July 1, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

1 July 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

This is supposed to be my regular typewriter, but it is so stiff and rusty it is going to take a long time before it will limber up enough to work even fairly well. When Don and I opened the box in which it was shipped from the Philippines, it was filled with mold and all kinds of dirt, and besides that, it wasn’t packed at all properly. As you will note, when you use caps the carriage does not automatically drop back to the proper position for small letters. As a result, I have to pull it back. Well, perhaps after some use and some patience it will get to the place where it will work a little better. I just almost dread opening the other boxes of Chaplain’s equipment which the former chaplains of this Division had, for if this one today is a gauge of the conditions of the others I’m afraid there will be a lot of things ruined beyond use. Correction, I should say Regiment not Division. Don and I will not open the other things until we get back to our permanent area, the reason we tried to get a hold of the typewriter today was because Don wanted to finish typing up my monthly report for June.

Willis leading Vesper Service at Division Headquarters.

All of our companies and headquarters with the exception of our headquarters were on the move so I was only able to have one service and that was at 9 o’clock this morning. There were only 43 in attendance but that was pretty good because there were three details out from our headquarters back at our rest area setting up tents and preparing generally for our return. I spoke on the theme, “Scared to Death.” My scripture was Numbers 13:26-33. I got the idea for my message from the expression I have often heard since we started this campaign, and yesterday while reading the Secret Place for that day I found the scripture which applied very well to the message which I had been thinking about for sometime.

Following the service, Don and I took care of several things and then we hitchhiked back to the engineers. Major Wilhelm is leaving for a 45 day leave to the States soon and he invited me down to have dinner with him before leaving. He is certainly a fine man, and although our visit was short, (during meal time) it was good to see him. I surely miss being with the Engineers, they were a mighty fine bunch of men. Of course these are good men, but I did like the Engineers better as a whole. But I am ready and willing to work anywhere and I will always seek to do my best under all circumstances. Major Wilhelm is naturally very happy about the whole thing, I can imagine just how I would feel if I were notified to get ready to leave for the States. After I had visited with some of the other officers and men, Don and I went to our rear area dump and found this typewriter. And you can not imagine what a job it was to find it in that tremendous pile and then to find it so poorly packed and cared for was discouraging to say the least.

Dear, it is almost supper time so I will close for now and write more after eating my evening meal. Immediately following supper I had an evening service for the men. There were 23 present. I spoke on Paul’s sermon on Mar’s Hill. With thing so mixed up with all the moving and changing it is hard to have any kind of service at all. This morning we had a most beautiful sunrise and this evening’s sunset was also beautiful. Well, at noon today 1945 was half over. I would be glad if the last half of this year finished this war up and we can start planning on going home.

By the way, I got another nice letter from Captain Wilkinson. In your letter of June 1st you were wondering if he had ever been in combat. No, he was never in combat but he is undoubtedly the finest surgeon I have ever met since being in the Army. He takes a real interest in every patient. Captain Wilkinson didn’t quite understand about Mitchell attending the Passover service. When I answer Mitchell’s letter I’ll send it on to you and then you will be able to see in his own words how he feels. He is much concerned about reaching his own people. I certainly wish I could be near him to help him in the Christian life. It isn’t easy for anyone to live a Christian life under Army conditions at best, and for Arthur it is even more difficult as I’m sure you will understand from his national background. With the right kind of help and instruction, I am convinced that he will probably go places.

So far I haven’t had an occasion to run into a snake and I hope I never do, several have run into them though. I have had one bad scare with a snake in the night but nothing happened.

I was glad to know that you had such a very nice visit with Grandma Norman. Isn’t she a dear? I’m anxious to get your letter following Lois Norman’s wedding. I suppose it was very nice. I only wish I could have been there. I’m not going to ask any questions now for I’m sure you will give me all the details in your letter. It is good to know that Warren Larson is writing to his folks much more regularly. Dear, I think it was grand of you to get a check for Paul and Gen. My Dear, always remember, whatever you feel led to do with our money in the Lord’s work is entirely all right with me. Dear, I was rather disappointed in not receiving mail today, perhaps they will bring us some tomorrow. Well Dear, it is about dark so I will close for tonight. God bless you, my Dear.

Yours alone in the love of Christ Jesus,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

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