Friday, April 1, 2011

69 years ago today...

The other day while searching for something, I came across a copy of a letter that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother.  The day was April 1, 1942.  They were newly married and he had just left home for Wendover, Utah after enlisting in the Air Force for WWII.

My Dearest Darling:

I've just read your letters and I was certainly glad to get them.  I haven't had very much time lately to write.  For the last few days we have been building barracks, etc.  Darling, I just don't think that we will be able to stay together (when you come).  I don't know how long I will be here.  I have been assigned to the 306th bombardment group and the rest of it is in LA.  They are coming here or we are going down there and leave about the middle of July for Australia or Libya.  Darling, I hate to tell you that because I couldn't swear that it is true but it came from our commanding officer.  The officer said that we would finish our training in the next few months and if the British didn't move into Libya that we would go there, but you can hear most anything.  I hope that we can go to LA so you can stay with me that long, it would be a great help.  Margaret, I don't mind the fighting, it's the being away from you.  That's what I don't like.  But let's just keep our heads up and it won't be long before we can be back together and live in peace, I hope.  Darling, whether I have to go to another country or not, I'll always be true.  Darling, remember that if I am gone a year or three years, it will always be the same.  Margaret, I feel better about being here since I've found out what I'm supposed to do.  I don't think that the war will last so long, let's hope and pray that it won't anyway....  Things are so uncertain, I wish that we could go ahead and fight and get this thing over with, at least it wouldn't be the same thing over and over everyday.  Darling, I don't want you to be worried about me because I'm coming back and I mean that the work I'll be in won't be so dangerous.  There's 2000 men in my group and all we have to do is keep 35 bombers flying.  Sometimes they open our mail and censor it, so they may tear this one up because I'm not supposed to tell anything.  I think maybe I can get a furlough before July; I'm going to try anyway.  Lots of the boys have already deserted, but I don't think I could do that. 
I think I will get paid by the 15th and if I do I'm going to call you.  If I stay out here this summer, you couldn't stay with me because there is no place for you to stay.  There is only a filling station or two and a railroad yard.  I hope I can be transferred out of here.    Some of the boys down at Kessler were sent to Montgomery.  I wish I could have gone there.  I would give most anything to be at home with you- where I belong.  Sweet, when I do get home I will know how to appreciate you and everything else....I just hope the war will be over soon and I think it will 'cause when we get there we're going to beat the heck out of 'em. 
Sweet, if I could just be with you, like I was that Saturday, it seems like a year ago.  It was just like a dream... A new shipment of men just came in and they are sick of this place (already)- mostly because there's no place to go...but I've got a wife and a real sweet wife too, so I don't have to worry about going anywhere because I had rather sit and think of her (that's you)!  Darling, I mean that too!
Sweet, I feel like everything will be okay after while, so let's don't worry about it, just remember that we love each other and always will.
Sweet, if I find out anything I will let you know.  Maybe I will be stationed where we can live together yet.  Write and tell me the things that you have to tell and don't forget that I love you and I couldn't live without you, never.  And I will always be true to you as long as I live and when I fight, I'll do my best because I'll be fighting for you.  I love you darling forever and ever.

Your loving husband,

He never had to fight in that war.  He was eventually sent home because of concerns about his blood pressure.  Almost all of the men in his group never came home. 

My grandfather died when I was five and my grandmother died in 2000.  I wish I could have known them when they were young.  I have only a few memories of my grandfather,  but my grandmother could light up a room with her presence and never remembered to take the ambrosia out of the refrigerator for Sunday dinner.  She always let me spin in her bar stools and gave me my first taste of coffee.  She let me play dress-up in her shoes and jewelry and some of the best memories I have are of my sister and me playing in her yard with our cousins nearly every Sunday afternoon.  She also snored like a freight train and decorated her Christmas tree only in red silk balls and had the best sense of humor of anyone I know.  I think of her every time I use her white tea set that she gave me as a wedding present.  And even though today, I sit and drink a little tea with just her memories for company, I know that one day I will see her again and just maybe we can have a little tea party in heaven.   And that ambrosia is going to be divine.


  1. That just makes me want to cry. And we wonder why your dad is such a character. You came from good stock Leslie and your grandmother and grandfather were so proud of you. Mom

  2. Oh, this just makes me cry!!! How precious to read of his love and tenderness for her...and so precious to see your beautiful tea set! :) Not to mention how sweet is the love of God and how incredible is His sovereignty!

  3. so sweet, this is definitely a treasure. Glad you have such sweet memories of your grandmother. I have great memories of mine too, always fun at my grandparents homes. One was in the country (Ashford) and the other in Hialeah, FL (Miami)

  4. That is the sweetest letter ever!!! I SO wish people still called their wives "Darling" it to pieces!! Such a great heirloom to have those letters!!!