June 11-12, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

11 June 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I won’t have a chance to write very much but I do want to get this letter started to you. There has been so much to do all day that I have had very little time to do some of the things I wanted to do. Just a few moments ago I received your grand letter of May 31st. It was such a good letter, I read the article about the Youth for Christ and I’ll wait till later to express my feelings. I also received a nice letter from Louise Davis with an article out of the Dispatch about Marguerite’s wedding. I’ll enclose the article and Louise’s letter later.

Willis’ foxhole. If you look closely you can see him in the picture.

I spent the entire morning taking care of many different things for the soldiers. It meant a lot of running around to do all the things. Later this afternoon, I visited the First Battalion for a while. I had just a moment or so before I ate my rations so I hurried a v-mail off to Nettie. I’ll send you her letter so you can see it. She is certainly a fine woman and I know you will think so when you know her better.

This evening I had another service for the men of my battalion. There were over 125 in attendance which is very good considering how we are scattered. We sang two hymns and had a prayer and a few testimonies. I spoke on the 46th Psalm. I used the title, “God is my foxhole.” That was the theme throughout. I developed the whole message mainly around the first verse and the tenth. I used the word fox hole because, if David had fought with us on Okinawa that is probably what he would have said. Dear, it is so dark I will have to close for tonight. I’ll try to write more to you in the morning. I love you more than ever, Sweetheart.

Early 12 June 1945

My Darling Wife:

It is just light enough for me to start this letter to you. There is a nice cool breeze coming in off the Pacific. There is a little overcast but I do hope it clears up. I could not help but recall that yesterday was 17 months since we had seen each other. Those months certainly seem to have more than 30 and 31 days. Sometimes, I try to imagine just what it will be like to see and be with you again. I’ve also tried to imagine just how I’ll feel when actually I know I’m started on my way back to you.

After I had to quit writing last night, I spent quite some time talking to some men were telling me about how much they appreciated the way I explain God’s word. They were very kind in things which they said and I told them it was only that I gave it as God had blessed me and my relationship to Christ. I would rather have someone else tell you about these things, for there may be someone read this letter thinks I’m boasting. However, two different men told me they had been with this regiment for over three years and they said they have never seen such a large group of men come out to a service during the week, especially when they have to walk as far as did some last night. I’m thankful and I earnestly pray that I may be able to be fitted for our Master’s use and that men can become acquainted with our all glorious Lord.

Dear, I’m going to answer and make a few comments on your letter of May 11th. I was glad to hear that they are going to have an additional faculty member this fall. Namely Dr. Fisher. Is he to have any other responsibilities than that of a full-time librarian? I know Florence must be hoping to have Frank come home soon, if I remember correctly I have been overseas about two months longer than he has. I think that was nice of you and the Chief to give Mom a nice dress for Mother’s Day. From your description, it sounded very nice and I’m quite sure Mom must’ve liked it. By the way, if you should see Walter on the elevator again be sure to give him my best wishes. It is certainly good to know men like him. Darling, that was very sweet and thoughtful of you to send my grandmother the Rambler roses in memory of my mother on Mother’s Day. You always do such lovely and thoughtful things for others.

Dear, I’m going to ask you to do something which I have never done before and it’s because I need money to buy Air Mail envelopes. When we came on this operation we were supposed to have no more than $10 with us, and I have had to buy so many Air Mail envelopes for letters of condolences that I don’t have any more money. And as things are now, I don’t know when or how we are going to be paid. Please send me $15-remember, no more. You can send it by money order. I want to be able to buy Air Mail envelopes, then I won’t have the trouble of them sticking. You should see the pile of letters I have now from wives, mothers, friends and sweethearts about how their loved one was killed, that is, the events leading up to his death. You can imagine what a job that is, for in the midst of battle things are really confusing and it is very hard to trace down those details. Dear, don’t worry about me for that is all I need, just some money to buy envelopes. Whenever they make some kind of arrangement about our backpay I’ll let you know and have the money sent on to you. 

Lover, I must close for now. God bless you and the folks in all things. I love you more than ever before.

Yours alone in Christ’s abiding love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed find the rest of the pictures Chaplain Holt gave me. Also the article about Marguerite Davis.

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