|Burruss Finlayson, Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson and Jennie Wait Foster Finlayson|
My new address will be U.S.S. LST 382
C/) Fleet Post Office, New York, NY
Somewhere In England October 15, 1944 (Sunday)
1340 (Navy Time)
Dearest Mother and Papa,
No change in my situation since the last time I wrote (yesterday), but I received some mail which has pleased me "no end". It was forwarded to me from Portsmouth, my last location.
You can imagine how I felt reading Murdoch's letter written in Cheraw. It was great to hear from him and all of you. His letter was written Sept. 25. Rutha's letter, Florence's letter of Sept. 24. Edith's letter of Sept. 25, and Mother's letters of Sept. 24 and Sept. 26.
And how about Murd's making the crossing on Queen Elizabeth! In six days! Well, he went the fast way ~ I'll have to go the slow way, just as I came. And it appears I'm going to see quite a bit more of England yet, before I leave. I doubt if I see any places in England I didn't already see, but my stay is certainly going to be prolonged. Who knows, I may see Paris before returning to the states!
As for Christmas, please, don't send me any packages. Just buy me some presents and save them until my home-coming. It may not be before Christmas; but it certainly won't be long afterwards, I don't think.
The sweater sound good ~ and you know, the one you mentioned buying from Pearlman. That would be a nice present. Then I need a shaving kit. The nice, fine one Wofford gave me, with Beverly's sweet little picture in it was destroyed. I am using a cheap plastic razor now, and it's no good. I would like some shaving lotion like "Ye olde tavern" stuff ~ or whatever it was Wesbrook and Louise gave me (in pottery ~ designed container) for my graduation. I was still using it up 'til the time of the accident.
A jar of Vick's vapor rub, Mentholatum, some nose drops, Fitch's shampoo, and various types of useful cosmetics would be appreciated. Oh yes, I could also use some white shirts, some collars (size 15 1/2" ~ this is my shirt size, too), and grey shirts. My shirt sleeve length is 33 inches, 15 1/2" collars. A nice little suitcase (weekend size) ~ maybe just a tiny bit larger than the one Florence gave me ~ which too, was destroyed ~ would please me considerably. You see, there are a lot of things I can ask you this year that I had no need for last year. A matter of fact, I need some black ties. I only have one.
I do hope Murdoch gets a commission while he's home. I am glad he put in for it right away after arriving. He wants it so bad, and I know that's what has divided his conscience ever since he has been in the Navy. Rutha wrote me that sometimes she found it so hard to get his attention while talking to him. Of course, with the millions of questions your pouring at him, hardly anyone could do much better job than he's doing. But I know what Rutha meant. I found him the same way every time I talked to him. I would be telling him so many things of interest, and often find him piddling around at something else or looking off into space as if thinking of something else. I'd stop and say "Murdoch you're not listening to anything I have to say. What's wrong?" Then he'd reply, "Oh yes, I was listening, bu I've got other troubles right now."
I'd be telling him all about our accident or about the trip with von Schlieben aboard, and he'd never responded with any enthusiasm. It would just "get my goat".
Murd's letter was entertaining and showed that he was having the time of his life. Naturally, I am constantly blue and don't feel I'll ever be really happy again until I can see you all and enjoy an extensive leave.
Breman paid me a visit last night. I was glad to see him after being separated for a week. He likes his new ship and was surprised and amused at the fact I hadn't gone aboard my ship. The ship I was supposed to have gone aboard met with an accident while I've been awaiting it arrival in port. That has been the reason I've been held up. Now what d'ya know about that? I'm really a jinx to everything, it seems. They are reassigning me to another ship now! Maybe, I'll get settled finally.
Did Murdoch actually tell you, Mother, that he flew Sicily and Italy? Well, he should be ashamed of himself. He was teasing you because you are easy to fool, I guess. But he shouldn't go away letting you believe that, for it is whole untrue. Perhaps, you misunderstood him. Could that be possible?
You certainly did not receive all the letters I wrote in August, if you only got six. I know for a fact that I wrote 10. Did you get the one with the enclosed cartoon from the "Stars and Stripes" You know, the cartoon I thought was so funny. I never received any comment, so I'm doubtful as to whether you received it or not. It making me mad to think that my letters are not reaching you. Please see if you can find the other five letters. No wonder you were complaining over my not writing. However, I'm glad you've been receiving my Sept. letters. They seem to be reaching you OK.
If Papa hasn't already mailed the Bible, please have him hold it at home until I get there. I would not have it lost in the mail for anything. It's a nice present, and I'm proud of it.
Tell Rutha I don't think I've lost an ounce of weight. Too bad! I reckon dieting is the only thing that would do me any good. And now Jennie Llew's bicycle is gone, so I guess it's really hopeless.
It was surprising to hear that Murd and my old skipper sailed home together. We knew our captain had gone back to the states, but had no idea the two went at the same time. He was some character. I have lots to tell you about him.
I was glad to hear from Edith. Tell her to give Beverly another big hug for me. Am glad Westbrook and Edit are quickly recovering, but was uneasy when I heard Murdoch had fallen and hurt himself and had x-ray pictures, etc. I don't want anything to stop him from passing his physical and getting that commission. He deserves the very best.
Florence description of Murdock's behavior was the best of all. I could just picture him. I was sorry to hear of A.T. Thompson's death. I guess that's pretty definite now. Her letter made me so anxious to get home ~ so did all the other letters.
Mother, the only way I've changed is in y love for you. It's increased tremendously, so you can imagine what you're in for when I there.Lots of Love to both of you,
DF NOTE: those of you who come across this post who are not akin to the Finlayson family, let me help connect the dots concerning the names/relations. Ainsworth, Patillo Ainsworth Finlayson, was my uncle who served in the USN in the European Theater of Operations during the war. His brother Murdock (aka: Murd) also served in the USN and was on leave at the time. The letter is addressed to his mother and father, but he mentions many names, mostly siblings; Rutha Dial, Jennie Llew Guyton, Westbrook (my father), Wofford (wife Edith and daughter Beverly). Braman (Richard A. Braman) was a fellow officer on the LST-312 who visited Pat while the crew was separated after the 'accident'. Maybe that will help clear things up a little.