July 27 and 28, 1945. Stanley writes two letters to Dad as his 30 day Rest and Recuperation furlough is starting to wind down. He is due to report to Fort Dix by midnight of August 3. He even comments that he is likely to be back at Fort Dix by the time Dad gets the letter. He also writes about receiving Dad’s letter dated July 20. Considering that it is 1945, a letter travelling from Guam to Albany, NY in 7 days is not too bad.
Of the time spent at home, Stanley writes, “The time sure went fast, and I enjoyed every minute home. …the only trouble is the month went by too fast. …I sure hate to go back to camp, but orders are orders. We sure are lucky to be alive and also lucky to have a 30 day furlough handed to us. Some of the fellows never even reached home, they are six feet under on the other side. I sure thank the good Lord for all he has done for me and am sure He will be as good to you.”
He writes that on the 25th he went downtown,”…to pay pop’s mortgage… Then I roamed around downtown….went to the MP headquarters at the Day Line Pier and got some rations. I got two cartons of Chesterfields for Ed. Also did manage to get two rolls of film there. They just came in that day so it was worth going down there. I also got a Schaeffer’s fountain pen, the kind you fill with a plunger. …I also got some socks for myself and some undershirts.”
He comments on Dad’s news that they will soon be moving out of the tents on Guam into more permanent structures. “I’ll bet you sure will be glad to live in your new huts. We sure had a swell time in ours, especially after you know the whole gang for a while. The nissen huts we had sure were hot whenever the sun shone on them for a long while.” For more about the history of the Nissen Hut please click here.
Stanley writes about going to the movies to see “A Thrill of a Romance with Esther Williams and Van Johnson in Technicolor. …Also they had the movie which was to be shown in the theaters throughout the nation entitled The Navy Which Came to Stay. It showed the Navy steaming up to the Okinawa beaches. Also shows the …kamikaze planes plunging at ships…”
Stanley writes that he saw a B-29 flying over the house. “…it was the first time I saw it in flight. I’ve seen it on magazines and books but that was about all.” He jokes, “It wasn’t one of yours which might not have been accounted for…and came back to the states instead of landing on your island?”
Stanley also writes about a hearing on the radio “the news about the B-25…which crashed onto the 79th story of the Empire State Building in New York. The plane exploded and the engine fell off and started a fire. …Parts of the plane hit the elevators and they fell down to the basement. They dragged two bodies out of the basement. You probably know all about the accident. …they were ordered to fly to Newark Airport on account of the fog and they were warned that they would not see the top of the building and they must not have seen it at all and just rammed right into it.”
I leave you with The Fleet That Came to Stay, the 21 minute movie about the invasion of Okinawa which Stanley identified as The Navy Which Came to Stay.