Posted by: notsofancynancy | June 14, 2012

World War II, chapter 16, Engaged and Still Training

World War II

World War II

Engaged and Still Training

Chapter 16

In the last chapter my father finally got a furlough and with two other buddies, Eugene Lyman and Richard Shelton, and he heads the 3,000 miles to California and back to camp. Somewhere Dad picked up a ring and asked Mom to marry him. They are engaged and Dad is really in love and is trying to write to Mom everyday.

On the 21st 1943 he writes,

Well guess what. I was going to answer your letter last night and it rained so we had to fix the tent different. And when we finished it was too dark so I had to waite [sic]. You should see Bob’s and my house. We have four stakes and trees laid across them and then pine needles on top of that. It isn’t so bad or should I say good but were off the ground and that is what counts. Oh! Yes we have our pup tent on top of that. Robinson Crusoe type that’s us. You know I used to dislike mushy letters but coming from you now I really like them. They seem so nice. Makes me feel like I am close to you. Then Darling I like to know you love me. You know how having you makes one want to do things. Give new life or something. Anyway all I can think about is you.

(Click here to learn more about pup tents)

Oh Dear Goodness, did I really need to know that about my dad? “Give new life or something?” Oh Gezz!

On 22 July 1943 Dad writes,

Hi honey, I know now I am the luckiest person in the whole world. Two letters from you today. Gosh if only one came I would have read it all to pieces. I have read each one enough to have them memorized. Gosh I wish I was coming out again. If I were we would get married and I ‘m not kidding. I am getting so I can’t stand it much longer.

I have no words. He is really in love with her and it seems as though she is with him. A lady who knew my parents contacted me recently. Her mother, who knew my parents at that time in their lives, told me how in love my parents were. It was really nice to hear they were in love and happy.

24 July, once again he writes,

Guess what? We has to cook our own breakfast this morning over a bond [sic] fire Well I went to the kitchen for the materials to cook while Bob built the fire. They would only give me 6 slices of bacon and the eggs which didn’t seem enough for both. So I sent Bob down for some more. In other words we got double rations. Each one drew for the other. Oh! Yes we had potatoes too. I cooked and Bob said it was about the best he had had in the Army. So he proposed to me and I consented. He wrote to Madeline he was marrying me that it was all over between them. So I wanted to brake [sic] it to you gently. On second thought no I won’t I couldn’t leave you now. I don’t want anyone but you. I still love you sweetheart. One kid died for being overheated on a hike yesterday. So maybe I wasn’t so weak when I got back. It has been extra hot and that 7 miles has put lots of sweat on running [sic] And a lot were as hot as I.

I wonder what the weather is like in Alabama. One thing we know for sure in July it is hot there.

May 9, 1943 Letter

26 July finds Dad,

Moved back to camp. All cleaned up and all that. I even did my weekly washing on a wash board. It didn’t look bad either. I have to conserve so I cancelled my laundry. After all darling I have to have a little to put into that home. Maybe all I hope. Am I in misery. About all I get done is scratch and boy that is enough legs look pretty red. Oh yes we killed the biggest rattler last night. About 6 feet long and you couldn’t reach around it with both hands. Had 14 rattles and a button. We saw a couple of others during the week but didn’t get them. Glad I wasn’t sleeping on the ground. Going on the radio huh! Well when your a big star think of me once in a while. I sure wish I were going to be there to hear all of it but I guess I’ll just dream. Gosh Darling I love you so I can hardly stay in this country without you. You never know how much I do love you. I can’t explain it.

My mother is going on the radio? I am not sure I know that story. I wonder why?

28 July Dad writes,

Well honey did I tell you I wrote home about us. And also my furlough. I guess I did cause that’s news. And I know the folks like you. Just wait until you really meet them. As far as too many fireworks let them blow.  They had it coming and a lot more too. Only I hate to punish Dad also with them. Did I also tell you Bob and I rigged a key to the ice boxes. So now when we get hungry at night we can have a sandwich or glass of milk. It always helps to have something like that around. The party sounds good Darling. I wish I could be there with you. I love you so much. I just can hardly waite [sic] from day to day for your letters. Then when I get one I just get goose bumps all over. My heart gets all flustered and a couple of years later I am back to normal. I guess I must be in love.

Yep, that is love! I know that feeling. I love that he has that right now in his life.

The 29 July letter is very interesting. It tells what Dad’s been doing.

Today is about the first day I haven’t sweat since I came to Alabama. And I have done a days work. I am alive so now I can tell you what we did. We ran the infiltration and blitz course and were they ever rough. The infiltration course was first. We had to crawl 75 yds. Under machine gun fire and dynamite all around us. We netted one causality on that bob [sic] wire isn’t pretty so we sent him to the hospital. 3 stitches. With all that muddy they had carried water to make mud then it was raining slightly all morning so it was wet. We looked like a pig coming from a waddle. Then we went to the lake and the Cpt. Said not to get our shoes any wetter than possible so we all waded in the lake shoes clothes and all. Then we went to the Blitz Course. That was about ¾ mile long with obstickle [sic] mountain to climb and everything. Only by then it had really began to rain. (I love you) and that was really muddy. We had to crowd considerably on that too so you see we were also wet and muddy. The last obstickle was three ropes stretched across a creek about 30 yards long. You walked on one and held onto the other two. While someone on the other side threw dynamite into the water. (I love you) Man we were only about 6 feet above that so there was quite a concussion. That also heeded [sic] one causality. It hit him or whatever it was concussion. But he got a ruptured blood vesicle [sic]in his eye. I don’t know how bad that was. So that was about all I know that were hurt. Except for a few rope burns and hurt knees.  So that was a day’s work. It was fun though. It rained all day and we were wet from about 10 to 4 this afternoon. I love you more than anyone else in the whole wide world.  And I am going to do my best to make you happy forever. Love forever, Lefty

Dad and his brother Bob

How long are these soldiers going to have to train? Is the Army making up this training as it goes along? When will my father be sent overseas?  Will he be transferred somewhere else to do more training? Will they get married before he goes overseas? Do you have as many questions as I do?

©  Copyright 2012 notsofancynancy


  1. What treasures you have in all these letters. Hugs

    • I am glad I realized it before it was too late

  2. We have questions but you’re the one who’s going to answer them! We’ll just have to have patience. Lovely reading 😉

  3. I’m in love with the last letter and him randomly writing I love you in the middle of sentences! Made me giggle! 🙂

  4. I LOVE that he was so in love. That’s such a wonderful feeling and I’m glad he got to experience it!

    • It was something we did not see by the time I came into the picture. So it is wonderful to read and know he was crazy about her. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. YES!!!!! (I have as many questions.)

    • Me too! I wonder if we will find some of those answers in Dad’s Letters.

  6. So… How does it really feel to read your dad’s words of endearment to your mother? 🙂

    • It is exciting and emotional reading his letters. He has been gone for almost 12 years now. Also this was a side of my father we never saw. Some days I have to distance myself from the fact that they are my parents and realize I am looking at historical information. When I look at it that way it is easier to keep on task.

      • Your explanation says it all… 🙂

  7. Yes!! I do have as many questions as you do! You’ve got alot of story to tell, dear friend and I hope you find all the answers! It makes me want to know more about what makes my father tick, but then again, maybe I don’t. I can’t imagine that I would be so lucky as to find a suitcase of letters!
    I would never be able to imagine my father being this mushy!! lol
    Thanks for sharing, and have a blessed day!

    • Thanks for taking this journey with me Linda!

  8. What a sweet part of the story! Just curious….do you have some of your mom’s letters back to him? it would’ve been very hard for him to keep them but I just wondered if I’d overlooked them..

    • No, no letters from my mom. There are some letters from my Grandpop to my mom here,

      I have not gone through every letter yet but I did see some from another family member but those will not come into play until much later in the story and I don’t want to spoil it.

      It is very frustrating not to have Mom’s side of the conversation.

  9. Great site, and a what a great way to honor those who honored their nation. I also wanted to thank you for visiting my site. We buried my father-in-law in April – he served in the Philippines in WWII. We’ve have been going thru his memorabilia, so your site touches close to our hearts. God Bless You!

    • Thank you so much and thanks to your father-in-law’s service to our country!

  10. Nancy, this was a delightful read. You have such treasures. I have three scrapbooks that are rapidly falling apart. Any suggestions?

    • All I can say is preserve the past. Do what you can to get them where they can be seen by others. My sister had a house fire and lost a lot of our historical past. These letters and our family pictures were not there. So do whatever you can so it will be there for others. Good Luck!

  11. Reblogged this on po11ycheck.

  12. Isn’t it amazing how much time they had for letter writing in those days?

    • After seeing the suitcase for the first time I was amazed not only how much time but also how much Dad had to say. He was a man of few words or so I thought until I opened that suitcase.

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