Friday, September 14, 2007

WWII, One Man's Story, Part 2 of 8

It was standard operating procedure during WWII for all personal mail written by servicemen to be screened by their superiors. Consequently, typical letters from the battlefront gave no indication of specific locations or even descriptions of battle activity. The letters tended to be rather superficial in nature. Here is a letter written by William Sanders Jr. (AKA Billy) to his sister Grace. At this point in time, billy had been aboard the USS Frederick C. Davis about two months.
USS Davis

21 March 45

Dear Grace,
Today is Wednesday and I haven't been very busy today for a change. Tonight I had my hair cut by the ship's barber and it was really something to watch. The ship was rocking back and forth and at one time I couldn't even stay in the chair. However, when he was finished it was a good haircut.

Tonight we have a movie showing in the mess hall entitled "A Lady Takes A Chance." I saw the movie before so I guess I'll write a few letters and then retire for the night.

Probably by now the weather is beginning to get a little nicer back in Pennsylvania. Mom wrote and told me about Heilwood winning the Class "B" championship.

There really isn't much to write about since we can't tell you anything about what we're doing. I received about four letters recently and that's the most mail I have received in a long time. I was glad to hear that Pearl is all right now.

Right now I'm beginning to draw my sea pay which is 20% of the page I am getting now. Well I'll close for now and I'll write when I get something more to write about.

Write when you find time!

In this letter from Billy to his sister he makes mention of Pearl who was another sister of theirs. Pearl was recovering from complications of childbirth. He doesn't specifically ask about their father although I'm sure he was concerned about him as well. His father was off work convalescing after having suffered a stroke. His mother, Hester, certainly had plenty to worry about with an ailing husband, her only son gone off to war, and a daughter who was still recuperating.

The complete series of WWII, One Man's Story:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8