Keijo (Seoul), Korea
19 October 1945
Sarah, My Beloved Darling:
After a long and tiresome day, I arrived back here at the Chaplain’s office to find four wonderful letters from you, they were for September 27th, October 3rd, 5th and 6th. And then the greatest surprise of all, the wonderful picture of you, my Darling. When I opened that little package I choked all up, and well, you can imagine the rest. Sweetheart, you truly are more beautiful all the time and I mean that physically and of soul and spirit. You are more beautiful of body because you are growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. I wish there was some way to let you know how happy I am to have you for my wife now and forever. I am of all men most blessed of God in having you for my very own in Christ.
Most of this day was used up in getting out and back from our companies which is over 60 miles from here at Headquarters in the capital. Darling, I’m sorry that you were wondering about the use of Kyongsong. I thought I told you in one letter that is the Korean pronunciation for the city. Perhaps I mentioned that in one of the letters which you were still missing. Keijo (is the name the Japanese gave the city after they took over 40 years ago) but the Koreans despise that name. Seoul is the old name for the capital city, and the one the Koreans are using the most now. However, some of them do use Kyongsong.
By the way, I also got a wonderful letter from Arthur Mitchell today, and as soon as I answer it I’ll send it on for you to read. It was certainly a blessing to my heart. Please pray for him for I do believe if he will yield his heart and life fully to Christ, He will be able to do mighty things through him. I also got a fine letter from Major Mason. He, along with the 98th Division, are now on the island of Honshu. As soon as I answer his letter I’ll send it on to you to read. There were several other very old official letters that have been held up along the line somewhere. Right now I’m looking right at your lovely new picture and it seems you’re saying to me, “ I love only you forever, Willie.” I’ll be so glad when I won’t have to look at pictures to see my Sweetheart. Again, thank you Beloved for the wonderful picture. I think so very much of it.
We left here early this morning in a three-quarter ton truck and got back about four forty-five, and I’m telling you, we were about battered to pieces after traveling over such rough roads. Of course the Japanese did nothing about the roads and they are in terrible condition. And anyhow, a 3/4 ton truck was never made for comfort and I can vouch for that this evening. We got there about 11 and I visited with the men for quite some time and then had dinner and at 1 o’clock Chaplain Vogel and I had a Catholic and Protestant service for the men. There were 16 in attendance at our service. Which wasn’t too bad considering how many were on guard duty and how much the men are scattered.
As soon as I picked up your letters and the package I went over to the quarters and cleaned up, for I was really dirty after traveling so far over these dirty dusty roads in an open vehicle. Then I read your wonderful letters. As soon as we were through eating, I had to hurry over here to Headquarters and pick up my Bible for Bible class. There were 12 in attendance this evening, and as usual, we had a blessed time even though the number was not high. By the way, I forgot to tell you that there were 15 in attendance at our class last night.
Sweetheart, I’ve been detained now over an hour and a half. One of our high point men is going home in the next few days and he came in to see me and visit before leaving. He was very faithful in our services and always attended services unless his work interfered in some way. He is from Los Angeles, California. His mother is a member of Dr. Fagerburg’s church of Los Angeles. As you know, he is pastor of the First Church.
I’m sorry to know that some of my letters are missing. For that is the way your mail so often comes in to me. There are letters missing and I cannot help but wonder what you have been doing. I do hope those back letters catch up soon. I know my letters are not the best, but even when I’m pretty tired I try to write something that will let you know how much I love you and so you can at least faintly picture what I am doing.
I was glad to hear about the splendid message that Doug Eadie gave in Chapel. Doug is a mighty fine fellow, I have always thought a lot of him and we were always very good friends at Northern. We have had many good discussions. I was surprised to hear that Dr. Mason was going to teach the men’s class out at North Shore. From what you have told me, I think they could probably find a better more challenging teacher for the class.
Lover, I would like to write you a longer letter but I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I think I will close for tonight. God bless you Dear and give the folks my love.
Just yours, Dear for
all the ages in Christ’s love,
P.S. By the way, one of the men came in late this evening and gave me a couple of pictures which I think you might like to see. I’m not in them much but they will give you an idea of some places on Okinawa. I’ll number the pictures and then explain below.
- This picture isn’t very clear and that may look like a hedge of scantily-clad bushes in the distance, but that is one of the last hard ridges on our drive to Mabuna on Okinawa. The picture doesn’t show it but the ridge is about half a mile away and is of a rugged rocky coral formation. It was for helping save the seven men on this Ridge (two of those who went out with me were killed and one seriously injured) that I was written up for the Silver Star. As yet it hasn’t gone through Division Headquarters.
- Our little chapel on Okinawa (remember that was built of scrap lumber). When this picture was taken we were already crating things for our move to Korea. Notice we used empty mortar cans for seats.
- Another view of the chapel.
- One of the tombs where the enemy had set up a machine gun to slow our advance. You can see what some of our artillery, mortars and firepower did to the tomb.