This letter was written on 3 July 1951 (and briefly on 1 July) and postmarked on the 4th.
Even though my father muses that he would hate to be killed so close to the end of his missions, I don’t believe in things like premonitions or superstition. I think it’s just a statement of fact—or the perception of cosmic irony, should it happen—and a recognition of the danger in every flight.
Otherwise, the letter is kind of upbeat and full of expectations.
Still, this is the last letter. My father was shot down and killed on 5 July near Hukkyo-ri, North Korea. His remains were not recovered. Just as he states here that he had to write a letter home about another pilot’s death, his friend Shimp wrote such a letter about him that you can find in the appendix to this section.
A transcript follows the images.
1 July 51
3 July 51
Say—that was about the shortest letter I ever—Don’t you think so?
How’s everything—So Barbara is cutting a tooth, good for her. It seems she is a little slow but I guess she’ll catch up O.K.
I have 98 missions in now—2 more to go and then I’ll have to sweat out some other deal I guess.
Shimp and Harrison are finished and are going to the Phil. Is. and expect to leave there for home in a couple of mos.
I requested the same deal—I think that will actually be the fastest way to get home.
If everything goes O.K. I will finish tomorrow or at least the next day.
Balls! Has it ever been hot—I’ve practically melted the last 3 days—the day before yesterday the temp was over 1oo°—I suppose it is pretty hot back there by now. It will probably be colder than hell when I get there.
You had better put some pictures the ceiling or some pretty paper for thats all you’re going to see when I get there. You had better get a diaphram fitted before I get there and slide up and down the bannister (?).
I have a rough job—I have to answer a letter to John Colemans girl friend and tell
them her the story—All they she knows is that he is missing in action. Too bad.
Two more—and I’m really sweating them.—I’d hate to lose my ass now—especially as it looks like this thing might end.
I’m going to wind this up now—Tell Sib I said Hello and for him to be careful and not to go on the street and maybe I’ll see him in a couple of mos. I hope.
You be good
I’ll be seeing you
I Love You
x Walt x