May 10, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

10 May 1945

My Beloved Darling Sarah:

What a grand conclusion to this day, I had three letters this evening. They were yours of May 1st and 2nd; and the other was from Mom. Her letter was so very sweet, she is such a good mother and I love her so very much, she has taught me the beauty and wonder of true mother love. Darling, your letters were just like water to my thirsty soul. Honestly, your letters do more to help me than any other thing or combination of things.

Crashed Japanese Zero on the Philippine Islands. “Washing Machine Charlie.”

This has been a hectic day in more ways than one and I am very tired this evening, so this letter may not be as long and as well-written as I would like to have it. The first thing, our sleep was interrupted several times during the night because of Washing Machine Charlie. By the way, an enemy plane came over this morning flying at very  high altitude. Evidently he thought we didn’t have a plane that would be able to climb that high in time to get him. But one of our flyers got up there and got on his tail, and as he pressed the button to fire his machine guns into the enemy plane but because of the great altitude and the extreme cold his guns froze and wouldn’t fire. But evidently he made up his mind that Japanese wasn’t going to get back home so he pressed in and chewed the tale of the plane so badly that the enemy ship went out of control (I mean it was his propeller that chewed the tail up). Naturally it damaged the propeller beyond repair, but in spite of being out at sea a long way, he managed to get back to one of our bases. I certainly think that man deserves a medal of some kind. That plane was so high that we could only see his vapor trail.

I washed the communion clothes again in luke warm water to see if I could get them to look any better. I left them out in the sunshine all day and by evening they begin to look more like they used to look. I also washed out two suits of shorts and fatigues. Just before supper I took a good shower and it really made me feel a lot better. I led the vesper service this evening. I always love to have such a service at the close of the day. I cannot sing the hymns without thinking of Lake Geneva or East Bay.

Immediately following that I had a conference with one of the men about a program we are going to have. That took about a half an hour, so right after that I read your precious letters. Before I started this letter to you, I wrote to Norman, Larson’s, my father and Emma Lehman. I cannot find Emma’s address so I will enclose her letter in this letter and you can give it to her when you see her. You can read it, Dear. Emma is a wonderful woman and we are so blessed with good friends, Dear.

I’m going to start with your letter of April 21st. You were wondering if the men are more concerned under battle conditions. Now that is rather difficult to answer. However, some do show a genuine interest whereas others are gripped with fear and seek an escape mechanism for the fear that is theirs. And then there are those who show very little concern, but I think that is because it isn’t visible through actions or appearance. And then there are those who absolutely disregard God or it may be that they never knew God, be that as it may I have heard men profane and blaspheme the name of our Lord in the heat of battle. It is most difficult to make any concrete observations, but of this I am sure. Those who do know must be better trained that we may have harvesters who can go out into the fields and win men. Real Christian men here, as well as other places, have opened the eyes of men by their godly lives and their love for Christ. It is appalling how little the average individual knows about God. There are many who proclaim a faith of some kind in some kind of God. In other words, they think there is a God but they haven’t taken the time to learn more about him. I pick up the Reader’s Digest and see an article about the number of lives which are being cut short because of cancer, they plead for funds to help that cause and justifiably so. But men ought also to spend time and effort to know the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. Every plane which takes to the air is thoroughly checked from propeller to tail and wingtip to wingtip to make sure that it will be safe in the air and with the proper handling it will return. Bit in so  important an affair as our souls, men will plunder and plod along and then wonder why God doesn’t do something. Is our industrial, medical, and scientific engineers took as little interest in any one of those fields we would still be living as the people of 100 years ago. Just so must men in the religious realm lead and thus many shall be blessed. Let us therefore pray for men of God to lead in the years ahead. And by that I mean men who know God experimentally.

I certainly hope NSBC gets out of the rut of self glory. Honestly, it is distressing to me and so indicative of spiritual weakness. The church that is doing her job and doing it well will not have to have a press agent and a staff to spread the news of their own greatness. You can be sure of my prayer for both the church, the people and the pastor.

Darling, it is late and I must close, God bless you and the folks in all things.

Forever yours alone in the love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed is something I found in a wastebasket. This is the kind of literature placed in their men’s hands. This is for your edification. You will need this to clarify your study of Church History. And then they talk of tolerance. 

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