[Letter postmarked on 7 November 1942 at 5:30 p.m. at Alton, Illinois. Addressed to Miss Crystal K., Berwyn, Illinois. Return addressed to Richard N., Portage Des Sioux, Mo.]
Portage – Nov. 6
Well, let’s see, the last time I wrote was at Alton. Well, we got back to portage and I went to St. Louis to get some underwear shirts and was successful finally. Got 6 which makes me a total of ten. Went back to Alton and saw a show (for nothing) and then went out for a few beers. I got back to the boat at 1:00. Nobody came around waking us up at 6:30 to-day, so we rolled out of bed at 8:30 – boy, was that wonderful. We worked on the boat all day cleaning it up. I installed the stove permanently.
Boy, are there ever some big boats in here now. There is a beautiful 56-foot, flying bridge Elcolemis from Chicago and a 70-foot boat from St. L – I wish you could see them. The 70-foot has a shower & 2 bath tubs & 4 Johnnys. The Elco has 3 Johnnys and 1 shower. We also have 3 regular CG Picket boats that are really something.
Well, they came. I got my orders to go to the rifle range next Sunday. These are orders everybody dreads because rain or shine or snow or mud you drill and drill and you shoot and shoot. If it rains, it’s tough. You have to lay in the mud and sit in the mud, sit in the mud and finally sleep in the mud in your bed because there are no showers. We are told we are lucky we have 1 stove in the barn where 500 men sleep. I’m getting used to the mud already at Portage – it’s about 3 inches deep after 4 days rain.
8:00 – 12:00 sentry watch
They are getting civilized out here now, honey. We have a shack with a light in which we stand sentry duty now.
Now, to get on the personal side, darling. I received your letter of the 4th postmarked (Nov. 5 – 11:30 A.M. – Chicago) – that is fast service, honey. I was wondering why I didn’t hear from you sooner, honey, but I am glad to hear you are keeping your self busy. You can have that dentist stuff, what is he doing to you, hon? I am glad you enjoyed “Kings Row.” My mother went to see it also and raved about it, too.
That’s right, hon, I didn’t get the pictures in the mail but I am dying to see them and the cartoon. Gee, I am glad to hear you are doing well with your bowling game, honey. Well, honey, that “Flying Tiger” must be some killer with the women, also. Hey, I’ll bet she isn’t as beautiful as you are, honey. Boy! he sure is going to town with his promotions.
Honey, my mother wrote me and told me about the beautiful flowers you sent her. I thought it was a very kind thought, honey, but what is the occasion? She said they were simply beautiful – tell me all about it, darling.
(Boy, is the wind ever howling now.) Honey, my being home seems like a dream to me, also. I am only living for my next liberty at home with you, my love. I live precious moments I spend with you over and over again, honey, and think about all the things we talk about – that alone is courage, honey.
Darling, I don’t know whether I will have tome (or a place) to write to you or not at the rifle range. I will try, though. If I can’t, please forgive me, darling, and please don’t let that stop those wonderful letters from you, dear. Remember, darling, I love you with every ounce of strength in me.