In today’s letter, we FINALLY learn Dr. Fred’s last name and we learn the name of the “boss”. In case you haven’t noticed, Jake has been censoring his own letters lately. Perhaps some of the news from this letter will explain why.
Dec 5, 1942
A day of rain and all that goes with it – mud wet etc – but it isn’t so bad living in a hut, only we have two leaks in our roof – but luckily they don’t come over my bunk. We still have to get in the mud to go to chow and to the P.O. but we can do them both at the same time.
I counted the letters both V-mail and others and to date I have received 77 from you. All others I destroy so don’t know how many I’ve gotten all together. I’ve just about decided to write to Dr. Joe and Reinhart. I put those letters away and had to search for them so I found them today. To get the address.
Your attitude on the keeping the chin up is admirable because that after all is the best way. You don’t see many families around home in
[page 2] circumstances as similar to ours but I see and am around many men in exactly the same state of affairs as myself, and we are no better than they and all have a part to play and a duty to do. For example one of my roommates has two children – the oldest just a little older than John and the youngest about Mark’s age. Then Fred has one son 19 months old and Dr. Porterfield our boss has three children – Two boys and a girl – His two boys are both in the service – And he doesn’t know where one is – the other is in Calif. at present or was at the last writing. Dr. (Fred) Williams and Dr. Porterfield both were asking me about my family last night and they both talked as if they were asking their wives to write you. I thought I would not suggest you write them first. I did for Dr. Walsh but you haven’t said if you heard from her or not. They suggested their wives write to you so maybe you’ll be hearing from
[page 3] them, but that is getting away from my original story. I know a first class hospital corpsman who has a child about 3 years old and plenty of others in the same boat and then we also run into men who haven’t been home for 20-26 months – So our lot isn’t any worse than others and I’m glad you are taking it as you say and as I know you can. I’m not cheerful and happy about the whole things but I’m trying to do the same thing you are.
I’m almost afraid to say this but it now looks as if there will be only 3 of us remain here – Williams, Porterfield and myself. Porterfield is boss being a Lt. Comdr – while Fred is a (jg) like myself. We aren’t entirely sure but the latest gossip is to that affect and we should know in a few days. Of course we don’t know for how long but for the present at least and possibly indefinitely. That is, as
[page 4] far as the Navy is able to be definite. That last isn’t very clear, but it looks as if it will be sometime. There are other places much worse that this so we won’t complain.
No mail today but we have hopes for tomorrow. That is what keeps us going and after all that is what keeps the whole world going.
The dentist is scraping a fellow’s tooth and it isn’t a pleasant sound. He has sinus trouble so I get him down in his chair and work on him then he works on me – That way we are both careful not to be too rough.
The show was very good last night – funny as well as a fair plot. The ground is too wet tonite so won’t see another until Mon. as there is none on Sun. night. The shows are fine but it sure breaks in on the letter writing period.
Well, I think you and I have looked at this whole business in a sensible manner and and I hope we can continue to do the same –
With Lots of Love
©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/08/10/keeping-the-chin-up-roscoe/
I took the last comment to mean that the dentist cleaned Roscoe’s teeth, then Roscoe did some work to treat his sinus. Since they were working on each other, they went easy on one another.
Given the lists of Kentland people in WWII that you’ve posted, it it strange for him to say this: “You don’t see many families around home in circumstances as similar to ours…”
Very poignant: “No mail today but we have hopes for tomorrow. That is what keeps us going and after all that is what keeps the whole world going.”
I have no clue what this is supposed to mean: “The dentist is scraping a fellow’s tooth and it isn’t a pleasant sound. He has sinus trouble so I get him down in his chair and work on him then he works on me – That way we are both careful not to be too rough.”
What a letter… It reminded me of some of “Old Man Jack’s” moaning and groaning… with a smile of course. He said it was mud everywhere for weeks (I assume it was Guadalcanal) and when a steam wouldn’t recede, he’d have to use his knife to cut away baby leeches that came in through the eyelets on his boots. He also HID from the dentist when he came to the island!