[Letter postmarked on 2 October 1942 at 11:30 a.m. at Alton, Illinois. Addressed to Miss Crystal K., Berwyn, Illinois. Return addressed to Richard N., Portage Des Sioux, Mo.]
October 2, 1942
Alton, Ill., above Dam
(2 A.M. to 8 A.M. watch)
Hello my sweet, beautiful honey; I believe if I had you in my arms now I would squeeze the life out of you and then kiss you to death. Aren’t you glad you are not where I would like you to be – or are you? Darling, you can’t imagine how much I miss you, it’s worse than murder but there will come a time when we will make up for all this. When it does come, there won’t be a thing can separate us, will there, Hon?
Well Hon, there isn’t much for me to tell you. We have been on patrol for 3 days & nights and nothing much has been happening – that’s why I didn’t write. Last night I got ambitious and wrote a 4 page letter to Jerry and Muriel for us. You know, it was about a year ago this time when they were married and Jer went in the army. I wrote once when I was in school, since then I have had three cards and a long letter in return – as you recall, I couldn’t read much of any of them. I wonder how long it will take for them to write back. I asked them about prospective Piebodies – I am wondering about the answer.
This evening we went up to that tug boat and all took a much needed shower, that’s the best thing about this whole patrol. Boy, I was looking forward to that for three days. When we returned, Mack’s wife was waiting for him – Gee, I wish that could have been you, Hon. She was with him 2 hrs. before returning to St. Louis – what a set up.
Gee, I got an awful blow this morning. We were told that about 4 boats were sent to Peoria. Had we not been down here relieving a boat that broke down, we would have been on our way to Peoria. There is no justice, Hon. That’s not the half of it – late last night my generator went haywire and we broke down because our battery went down. We have a battery that belongs to a boat we relieved since this morning and I don’t know if we will make it to Portage or not. Why couldn’t it have happened in Portage and we would have been there for the new job.
Boy, did I give birth to a brain storm this evening! Because we couldn’t use any lights on the boat, I got out the extension wire that Pratt left with the boat and we plugged into a fish market here. Now we have a light like you have at home – just like downtown, Hon. That extension is worth its weight in gold.
The river is rising above pool stage, so they are letting the water by the dam. I wish you could hear that roar, it’s like Niagara Falls. We have a real current here.
I received your letter of Sept 28 on the 30th in the morning when we were relieved at Wood River. I certainly hope you gave Bill and Vic my best wishes, Honey. I’ll bet that new girl of yours will never keep up with you, Honey. I sure would like to see the kids set up out there. If you recall, Hon, I wanted to get a cocktail set but you said that neither one drank. I suppose they could use it for company, tho. Keep looking for ideas, Honey, the next time you go over there. I dreamt we were married the other night, Hon. We got along so beautifully – never an argument. I will get a letter off to Jina in the near future, Hon, he will get it in a month or two. This is about all I have to say now, Honey, except that I love you more than pen or words can tell, Honey. The only thing that keeps me going is the thought of seeing you again.
Good-by for now, darling. Remember I love you.