28 Sep Fed up with war, April 20, 23 & 25, 1945
Funny, my Dad always was very competitive in all aspects of life, but sports was his passion. This is the latest in a string of letters where he’s bragging about his team’s accomplishments in their volley ball games with the higher brass! Not much news about the war – but he is suggesting that Mary’s seriousness about her job at Reader’s Digest may have a negative future impact on her ability to be a mother to their family – and what if he gets a big break like a job in Hollywood!? (never happened) Also interesting in the second letter that he has sent her a box of guns, including German bayonettes!
20 April 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, honey — Have just finished several very swell games of volley ball, with mixed officers and EM. We are getting quite good, and getting back shots (and hitting shots) that would have seemed impossible a couple of weeks ago. Our Executive officer (Col. Bettman) is a hell of a swell old joe, and he gets out there and sweats like the rest of us, and you should have heard him singing at a bit of a party we had in our Rats cellar last night! (Officers were invited, if accompanied by a responsible EM!) We really have a swell set up with this outfit, and I was damned lucky to be picked.
You mention the fact, in one of your letters, that you are getting pretty serious about the Digest. It is quite difficult to discuss the whole business via mail (especially since it takes about six weeks to get an answer, which is maybe explained in a ltr you get the next day) so I would rather wait until I get home. However, a few big problems pop into my head. What about your writing? And how about additions to the family? And (it is barely possible) suppose I should get a very good break in Hollywood? The trouble with ltrs is; you never know if what you are reading between the lines is really there or not! I wrote you a ltr about Xmas time from Camp Crowder (Mo.) concerning you and Karen and Mercedes. I still feel the same way. I think it is swell for you to work at such a grand place as the Digest, but I also want you to be a complete mother for our kids. Ltrs are lousy for serious talk. All my love — Rollin
4 April 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, Honey, I’m getting off a box to you tomorrow that you had better put on your old clothes and take down into the basement to open!! Two shotguns and six Jerry bayonets. There is one 16 gauge (is that the right way to spell that?) and one 12 gauge gun, in case we ever decide to take up duck or pheasant hunting. Maybe someone will like to have a bayonet for a souvenir (anyway they were good for filling up the box) They are very heavily covered with oil, so maybe you could get Corny to come up and unpack them and put the guns together. And (this is silly) I would have sent them direct to the house, but I DON’T KNOW THE ADDRESS!! Big stupid us! Did you ever write it to me? I don’t ever remember of seeing it.
After having perfect weather for several weeks, it has turned cold on us the past few days and we’ve had considerable rain. I was on guard last night from 3 AM to 7 and it was pretty rugged. With all of this fast moving, our mail has been snafued again and it hasn’t been coming in worth a darn. I did get one of the boxes of dried fruit from Mom, however.
We got in a ping pong table today. Haven’t had time to see how the competition is going to be, but we can have a lot of fun, anyway. We have just had several games of volley ball with the officers, and for the first time, tonight they trounced us, but we only had two of our regular guys and the fill ins were pretty sad. But it was good exercise, anyway.
Isn’t a darn bit of news, sweetheart, except what the boys upfront & the Russe are making. Me, I’d prefer to make love to you —Pappy
25 April 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, my darling, this has been a very pleasant day. Beautiful sunshine and warm all day. This morning we all went outside and had our pictures taken by the Chaplain. So now I’ll have pictures of the whole group, which will be very nice to have. Then the colonel has started a new plan of letting everybody (except one man per section) off on Wed. afternoon from one to three, and from three to five we have games etc!!! Pretty darn nice. My two buddies (Spalding and Trombly) and I went out for rations and it was fine drive — and we have a hell of a lot of laughs together. We got back in time for several volley-ball games with the officers (and had our “first” team, soNATurally, we won! Our mail situation is really shot to hell. Had a letter each from Marge Grimes and Ellen yesterday, but none from you in about a week now. No good. Well, darn it, the news keeps on being steadily good—but not sensation enough! I’m getting terribly impatient to know whether I’m going to go home, or what…
I can’t be too grateful for the set up we in the Group have. Good food, housing, recreation and people to work with. My gosh, but this is a stupid letter, ain’t it now? But there just isn’t anything that seems worth writing about. I’m getting pretty fed up with war.
Give ol’ Karen a tremendous kiss from daddy, and here is a huge, long one for you, my very darling you-know-who