This letter was written on 19 June 1951 and postmarked on the 21st.
This long letter is all over the place, from acknowledging my great-grandfather’s death, to complaining about how the war is being run, to telling a long risqué joke—all perhaps influenced by the letters and pictures he finally received.
It was my paternal grandmother’s father, Charles Mong, that died on 31 May 1951. Her oldest son would die just a month later.
The news about my father’s grandfather is immediately followed by a long story that seems to lose its way before ending in what my mother would have called a blue punch line that she is supposed to tell to her mother (?).
Then, just when you have no idea what turn the letter will take, there is a rant about how the missions are rough, rougher than in the previous war, and how our “intelligence stinks.” I don’t recall running across such criticisms in the WWII letters, and I’m sure there is more that is not being said here, but it does give a sense of bad morale among the troops.
Still, the letter begins and ends talking about the home he wishes to return to.
A transcript follows the images.
19 June 51
I received three letters from you and one from Mom today—pretty good I’d say. I really appreciate the pictures—I think you all look wonderful—you must be taking good care of the kids—Sib appears to be getting taller and looks real good and Barbara is really a little doll—She certainly has grown a lot—I can’t remember what Sib looked like exactly at that age but I think
they must have she looks like he did. I still have his picture when he was a year old and they look alike except he was quite a bit bigger. Your looking very good also—I was comparing a picture of you that was taken when we were at Pope Fld.—you look just as good now if not better than you did then. I guess Ruby will be ready to “pop” pretty soon now—Hope they get a girl. Even if they get another boy it will be O.K.—a nice family either way.
I was sorry to hear Granddad went “over the Hill”—He was a fine old man—I guess he must have been in pretty bad shape tho—I’m just as glad I wasn’t there—I really thought a lot of him.
I’m glad you went over home and visited the folks—Did you ever hear of anyone tearing up the house as much as Mom does?—she is always fixing something.
Tell your mother this story—Seems as how a bunch of guys were going coon hunting at nite naturally and one of the guys wife wanted to go along.—Her husband didn’t want her to go
but because of the possibility of obscene language being used and also of the ribbing he might get.—He finally consented when she said she would dress like a man and he could pass her of as a city slicker brother in law. In the process of running around in the dark and crossing a barb wire fence she ripped her breeches guess where? Later on while they were seated around a camp fire one of the guys who was an old coon hunter and owned the best coon dog in the country (name Driver) was telling the exploits of his dog:—No you take “Old Driver” here—he is the best dad-gummed coon dog in these thar hills—He can run a coon half the night and still be rarin’ to go. The only dog that was ever better’n “Old Driver” was “Old Driver’s” daddy—Now there was a real coon dog— and you know right over there sits a man with the biggest asshole I’ve ever seen.
I’m sorry (
th) to hear your mother is still not feeling too good—Tell her she hasn’t been paying much attention to my orders to get better—By the time I get back I want her to be bright eyed and bushy tailed—or is that possible.
I still have 73 missions—Was supposed to go to Seoul tomorrow morning but some weather moved in and I don’t know whether we’ll get up or not—I’m in kind of hurry to get started again so i can finish up—I usually try not to think about finishing up because it makes everything seem slow—It is getting a little rougher all the time up there—never has been a snap—This is rougher then the last time I was over and if you hear anyone say this is a play war you can tell to go to hell—I know. The trouble is—the Air Force for my money is doing as good as they should to back us up and give us support.—(
There) their Our intelligence stinks and they don’t seem to be improving it for my money—( After) We aren’t even using the experience we learned in the last war.—It pisses me off every now and then.
Well enough of that.
That was a good shot of the kids building a shanty—You can tell they are all in good shape and full of Hell.—Sib really looks fine. He really looks like a little man.
And as for you—it’s a good thing those pictures weren’t any bigger or I’d take one to bed with me—I don’t think it would serve the purpose tho.
Well—I’m going to sign off and get some solo sack time damn it.
I’ll be seeing you
I Love You
x Walt x
x xxxx xxx