he asked me to stay with him.

It is really good to see something besides coral, palm trees and scrub bushes. There are surely a lot of pretty flowers and trees around here. It is also a treat to see mountains again. We are so near sea level on our island that the greater portion is covered with water when the tide comes in.

Willis Reed with Hollywood starlets and the natives. September 1944.

I’ve just been thinking that I have traveled almost 3 times as far over water as I have over land in a plane.

Tomorrow I plan on going down to Honolulu to get some things for our work on our island. The next day is our Chaplain’s meeting. While here I also want to see the Red Cross officials of the Pacific area about some things that involve my work with the men. As you know, I’ve been working with the Red Cross for some time now because our representative left four months ago.

Darling, it is late and I’m tired so I will close for now and write more to you tomorrow. God bless you in all things, my Dear.

Yours for the ages of the ages in the

 love of Christ Jesus.

Willis

Colossians 3:3

March 12, 1944

March 12, 1944

My Dearest Darling Wife:-

Well, I’m still waiting to proceed; from all indications we will not be able to leave here until tomorrow. I’ve just finished reading I Samuel and enjoyed it very much. In the second chapter I marked the following verses because it seemed they had a special

Lyrics for God’s tomorrow.

message for me at this time. Verse 2,3,4,6,7,8,9 and 10. These verses spoke to my heart and gave me a quietness which I have missed since I’ve not heard from you for such a long time. Everything is blackened out here and after I went to bed last night I heard someone playing “God’s Tomorrow” on the phonograph. I still don’t know where it was coming from but it was just audible enough that I could distinguish the words of the singer. It was beautiful and I looked out in the moonlight and some big tears escaped because that song made me think of you Lover and how much you mean to me and how much a part of me you really are. It made me realize all anew how wonderful Our Heavenly Father has been in giving you to me as my wife and companion for now and ever.

This morning I went to a worship service at 11 A.M. and since dinner I’ve been writing letters to friends giving them my new address. I have written to John & Helen Mueller, Paul and Gen, and Louis Davis thus far. I may write a couple more later on this evening.

I called a friend of the Holly’s, she is the professor of English at the University of Hawaii. We had a nice visit. She wanted me to have dinner with her tomorrow evening but I could not promise her because of the uncertainty of our departure from the islands. She was an old classmate of Mr. and Mrs. Holly while they were in Stanford University. She is also a graduate of Columbia, she got her PhD in English there. Her husband died a number of years ago. The Holly’s haven’t seen her since 1932. She is very brilliant but is not the kind of Christian that the Holly’s are. That is the reason the Holly’s wanted me to try my best to meet her. From what they told me she just hasn’t had the experience that we have enjoyed in our Savior.

Dearest, it’s the same story but as far as I’m concerned it’s ever knew. I love you much more than ever and am ever praising God for your love and devotion. Thank God we have the ages of the ages to be together so I can tell you how much I love you Dear. Be sure to give Mom and the Chief my love, I think of them every day and praying that they will be drawn near to Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior. God Bless you my Dearest.

 Forever and ever

yours in Christ’s redeeming Love,

Willis

Col 3:3

Phil 1:3 Forever

March 11, 1944

March 11, 1944

My Dearest Darling Wife:-

I’m still waiting and as a result there is very little news to tell you. Yesterday was a grand day however. It was the first day since my arrival in the islands that it did not rain. I got to see many more beautiful flowers and also many of the tropical birds. I was really amazed to see how tame some of the birds really are. You can get as close to them as many of the pigeons in Chicago.

B-18s over Diamond Head. 1940.

There was a most beautiful cloud formation over “Diamond Head” last evening. I know you would have appreciated it Dear. To see the blue Pacific being embraced by the blue of the sky was a most unusual scene. The sunset was also very beautiful. I don’t ever remember seeing so many gold and dark purple cloud formations. It was a formation you will probably only ever see once in a lifetime. I didn’t eat at the regular army mess, but waited till later and bought me a steak dinner. Because when I leave here I don’t know how long it will be before I can get another. You can surely tell there has been an overproduction of pork because for about the last three months we have had pork in some form or another every day. I had a good steak well done, french fried potatoes, tomato and lettuce salad, coffee and ice cream. In other words, I blew myself. Sweetheart, you said you thought I had not lost any weight, that is according to the pictures I sent you. When I was home to see you I weighed 194 lbs. When those pictures were taken I weighed 188 lbs. and yesterday I weighed 183 lbs.

As I told you, we had training over a jungle obstacle course and every time I was among the first to cover the whole course with full field pack and equipment.

By the way, concerning that picture of “Campbell”, you asked why he didn’t have full field equipment, well in the few times I ever did see him out on maneuvers, hikes, or obstacle course, I never saw him wear full field equipment. Too tiring I guess. You were wondering why he was standing like that, well about all I can say is this which is absolutely true; “I never saw a more natural picture in my life.”

Sweetheart, as I said before, there is very little news. All I can say is I want to get to my new unit and work. Maybe we will get to take-off today.

I’m surely lonesome to hear from you again my Dear. It will probably be another 2 or 3 weeks now before your mail catches up with me again. Even though I’m anxious to hear from you, to know how you are, I find peace and blessing in this one great truth and fact, you are Christ’s and mine forever no matter what happens. It is a source of blessing to my heart to know you are as constant and true as God’s love. Though separated physically by many miles what joy to know we can spiritually meet at God’s throne in prayer. God Bless you my Dear.

I’m yours in Christ’s love

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Colossians 3:3

Phil 1:3 forever

March 10, 1944

March 10, 1944

Yank Magazine. March 10, 1944.

Good Morning Sweetheart:-

Just this additional word, each day’s living makes me more grateful to our Heavenly Father for you and your love. I had a good nights sleep and I will be very busy today making last minute preparations for my move to my new assignment.

God Bless you My Dear,

Now and Ever yours in

Christ’s glorious Love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO (censored)

March 9, 1944

March 9, 1944

My Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

It is very late and I’m very tired but before our lights are turned out I want to drop you a few lines.

Hospital in Honolulu. 1944.

I got to see a lot of Honolulu today. But they really are out to get the service men’s money. I’ve never seen so many beautiful flowers and vegetation in all my life. This must be a very lovely place to visit during peace time. There are many beautiful homes out toward the outskirts of Honolulu.

It only rained once today and the sun did shine quite a while. The moon was very pretty the early part of the evening but it is all cloudy again.

There is very little to write you my Dear but I do want you to know I love you more than ever and am continually praising God for your love and devotion. The very thought of you makes me feel like praising God for you and your companionship. Today I’ve been on the go all the time, mainly just keeping busy.

Be sure to give Mom and the Chief my love. I’ll write you more later Darling. I am forever and ever yours in Christ’s redeeming love.

Willis
(Censored) XXXXX
Col 3:3

March 7, 1944

March 7, 1944

My Dearest Darling Wife:-

I’m sure you would have enjoyed the beautiful moon here tonight. It has been peeking in and out among great drifting clouds. We have had a lot more rain today, however the sun did shine for about one hour this afternoon.

This morning we had more drill and at about 10 o’clock they took us into a barracks to show us more pictures that will help us in our assignments.

Sad Sack comic from Yank Magazine.

This afternoon I went to a PX not far from here to get some more Lt’s bars. Somebody helped themselves to mine on my clothes hanging in my barracks. After I got back our foot-lockers and bedroll came in. Fortunately, all of my things came through all right, some of the men’s footlockers were crushed in and the clothes soaked and dirty.

Some of the men on our shipment have already received their permanent assignment. As I said yesterday, I want to get to work with my men as soon as possible. This waiting and wondering is indeed trying.

Written later:

It is 9:30 P.M. but I heard some mail come in from the states today-a fellow just returned with 10 letters for me, six from you, Louise, Davis, my aunt and grandmother, Holly’s and Mrs. Hanson.  Sweetheart, I fairly devoured your letters-they were beautiful. I’m going to read them all again in the morning. I’m sorry it caused you so much trouble to get my watch fixed. I surely miss my watch and it’s going to be a lot worse when I move up. I only hope it gets here before I’m moved again. Sweetheart, thanks for doing all you could to get my watch repaired for me.

Lover, I’ll close this letter now and read your letters again. I’ll write more later. God bless you my Dearest.

With all my love forever in Christ,

 Willis

Col. 3:3