Somewhere In England
6 May, 1944
Dearest Mother and PaPa,
Please tell Evelyn how much I appreciated the shoe shine rag she sent me. It arrived today. I haven't tried it out yet, but am anxious to do so as soon as my shoes get dirty again. We had captain's inspection this morning, so I already had shined my shoes before Evelyn's gift arrived. It'll come in handy next time tho'.
She sent me a good picture of the Salerno Beachhead - The best view I've seen so far. For censorship reasons, I should not place any marks on such a picture and send through the mail, as the requested 0 but I shall return the clipping and ask her to keep it until I get back - then I can explain everything to her. I will say, tho', that the place looks very familiar. For all I know, one of these LST's may have been ours, but, hardly think so.
I shall also enclose a "Superman" comic trip, which one of our officers had (his wife sent it to him). He gave it to me so I shall forward it to you. Now you see just how popular these ships have become.
Tell Evelyn I'm also enclosing a "Pat on the back". She'll know what it's for.
I got a big laugh out of the little story you told about Carl Burch's child and Mr. Meyers. It would have been a wee bit funnier had it been Mr. Cantey instead - don't you think? Anyway, it's one of the best to come out of Cheraw in a long time. Do you remember the time Mr. Cantey paid a personal call on Mr. Walter Knight? I don't know what ol' man Cantey was visiting him for, unless it was to get Mr. Knight to attend church services or subscribe to the Southern Christian Advocate or something. But Mr. Cantey knocked at the door - Knight appeared and Cantey beamingly remarked, "You don't know who I am, do you? Mr. Knight gave him a cold look and said, "No, and I don't give a - - - -!
The other day one of our sailors came to me while I was standing on deck watch and asked for permission to go on liberty in place of him to go ask Mr. McRae to send me my little book (a little notebook in which I keep a list of men in the liberty section) - so I could figure out whether he could go or not.
A minute later he returned and with "The Upper Room"! McRae had followed him as far as the hatch (door) leading out from the officer's quarters. He was watching the boy hand it to me. He (the boy) said "Mr McRae told me to give you this." Then McRae died laughing. That reminded me of the type joke Murdoch would pull.I'm glad you received Mr. Vernon's letter. Am very anxious to read what he wrote you. Did Mrs. Sullivan enclose a note to you in it? She said she was going to do so. How about telling me what you wrote him? He reminded me a lot of Mr. Lytton, only he was a lot more frisky than Mr. Lytton. They looked a lot alike.
Recently I received the following V-Mails: Florence's April 19, Jennie Llew's April 19, Jennie Llew's April 17, Evelyn's April 17, Mother's April 16, Rutha's April 16, Jennie Llew's April 10... also the following Air Mails. Mother's April 22, -
Mother, what made you say I had better be careful over here "where air raids are more severe than any I've ever experienced"? What makes you think they are worse over here than last Summer where I was? Don't let yourself be deceived. I don't believe i could ever get in much tighter situations than several of those I was in. It reminded me of movie "serials" - to be continued! Will Pat and Murd escape the Nazi bombs? - watch for next week's chapter play!
All joking aside, don't worry about me. I'll be as careful as I can.
Rutha seemed to be carried away with the good results of my pencil V-Mails. I'll have to use pencil more often. Tell her I was surprised to hear that they photographed so well. I just used a plain pencil, and believe it or not, it was rather dim too. That's why I was worried until I hard from you all.
How about buying Beverly Anne something nice for her birthday - a present from me. Also I want Mother to take out 5 or 10 dollars of my money and get her something for Mother's Day. Be sure and do both of these.
Oh, yes, I forgot to continue with the Air Mails I've received - one from Edith (April 11). Did Beverly's little burned arm heal all right? Also Mother's April 7, Mother's April 18. I knew that Palm Sunday letter would make her blue. Sundays are beginning to seem more like Sundays used to seem to me. It always was the bluest day in the week to me. After first boarding the ship, I could never tell when Sundays came - every day seemed the same. Now the gloom and loneliness of Sundays in re-appearing. I'm glad tho'. I like to sense the Sunday atmosphere. After all, it's the Sabbath Day - and we shouldn't forget to keep it HOLY. (Don't be misled - I'm writing this on Saturday).
Tell Rutha thanks for her letter of Aprill 11, which I received the other day (here Air Mail letter).
Thanks, Mother, for the manuscript paper, but as Rutha said, it won't do me much good. I can't copy P-turkey in music. Tell Evelyn and Westbrook to thank Mr. Williamson for sending me that song. Didn't mean for them to send me that song - all I wanted was the words to it. But thanks anyway. I wonder if Evelyn noticed anything strikingly interesting in the words. Murdoch used to work at the place mentioned in it. That's where I expected to find Murdoch that time, but he had moved - then I left there, if you remember.
I also received Evelyn's April 9 Air Mail. (I think I've already acknowledged receipt of it).
And I received Mother's Air Mail of April 11, that's the one in which she told about Mr. Meyers. I'm going to try and buckle down and write more often.
This letter is not the usual literary style - but who cares>? All I hope is that it makes sense. I'm no good away from the typewriter.
Bless your flesh, bones and your sweet heart Mother, and a happy joyous Mother's Day for you! I'll be thinking of my "FiFi", and lots of love to you "Pop". Write me all the "dope".
Note: The names Vernon and Lytton mentioned in this letter has to do with a family he got to know during his visits to England. He stayed with this British family on several occasions and wrote to them often.
|This is the clipping mentioned in the letter that was in Pat's scrapbook.|