This letter was written on 11 April 1951 and postmarked 12 April.
As the first letter written since arriving overseas, my father describes the living arrangements, sizes up the crew, and gives the current mailing address. He also marks the coming of his first flying mission of “strafing and bombing,” although the next letter indicates it didn’t happen on the 12th.
There is a recurring theme of wanting more communication from home, mostly letters, but in this letter, pictures. Having read the letters, it seems to me to be a part of the growing frustration with this war and his being away from home that aren’t apparent in the WWII letters.
A transcript follows the images.
11 Apr ’51
Long time no see. Shimp and I finally reached our outfit yesterday afternoon. we flew over from Japan and landed here at Pusan a little after-noon.
My address is:
Capt ________ AO-692914
39th FTR. SQD.
A.P.O. #970 c/o P.M.
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
I think I’m in a pretty good outfit—Chances are about as good as in the last war. We will be doing the same kind of work—strafing and bombing.
At this particular location our living conditions are good.—We have a barracks, cement floor, heating stove, with G.I. cots etc—fairly comfortable. Of course if we go further up we’ll be in tents. There are five of us in one pretty good sized room—all in the same flight.
Our C.O. seems at first glance to be a pretty good “Joe.”—also the pilots I’ve met. Of course you know there is no better bunch of guys the “Fighter Pilots”—I think
of if Sib ever grows up to be a good “Ftr. Pilot” he’d be doing all right.—Of course I guess that isn’t too high an (anspiration) aspiration. Ha.
How are you and the kids getting along? I know your probably having your hands full—but with a boy like Sib it’s a natural. I wouldn’t want him any different. I think Barbara Leigh
t is the neatest, sweetest little bundle ever—I sure wish I had a late picture of her—Why don’t you get a picture taken of the three of you and send it to me—(airmail)‚ one big enough for a frame.
How are you getting along with our beat up “Olds”—are you using it any?
I hope your mother is better and hope she fully recuperates soon.
It rained like hell all night and this morning—muddy—and poor visability. —I expect to fly my first mission tomorrow. Me oh My!
Shimp and I are the only ones left together—the other guys went to different outfits.
I going to say So Long for now
All my love to you and kids,
I Love You x Walt x
x xxxx xxx