This letter was written on 14 June 1951; the postmark is covered by stamps and unreadable.
The Rest Leave in Japan ends in drinking and shopping. Supposedly, gifts were sent home, but they didn’t stick around long enough for me to have seen or remember them. I don’t know if it was the drinking or the shopping that had my father fill such a long letter, but this one is more talkative than most.
Not only is he tallying all his missions in Korea, but adding them to ones flown in WWII, adding up to 248. He’s right, that seems like a lot, and his worry about someone getting lucky is probably supported by the fact that he was shot down once already in WWII. As he says, though, he doesn’t usually let himself think about such things. It’s too bad that thoughts of luck and superstition and fear are leaking into the letters.
I haven’t been able to decipher the name of the silk mentioned. I looked up types of Japanese silk, but don’t see any that might match what’s written. It could be a place name rather than a type of silk. If I run across a match, I will update the transcription.
A transcript follows the images.
14 JUNE 51
I think this is the 14 June I’ve been drunk so long, so often and so etc. I’m not even sure if I’m alive—but I think I am—I might even be a bit that way tonight.
I’m going back to Korea tomorrow and hope to finish up my missions as soon as possible. The sooner the better.
I) Yesterday I put some stuff in the mail for for you and the kids—I am sending two linen table cloths—a fairly good sized job and a tea set or something of similar size—Supposed to be pretty good stuff. I also sent to motor boats with electric motors that run by flash light battery—One of them is small and runs on one battery— If you you want Give the small one to Sib and let him play with it—try to keep the water from going inside—Howard will probably know how to hook it up.—I thought I might like to play around the job with the outboard motor myself—but if Sib or Howard can’t contain themselves I guess they can crank it up.
I wish I had more money—There is all kinds of things here I would like to send home.—I sent you a necklace that is made of silver with gold inlay so don’t throw it away—Ha—and a scarf of [illegible name of silk] silk that will have to be treated gently—There are so many things that are really good and beautiful that a person doesn’t know what to get. I spent all my money and wrote a
$25.00 twenty five dollar check—you’d better leave enough money in the bank or call somebody up or I’ll be in heaps of trouble and I don’t mean maybe
Life gets tedious and also expensive. Jees—tonight I wish I could be with you—sometimes I think I’ll “blow my stack” I never realize how good you are to me until I’m away One thing I know I don’t have to worry about is the kids—I know you don’t do anything else you’re taking good care of them—I only hope you’re taking as good care of yourself.—Don’t forget to keep yourself as nice looking as you were when I left.—I think you get better looking all the time.—I think we get along better all the time also—don’t you?
For some reason I especially hate to go back to Korea—sometimes I think it would have been better if I had of stayed and finished my missions—superstitious I guess. Alltogether I have 248 missions now—sometimes I think that is enough. Some body might get lucky. I guess tonight I am thinking to much that is something I very seldom let myself do.
I sent to little outfits to Barbara—(
Sik)Silk P.J.s or something—I hope they fit—I suppose she’ll piss all over them tho—Ha—
I am sending some snapshots of me and a “51”—there weren’t any available at the time with a full load—the next time I get a chance I’ll try to get one and send you.—Howard wanted one also.
If you could send me a close up of the kids and yourself—portraits—either alone or together I could get a painting on silk—very nice—but you’ll have to hurry if you want one.
Well Sweetheart—I’m going to sign off for tonight
Tell Sib Hello and for him to be a big boy.
I Love You
x Walt x
x xxxx xxx