May 13, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

13 May 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I have just had to the joy of reading your letters of May 4th and 5th. Those letters certainly helped a lot. And Dear, the pictures of you and the roses were certainly beautiful. Please don’t forget that I am always anxious to have pictures of you. You say there is nothing interesting to take pictures of, as I said before, anything of you is most interesting to me. I think you look very nice in the suit and your new hat looks very attractive also. This has been some Mother’s Day, I have thought of you a whole lot and I could not help but thank the Lord that you and I have such wonderful folks. I suppose little Mommy was as sweet as ever. It will certainly be a glorious day when all of us can be together again. I’m glad you were going to get her a gardenia corsage. I hope she liked it. I got several other letters this evening, they were from of the following people: Mil, my grandmother, Captain Wilson, John and Helen Mueller, Roy String and other official mail. By the way, I also got some more of the Bible handbooks from the Galilean class of the Vermont Avenue Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Sarah second from the right. Her mother is on the left. 1945.

I got up early this morning and did some studying before we had our breakfast. I didn’t have my early morning service because that particular unit was moving to a new area. I’m going to have to the service for them tomorrow morning at 7:30. As soon as we could drive to another area we had a service for the men in that outfit. There was a good number in attendance. I spoke on James 4:11-17. Using as my theme, “What is Your Life?” It is not enough to want to return to our loved ones and the States and settle down into our old ruts of sin and disregard for the needs of others. We must remember the mighty challenge of Christ which is the greatest in the Kingdom shall be servant of all. The thing that prompted me to speak on that particular subject is the fact that I have heard a lot of men say recently, “When this thing is over I’m going back to the States and settle down and do what I please.”

We arrived back here at Division Headquarters in time for the service which Chaplain Holt conducted. There was a good number in attendance, now that we are resting for a while more men were free to come to the services.

I did some more studying this afternoon and then decided to write some v-mail letters. They were to the father and mother of Captain Mason, also one to his wife, and another to the wife of Chaplain Schreyer and to our old friends the Carlsons in Nebraska. In that I have a little time I thought I would use it to good advantage, as I’ve told you before I feel that letters like that help. I also wanted to take advantage of the use this typewriter; for going out to the infantry under combat I know I will not have the opportunity to use a typewriter. As soon as this service is over in the morning I am going to come back here and get my things ready to move to the 184th Infantry. Chaplain Holt led the Vesper service this evening, then after that I read all the mail which came in for me.

Well Dear, I’m going to start with your letter of April 30th. Dear, I’m sorry you got the impression from my letters the cruise up here was unpleasant. The first two days it was very rough and quite a few on our ship were sick, but as I told you, I wasn’t bothered whatsoever. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I suppose I would not have enjoyed it if I had been sick. As I said before, such a large convoy like ours is indeed an impressive sight upon the ocean. I will never forget how beautiful they were as they traveled in certain formations and then change their course. I think the most unusual part of the trip was the way we traveled under the cover of darkness. There was not a light to be seen but each ship held her place. One night it was storming so much that it was impossible to see the other ships but still they held their formation. I was privileged to be on the bridge several times by invitation. Not very many have the privilege. I also spent some time in the radio and chart room. Really, I have had some very interesting experiences, such as helping with the rescue of the plane that went down at sea and riding in the copilot’s place on a C-54 from Canton to Oahu. Someday I will tell you all about it. We were in flight 10 hours and 5 minutes and the entire flight over water. It was certainly impressive to see how that great plane stayed right on the beam even though we ran into a storm which lasted for almost an hour.

I’m glad to know that you had such a nice time with all of the girls at your home. From your description of the table setting, it must have been really pretty. I suppose it will be of interest for me to see the things I have sent home. I cannot imagine how it will all look together. I’ve been wondering if you received the picture back since Mom had it framed? Perhaps you told me about it in one of the letters I am missing. They are probably coming by ship. As you said, we will probably be able to have some interesting settings with those things in years to come. The way you figured the time in your letter of April 30th is correct. When it’s 11 AM there on Sunday it is 1 AM here here on Monday morning. Dear, I’m going to close tonight for I want to get a couple more v-mail letters off while I have use of this typewriter. God bless you and the folks in all things. I love you more than ever, Darling.

I am just yours for all the

ages of the ages in Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed find Mueller’s and Captain Wilson’s letter. John and Helen’s letter speaks for themselves. Isn’t it a shame about the Muscatine church? This whole thing makes me feel so badly.

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