November 6, 1944

November 6, 1944

 Sarah, My Dearest Darling Wife:

Imagine my great joy with your arrival of six letters from you today, Dear. I read them over as soon as I received them and now have just finished reading them again. Darling, how thankful I am to our God for your wonderful love and devotion. Be it ever known to you that your love and sweet Christian spirit are a comfort and joy to me in this time of our physical separation. You have taught me by your life and love just what Jesus meant when He said, “I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” I am so thankful for His salvation of our souls, for we as ONE in Christ are daily seeing more and more of the glories that He has in store for those who love Him and serve Him. In brief my Dear, that which I feel in the deepest recesses of my heart and soul words can never describe it. Only in your presence and talking as we used to, could I ever let you know my feelings. And then to adequately and fully understand my deepest love it could only be revealed by being quiet and holding you in my arms and looking into your eyes that have always spoke of your deep love, absolute sincerity and most of all your love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The letters I received from you today were for the following days, October 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th, and 27th. These letters have brought me up to date and none of your letters are missing. In one of your former letters you told me that Mom had written to me, but her letter did not arrive with that bunch of mail I received today. Besides your letters, I received a letter from Gen, Elizabeth Riley, Dolores Nelson, Edith Jackson, the Judson Press and several other official letters. The letter from Edith Jackson was very very nice and I was very glad to hear from her. She thinks you are a wonderful girl. Lover, I have known that ever since the night of November 1st, 1940. As you know, to me you will always be forever, “God’s little girl.” When I think of the Lord’s goodness in leading us together, I cannot but praise His holy name and ask for strength to be worthy of being your husband and His servant in the telling of the story of salvation. For after all, it was because of that STORY that you and I have learned to treasure the wonders of His mighty love. As I write this to you Dear, my heart goes out across the surging Pacific, across the Sierras, the Rockies, the great expanse of the middle west to your heart, Dear. Remember, miles might separate us physically, and in that we do not know the future, we know not how long it shall be but remember my beloved, I am forever just yours and will always want to be, NOW and in His GLORIOUS PRESENCE.  The joy in my heart is BECAUSE of you, Dear.

Today was a regular routine day so I won’t going to detail. I will answer some of your questions and make comments on some of the things you said in your letters. First of all, I am certainly glad that you like Church History so well. I think now you will be able to see why I always thought so much of Dr. Stiansen. He is one of those rare souls the Lord is able to use because he is humble enough to believe with a child like faith the word of God even though he has studied it from all possible approaches. We need more men like him in the seminaries. I think we are to have the very best teachers obtainable in schools to train men for the Lord’s harvest fields. You will like Church History even more as the weeks slip by.

Sweetheart, I feel just as you do about being courteous to Chapel speakers. They were that way when I was there and I hoped it would pass away with the graduation of some. Personally, I think you have to show the utmost respect to all individuals. For did not Abraham have angels visit him on unawares. And I will always remember the statement of Emerson’s, “I have yet to meet a man who is not my superior in some respect.” Even children should be respected and loved, for there is a day coming when they will be our superiors in many ways. I think one of the most important things about Christ was the fact that He could see all of the potential possibilities in men as well as children. I like the theme of your program for the senior class on November 9th. To me, that is the crux of our future attainment and progress in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The letter from Gen was just as sweet and kind as she is, isn’t it wonderful to have such good loving Christian friends? The Lord has been so very good to us. Sweetheart, she surely loves you and thinks you are such a fine Christian. One cannot love without becoming lovely also. She has a great responsibility as the mother of those fine boys, but she and Paul have a great Lord and knowing them and knowing Him as I do, I know that He will see them through to days of great usefulness. When you see her again, be sure to tell her for me not to work too hard. Paul is getting along very well, for which I am happy. The first year or two of school will be the hardest, I feel confident that God will open the way for them in all things.

I think it will be grand if you speak at the Senior class chapel service, that is if you feel led to do so. I will not know until it is past whether you speak or not, but this one thing I will do, even though I don’t know, I will pray especially for God’s blessing on the whole service. Remember Dear, it is not, “Are ye able?” But ARE YOU WILLING?

From what you told me in your letter, the letter that you received from Edna Jenkins must have been very nice. I have owed her a letter for some time. As soon as I can find enough time I will try to get off a short letter to let them know I haven’t forgotten them altogether.

Of course, I am very happy to hear and know that the Chief is reading the Bible more lately. I think Mrs. Montgomery’s translation helps. As I had told you before in former letters, I am now reading the Bible through in the American translation. It is printed by the University of Chicago Press. I’m sure you will be able to pick it up at the Judson Press. It is jointly published by J.M. Powis Smith and Dr. Edgar J. Goodspeed. I find it very good and I’ve just been thinking it might make a good Christmas present to Mom and the Chief from us. You probably have several other things in mind, but you could give them that Bible translation also.

Mom and The Chief at North Shore. 1944.

I was certainly sorry to hear about the folk’s picture, the main thing is getting it. I can hardly wait until it arrives. I found out in today’s letters that you didn’t mail your picture till October 23rd, so I will not be able to expect having it for about two or three weeks. I will be so happy to have it, my Dear. Anything having to do with you will mean very much to me.

I am very glad you told me about Margaret’s mother calling up Mom and telling about what Bob had written. My heart just ached for Margaret, from what you told me I’m sure she must be a wonderful girl. I cannot understand Bob writing anything like that to her. After all, writing as often as she does, I don’t know how he could ever get the impression that she was ever going out with anyone. From what you told me, it seems that Bob must have been a little hasty in writing such a statement. From what you told me, I cannot see how he could have been interested enough in a USO girl to have even listened to what she may have said about Margaret. Please don’t think I’m judging, but it does seem to me that Bob displayed a definite weakness by even being impressed enough to mention it. Down here, and yes while in Los Angeles area, I saw the type of individual above mentioned and I have yet to see one such individual I would trust or even be phased by some such statement which they might make. Be assured that I’ll pray about it, my Dear. And I do hope Bob will just think for a minute how he might have felt if Margaret had written him in such a manner. Darling, I could talk to you for hours on end about every kind of marital and sweetheart trouble, for the men have been to ask me what should be done. After each case, I cannot help but be quiet for a moment and thank our Lord for the absolute and unreserved trust we have in each other through Christ. I cannot explain how, but every day you grow more precious to me.

Tonight I wonder how I could love you one bit more, but from previous experience I know I will love you more tomorrow evening, and the only way my finite mind knows how to explain that is the fact that having lived one more day our Lord has granted me one more day to love you and that one more day adds to the sum of all the love I have ever had for you previously.

My Dear, it has grown late and there are many things in my heart I would like to say, but both of us are still clothed in mortality, therefore we are limited even in the expression of our deep deep love in Christ. I will save some of my comments and answers for tomorrow nights letter. God bless you my Dear and remember I love you with my whole heart now and ever. Give Mom and the Chief my love and best wishes.

Always and Forever just yours Dear

In His beautiful love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed you will find a couple of pictures and negatives.

November 5, 1944

November 5, 1944

 Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Another Lord’s Day has rolled into eternity and I love you more than ever, my Dear. I thought of you on several occasions today and tried to imagine what you may be doing at that particular time. I’m so grateful that through Christ we have learned to know the wonders of love. I will certainly be happy when I can see and be with you again. As for me, life and living will not be complete without your precious presence.

I got up early this morning and went over my message again before breakfast. After breakfast, I did some reading and Raymond came over with the jeep and we left here for the Air Base chapel. And then of course we had the regular service at the infantry area. Our attendance was down today because we had a lot of the men working.

After dinner Captain Wilkinson, Raymond, Joe Smith (a very fine young man who is a Christian) and I left here to have services aboard a ship. I asked the Captain before if he would like to have a service for the men and he thought it would be fine. We had that service set for 2:30. It really turned out very well and there was a goodly number of the crew present. As you know, today was communion Sunday. I used as my scripture the ninth chapter of John. The title of my message for the service today was, “Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.” I enjoyed working on it very much and it was a blessing to me in many ways. I wish I could tell you what the Captain of the ship said, but I would rather tell you in person. By the way, Joe plays the harmonica very well so I had him play, “Break, thou the Bread of Life” just before the communion in each service.

Willis leading service on the ship. November 1944.

After the service was over the Captain invited us up to his cabin for a while and then wanted us to stay for dinner which we did. It was a very very good dinner I must say. While out on the ship we saw a school of large tuna playing that was a sight to behold. There must have been around 500 of them. It may sound exaggerated, but some of them would jump out of the water as much as six and eight feet. Many of us saw them and all of us estimated their jumps to be that much. You could see that many of them weighed more than 100 pounds. Be sure to tell the Chief about it, I thought of him as soon as I saw them. There was a little difference in the size of these and the Chiefs favorite, (Blue Gills). 

Darling, it was rather hot here today, but I suppose it was very nice and cool back there. I do hope that you had a good Sunday. I surely remembered you in my prayer. Sweetheart, it is very late and I’m tired so I think I will close for tonight and try to write you a more interesting letter tomorrow night. God bless you my Dear in all things. Give the folks my love.

I am always yours in Christ’s Love,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. Enclosed you will find two pictures and negatives.

November 4, 1944

November 4, 1944

My Beloved Darling Wife:

I have thought of you so many times today that I’m sure you must have picked up my broadcast sometime or other. Sweetheart, it is a great joy and comfort to my heart to be able to bank on your love and faithfulness as I do. Many times during the course of the day’s work, I thank our Heavenly Father for you Dear, because you mean more to me than you will ever realize. Remember the song, “There’s a limit to the rain drops in a shower, there is a limit to the color of the rainbow, but there is not a limit to my love for you”? Yes, be it forever known to you there is a limit to everything but the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and my love for you, Darling.

I got up early this morning and did some reading in the Old Testament before breakfast. After having my breakfast I came back to my quarters and wrote a letter to Alrik Blomquist. If I keep getting a couple extra out each day, I will catch up until another bunch of letters come in. For a while I studied. Then Raymond and I made up four different packages with a necklace (shell) in each one. I mailed them to the following ones. Dolores, Faith Allen, Nettie and Bertha. I thought perhaps they might like to have one. When I write to them I will tell them that they are from us, Dear. By the way, that makes me think, are there any others you would like to give necklaces too? If so, let me know as soon as possible and I will try to get them. I’ve been thinking it would be nice for you to give one to Edith Jackson, what do you think? If so, I will mail one to you for her from us. Let me know Dear who you would like to have them for because I will not be here much longer.

After getting our packages ready, Raymond and I went over to Captain Wilkinson’s quarters and helped him get three packages ready to send home to his wife, mother and sister. As soon as we had them all ready, we went to the Post Office to start them on their way. I still had some time before dinner when we returned from the Post Office, so I used the time to do some more reading. Our dinner was as per usual. By the way, we did have a good supper, that is, much better than usual.

Willis Reed and his assistant Raymond Cox. November 1944.

Shortly after dinner a problem came up down at the native village that I have been expecting for some time. Captain Wilkinson had to go down that way for some other reason so I used the opportunity to help with the situation. It seems to have cleared up now.

We stopped by the Air Base for a while and by the time we returned it was suppertime. As soon as supper was finished, we went up to the Post Office to pick up what parcel post came in today. There wasn’t any first-class mail at all. If there are any planes tomorrow, I truly hope they will bring some first-class mail. As soon as we picked up the packages we came back this way, but before arriving at headquarters we decided to look for some shells along the shore. I found a few pretty nice ones. As I said before, I will mail them to you in the next box.

We had one of the most beautiful sunsets I ever remember seeing. I wish I had a good Kodachrome camera like Mr. Paul has. If I did, I would try to record some of them so you could see how beautiful they are. Such splendor makes one very much aware of the greatness and beauty of our Lord. I’m sure Mr. Paul would be thrilled to get some of those sunsets down here.

Darling, I got four Christmas packages, they were from the following people: Jack and Bertha, the Riley’s in Boston, Galilean Bible Class of the Vermont Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, and Connie. Jack and Bertha’s box contained a box of cocoa, two pounds of fig bars and a nice fruitcake. Rileys box contained: 1 pound of chocolate vanilla wafers, tooth powder, shaving cream, razor blades, a book of sermons by Dr. C. Gordon Brownsville, and a fruitcake, also a package of air mail envelopes. The Galilean Class Box contained: 2 pounds of beautifully prepared stuffed fruit along with a very nice Christmas card. Connie’s was a box of assorted candies. I can see that some of my friends and I believe some of the patients in the hospital will have some candy and sweets, for you know I don’t care for too much candy and the like. People are surely thoughtful and kind to us, are they not Dear? I surely hope you packed your picture and the folks very well when you mailed them because every one of these packages had taken a real beating. As soon as they told me I had four packages, I looked immediately for yours, because I can hardly wait until it arrives. I noted that you mailed yours the last minute so it may be a little late in getting here. Most of these packages have been on their way a month.

After improvising a way of trying to keep the ants out of the fruit cake and candy I washed my hair and took a bath. I took a piece of string and tied my barracks bag to a rafter, now I hope the little ants will keep their nose out of things I received in the mail today. A fellow came into my quarters tonight and when he saw all the things I received he said it looked like Santa Claus left his entire pack in my quarters.

As soon as I finished my bath, I studied some more of my message for tomorrow. And now here I am writing to you, Dear. You are such a wonderful wife. My arms are so anxious to hold and caress you again. Isn’t it a blessed thought to have so many happy memories, and more than that, isn’t it joy unspeakable to look to the future together through Christ who is making us one for the ages of the ages? It seems to me the future is alive with expectancy because of our trust in God and each other. God bless you my beloved, is late so I will close and try to get a good nights rest.

It is so sweet to be yours Darling,

Just yours in the love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

November 3, 1944

November 3, 1944

 Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

I was pleasantly surprised with the arrival of two letters from you, they were for October 21st and 24th. Now I am missing your letters for the October 19th, 22nd and 23rd. Perhaps these letters will arrive in the next mail that comes in. Darling, the letters are so very precious, I read them over twice and will probably read them again tomorrow evening if more mail doesn’t come in. Thank you Dear for being such a very good wife to me.

This morning I did the usual routine and then spent the rest of the morning reading articles I have wanted to read for some time. After dinner, Captain Wilkinson, Raymond and I went down to the native village to see one of the men who is very sick. While down there, we had a good visit with Timete and the men. Later, I went down to the dock area to visit with the men for a few moments. 

Dear, you are right about not getting your hopes up about me returning home. I think, as you, it is best not to plan on it until the war is over and then if I should be fortunate enough to get home before then, so much the better. As you know, I will be very glad to be able to leave here for home tomorrow, but that is not to be, so we will trust the Lord from day to day and hope that it comes much sooner than it now appears.

Your description of the Youth for Christ meeting in the stadium sounded very good, I do hope they will be able to reach many young people for Christ. I agree with you fully about so many gospel courses, I feel there are times and places for them. But I’m afraid in many rallies they overdo the musical program with jazzy choruses. I love the great hymns of the church and would love to hear them used more often in our services. With you, I also agree that we ought to have a little emotion and real passion for Christ, but personally I feel the most effective way to lead men and women to a devotional consciousness with some of the majestic hymns we have. It seems to me there are two kinds of emotion, that which is light and expresses itself in outward motion, and then there is the other which is deep and finds its expression in deep feeling that fills a person with a sense of awe. After all, it seems to me if salvation comes from within and must be worked out, just so should we seek to make people aware of the attributes of our God through well chosen sacred music. Maybe that isn’t so clear but I think you’ll understand what I mean, Dear.

Imagine my surprise to hear that you had the opportunity to visit with Charlie and Eddie. I thought he had already gone overseas. It must’ve been good to see them. They are among the greatest friends I have ever had, I only hope you will have the opportunity to know them better. I know just how Charlie must’ve felt leaving Eddie. When I was there with you and knew the hour was drawing nigh for the parting, there developed within my breast a burden that shall be there until I am able again to be with you. Nothing in all this world could ever take the place or ache in my heart, there is only one who can remove it and that will be when I feel your precious arms around me again.

You were saying that Charlie is bothered with the sight of blood. I have help now with several cases and have watched operations so I am becoming used to the sight of blood. Not so long ago I helped Captain Wilkinson with a bad accident one of the men had. He is a good surgeon and it did me good to watch him work. For if the time comes I want to be able to help my men as much as possible under battle conditions. Is Charlie assigned to a field hospital or is his hospital unit attached to an infantry division?

Your two-minute speech sounded very good, I would have liked to hear it. Sweetheart, to hear you say you love me with your own sweet voice will be the grandest thing I can think of right now. Often I think of the times when we told each other of our love. You are such a good wife.

Be sure to thank Ruth Large for getting the film for you, I appreciate her thoughtfulness very much. I’m glad that you will have an opportunity to visit with Vi Scherenberg again. It is good to know such a fine Christian girl. And I know from what Carl tells me, she thinks everything of you and you are a greater help to her than you fully realize.

From what you told me your letter, I think probably Stan and Letha will be called to the church in Morrison, Illinois. If they are, I do hope that God will bless them and lead them and all they do. I believe I told you that I recommended them to Harold and Buena for their church.

By the way, I forgot to tell you before but I no longer have Route Step. Some of the men at another area have him. I now have Snookie, she is really a good pal. You will see her in one of the pictures I am mailing to you in this letter.

Willis with Snookie.

I was surprised to hear about Chester leaving Lexington, but from what Bertha told me in our last letter I am not too surprised. She said things were really a mess and the young peoples work just didn’t exist anymore. Darling, I understand fully what you said about Amy. Wonder what will happen to the church now. I do hope they get a good man and that they will not go too long without a pastor.

Early this morning I wrote a letter to Chaplain Brown and another to John and Helen Mueller. During my noon hour I took enough time to write a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Sheu. I am going to do my best to whittle down these letters I should answer.

Lover, I must close for tonight and get some rest, for tomorrow will be a busy day. Remember, I love you more now than ever I have before. God bless you Dear in all things.

I love you now and forever

In Our Savior’s Mighty Love,

Willis

P.S. Enclosed find four pictures with the negatives.

Colossians 3:3

November 2, 1944

November 2, 1944

 My Dearest Darling:

One more day has rolled into eternity and we are one day nearer being together, that is a blessed thought, isn’t it Dear? We didn’t have any mail today. I suppose we will be without mail a few more days. I am always grateful when we mail arrives for then I know there will be some letters for me. And your precious letters always make it a much brighter day. Won’t it be grand when we can talk things over like we used to do? Some of the happiest moments of my life have been those times when we were together talking over the things that were near to our heart. Ever since we first met I have enjoyed being in your presence and there has never been a thing in my mind or heart that I would not want you to know. In fact, I always found a source of joy and mutual understanding when I talked these things over with you. You were always so good to listen and give your impressions.

Early this morning, I wrote a letter to Jack and Bertha. After breakfast, I came back to my quarters to work on some things that I have wanted to do for some time. In the meantime, Timete came in to see me. So I visited with him for a while. Get me Wilkinson’s jeep is on the dead line so I had Raymond take him out on the trip he had to make this morning. I kept working away at my job until noon, and after dinner I worked on it until almost 2:30. It seems I accomplished very little but I did do my best and will hope to finish in the next few days. If I keep doing a little each day, I ought to be able to finish this job of straightening up. You know how it is when you are looking through things and trying to decide what to throw away and what to save. Every once in a while I would find something that looked interesting and it would take longer as you can easily understand. I just don’t have enough time to read all the things I would like.

As soon as it was dark we returned to our quarters and I wrote a letter to Bob Peterson and another letter to Marguerite Simonian of the Tremont Temple in Boston. I think “My Utmost” was very very good for yesterday and today.

At 2:30 Captain Wilkinson and I left here to take care of some things he wanted to do. We arrived back here just in time for supper. After supper we decided to take a walk along the shore, we found several interesting shells. When I send them home in the next box to you I will enclose these shells for you. The sunset this evening was really beautiful. This sky was a mass of gold, and right over our heads were some filmy transparent clouds that picked up the golden hue.

Dear, I am very tired so I think I will close for tonight and may God richly bless you and your work at school. I love you more than ever, Dear. Be sure to greet Abernathy’s for me when you see them.

Always and forever just yours in the 

Love of Christ,

Willis

P.S. Enclosed you will find some pictures and negatives. Dear, do you know a fellow in the seminary by the name of Charles Lewis Kau? If you do, what kind a fellow does he seem to be?

November 1, 1944

November 1, 1944

 Sarah, My Beloved Darling Wife:

I have just finished reading over your last letters again and I enjoy them more each time I read them. Nothing in all this world could ever take the place of your lovely letters. As you said, it does help to know we write to each other every day and if mail does fail to arrive we know there is mail on the way somewhere. Many times I realize my letters lack interest and repeat things said before, but it is the only way I can love you now and I do want you to know I love you with all my heart and life forever in the love of Him who makes us one.

Early this morning I wrote two letters, one to Dolores and the other to Charlie and Nettie. For some reason or other I haven’t heard from them for a long time so I decided to drop them a few lines with the hope that I might hear from them in the near future.

After I finished the letters I started to work on my monthly report to the Chief of Chaplains. When I figured the totals for the month, I found that the record fell a little short of last month, but I expected it because I didn’t have services for October 22nd because I was still in Honolulu waiting for my plane back here. If we could have had services that Sunday we would have surpassed any of the previous months record down here. I got it ready and had Raymond type it for me, I’m trying to give him a little practice with a typewriter. He hasn’t used a typewriter since he was in high school. He surely does very well considering the fact that he had a couple of fingers injured a number of years ago. Raymond is 25 years. In the last mail he received the sweetest picture of his son and wife. It was his Christmas present, I can hardly wait until your pictures arrive. It will be so good to have your picture and the folks here on my little desk.

At 10 o’clock Captain Wilkinson and I left here to take care of a problem I have mentioned in other letters to you. It is really a difficult problem and it really takes patience and tact. I surely enjoy working with Captain Wilkinson. It would really be a treat if all doctors were like him. He is the type of man who treats every case with the greatest concern. So many doctors become mechanical in their work but that cannot be said about him. I really enjoy working with a man like him. Many doctors are not very cooperative, but he surely is in every way.

Shortly after our dinner hour a man came over to my quarters to see me about a problem. It is practically the same kind of case I told you about in yesterday’s letter. Although I feel this fellow is someone to blame and I told him so, and asked him to straighten up himself. Darling, some of these things make you wonder that God blesses man at all. I will do what I can to help with the problem involved.

I studied for a while and then went out to one of the outposts to take reading material to the men. In the place where they are located it is rather lonely and a visit now and then helps cheer them up.

Just before supper a radiogram came in about a soldier’s father who is critically ill. I hurried to the Air Base and helped to make arrangements for an emergency furlough for him. His home is in Sullivan, Indiana. With good luck he will probably be there by Sunday. There was supposed to be a movie tonight, so I went over to see what it was about, I stayed for the news reel and left when the main feature started. It was supposed to be one of those corny productions Hollywood so often puts out.

Dear, I’m happy to know you enjoyed the pins and I’m glad Mom liked hers. You’ll be interested to know that Raymond and I planned and made these things ourselves. We even made the clips, that is I should say Raymond made them. It isn’t a whole lot but we did plan and make them. Even the natives thought them very attractive. Since we made those for you, Raymond has made several more and sold them for five dollars apiece.

I know you are not out often alone at night, but do be very careful when you are. Personally, I know of several serious things that have happened because I have dealt with the individuals involved. Take no unnecessary chances. I’m glad to know the folks go to prayer meeting so often with you, at least that helps that much.

It is good to know that Joe Large has now been promoted to an office job. He is a mighty fine man and I do believe he will be a testimony for Christ wherever he goes.

You were wondering if I have lost weight, well I have. The last time I was weighed, I weighed around 174 pounds. There are several reasons why I have lost weight, in the first place, I am eating rather light. Not on purpose, but I don’t care so much for food in a hot climate like this. It was very hot here today. You are right about the heat, it has been getting warmer down here lately.

You were talking about what it cost you to keep up with our expenses each month. Darling, I think you are doing very well. I, as you, want to save every penny we can for our family and home, but please do not go without things you need. I want you to have every need supplied. It makes me so happy to do things for you. You are such a precious wife.

It was indeed a surprise to hear that Darrel and Frances Byers were visiting Northern. From what you said in your letter, I suppose they will be looking for another church soon.

Dear, you did very well in your history test, I am so proud of you. I knew you would enjoy Dr. Stiansen’s classes. He is one of the finest teachers it has ever been my privilege to know. I’m glad to hear that the Chief heard Dr. Koller in men’s class, and more than that, I am glad he liked his teaching. It will be so good to see Mom and the Chief again.

I’m sure John and Iris must be happy with the arrival of a boy. In fact, I’m very happy for them. They surely have a nice start with their family.

You have an important responsibility as the chairman of the program for the Senior class on November 9th. Dear, you can surely count on my prayer on your behalf as well as all those who take part. Knowing you as I do, I know you will come through with flying colors.

Yes, I remember Duffy, we were pretty good friends, it is good to know he is doing so well. When you see him be sure to convey my greetings to him.

I agree fully with everything Chaplain Goe said in prayer meeting. For most of the things I have read about the churches back home and preparing for the post war world, I think they are missing the mark, mainly because they are looking for the boys to come back and search for the churches, but they will find as does most chaplains, as soon as they get away from the front they forget prayer and the Lord. They pray up there but it is for the bullets to miss them. There are those who pray it is true, but our preaching of the gospel will have to be more searching and convicting than it has been in the days of previous to the outbreak of world chaos.

Newspaper from November 1, 1944.

Tell the Chief that the octopus had tentacles about 2 feet long, and really tried his best to get away from us but I managed to hit him with a rock and stun him which made it much easier to kill him.

I was glad to hear about your good grade on Lesson VI in Evangelism. It will surely be a relief when you get that subject out of the way. Perhaps you will get higher grades now that you have cracked the ice with Dr. Rice.

So Stan is candidating at Morrison, Illinois. I think that is the church where Soule Chapman used to be a pastor. He used to be a member of the North Shore Baptist Church. The last I heard, he was pastor of the church at El Paso, Illinois. I recommended Stan and Letha to Harold and Buena for their church at New Berlin.

You will be probably be thinking, well Willie must have forgotten what day this was, Sweetheart, this is one anniversary I shall remember forever. Four years ago tonight I met you, and believe me, my life has been full of joy and peace of heart since that time. There has never been a question in my mind or heart since that time, I’m yours forever I will always want to belong to no other but you. I thought about you dozens of times today and I have thanked the Lord many times for the privilege I have in being your husband and coworker in the kingdom of God.

I am tired so I will say good night and may the Lord bless you richly in all things. Remember, as for me, each November 1st will grow more precious with the years. Give the folks my love.

I Love you Darling forever in Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

October 31, 1944

October 31, 1944

 My Dearest Darling:

Well, October will soon be over and it is one last month we will have to be apart now. Where you are it is already November. As for me, the day when we can be together can come none too soon to suit me. I have learned many important things I’m sure, but in my heart there will always be an ache that reminds me we are separated. Sweetheart, if I were the angel Gabriel I would not be able to tell you how much I love you and how much I miss you. This I know, it is all joy to be one with you in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. If God so wills, I look forward to the future with a bright hope as we work side-by-side for Him who loved us and redeemed us with His shed blood.

This has been one of those days when you have not been able to accomplish very much even though you tried to in several different ways. Early this morning, a radiogram came in about a certain problem one of our soldiers has, I have been working on the case for some time, but have not been able to accomplish all that I had hoped. The radiogram informed me that there was a letter to follow and I’m hoping that the contents of this letter will help straighten out the problem between the soldier and his wife. It is one of those cases where everything was going along very well until about 2 1/2 months ago. His wife now wants a divorce and this soldier doesn’t know why and his wife has made no attempt to explain. It just says she doesn’t love him anymore and it is better if they get a divorce. In the last letter he received from her about two months ago, she said I will be glad to pay for the divorce if you will just sign the papers when they come. And she further threatened that if he won’t give her a divorce now she will get one as soon as he gets back to the States. She also said she wasn’t going to write anymore. Perhaps you will think that this is terrible and it is, but that is mild to some of the problem cases I have dealt with down here. I cannot tell you about these cases now, but some day I will. Darling, each one of these cases makes me realize more than ever that God has been so very good to me to let me have the privilege of being your husband. Often I think of this little thought, “except for the grace of God this case could be Sarah and Willis.” Darling, we have everything to be thankful for and upon our shoulders rests a great responsibility to make known to man the way that God would have them to live. Let us pray that our lives as one in Christ will be a living testimony of what God can do with a couple who are yielded to Him.

There wasn’t a lot of time before dinner, but what time I did have I decided to do some reading. After dinner, I came back to my quarters and did some more reading. I also took the opportunity to do a little cleaning up around my quarters.

After supper, Captain Wilkinson and I took a long walk along the beach. The breakers were really rolling in over the reef and making a lot of noise. Last night the breakers made more noise than I have ever heard them make before. While walking along the beach, we picked up several very interesting shells. When I send home the next box to you I will enclose the shells in the box.

We returned from the beach just when the moon came up over the horizon, it was truly an impressive sight. The sunset was very pretty this evening, first the clouds were a beautiful molten gold, then rosy red and just before dark a royal blue and purple.

When I came to my quarters, I decided to mount the last pictures you sent me. I think every one of them is very good. My album is filling up and I appreciate the pictures so much more than you realize. That makes me think, did you ever have the painting framed? I don’t believe you ever told me.

I read part of your letters over and made a few notes on things I wanted to comment about, so here goes. First, I am glad to know you have found a book that will help you with your thesis. From what you told me about the book, it sounds very good. I have read several things by the author of the book and always did enjoy her work.

I’m glad to know that Maurice and Edith enjoyed the letter I wrote to them. Thank Edith for doing what I asked her to do. They are surely good friends to have. And I am happy that you’re having the privilege of working with them. The prayer meeting that Maurice had sound very good, I like some of the things he said in his message.

I can hardly wait until your picture arrives. I know I will like it very much. It will be very good to have a picture of Mom and the Chief. You can be assured that is one Christmas package I am looking forward to. Please don’t worry about sending me anything else for Christmas. If you knew how hard it is to travel and move with a certain amount of weight you would understand what I mean. With my additional communion equipment and chaplain supplies my problem is even more difficult. It is different when you are assigned permanently to an outfit, but from all indications I will be reassigned in the near future and that means I will have to travel with a certain weight limit. Just think of me, I am not able to send you hardly anything. It will be up to you to get it out of the money order I sent you a couple of weeks ago. Several people have indicated the fact that they have sent me Christmas packages, so I’ll probably have to make up another box and mail some things back to you. The Riley’s in Boston have sent me a package. By the way, I sent them three necklaces today in appreciation of all the good things they have done for me. Remember Dear, you are the most wonderful gift I could ever have and I know you are mine and I am yours forever in the love of the Lord.

From what you told me in your letter, the annual meeting at North Shore must have been very good. I always have liked Dr. Johnson, his message sounded very good and it must have been challenging. I do hope the coming year will bring a deeper spiritual experience in the church as a whole.

I never did meet Chaplain Goe, but from what you told me he must be a very good man. It was good to know he knew Chaplain Cavender. I don’t believe I told you but Chaplain Cavender has returned to the Mainland on an emergency furlough. I do hope his wife is improving. Let us continue to pray for them.

More pictures from the memorial service of October 29, 1944.

Darling, I am doing my best to take care of my teeth. I always wash them and use dental floss all the time. I’m glad to know your teeth are all right.

Raymond does not play the field organ and of course I wish he did, but he more than makes up for it in other ways. In the first place, it is difficult to keep a field organ in shape down here because of so much damp weather.

Concerning Christmas greetings, I think it would be better for each of us to write a little message and incorporate it into a printed sheet we will send to our friends. Personally, I think that will mean more than a Christmas card because they are personal. I will write my part of it is soon as possible. And then you can add your message. If you think there ought to be some changes, feel free to do so.

Sweetheart, how can I ever fail to not think of our future home, church, and family. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t think about all of them. And every day, I think about at least one of them. I will be so very grateful to our God to be in our home with you again. Won’t it be grand when we can be looking for the arrival of our children? I do hope this will soon be over. I know my own anxious spirit desires its end but more than that, I can’t help but think of the sorrow and suffering of people all over the world because of this war.

My Dear, it is late and I am tired for some reason or other so I think I will say good night. God bless you and may you grow in wisdom and beauty as did Christ. Give the folks my love.

Yours forever in the Love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

Ruth 1:16, 17

October 30, 1944

October 30, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Wife:

This evening we were all pleasantly surprised with the arrival of a plane that had mail for us. It was rather late by the time I was able to read all of the letters, but I do want to take some time to write to you before going to bed. Darling, your letters are so very good, I love them more than you will ever know, and they do help me over the rough spots. Your letters were for the following days: October 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th. As you will note, I am missing your letter of the 19th now. If we get mail in the next few days, it will probably arrive then. I know no man could ever hope for a better wife than you are to me, Dear. The Lord has been so very good to us, isn’t it a wonderful joy to be one forever in the Lord Jesus Christ. Besides your letters, I heard from the following friends; two letters from Dolores, two letters from Louise Davis, Lieutenant Carl Anderson, my brother, Connie, Venetia Kinsey (one of the young people from the First Baptist Church of Long Beach), Betty Weiskoph of Vermont Avenue Presbyterian Church, several denominational letters and a bunch of official letters.

I got up early this morning and wrote a letter to Mil and Daunt and a letter to Louise Davis. I had not been able to answer their last letters as fast as I had hoped. There are close to 40 letters on my desk now that I ought to answer. Some of them will have to wait, that is all there is to it. They are always teasing me down here about getting so much mail.

More pictures from the memorial service of October 29, 1944.

As soon as breakfast was over I went to see the commanding officer about a certain man who has been having some difficulty. From what Major Stenson told me later, the whole thing has been straightened out for which I am thankful. The rest of the morning was spent visiting the various areas. It was very hot and sultry here today and this evening it has sprinkled on several occasions.

This afternoon Captain Wilkinson and I went to the native village to see about a certain problem that has arisen there. We stayed there for a while and on the way back we stopped at the farm and Captain Wilkinson made an inspection. I had a visit with Carl for a few moments. He is a nervous sort of fellow, but he is one of the best fellows I have met since being in the Army.

We arrived just in time for our dinner, or I should say supper, which was very much better than usual. After supper I went over to the hospital with Captain Wilkinson while he took care of a new patient that was admitted to the hospital. Another problem arose so we had to leave there to see what we could do about the situation. In the meantime, the mail arrived and when we returned I found the above mentioned letters. General Richardson is making a flying trip to the mainland and Carl will be able to see his wife Ruby, and their baby daughter. The letter was written just before they left. I am so glad for him, because I know just how I would feel if I could have the privilege of seeing you for a little while after being separated so long. It is late so I will close for tonight and write more to you tomorrow night. God bless you, Darling.

Just yours I will ever be in the Love

Of Christ our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

October 29, 1944

October 29, 1944

 Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

There were no planes today and of course that meant we didn’t get any mail. I do hope we get some mail soon. I cannot possibly tell you how lonesome I become when I fail to receive any letters from you. Your faithfulness and devotion are indeed a source of great spiritual help to me. God be praised for such a good wife. I have thought of you many times today and I’m sure you must’ve picked up my broadcasting at sometime or other.

This has been a little different Lord’s day than I have ever experienced before, I will tell you about part of it and the rest of it will have to remain untold for now. We had our regular service at the Air Base at the early hour. And the memorial service was set up for the regular time of services at the Infantry area. They were a pretty good number of men at the service considering the circumstances. There were several pictures taken so I will send you a copy or so if I can. Briefly, I will give you the way the service proceeded. I started the service by quoting, “The Lord is in His Holy Temple,” and also II Chronicles 7:14. And then we sang, “He Leadeth Me.” Then I had the invocation, and a quartet (made up of a Jewish man, a Catholic and two protestants) sang, “the Old Rugged Cross.” After that, I had them read a very appropriate responsive reading, then I had prayer followed by a hymn, “Abide with Me.” (This was also sung by the quartet). I titled my message, “For What is Your Life?”, taken from James 4:14. At the conclusion of the message I asked the men to stand while I prayed. I signaled the squad sergeant and he ordered his firing squad into position. When he was in position, at a prearranged signal the pallbearers took the representative casket (we never did recover the young man’s body) and followed me as you would going to the grave in a regular cemetery, out into the water to the edge of the reef. As you would realize, I’m sure we had planned the service for the time when the tide would be out. When I turned around and faced the group on the shore that was the signal to the sergeant to take command of the firing squad, and as soon as the volleys were fired, the bugler sounded Taps. The great breakers coming over the reef were making so much noise that we couldn’t hear Taps but when he took the bugle from his lips, the pallbearers lowered the representative casket into a large hole off the edge of the reef. Raymond and I put ropes on it so there wouldn’t be any danger to us while it was lowered over the edge of the reef. All of the men stood at attention until the pallbearers and I returned to the shore.

The pictures Willis sent home from the Memorial service. October 291944.

When I write to the soldier’s family I will tell them what I did in the service and will try to enclose a few pictures for them, for I am sure it will help to know what the service memorial was like for their son. Captain Wilkinson thought it was very impressive and he said he had never seen anything like it before. He said he thought it made the men think. I do hope it helped in some way.

This noon I had dinner with the Infantry Officers, and as soon as I could, I went to see a man about a problem he has. After helping him what I could, I came back to Task Force Headquarters. Captain Wilkinson and I left here as soon as possible. To do what we had to do took most of the afternoon.

As soon as supper was over, I came back to my quarters and did a little reading. And then I wrote a letter to Gale Hollenstiener. By that time, the movie was ready to begin so I went over to see what we were to have. I stayed through the news reel and came back to my quarters. Before writing this letter to you, I wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Hanson and one to the Riley’s in Boston. Riley’s have surely been good to me, they have sent some kind of a Christmas box.

Just a few moments ago I had the privilege of hearing a good organ program by shortwave. There was only one thing wrong with it, the program only lasted 15 minutes.

Well Sweetheart, it is late and I am tired so I think I will close for tonight. I do hope we have some mail tomorrow. God bless you Dear in all things. Be sure to give any of our friends my best wishes. And be sure to give my love to Mom and the Chief.

Sweetheart, I will forever be glad for

The privilege I have of being just 

Yours in the Lot of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

P.S. By the way, have you talked to Mil and Daunt lately? Or have you talked to Barrs, Mrs. Norris or the Cooks? If you do, be sure to give them my love and best wishes.

October 28, 1944

October 28, 1944

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

It is very late and I am tired, but I do want to take enough time to let you know I love you more tonight than ever I have before. God be praised for His goodness and permitting me the privilege of being one with you for all eternity. As before, we had planes but no mail. There is the happy thought that there are many on the way. When I think of you I cannot help the filled with joy. I long so to be with you again and as for me that day can come none too soon.

This morning, Raymond and I spent most of the morning preparing for the memorial service we are going to have tomorrow morning. There was a detail of men who helped us get things ready. I also showed the sergeant of the firing squad where I thought it would be best for him to stand for his part in the service. If all goes well, there will be some pictures taken and if they turn out all right I will send you a picture so you have some idea of what the service looked like.

Willis’ assistant – Raymond Cox opening coconuts. 1944.

Oh! By the way, we had some more to do with a problem I mentioned in yesterday’s letter but from all indications it is all settled now. Captain Wilkinson and I talked to Timete about some problems he was facing. Timete is really a very intelligent young man. When I seen men like him, I see the old idea of superior races exploded completely.

This afternoon, Raymond and I took care of some other things pertaining to the services for tomorrow. I came back to my quarters around 3:30 and went over my message for this evening again. About 4 o’clock we left here for the farm. We had supper with the men down there and then I helped the men milk this evening. We listened to the news by shortwave and after that was over we had our service. They were nine there this evening. I spoke on the first eight verses of the sixth chapter of Isaiah. I developed the theme along the line of learning to know our God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

After services were over, we visited for quite some time and in the meantime Carl, Vi’s husband, prepared some things for us all to eat. It all looked very good but I don’t like to eat late at night because often it will keep me awake. And I wanted to be as fresh as possible for the services tomorrow.

Lover, in that it is so late tonight I am going to close, I realize this is almost a newsless letter, but under circumstances like these you are limited in what is wise to say. But let that never interfere with the fact that I love you with all my heart and life and I am longing to be with you as soon as the Lord sees fit.

Yours only I ever want to be in

 The love of Christ,

Willis

Colossians 3:3