I try not to post multiple letters on one day but August 7th 1942 is one of the exceptions. I posted all three because they were all written on the same day. I see the three letters as an extended conversation. My grandfather mentions many of the same topics throughout with laundry being one top issue. And I just have to say, I am a little grossed out.
But underneath all the comments about laundry is the bigger issue at hand, the matter of my grandfather’s departure from the United States. In the second letter, my grandfather mentions that his fellow doctors are in good spirits. By the third letter, he is dropping some pretty big hints regarding his imminent trip. My grandmother should investigate the tax liabilities for men serving overseas, more mentions of the mail going to a new address, and the first mention of the family code. I mentioned early on in my blog that my grandparents had developed a code to let my grandmother know where my grandfather ended up once he shipped out. Due to military regulations, members of the military stationed overseas were not allowed to discuss their locations in their letters home. This was a precaution in case personal letters ended up in enemy hands. All letters home were censored to ensure that sensitive information was not leaked. My grandfather knew this before he left for the west coast. When he left Kentland, my grandparents had devised a method of informing my grandmother of his future whereabouts. It had to do with the lawn care. I haven’t quite figured out all the logistics, or the exact key to the code. That part of the family knowledge and lore is missing. In order to decode the message, it would probably help me to know exactly where Cub 13 ended up in the Pacific. According to some later documents that I have, it appears Cub 13 was in New Caledonia, but I don’t know if that is where they went first.
At some point during the day on Friday, August 7, 1942, possibly between the second and third letters, my grandfather received his transportation orders. He was to travel (when directed) to Port Hueneme in southern California with nine other officers. Once there, they would board the SS Alcoa Penant to locations unknown.
And in regards to the closing message on my grandfather’s last letter, all I can say is, it seems quite emotional.
Just one week ago this A.M. we landed here and I’m still wearing the same shirt I did when I left home since we have to do our own laundry I’m making them go as far as possible.
We are still loafing and don’t know for how long. Not much has happened since yesterday. Just the usual line of that stuff flowing around. I got a letter yesterday addressed to Navy S.S.A.-I really didn’t think I would get that until later.
It is a little slow in clearing up here this A.M. usually it is colu cloudy for an hour or two then the sun comes out good and warm. One of the boys was up on the mountain yesterday
(page 2) said the whole valley looked as if it was full of colr clouds.
I still didn’t get the laundry from Norfolk-guess I told you I had written them to send the stuff to you and you can sent it on. I’ve got to get cleaned up today and get this shirt off because it is rank. Then too I’m going to get a hair cut tomorrow. Maybe I’ll feel more respectable again.
I’ll write more later in the day after the mail comes in.
The mail wasn’t up yet-will write more later Love Daddy
I’m sending John a Birthday present.
Didn’t get a letter yet today but there is still one mail to come in. Lentz was lucky got his uniform checks today. I could have sent them back today if they had come.
I’m still wearing my dirty shirt but will get that taken care of in a few days. I hope.
I couldn’t think of anything else to send John for his birthday but the money-hope he appreciates that as much as anything. Tell Mark I’ll do the same for him when his birthday comes along
(page 2)If I get time I’m going to get a hair cut this P.M. maybe not until tomorrow.
The whole crew are in good spirits as a group. Don’t know how each feel individually, pretty good I believe.
Well, I’ll be writing and thinking
This seems to be the third time today but I just happen to think of a few things. First of all I didn’t get any mail. I think it must be going to the new adderss. Then about that income tax. Some of the boys were saying that when a person is on foreign duty there was no tax to be paid during that time. You might check on that so that just in case I would be out.
The other thing was about the house + yard. In case you don’t understand about what do to do with those things be sure and write me back so that I can explain things more fully.
I’ve got some more laundry to do again this Eve. My socks are getting pretty rank and the shirt is doubly so.
There seems to be little to write about at the moment but maybe there will be more in the morning. Don’t forget to look up or have Agnes Molter look up the tax business if I go out and be sure you understand about the yard if you don’t write me back –
Just a little to add to last night. Everything OK will be writing but you may be a little late in getting the next ones.
Lots of Love + best wishes