Highlights for November 1944

For those of you who have only started to read recently, here are the highlights from November  1943:

November 8, 1943

Fighting the fires in Topanga Canyon – 1943. Image from Los Angeles Public Library.

While Willis was stationed in Long Beach, California, a wildfire broke out and ravaged the countryside.  The troops stationed in the area were called in to help and 130 homes were destroyed.  It was one of the worst California wildfires in decades.  Sounds like they had the same problems as today. Here’s an excerpt from that letter:

Yesterday was a most difficult day for most all of our men were called out early in the morning to fight a fire which is still raging in the Topanga Canyon and has extended itself to the Malibu beach, over 130 homes have already been destroyed in the canyon besides hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of timber and other property.

Here is the link to the rest of the letter: http://achaplainatwar.org/november-8-1943/

November 19, 1943

Long Beach California

Along with holding services on Sundays, visiting the men at their gun positions, going on hospital rounds and being an intermediary for the community, Willis also served the men who had been arrested and were awaiting trial. He shares a story about a man who had gone AWOL and over the intervening weeks he revisits this man several times.

He has been A.W.O.L. four times and a week ago was caught with a woman in a hotel in Long Beach registered as man and wife. Well, I talked frankly with him about such things, and he said he was sorry etc., and found out during the investigation that the woman was married to another.

Here is the link to the rest of the letter: http://achaplainatwar.org/november-19-1943/

November 26, 1946

Written by Willis – “Left to Right: Mr. Holly, Mrs. Holly, Harry Janisch, Miss Laura Pettigrove.

While Willis was unable to travel home to Sarah for Thanksgiving, he was able to spend it with relatives of his father and his dear friends, the Hollensteiners.  The speed at which Willis was able to make such close friends was a trait that marked his entire life.  Even people who’d only met him a few times allowed them into their deepest confidence.  Here is a piece of that letter:

We had a fine visit, then on the way back we stopped in La Meta to see an uncle of my fathers (my grandmother’s brother) who is retired, he is a grand old man and we also had a grand visit. We got back to Hansen’s around 2 o’clock and had a nice little lunch. Then I left for Hollensteiner’s where I had a most wonderful time.

Here is the rest of the letter: http://achaplainatwar.org/november-25-1943/


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