July 2, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

2 July 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, it is almost dark, but I do want to get this letter started before it is impossible to see. Since the early morning we have been on the go preparing to move back to our permanent area. After dinner, Don, Paul Wells and the Catholic chaplain and I spent the whole afternoon getting our chaplain’s tent in order. (Our offices will be together, we sleep and eat with our battalion.) We will all be in one tent. Don and I opened up more boxes of equipment and supplies. And they were all water soaked and some damaged beyond usability and it was mainly because of poor packing. The events of this day were most insignificant but we have been on the go all the time. Just before starting this letter to you I took a bath and put on clean fatigues, socks and shorts. That is certainly a treat after being unable to have a bath and clean clothes for so long. It was really hot today but we did have a breeze off the Pacific which helped a lot. By the way, we certainly do have a nice view of the Pacific ocean from our new area. I know you would enjoy this view. Having had the privilege of seeing several of the places where our troops have fought the Japanese, I can readily see that this Island was the worst for offensive warfare. The terrain was definitely in favor of the enemy. Our great artillery, airstrikes and timing and coordination were the things that speeded defeat for the enemy. Our patrols are still rounding up enemy soldiers after searching and ferreting out the enemy as our troops have it would seem impossible that such would be the case, but there are so many caves and crevices, both natural and man-made that it is a difficult job to get them. I imagine we will even be rounding up a few stragglers six months from now.

 I’m going to make a few comments on your letter of June 2nd. I’m glad the Secret Place helped you so much for that day. Darling, I know your prayer has helped me greatly through some of the days which have just gone by. As I’ve told you before on several occasions, I was very much aware of power and strength other than my own. It means a lot to a man to know that his wife has completely trusted him into God’s keeping. Sweetheart, never shall I forget those wonderful days we’ve spent together, and above all else, that is one of the things I look forward to the most on my return to you, my Dear. It is so dark I can hardly see so I’ll have to finish this letter in the morning. Good night, Sweetheart.

-Willis

Early Morning 3 July 1945

Good Morning Sweetheart:-

It is certainly grand to know you are able to call Paul and Gen every so often as well as an occasional opportunity to drop out and see them. I got a good laugh out of Dale saying, “I love you too,” and then later asking Gen who was that.

Glad to hear about Flay’s Catholic friend, I do hope she continues to go and I will certainly remember her in prayer. Does she ever come to NSBC?

Willis with the Division chaplains at Division Headquarters.

I really slept last night, it was my first night on a folding cot. I had one blanket and my mosquito bar. Last night was the first time I was able to sleep with my shoes and trousers off for a long time. It was really a treat. Well Dear, I must hurry and get ready for I have to go back to Division Headquarters for a chaplain’s meeting. God bless you and the folks, my Dear.

I’m just yours Darling, for all the ages

Of the ages in Christ, our Lord

Willis

Colossians 3:3

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