September 22, 1945

Kyongsong, Korea 

22 September 1945

Dearest Darling Sarah:

This has been another long long day, mainly because there was no mail from you, Dear. In fact, there was no mail at all, official or otherwise. I suppose it will be two or three more days before any comes in, I’m so glad I have your old letters to fall back upon.

  Most of the morning I studied inside to prepare myself for tomorrow’s services. I also had my devotions and went over our study for this evening in our Bible class. By the way, we got down through the 42nd verse of the first chapter of John this evening. There were twelve men in attendance, which isn’t so bad when you consider how are men are scattered and on guard so much of the time. After dinner I took care of several things and then two different men came in to see me. And I gave out some more Bibles. And I also got out two more letters (follow up)  to those who lost loved ones in our campaign at Okinawa. I believe I told you some time ago that I’m sending out letters enclosing Dr. Dana’s, “When Young Men Die” and the poem which Holly wrote entitled, “ God Remembers His Own.”  By the way, I wrote to a young mother of 22 years today who lives in Lisle, Illinois. She wrote me the finest Christian letter you would ever want to read. Their little son Larry Jon was born after his father was killed. I told her that you and I would certainly remember her in our prayer, for we realize that upon her shoulders rest a great responsibility and privilege as she rears Larry Jon. I gave her your name and address and telephone number so if she comes in to Chicago she may call you or write you. Her name is Mrs. Joyce Ham in case she ever calls or writes. Being young and facing a great responsibility I thought you might be able to help and encourage her in case she ever writes or calls you. I cannot be satisfied with sending out a form letter of condolence as some chaplains do, I always try to make my own personal. Of course, there were cases where I could hardly write anything but a foreign letter because the chaplain who preceded me did note keep up his letters of condolence, and as a result, I had to write many letters concerning men I had never known. However, even in the case of these men I’m making the follow-up letters as personal as possible.

  After Bible class I came over here to our chaplain’s headquarters and wrote two letters before starting this letter to you. One of the letters was to Arthur Mitchell. I’ll send you his last letter soon. And then I wrote a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Craft. I had just read the article by Mr. Kraft in The Link entitled; “God is My Partner”,  so I thought I would express to them my appreciation of the article. I’m going to enclose it in this letter so you can read it. I think it is very good and I think you will agree. Dear, be sure to keep it for our files.

  It rained most of the morning and was cloudy about half of the afternoon, but it cleared fairly well and we had a most beautiful sunset. I wish you could have seen the beautiful colors on the mountain peaks off in the distance. This is really a beautiful country and I would like to be able to get around and see some of the beautiful spots. Darling, the people back in the United States ought to be so thankful for their fine houses of worship and the privilege to go to church unmolested. The faithful Christians here in Korea have gone into the mountains and hills during the night and had their humble services. All were faithful to the admonition, “Thou shalt not forsake the gathering of thyselves together.”  Last Sunday was the first Sunday for several years that they have been able to have their worship services and not be fearful of having a spy in the congregation. It is so unfortunate that when the church becomes rich in possessions that often she becomes poverty stricken spiritually. With all we have, we ought to be very rich spiritually. Tomorrow all the Christian churches here in Kyongsong are having a choral festival in the afternoon, singing songs of praise to God for His deliverance and for the bright hope of religious freedom. The one thing the English speaking Koreans ask me more than anything else is, “ How soon will the United States send missionaries and teachers to Korea?”  They are not asking for lend-lease but for Christ and education that they may become a strong nation. More and more I realize what a tremendous task is ours in the United States, for most of the people over here think that everyone is a good Christian in the United States and they are eager to be like us. Darling, Korea is white unto the harvest, but I’m afraid as Northern Baptist we don’t have any missionaries or Christian tachers ready for this mighty harvest field. These people are willing and receptive. Please pray for Korea and ask friends at Northern to pray that there will be some at Northern hear the Macedonian call of Korea; “Come over and help us.”

Soldiers move a wounded comrade. Okinawa 1945.

  I so wish we could talk over so many of these things, it is very hard to do so in a letter. Won’t it be good when we again can pray, talk and discuss things as we used to do. By the way, you may be interested to know that I was recommended for the Silver Star for rescuing wounded under fire on June 6th at Okinawa. I, with three other men, managed to get seven men back alive. Two of our men were killed and another very seriously injured. I thought you might be interested to know that. God was so very good to me during some very difficult situations. I assure you that I was afraid, but somehow or other there was a quiet and an assurance in my heart which cannot be described in mere human words. We had to go right out into the clear and drag them out on ponchos. Our only means of protection was our own men pouring heavy rifle and machine-gun fire into the enemy lines, we also had two smoke grenades. I hated to see two of those men cut down but we did get 7 back. Our own artillery was screaming over our heads as we were getting the men back. And then just when I got into what we considered a fairly safe area, one of our own short artillery rounds came over and landed about 30 feet in front of a litter I was helping carry. And Dear, it was a dud, if that had ever gone off we may well all have been killed instantly, but all it did was throw a piece of rock about the size of a goose egg and hit one of the men in the chest, fracturing two ribs. Things like that cannot be explained by any other way than God must have kept that 155 artillery shell from exploding. Of course, it was defective that is true, but that it should have been defective and a short round also is still harder to explain. So much for that; Darling, I know your abiding prayer, praying above all else His will carried me through some very dark  days.

  On the 28th of August you really went to town writing letters and I know there must have been a lot of people happy to hear from my Darling Sweetheart. Dear, concerning my future over here I don’t know anything for sure, but as soon as I do be assured that I’ll let you know. Remember all the things they say before Congress and then the news releases don’t always apply. We will just have to wait, but as soon as I do know anything for sure, I’ll let you know. I wish I could tell you it won’t be long but I won’t do that until it is on orders with my name as the one concerned.

I was glad to hear that the check for $105.25 reached you safely. As you know, it was sent to the Chicago address while you were out to the Dunes. I was also glad to know that the March through June bonds reach you at last. Perhaps the pay for those months will also be straightened out pretty soon. 

I got a kick out of reading about little mommy getting the paint bug. She is so sweet and I love her so very much. You know the Lord was so gracious in giving me you for my counterpart and companion, but just think, He heaped the measure up to running over with such a good Christian mother and father-in-law. I do so want to be a good Christian husband to you and a son-in-law of whom the folks can be rightly thankful.

  Dear, as things are now, I think it would be unwise to send a request for anything except something which can be sent by Air Mail like the 1946 diary which I have asked you to get for me. I know mom’s soap is good but it takes so long for things to get here so I think it best not to send anything now.

It was so sweet the way you described your feelings about going with me wherever we go anywhere when I get back. I thought that would be the way you would feel and that’s just the way I wanted you to feel for I don’t want to ever be away from you for so very long again. You are such a good Sweetheart and I love you more every passing day. God bless you in everything, my Dear.

 I love you more than ever

 in Christ’s ( I said it last)- 

Love.  Remember darling???

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

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