[Letter postmarked on 30 September 1942 at 12:30 p.m. at Wood River, Illinois. Addressed to Miss Crystal K., Berwyn, Illinois. Return addressed to Richard N., Portage Des Sioux, Mo.]
Wood River, Ill.
Sept. 29, 1942
Gee hon, the way your letters keep coming in is wonderful. I am very much ashamed of my self for not writing sooner, but I have been busy, hon. – sooo here goes for a good long one.
Saturday after you left, it rained all day and was very cold and damp. I thought Saturday night would never end. I went to bed at 2:30 Saturday afternoon and never opened my eyes till 11:00 Saturday night. Then I was on watch till the next morning. We were relieved at 10:30 and at 11:30 we were in Portage at Sunday morning and at 12:30 we (Mack, Whitey, me) were on our way to St. Louis. I picked up your letter when we got in, you told me every thing but I enjoyed reading it anyway.
When we reached St. Louis, Mack got off and Whitey & I went to the U.S.O. We were there a few minutes and Whitey got ants in the pants and wanted to go to the Show, so we did. We saw “It Happened in Flatbush” and “Lady in Trouble,” both very good. Then we started back to Alton. In Alton, we went to the Bon Air and met a bunch of the boys from Portage. We sat around drinking beer and had a swell time. We got back at 3:30 in the morning.
Monday we were up at 6:00 to run and walk 2 miles for an eye opener – boy, was it cold (I forgot to tell you before we went back to Alton (Sunday) evening). We went down to the barge line right above Mound City, remember where all those tugs were. The Helena was there and the Missouri was behind it. We had supper on the Missouri – boy, was that a meal. I’ll never forget. The only thing I could eat was the ham and that was no good. They had dumplings but I couldn’t eat them. Monday, we were on standby. About 5:00, we were told we were going out again because we were the only boat running. 7 other boats were broke down, 4 of them came into service two weeks after we did. We are the pride of the base, hon. I wish it wasn’t such a running Son of a Gun. To-day was our day of liberty – this is happening so often. After I heard this, I said, Nuts, I’m going into town regardless of the consequences, so I did. I went to another show, “The Eagle Squadron.” Boy, hon, see that if you get a chance, it’s very good. Then I had a few beers at Bon Air and was home at 11:30.
Tuesday, up at 6:00 and on our way to Wood River – still darn cold this morning. Boy, the climate down here is terrific after all that rain & snow up north – it’s about 12 miles an hour and wavy. We are anchored out side of the channel. Now to get to your letter, hon (What did your dad say, does he still doubt our veracity, hon?)
I don’t know when I’m coming home hon, but you can bet it will be as soon as I can. I sure was worried about your getting home hon, but I guess you can take care of your self now – hey, honey, I was worried that what did happen would happen, hon – you get them like honey gets bees, dear. I am glad they were nice though, hon, for I imagine they helped pass the time away, didn’t they? As long as you can handle them it’s all right, hon, but it don’t take much for them to get out of hand sooo you have to keep them tight _____. I’ll bet the time went fast. What time did you have lunch? Do you think you will ever see or hear from them again? Did you tell them anything?
That’s pretty good hon, you giving advice to the young married couple, an old married gal like you. When you write Henry, give him my regards and my address and send me his, hon. Forget about the cigarettes, hon, I can buy them for 14¢ a pack here.
Naturally, I am giving your question some thought, in fact, that is all I can think about, honey – it keeps running through my mind all the time. I am trying to figure out whether it would be fair to you or not for us to be married. That’s what I am wondering. You know, darling, that’s an important step in a life time. You relieved me of one problem, hon, I know now we will be married! That’s really had me worried, hon, now to figure out when. Remember hon, I love you very much and think about you every moment.