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ƣ Importance of textAll the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (English Edition) ყ Book By George H.W Bush ᄯ

ƣ Importance of textAll the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (English Edition) ყ Book By George H.W Bush ᄯ ƣ Importance of textAll the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (English Edition) ყ Book By George H.W Bush ᄯ All the Best, George Bush UNITED STATES NAVY CHAPTER 1 Love and War When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, I was a seventeen year old high school senior at Phillips Academy, Andover I could hardly wait to get out of school and enlist Six months later, Secretary of War Henry Stimson delivered our commencement address and advised my class to go to college He predicted it would be a long war, and there would be plenty of time for us to serve My dad, Prescott Bush, with whom it was not easy to disagree, hoped I would listen to Secretary Stimson and go on to Yale After the ceremony, Dad asked me if I had changed my mind I told him no, I was joining up Dad simply nodded his okay On my eighteenth birthday, June 12, 1942, I enlisted in the Navys flight training program as a seaman second class My mother kept all the letters I wrote to her and Dad during World War II, so most of these come from her collection You will find only one letter to a Barbara Pierce of Rye, New York Barbara lost her love letters during one of our many moves after we got married This first group of letters was written from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I was enrolled in Naval Aviation Pre Flight School For some reason I did not date these letters, but I was stationed there from August to October of 1942 Dear Mum and Dad, Today I felt better than I have since Ive been here It was hot but not unbearable One fellow fainted at drill just to remind us that it was still hot It is amazing how our moods change here So many little things affect us A cold Coke after drill can do for one than you can imagine I have never appreciated little things before Ice cream, movies, a 15 minute rest, a letter, a compliment to our platoon All these little things amount to so much in your mind and it is fun Spirits go way up and way down, but when theyre up you feel so wonderful I have gotten to know most of the fellows in the platoon They are a darn good hearted bunch There are so many different types here We have a pretty friendly platoonalso good spirit On our 5 hr hike tomorrow my heartll be with you in the docks.1 So drink a sip of water for me It is our greatest luxurya swallow of cold water I think Im really going to get a lot out of this place Already we have learned a lot about people discipline and tired muscles Much love, Pop2 This is a letter to my sister, Nancy, who was two years my junior I was one of five children Prescott whom we called Pres or Pressy , myself, Nancy, Jonathan, and William nicknamed Bucky , who was only four years old when I joined the Navy Dear Nance, There is not much news here We live by the daya wholesome life, at times seemingly futile, but looking at it philosophically I wouldnt change positions with any fellow in civilian life The Navy itself is great, but what we are here for is even greater, and if at all times I can keep my objective in view I am hopeful of a successful conclusion to this one year course After having been here just one month my desire to win my wings and become an officer is tremendous Im afraid if I fail for any reason my disappointment will be very deep I am proud to be here, Nance, and as I said before wouldnt change for the world I have to write Bobsie3 now I miss her than she knows, Nance I dont know why but she seems so perfect a girlbeautiful, gentle, a wonderful sense of humor, so much fun etc I think of her all the time and would love to see her Give her my love especially Much love to you and write if you get another minuteso long, Pop Dear Mum and Dad, The only thing wrong with this place is, they dont realize the average intelligence They hand out so much crude propaganda here It is really sickeningMany of the men here realize italso the intelligent officers Stuff like Kill the Japshatemurder and a lot of stuff like you are the cream of American youth Some fellows swallow it all These are the fellows many whom are below average intelligence, 2 of my roommates, for example, get a big kick out of hearing it Maybe it is good All the well educated fellows know what they are fighting forwhy they are here and dont need to be brainwashed into anything Much love, Pop Dear Mum, Well the war strikes home, as it were, doesnt itc.c with the very sad news of George Mead.4 I didnt know him very well, but from all sides all you could hear was praise He died the way all of us would like to die when our time comesMum, its a very funny thing I have no fear of death now Maybe its because I am here safely on the ground that I say this I do not think I will change All heroics aside, I feel, and every fellow here Im sure feels, that the only part of the whole thing of any worry would be the sorrow it might cause to our families I cannot express myself as clearly as I see it in my own mind Once in the air death may strike at any time, but I shall not fear it Perhaps with this fleet it will be differentGod grant it wont Much, much love, Pop Dear Mum, Well today sure was wonderful I met Barbara at the Inn at 12 She took a cab over from Raleigh She looked too cute for wordsreally beautiful We had a sandwich in town and then walked I showed her the plant and then we walked over to Keenan Stadium When we started it was clear, but once there it pouredjust buckets We got some protection from the canvas covered press box, but couldnt leave there Not thrilling but such fun just seeing her We laughed at everything I had formation at six so we went back to the Inn She took a bus for Raleigh where she is staying overnight with a girl from school She was so swell to come way over here I sure am glad you said grand idea to Mrs Pierce.5 Much love to all, Pop This next group of letters was written from Wold Chamberlain Naval Air Station, Minneapolis, where I was based from November 1942 to February 1943 It was here that I finally began to learn how to fly Dear Mum, Well today was the big dayin fact one of the biggest thrills of my life, I imagine We marched down to the 1 hanger and they read out the names for the first hop I was in I went down, got my gear, and then consulted the board Plane P 18 1st hop2nd hop Plane P 18 check pilot Boyle I immediately went around trying to find out what kind of a check Boyle is All I got was pretty tough This was quite disheartening I then went out and warmed up the ship waiting for Ens Crume CRUME pronounced croom 6 to arrive The fog was pretty thick but they let us go up Crume came and we were off I did it all myself and everything went O.K However, I was so nervous, that in the beginning my legs were shivering around Once in the air I was completely cool much to my surprise We did some emergencies and landings and then came in I gave him one poor landing so I wasnt sure about my up, but when we got out he told me O.K Then for the real check Ens Boyle came out Once in the plane we didnt say a word I taxied out, revved up the engine, locked the tailwheel, adjusted my goggles seat, checked the instruments the tower, swung into the wind and we were off For about one turn of the field I was pretty nervous First he signaled wouldnt talk to make 2 landings When I speak of landings I mean touch and go except for this final one before the plane stops rolling, gun her and take off again The first landing was swellthe 2nd rather rough We then dove into the fog and went off and did 2 1,000 foot emergencies That is he cuts the gas, and I have to establish a glide, get going into the wind to land on a field which I selectwe dont actually land, just go down to about 75 feet Once I picked out a good field but the other time Im afraid itd have been a pretty rough procedure if I had had to land He then indicated to head back to the fieldFor a minute I was lostcouldnt see the field through the mist, but luckily I located it I did 2 landings and taxied in My nervousness, which had subsided after the first takeoff, came on again As he climbed out I looked for the verdict Did you get an up from your instructor, he said O.K.then take it up yourself, and off he walked There I was alone in the plane I gave the thumbs up to the plane captain, he removed the chocks and I was off I wasnt shaky on the controls, and was completely confident for some reason I had to taxi way down between rows of army bombers to get to my take off point My solo was just 2 landingsthats your first solo assignment Off I zoomedclimbed to 300 ft at 65 knots level offpass under the traffic circle Nobody was there saying all this, this time yet I did itThe needle seemed to stay right at 500whereas with the instructors Id drop or gain Everything seemed so free and easy and really wonderful My landings werent goodI bounced and didnt cut quite soon enough, but I didnt worry as I have before This was the thing that made it so much fun I turned back in and it was overjust as quickly as it had come I felt good thoughMum, It was the first time I have climbed out of the plane without worrying or having a touch of discouragement Yes, tonight I am very happy When we leave here we want to specify the type of flying we want to do I have been considering the Marines Id be commissioned 2nd Lt instead of Ensign The reason is they fly a lot in attack bombersfly low and strafe as well as bomb They clear the way for advancing troops This or long range bombing appeals to me than anything else, and from all I can gather, the Marines do of it than the Navy I have 2 months before I choose anyway, and besides you dont always get your choice Ill let you know what I decide as soon as I know about flying and find out what Id be best in Well, Mum, I better go back and get some sleepMuch love to all, Pop Dear Mum, Thanksgiving comes tomorrow I guess that I will hardly notice it herethat is outwardly as we cant leave the base and just get 1 hr off, but it wont just be a regular day Mum We all do have something to be thankful for, even though the days are darker than when we could all be together I guess Im the most thanks giving fellow here, because even though Im a couple of thousand miles off Im lucky, MumLucky for you and Dad and all the family and so many other things I thought when I was away at school I understood it all, but being away in the Navy for this long and with so many different types of fellows has made me see clearly still how much I do have to be thankful for Much love, Mum dear Pop Dear Mum, Gosh it was wonderful hearing your voice todayIt was swell of you to call I got the message just after I came back from church It was interesting to see a lot of these fellows, today Some tough ones, some common, other grand fellows We all are up to our beds for a few minutes after church, and most of the fellows were quietthinking of other Thanksgiving days For many it was the first time away and it was a bit strange It will always be strange to me, to be away on a day like this, at least until I have my own home Its days like this that makes me anxious to be out fightingthough I know I can never become a killer, I will never feel right until I have actually fought Being physically able and young enough I belong out at the front and the sooner there, the better The job seems so tremendous, yet it must end and when it does and we have won perhaps days like this will once again be symbolic of happiness and freedom and the ironic note added by a brutal war will be far removed Much love, Pop Dear Dad and Mum, Yesterday a friend of mine cracked up His motor cut on him and all landing sites were poor He managed to get it fairly well down but then he nosed over, flipped onto his back, and was hanging by his safety beltabout 1 ft from the ground his head The tail was wiped right off the plane Luckily he unhooked his belt and could slip out O.K Poor Ed He hasnt been doing too well anyway and this may be just what he doesnt need The motors are apt to cut on cold daysOnce I started looking for a field but the thing got going O.K again Barbara knitted me a pair of socks which she claims dont look at all like socks but shes sending them anyway Maybe I can make a neck protector out of em if they are too big Much love, Pop Dear Mum and Dad, Well my first Xmas away is over and gone, but I dont believe Ill ever forget it I missed you all very much, yet I wasnt homesick Your lovely presents are wonderful Ive got the bracelet on and itll never be taken off permanently until Im back for good.7 Its beautiful, Mum, and it means an awful lot to me The goggles I wore today and they are wonderful Im surprised you could get such grand ones They are just what I neededgood protection by that rubber and it holds my face mask firmly in place and also they dont hurt across the nose The bathrobe is swell, too Thank you so muchoh yes, the stocking tooI only hope that well never think were too old for them My Xmas take was good 25 from Gampy, and numerous socks and the like Got a big box of food from the Pierces and Barbara is sending me soon what I asked for namely a decent picture of her As always, Pop Occasionally in my letters home I would include diagrams to illustrate what I was learning This is a typical example Dear Mum, Well the sky is clear today and it looks like Ill get my hop in My inverted spins were really pretty good fun You are really thrown outward with terrific force and if it werent for the belt youd fly through space I also had immelmans and falling leaf.8 An immelmans starts off like a loop Dive to pick up your 125 knots, pull back to upside downnow heres the differenceinstead of coming on around you do a slow roll from the upside down position and fly on out They are about the hardest but are also good fun Pop Please keep in mind as you read this letter that I was a very innocent eighteen year old, and it was 1942 Things were very different way back then Having said that, I do not think it would be a bad thing if eighteen year olds today were just as innocent As to the reference to my sister, Nancy, I suspect Mum had caught her kissing a beau Dearest Mum, Now about your question, Mum I do love to kid you and did this summer but I agree with you in part I would hate to have Nancy a necker at heart Nothing could be worse Kissing is not an obligation a girl owes a boy regardless of how often he takes her out or how much money he spends but I dont think that it is entirely wrong for a girl to be kissed by a boy Let us take this famous case Pierce vs Bush summer 42 I kissed Barbara and am glad of it I dont believe she will ever regret it or resent it, and I certainly am not ashamed of it Id tell you, Mrs Pierce, or anybody but at the same time I might as well tell you I have never felt towards another girl as I do towards her Whether the feeling is mutual I cannot say To get back to my example, however, if Barbara sort of forgets me, which is not unlikely, as I have no chance to see her at all, I dont believe she will ever dislike me for having kissed her She knows how I felt towards her and she must have shared some of the same feeling or she would not have allowed me to kiss her I have never kissed another girlthis making myself just as much of an oddity as Nancy, since most of the boys do not stop with kissing how terribly true that is here, than home, but then again most of these fellows are grown menalso men with different background Its not because I have honestly disapproved of it, however If I said it were I would be lying In conclusion a Mrs Simmons kiss, both sides willing, I believe harmless to neckentirely wrongfor a girl to be kissed by someone whom she loves or thinks she love and whoshe is sure cares for herO.K This is a very uncoordinated piece of writing and unorganized but Ive said about what I mean For a kiss to mean engagement is a very beautiful idea, Mama, but it went out a while back I guess Now for me to continue and tell you the facts of lifeof the life Im living in 1940sApparently Mum you seemed so terribly surprised when Pressy and I hinted around about the things that went on Pressy and I share a view which few others, very few others even in Greenwich share Thats regarding intercourse before marriage I would hate to find that my wife had known some other man, and it seems to me only fair to her that she be able to expect the same standards from me Pres agrees as I said before, but not many others our age will Daddy has never discussed such things with usof this I am very glad But we have learned as the years went on by his character what is right and what is wrong Most fellows heretrue some are engaged and some believe as I dobut most fellows take sex as much they can get This town in particular seems full of girls working in offices etc rather attractive girls at that, who after a couple of drinks would just as soon go to bed with some cadet They are partly uniform conscious I suppose, but the thing is they, as well as the cadet, have been brought up differently They believe in satisfying any sexual urge by contact with men They all say Im not that type of girl, but all rightjust for you Every single girl says this These girls are not prostitutes, but just girls without any morals at all Somehow it does seem a little worse for girls to me, I suppose it shouldnt but it does Leading the life we lead one cannot help but feel the desire for a woman I would be most facetious were I to deny ever having experienced said feelings The difference is entirely in what we have been taught not only in what but in how well we have been taught it This pertains not only to the N.A.S Naval Air Station Minneapolis, Minn., but to every town in the country, to college campusesyes, even to Yale University Boys you knowboys I like very muchand even boys I admire have had intercourse with women Some guys, you know one perfect example in New Haven, because they love a girl believe in relationships before marriage This seems to me excusable than just plain sexsex to satisfy physical biological emotionsyet I know it is not right Most of this you have probably known, but this is how I feel I hope that this letter does not seem presumptuous To think all this was brought on by your asking me what I thought about kissing Much love, Pop professor sexology Ph.D Dear Mum, Last night I really had quite a scare in night flying I finished all my night flying last night I just had one solo yesterday The wind was almost from southa little southwest, but they had the runway laid out west This meant we were landing somewhat crosswind to start withan undesirable setup Further they had the runway much narrower than usual It was like landing on a pin All the instructors were griping about how narrow the runway was You see with the crosswind there was considerable drift In other words youd have your plane pointing one way, and youd be making true a different course over the ground It was quite tough, but I surprised myself and really made some nice landings Night flying is much easier alone as you can see all the signals clearly and command a better view of the runway Well, I was coming in for my last landing I got all squared away and even got a green light from the truck Suddenly I heard this scraping noiseI had hit a treeWell you can imagine my feelings I didnt know whether the next second Id hit one with my prop instead of my wheels I gave full throttle and climbed upflew across the field and came in again It turned out later that two instructors also hit this tree The runway was too close to the woods on the east side of the field I just thanked my lucky stars I wasnt 2 or 3 feet lower or Id have hit the prop and then, well I dont really know Its a funny thingyou dont ever get scared till afterwards Same with a dangerous landing or something So long for now, Mum Much much love, Pop Dear Mum, Yesterday was one of theif not themost unpleasant days of my lifeat least 1 1 4 hours of it I had my D check with Ensign Warren He was very nice on the ground, but no sooner did we get in the plane than he started yelling In no time in my life have I ever felt so uncomfortable According to him I just couldnt do a thing right Frankly, before my check I was confident but once in that plane I was lost Taxing, climbingeven on fundamentals like thathe bellowed I was so flustered I couldnt think How I pity guys with instructors like that Well we got on the ground and I was beat But after it was over he gave me a very weak up nevertheless its an up It was an experience Ill probably have to undergo again But I sure hope not That must be the philosophy of some pilots to make you fly under tough conditions The fact remains however, that I got an up The realization came upon me yesterday that Im 2 3 on the way to my commission and wings almost It is a wonderful feeling and I just hope that in 3 months Ill actually get through Much love to all, Pop This next series of letters was written from the U.S Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, where I was stationed from February to June 1943 Dear Mum, Today I went to church here There were only about 12 cadets and 8 others there but it was very nice The Chaplain was an awfully young fellow with a most appealing nature It was held in ground school I was very poor about churching in Mpls I got a letter from F Von Stade.9 He was on a 14 day furlough at Aiken S.C recovering from pneumoniawhat a break Anyway he called up Barbara He claims Barbara said she was glad I was in Texas where the girls are lousy so maybe I still am in I sure so hope so If she fluffed me off without warning I would be absolutely sick no kidding Every day practically guys are getting fluffed off from girls theyve left All the time it happens You know Mum its funny being thrown in with a bunch of guys so much olderThey dont seem older, but here they are, all thinking and talking about getting married etc Everyone asks me, after looking at Barbaras picture, when Im going to marry her Good heavens To think that last year at this time I was thinking along lines of prep school proms and stuff seems unbelievable Thats the hard part Being around guys averaging 22 about its only natural to think as they do on general things, and yet my 18 years keep coming up I wish I were 20 or 21 Its not that I feel younger or anything, but I just wish I were The fellows whose lives may be better for this thing are those who graduated last fall or Xmas from college They have a degree and can probably get a decent job after the war and still will profit from having had military experience Say the war ends in 2 years and I go to college Ill feel like the old man all my friendsll be through Thatll all straighten out though, and if you think Id change with any of those fellows at Yale, youre sadly mistaken I still would like to be 21have a million dollars, and a beautiful wife I can remember how I once said I wasnt going to get married I do still love I honestly feel sure of it Barbara, Mum, yet I know that there is such a chance of her meeting some other guy She is so very young and so darn attractive and I could hardly expect her to keep caring about me for years ENOUGH OF THIS You both must think Im crazy Much love, Pop Dear Mum and Dad, Today was the big day and after a great deal of confusion it seems that your loving son is a torpedo bomber selectee Yes I got my first choice and tomorrow morning, unless some unforeseen circumstances arise, I pack my belongings and move out to nearby 3 miles Waldron Field, new home of the Torpedo squadron I really am delighted with my lot and provided all goes well I should be home with you all in less than 6 weeks John Buckby, one of my roommates now, 19 years old the only other fellow Ive met that young is going to get married when he graduates Naturally we all talk about these things, and he is convinced that he shouldhowever, he has no money aside from the 250 hell be making and then his future is a bit of a I dont quite see how these guys get married when they know that they have no means of support and probably will be out of this country in a short time Much love, Pop Dear Mum, Barbara knit me another pair of socks The last ones, except for the shape, were really swell These, she says, are too heavy and miles too big At the last minute she always gets embarrassed and wont send them until I persuade her Mum, I dont know why, but I can hardly believe that Ill be an officer soon It just is something Ive really wanted and now that it looks like Im going to get it, I find it hard to believe From what I can gather I will be the youngest flying officer maybe officers in the Navy Im not proud of being youngbut its a fact so Ive been told The youngest in the Army is 19 Much much love, Pop Mum, De ah, Mum, Im really worried I hope its one of her lapses which she falls in occasionally either because shes busy or just to keep me anxious and interested but I havent gotten but 1 letter in 3 1 2 weeks Before there were a couple of 2 week famines but never this I dont know, hope its not the fluff Being away from all nice girls I worry than usual over Barb Its silly but thats how its been As Ive said before Barb is really a smart girl in that she can be sweet and all that without committing herself to any great degreeOh well, not much I can do now Much love, Pop I received my wings on June 9, 1943, in Corpus Christi, three days before my nineteenth birthday After a short leave at home, I reported to the U.S naval air station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I would learn how to fly torpedo bombers Dear Mum, First of all and mainly is the matter of a glorious 5 days Never in the world could any son ever have been given such a welcome You and Dad just did too much for me Not much else I can say about it, except that those short 5 days have made all my time away from home seem worthwhile Trite though it may be, its a short stay with those you love which re clarifies in ones mind exactly what youre fighting for From now on it will be no picnic Two months here no A week or so at Chicago and then as quickly as one squadron can form at either San Diego or Norfolk or Oklahoma, we head overseas That takes perhaps a week, perhaps 2 months, depending on the men available Being here and seeing these monstrous ships in their battle paint brings home the point that it wont be long now I cannot waitnot because of the glamour or of the thrillsfor heavens knows I love my home like few othersbut because it is my job, clearly defined and it must be done One last thing, sweet Mama The way you and Dad both were so wonderful about Barbara probably meant to me than anything After all you hadnt seen me in ages and yet you didnt object to my running off I neednt bother to tell you how much Barbara means to mepretty evident I guessknowing this you must know how happy you made me by being so marvelous about having her up etc Goodnight and much, much love, Pop Dear Mum and Dad, I saw a Henry Aldrich movie here at the base tonight Also heard Fred10 am now back listening to Marian Anderson I have used this radio almost incessantly I sent Barbara an alligator he ate Mrs Pierces frog in her pool, and finally beat an escape into the woods If you would like a gator at homegive me the word and hes as good as yours Much love, Pop I finished my training in Fort Lauderdale in August 1943 and then headed for the huge naval base in Norfolk, Virginia For the next few months, as I entered my final stage of training, I bounced around quite a bitto the naval air station at Chincoteague, Virginia back to Norfolk up to Hyannis, Massachusetts to Charlestown, Rhode Island then back to Norfolk During this period my squadron was formed, VT 51 For some reason, I also started dating my letters about this time Monday, Nov 1 Dear Dad, Ive thought this over and I wasnt quite sure whether I should write or not, but I wanted to tell someone about it, and I think it wiser to tell you, cause Mum might do some unnecessary worrying I hope you wont worry about me after hearing it I wanted to tell you all about it though Today on my last flight I was coming in for my final landing when I hit a vicious slipstream from 2 recently landed TBFs.11 I was ready to land but I shoved on full throttle to go around againby that time, however, the slipstream had one wing down on the runway I swerved to that the left side going off the runway As I went offmy wheels hit and one gave wayThis sent me careening sort of half sideway on one wing and the belly over the ground Everything happened so quickly that I cant exactly remember it all The prop hit and stopped I was scared wed tip over, but luckily we didnt As soon as she stoppedI snapped off the switch, gas, and battery and leapt out and to the stern My crewmen were scurrying out as I opened the back door Luckily none of the 3 of us was injured at all The plane is a total loss Both wings smashed, fuselage slightly buckled etc etc It gave me quite a feeling While careening speedily and recklessly across the runway a feeling of helplessness not fear seized me Then there flashed thru my mind the question will we go over then she stopped and I leapt Funny I never really was scared After it was over I had that excited feeling in the pit of my stomach We were terribly lucky that the ship didnt burn The skipper was very understanding nice about the whole thing Nothing will happen to me, Ill just sign a report It really was somethingone of the things that make flying dangerous is the slipstream, and I really got hit bad I feel perfectly now and am anxious to get back in the air tomorrow, so dont give it another thought I just wanted to let you know about it It was really great seeing you all again this weekend, and Im now looking forward to the next one Ever devotedly, Pop Dear Mum, Now, Mum, I may have quite a secret to tell you in a few daysare you wiser at all Maybe you can guessmaybe not It was such fun seeing you, Mum It really wasnt for longI feel badly about it after came home and then see you so little Must be love MumNo longer am I confused thoughIm just so convinced that Barbara is the girl for me The only thing that bothers me is the future I feel certain that right now I could hold down a job as well as men with an educational advantage over me I have associated for the most part with college fellows since Ive been in the Navy and in my own heart I know I could do a job as wellThe question is whatI wouldnt want to fly all my life for a livingany job where I could make enough money to have the few basic things I desire would be most welcome I often think and worry about itI now know exactly what I want No college, Ill have to do without, just a job anywhere with a fairly decent salary The war will probably last at least 2 years so my problem is not as imminent as it might be, but it worries me a little Why this outburst I dont knowanyway lots of people will need a good butler when this is over Ever lovingly, Pop This letter was written after I had been home on leave, during which I told my mother that Barbara and I were secretly engaged Dear Mum, Im glad I told you all about Bar me You probably knew already but do tell Dad I found two letters from Barbara here today I think she has told her family She said she was going to and she told me to tell all my familyPoor child doesnt quite know what all means in this case Im afraid I do think Ill write Ganny Flash12 sometime soon about it I dont quite know how to go about it all As things stand now Ill probably wait about a year to announce it, but things do so changeI think Barbara is partial to the presentIll have to see her soon again and talk it all over She agreed to my suggestion of waiting till after the fleet, but I cant be sure her heart feels that way until I see her As for me, the present would be fine, but somehow the other seems wiser Incidentally if you see any shiny rocks on our driveway collect themSeriously though, Mum just for interests sake what does a fairly decent looking ring cost Much love, Pop As I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, Barbara lost all my letters to her during the warexcept for this one, which she kept in her engagement scrapbook Dec 12, 1943 My darling Bar, This should be a very easy letter to writewords should come easily and in short it should be simple for me to tell you how desperately happy I was to open the paper and see the announcement of our engagement, but somehow I cant possibly say all in a letter I should like to I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you As the days go by the time of our departure draws nearer For a long time I had anxiously looked forward to the day when we would go aboard and set to sea It seemed that obtaining that goal would be all I could desire for some time, but, Bar, you have changed all that I cannot say that I do not want to gofor that would be a lie We have been working for a long time with a single purpose in mind, to be so equipped that we could meet and defeat our enemy I do want to go because it is my part, but now leaving presents itself not as an adventure but as a job which I hope will be over before long Even now, with a good while between us and the sea, I am thinking of getting back This may sound melodramatic, but if it does it is only my inadequacy to say what I mean Bar, you have made my life full of everything I could ever dream ofmy complete happiness should be a token of my love for you Wednesday is definitely the commissioning and I do hope youll be there Ill call Mum tomorrow about my plan A lot of fellows put down their parents or wives and they arent going so you could pass as a Mrs.Just say you lost the invite and give your name Theyll check the list and youll be in How proud Ill be if you can come.13 Ill tell you all about the latest flying developments later We have so much to do and so little time to do it in It is frightening at times The seriousness of this thing is beginning to strike home I have been made asst gunnery officer and when Lt Houle leaves I will be gunnery officer Im afraid I know very little about it but I am excited at having such a job Ill tell you all about this later too The wind of late has been blowing like mad and our flying has been cut to a minimum My plane, 2 now, is up at Quonset, having a camera installed.14 It is Bar 2 but purely in spirit since the Atlantic fleet wont let us have names on our planes Goodnite, my beautiful Everytime I say beautiful you about kill me but youll have to accept it I hope I get Thursday offtheres still a chance All my love darling Poppy public fianc as of 12 12 43 December 29 Dear Mum, I changed my allotment check, so starting either at the end of January or the end of February the check for 143 dollars will come to you every month The reason for this is because if I left it made out to the bank and I should become lost the payments would immediately be stopped If it is made out to you and I am lost the checks will continue to come in until it is definitely established that I am safely in heaven all love not signed Jan 11 Dear Mum, I miss Bar something terrific but I suppose its only natural Its really agonyso close and yet so far away I think of her every minute and know that I will be completely happy only when I am with her again I will be so pleased when she is mine for keeps When that will be it is hard to guess I certainly hope we can get married before she finishes Smith As far as her wanting to, thats settled We both want to be married, but its so clear to see that our wants are not the determining factor in this case What do you both think I should have to offer Bar before we can get married She does not expect us to have a thing, but I wonder if it would be fair to her to get married with what I have saved, say in a year after I get back I will have well over 2,000 by then Perhaps Id be sent back out again a few months after we were married There are so many considerations The one thing I really want is to have Barbara for my wife and naturally I want that as soon as possible I have talked to Bar a good deal about it and we both want to get married when I come back from the fleet next year Please tell me what you think Mr Pierce would like Barbara to finish Smith, but I dont think hed disapprove of our getting married next yearI dont know for sure Mrs Pierce probably would hate to lose her daughter but she does want her to be happy so thats the way that stands Perhaps I should have a talk with Mr P after shakedown.15 Much love to all, Pop Jan 25 Dear Mum, Yesterday we went and landed aboard the San Jac for the first time We, the TBFs, landed first The ship looked really swell steaming along in her battle camouflage We made a few practice passes down wind and then she swung around into the wind and we came aboard She was moving at a good clip and the air was nice and smooth, facilitating landings We each made 3 landings and then cut our motors on the deck We taxied into position before cutting the motors On Carriers it is necessary to utilize every inch of deck space The result is that the line men taxi you right up to the very edge of the deck They put me right on the starboard bow and I thought I was going to fall over any minute With the water rushing by over the side etc it is quite scary This putting the planes where they want them is called spotting and its very important The loudspeakers announced that the pilots had 7 minutes so then 3 of us went below for coffee Everyone aboard welcomed us and was swell to us These are the first landings a lot of the crew had seen so they were quite excited Soon the loudspeaker boomed and we manned our planes, started the engines etc We were catapulted off In fact I made the first catapult shot ever made from the USS San JacintoI was mighty glad the machine worked I think Id rather be catapulted than make a full deck take off Pop After a two week shakedown cruise to Trinidad, British West Indies, the San Jac set sail March 25, 1944, heading for San Diego first, then to the South Pacific The next group of letters was written from the ship Wed April 12, 1944 Dear Mum and Dad, I wish I could tell you where we are, what were doing etc I cant of course mainly because we arent allowed to, secondly because I really cant be sure I know I finished the 4 books you gave me Mum and loved them all Im going to pick up a couple of I am trying to read a few on Russia, because I have become pretty much interested in that end of our diplomatic relations Then, too, I know so little about it all that a couple of books wouldnt hurt anyway Well, so long for now and much, much love to all, Pop April 27, 1944 Dearest Mum and Dad, I havent written for several days but still there is little to write aboutat least little which I am allowed to write I wish I could tell all because it is interesting and will be plenty exciting no doubt Have piled up quite a few hours lately and have boosted my total landings aboard up to about 47 One of them my second to last to be exact really was a scary devil I came in high and a little fastI got the cut nosed once but not enoughI then hauled back and made a real hard landing, blowing out my right tire and stopping precariously near the catwalk How I hate to make a terrible landingI get to worrying about it and also its not good for the crewmen Everyday someone at least gets a tire or 2 so its not serious, but I dont like it From now on its going to be plenty rugged dutyin a way Im glad, cause I probably need the experiencemaybe you should have been a little bit mean so I would relish the thought of killing etc When my time is up all I ask for is to get married and be able to be with my wife for some sort of a decent amount of time How I miss my BarbaraIts such fun at nite after the hectic turmoil of carrier flight operations is over to lie in my upper and let my mind relax, think of you both, all at home, and of Barour wedding Much love, Pop May 24, 1944 Dear Mum and Dad, I can say that I have been in battle against the enemy It is quite a feeling, Mum to be shot at I assure you The nervousness which is with you before a game of some kind, was extremely noticeable but no great fear thank heavens I wish I could tell you about it Probably will be able to later Must stop now Much much love, Pop May 26, 1944 Dear Mum and Dad, Here is some distressing news which I hate to report Jim Wykes is officially missing It has affected those of us who knew him very deeply as he was a fellow whom everyone liked I personally, have far from given up hope, and as I write this cant help but feel that he will turn up He may fall into enemy hands, but at least hell still have his life All we can do is hope His family has been notified, so its O.K to mention it now He disappeared on a search missiongood men his crew , one of whom had just become a father shortly before leaving the states News like this is unpleasant, but I guess Ill just have to learn to take it Jim was my closest friend on the shipa fellow whom I was very fond of There is a definite hopeperhaps he will even turn up soon Well, I must stop for now and get up on security watch With much love to all the family I am Devotedly yours, Pop June 4, 1944 My Dear Mrs Wykes, For the past year your son, Jim, and I have been very close friends We have been together at all our various stations, joined the squadron together, and have roomed together for a year now, even aboard this ship I know your son well and have long considered myself fortunate to be one of his intimate friends His kindly nature and all around goodness have won for him the friendship and respect of every officer and enlisted man in the squadron I realize that the news of his being missing has undoubtedly brought into your home a good deal of grief and sorrowbut however difficult it may be, you must never give up hope All of us out here firmly believe that there is an excellent chance that Jim and his 2 crewmen are still alive I am not saying this merely to console you, for I would not want to give you false hope You have lost a loving son, we have lost a beloved friend so let us be bravelet us keep faith and hope in our hearts and may our prayers be answered God bless you and your family Sincerely yours, George Bush June 10th Dear Mum and Dad, I suppose this is the first letter youve received from me in a long time, but in my last I told you it would be a while between so I hope you havent worried at all We have received flashes on the invasion of Europe and eagerly await any further news Every day our ship puts out a sort of newspaper The news in it is gathered for the most part from aboard ship, but there are a few short wave radioed messages I am eager to receive your letters telling about how the news was received at home, but I will have to wait a while for any letters Im afraid As much as I hate to admit it, and though Id never tell Bar for fear shed misconstrue what I said, I really think we did the right thing in not getting married A couple of fellows wives in our outfit are having babies now The guys worry a lot and I imagine it must be hell on the poor girls No it wouldnt have been fair to Bar to have gotten married When I return I certainly hope we can, however I will have saved 3000 by next fall I have learned a good deal out herelots thats not practical by a long shot, but it all goes to making a man out of one As far as elapsed time making a difference in my feeling toward Bar I was sure when I left Id never change, and now as each day passes I am never sure Your ever devoted son, Pop June 22, 1944 Dear Mum and Dad, Things have been happening so fast that I have forgotten when I wrote you last 3 days ago I had to make a forced landing in the water.16 It was my first water landing and when my engine acted up I was a bit nervous It went off o.k however All three of us got out safely and into our raft We were rescued by a destroyer Im afraid I can tell you no details than that As I write this I have not gotten back to my own ship Yesterday I was transferred from the destroyer by breeches buoy17 to this ship When I will get back I do not know I am getting a rest here so I dont care too much, though I would rather be back with my own squadron The transfer on the breeches buoy was quite a thrill I really enjoyed my stay aboard the destroyer They all treated me and my crewmen like kings I slept a good deal read a lot and generally enjoyed myself When they picked us out of the water the Doc administered us some brandy The crewmen were always surrounded by an attentive group of listeners and they would have liked to stay there Some of the experiences that fellows out here have had lately would really amaze you The braid18 will go thru almost anything to rescue pilots and crews, and believe me, its a real comforting feeling Well thats about all for nowwith much love to all Pop Mon June 26th Dear Mum and Dad, Once back aboard my own ship and really glad to be back Before actually getting back I was transferred from 3 different ships, 2 destroyers and one carrier I am assuming you got my letter telling you about my crash landing in the water It was certainly nice to get the clean clothes back on and get in my own sack Two new pilots joined our squadron and came aboard with me By then I was an old hand at being transferred by breeches buoy The high point of my return was 4 letters2 Bar, 1 Mum, 1 Aunt Nance Bars two letters and yours of course were a Godsend I miss her so desperately and love to think of getting home to her She is so marvelous to me, and now she is the object of prime importance in my life After these hectic, often frightening days, it is indeed a comfort to lie in my upper and think of those marvelous days ahead with Barbara If only I could see herlook into those lovely eyes, hear her laugh, and watch her playing with Bucky Enough of that for now Have you read this govt education Bill Looks to me like it might be a nice 2 or 3 year rest at college Ill have saved some money and then they pay you, too, it seems Its just a passing fancyprobably because right now the lazy routine of college would appeal to me We could live in some swell apartment and I could studyBar too if she wantedWell, its just something to think about My mind grasps onto any and every possibility since its so much fun planning and wondering Barbaras letters are so wonderful I do hope she is happy at Smith Im afraid she misses out on some fun by being engaged, but shes always been cute about it Weve been flying a good deal midst lots of excitement The initial shakiness has left me before the battles, but the intensity of fire over the objectives will always scare meof that Im sure Keeps you a good Christian anyway For the most part I am relatively happy The time has seemed endless since we parted However when alls said, Ill have to admit Im glad I am herethough I do wish this phase of it were behind me and I was home again, having been through it At last I feel that I am at least doing my part and when I get back Ill have no feeling of guilt about being in the States Oh Mum I hope John and Buck and my own children never have to fight a war Friends disappearing, lives being extinguished Its just not right The glory of being a carrier pilot has certainly worn off True its always a thrill to land successfully aboard, to return and see your ship steaming along, theres lots of thrills but I mean its mostly work I have mumbled on pages and have said very little Im afraidI love you all very much Your ever devoted son, Pop P.S While I rememberdont ever send me any packages They take ages and always get crushed July 12, 1944 Dear Mum and Dad, First while I remember I am enclosing a copy of a letter from Jim Wykes mother, Mrs Anna Wykes dont know husbands name Please save it for me, Mum It is to me a beautiful letter, perhaps not eloquent or verbose, but one written from the depths of a loving mothers heart How my heart aches for them Jim has 2 brothers, both in service, and then his Mother and Father Still no word of him and though I have not given up all hope, it is a bit discouraging Today Bush Daniels, Lou Grab I were standing at the small boat landing when a dark skinned fellow jumped out of a little landing boat He looked an awful lot like Jim and the 3 of us just stared Unfortunately it wasnt he at all I told you that Bob Whalen, Wykes gunner, is married and his wife is with child That, too, is terribly sad I didnt mean to dwell on this subject for so long, but Jim was very close to me, and I feel his loss each day He has not been the only fellow I know that has been lostnot by a long shotbut I knew him so well Lots of love, Pop July 21st Dear Mum and Dad, During these last few hectic days, I have had little time for reading or the likemost fun when you get the chance is to stretch out on the sack or in a ready room chair and think I also try to figure out what Ill do after the war One thing which appeals to me, is a job like Pressysgo to S America for a year not much .19 It would be fun provided, of course, Bar were with me The whole fun of it would lie in our being togetherlaughing and stumbling along in Portuguese, Espanol or what have you Barbara with her Northampton Spanish, me with none at alllive in some small cottage The only thing Id be scared of would be that shed be lonelymiles away from her family and friends I wouldnt care what kind of work I did So far I havent been able to make up my mind on what I want to do Further education isnt out of my mind by a long shot If I went to college Id definitely find plenty to interest meof that I am sure now Before, I couldnt see that It took the war, and the Navy to show me how advantageous a good education can be I say advantageous and not necessary, for I do feel that I would get along with a bit of initiative and honest endeavor provided I could get some employer to give me a chance I am prepared and fully cognizant of the fact that my salary will not be near what it is now Barbara, too knows what to expect When I return next fall Ill have saved 3000we can make that last awhile anyway Besides the S Amer and college plansthere is a thirda regular job in the U.S It would be nice to know I could get a job for surea job which would not require me to dig a ditchmerely because I dont have a college education Much love to all, Pop July 22nd My Dear Mrs Wykes, I received your letter one week ago We had been at sea for a long timethat accounts for the delay I was very touched by your kind words I wish I could tell you exactly what happened to Jim, but I do not knownor does anyone, Im afraid He just never returned from a search flight We all felt certain that when we returned to port he would be there However, when we did get back there was no trace of him A search had been launched by another carrier, and everyone around that area was notified It is entirely possible that at this very minute he is on some island I know how hard it must be for you to keep your spirits up, but all of us must keep saying to ourselves that Jim is still alive At times, I feel oh whats the use, but then I check myself As long as there is a thread of hope I think we should cling to it Some of islands in the vicinity were enemy held, as there is always that possibility to consider Others were practically uninhabited I wish this letter could give you some new hope, some evidence that your loving son is all right, but Im afraid I dont have such tidings Lets just keep that ray of hope in our hearts and in our prayers, and perhaps our faith will be rewarded My sincerest affection to you and your family George Bush Jim Wykes was never found Sunday July 30th Dear Mum and Dad, I wrote the Pierces a few days ago asking them how they felt about a wedding when I get back I have been thinking about it so much and wondering how they felt that I just had to write I dont ever like to think how it will be if they say No I have counted on it so much, even thought imaginary plans so often, and in fact just based my whole future around it, that I shall be very disappointed if they choose to make us wait Incidentally, Dad, I would appreciate it, if you would let me know what you feel I should do after the war As I have said before I do think I can get a joba modest one at first of course, irregardless of my lack of college education I wonder if you agree with me on this point Much love to one and all, Pop My father definitely did not agree with my plan of not going to college Aug 13th Sunday Dear Mum and Dad, People are talking a good deal about the election Its hard to say what the consensus of opinion isI think most feel FDR will win, but then most of the people I know around here seem to be Dewey voters The southern boys will support Roosevelt The ones Ive talked with seem to think hes some sort of a godI dont believe they look too closely at what the New Deal administration has done or has not done Much love to all, Pop Aug 19th Dear Mum and Dad, Got a letter from Mr Pierce telling me that they did approve of our plans I felt sure they would, but now that I have that definite yes I feel terribly glad From what he said, Bar is going to leave Smith since she wouldnt have time to complete the term It will be nice for her to be with her family for a while anyway I hope she comes up to Maine with you If only I could snap my fingers and have these next months shoot swiftly byI have so much to look forward to nowso very much Mrs GHWBlong but very nice We are going to be the happiest Mr Mrs goingor shall I say the happiest young Mr Mrs going Will stop now as it is almost time for dinner Steak tonite I think Usually the steaks have a great deal in common with an old sneaker sole, but occasionally a good one slips past the cook and the mess boys and gets as far as one of the tables Of course you heard about the muscular fellow who got himself a job at the zoo He applied to be a trainer but when they told him they only needed an ape since theirs had died he volunteered to act as an ape They gave him a costume and for several days he thrilled the customers with his ape like antics One day he did a terrific somersault, but unfortunately he landed in the lions cage As the ferocious lion began to draw near him, the fellow started to holler and yell and run for the door Suddenly the lion spoke up and said, Take it easy, buddy, do you want to get us both fired Much love to all the family, Ever devotedly, Pop August 24th Dear Mum and Dad, Gosh Id like to see you all nowI miss you so much Give all the family my love Johnll be going back for his 8th and last year soon I imagine and William should be about ready to battle his way into grade 1 I get such a kick out of BuckI picture him so clearly at all timesHe is sort of a symbol to me in a way I remember how Bar I used to play with him Wed pretend he was our little boy I dont know why, but little old Buck so often is brought to my mindeven when Im up flying Ill burst out laughing at times Perhaps its because hes so young and innocent Today Rumania quit the war, according to a press release we received That is indeed a good sign that that phase of this war should be over before too long I hope the guilty receive treatment they deserve I feel so strongly that the Nazis, fascist, or whatever moniker they use, should all be dealt with severely The leadersthose responsible for murder, famine, treachery, etc must be killed I hope our government and our allies act boldly and powerfully and mete out severe but just penalties If this is not done with all leaders who have collaborated with the Nazis, whether they be recognized heads of government or quislings ruling in conquered countries, I fear these 4 years of bloodshed will have been for naught Ever devotedly, Pop September 3, 1944 Dear Mother and Dad, This will be the first letter you have gotten from me in a good long while I wish I could tell you that as I write this I am feeling well and happy Physically I am O.K., but I am troubled inside and with good cause Here is the whole story at least as much of it as I am allowed to relate right now Yesterday was a day which will long stand in my memory I was on a bombing hop with Delaney as my radioman20 and Lt j.g Ted White as my gunner He did not usually fly, but I asked him if he would like to go with me and he wanted to We had the usual joking around in the ready room about having to bail out etc.at that time it all seemed so friendly and innocent but now it seems awful and sinister I will have to skip all the details of the attack as they would not pass the censorship, but the fact remains that we got hit The cockpit filled with smoke and I told the boys in back to get their parachutes on They didnt answer at all, but I looked around and couldnt see Ted in the turret so I assumed he had gone below to get his chute fastened on I headed the plane out to sea and put on the throttle so as we could get away from the land as much as possible I am not too clear about the next parts I told them to bail out, and then I called up the skipper and told him I was bailing out My crewmen never acknowledged either transmission, and yet the radio gear was workingat least mine was and unless they had been hit back there theirs should have been, as we had talked not long before I heard the skipper say something but things were happening so fast that I dont quite remember what it was I turned the plane up in an attitude so as to take pressure off the back hatch so the boys could get out After that I straightened up and started to get out myself At that time I felt certain that they had bailed out The cockpit was full of smoke and I was choking from it I glanced at the wings and noticed that they were on fire I still do not know where we got hit and never will I am now beginning to think that perhaps some of the fragments may have either killed the two in back, or possibly knocked out their communications Fortunately I had fastened all my straps before the dive and also I had left my hatch open, something I hadnt been doing before Just the day before I had asked the skipper and he advised leaving it open in a dive The jump itself wasnt too bad I stuck my head out first and the old wind really blew me the rest of the way out I do remember tugging at my radio cord which I had forgotten to unplug As I left the plane my head struck the tail I now have a cut head and bruised eye but it is far from serious After jumping, I must have pulled the ripcord too soon for when I was floating down, I looked up at the canopy and several of the panels were all ripped out Just as I got floating down, I saw the plane strike the water In the meantime, I noticed there was a liferaft down in the water Not until later did I discover that it was mine that was supposed to be attached to my lifejacket I had forgotten to hook it on, and when I left the plane it had come loose and had fallen into the water Fortunately, the wind didnt carry me too far away from the raft The entrance into the water was not too bad I had unloosened several of my chute straps so that when it came to getting out of the harness I wouldnt have too many buckles to undo under the water I went fairly deep under when I hit, but not deep enough to notice any pressure or anything I shook the harness and the wind carried the chute away on the water The wind was blowing towards shore, so I made every effort to head the other way The skipper saw me and he saw my raft, so he made a pass over it to point it out to me I had inflated my mae west21 and then started swimming towards the raft Fortunately, the fall hadnt injured the boat, so it inflated easily and I struggled into it I then realized that I had overexerted myself swimming, because suddenly I felt quite tired I was still afraid that the wind would take me in closer so I began paddling It was a hell of a job to keep the water out of the raft In fact I never did get it bailed out completely At first I was scared that perhaps a boat would put out from the shore which was very close by, but I guess our planes made them think twice about that A few fighter planes stayed nearby the whole time until I was rescued and you can imagine how comfortable that was.22 One of them came right over me and dropped me some medical supplies which were most welcome, since I had no idea how badly cut up I was It turned out to be slight, but did use the iodine anyway I had some dye marker attached to my life jacket and also there was some in the raft so I sprinkled a bit of that on the water so the planes could see me easily I took inventory of my supplies and discovered that I had no water The water had broken open when the raft fell from the plane I imagine I had a mirror and some other equipment, and also was wearing my own gun and knife There was no sign of Del or Ted anywhere around I looked as I floated down and afterwards kept my eye open from the raft, but to no avail The fact that our planes didnt seem to be searching any showed me pretty clearly that they had not gotten out Im afraid I was pretty much of a sissy about it cause I sat in my raft and sobbed for awhile It bothers me so very much I did tell them and when I bailed out I felt that they must have gone, and yet now I feel so terribly responsible for their fate, Oh so much right now Perhaps as the days go by it will all change and I will be able to look upon it in a different light I floated around for a couple of hours during which time I was violently sick to my stomach and then the planes started zooming me, pointing out my position to my rescuers You can imagine how happy I was when I saw this submarine hove into view They pulled me out of the raft and took me below where they fixed me up in grand style As I write this I am aboard the subdont know how long I will be here, or when I will get back to the squadron As I said physically I am o.k The food aboard here is unequaled anywhere I have ever seen I am getting plenty of sleep and am even standing watches so that I will get the air occasionally My back ached as did my leg last nite, and also my seat was a bit sore from the chute straps, but the pharmacist mate rubbed me down and today I feel much better Last nite I rolled and tossed I kept reliving the whole experience My heart aches for the families of those two boys with me Delaney had always been a fine loyal crewman His devotion to duty was at all times highly commendable and his personality most pleasing I shall most certainly write to his family after I am sure they have been notified by the Bureau As for Ted White, I have spoken of him several times in my letters before He was the fellow from Yale, one class ahead of Stu Clement.23 He comes from St Paul Minn White Bear Lake to be exact Perhaps Dad, you know the family If so do not write them until you get the word from me or elsewhere that the family has been officially notified There is a possibility that they parachuted and I didnt see them, but I am afraid it is quite remote as we received a message aboard here last nite saying that only one chute opened.24 All in all it is terribly discouraging and frankly it bothers me a good deal As time goes by I shall add bits to this letter and will mail it at my earliest possible convenience I shall do the same by Bar, but shall not go into detail like this over my experience so please read her the parts of this letter which might interest her Its a funny thing how much I thought about Bar during the whole experience What I wouldnt give to be with her right now Just to see that lovely face and those beautiful eyes and to know she was by my side Right now I long to be with you so much To be with you both and to be with Bar is my main desireat least it wont be too long, the time is going by quite rapidly Please excuse all my misspellingsthey are caused not from ignorance but from carelessness in operating this machine much much love to you all, your ever devoted and loving son, Pop I was shot down off the island of Chichi Jima, in the Bonins, and rescued by the USS Finback I am still humbled by how lucky and blessed I was that an American submarine was patrolling the area and picked me up before the Japanese I will also always be grateful to fellow pilot Doug West, who stuck with me as long as he could, strafing the Japanese boats and pointing his wing at my life raft so the Finback could find me Years later we learned from the Japanese report of the incident that two parachutes were seen leaving the plane That means a great deal to methat at least one of my crewmates made it out of the planealthough he was never found Right after the war, the Japanese commander in charge of Chichi Jima was tried and executed for eating the livers of captured American pilots I like to tease Barbara that I almost ended up becoming an hors doeuvre Sept 5th Dear Mum and Dad, I have just finished writing Bar a long letter so I will add a bit to this one for you I did tell Bar all about what happened, so disregard the part I wrote in the first part of this I am now standing Junior officer of the Deck watches and I really love them I am not in any way a qualified submariner as you can well imagine, but armed with a pair of binoculars and dark glasses if I need them I can sweep the sea and skies pretty well After my griping about the security watches aboard the ship it may seem funny my enjoying any watches, but here it is different These watches afford me a good chance to get up topside and grab some of that fresh air When we are submerged, I am utterly useless to them, but when on the surface I stand two watches a day6 8PM and 4 6AM just a nice length The food continues to be excellent, with steaks, ice cream, chicken etc in abundance You actually cant believe how good the chow is Of course they have a much smaller complement of officers to prepare for, but still the food is so much better that there is no comparison As for sleep, I have been claiming than my fair share.25 I usually sleep all morning and also all nite until my watch comes up The sacks are comfortable and so darn inviting Id love to see The Big One trying to get in and out of some of them Dad, you just couldnt do it All the beds are fine once you get inthat is until you have to get out I sort of get half way in and then have to pull the rest of me in like a worm The boat is now overcrowded, having three extra officers aboard But since two men are on watch all the time there is always a bed for everyone The fellow coming off watch just crawls into the bed which his relief had been sleeping in So far diving and submerging havent hurt my ears at all, and everything about this life agrees with me I think I would still prefer flying, since you are out in the open so much , but this would be my second choice All the officers, and crew too, are just as nice as they can be The Captain is a peach.26 He eats his meals with us in the wardroom and is just as good a guy as youd want to meet Yesterday I got a hunk of liferaft and stamped the name of the ship and the date on it and then all the officers signed it They also took some pictures the day they brought me aboard which I will try to get hold of to bring.27 Will quit now much love, Pop September 8th Dear Mum and Dad, Havent been doing a great deal out of the ordinaryjust daydreaming the time away It is such fun to think about getting home, the wedding and all that I find myself bursting forth into song up on the bridge I am not sure the others up there appreciate my efforts too much, but if they ever complain I am going to tell them that my mother feels I am potentially a second Carusoand I dont mean Frank Caruso28 either One thing I do miss aboard here is my daily shower which I loved aboard the ship Water cannot be produced as abundantly aboard this boat, so naturally we have to conserve whenever and wherever possible One shower per week is the ration Tomorrow I can take minewow do I need it unattractive The clothes situation is far from serious since all we wear is sandals, undies and pantsno shirts, just undershirts for meals I hope you have not been worrying up till the time you received these letters This may be the first you have heard of my experience, I dont know I try to think about it as little as possible, yet I cannot get the thought of those two boys out of my mind It is so different, reading about people getting killed etc Even when Jim and Dick Houle were lost, though I did feel it deeply, it did not affect me as this has Oh, I am O.K.I do want to fly again and I shall not be scared of it, but I know I shall never be able to shake the memory of this incident, and I dont believe I want to completely They were both such fine people Pop I spent thirty days aboard the Finback while she completed her war patrol, getting off at Midway and flying to Pearl Harbor where I spent a couple of days on RR I could have rotated home, but I wanted to get back with my squadron So eight weeks after being shot down, and after hitchhiking on various planes, I finally rejoined the San Jac at Ulithi in the Caroline Islands Nov 3rd Dear Mum and Dad, I have so much to write about that I hardly know where to start Yesterday I arrived back aboard, and it was one of the happiest moments of my lifeI really mean that The first guy I saw in the squadron was the skipperHe came down to the quarterdeck and greeted me After that all the boys came around I was so glad to see themthey are a good bunch alright Lately since Ive been away they have been thru hell Almost everyone has been decorated for some deed or other and believe me they deserve it They have had it tough and I am sorry I wasnt here to do my part The only sad part was to find that Tom Waters has been killed in actiona bombing attack Tom roomed with Doug West, Jack,29 and I and we all liked him a lot First of all about the accident It seems that someone else did get out of the plane, but his chute didnt open I am sorry over that, but am glad that someone at least got out of the plane besides myself I wrote Delaneys sister Mary J Delaney 34 Somerset St Providence R.I and also Ted Whites parents I am afraid the letters werent very good but I do hope they know how I feel about the accident Bush Daniels told me about how bravely the Whites received the news and I must say I do admire them, even though I dont know them I am a little anxious over my first flight off the ship I have flown so little lately that I will probably be rusty as can be Im afraid you are wrong about my not having to come out again, though I hope you are right This war is so big and so damn hard that you can never realize it fully unless you have actually studied it or been out here a while Your ever loving, Pop Nov 9th Dear Mum and Dad, Quite a few days have elapsed since my first letter written from here upon my return Since that first letter I have gotten back into the swing of things pretty much, having had 2 hops so far Both went off o.k., and it was a relief to me, as I had been a bit anxious about landing aboard again after such a long lay off Everyone talks of only one thing and that is getting home We are supposed to be relieved soon, but no one knows when and then after we are relieved it will take a few weeks to actually get home The vagueness must be hard on Bar She has been so good about waiting and has never complained The election has come and gone and we now face 4 years of FDR There was hardly any talk of it on the 7th, probably cause most have felt that Dewey didnt have much of a chance I know how discouraged you must be about it, and I feel the same way My knowledge of the campaign etc is not extensive, but from all reports it was not a pleasant one Much love, Pop Dean Spratlin was one of my crewmates aboard the USS Finback Friday, Nov 17th Dear Dean, Just a note to let you know I finally did get back here to my original squadron and to thank you for everything you did for me aboard the Finback Since my return I have been flying quite a bitseems the boys want me to catch up with them We are heading home shortlywhen exactly we dont know, but were hoping it will be within the next couple of weeks at the most I still have a SPRAT undershirt and one mouldy SPRAT sock which you may receive thru the mail some day Thanks again, Dean, for all you did for me I really do appreciate it Hope the new job is a good one and has gotten you back to the States Best of luck from a Goddamned zoomie30 very sincerely, George Nov 23rd Dear Mum and Dad, This morning we had a combination Thanksgiving Memorial service The memorial part was for all the fellows who have lost their livesThey read off all their names, and had several prayers It was a nice service and I am glad they had it before we leave I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving dayI can picture each of you at the table nowJohn, Buck, and Nance I hope Pres got home, but I have my doubts about this This year Thanksgiving has significance for me than ever for heavens knows I have to be thankful for than ever beforemainly all of you, my loving family and my own precious Bar and the happiness which will soon be ours and then too my own life which has been guarded and protected during these last few months So long, Mum Dad I love you both so deeply and am ever thankful that God gave me two such wonderful parents Your ever loving and middle sized,31 Pop Dec 1st Dear Mum and Dad, This is the letter I have wanted to write to you for a long long time At last I can tell you that were coming home I am all thru flying, combat complete, off the ship, and ready for a nice long leave After you get this letter, it will still be quite a while before I reach the states and can call you up but, nevertheless, I feel pretty damned happy I wrote Bar this A.M., but in case her letter got waylaid, please call her and tell her Mum, when I do get back I shall call up both you Bar Ill give her a safe date when Ill definitely be in Greenwich, and she can set the wedding date Much, much love, Pop Barbara had wedding invitations printed for December 17, but she had to scratch out that date as I did not make it home until Christmas Eve We were married January 6, 1945, and after a short honeymoon, I went back into training We jumped from base to base, among them Grosse Ile Air Station in Michigan You will notice that after I got married, my letters home became rather sparse Dear Mum, Bar probably told you we had one room It is a nice room and we were lucky to get it the first day but it costs 14 per week and we dont get kitchen privileges, so now that we have time we are looking around for something else Out at the base they help us find places Its about 41 2 miles to the base and about 1 2 mile to the center of town Bar walks in for lunch and then we walk in together for supper They have one small townish restaurant, but its not too bad It is sort of a lonely existence for poor Bar, but she doesnt complain at all, and I am just in heaven having her here Bar has returned from the laundering and is now sitting at this table making a puzzle Tomorrow she is going out to check on a new place to live Our landlady has a electric massager which I loveI have had a sore shoulder for a week now, but its well on its way to recovery Bar is in good health, and is a perfect wife It is such fun to come home and find her hereShe always is in a good humor and when worryin Pop appears on the scene she always cheers him up Your ever loving, Pop Monday Dear Mum, Our landlady is funnynice and friendly and I feel fine having Bar with her all day, but she is so odd She thinks she is being so patriotic having these 2 rooms for rent, when actually she is making a mint on us She even thinks shes making a huge sacrifice when she lets Bar use the laundry Bar is quite the wifelaunders, irons, cleans well etc The only thing she hasnt tried is cooking but perhaps shell get a chance at that soon Much love, Pop Monday2 26 Dear Mum and Dad, Time seems to be whipping right by, but still no orders There are rumors going around that a big nite Torpedo outfit is formingmay get stuck in that I wouldnt like it too much, since I find it enough work flying off a carrier during the day Worse than the nite part though is the possibility that it may form way down in the Florida Keys where you cant take wives That would be too much to take Yesterday was my day off Bar and I stayed in the whole dayjust rested and read the papers and Newsweek Bar had a little cold a few days ago but she is now completely cured She is really a good cook now The other day we had fancy shirred eggs She is good on vegetables, too Yesterday we had sausage, beets, and mashed potatoes, a real good lunch She always has the ice box full of milk We drink about 31 2 quarts a day, and that counts my eating lunch out here Your ever loving, Pop On that rather dramatic statement about Barbaras cooking, the World War II letters end My mother did not have any other letters in her collection Barbara and I bounced around the country for eight months, finally landing back at the Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia My squadron had received orders to ship back out to the South Pacific, to participate in the invasion of Japan, when Japan surrendered and World War II ended on August 14, 1945 Germany had surrendered in May Suddenly, it was over, and along with it, my three year Navy career Because I had flown fifty eight combat missions and won the Distinguished Flying Cross, I had enough points to get an early discharge from the Navy As I look back on these letters, I realize how protected my life had been until I joined the Navy In addition, although my childhood was very happy, my upbringing was also strictindeed, puritanical As a result, my vision of the world was narrow, and I was a little judgmental at age eighteen Like most young people, my horizon needed expanding Most troubling, of course, was what happened to me on September 2, 1944 Although I am confident that I followed all the procedures necessary for getting my crew and myself out of my burning plane, it still haunts me today that I lived and my two crewmen died Both Johns and Teds sisters visited me in the White House nearly fifty years later and were very kind to me Unfortunately, my letters written to their families in 1944 have been lost All in all these are letters written from the heart from a loving son to his parentsletters from a kid sometimes homesick, sometimes scared and certainly from a kid who was madly in love with the woman who has now been his wife for nearly fifty five years.In order to enjoy this production, listeners must bury deep any doubts they have about Bush the President this audiobook certainly does Bush the man is a different study altogether Never mind that the family motto surely is Saying it makes it so Never mind that the Bush family, or their editors, have the political instincts to select only letters calculated to please Never mind that Bush himself must have understood from the beginning that every single word he committed to paper would become part of the public record Don t get bogged down into trying to second guess what is true and what is spin, and you will be totally won over by Bush and family, many of whom helped narrate this production, including Barbara, Marvin, Neil, and Jonathan The collection screams two things the former President got a bad rap by those who accused him of being unemotional and uncaring, and he is not a puritan, even though the early letters included here belie this In total, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and warm memoir Recommended Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty P.L., Columbus, NC Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. The New Best Recipe Cook s Illustrated Nov , The on FREE shipping qualifying offers updated version of a best selling classic Flagship book award winning series with than pages and illustrations Would you make versions creme caramel to find the absolute editors did And Worst States For Retirement All Jul South Dakota is state for retirement, according new Bankrate study, followed by Utah, Idaho, Hampshire Florida York, meanwhile, makes life Greatest Albums Time Rolling Stone May Music, Film, TV Political News Coverage Hydrant markers in ANY style driveway markers, pavement Hy Viz hydrant markersCustom made Hydrant Driveway markers,clothing safety products Dale Steyn Dream Africa seamer picks two Dale one pacers game cricket has seen In career where he spent long time as No ranked bowler world, picked up wickets Test matches at an average Funny Wi Fi Names Router Network SSID WiFi Collection BestFunnyWiFiNames collection Names, Clever names, Creative Good FI Cool your all Videos from Tube Mom Sex Clips mom sex clips Love hot mature ladies all Looking interesting videos Take look some most sensational ever Best Laptop notebooks every budget Trusted Dec Dell XPS our pick overall laptop right now It features trademark Infinity Edge screen, which means razor thin bezels, Education General David Jan Find books, read about author, George H W Bush Wikipedia On January George were both present commissioning USS HW CVN tenth last Nimitz class supercarrier United Navy paid visit carrier again Former President Dies PEOPLE days agoGeorge was man highest character dad son or daughter could ask for, wrote alongside photo his parents walking towards Marine One together dead ABC News entire family deeply grateful love, compassion REMEMBERING GEORGE BUSH Fox agoClark Judge, former special assistant speech writer when vice president, says that president skill Photos yahoo died age Herbert Walker took oath office st oldest living Now it Texas bid farewell born raised England, but body left Washington Wednesday, flown back adopted home supporters have flocked Simple English Wikipedia, free Since had same first names son, often called Sr senior Some people call him Former US Was NPR said alert talking Apr awake, after admitted intensive care earlier this week, spokesman Tuesday eulogized funeral agoFormer Bush, who Friday honored Wednesday National Cathedral stories bravery wartime, All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (English Edition)

 

    • All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (English Edition)
    • 4.1
    • 332
    • Format Kindle
    • 721 pages
    • George H.W Bush
    • Anglais
    • 22 June 2017

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