October 25, 1943. This is a short letter from Stanley to Dad. It’s been crunch time for the past few days for Stanley as he has been working long into the night. It looks like he finally got a night with no work and he gets a quick letter off to his brother.
Stanley acknowledges Dad’s last letter and apologizes “Sorry I did not write earlier but it was impossible for me. Right now I have been working pretty hard and sure lost a lot of sleep. Within three days of hard working the earliest I went to bed was two o’clock in the morning. You just fall asleep and before you know it you have to get up again” He goes on to note, “Every day and every night when I think I have some time to myself something comes up and takes all of my time….One night this week I took a shower for the first time in a few days.” Stanley’s been working so late into the night that he’s literally had trouble keeping his eyes open and staying awake as he tells in the following excerpt.
At one point in the letter he takes a break as he explains “I stopped writing this letter for a while and then I had something to eat. Now I guess I can continue on a full stomach.” He goes on to reflect how much things have changed in the past twelve months. “With the whole year that I have been in the Army some real changes took place. Boy the time really went fast. I just wrote a letter home…and congratulated Anne and baby Terry… Little Terry just hit here first birthday today. I wonder how she enjoyed living on this earth for one year.”
He regrets that he has not had a chance to get them something for their birthdays. “I would have gotten something for the both of them as my mind was searching for some birthday presents. Well I guess I can’t get them anything at present till later in the future. I’ll get them something even if it takes a few months…”
What Stanley did not mention in the letter was that this will be the last letter he writes from the States. His next letter to Dad will be a V-mail dated ten days later (November 4, 1943) from “Somewhere in England”. There is no indication if Stanley even knew that they would be shipping out very soon at the time he wrote this letter. To me there are three possibilities; that he did not know, that he knew and chose not to tell his brother (you know, “loose lips…”) or that he included it somehow in a P.S. that was censored out. What would be your guess if I told you that the paper used for this letter was similar to other paper used for previous letters except that an inch at the bottom of the sheet was cut off?