June 4, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

4 June 1945

My Beloved Darling:

After dark last night I received three letters, yours of May 24th and one from the Chief and Paul Vogel. It was certainly good to have your letter, I only wish you knew how much they mean to me. I certainly miss all those back letters which I haven’t received. It helps to take the sting out of our separation when I can know what you are doing from day to day. I enjoyed the Chief’s letter very much. I know it isn’t easy for the Chief to write, but I love him and even a little note helps out. I answered Paul’s letter this morning and enclosed it in my letter to you which I mailed this morning.

Okinawan civilians after the battle, taken by Lieutenant Reinhart T. Kowallis’s

We have certainly had another miserable day, rain all day and I’m soaking wet now. I am wet almost up to my hips and it is rather cool tonight. I always feel pretty good until my feet get soaked. If you saw me now, you would think me a disgrace. I poured the water and mud out of my shoes a little while ago and I’m going to chance taking my shoes off to let my feet dry a little. If we should have any trouble during the night I can get my shoes on in a hurry. In spite of the miserable weather, I helped get civilians back to safety. Darling, my heart just aches for these people. Many of them have been in caves or holes in the ground almost 3 months. With so much rain and bad weather the caves have partially filled with water and the conditions under which they have been living is beyond the mind’s ability to realize. I do hope this thing is soon over so that people, as well as the soldiers, can protect themselves from the elements. I never will forget one pretty young woman who was soon to give birth to a baby. Dear, after seeing and going through some of these things I would be able to enjoy living almost anywhere with you as long as it is the Lord’s will. In one group of civilians I helped bring back there was a Spanish couple with their three children. They came from Spain to visit his mother and father who lived here and were unable to get back. Since then his parents have passed away. They seemed very glad to see U.S. soldiers after all they have gone through. Our Naval, air and artillery fire has been an almost unbearable ordeal. Honestly, I don’t see how these people have undergone such a menacing warfare. When the man saw me the first thing he did was point to the cross on my helmet said, “Jesu Christos.” He said he was glad there was a Chaplain with the men and said he and his family were also Christians.

I’ve thought of you a lot of times today in spite of the miserable weather and I could not help but thank the Lord for such a wonderful Christian wife as you are. I only wish you knew how much you mean to me and how lonesome I am for you.

Well my Darling, it is so dark I must close for now. God bless you and the folks in all things.

Yours now and forever in the love of

Christ Jesus our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

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