February 2, 1944

February 2, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

It was good to have two letters from you today, the ones you wrote Friday and Saturday evenings. The one I received here because they had readdressed it to me here. The other one I picked up on my way to the express office to get my communion set which finally arrived. The other, or rather the first one they sent me, has been lost somewhere. I feel better now, for if I’m sent out I’ll be able to walk up the gangplank with the set in my hand.

Well, we received no news concerning our orders to San Francisco today. I surely wish we would hear for this uncertainty is indeed trying. Our units are so messed up now that it doesn’t pay to try and do anything when we are under orders to leave here so soon.

This morning O’Gorman and I worked on cutting our things down to a minimum. We will not be allowed to carry much with us. I got a combat box this morning and will try and get my things packed into the box tomorrow morning.

Dear, I’m enclosing another picture of the Chaplains of our Brigade, you will note that O’Gorman is standing at my side.

I got a nice long letter from Harry Allen’s today. She told me in her letter that they surely miss us. I also miss them. God is so good to us, isn’t He Dear? We do have so many wonderful Christian friends.

I’m glad our pictures turned out so well. I would surely like to see the colored one. I think it will be grand if you get a frame for the colored one. Remember, Mr. & Mrs. Holly are to have one, you remember we decided that didn’t we? I think they are expecting us to give them one. You are right about giving one to Paul and Gen now. We must wait till later.

I’m surprised to hear about Ralph Cathcart leaving Northern and starting to Wheaton. Perhaps he decided to get all his college work before taking seminary work.

Emperor Hirohito of Japan. 1944.

The many stories of the Jap atrocities are indeed heart rending, but all in all, I’m convinced it doesn’t produce the best fighting men. Naturally it makes my blood run cold to hear and read some of these stories, but if we were the kind of patriots we ought to be, we should not have to resort to such propaganda to fan the courage and bravery of our fighting men. Or neither should we have to keep these stories suppressed until we start a war bond drive. Personally, it speaks to me of a subtle disease which is sapping the potential might and power of this, our land that God has so wonderfully blessed in things material and spiritual. The Japanese do such horrible things because they have been reared on a Nationalistic religion which says that almost any horrible thing is honorable when done for the Emperor and Empire.

I’m sorry Emma Laymon is having such a hard time finding a secretary. I wish you could help her also – but now you have a big job at Northern.

I surely hope they don’t bring Mrs. Nelson home unless she is entirely better because she is surely not a good influence for Mom.

Yes, Delores is surely a fine girl and I do often think of her and I do remember her in prayer. I really believe she will be used greatly in the Kingdom work. I often think of those grand young people in East Moline and I surely hope they will go on and accomplish a lot for the cause of Christ.

We surely have a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean from here, below us can be seen Inglewood, Santa Monica, Culver City and off in the distance Los Angeles and Hollywood. Last night after I finished your letter I walked up to the big house (the place where the officers stay).  The moon was gallantly floating through the calm sky with a few light house stars sprinkled throughout the ocean blue sky. As I gazed into the sky I thought of you Dear and your wonderful love for Christ and me. And right then and there I whispered this prayer, “Lord, thank you for all thy blessings.”

The place where I stay (the Big house) is very large and on the highest point. It used to be called the “Playa Del Rey Rancho” until the government took it over for the 603rd Group. It’s one of those places you only dream of or see in picture books. Terraced all up along our mountain are walnut and orange trees – right below my window is the edge of the large orange orchard.

It is late my Dear and I am tired so I’ll close for now. I love you so very much my Dear.

Yours forever and ever in Christ’s Love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

John 1:12

P.S. Enclosed are all my negatives.

February 1, 1944

February 1, 1944

My Dearest Darling Wife:-

I love you more than ever my Dear – this day has been a lonesome one and you know why, don’t you Dear? No letter from my Dearest of all earthly possessions. You will also be my dearest Heavenly possession also because you and I are one in Christ forever.  I love you so very much, Dear.

Yank Weekly Magazine. February 1944.

About last night, you may be interested – around 11 o’clock one of the men in the guardhouse drank a bottle of iodine, left a note and was practically unconscious by the time the doctor arrived to force milk and raw eggs into the man’s stomach. After some period of time, they pumped his stomach and he is going to come through all right, of course his stomach will be very sore for sometime. He left a note for his wife who is in New York. They have a baby around a year old. It all came about this way, the young fellow (27 years old) became involved with a married woman here in Santa Monica who now expecting a baby since they have been so intimate. The sad thing is this, she is all ready the mother of three children. I haven’t been able to find out where her husband is as yet, but from what some other soldiers said he is in the Army somewhere. Girls and women around here throw themselves at the soldiers, it’s no wonder we are always having so many cases of this kind to deal with. Girls put on strip tease, ask for the soldiers and then howl when they are caught. The Lord only knows how many are involved in intimate relations. So far, it’s only the ones who are going to have babies that come to me or to other chaplains and want me to see what I can do about making the soldier take care of the hospital bill and the coming baby. They keep on letting themselves go all the way with soldiers until finally at last, by some slip, they become pregnant and then started crying out for help. On several occasions so far I have had them admit that they were not sure that the soldier they were accusing was the father of the unborn baby. On several cases so far the soldiers have refused to marry girls for that reason because they knew the other men had also had relations with the girls. It goes without saying that our whole nation needs a revival that will change the hearts and minds of all individuals.

Well, Chaplain O’Gorman and I didn’t hear anything as yet concerning our move to San Francisco.  I surely wish the orders would come through, this waiting business is hard. As it is, you cannot make any plans for this outfit, for as we have heard, we are being taken out of here completely and will be reassigned to new outfits up there or somewhere out in the Southwest Pacific.

They had five women to dinner at our officers mess again this evening and they and all the officers smoked, as per usual I was the only one not smoking. Before dinner several of them had a little to drink, they asked me a couple of times and I refused, then they started to explain to me that they weren’t drinking men but drink to regulate their systems. All I can say is this-personally, I can think of better things to regulate the system.

Chaplain O’Gorman and I had a real visit this morning – he drinks a little and smokes but all and all he is a fine fellow and has convictions and principle and that’s a whole lot more than you could say for Campbell. The two men cannot be compared in any sense of the word. Campbell was always polishing the apple with Colonel Smith, but Chaplain O’Gorman never polishes or shines up around Colonel Sherman.

I saw my rating from Harvard for the first time yesterday and much to my surprise it was “excellent.” Major Hammond of the 507th told me my rating for work there was also “Excellent.” You see, when you are transferred from one outfit to another, they always give you a rating so your next outfit will know what kind of work you do.

This afternoon I read most of The Reader’s Digest for February, it is very interesting.

I also received a letter from Connie today. She said she talked to you and was glad to talk to you.

Darling, I will close for now but remember I do love you more and more all the time, Dearest. God Bless you Dear.

Forever and Ever yours in

Christ’s wonderful love,

Willis

XOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

Deut 9: 1-3

January 31, 1944

January 31, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

This afternoon the Catholic chaplain O’Gorman and I went to Long Beach to the 507th AAA Group and imagine my joy when I found two letters from you. I read them immediately and the whole day has been transformed. Every letter from you makes you more precious to me, I shall never be able to do enough for our Lord for giving you to me as well as you giving yourself to me. Thank you for being such a wonderful wife and sweetheart to me.

Early this morning I prepared my monthly report and started it through channels to the Chief of Chaplains in D.C. About 10 o’clock we went to the East 37th AAA Brigade in Los Angeles. We had dinner with Chaplin Bell, who is the head of the chaplains of our 37th Brigade.

Los Angeles Port of Embarkation during World War II.

We didn’t receive any further orders today but I’m hoping we hear something soon for it makes it very trying. As soon as we hear, we will probably be able to tell whether we are going to the South Pacific or to Alaska because in all probability they will tell us whether we are to take warm clothing or clothing for warm climates. If we go as replacements, it’s going to be difficult to get any of our professional equipment past the Port of Embarkation, because we will be going unattached to any outfit. From the looks of things now I’m going to be sent out to pick up with an outfit already in action. As soon as our orders come I’ll let you know definitely what’s up.

I am so glad Maurice and Edith enjoyed the books, I also think they are grand and I count it a great privilege to know them-God has been so good to us Dear, He has truly given us many fine friends.

I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures Mrs. King had-feel free to get anything that you feel will help us in our future work for Christ and His kingdom. It’s good to know your classes of teacher training are proving so helpful. We learn more every day that to be good teachers we must be prepared, don’t we Dear? Even our very best is not enough to repay God for all He has done for us through Christ.

I’m sorry to hear what happened to the young man who started that Bible class in the Army-but I’m not at all surprised Dear at what happened, for I have had occasion to meet just such chaplains-I’m sure God will honor the young man and I agree there are many chaplains who themselves need an experience of Jesus Christ. In other words, they have had a head experience, but to really be useful for Christ we have to have a heart experience. Pray for me Dear that my many sins shall be so burdensome to me that I’ll help the Lord and be willing for them to be purged out of my life. I do want others to see Christ, not Willis A. Reed.

So Mac is planning on going into the Navy as a chaplain-well, you can see if Mac wants to sell the car, we could buy it if you want to and store it out at Kenyon’s-whatever you think my Dear.

I suppose Frank Arnold will soon be on his way to Europe-thank God for a faithful servant like Frank who isn’t afraid to stand by his convictions. Yes dear, don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear from me for a while-for there are many restrictions-remember this Dear, I’ll do my best to keep you informed. You mentioned sending you a cable, I’ll do it if it all possible my Dear. Bill Hill was sent to Australia so he could send one, if for instance I am sent to replace a chaplain I may be on some island or some body of land where it would be impossible to get a cable out to you. Always be assured I’ll do my best to get word to you at all times – and every night I’ll tell the Lord I love you more than ever and I’m sure when you kneel to pray He will convert my message and love to you. Such a precious wife and help mate to me Dear.

Your paper in theology sounds very good Dear, I know it will be very good and really worthwhile for future reference.

I’m so glad to know the National Geographic has been straightened out and that we are going to continue to get it from now on.

I suppose you have picked up our picture at Mandel’s by now-have you sent the one for Holly’s yet? They are so anxious to get it. I would like to see it also.

We were paid today and I got a cashiers check for $150 for you. I kept out more this time because I may have a lot of unexpected expenses at the Port of Embarkation, and besides, it will probably be sometime before we are paid after going. Taking all these things into consideration, I kept more this time-you should get your allotment check for $175 beginning around 1 March, for it is to come out of my pay from now on. Be sure to let me know if this cashiers check arrives OK.

It is late and I must close-God bless you Dear.

 Yours forever and ever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

Col 3:3

Written on the side and scrawled along the top edge.

XOXOXOXOXO

Phil 1:3 for the ages of the ages.

I love you so much My Dearest . Your love grows more precious hourly.

January 30, 1944

January 30, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

Well, today has been a very busy one –  it is now about 9:30 P.M. and I’m really tired. I had three services today with a total attendance of 88. It has rained all day.

Written on the back: “Two Mexican boys I told you about, Sweetheart and Carlos Turner on extreme right.”

Of course I didn’t receive a letter from you today and I am surely lonesome tonight Dear. But how grateful I am to God that I know you love me now and forever and that each passing day you love me more than ever. The constancy of your love and devotion is always an inspiration to me.

I suppose you had a very busy day at North Shore and I’m sure you did a good job, the kind to bring glory to Christ’s name. I surely thought of you often today-how were the Intermediates?

Tonight they had five women at our officer’s dinner and they are all smoked, as did all the officers-I was the only officer not smoking, the air was so thick it was blue. It was really choking.

I haven’t received any more orders as yet. The Catholic chaplain “O’Gorman” hasn’t either-as we have understood from the head chaplain at Brigade we are to leave here together for San Francisco. I hope we hear soon, this uncertainty is really hard, for you cannot plan a thing and I have no idea of how to get ready for moving.

I will have to make out my monthly report in the morning so that will take a little while, then after that, O’Gorman and I are going to Brigade in Los Angeles to see if we can find out any further details on our move so we can make some kind of plans for the future.

Darling, I want you to know I love you more tonight than ever. You are so precious to me and only in heaven can you ever know how much you mean to me and how much you have done for me. God bless you my Dearest and thank you again for being such a good wife to me.

I am so tired that I must close for now-but it does not in anyway take away from my love for you.

For always yours alone

 in Christ’s love my Dear,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

Hebrews 12:1-2

P.S. My Utmost for today was surely good, wasn’t it?

Second note of the day.

January 30,1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart,

This is just a note along with the foot locker keys I’m sending home to you. I love you more this morning than I did last night.  My life will always be a song of praise to our Heavenly Father for such a wonderful wife as you are to me.

It is raining this morning so it is not going to be so good getting out to the field positions.

I hope Mom and Pop and you like what’s in the top of the foot locker for you.

I want to think awhile now before I leave for my services – so God bless you my Dearest.

Forever yours alone in

Christ’s Wonderful Love,

Willis

XOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

 

January 29, 1944

January 29, 1944

Dearest Darling Lover:-

Willis in dress uniform visiting friends in Long Beach. 1944.

I was pretty lonesome yesterday in spite of the fact that a lot happened, the reason being that your letter failed to arrive.

I am leaving this outfit today and being transferred to the 603rd group, temporarily awaiting further orders from Washington D.C. From the looks of things, I’m going to be sent to the San Francisco Port of Embarkation. In a way, I hate to leave this outfit because I was just getting things pretty well organized. I’ll probably be assigned to a new outfit at the Pork of Embarkation.

Darling I do love you more all the time and may God richly bless you.

I must close for now because I have to be ready by noon to leave here.

Yours now and forever in our Savior’s love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

P.S. Darling, write to this address until you hear otherwise from me, that is, I mean continue to write to my same address.


January 29, 1944

Dearest Darling:-

Today has been one grand rush and I am really tired tonight. I got two letters from you today and they were indeed beautiful. Because of so much to do, I had very little time to read them but I am reading them again tonight. Well, here I am at a new group – the 603rd AAA group temporarily. I’m to be here until I receive further orders from Washington D.C. concerning my reporting to San Francisco. I suppose I will receive orders sometime this coming week.

I packed up my things and it finally arrived over here this afternoon around 4:30 PM. I sent 1 foot locker home to you by Railway Express, I’ll send the keys by mail soon and as soon as the footlocker arrives I want you to open it and you’ll find something in the top layer for all of you.

This Headquarters is between Culver City and Santa Monica in an old estate-the accommodations are beautiful. We are very very high and we can see the lights of Long Beach-Los Angeles, Pasadena etc. It is really some sight.

There is a Catholic chaplain in this outfit and I arranged with him to have three services tomorrow, 11 AM, 1 PM and 7 PM tomorrow evening. It is really hard to plan anything definitely because of the uncertainty of my stay here. The Catholic chaplain of this group is also scheduled to report at San Francisco, he hasn’t received his orders yet. I imagine we will receive them about the same time. I bid Holly’s and the Hanson’s goodbye last night and they cried-they said they thought a lot of me and were surely going to miss me.  They all send their love and best wishes to you Sweetheart.

The Colonel came to me privately to bid me goodbye today and said he was truly going to miss me, as did several of the other officers.

I am glad Bob wrote you that he was in a safe place-perhaps Mom will feel better now.

You may tell mom that she can inform her magazine man Mr. Bartlett, that all the soldiers are not for Roosevelt and that I will never be for him either. Something is desperately wrong with our nation when within a land like ours we have only one man who can be president. Tonight is his big birthday ball. I don’t know what he would do if he couldn’t have the glamour girls of Hollywood there in the White House to celebrate his birthday.

Sweetheart, it makes me happy to know that you are enjoying your work at Northern. I know you will be a great worker for the Lord-you make me want to serve Him more all the time-thank you for being such a wonderful wife to me.

I’m glad Florence got to see Frank again before he has to leave for overseas.

It’s good to hear that Stan is quitting Krafts. I’m sure it will be easier for him and will be better for his health.

Here’s hoping the Chief does go to men’s class and I hope he enjoys it, I really believe he would if he would just get into the habit of going regularly. I hope they get a good teacher for the class because that is really very important.

Darling, I’m so tired I can hardly hold my eyes open so I’m going to go to bed now and get a good nights rest, for it will be all new tomorrow and I want to do my best for Christ. Lover, I love you more now than ever before. God bless you, Dear.

Forever and ever your husband alone in Christ,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

P.S. Keep writing to the same address as always until I notify you by letter, telegram or telephone. I love you Sweetheart.

January 28, 1944

January 28, 1944

Very Early

My Dearest Darling:-

Your letter yesterday was very beautiful and made me feel so good on the inside. It was the letter you wrote me last Sunday evening. You may be assured of this at all times Dear, “I’m broadcasting all the time, on sending out messages night and day-you could call me the 24 hour station.”

Well, we didn’t hear anything again yesterday-the suspense is really terrible. I am almost sure we won’t leave here Sunday from the looks of things. Yesterday morning I went on a 10 mile hike with the men. It had rained the night before and big fleecy white clouds were drifting all through the sky. The mountains were really beautiful, the clouds look like big down comforters on the peaks.

I am glad you are going to be able to ride with Mohanah’s to church Sundays now, that really makes me feel better. I haven’t received any word from Mr. Mohanah as yet.

National Geographic. January 1944.

I am so glad to hear that Mom and Pop were in church again both morning and evening. I love mom and the Chief more than words can tell, and I do hope and pray that they will soon align themselves with a church actively. I think they would and could be so happy in Christ. I would like to have them know the joy we have Dear in being in and seeking to do Christ’s will.

By the way, you have never mentioned it to me, but I am wondering if you ever did write to the National Geographic about our subscription?

I hope the young lady you called on comes to church again. It really keeps you busy calling etc., but I’m sure the Lord has great blessings in store for you. I am sure really sorry to hear about Mr. and Mrs. Lundquis,t I shall be very glad to remember them in my prayer.

I don’t believe I ever heard the song Thomas sang,  “One Sweetly Solemn Thought,” but I’m sure it must be beautiful.

Lover, I am enclosing a picture that appeared in our newspaper out here, I thought maybe you might like to see it. I must close for now my Dear, but this morning I love you more than ever.

Now and Ever yours in Christ’s Redeeming Love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Col 3:3


January 28, 1944

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:-

This is just a note along with “My Will” and “Power of Attorney.” There are three copies of it and they all have been notarized. I’m sending them to you by registered mail. I love you so very much my Darling. We are really upset – orders left and right. I’ll write you more later.

Your’s forever in Christ’s Love,

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Col. 3:3

January 27, 1944

January 27, 1944

Dearest Darling:-

Yesterday was such a hectic day and I was so tired by midnight that I decided to go to bed and write you early this morning.

Willis at the Reed Family reunion 1938. He is in the middle with the vest and dark tie.

Your beautiful letter, written Saturday evening, arrived yesterday afternoon but I was so completely swamped that I didn’t get to read it till late last night.

Well Dear, we haven’t heard anything as yet about where we go to from here. Everyone is very tense and excited over receiving final orders. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we don’t leave the 30th. Although one never knows – one of our infantry units out here was moved out on 12 hours notice.

Thanks for sending that beautiful poem by Mrs. Wilcox.

The letter Sylvia said I wrote to somebody at school is news to me – for I haven’t written a letter to a single person at Northern since my return to see you My Dear.

I will close for now Dear and may God richly bless you – I do love you more than ever.

Yours alone now and forever

In Christ’s Love,

Willis

XOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

“Abundant Living” was very good yesterday, wasn’t it?

January 25, 1944

January 25, 1944

My Dearest Darling Wife:-

Your letter was so wonderful today, it seems your letters become sweeter everyday; I know the reason is all because of the blessing the Lord continually heaps upon us. Every time I think of you, I feel an overwhelming desire to tell the Lord thank you for you and your wonderful love and devotion. You know Dear, the more you seek to do Christ’s will the sweeter you become. I only hope I can be a better husband to you, for if there were ever a girl who deserves the best you are that girl. Thank you Darling for being such a wonderful wife to me.

Well, we didn’t receive any word as yet, everybody is on edge waiting for something to happen.

Consolidated TB-32 on the assembly line. Douglas Aircraft Plant – 1944. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This morning Captain Baker and I went to Douglass Aircraft with the band. We were dinner guests at the plant cafeteria. Immediately after dinner one of the big officials, Mr. Kennedy, took us all through the large plant. It took us 3 1/2 hours – it was most interesting. We also saw the model of the new 120 passenger plane, which the designers are working on now. It is going to be very very large. It is going to be so large it would seem almost impossible it could ever get off of the ground. It will carry more people than the average two large chair cars on the railroad.

I also got a nice letter from Mrs. Scheu. She said she was writing to you so I suppose she told you all the news. I’m surely surprised about the American Machine and Metals laying Mr. Scheu off from work. As you remember, they also gave John Mueller a raw deal. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that a lot of the trouble was brought on by the Unions. You know how Mr. Scheu felt about unions. I’m so glad you are having your little prayer meeting at noon at Northern and I’m so grateful to our Heavenly Father that you are receiving great blessing by being able to go to Northern.

Darling, I have some clothes I want to wash this evening so I’ll close for now, but remember, each day finds me loving you more. God Bless you My Dear.

I do love you so very much

Now and Forever yours in Christ’s Love

Willis

XOXOXOXOXO

Col 3:3

Written on the side:

“I Love you Truly.” Dear “because” you are Christ’s.

January 24, 1944

January 24, 1944

Dearest Darling Lover:-

What a pleasant surprise, I had two lovely letters from you today my Dear. Words can never tell you how much I appreciated them. In my heart, there is ever a song because of your devotion My Dear. My prayer is this that my life will always be a thank you to God and to you for your wonderful love.

Written on the back: “Forever your” and Carlos Turner my old assistant.

Last night a young man, who one time studied for the ministry, came to see me this morning – I mean he heard me speak to the young people at the First Church. I haven’t time to tell you all about his case – to say the least, it is really a mixed up affair. These things are surely giving me some marvelous experience. Each new problem case makes me see how wonderful the Lord has been to us in our wonderful life together, in that most blessed of relationships as man and wife, with Christ making the circle complete now and for Eternity. Col 3:3. This young man of whom I speak has almost entirely lost the joy of salvation because he has taken his eyes off of Christ and is seeking satisfaction in the things of the world.

Also, another enlisted man came to see me about being married and I spent some time with him talking of the blessedness of God ordained marriage.

This afternoon was really quite an affair because the General came to inspect the men, weapons and all our equipment. You should have seen the men stepping around here. I’ve never seen things sparkle and shine so since I’ve been here. It made me think of “Judgement Day,” but in that day the General (Jesus Christ) will know all and will not be fooled by a hurried preparation, so much today only proved itself to be veneer.

This evening I had dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Hansen. We had a very good dinner and they were asking me a lot of questions about the Bible and what I thought about life after death – “that is, will we know one another?” They asked me to send their love to you.

It has been raining a lot here this evening.

Darling, it is very late and I am tired so I’ll have to close for now and may God Bless you richly. I love you so. Thank you for being such a sweet Darling wife.

Always yours and yours

Alone in Christ,

Sarah

XOXOXOXOXO

Col 3:3