[Letter postmarked on 21 September 1942 at 9 p.m. at Alton, Illinois. Addressed to Miss Crystal K., Berwyn, Illinois. Return addressed to Richard. R. N., Portage Des Sioux, Mo.]
Sept 20, 1942
Well, you know what I have been doing up till yesterday. Yesterday was our day of liberty, when we woke up it was very cold and raining to beat the band – our day off. There was nothing to do but lay around. Finally about 10:30, I decided, rain and cold, I was going up to portage, regardless, to pick up the pictures that have been there for a week because of 6¢ overdue postage. I also wanted to look for a place to keep my car, for I sure could use it down here. I found a very fine garage about ½ mi. from the base. I got the pictures, too. Then I walked back. Still raining.
The stove quit and the battery has been running down, so Fri. or Saturday I fixed the stove and a mech. Looked at the Generator. One of the brushes were bad and in trying to fix it, he broke it, so we need a new brush. Late yesterday afternoon, they told us we weren’t going out to-day as we were to do. So we have a vacation to-day.
Because we weren’t going out, I asked for a 72 hr leave (one on board had 2 and the skipper had a 48). But the Ensign said no because he was waiting for us to get orders to move somewhere – he didn’t say where. We also got orders to put things in perfect order and be prepared at all times. Thank goodness we are leaving Portage.
Lee Turner was out to-day. I spoke with him and he gave me a ride in the “May-Dix.” It felt good. The wheel was bent already and they put a new one on. He took it to St. Louis this afternoon. This evening I had liberty so I walked about 2 mi. up the road and had 3 beers and walked home. Even a walk is a diversion down here. I was in bed at 9:30. I can’t mail this letter to-night so I will continue to-morrow.
Boy, was it cold last night, I almost froze to death after perspiring so much. We were up at 6:00 this morning for calisthenics and it was so foggy we couldn’t see our hand in front of us. It was the first time I liked them because we had a good work out (30 min.) and I finally warmed up. After that, I went to the boat and sat down. I no sooner got in there and Bob Gordon came in and said he needed a man. I was the only man left because yesterday they took the other two. I quick made myself some bacon, eggs, jelly, cantaloupe, and milk for breakfast. We had to wait till 9 to pull out. We got down here and I was put on a boat above the dam on which was the Mech. of our boat, so here I am. We were told that a car would come down and pick us up if our orders came in. I’m hoping for Peoria – closer to home, you know. Now for your letters.
Honey, I really enjoyed that poem you sent me. I showed it to some of the fellas and they got a big kick out of it, also. I showed them the pictures, also. Boy oh Boy! did you ever make a hit with them. They can’t understand why I am not married – after 3 weeks down here, I can’t either, Hon. They wanted your name and address. I see where I would have to keep an eye on you if you ever came down here. The boys are really hungry – so am I, as far as that goes. If I had you in my arms now, I would probably kiss you and smother you to death.
Yes Hon, the thing that kept my chin up was the thought of a leave, but I sure caught it right on the chin (good) when I was refused. You tell Ginny I am in the C.G. for sure. I am glad to hear about your good score in bowling – you did well, Hon. Fleishman Grocery? Kind of Jewish, isn’t it, Hon? The duce with the pants, Hon, we have the pictures, anyway.
Gee Hon, I wish I could see Martha in their new place. You know, it was my first sale and I have a warm spot in my heart. I hope they are satisfied. If you get in there, Hon, see if you can find something they need, tell me about it, and we will see about it. Give them my best wishes, Honey.
I haven’t forgotten about your surprise, either, Hon. I have been thinking a lot about it, Hon.
I just had quite an experience. I took a shower in a tug boat, Hon, it was just like home – hot water and everything.
Well, Darling, I haven’t much of anything much else to tell you. I can tell you how much I love you, though, and how much I miss you. I have been pretty busy but I still think of you very much, in fact, continually. I love you, Hon, I love you more than you could possibly realize. My arms are longing to hold you, hon, and my lips are burning for yours. After all, a kiss is an international language and would really express my love for you more than this pencil.
Good-by Hon, I love you