[Letter postmarked on 16 October 1942 at 7 p.m. at Alton, Illinois. Addressed to Miss Crystal K., Berwyn, Illinois. Return addressed to Richard N., Portage Des Sioux, Mo.]
October 16, 42
Well, let’s see the last time I was on my way to Alton, I got there and took a badly needed shower. After 3 days of sweating at hard labor, it went good. I had the boy from Philly with me. We then had a few beers and then home at 1:00.
At 6, we’re up and ready to go, but it was so foggy, we couldn’t. We made an attempt but had to come back. At 8, they kicked us out and we were on our way but we still couldn’t see. I went up front and stood fog watch and directed us as well as I could. I am happy to say we didn’t hit or even come close to a thing. We could see the water, but that was all. I went down by my memory. On the way down, we saw the “Helena” tied up to the bank so Whitey had to stop. We had a good cup of coffee and razzed them about stopping. We would have been stopped too, but we didn’t have any choice. It remained foggy and dull all day.
I must tell you about our lunch yesterday. We are getting organized now. We had steak, fried potatoes, string beans, tomatoes, milk, and chocolate pudding. We had the same today, but boiled potatoes with their jackets & butter.
Mark and I stood watch from 2 in the afternoon till ten at night. At 6 in the morning (Wood River), I woke up tied up to the “Huck Finn.” After a while, Whitey took me to the dining room and for breakfast I had 2 eggs, 2 pancakes (about 6 inches in diameter and ½ an inch thick), syrope [sic], 2 pork sausages, milk & coffee. Then we went to the “Standolind ‘A’” and took a shower in a really beautiful shower room. That tug belonged to Red Crown, but it was spotless and beautiful. Everything white on the inside. You could eat off the floor.
Darling, I received your letter of the 14th from the relief boat this morning. It is pretty fast, it was in portage at 10:30 yesterday the 15th. Honey, do you get postage free in those envelopes? I had a real laff when I saw that poast Mark. If that is so you ought to take a bunch home, you are a big shot now.
I am sorry to hear about your uncle Gabe, dear. I know he suffered because I heard your aunt telling your mother about it when I was there.
I am glad you got a lift when you were so tired, Honey, but I am going to keep my ear to the ground for that Delt – as I know them well. Tell Cassy that I am glad for her, too, Honey. I would like to see everybody as happy as we are. Good for those workmen, Hon.
Darling, that last paragraph of yours is turning the insides out of me. I want to come home so bad. If we were still at Portage, I could give you an answer, but on patrol – I don’t know. We won’t get in till Sunday afternoon. The best I could do is 9:30 Sunday evening and your folks would be home by then, Honey.
The fact that you would be home alone wouldn’t make much difference, Hon. I would like to get home anyway, but??
Honey, I can’t think of any thing else that I want to say except that I love you more than you could possibly imagine. I even thought of going over the hill (desertion), but I soon got that out of my head, hon – it doesn’t pay – but it’s the only way.
With all my love,