May 6, 1945

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

6 May 1945

My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

Well, another Lord’s Day is past and we are that much nearer the time when we can be together. I will certainly be glad when we can be together on that day. I always enjoyed those days together. It meant a lot to see you in the congregation. I was up very early this morning and started up to the front for my first service. It was some service, I cannot go into detail now, but someday I will tell you about it. I had three officers serve the communion. There were a mighty fine bunch of men in attendance. It is something to have a service with men gathered with their guns at their sides or slung on the shoulders. It was a beautiful morning and appropriate for services in spite of a lot of things that tended to interrupt the service. I had another service later and then came back here to Division Headquarters and helped Chaplain Holt with his service. There were a fine group of men in attendance at the last service. And then of course we had our evening vespers service which was very well attended.

Willis’ friend Captain Mason. 1945

This afternoon I studied for quite a while and then wrote several letters. I wrote to men in my old outfit and Captain Mason. I also took the time to write to the mother of one of our fine men. She has been ill and worrying about her son, so I thought it might help if I drop her a few lines. I have done that a lot since I’ve been in the service and I find the dividends are well worthwhile, even though it takes a lot of time, especially when there is so much other to do. I also talked to two different soldiers about some problems they had. I always enjoy the privilege and opportunity to help men with problems they may have.

I had hoped to receive some mail from you today but I will be hoping for some tomorrow. It certainly means everything to have your wonderful letters. I often look back over your letters and read them. I did receive one box of the cloth you sent for the natives, I’m going to try and get it on the way to them tomorrow. I also got the Baptist Leader for April.

Dear, I’m going to start with your letter of April 17th. I was glad to hear about Chaplain White speaking in chapel, I was interested to hear what he said about Patton and the Chaplain. I was certainly sorry to hear about Dr. Snively’s passing. As you said, he must have been a very fine Christian man. We need more doctors like him. I know Dr. Ladd will miss him greatly.

Leora Gilder will probably have a fine summer at Green Lake. She is certainly fortunate to have the privilege of working with and under Mrs. Starrett. By the way, that makes me think Dear, I’m wondering if your working at North Shore will interfere in any way with you attending Lawsonia for a week some time this summer. You could pick the week you would like to be there. I would like to be able to give you that as a special treat from me to you. It might be a nice vacation for Mom also. I would also like to see Paul, Gen and the children and you spend a week out at the Dunes. I suppose they wouldn’t want to do that but we could make up Paul’s salary for one week. What do you think Dear and have you talked to them about an apartment at Koller Hall?

I’m so thankful unto the Lord for the wonderful work Stan and Lee are doing. I have always felt they would be real servants of the Lord and I’m glad that I encouraged them to go into full-time Christian service, and what little you and I have been able to give them is going to be a real investment in the Lord’s work. It is hard to tell how much it will do. Isn’t it a blessed privilege to be trustees of the things that God blesses us?

That taking a bath in the ocean that the Chief suggested isn’t so good for several reasons. You may lay your self open for trouble. I cannot go into the reasons why now. By the way, Washing Machine Charlie was over again last night and didn’t give us a very good nights sleep. I’m afraid most of them met the Emperor in short order. Our night fighters and anti-aircraft are doing very well in protecting us from the air.

Well Dear, I’m very tired and I want to get a better night sleep tonight, that is if Washing Machine Charlie doesn’t get through. God bless you and the folks in all things, be sure to give them my love. 

Just yours forever in the love of Christ Jesus,

All my love,

Your husband,


Colossians 3:3

P.S. I used the typewriter in the Division Chaplain’s office to write this letter. I wish I had a typewriter of my own. Also enclosed in this letter you will find the letters I received from Don, Sgt. Visconti, Sgt. Sample and Captain Mason. I thought you might like to read them. I love you more than ever, Darling.

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