F.M. Williams, Lt., MC, USNR
U.S.S. LST 487
F.P.O. San Francisco, Calif.
December 14, 1943
I know you don’t care a lot for the V-Mail, but is seems to be the nearest things at hand for the moment, so here goes. What goes into this damn letter won’t make much sense, because I’m not doing enough interesting things these days to tell about.
After leaving the place where I saw you last, we tossed about for several days on a turbulent portion of this “peaceful” Pacific and finally came to roost again several days ago. We have had our share of weather, with high winds, torrential rains, and the eternal heat, so one might say that the situation had been fine for windjammers, ducks, and the natives.
I heard from Ray Tharp several days ago, and he gave me quite a bit of scuttlebutt, most of which tied in with some of the bull you gave me. He said that it had been fairly well established now that the tour of duty would be about eighteen months for us, and the news had come from the right source. Mattox had told him that most of the Cub 13 boys had either gone back or were on the way, but that must apply mostly to the line officers. Anyway, I’m ready for the orders, because I am sure that the medical activity on this ship has reached a new low, and I expect to go nuts any day if I don’t get something to do pretty soon.
Today a letter came from Pop that he had mailed from Quantico soon after he arrived at that destination. He had addressed the thing to the LST 488, so the letter went all over the Western and Eastern hemispheres, I think, before coming in the right direction. He said that his wife had the Xray findings of the tuberculosis, but did not have a cough or positive sputum; therefore, adequate rest and care will probably take care of the situation in time. She had been to a sanatarium, but her mental attitude wasn’t so hot after the younger boy left home, so Pop brought her home and the results so far have been very favorable, with the weight gaining O.K., etc. He gets to come home for two days a month to see her, and that won’t be such a bad deal. In case you would like to write him, his address is Post Dispensary, Quantico, Virginia.
The other day three of us were standing on the deck, watching the gunnery practice. One of the anti-aircraft guns was aimed too low, and the shell hit and split a steel railing a few feet away. Some of the hot stuff went down the front of the shorts of the guy on my left, the fellow on my right got a crease across one thumb nail, and I got the hell out of there in a hurry. Hope those trigger happy boys have as good luck on the Zeros and the Mitsubishis as they did in wrecking that railing.
I guess our time to see the big show will come up one of these days, so maybe they’ll make a Christian out of me yet in this damn war. I’ll probably not get to see you anymore in this area, but hope we can get together back in the States for a pow-wow and a comparison of notes. Take care of yourself, mate, and don’t forget to write me a line and tell me the latest from that haven of the South Pacific. Hope this finds you in the best of health; guess we could both feel a bit better if the snow were flying, but a good blizzard out here would be about as rare as a cuss word at a Ladies’ Aid Meeting.
©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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