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  • Flea Market Love Letters

February 8, 1942.




Dear Sweetheart,

Good morning good looking, how are you this nice warm bright sunny day? It is as beautiful as it can be here, sitting on my cot with the sun beaming in thru our barracks door. I’m wondering if its as pleasant up there. I suppose you are wearing your “snuggies” and “Doctor Dayton” pajamas, you know those one piece red flannel type. Here, here, what did I write!!? Oh well, I always believe in saying what I’m thinking but sometimes you can’t.

We have the morn. Off for church or errands to the PX (Post Exchange). It’s our first breathing spell since we’ve been here. We’re all razzing a bunch of newly arrived recruits who are being given there first taste of cursing and drilling by there Corporal the D.I. (Drill Instructor). No kidding the Corp and everybody down here can’t open there mouth to a “boot” unless its the longest line of cursing you ever heard.

Remember me telling you that I would meet my friend from around the corner, Charles Sangley. Well you don’t see anybody you know at all because theres over 20,000 marines all over this large, island and each of us as long as we’re in “boot camp” can’t go any place except where designated. But yesterday marching to the mess hall I see + hear this marine all ducked out in dress outfit yell, “Hey Clarke” and run like _ _ _ _ _ _ over to me when I’m still in ranks. Who was it but Langley! I never felt so thrilled since I’ve been here. You don’t know what a homelike feeling came over me when I saw him. I could not let a smile or turn my head in ranks but I guess he got my flittery in my eyes to wait for me out side of mess. He did. Boy we did everything but kiss each other, we rolled and hit each other all over the deck. You see, most everybody leaves at the end of 30 days training for an other station and I thought that Charlie had left. But he is stationed with the Ballour Barrage Station here. I don’t feel so awfully lonesome now. It certainly was a boost.

We have a new D.I. as an assistant and he is tougher than tough. Here is an example. Yesterday we had to clean our mess kits and have them laid out on our cots just in the right uniform position, each fork and canteen facing just so and so many inches between each. So he came in and we immediately snapped to attention. Well that son of a so and so looked at each one and gave 10 out of 13 a kick with his foot and they went all over the deck. I was one of the 3 that must have had everything just 100%. But here is whats funny. All us fellows are very humorous in this but, and when I saw a little guy’s by the name of Le Mouse mess kit all over I couldn’t hold in the big laughter I was holding in any longer so I went “hawruffpled.” The miserable crab turned around and asked “Who did it?”. Well my face was red as a beet and I thought I wasn’t grinning but he yelled “What’s so blanky funny about this?” Well I was so scared when he yelled at me. I couldn’t have laughed at the funniest joke out. I said very seriously “Nothing Sir.” I thought I would get K.P. or the brig, but he saw I was bigger than he was. Haw-haw!!

It doesn’t pay to try to keep anything in one piece down here. During the skirmishes yesterday I fell down on the deck so blame hard I smashed my wrist watch all to the devil. Later during the same attack in creeping my bracelet bent in two halves and my bayonet broke off its belt holder just when the hand to hand fighting was to take place. Ah yes! For the life of a marine!! Sometimes I wonder!!

I hope to have some pictures for you soon as I just gave them to Charlie. They will be screams, I know if they come out.

Has anybody asked you out on a date yet kid? I’m wondering. I can’t tell anything about you yet having not received any mail yet.I might just as well be in jail. If I was in jail I would at least get mail. I like to know what they mean when the U.S.O. says the letters from home keep the morale of the boys up. I know most of us feel as tho we’ve been exiled. The ones that get mail only get one letter, and that came 3 days ago. Its tragic.

Do I miss those beautiful nights we spent together on dates and the long chats we would have parked outside your lovely home. Wouldn’t the time fly when we would sit there? Your soft face and hair against mine, oh! Yes those beautiful shaped lips and their touch. I can’t wait to feel them again someday your little wise and cute innocent sayings such as; – “Was I ever cold or scared.” That form fitting bay colored dress – the most beautiful eyes in the world and the most easy going disposition. Every millionth of a second I ever was with you certainly was the best time in my life. I’ll do everything while I’m here darling, so that  it will be for you and I in the future. I’ll work and take orders like a slave so that I’ll get ahead for you. I hope you believe me. It comes from the deepest roots of my heart. This sounds rather funny to you coming from a tough marine. I guess but nobody in this world can change a fellows love for his little girl.

I sent only a postcard yesterday because I was sick in bed still from the fever and a sore throat, but I feel excellent today.

As I wrote in the corner of the card, we leave for “destination unknown” March 3/42. We go to the range the 15th next week and return the 28th. I don’t lnow if they will tell me about my aviation test before the rest of the platoon goes or not. If I passed I most likely won’t be sent to “destination unknown” but to some flying station. I hope I have passed. Ever since I joined they keep you in suspense in everything.

Right now the boys have mostly finished their letters and have started a tin alley band with the pails, mess kits, and rifle slings. They slap the rifle slings like they were bass fiddles. What a bunch of nit wits I’m as bad also. They can’t understand how I can write so much. Most of them write only 3 pages at the most.

Do you see Eleanor and Larry at all? Tell me how everybody is and what they are doing.

Pvt. Vlosky and myself are the only engaged marines in our platoon. He comes from New Haven and is a swell fellow. We both lay awake night long after everybody is asleep and bring up pleasant memories about our sweethearts. We talk by the hour about you. We were singing, from “Taps Hill Reveille”. Boy those words certainly mean a lot to us fellows. We get kidded a lot but they just don’t understand what true love is. The rest have girls but that’s all none serious tho. And that makes a big difference.

Is the “Big Boy” as full as it used to be in the mornings? Is Bill in the army? How’s “lacey britches” Connors? And “Fast Stuff” Wells?

What do you think? Just this instant the mail came!! My first. We all went nuts. I received the one you sent Feb. 6, two days ago. Boy I’m a changed man! I’ve already it 5 times already. Its swell. Please forget my remarks in previous letters about not sending mail. Oh boy I’ve changed to the happiest marine here. Write often darling!! I will. Hope you have gotten all mine. I will eventually get yours too. What date did you get my first letter. I wrote one or two every night since I’ve been here. Did you get the pillow?

O.K. Henry! I’l ltake care of his little wagon! I can sleep in peace tonight after the letter.

Mac also sent one. He’s a pip! I guess from now on it will be regular.

I love you. I love you and miss you. Will write answer to your letter I received today, tonight.

So long my darling, Love,

Jack

P.S. Temp about 72 no snow

The fellows say now that they hope “I’ll shut up now” seeing I got mail. Ha ha.a

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