November 25, 1945

Seoul, Korea

25 November 1945

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

If you noted the return address on this letter, don’t be alarmed because what I had hoped wouldn’t happen has happened. I’ve been transferred out of the good old 184th Infantry to the 29th General Hospital. Well, I’m afraid now that my chances for getting out of here in March are gone for now. I’m now being put into a Major’s position but there is nothing I can do about it. When I heard about the proposed plan yesterday morning, I immediately left here for Division to see if I could stop it, but they informed me that it was Corps order (24th) and that I would have to contact them, so I went right up there but the order was already printed and there wasn’t anything I could do about the situation. It certainly makes me feel badly about leaving the old 184th but I’ll do my best here under the circumstances. They have not yet started operation because of getting set up. From what I found out this afternoon, they will probably start to receive patients about three weeks from now. Of course, they tried to feed me that old line that I was picked for that most important job because of my splendid record, and they said I deserved the break on the basis of my record. The 29th General will be the one big and important hospital in all of Korea. Several other hospitals are being deactivated and at the present time, the low point personnel are being absorbed by the 29th General. Remember, this isn’t keeping me from pulling every string I possibly can to get out of here as soon as possible.

  Darling, I knew about this yesterday but I decided not to tell you until the orders arrived. They arrived this afternoon so I thought I might as well tell you now. Shortly after having my dinner, Don and I left here to go out to their location. It is certainly a wonderful location, in fact I understand it is the finest in Korea, but I will still miss the Infantry. I’m going to see what I can do about getting Don transferred to me over there. He wants to be with me otherwise he is going to go into something else because he had five other chaplains before me and he said he will never work for any other chaplain, for he had some pretty discouraging things happen before I met him in the 98th division. I met the Catholic chaplain there this afternoon and talked to him about 10 minutes before starting back here to the old 184th.

Paul Wells. Picture taken in Hawaii. February 1945.

  I got up early this morning and had a snack to eat, then I came down to the office and went over my sermon again. We had our morning worship service and there were well over 150 in attendance. In that Chaplain Wells was here this morning I had him help with the service. I preached this morning on the theme, “Making a Living.”  My scripture was I Timothy 6:11-21. I will not go into detail now, but it seemed to work out all right. After the service, many of the men came to me and said some very kind things. I wish you could have heard them, anyhow they helped me a little and maybe some of my work wasn’t in vain. Chaplain Wells will take over here until a chaplain comes in to replace me.

  This evening, after having had my supper I came over here to the office a few minutes to think and meditate on my message this evening. I used the story of the Prodigal Son as a basis for my message. There was a splendid bunch of men in attendance in spite of the fact that there were a lot on guard. The little chapel was packed full. It is the largest group we have ever had in the evening. Many more of them talked to me and said goodbye. As a result, it is rather late and your sweetheart is pretty tired. You would think I was a celebrity of some kind with all those who wanted my address and autograph in their Bibles.

  It just doesn’t seem true that I’m going to leave the old 184th. It wouldn’t be so difficult if it meant that I would soon be on my way to the States. As for me, that time can come none too soon. 

The great disappointment on top of all that has happened today and yesterday was the fact that there wasn’t any mail today. I had so hoped that some mail would have come through. I’m certainly hoping that there will be some mail for me tomorrow. It is so hard to go without hearing from you, Beloved.

   It has really been very cold today and is it going to get colder tonight. It is clear right now, so I would hardly expect snow unless it clouds up very suddenly during the night. Some good steam heat would feel good right now.

  Sweetheart, it is rather late and I’m very tired so I think I will close for tonight. Tomorrow will probably be a hectic day because I will have to get things packed up and if possible move over there to my new area. I certainly hope this is the last move I will have to make before that last wonderful move for the good old USA. Good night, Lover, be sure to give the folks my love, and remember, tonight finds me loving you more than ever.

 With my deepest love forever and

  always in Christ, because we are

 one in His love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed find a copy of yesterday’s order of service, it is the only one I had left.  In mimeographing it slipped through the machine without printing the cover so I took the cover of one we didn’t use so you can see what it was like. 

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