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usmc-docs  •  emil thomas letters p. 3
personal letters OF USMC Private emil thomas of ohio TO his FIANCÉE BEATRICE
P . F . C .     E M I L     " P O R T E R "     T H O M A S ,     U . S . M . C .      L E T T E R S




APRIL 1928—MARCH 1929


     This is the third of five web pages devoted to the personal letters of Private First Class Emil "Porter" Thomas of Cleveland, Ohio to his fiancée Beatrice before, during, and after the year he was stationed in Nicaragua (April 1928—March 1929) -- and the second of four web pages housing the collection.   The original letters reside in Alden Library of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  All text and images of the letters © Alden Library.  (Right: US Marines marching north to supervise the November 1928 elections, much as Emil Thomas did in April 1928.  From the US National Archives.)

     Pasted below is pasted the full text of 95 letters, organized chronologically, spanning the six-month period from the beginning of October 1927 to the end of March 1928.  Select photographs of the original letters are inserted into the text (in JPEG files), especially when P.F.C. Emil "Porter" Thomas speaks directly to issues of overseas interventions and race.  Click on thumbnails for full images.

      I thank Thomas W. Walker for alerting me to the existence of these letters, and especially Douglas McCabe of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections of Alden Library for his kind assistance during my research, including sharing the Library's transcription of every one of the collection's 331-some letters.  I am also indebted to the Dick Joyce Endowment at Lebanon Valley College for the financial assistance that made this research possible.

Oct 5, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

I suppose you will be wondering if Im still alive or not but I really am very much so Ask the Top Sergeant He knows because he tried to trick me out of my furlough and in trying to do so he made a bad actor out of me result 1 black eye not on my face though. I have a good reason for not writing to. I had my hands swollen to an extra large size from poison ivy that I got while on police work last week now that Ive got rid of that Ive got a boil on the end of my nose. I just got back from the sick bay where I got it cut. My blood must be in pretty bad shape because that is the only thing that could cause those things.

I went up and saw to it myself that my furlough request got made out and Ill personally see to it that it gets signed and sent in and then it is up to the General. If he don’t approve of it then you can write to him and tell him to give the old man a furlough. That is a sure way.

Well honey Ive finally got your ring but its not the kind you wanted instead of the red setting this one is black and the ring is gold instead of silver. I like this one better. Im having it cut down because they arent made in half sizes so I had to get the next size. This one has a nicer emblem to, than the other kind had.

Im expecting a letter from you today yet so Ill quit this one now with love and kisses to my sweetheart



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[October 7, 1927] Friday


Ive just had three finders lanced today because they were infected so I don’t know how much of this you will be able to read. Im writing this while the boys are eating their dinner cause weve to police work today and Ive got to work even with sore hands.

Now for the bad news honey. My furlough has been revoked and sent back so I can’t come but I will come at Xmas of its possible. Im sending you ring in this box sorry I couldn’t get a regular ring box but they dont keep them here I got it cut down in Fredricksburgh so it should fit now. I hope you like it. It’s the closest I could get to the other one that you wanted. All I can do now is to hope you like it.

Well honey I dont know how much of this you will be able to read so Ill close with love

Your lonesome


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October 10, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Im going to try to write this letter so it can be read. I dont know how Im going to do it though, because my knuckles are beginning to hurt already. They are still sore and swollen. Im getting them lanced again tomorrow morning. They seem to be pretty peeved around this place cause I can’t do duty. They are trying to put something over on me again. Theyve been trying it ever since I fought trying about my furloughs being revoked. Theyve been trying to catch me asleep ever since. Im afraid there won’t be no furlough for me now till Christmas or after.

Did the ring arrive yet? If so do you like it? I liked it better than the other ones myself. The ones with the red setting were such cheap affairs. Im glad they didn’t have any on hand the day I went up.

Do you know what I did? I wrote and told Erv I was expecting to come home and when my furlough was revoked my hands were to sore to write and tell him otherwise so I bet he is still waiting for me to get home. Ill have to write and tell him otherwise.

I was kind of expecting a letter this morning but none came so it may be in the late mail and if not it may get here in the morning mail tomorrow. I dont expect Ill be able to answer it for a couple of days if it comes tomorrow cause my right hand will be in bandages and I cant write left handed anyway not so it can be read.

Dont you worry about my not getting a furlough honey cause I still love you, and after all you know that is all that really counts and Ill get another furlough before I get discharged and that will just divide up the time. I know how you feel and everything like that cause I feel the same way. I was even thinking of writing to the Major General Comandante in Washington but that would make things worse for going over the heads of our office. They would never give us any peace after that.

Well honey Ill close now and go for chow and then after chow Ill write to Erv. Write soon to The only great private



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October 14 [1927] Post Band Quantico


I received a letter from you Wednesday and another today. I would have answered sooner but my hand was in a nice bandage. I was going to remove it this morning but I was on the police detail and I didn’t want to take a chance of breaking the scabs by working so I kept the bandages on and all I had to do then was be present to make the required number of men for the detail. My hand feels very stiff but otherwise it seems alright. I made a trip to Washington in the sidecar with the boss on business last night and we sold 186 volts of Edison batteries for $90.00

Well honey Ill admitt that a boil is painfull but Id rather have one of those than to have a sore inside my mouth any old time.

Im only wishing that you should like your ring as well as you did the description of it. I sure tried my best to get as close to what you wanted as was possible. I only hope you like it honey. I hope it may make you very happy I only wished I could be with you now so I could hold you in my arms and kiss you. I would have been there to only on account of our Top Sgt. Being such a damned runt. You will have to excuse me if I use a little rash language for a while now but Im so mad cause my furlough didn’t come through that I believe if I get the chance Id tell the General to go to hades. They couldn’t do very much more than to lock me up and Ive been thrown out of much better Briggs than they’ve got here or ever did have or ever will have here.

Ill bet your new sweater is a peach as you call it and I sure wish I could be there to see it. Ill bet Id hold it in my arms most of the time when you get in it.

Ill explain the furlough request proceedings and so forth some other time honey. You just ask me some other time but Im really finding it hard enough to keep my eyes open now and I sure couldn’t keep them open for about three extra pages. You don’t mind, do you honey?

Im sure you did have some very nice things all planned for my furlough honey and Im sure I would have had a good time but its no use to cry over spilt milk.

Dont you worry about my Love for You being something indefinite honey its only the way I mince words in a letter that makes it sound that way. My love really is positive and Im sure it will last honey. I could convince you much better if I were with you so I could kiss your doubts away. Believe me honey when I say that I love you better than anything else and always will think sometimes of



P.S. How I wish I could cash in on those right now.


(over) P.S.S. Give my love to your folks and also to Hoppy 

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October 18 [1927] Post Band

Dearest Bea:

This is Tuesday morning and as it is raining there were no colors and for some unknown reason or another there was no rehearsal and so far Im not on any of the working or guard details for today so I think Ill try writing a letter. Ive got another motorcycle now. I traded the other one in on it. I got a very good bargain so I took it. I had a few dollars and the rest Ive got 6 months to pay and it sure is a wonderfull engine in it. The frame could stand some paint but the engine is fine.

Im glad you like your ring honey and Im very glad that you are happy. I only wish I could have come home to see you but I guess you know as well as I do that it is useless to argue in the service. Ill try to come when the band comes to Cleveland if they do. I wont be able to see very much of you if I do get to come but I will at least see you which will be better than nothing.

Do you know honey that the time is coming now when we have to think about Xmas and gifts and I dont know what to get for anyone give me some ideas you ought to have some better ideas that I do. You should at least know what your folks would like and Im sure you should know of something you would like. Tell me about it so Ill know what its all about. Ill be trying my best in the meantime to get a nice furlough for December or at least over Christmas or New Years. I hope I get to make a couple of my bets good for the football season. If I do win some Ill try to get 30 days instead of just the usual Christmas leave but if I lose like I did on Dempsey and on the world series then I think Ill have to committ suicide or something like that cause Ill sure be a pauper then. Ive lost over $300 between Dempsey and the series. Dont say anything to Erv or to Lill about it cause they sure would call me a fool if they knew. I dont think you will bawl me out or call me a fool or I wouldn’t be telling you although you are really entitled to know what I do.

Well honey Im just now wondering if you have ever had reason to be sorry that you have promised to marry me. I have tried my best to make you glad and happy and Ive kept straight and been true to you, so I was just wondering if there was anything else I could do to make you happy.

Well honey Im afraid this letter is getting worse and worse all the time so I guess Ill close and hope to hear from you this afternoon. Say howdy to Helen for me and also to your folks and say that Im trying my best for a leave in Dec. so lets hope for the best for



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October 20, 1927 Post Band


Im going to try to write again although Im afraid Im like you I forget half of the things I want to tell you about. I don’t even have to look at a ring to do it either. I just have to glance up at your picture and right away I forget everything I want to say. All I can do then is to wonder how you could ever think enough of me to promise to marry me because I really have nothing but my love to offer you. I could understand more easily why if I were good looking but this way I cant understand. I do love you though more than anything else so I guess Ill just have to make good with the help of that love.

You asked how that game the Marines played came out. The Marines had a score of over 60 to Washington Colleges 0 and the Marines have won the rest of the games so far but they havent started to play the hard teams yet. Levey shipped over about a week before the first game and done some excellent work for no training but weve got two more dark horses this year who are supposed to have Levey skinned a mile. Ive forgotten what their names are now but both of them can out run Levey and even give him a handicap I know those fellows names now one of them is Shapely and the other is Woods.

Sure thing honey I meant every word I said when I told you to write a book when you felt in the mood. Two hundred pages of you want to. Im always happy when I hear from you. I think its only natural that you can’t write to much to suit me, cause I love you and still in the position Im in now I cant have you with me so naturally a letter is the next thing to a kiss, cause it shows that you think of me sometimes and that makes me happy.

I do wish you would tell me one thing about your last couple of letters though. What do you mean by Chin Chin. Im not a chink so I really cant guess.

Well honey these is really no more to day except that if you call writing me nice long letters revenge. Just go ahead and get lots of it cause I like it and as long as you will be mine Im sure Ill be only your



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October 24 1927 Post Band Quantico


Your letter arrived here a couple of days ago but every time I started to answer it I get about three words written and then I either have to go on guard or police work or out to the garage or something and it always happens in a hurry to. Ive been over to the hospital to see a friend a couple of times to. He hurt his foot while he was working on the milk delivery truck, got his foot caught in the wheel and all these little things have kept me from answering sooner. I started this letter this morning but had to put it aside in favor of police work so lets hope no more work shows up today.

Ive cussed the Top Sgt. For you and for me but believe me I didn’t put in a good word for you. In fact Im inclined to think the word I used must have shook up the whole state.

I sure would enjoy hugging your new sweater some providing you were inside of it all the time. Ive got a new sweater to and also a new pair of whipcord breeches and tailor made leggings

Dont you worry about my gong to England honey but instead you might expect my transfer in a pretty nice hurry and again you might not. I came pretty close to a Port Au Prince detail this morning but Im still here. Then to these is a nice detail going to Nicaragua soon. I might have to go and I might not dont worry about it till Im gone.

Talking about a strong wind we had one here about two weeks ago during a young cloud burst. I was on my way back from Washington by motorcycle and I was going backwards and there is no reverse gear on a motorcycle. I got a little wet and cold to. In fact I thought of taking off my clothes an swimming back.

Yes honey I have written to Erv and Ive also written to my sister Lill. Ive asked how to bury the hatchet and be friends. I havent heard no answer from her though.

Im listening right now to an argument about love. Some fellow here who falls in love with every girl he sees and right away falls out again is talking. He is telling the fellows never to be true to any one girl. He claims they appreciate a fellow more that way. I get disgusted with a fellow like that. He dont realize what love is or he would never talk that way. He talks about being broadminded and still he is the most narrow minded person I know of. He dont realize what love is nor how it changes a fellow when he falls in love.

Well honey I think Ill close this letter so if this argument gets to hot I can tell them what I think and stretch a couple of them out for the count Well ta! Ta! Honey write soon to



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October 28, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

I have a letter here that is just dying to be answered for the last two days. Yesterday was Navy Day and we were supposed to go to Washington to play. We were supposed to leave at 6:30 A.M. on a ship from the Washington navy Yard but that ship never left Washington on account of the heavy fog, so we started out on another one and half way up the river we ran off our course and found out that we were lost in the fog without any idea at all of our position. The skipper decided to head due East until we either found our course or run onto the Maryland shore so we finally found ourselves on the beach in Maryland about a quarter of a mile due South of Indian Head so we made for the dock at Indian Head at Slow Speed and tied up till the fog lifted at about 11:00 A.M. so we called in for orders and were told to return to Quantico so we missed out on Navy Day. Today everyone has a cold from that fog. I am a little (horse) hoarse now. Im on guard today and I should be sleeping now but Ive got this letter to write first. Tomorrow we go to Washington for the football game at Catholic University Stadium. I have an idea its going to be a very good game. No the former Tech man is not the captain of the All Marine team. I think he might be captain of the Parris Island team though.

Well if chin chin means goodby why do you use it in your letters. I hope you aren’t tired of me and want to say goodby. Do you? I know I don’t. I dont recall ever having used the expression in any of my letters and thats why I asked what it meant to see if you knew and I couldn’t imagine where you got the expression but I see it all now. I think Ill not send you any more things like Chinese American dictionaries cause I dont like to get scared like I did. I like to think that your mine and the very thought of losing you makes me sick.

Sure my new motorcycle is the same as the other one (A Harley Davidson) only it’s a better motor and in better condition. No I havent had a spill for a long tome so knock wood.

Yes I wrote to Lill but so far Ive had no answer from her. Im afraid she is even more stubborn than I was and I dont think she will write but I at least know that I did the right thing so if she don’t write its not my fault. I think Ill write to my dad tomorrow when I get back from the game. I havent the time now cause Im on guard.

Yes honey Ill have to quit betting on sports if I ever expect to save enough to get married on. Ill close now honey cause Im late now so write soon to



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November 5, 1927 Post Band Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

Your letter arrived yesterday while I was on a working detail so I left it till this morning to answer. We had a carload of flour to transfer from the boxcar to the bakery. There were 35 tons of flour in that car and only four of us unloading, so you see we were pretty well played out. Im still all stiff this morning.

Well honey Ill admit my letters are always short and pretty far apart but really honey I can’t help it. I don’t get the time I used to get. I think we will pretty soon though, because I heard that a bunch of rookies are coming here from Parris Island and if they do then we will be relieved from guard and police work. Ive been kept so busy this week that I haven’t been able to go out to the garage since Tuesday. I think Ill quit going out anyway. Im losing to much sleep on account of that place.

Im glad to hear that you and Hoppy have ended your odds because it seemed to me like you was sulky all the time and I dont want my sweetheart to be that way. I want her to be bright and cheerfull, not ready to bite all the time.

Ill tell you about Navy Day honey, or rather our part in it. We were supposed to go to Washington and make three formations and we were supposed to go up on the gov’t. boat but that boat never got here so another ship was supposed to take us and about half way up we got out of the channel in the fog and got lost. We had an awfull time getting out and when we did we were so late that we got orders to come right back.

Our game came out fine. We won as usuall. We play a game today that I dont think we will win but we will see. The same goes for next Saturday. I hope we win, but Im afraid we wont. I hope West Tech wins. If for no other reason at least to see East Tech beat.

Well I cant swear that Ill get a Christmas leave but Ill sure try and for once Im thinking it might come through approved.

You havent given me any idea yet about what I should buy for gifts and I haven’t the least idea what to get myself.

Well I wrote to Lill sometime ago honey and I haven’t even heard one word from her yet. I guess she just dont want to be friends. Well Ive at least got the satisfaction of knowing that I humbled myself and made the first break. I think Ill make a break to my father to and see what he has to say.

Well honey Ive no more news now but I have an appointment with the Chaplain so Ill close now and Ill write more later.



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Nov. 8, 1927 Post Band Quantico


Ive had all day today off so I slept till noon cause I just came off guard this morning. I woke up to find a half inch of snow on the ground, our first snow all this year. Its turned to rain now. I didn’t know what else to do with myself this afternoon so I took out all your old letters and re read them.

Sweetheart, do you remember the letter you addressed to “The Greatest of the Great Privates”? The one that was to be read on his trip back to Quantico. You wrote from the “Greatest of the Great West Tech Rooters. I found it among the others. You started that one with a “Dearest Pal.” That is one letter I never could clearly understand it seems that every time I read it I get a different meaning. It made me happy in one way and in another way it made me feel blue. Do you remember what you wrote into that letter? You said that maybe you shouldn’t have left me kiss you and you went on to tell me that Anne or Hoppy wouldn’t have, and you went on to tell me you couldn’t help it cause it was nice but you still insisted that it wasn’t playing real fair and under the flap you had S.W._._.K. Thats one letter Ill never forget. Then the other one is dated July 7th. Thats my red letter day. You wrote in that letter that, “Really you didn’t know if it is Love or not but you said it is awfully nice so you were going to take a chance and say, “Yes” Oh how happy you and that letter made me honey. I haven’t the education to tell you in words just how happy it has made me. I guess Ill just have to prove it by good deeds and Im hoping to prove it by being an exceptionally good husband I went through all your letters and found some that went back as far as June 10, 1926. That was the first letter you wrote me since I left home and I believe I can show you that no letters are over two weeks apart except during July, 1926 when two of them were 16 days apart and each one of those letters brought me joy. Im really beginning to think that I must have been born under a lucky star, but then they say unlucky at cards, lucky at love – and I believe it.

Honey Ive bought you Christmas Gift already and I don’t want to keep it here cause something like it is a temptation for somebody to steal and I have no one else to send it to so I want to send it to you now but I want you to promise not to peek until Christmas. Will you promise? I wish you would honey cause its to risky keeping it here cause there are quite a few crooks in this outfit and nothing of any value at all is safe here.

Well honey I borrowed a pen to write this letter with and wrote small so you really have a __ing book in only four pages and its taken almost an hour to write it so I’ll quit and go up to show so write soon to



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November 12 , 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Yesterday was Armistis day so we went to Richmond for the football game between Wake Forest and the marines The score was 39-10 and half of the game was played by our second team in order to save the regulars for the Army game. The after the first half of the game they took us away to play a parade for the American legion. All in all we were on the go from 6 A.M. yesterday till Midnight last night. We were asked to play a Radio Concert last night but couldn’t find the time. We got back here and I found your letter waiting for me. I wanted to answer it right after breakfast but couldn’t. We had to play colors and a parade and here it was 10:30 before we got back and Ive put in a half hour now already but Ive nothing more to do till dinner time now.

Im sorry honey if I havent wrote as much as I should and Ill sure try to mend my ways Ill try to be a regular guy as you say and try writing at least two letters a week. The Marine Corps is pretty short handed right now and that is saying a lot.

Darn right I know what Im in for if you are going to pull my ears good and hard as you say. But. What I cant figure out is if I should look forward to this ear pulling or if Im supposed to dread it.

Sure honey Ill admit my kid sister is witty in fact both of them are but also stubborn. Ive done my best and they wont answer. I dont know what more a man can do than to apologize for something that he didn’t do or that wasn’t his fault. What do you mean by (Thomas Jr.)

Oh sure I can swear quite a bit when I want to but I still say that I cant swear Ill get a leave for Xmas. I can swear though if I really want to. I learned all about that when I first joined the Marines and Im a seasoned trooper now and can swear as such.

What I want to know now honey is if I can have your promise not to peek if I send your present in advance. I dont want you to see it yet and still I don’t want to keep it here cause there is to much danger of someone stealing it and I havent got a place where it would be safe so let me know if its all right to send it.

Im going to try to sell my motorcycle again cause I want to come home first chance I get and winter is no time to cross the mountains on a motorcycle and I cant come if Ive got all my money tied up in the motorcycle.

Say listen young lady. I believe you made a remark once before about my still loving you. I told you that Im not much at putting my thoughts into letters so please dont take everything like that the way it sounds. Of course I love you still and always will. Does that sound better? You know what I mean anyway so why all the argument. Write soon to


Love and Kisses and a few hugs XXXXXXXXXXXX

P.S. Are you still adding these up? If you dont you might get cheated.


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November 14 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Here it is Monday again and I haven’t had a thing to do all morning although I lay around all morning just expecting to get sent out on a detail any minute. How they forget me is a big mystery to me. Im glad they did miss me though cause I was very tired today as you will see when I tell you about my week end.

To begin with we had a nice warm day Saturday so Morris and I (Thats the owner of the garage) decided to go motorcycling over the week end. We started at noon and rode till 4 oclock in the morning which was Sunday we came back and slept till 9 oclock and started out again I was excused from Sunday night concert so my liberty was till Reveille this morning (5:30 A.M.) I came back in at 2:00 A.M. and I sure was cold and tired. Is it any wonder that I was glad to be forgotten this morning?

Do you know what? I may never be a good clarinet player. I cant say for certain but the sore I had on my lip has been gone a long time now and still my lip is weak and no matter how much I practice my lip don’t seem to want to build again it just remains soft and flabby. I went to see Dr. Dickson about it and he said that he cant say for sure, but it may be that my lip will never build again. I was afraid I might get put out of the band now but it seems that Im not. They are going to keep me here and let me struggle along as best I can. I think that is darn nice of them dont you? I havent given up hope yet though. I still hope that it may be a mistake and that my lip muscles will build up and get solid again if I practice long enough and hard enough.

My bunky finally got his furlough honey. His request went in eight (8) months ago. What do you think of that? I hope mine dont take that long or its liable to come back just before I get discharged. Thats when his came back cause he gets out on the 15th of January. When he comes back from furlough he will have just 32 days to serve. I think he might get a job right close by here so he can stick around a year and a half and wait for me and then we will both come to Cleveland. At any rate thats how he is going to spend his furlough. Looking for a fairly decent job somewhere near here cause really you would be surprised how close we are. I dont know what I would do if he went away all of a sudden like that weve grown so very fond of each other.

Well honey I dont know of anything more to say except Im expecting a letter from you tomorrow morning. Thats really all sweetheart unless you want me to tell you again that I love you. Now dont forget the old soldier

Love and Kisses from


P.S. You may kiss Hoppy for me if you want to.


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November 20 [1927] Post Band Quantico


I received your letter Friday or rather it arrived Friday but I was on guard so I didn’t really get it till yesterday morning and I was supposed to make the trip to Washington yesterday for the Army Marine Corps game I had an absess on the thumb of my left hand and was also supposed to go to the sick bay to have it cut but I didn’t want to miss that game so I let it hurt and made the trip Boy I mean if I had lost my thumb because it wasnt opened yesterday I would still think I got a bargain. That sure was a good game, the best Ive ever seen and the best I ever hope to see. The Army had a heavier team and they fought like wildcats but our team just seemed to get around them for two touchdowns and also kicked the two goals making the score 14-0 in our favor. That game had plenty of variety to. First Tunney was present and he stood by the band and shook hands with those that were lucky enough to be near him I was one of the lucky ones. Then Nick Altroch was present on our line as a cheer leader and comedian. Then to top things off about 30 army men tried to steal the big Marine Emblem we had standing at one end of the Stadium so a bunch of Marines went up and it ended in a free for all fight. There were three real blows struck and three soldiers went rolling down the hill and the rest went down as best they could. After that three of us stood guard over the emblem but no army men came up any more. Then some of our men swiped that mule of theirs and rod it Boy I never had so much fun in all my life.

This morning I went to the sick bay and got my finger lanced and you should see it now its as big as a sausage and as sore as a boil cause the absess was fight under the finger nail and it sure is tender there

Good morning sweetheart. This is Monday now. This letter was unavoidably detained on account of my thumb giving me so much X:?--!!*- That means pain. I had to have it cut again Ive had it treated again this morning.

I believe Im going to look forward to meeting some of your relatives when I come home honey. You tell me so much about your Aunt Mamo and your Uncle Miles that Im the one that wants to meet them.

Yes Ive heard of people dying of curiosity and now that youve reminded me of it Im going to think twice before I send that package Im thinking twice any way cause Im not sure if you will like what I got, cause Ive had no experience at buying gifts for girls you know so I just took my buddies advice and also the advice of the clerk at the place where I got this I wish there was some way I could tell if you are going to be satisfied or not and still not let you see what I got. Anyway I think Ill put off sending it cause I don’t want you to die of curiosity.

Well honey I really don’t know if I should keep on fooling around with motorcycles or not. They are great sport and everything like that but gee I cant keep it in camp now and Morris is closing up his garage so now Ill have no place to keep a motor and then to I really should be putting something away instead of into the motorcycle cause a person can’t get married without money and those ten of fifteen dollars every month might amount up to something in a years time so I think Ill give up motorcycling and start the New Year out right by making an allotment for every month until I get paid off. Then I should get a bit of money saved up that way.

Say! Did you ever give Hoppy that kiss I told you to give her? If you don’t I will when I get up there.

Well honey this morning is just about gone and Ive got to soak my finger again before noon so I guess I better close now and I guess you better write to me. I really expected a letter this morning so I suppose it will arrive in the noon mail or at least I hope so Well Ill close with much

Love & Kisses



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[Nov. 25, 1927] Thanksgiving Day Post Band Quantico


I decided to write today and Im going to do it in spite of all Hell and high water by that I mean that Im not supposed to be moving my hand around on account of having blood poison in it and the blood racing into the hand makes it swell still more.

We sure had a swell chow today we had Roast turkey, oyster soup, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, cold ham, bread, butter, coffee, milk, oyster dressing, peas, plain and stuffed olives, celery, lettuce, mince, chocolate and pumpkin pies, cake, candy, ice cream, cigars, cigarettes, oranges, apples, bananas and nuts and last but most important we had sweet pickles and as much of this stuff as we wanted. I really think I ate at least three jars of sweet pickles and at least a half jar of stuffed olives.

Sho honey I guess my lip will harden again if I practice enough but I really cant practice until my finger gets better.

Never mind socking Hoppy, you are liable to hurt one another just tell her, “If you dont someone else will.”

Are you going to get that new Semper Fidelis record when it comes out? What kind of an instrumentation are they going to have? I suppose it will be a military band again just to make us hams feel cheap when we hear it.

I hope to say Im glad to hear that my fire haired step sister got married. I only hope her husband lives in Canada or Russia or somewhere and goes back there to live I only knew here ten days but that was two weeks to much for me. If I never see her again it will be about two years to soon to suit me.

Oh. I dont know I think my chances are pretty good for a Christmas leave but still Im not so sure if Ill be able to come but Im sure going to try my best honey and I guess thats as much as can be expected of anyone.

I meant to send that package the first of this week but Ive been put on light duty and cant leave the quarters except for show so I really can’t go to the post office but Ill try to get off light duty by next week if Ive got lots of luck

No I dont think you need to be afraid of being cheated cause I really believe in being honest with

Love & Kisses



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November 29 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

No certainly writing don’t hurt my hand its holding it on the table while I write that hurts. Im supposed to hold it up to keep the blood from running to the sore thumb and there is the chance of catching cold in it. I done that anyway yesterday so I sent out for an electrical heating pad to keep the hand warm and Ive got it wrapped around my hand now. The doctor gave me heck this morning cause I caught cold in it. He says it will take every bit of six weeks more for my hand to get well and I told him to chase a cow cause this hand is going to be well in time for me to get a Xmas leave. They won’t let me go on leave as long as there is anything the matter with me so you just watch this hand get well.

I suppose by this time you must have guessed that this is the answer to your letter it just arrived today and Ill say Ive sure been waiting for it. I kind of expected it to be here Saturday but it didn’t come till today but then this is the regular day so I cant kick.

Im inclined to believe I would rather have seen West win that game than Cathedral Latin although I don’t know why.

Well your president may have a failing for pumpkin pie but Ive still got to see the man that can eat more lemon cream pies than I can Thats the only kind of pie I like and then the lemon has to be at least an inch thick. Boy thats when Im a real Marine and I sure know how to be a chow hound.

This coming Friday the band makes a trip to Philadelphia with the Parris Island football team but !-* the greatest of the great privates don’t go. He’s got light duty on account of his finger. I would like to see the game but I guess that is out of the question now although I might be able to go to carry the extra music.

Yes sweetheart I hope I get to come to. I hope so as much as you do and I also realize what a long time six or seven months can be and Im pretty sure of coming but in case I can’t please dont forget honey. Its my duty to Uncle Sam to be a soldier first. Oh honey I dont know why I always mince that one word (but) in every where. I really dont need to cause Im pretty sure to get that ole furlough.

I wish I could say like you do honey I wish I could pick up the old clarinet right now I and practice some. It wouldn’t do any good though cause my left hand is altogether useless right now and a man needs two good hands to play clarinet and mine couldn’t exactly be called good right now.

Im glad honey that you are still my heavy lightweight. Just as long as you are mine you will never hear me kick.

Im glad you like the ring honey and I only hope I can always get just the thing you want, but Im really not much at picking out such things.

Ill close now Bea but write soon and often cause the days are pretty long when Ive got to nurse this hand and your letters help to pass the time along honey. I actually forget my sore finger when you write to



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December 1, 1927 Post Band Quantico Va


Im writing this letter tonight cause Ive just got to tell my troubles to some one. My spirit is pretty low tonight so Im afraid this letter is going to make you feel just about the same. Im kind of stuck here though I don’t know if I should send the sunshine or the rain first. Ill send the sunshine first. Your package is on the way. I went to the Post Exchange for supplies today and at the same time I sent the package. Im sending you the insurance slip so in case it don’t get there you will be able to make a claim on it. don’t forget though no fair peeking Im not sure if you will like it or not but it will be your fault cause you never even gave me a hint of what you wanted.

Now for the cloudy side – Im afraid I can’t come home for the holidays, for two reasons. First the Doc. Says my finger won’t be healed by then but I could get around that alright but now I cant afford it cause Ive made out my pay for allotment so Ill have some saved when I get out. I figured on collecting money Ive got standing out so I could make this leave but only two small debtors could manage to pay this month so I guess Ill have to wait till after the New Year. Dont worry though honey, Ill get 30 days instead of 10 days when I do come. That will be worth an extra month or two, wont it? Oh I feel bad about it and it does just about spoil my faith in human nature but well just have to remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I guess by the time I have a couple more rotten months like the last one Ill start refusing to lend these bozos any money even if there whole family dies and they need it to go home on. My profits for this month should have been $32 but as it stands they are just $2.00 if Im lucky. Well so much for that homey girl I really don’t like to tell you all this but I just had to so you could see why I can’t make it. Oh there still is a little chance but it sure is small.

The band left tonight for Philadelphia for the game that the Parris Islanders play up there. Im sure sorry I couldn’t go along cause I think they are going to see a darn good game if you ask me.

Weve got a very good programm at the show here this month. I think Ill try to sneak over tonight yet. The show tonight is Adam and Evil and its supposed to be very funny. Ill sure try to see it. We have “What Price Glory,” again this month on the twentieth. We also have, “The Dress Parade,” this month and another Marine picture called, “Devil Dogs.”

Well honey there is nothing cheerful about this letter so I guess Id better close now with all kinds of Love & Kisses



P.S. Id sure like to make these real right now.

P.S.S. Dont forget to write soon.

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December 3, 1927 Quantico Virginia

Dearest Beatrice:

Your letter reached me this morning and although it was short it sure served the purpose. You see it was this way I was just getting ready to turn in to the hospital when your letter arrived. You know what my turning in means, dont you? It means I wont be out in time for an Xmas furlough and quite naturally I was peeved and sore as a boil, but when I read the letter I kind of got over it and although Im still sore about missing out on a leave in that way still I feel much better just for your letter. Im really glad you started the month off right.

I want you to write always honey, even if there is no news. Do I always have news for you every time I write? I guess not. Half the time I fill up two out of three pages simply with “I love you.” You don’t call that news, do you?

We had a lot of rain all day yesterday and this morning we had winter to. I got up and it was snowing to beat the band and it didn’t stop till this noon either.

You say youve done nothing but work so far this week. Is that right? Well Im glad someone is doing the work for this family. This part of the family sure can’t do any work for a while. Not till after the first of the year anyway.

Who do you think is in the same ward with me here in the hospital? None other than my old friend Cain of Marine Corps Football fame. Boy weve had a good time this afternoon talking about football. Ive talked it so much today I bet Ill dream about football tonight.

Is that very lady like to claim to be a good cusser? You better be careful young lady or the first thing you know you will be able to out cuss me and that wont do at all.

I saw a good picture last night and boy it would make a blind man laugh. The name is “The High School Hero,” staring Sally Phillips. See it if you get a chance cause your sure of at least two dozen good laughs in about the middle of the picture. There is one place where the crowd roared so loud I was afraid of the walls falling in.

Well honey Ill get a furlough as soon as I can so just be patient another month or two Ill write often and please do the same honey. Im sure Ill welcome the letter no matter how little news there is in it only write it soon to


I Love You

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December 5th [1927] Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

Im writing this in bed and with only one hand. The left one is bandaged so heavy I can just barely lift it. They have cleaned it out and put a drain in it this morning. They also tell me that the chances are ten to one that I must lose at least the first joint of my left thumb and maybe even the whole finger. They are going to try to save the whole thing however although the doctor claims it is a waste of energy. Lets hope not.

I still have good hopes even if the doctors havent. If I do lose the finger or any part of it that will mean I get discharged with a small pension, probably about sixteen or seventeen dollars a month. Still I really wouldn’t mind the finger as much if it didn’t mean losing you. Of course you know I won’t be holding you to any promise because I was real fit when you promised and couldn’t hardly expect you to marry a misfit and that will be about what Ill be without that thumb. Lets wait till I lose the thumb though.

There is a fellow right across from me who was burned by a gasoline flame and they are dressing his hand and foot and after seeing how that hurts him Ive just about decided that Im not in pain at all.

I havent even had a thing to read ever since I came over here but this afternoon my buddy is going to being over some reading material. Its been kind of lonesome just looking at the ceiling except for a couple hours each night when we have radio. Ill bet I could draw an exact duplicate of this ceiling and put every spot in the right place to.

Ive written my dad a letter letting him know just how things are I dont know what he will say. I expect to hear from him tomorrow, maybe today yet. I suppose he will think Im asking him for help now, but Im not. Im only letting him know because he is my father and I wrote because I knew he wanted to hear from me and not for help cause there is nothing he can do.

Ill close now honey and just remember no matter what happens I Love you, so write real soon and make me happy.


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December 6th [1927] Ward “A” Sick Quarters

Dearest Bea:

This letter is being written at the End of a perfect day. Oh yes perfectly uneventful. This morning early they changed the dressing on my thumb which consisted of taking it apart and putting it back together again. I mean the dressing, not the thumb, although it felt the same way. Id take that every morning though for what the doctor told me this morning. He said that the chances of saving the tip of the thumb are just about even now. I had a good night last night and the same for my finger. Im getting the Daykins treatment and it sure did a lot of good for one night.

I sure felt down hearted yesterday though. The way he talked yesterday I didn’t seem to have a chance but oh how different he talked this morning. Ill most probably be in this place for quite a while though. They treat us very nice here though. Ive been soaking my hand in bicloride of Mercury 1 to 10000 strength and mercury sure does sap the strength right out of a persons body. Then to they are afraid the pain in the finger is liable to get the best of me on account of that weakness so they made me a bed patient and Ive got to stay tucked in all the time. The hospital corpsmen and nurses are very considerate though and they see that we have everything we need. We even have radio a couple of hours every night. We have a plug behind each bed and every one has a pair of earphones.

I kind of expected a letter today but it never arrived yet. Whats the matter are you sick? Or are you sore at me for some reason or another? Ive sent about three letters now since I heard from you last. Did your package ever arrive? I don’t think you will ever guess from the size or shape of the package what is in it. Ive kind of wished you might cause then I might get to know if you like the par contents. I hope so, because Ive really tried very hard to get something you might like and Im really inexperienced.

I dont know if it is the pain or just what it is but something or another has kept me sweating steam and breathing fire today and if it dont stop pretty soon Im darned if I dont go out and get cooled off if I have to go in pajamas and barefoot

Well honey no more news so Ill close now but please dont forget to write and make it real soon

With Love & Kisses


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December 10, 1927 Ward “A” Sick Quarters

Dearest Bea:

I received two of your letters today both of those you sent to sick quarters. There are also two at the Post Band Office but the band is away on a trip so Ive got no one to bring them over.

I was very glad to get these two though. This is the first mail in a week. Im glad to see the stand you took about my finger but now I think that danger is over. Ive been perfectly helpless since Wednesday morning. They took the defective bone out of the first joint of my thumb and didn’t use anything to kill the pain because they were afraid to freeze it on account of not getting all the chill out and maybe causing it to infect some more. The pain left me so weak I couldn’t even hold a spoon with my other hand. The thumb looks like it was going to get better now though. I had two more X rays taken this morning to be sure that the bone in the second joint is perfectly solid. They have kept a tube stuck into my thumb up to the joint for irrigating purposes ever since Sunday morning and the put in two C.C. of Clorazine at 110° Farenheit every two hours day and night. I think my thumb will get as well as it ever was except that it will be minus a bone. I didn’t leave them take it off though.

I hope to sneeze Ill like the Tatler and the books. Ive read just about every magazine that was ever published and Ive done all this in the last week. I even read all the Advertisements in them every word. If I did miss a word or two its because I was getting to sleepy or something.

Im afraid that anything you might send the chap that got burned might be in vain. He had a high fever last night. 106° and Im afraid he wont pull through. He has been very dilerious

Hoppys friend the football player got out of the hospital today. He had a twisted knee. He just barely could navigate but he is getting married tomorrow and he wasnt going to miss that if he had to leave here in a wheel chair.

I don’t doubt that Hoppy wanted to know all this but I dont think she is the only curious person. I actually believe I got jealous when I found out why he was leaving so soon. I didn’t like to see him go cause he sure helped to keep the clouds covered with a silver lining.

I know darn well you would never guess what is in that package or I would never have sent it so soon. The only reason I did send it was because everybody in this Marine Corps isn’t honest and that package was quite tempting to a fellow like that.

I can see right now where I better get out another sheet of paper

Darn right Im going to tell you about cooks reading while they cook. You better not get in the habit cause I know how it tastes to put Climalene into the sugar bowl by mistake or pepper into oatmeal instead sugar and I dont like that taste.

Honey you cant wish you were here any more than I wish I were there. It sure makes me feel miserable when I think of missing out on the holidays again this year.

Yes Ive tried many times to write when about 20 guys were talking to me all at the same time. That day I lost two pairs of work shoes and a pair if civilian shoes.

Ill swear sweetheart I cant keep my mind on this letter. The fellow with the burns is very restless and he does make the weirdest sounds in his dilerium

I noticed something in the lower right hand corner of that last sheet of your letter. I dont know if you meant to put it there or not, nor do I know if I was supposed to see it, but I did. It looks something like this (Beax)

Well Ill close now with

Love & many X’s


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[Cancelled: Quantico Va Marine Branch Dec 13 1927]

Dress material 6.50
Candy 1.85
Kids 1.50
Hankies .50
Stockings 1.35

Stockings 1.00
Bud .25
Hilda .15
Hoppy 6.48
Esther .20
Elsie .20
Ornaments .25
Tickets .50
Grand .50
Shop .50
Cards 1.00

[Letterhead: U.S. Marines & symbol]

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December 12 1927 Ward “A” Sick Quarters

Dearest Bea:

Your books and the Tatler arrived yesterday noon and I managed to keep myself busy with them all afternoon. Thanks very much for them they came at just the right time.

They sure razzed you about the Marines in that issue of the Tatler. They weren’t satisfied with razzing you in one place they had to put it in two places. I looked over the graduation class and find that I knew quite a number of them.

You do have some good ideas, don’t you? Just think though if they left every sick patient go home until he recovered they would be no use for a hospital or a medical corps and all these doctors would be out of work. I wouldn’t have anyone to tell where to get off at.

Dont you worry about your lemon pie. Ive never yet seen a lemon pie I didn’t like and Ive seen quite a few bad ones.

The doctor got tired of me growling this morning so he left me get up out of bed. I just couldn’t see sense in making a man stay in bed when, with the exception of a bad hand or two the said man is able bodied.

Yes the Philadelphia game came out in our favor although it wasn’t the all Marine team. That was only the Parris Island team. I don’t know what the score was all I know is they won.

I also got that letter from my dad yesterday He didn’t have much to say except his same old line of sob stuff, and a lot of pretty raw cracks about being glad to have heard from me the first time in 6 months. I didn’t know that he was out of work most of the time since I left. I still don’t believe half of what he told me because he has a very bad habit of stretching the truth like the statement he made about working for six dollars a week. He tells stories like that so naturally I think he believes himself half the time.

You may not hear from me again for three or four days because they won’t let me go to the barracks yet and Im out of supplies so unless my buddy gets a chance to bring over my supplies I may not be able to write for a few days. I think he will be over tonight though

I sure enjoyed “The Flaming forest” and Im half way through “The Flying US Last Stand.” The librarian got kind hearted again and brought over a few magazines so we will have something to read now for a couple of days. Ive also got a deck of cards and I play a lot of solitaire.

Well honey I just know there is something else I wanted to tell you but I can’t think of it right now so Ill just close now with love



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December 15 1927 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Beatrice:

I kind of had a little hunch that I would have a letter from you today and sure enough here it came. I believe if Christmas was any further off than it is. Well I don’t know. You would either weaken or the suspence would kill you. Well I almost forgot to tell you. I didn’t have any nice paper to wrap it in so Santa Clause better re-wrap it for you. Maybe you could guess better then but I doubt it.

Im having it pretty nice here right now writing a letter and listening to the U.S. Army Band playing, “Rose Marie.” They have a very good band and I wish I was as good as their solo clarinet player. Ive been listening to them for a while and that solo clarinet sure can tongue faster that a snake.

No honey Im afraid they couldnt very well do anything else but take the bone out without anesthetic. They were afraid of catching a cold in a sore that was so very inflamed and I dont believe in being rendered senseless. Id rather stand the pain. So you can easily see just why all the monkey shines and then to they were afraid to give me gas or either because I had a cold and my tonsils were in bad shape. They dont take any chances of strangulation you know.

No honey I dont believe you told me anything about no contest at Church so go ahead. I used to enjoy those affairs even if they did always make me wash the dishes afterwards.

Im going to tell you something that happened today. Two men walked in here both of them in civilian clothes and asked for Thomas. The one of them flashed a badge and told me that he was the sheriff and the other one was a notary public. The old sherriff wanted to kid me so he said “Im sorry I have to take you back to Cleveland.” I havent a guilty consciense or anything like that but I started looking for a door. I thought Id rather die than to come home under arrest and maybe in disgrace. Then the old buzzard of a sherriff started laughing. All he wanted was to serve a court order and a notification on me so They’d be darn sure I would know my father is selling the house. I got so mad I wanted to hang both the sherriff and the notary to.

You may send my gift right here if you want to just like you do these letters.

I almost forgot to tell you about my thumb. Its getting better but I just found out today that they are trying to give me a medical kickout of the service. That would mean that my discharge would brand me as physically unfit on account of my thumb. I found out cause I tried to sign the regular S.M.R. but couldn’t theyve got me on a non pay status. Ill soon get the idea if a medical kick out of their head. I believe I would just as soon have a dishonorable discharge as one like that. Im figuring on getting returned to duty about the middle of Jan. so Im figuring on coming home in February and if we didn’t have to wait so long for spring Id wait till then to come home. Ill be up in February though. Im pretty sure.

Listen here young lady Im going to have to bawl you out a little. You said what I though I saw might or might not have been. I didn’t say I thought I saw it I said I did bee it. Just like this (Bea x) and I was happy to think that you had sent me a kiss and now you say it might ---

Im sorry sweetheart but I dont feel in the mood to write tonight, maybe tomorrow so for now its Love and lots of Kisses even if you don’t like them from



P.S. excuse the paper please


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December [?] 1927 Sick Quarters Quantico Va. Ward “A”

Dearest Beatrice:

Ive been pretty sure so far that Id be in the hospital over Christmas but now I know it. I always had just a little hope left that I would get out in time for a Christmas leave. I intended to surprise you but its out of the question. My thumb is healing allright but its so darn slow on account of the remaining infection. Im afraid this thing wont be well even by the middle of Jan. 1928. When I do get out of the hospital though Im going to request a furlough first thing off the bat for Feb. 5th if possible

We were all sitting here playing “five hundred” last night when the ambulance brought up an officer and his father in Law. The two of them were slightly (top heavy) and had tried to push a Washington Richmond buss off the road. The officer had his face all cut up but his father in law may lose one eye and he had his chest and ribs caved in and a broken arm. He looked just like one stretcher full of blood when they brought him in. Im afraid the authorities will hold his son in law for driving while intoxicated.

Do you know what honey? I haven’t even written Erv or Jimmy a line since my finger went bad. Its so hard for me to write this way cause the paper always slides all over the State of Virginia so if you see either one of them at any time tell them why I can’t write.

Did I tell you about one of these hick sheriffs trying to serve me that court order on me? Well I haven’t got a guilty conscience or anything but I sure started to see which door was the closest. I sure wish I was home right now though Ill bet Id convince my father that it isn’t necessary to sell the house. I wouldn’t argue with him through the mail though because that would please him to much. That is the big reason why he is selling cause he’s expecting me to raise a protest and keep him from it in the last minute. He is only starting this racket to get us sore.

Well honey I suppose you are still trying to guess whats in the package. Cheer up honey only six more days to go. I only hope you will like it when you do find out what it is. Dont lose any sleep trying to guess though cause you might be sorry later on.

No more news now honey except to remind you to write soon to your



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December 20, 1927 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Bea: Your regular Tuesday letter arrived this morning just in time for me to tell you about my promotion. Ive been promoted to general now. you know what I mean? General errand boy. I do all kinds of errands around here now. I was a general before to only that was general gold brick.

Ill wait till seven oclock Sat. night to open my package so we will both be opening ours at the same time. I hope it don’t get here before Saturday morning anyway cause the suspence will kill me otherwise. Im sure Ill like it though regardless of what it is. Its who the thing comes from that counts by me.

I believe you allright honey when you say that Hill does think a lot of me. Im pretty sure she does in fact cause after all she is my sister. But you can’t expect me to do more than I have already toward making peace. If she is sending me something for Xmas it better have a note with it that tells me she is willing to make peace cause if it doesn’t she will get it back.

Ill bet Babe will be tickled silly with a wrist watch. Thats a usefull present for her to.

Yes honey I guess that does make a good excuse for signing off. Ill bet you heard that voice say, “Get to Bed,” more than once though before you became the obedient daughter. Ill bet you even tried not to hear it the first two or three times.

Dont worry sweetheart Ill help the hand along all I can. It was almost down to normal size this morning which means it wasn’t swollen over a half inch at the most. Thats the best its been yet but it will still be pretty close to two weeks before Ill be able to get out of the horsepistol so till then Love and Kisses



P.S. Tell Hoppy Merry Xmas for me.

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December 22 1927 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Bea:

I received your letter this morning and also a slip for an insured package requesting me to call for the same. I decided to wait till tomorrow to call for it cause then Ill have so much less time in which to wonder what could be in the package. They tell me that curiosity killed a cat but Id be willing to catch a dozen cats for curiosity to kill if it would help me to guess whats in that package. Oh well only about forty seven and 27/60 more hours to go till Saturday night at seven sharp.

I don’t remember ever having heard or having played, “Vagabond King,” anyway if I did I really couldn’t be expected to remember it cause we play so many different ones and hear still others played so I couldn’t say for sure if I know it or not. Now Ill ask you one. Did you ever hear or play, “The Wedding Ring” Overture? Someday if my finger gets better Im going to be able to play the solo clarinet part to that if I have to practice it the rest of my natural life.

No I don’t suppose I could do an awfull lot about it if they decided to kick me if they really wanted to get rid of me all I could do would be to let them know what I think of them and in that case I believe my thoughts could easily fill up two and a half hundred pages of a dictionary and that would be mild.

I suppose you know enough about me by now to know that I wont put that furlough off any longer than I have to and I guess you know enough about this ole Marine Corps to know that the man higher up is the man with the say so, but don’t worry Ill be home to see my sweetheart as soon as possible.

No you didn’t say you didn’t like them you said what I saw or thought I saw might or might not have been. Ive looked a dozen more times since then just to make sure it was there and be sure I wasn’t drunk, and its there all right. I didn’t think my eyes had gone bad on me that quick.

What do you mean by a better than nothing letter? Of course I’d rather have a long letter and rather than none of course a short one but I can’t really expect you to write a long letter every time.

Hold on a minute honey. You wrote that you were glad my name is Porter cause I sign it so nicely. Don’t go so fast cause Porter isn’t really my name. Thats the name you gave me at W.T.H. and thats why I sue it.

Well honey here is wishing you and the folks all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.



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December 25, 1927 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Bea:

I wanted to write last night but I couldn’t. We had the Christmas program by the Red Cross starting at six o clock. I just took my package along cause I was bent on finding out what was in it and I only had an hour to wait. I opened it while the quartet was singing and I don’t care what they thought I would have written last night yet only the lights were out when we got back and Im not much for writing in the dark. They sure treated us nice though. We had a Santa Claus and everything. We got Christmas stockings with many usefull things in them also fruit and candy and each man got two packs of smokes and a deck of cards. The Red cross gave the smokes and cards and fruit and they also gave us a stocking so we each had two stockings.

Thanks very much for the pen and pencil set. I didn’t think I was going to get anything so nice and still usefull. I really love them. I was wishing for a pen the other day but I never dreamed that my wish would come true so soon.

They brought in a little boy and his mother yesterday. They were struck by a machine out at the Triangle. The boy is in this ward with a broken leg and his mother was put in the family hospital ward with a broken neck and other injuries, all internal. They operated on her last night but she didn’t pull through. The boys father is sure half crazy this morning. That was a nice Christmas present for that man. Wasn’t it? I can just about imagine what Christmas will mean to that family after this.

Well honey Ill write more later cause Ive got to clean my bunk up for sick call so Ill close now with Love



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December 25, 1927 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Bea:

I wrote you a letter this morning but when I found another one from you this noon I decided to write another one. Im not writing because my hair are wet but because I like to write with my new pen especially when its to my sweetheart that Im writing.

Im just wondering if you like the pearls. I hope so. I just couldn’t guess what to get you when I saw those pearls and I just had a hunch to get them.

Well if you like to look forward to nice things then I guess you are looking forward to the same thing I am. Im looking forward to the time when we can get married, when Ill be able to call you my own. Thats one time when I sure will be proud.

I sure do remember “The Black Tulip” and I think “Dumas” is a wonderfull writer only Ive just about decided that his mind was wandering when he did his writings either that or he was in a trance. Thats the truth though you can’t enjoy his works unless you are alone in such a time that your imagination has plenty of room, because he sure leaves a lot to your imagination. The words give one story, and between the lines we find another.

The fellow you saw in the gray uniform with the N.A. on it must have been from the Naval Academy at Anapolis Maryland.

Don’t worry honey Im sure having a nice Christmas. Not like I’d have liked to have had, but nice nevertheless. The nurse thats on night duty at the Family Hospital gave me a gift this noon to. She gave me a carton of Chesterfields.

I guess this is enough for today so Ill bid my sweetheart by by with

Love and Kisses

P.S. Dont forget to write soon.

Merry Xmas

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December 27, [19]27 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Beatrice:

This is Tuesday morning so I expect my regular letter will arrive some time today. Im going to write now though instead of waiting for your letter.

I went to the show last night to see, “Devil Dogs.” I had heard that it was very good. Ill admitt it was funny but not half as good as I expected. It showed the Marines in war but it wasn’t no where as real as “What Price Glory.” It showed divisional headquarters so close to the front that a plane could be seen over the enemy lines.

Ive read a good book. The name of it is, “Kindred of the Dust,” and the author is, “Peter B. Kyne.” I liked it well enough once I got started although it was pretty hard to get interested at first.

I just now took a little run for myself and hid for a couple of minutes because some one called up and I heard the nurse say she would send him over. That generally means me so I just laid low for a couple of minutes.

My hand is coming along fine now. Its healing up pretty quick and don’t hurt much any more although it didn’t feel so hot last night. I expect Ill be able to convince them to let me out of here in a few days now.

Do you know what I think honey? I think you got something way to good for me for Christmas. Im not used to handling anything so good. Ill have to be carefull or Ill get a swelled head from using such a nice pen and the first thing you know Ill be writing all ten page letters. Then you will be sorry. Then you will have to write letters equally as long and you’ll get writers cramp.

Do you know what Im going to do the day I get out of tis hospital honey? Im going to jump on the First Sgts. Neck for a furlough and Im willing to bet even money Ill get one to. Ill get one for February around the first part of the month and I don’t mean if.

Well honey Ive got less than a year and a half to do in the service now so pretty soon Ill be free again. That year and a half (almost) will be pretty short even if it don’t sound that way. Just compare it with the two and a half Ive already served and I think it will seem pretty short. Then if I request to get discharged three months ahead of time why Im really a short timer.

Well honey Im still looking forward to that big day, but we’ll talk about that and about short timers when I get my furlough so now Ill just close with twice as much love and kisses


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December 28, 1927 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Bea:

Im glad the pearls are so adorable cause I was starting to think they might not be. I thought they were nice as long as I had them here where I could see them every day but after I had mailed them they didn’t seem so very nice. Im glad you like them though.

Tell Hoppy and Anne that I wasn’t to know if they think that was so nice to turn out the lights when you were writing to me.

I was just thinking of murder and two or three other gentle pastimes when I read that you were stepping out with a boy friend and the worst part was it took me a half minute to find out which one of the three sheets was the one containing the rest of that sentence and also which side of that sheet was the next one but my collar cooled off a little when I found the right sheet where you told me that the boy friend was your cousin from Akron. Im also glad to hear that he prefers blondes but just the same let him know next time that its my girl he’s out with.

Yes I guess we did have some good chow. We generally do at the hospital though. Our ration allowance is almost one third larger over here so instead of being allowed seventy four cents for each man each day they are allowed one dollar a day for each man so that makes our chow better and then on Xmas it makes the chow fit for a King. They even forget the toast and rotten eggs on that day.

Certainly I still Love you honey. But why ask that? I think you just put that in to see if Id say it the same way and I did. I don’t care how it sounds you know what I mean anyway. You know that I love you more than anything else and whats more I always will.

So the ice skating is good up there now, is it? You didn’t tell me any thing about that before. I wish I was up there so I could go skating with you.

Im glad to hear about Babe being tickled with her watch. She sure deserves some happiness. Sometimes when I think of how Lill bullys her around Id love to take Lill over my knees. The Babe is really a very good child though in spite of it all.

I havent even had one word from or about Lill and please honey don’t always get me to try to overlook Lills faults cause if I did she would be making a door mat out of me and I sure wouldn’t like that. Ive done my part to burry the hatchet so the next move is up to her. For your sake Ill try to be what you call a good chap although Id call it being a good Chaplain or maybe even a good Santa Clause

The doctor came in with a grouch on last night and started to take it out on my finger. I came near being A.W.O.L. this morning. Lucky though he didn’t have that grouch this morning any more so I decided to stick around awhile.

I hope to be well enough to get out of here soon and then Im going to make a furlough some way or another.

Well honey I guess Ill close now before I use up all the stationary in Quantico so for the time being Ill send my Love and Kisses Porter “See you later” [a dozen times]

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December 29, 1927 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I really don’t know what Im going to write about in this letter I wrote so much yesterday.

Sure I like my nick name or I wouldn’t use it if I didn’t. That name seems to have some kind of a hold over me. I don’t know what it is unless its because it reminds me of days long gone. That must have been every bit of five years ago wasn’t it?

Do you know what I often think? I think if a woman couldn’t take a half day off every once in a while and chew the rag she would die. I notice most every time you go to Hoppy’s you either go to a show or spend the afternoon (gabbing) Don’t blame me now cause that is the expression you used yourself. You at least admit the fact that you’ve been chewing the rag but most women don’t (Thats Why I Love You)

I see you always will tell me about all the good eats. Like doughnuts etc. Do you think that is nice?

Say I believe this Mary Katherine Falhaber is the same old gossip that used to start all kinds of talk. Isn’t she? If it is then she better stay out of my way.

What do you mean is so good. John Gilbert and Greta Garbo in “Love” or do you mean (Love) itself? I don’t know so much about the picture but “Love” in person I do know and to me it seems to be very good.

The finger is coming along in such a way that its hard to say if it’s a good or bad way. I hope its good though.

Well honey Im going to do my best to see you in February and also see you later


See you later a dozen times

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Jan. 1, 1928 Sick Quarters Ward “A”

Dearest Bea:

I kind of expected a letter from you today but it didn’t seem to get here. I guess my intuition must have been off side a little.

Yesterday was a dull day for us considering that it was the last day of the old year. We didn’t even have anything to celebrate with. But at about eight oclock last night we got some liquid celebration in the shape of a quart jar, so we really felt pretty good when the old year left us. I only wish I could have been with you when the new year came in. I didn’t make any resolutions except to myself I resolved to do my best in everything I undertake in the coming year and to knock off the foolishness

Today I feel like a misplaced part of 1927. I cant talk see or think straight. I hope you had a good time when the new year came along. Did you?

Ive written a letter to Erv. I wrote it Friday but it layed in the other room on the nurses desk until yesterday. I wonder what he is going to think of me for not writing sooner and oftener. I think he will understand though.

I think the day nurse is going to recommend me for a 30 day sick leave when I get out of here. Wouldn’t that be nice honey? As it is Im just sick and tired of this nonsense of keeping a man away from his sweetheart. First one thing then another.

I saw the Top Sgt. The other day and he told me that if I cant play the clarinet when I get out they will let me play a trombone or something like that.

Well honey I havent any more news now so you tell Hoppy and Anne that I wish them a Happy and prosperous Leap Year. I guess it better be just a New Year for you though and don’t forget to Wish the same for your Mother and Dad from me.

Write soon honey to


See you latter later x 500

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Jan 4, 1928 Ward “A” Sick Quarters

Dearest Bea: I haven’t been feeling so good for the last two or three days. I seem to have caught cold in the head and eyes. They give us some wonderful treatment for a cold over here. A dose of (M.G.S.O4)
If you know what that is. That means nothing more or less than salts and they don’t make it a small dose either. Then they gave me an orange for a chaser or else they gave me the orange for the cold and the salts for a chaser.

I received a letter from you Monday and you said you were going to write more that same night so I waited till Tuesday to write cause I didn’t have any news anyway so when the letter didn’t get here yesterday I decided to wait till today and when it didn’t come today I just had to write.

I suppose you have been reading about the Nicaraguan noise for the last couple of days. Haven’t you? Well there is a Battalion of men going on Friday and they take a twenty piece band along. I don’t go. Id like to though. Ill bet Id bring me back a couple of niggers toes and they wouldn’t be the kind that grow on nut trees either.

Do you know honey I still cant figure how the dickens it happens that I got you to say yes. I never can believe its true. I always have to get out your letter and read it over again and again. In that letter you told me that you don’t know if it is Love or not but you said whatever it is it is nice. I always wonder if you are convinced yet that it is Love and if you still think it is as nice as it was the day you said yes. For my part if you ask me Id say it gets nicer every day cause every day brings us closer to the much looked for furlough.

Well honey Im sure I get a letter tomorrow but if I dont answer it tomorrow it wont be my fault because tomorrow we have to get this ward in good shape for an inspection Friday by the Post surgeon.

Write soon to your

Love Sick

“See you later” a dozen times


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Jan 7 1928 Sick Quarters Ward “A” my error

Dearest Bea:

I guess Im due for another month here with this finger They have made me a night Hospital corpsman and given me night duty at the switchboard here in the O.Ds office so from now on just leave off the Ward “A” part on my letters and just mark them Sick Quarters cause this is where they get sorted out.

You better prepare yourself to answer many letters now cause this business is pretty slack at night and Ive absolutely got to stay awake so Im going to take it out on you. If I havent anything else to tell you Ill just write about how much the thermometer says or Ill maybe tell you that Ill “see you later” or something but Ill sure have to write about something.

Im reading another good book now I don’t know if you will like it or not but the title is, “Twenty Years Later.” It comes in two volumes and is written by “Dumas.” The same author as, “The Three Musketeers.” I like all of “Dumas’” books he seems to write so different from all the others.

I received your lessons in ice skating today. Or was it a letter? Whatever it was I sure was glad to get it. You had better be carefull though honey. Those flops on the ice may be a joke now, but if one of those flops was to send you to the hospital you wouldn’t like it so well.

I hope to cry or sneeze (or something like that) Ive read about the Nicaraguan affair. Thats all Ive heard about or been able to find in the papers here for the last four or five days. Everyone with six months or more to do was sent down. I couldn’t go cause Im on the sick list. Id have liked to go and have a try for Sandino’s scalp. Still I guess maybe afterall Im still the lucky bird.

Im getting over my cold pretty nicely now I can talk and make myself understood pretty well even if I do sniffle a little yet. The O.D. was just in and wanted to know what Id do in case of an emergency. The first thing we are supposed to say is send the ambulance and then the rest of the details.

Well honey Ive no more new so Ill sign off till tomorrow night and I hope you will write soon cause I love you and Im lonesome as heck when you don’t write to


a couple of times (See You Later)

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Jan 8 1928 11:30 P.M. Sick Quarters

Dearest Bea:

This is a nice time of night to start writing a letter. Isn’t it? Good little boys should be asleep by now you know.

This is another one of these nice all night watches at the switchboard and Ive got to do something to keep awake. I got my thumb dressed when I got relieved this morning and went right to bed and didn’t wake up again till just before suppertime. I mean breakfast time. Then I took a little stroll after chow until time for me to go on watch. So far Ive had no chance to get lonesome yet. The Officer of the day and a couple of Gobs were in here chewing the rag with me until 11:30 so when they left I started to write. Its almost time for my dinner now but Im going to try to finish this before my relief gets here cause after chow I just know Ill be to lazy to write.

There is nothing much happens around here so there isn’t any news for you tonight except that Ive heard a rumor that they expect to keep me here another month at least with this thumb. Im going to fool them though when I do get out of here. Im fairly sure Ill get 30 days sick leave and Ill just wire in for about 15 or 20 days extension. These people don’t know it yet but they cant keep me away from my Sweetheart and get away with it. Ive already been recommended for 30 days leave by the Senior Medical Officer here.

You remember when I told you I wrote to Erv? Well I haven’t heard a word from him yet. I wonder if he is sore or if he just hasn’t had time to write. Im expecting a letter from him tomorrow, one from you Tuesday and my wings and Identification card for the Aviation Society.

Do you know what honey? Im going to have to get permission from the comanding general to wear those wings on my uniform. They wont wea let me wear then till I can show them sixty hours on the air twenty of these are supposed to be solo. Ive got the proper number of hours alright but no proof cause I never had a flight book never thought I would need one. Ill get permission some way though honey.

Dont forget to write soon honey cause Ill be waiting for your letter to


“See you Later”

X 12 12X

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Jan 9th 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

Your latest letter to the “General” got here this morning and Im going to try to answer it now although god only knows what Ill tell you about. There just don’t seem to be any news. I seem to be leading such an uneventful life. All I do now is to get my finger dressed in the morning and then go to bed. I sleep till anywhere from two to four thirty in the afternoon when I go down to supper which for me is really breakfast then I lay around some more till nine oclock when I go on watch here and I stay on till seven in the morning. Isn’t that a rather exciting life honey?

Ive a good mind to get my rate changed to hospital corpsman and get transfered to the Navy. They at least pay good wages here and have nicer quarters than we have and also much better chow.

Good Lord honey. Here I was really waiting for you to bawl me out for taking come of that liquid entertainment and all you say is “Hmmm ---.” Here I was actually dreading the arrival of this letter. You sure are one wonderful sweetheart. I don’t know how come I to be so lucky as to get you. Ill sure try to be worthy if you though honey.

I suppose I would have quite a fight on my hands if I tried to get on one of the details that are going after my twin brother, “Sandino.” I dont suppose he or his gang of stupid spicks would give me the worst fight either.

Don’t you worry about my hand being full when I come home and especially by anyone but Beatrice. Any way my hand dont want to be full. Only my arms. My arms are all out of practice honey and if you dont get to fill them pretty soon Im afraid those arms will be getting stiff. Yes thats all I do all the time Im awake is to wonder if Ill ever get that leave and wish that I was up there right now. Im sure do look forward to this leave. Im coming on it if I have to walk. Lets hope its soon.

I just now had a little intermission while I ordered the chow for our midnight dinner tomorrow night. Ive always got to order what we need for the next night and I almost forgot tomorrow’s list. Im glad I didn’t cause I don’t want to starve myself and the other night corpsman would likely kill me if we missed out on that.

Well sweetheart be good and dont forget to write soon and much to

Your Ole

Will you see me later?

I will!
A dozen times

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Jan 11, 1928 Sick Qts Quantico

Dearest Bea:

“See you later” Thats a nice way to start a letter off. I cant help it though its just the way I feel.

I meant to write this letter yesterday but yesterday was three minutes ago when I started this so this has to go as Jan 11th. Id have written it yesterday to only as luck would have it a long distance call came through just when I wanted to write and I had to stand by at the board for to make the connections and to locate the party etc.

Im reading a lot since Ive been in the hospital and much of that is magazines. Do you ever read “War Stories” Thats a magazine and if you ever get a hold of one of them Ill guarantee you will get a good laugh out of each story. Im also reading a lot of good books here lately. Did you ever read, “Twenty Years After,” by Dumas Its kind of hard reading at first but once you get interested it’s a good book.

Well honey its now a known fact that Im coming home on leave pretty soon. Im sure of a sick leave just as soon as my hand gets well enough for me to go without medical attention for a month so start in right now and get your nose powered cause you told me once that you didn’t want me to sneak up on you before you got a chance to take the shine off of it.

Im writing to Erv tonight or rather this morning. I don’t know why but he hasn’t answered my letter yet.

I got my permission to wear my wings now. I also got my flight card for identification and record purposes. Im going to try my best to get a pilots liscence to but Im not sure if Ill succeed.
Well honey I guess Ill have to quit now so write to


“See you later” X 12 = X X = 12X see you later X = (X)X(12)

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Jan 11, 1928 Sick Qts Quantico

Dearest Bea:

This seems to be just another night toward my furlough from the way I feel. I can’t say that there is anything wrong except the blues. I only wish the time was here already when I could start on my way to Cleveland. Ill bet there would be no blues then. When I come to think of it I think I know what it is. I just heard the Silvertown Tire Quartet singing “Beautiful Ohio.” That was on the radio. I guess its made me more homesick that anything else. Can you imagine me getting homesick after two and a half years?

I received your letter tonight when I woke up and I can’t see why you should be so horrified just because you like to hike through the woods and fish and stuff like that. Those thoughts seem to me to be perfectly good for a girl. I sure like those things myself but if I didn’t I fail to see how it would be so terrible. Im sure that I love you enough that if you wanted to hike I would go hiking with you and no matter how much I disliked it at first Im sure Id change my mind by the time we got back.

I really believe that you would rather pick up a stray pup on the streets than to eat a good meal. Wouldn’t you? I don’t know that I can blame you though. They tell me that mans best friend is a dog. I believe it to.

I know that eight months seems an awful long time honey but just be patient. Dont forget that hose eight months also mean that much less time till I can come to stay for good. If I get out three months ahead of time, and I think I will, Ill be getting out in a year, two months and ten days. That isn’t so long when you come to think of it. Ive already served two thirds of my time at that rate.

You don’t need to imagine thirty days of happiness just stand by and you wont inly imagine but realize that thing.

I think Ill write to my father tonight or tomorrow night and see why he don’t write. wrote to Erv last night so he’s got two of my letters to answer now. I expect he will get busy now.

Well I don’t know of anything that is happening and as there is no news I guess Ill have to close now


“See You later”

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Jan 13 1928 4:30 A.M. Sick Qts

Dearest Bea:

I don’t know just how it came about but this night nearly passed without my writing a letter. I was reading a book and I guess I got to interested anyway I just realized that it was four thirty and I hadn’t written my letter yet.

There isn’t much news except that my watch refused to run again and I had to see what was inside of it and when I got it together again it started running. The only trouble is that Im afraid the darn thing wont stop anymore now.

My finger looks for all the world like it was healing but Im darned if it feels like it. There seems to be a tender spot right on the end that keeps getting sorer every day.

I havent written the letter to my father yet that I promised myself I would write. I got to tired to think last night and almost forgot to write even to you this night so Ill have to write as soon as I come on duty tonight.

Id better have a letter from you tomorrow or you may get a bawling out. Not that you have neglected me lately or anything like that only Im in a mood to receive mail tomorrow or rather later this morning and if I don’t, Ill just start a war of my own.

Do you know where I want to go when I come home honey? I want to go to Brooky. Down there where we took a walk once before. Do you often think of that trip through the mud? I do, and everytime I see a mud puddle I want to Jump into it. I kind of have a feeling that the mud that day brought me much closer to my sweetheart than Ive ever been before or since, with the exception of a certain day last July when I received your letter that told me you would think of becoming my wife.

Ill close now honey but write more when I come on duty tonight


P.S. This is Friday 13th My lucky day. “See You later”

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Jan. 14, 1928 Sick Qts Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Your letter arrived today as per expectation, so I guess Ill have to be sociable seeing as I cant bawl you out.

I just wrote a letter to my father and I sure asked him plenty of questions. I only hope he can read between the lines. I had to m[put my real message between the lines cause for all I know my step mama may read the letter first and that wouldn’t do. Nevertheless compared to that letter a bushel of garlic is weak. I just asked for an explanation of everything in general.

Ive been listening to the fight between Sharkey and Heeney as the radio man saw it. I think it’s a shame to call that fight a draw. I think Sharkey did the best fighting in every one of the first ten rounds and in order to give Heeney the benefit of the doubt I would give him the last two.

I don’t fancy my new position at all. If you mean how do I like it why Im satisfied but this isn’t a tea party or anything that could really be called fancy. No I havent done everything there is to do in this Marine Corps yet. I really havent had a chance to step on the Generals pet corn yet.

Do you really like this stationary? I like it cause it writes very smooth and I don’t seem to collect near so much trash on the end of my pen.

I read Chico the Jester, but I didn’t know that twenty years later is a sequel to it. In fact I cant seem to see any connection whatever.

When you read a news paper why just believe half of what you see and nothing of what you read. Thats a lot of bunk about National Guard deserters training those bandits. They are being trained by some German Ex Army officer. He used to be a Captain in the German artillery. Thats how come those bandits to be using the anti aircraft guns etc. When that story started they claimed that it was a couple of Marine Deserters and now its National Guard deserters so you can see that its all talk. In the meantime Major Bourne has started to fly down there with our newest Bomber. A Fokker three mother monoplane. If those fool gooks still fool around why he will simply fly over the island and drop a couple of those nests of eggs and blow all of Nicaragua out of the ocean.

Well honey Love and Kisses until tomorrow so write more soon

With Much Besos & Pesos

“See you later”

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Jan 15, 1928 Sick Qts. Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bea:

This is Sunday night to most everyone else but its just another night to me. They all seem pretty much the same on this job.

I had company last night. The ambulance driver wasn’t sleepy so he stayed in the office with me all night, consequences were that I didn’t write to you last night. Ive paid for it to. I was tired as the dickens today and I couldn’t sleep all day. Every time I started to fall asleep I would realize that I had forgotten to write. Im pretty tired right now and its only 11:20 P.M. now. What will I be in the morning at this rate?

Ill bet I toss a wastebasket or a desk chair at one of these sentries if they dont quit coming in here and asking me foolish questions such as what the time is and why the heck do I have to sit up all night at the telephone switchboard, and dont I get tired and is that clock right etc. Its really enough to make a saint swear.

How do you like the new Cheve.? I think they are sure putting out a nice and neat car there and I think they will be able to meet the every day tests that are put to a car.

Have you seen my sister lately honey? When you do just keep your ears open and try to hear how my Dad took that letter I wrote the other day. Ill bet he plows up three city lots when he gets that letter. When he reads that letter he’ll be able to kill an elephant with a look. I put it on heavy on purpose though cause the only way to make him snap out of it is to get him reall sore.

Pardon the intermission honey but I just then discovered a stick of gum in my shirt pocket, and as my one track mind always works better when my jaws are in motion I decided to skin the gum alive and give it a chew.

Well honey if the keep me on G.O. time much longer before I prove my injuries not due to my own misconduct, why Ill have quite a bit of money coming to me when I get discharged. Ill come home in a nice Ryan monoplane with an O.X. 5 engine. Then we could spend a honeymoon in the air. That wouldn’t be so worse we could see three times as much in the same time as we could in a machine.

Well ta! Ta! For this time sweetheart and write soon

With Love

“See you later sooner”

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Jan 17, 1928 Sick Qt. Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Today I received a letter from Erv and promptly answered it. I wanted to write this letter first but I was afraid I might get tired by the time I get this written and then I wouldn’t write Erv’s so I wrote his first cause I knew Id write this no matter how tired I got. I do wish that I had written this first though cause I sure felt kind of rambunctious before where I feel a bit tired now.

Erv was telling me that they ran a dance at O’loughlins on Jan 10th and they made $100.00 clear and he also went on to tell me that they are planning another one during the first part of Feb. and he said he was hoping I would be there to act as a bouncer. Can you imagine that? He must have the impression that Im a hard guy and he forgot that my hand may still be sore and that I might not be able to use but one fist for a while. Have no fear though my sweetheart I took great pains to disillusion him and to make the whole thing plain to him about where I intended to be standing when an argument starts in the next couple of months. I sure used plain English when I meant black and white when I meant white so he would be sure to understand. You see I know Erv and even understand him and I know that there are only two ways to get something through his skull and the one way is with a very sharp ax and the other is a very sharp tonge tongue in other words either swear at him or kill him out right and Id never kill a friend.

Well honey seeing as there is no news today Ill have to tell you again that I love you and wish that you were here. I realize that it must sound foolish to keep telling you the same thing all the time but I cant help it.

With Love

See you soon X

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Jan. 18, 1928 Sick Qts. Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Tell Hoppy that Im much obliged to her for getting interested in a book long enough for you to write me that letter. I was sure expecting that letter to arrive here as usual on Tuesday, and I believe I would be broken hearted if one didn’t arrive on Tuesday.

Well if my writing a letter a day is going to spoil you why Ill just have to quit it. I think I will after this week. Now do you see what you’ve done for yourself by making such suggestions? Are you still afraid Ill spoil you? Is one letter a day to much? I only wish I could this minute get one kiss for every letter Ive written you. Im afraid Id get writers cramp in the near future though.

Sure thing honey. Sure I can get a leave when my thumb gets better and Im going to try to make that real soon.

Who is the other little wild cat that you refer to, or are you counting yourself twice. Hoppy is one and you are the other but who the heck is the third? Dont worry about me needing a regiment to finish any little wars of my own making, cause I can lick twice my weight in wild cats and Im no light weight. That means that each of you wild cats can weigh about 121 ½ lbs.

Do you think I could ever forget the trail that we took through Brooky that day? I can still remember every step we took that day including the ones I took in the mud. What would be the good of going over a trail if we were going to come out where we started?

I can’t figure where half of this night went to here it is almost two oclock. I guess the big part of the night was spent trying to make long distance connections for some Sgt. Major who didn’t know what it was all about then and who doesn’t know yet.

Im going to adopt a new name since Ive been elected telephone girl. I was thinking of Alice or Rose. Those two sound like a telephone operators names, don’t they?

What do you mean by, “Have I tried the imagination scheme.” Ive tried the smoke picture scheme and result was that I smoked to many cigarrettes a day.

Im just wondering

Love your

“See You sooner”

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Jan. 19, 1928 Sick Qts. Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I received your letter today along with one from my father. I was expecting both of them to.

I guess you hadn’t better try to spell what little German you know. That used to be my ambition or rather something like that. I always wanted to talk a little Hungarian and some of the fellows down at, “Davis Hunt Collister’s,” used to tell me what to say. I was all set to spring my line on my father and mother one time and practiced on some fellow during the day. Well I got a sock in the nose that I still feel, but when I found out the real meaning of what I said I sure was glad it didn’t get as far as home. My Dad would have killed me. Motto: Leave foreign languages alone and no one will punch your nose.

What do you mean poor Dempsey? Why Tunney never was and never will be the man that Dempsey was when he was up to form, and thats how he is going to be for the next fight. Id bet my shirt on Dempsey this time.

Dont worry honey if I step in the Generals toes Ill have a big crowd around so he won’t know who done it. I think Ill wait till I get back from furlough though cause Id rather step in his neck anyway.

Why should I get bawled out cause you are the only single one on your floor? Didn’t I offer to remedy that? You tell those women they don’t know a thing about it, even if they have been married. You just tell those cats that you know all about your guys likes and dislikes and you understand him to. You do. Dont you? There is no such a thing as chance in marriage. The whole thing depends on how much the couple think of one another and how much common sense theyve got. If a couple get along well before marriage then their married life just depends on their good judgement and their desire to co-operate in order to make this thing a go. Will you please tell me what likes and dislikes and whims have to do with it. A fellow should have more sense when he thinks of entering the state of matrimony than to expect every whim to be gratified.

Who is the fellow at work that told you about that basketball center who is 7’8” tall?

How am I going to know which ending of which letter you refer to when I write one a day. Tell me what kind of an ending it was and Ill explain. Would it hurt you to use your imagination.

That, (“Ever Yours) part of your letter looks extra good. It makes me feel like a young man again

Love and Kisses

P.S. Did you mean that (Besos Ye Pesos) ending?

“See you later”

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Midnight Jan 20, [19]28 Sick Quarters U.S. Navy Hosp. Marine Barracks Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

This is another one of these (Sunny Southern nights) 50° F below. Of course its not quite that bad but Im darned if it don’t feel like it. The gold bricks that are afraid they will have to work in the cold tomorrow are all turning in. Its sure surprising how many people can discover their appendix hurt on a night like this and, oh! about forty eight hours before some nice detail is supposed to leave. I sure pity the ambulance driver tonight cause it don’t look like he is going to get much sleep tonight. It was the same thing night before last.

Well they tell me that it isn’t always the cough that carries you off, but often it is the (coughin) coffin, they carry you off in.

I answered my fathers letter last night and Im afraid he don’t understand what I say in half of my letters or else he tries to misunderstand cause he sure does write sarcastic letters.

Well honey this waiting around is getting my nerves tomorrow Im going to see how soon I can get my furlough Ill either find out or know the reason why I can’t find out.

What do you think about those plans of mine honey about following up aviation when I get on the outside again? That seems to me to be the big job in the future. I think that ten years from now aviation will be a bigger thing than the automobile ever will be. Then to a man don’t have to be up in the air all the time. There are seven men work on the ground to every one in the air. That includes mechanics crew chiefs etc. All of those men draw good money and Im interested in the game so I can’t see why I shouldn’t be in on it. Let me know what you think about it.

That was another half hour, shall we say intermission? The Ambulance driver just burst in here in a 110° heat. He was half nuts because the ambulance isn’t in the pink of condition and he raised 7 ¾ kinds of particular hades because the gasoline had water in it and he wanted to know what kind of a *!—X::;- fool he was anyway. I told him in plain English. (That is, it was as plain as he used.) that I wasn’t responsible because I really wasn’t buying nor manufacturing the particular gas that he was using. He has gone to bed now slightly cooled off but still hot enough.

This pen sure is a blessing to me honey cause if Id be using a pencil Id be lost half the time trying to find something to sharpen it with.

Well honey, have I said enough for one night? Write soon

With Love & a couple Hugs

“See you later”

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Jan 22, 1928 Sick Quarters Marine Barracks Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I received your letter just before I went in search of the Senior Medical Officer. I was looking for him because he is the only one that can give me any info about a furlough. I didn’t find him though. It seems I forgot all about it being Saturday so I slept till well after one oclock only to find that Saturday afternoon is a holiday for the doctor as well as anyone else. Now Ill have to wait till Monday to see him.

I went over to the band after I couldn’t find the S.M.O. and (“boy do you smell the flowers coming?”) I found out that they can’t get along without me. Why I hadn’t been over there three minutes before three different fellows wanted me to fix their radios and one wanted his machine overhauled. Just think of those three radios and a Studebaker Special Six Roadster rotting just because I cant go over to fix them. I just wonder what the mechanical world would do if Id never been born?

I wonder how much of a success a basketball or football game would be if you weren’t there to yell your head off. It seems like you must come from one game and go right over to the next cause every letter I get, almost, you tell me about some game that you saw. I only wish I could go with you to see all those games. You know Im always worrying. I always imagine that some day at one of those games you are going to meet another guy and Ill be out of luck for a best gal. Oh well a little better than a year and Ill be free again and If you are still mine then Ill keep you if I have to beat up on every guy in the city. If not -- Well I don’t know just what might happen. Id probably get to see China and people to get lost very easily over there.

What do you think of my writing since Im using this nice pen? Does it look like it is improving any? Im kind of careless when I write a letter because Im generally pretty sleepy but I think my writing is improving to such an extent that if I tried I could really write a letter that could be read. Shall I try?

Well honey Ive ben doing some battle with the old sandman all night and Im afraid he is going to be the victor so pray with me that when the board or phone rings that I may hear it cause if I don’t and it does Im liable to see that long desired furlough take wings, so pray hard for


“See you later” -- not much


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Jan. 24, 1928 Sick Qts. Marine Bks. Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

This is Tuesday morning very early. I decided to write tonight because I was afraid of spoiling you but as I said before Ive got news for you.

I went in to see the Commander yesterday just as soon as he arrived and I asked him about my leave. He refused to commit himself but he told me that they will send me to duty soon and he also hinted that I might also find some papers in my hand letting anyone whom it may concern know that Ive got authorized leave. He only said I might. Well if he isnt willing to give me the same I always know of another way to get one. Ive got a little notation in my record book which says to give me leave so I can always fall back on that although that wouldn’t give me 30 days.

We are having our hand full here the last couple of days but today has been the record day. We took in and admitted seven patients in less than one hours time and about twice as many during the rest of the day. We were almost forced to open up another ward and if we get many more tonight or tomorrow why we will have to.

I have a sort of a hunch that my regular Tuesday letter will arrive this morning as per schedule. I dont know yet if I will answer it right away or not. Depends on the contents and also the number of things that happen around here for me to write about.

I don’t believe its necessary for me to tell you that, “I Love you” but you may like to see it written out. I really havent anything else to write about so Ill close now

Besos ye Pesos

“See you later” X 100

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Jan 24, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

Your lecture arrived this morning but I am afraid it was already in vain. I didn’t miss three days in writing. Not in a row at any rate, anyway you shouldn’t bawl me out for carrying out one of your own, shall we say, “hints”?

What are all these means that you are going to use to punish me? Id like to know before hand so I wont make a mistake when they occur and think you are being extra nice to me. When you want me to roast, why I want to roast so be a good sweetheart and let me know.

Now lets get at this kissing part of your letter. I cant quite understand it. Im given to understand in your lecture that I don’t care for your kisses. Some mistake here somewhere. I can’t seem to remember having said that. In fact I don’t ever remember having refused one when there was one chance in ten of my being about to get one. By the way I remember in the letter that you wrote for me to read on the train you told me that maybe you shouldn’t have left me kiss you. You said that Hoppy wouldnt. Do you still think the same way?

Oh come now honey you haven’t told me yet who the third wild cat is. You know very well that it isn’t Anne. She is to quiet to be anything like that. I might not be able to lick two or three wild cats but I know one that Im going to take over my knee if she don’t give me some of those kisses she is kidding me about. Muchyo Pronto

What are you trying to tell me about the piano? Are you trying to say that it is out at your house? Do you mean at 4805? Please break loose and explain a little more about said music box.

When you letter got here and I saw the Respectfully Beatrice Keeran part of it I said so much that my exhaust gas – I mean my breath nearly burned down the building. I saw light though in about two minutes. My guess is that Hoppy got impatient and finished the letter for you.

I wore a pair of boots to come over from the quarters tonight and if there is anything hurts more than a pair of these ***--?! Unregulation boots Id like to know what it is. When I get this letter finished Im going to take them off and throw them as far as I can.

Im going to bring this epistle to a close now and I only hope you haven’t denied me the right to send my love and kisses tot eh only girl from

“See you later”

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Jan. 26, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I don’t know how much of a letter this is going to be. Im afraid not much. In the first place there is nothing new to tell you about and in the second place Im not getting much time tonight on account of an emergency operation.

There have been many patients brought in in the last couple of days. Today we got two bad ones at almost the same time. One is a broken leg compound fracture, the other is the case they are operating on now. Then to make matters worse a lot of little accident cases have been coming in till about a half hour ago. I havent been getting much rest trying to admitt those who need it and keep records of the rest. Then I have to stick at the telephone to in case of an ambulance call. Theyve had me standing on one ear all night. I haven’t even had a chance to get my dinner tonight. That is about two and a half hours late now.

Duty calls.


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Jan. 27, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

Your second reader got here today. Sure am glad to see that you felt real oblidging and wrote. I believe those are the very words you used in your last letter when you told me that you might write on Wednesday.

I was forced to cut off that letter rather short last night. It seems like everything came up all at once last night and knock in wood Tonight we havent had a single patient come in. I nearly did have a nice fight though. I finally found out who the thief is that has been stealing the night Corpsmens chow. I caught a sentry from the prison ward at it red handed and offered to take him outside and he refused. Im kind of glad he did though. He is built in such a way that Id have my hands full if I could use both hands, which I cant. Id sure enjoy taking a punch at him though for all the chow he has swiped in the last couple of weeks.

You say you think aviation would be very interesting. I could have known you were thinking because I smelled a peculiar odor way down here. I thought it was a forest fire at first. Now who is the biggest tease? I’ll let you know more about this aviation noise when I get home.

Do you blame our ambulance driver for being such a puritan? I’ll bet even you could use strong words if every time someone got sick they rang a bell for you at most any hour of the night and you knew that 5 minutes from the time that bell rings the ambulance has to be out of the garage and gone. He has to get dressed and come here for his orders to all in 5 little short minutes. I might add that that ambulance can’t always start easy when its cold. It’s a white truck ¾ ton and has to be wound up no starter. Would you use strong language? You might. Buttttt dont never let me hear you use it.

Ive got about five shirts but you better not let me cause you will get all you want of my shirts when we are Ball and chain. Then to Tunney is the Champion and his backers have to give heavy odds so it would really take almost a years wages to cover my bet. Just think you might have to work a year for nothing.

Why not write me about these few points that you claim are wrong in the shop argument. Im interested seeing as Im the husband to be.

Why tell me that this ardent sport fan at the shop has a wife and family? Those are the kind of fellows that generally elope with the single girls just like the single me generally run away with another mans wife.

That little Spanish at the end of that letter mean Love and Kisses. I thought you knew that.

Maybe you will be so good my sweetheart as to write and tell me who your Alice is and why you want the bell to ring to wake him up, and what bell?

You will have to wait till I go to duty for those films cause they are in my box and its turned in for safe keeping

Six Bits


XXXXXXXXXXXX “See you later”

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Jan. 28, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Here it is two A.M. already and Im just starting your letter. Ive been making radio hook-ups all night. I really don’t know what that darn Post Band is going to do for a radio man when I get paid off. They won’t leave me rest even in the hospital.

Its snowing here right now and it is starting in to look like it meant some business this time. We’ll have two feet of it by morning at this rate.

I wonder what is the matter with this camp tonight. No emergency calls yet so far. Knock on wood. I guess the big majority of the gold bricks don’t know its snowing yet. I should worry, as long as I can sit in a steam heated office all night and sleep in a steam heated room all day Im satisfied. The cold don’t bother me.

I wonder what it means when I think of you so much that I cant sleep. I guess that must mean that I need a furlough pretty pronto. Am I right there? Ill get it to sweetheart. Ill bother them so much until they give me the furlough for breakfast, dinner, and supper and two or three times between. Do you remember what Perry said when he got shot? Beside asking for water. Ill keep that up and soon Ill be able to say, “I came I saw and I conquered.”

Have my folks moved yet? I haven’t heard from them in the last couple of weeks. I suppose my father is so busy he don’t know where to start.

Im expecting a letter to get here today. I don’t know who it will be from yet but Ive just got a hunch. Do you think it is a good hunch? I hope so cause Ill be real disappointed if no letter comes.

Well honey there is nothing new down here except that I took my semi annual shave before I came on duty last night. The orderly on watch at the time refused to turn the watch over to me cause he thought I was someone else. Didn’t recognize me. The only way I could prove my identity was to take and show them my sore finger. By the way I think you asked me to raise a soup strainer the last time I was home, Didn’t you? No sooner said that done. Ill have one by the time I hit Cleveland.

Mit Liebe

“See you later”


P.S. These cant be helped

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Jan. 29, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I really haven’t a bit of news for you today but Im forced to write anyway for several reasons. First this matter of kisses for letters and second cause I don’t want you to think that I forgot you so easily Then to your letter got here today and Ive got to answer that. Then last of all Ive nothing else to do cause someone swiped my deck of cards and I cant pass the time away by a solo game or two.

Oh I agree with you on that allright they don’t pass out the furloughs so very fast around here. Ill get mine though. Im afraid it may be a couple of weeks though cause my finger is still open on the end large enough to stick a lead pencil into it. The cold last night and today didn’t do it any good either. It is tender yet to be any good.

Why do you underscore the we when you told me about enjoying your musical hour. Are you sure that you and your uncle are the only ones that know good music when you hear it?

That new paper and paint stuff is allright but dont forget the Welcome doormat when I get my furlough or the paper and paint might scare me right past the place.

When you write again let me know when my folks have moved to. Will you honey? Im afraid Id never find out if I left it to them to tell me.

What did my Dad do with our, “mustard colored cant”? Is he still running it?

Well Im afraid thats all there is this time sweetheart so for the time Ill have to close with

Besos Ye Pesos

P.S. The lights just went dim then, Nearly out. Ill bet that was for that Love & Kisses part


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Jan. 30, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I finally got a letter from Lill. Ive been waiting quite a long time for it and still when it got here I was so surprised I didn’t dare to open the envelope. I had just about decided not to answer because there was no explanation in the letter but I remembered what you said so I sat down and wrote her a nice answer avoiding to mention your argument or anything. I wrote just like I would if we had been writing each other every day. Then while I was in the mood I wrote a letter to my Dad at Carrolton Ohio

Well I don’t suppose it will be long now till I start on the long run. In other words I ought to be able to come on furlough in another week anyway Ill try my best to at any rate.

By the way. Ive never seen that cold sore I was promised. Ive got a chapped lip now though. I was just wondering if this might be that cold sore in disguise.

Did you know that E.G. has been doing some great work the last three days? He has. Ill tell you about it. For the last three days nights Ive lived on nine smokes. Thats a record Ive never been able to make before. I remember when I was driving the baker wagon I tried to quit smoking and after a half day of it. I had to quit because I was sick. I couldn’t eat a square meal for two days after but some way or another it hasn’t bothered me so much here. I kind of miss my smokes but I manage on 3 each night.

I made my father a bid for you mustard colored cant. I only hope he’s got it yet cause if he has I know he’ll sell to me. I value that thing pretty high since I was home last time.

Well I dont know of anything new happening so Ill have to close this with the same

Besos Ye Pesos

“See you later”


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Jan. 31, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Did you ever operate a telephone switch board? Well if you did I think you would cuss them to. Sometimes I sit here all night without a call coming in then some nights for a couple of hours every station on the board calls. All at the same time and gee how it gets on a mans nerves. Tonight I had every one of the stations busy and two trunk lines beside and boy what I mean by head feels like the wreck of old ninty seven or something like that.

I didn’t think I should write tonight on account of this same headache but decided to ask you if I should or not. What do you say?

All fooling aside now. I never saw so many me trying to be admitted to the hospital all at once. I had them standing in line here from my office out into the waiting room and still the calls came in for walking cases to be called for by the ambulance. The doctor examined them here in this office and I sure heard a bunch of organ recitals. From sore toes to heart failure and suspicion of death from old age one guy came in here and so help me God he was weak in the knees had headache sore teeth his hair was falling he said his appendix hurt and he thought he had a broken hip. That same fellow was here 3 weeks ago with the same complaints. We gave him every possible test including blood counts blood tests and XRays and they sent him away after a week of observation as perfectly physically fit. I can’t see what a guy like that comes into the service for hes got such a good imagination he should make good headway in civilian life as a teacher of “Christian Science” In my own estimation he should be backed up against a brick wall and shot at sunrise or before if possible. As a Marine that Guy would make a Grade “A” street cleaner.

I just now saw the Medical O.D. and asked him about my furlough and he told me to see the Commander in the morning. I think I will. I wanted to start Thursday morning but they figure there is to much danger of infections yet and one of those would mean complete disaster as far as my finger and maybe my hand is concerned. Im not going to give it a chance to infect though. Im watching it close.

Its starting to snow outside again sort of half snow half slush. It makes me kind of homesick to be writing to Cleveland and see it snowing at the same time.

I wish you were here now sweetheart. I wouldn’t care then how many hours I had to do. Id be satisfied to know that you were near. Well I hope it wont be very long now anyway so until then Ill just say By. By.

Your Six Bits

“see you later” X

P.S. Id like to fill the page with those crosses but my head is ready to split now.


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February 1, 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

Don’t worry about that lecture cause you wont get it. It seems that you were in luck and that letter of yours must have come double quick cause it got here as it always does on Tuesday morning.

I was going to see the doctor about my leave this morning but that headache I wrote about in last nights letter got worse and this morning I had a temperature of 101° so I took a nice dose of Cascara and went to bed. Im feeling fine tonight though so tomorrow Im going to find out or rather this morning cause its past one A.M. already

No it don’t sound like temperament to say that you didn’t feel like writing. I often feel that way. Id rather just sit and think about you and build my “air castles.” That generally happens when there is no news cause its really harder to write a letter with something to write about than without. Ive often thought that a person that can sit down and write page after page when there is really nothing to write about should get a medal. Understand now. Im not asking for a medal for myself only saying what people like that should get.

Why do you say (“Darn letters”)? Dont you like them? Do you want me to think that you dont appreciate my letters? Ill write fewer if thats it, only the last time I don’t that you called me down for fair. Don’t you worry honey I know what you want to say alright only I purposely make like I didn’t. I take things the wrong way on purpose just to tease you. Im an awfull tease you know.

That thumb is coming along so-so. In other words no one knows. One day it looks and feels fine and the next day it looks and feels rotten. Im afraid the hole in the end of it wont ever close all together or if it does it will take a long time. The Doctor says it will close in time but Im inclined to think he is batty. Just plain nuts. I dont hesitate to let him know it either.

Im not worried about your being interested in any married man. It’s the single man Im worrying about and wondering if you would be interested in his getting married. Do you remember the guy I mean? I dont know him but his initials are E.G. and hes got a funny last name. something like Thomas. Thats the guy Im worrying about your interest being placed in.

Dont worry about liquid refreshment and me. I swore off every thing but an occasional glass or two of wine and of course I couldnt very well swear off the usuall

Besos Ye Pesos

P.S. You are making me very happy and I wont forget either.


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February 1st 1928 Sick Quarters Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Now you may prepare yourself for a bawling out. In your letter that got here you promised me a letter for tomorrow so this morning instead of going to sleep I waited for your letter but it never got here. I did do something worth while though. I saw the Commander this morning so – tomorrow I go to duty without a sick leave, But (like a goat) I went over to see our company commander and he said to put in my request tomorrow and it would be back in a few days so powder your nose cause Im coming to Cleveland. I also went to find out about my being on a non pay status and found out that that was released but I wasn’t over there to sign the pay roll the 25th so Ill have to wait till next month for my back pay but I won’t be here to sign next month again so Im going to have it put on the books. That will mean so much more money to get married on when that time comes.

Send all my letters to the Post Band from now on and not here cause this is really my last night here so Im listening to a lecture on the radio entitled, “The Blessedness of Marriage and a good wife.” The guy that was talking just said good night so now Im listening to some of “Wagners” music and it is beautifull.

Today I wanted to see how much truth there is in the advertisement, “Not a cough in a carload” so a bought a pack of “Old Golds.” The first one I smoked must have been from the second carload. I coughed so much I nearly choked.

I hurt my hand today. Ive been inactive so long now and acheing to go so when I said black was black today some guy tried to tell me it was white or green I forget which anyway I got in a hurry and hurt my hand on his Ivory chopping block nothing serious though only my hand feels sore I guess that is because my hands are so very tender from doing nothing for so long a time.

If that confounded phone rings once more before I finish this letter Im going to cut the wires on it and the switchboard and throw them both out of the window.

Well honey tomorrow is going to be my busy day so Im going to sleep at the switch tonight and leave the new night nurse answer the phone in case it rings. She said it would be alright and I guess she should know cause she is next to the O.D. for rank and say so.

Ill close now honey cause there is no more to say for present except to say that I refuse to share you with anyone the first day or night of my furlough.

Love Your


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Jan 4th 1928 Post Band Quantico Va.

Dearest Bea:

I cant tell now if you need a bawling out or if I need it. I haven’t had a letter from you since Tuesday. There may have been one at sick quarters today. If it is Ill get it tomorrow, if not (----?) I don’t know what goes in where those lives are yet.

Well when I got back here they refused absolutely to put in my request for a furlough but I later talked them into it so my request went in yesterday. The result to be seen later. Heres hoping the results are good. Boy maybe you think I didn’t feel bad when they refused my request at first. Im telling you if it hadn’t been for you Id have gone over the hill I was so sore. I can’t understand why they always make promises and don’t keep them. I know why they wouldn’t send in my request this time though. There is a direct order from the Major General Comandant that no furloughs will be granted in the immediate future. Mine may come through though as special leave. God knows Ive tried hard enough for it.

Im on Light Duty so I dont have to work around here and Im sure lucky to be that way cause they sure are doing everything but band duty. They are working on the coal pile and making concrete butts for the rifle range and tearing down buildings and doing general police work all around. I almost feel ashamed of myself when I see those men go out day after day to work and Im getting out of it all with laying on my bunk doing nothing I went to sleep at 6:30 pm. Wednesday cause I did my last Telephone watch the night before and I couldn’t get transferred and sleep to so I turned in early. I slept all day and night yesterday to. Ive been checking up a radio all day today. I just now decided to leave it be and write a letter cause I can always finish the radio tonight.

I wonder what is the matter with my father now. I havent heard from him in a while and Ive been trying to get a reply to the last two or three letters I wrote him. I suppose he’ll write when he gets good and ready.

Well dont forget honey I want that letter tomorrow or you better stand clear cause you’ll get a bawling out sure. On the other hand you told me what a tongue lashing Anne is capable of so Ill just let her tell you about it. Now will you be good?

Do you realize that its harder to write now than it was when I was in the hospital? It is, cause my whole left hand is extremely sore from the finger stool on it. They try to make it hurt so as to toughen the whole thing up cause it wouldn’t be no good to me as sensitive as it is. I cant even hold a pipe or a box of matches with it. The darn thing keeps me awake all night so the best I can do is to get my few hours beauty sleep during the day.

Love & Kisses from Somebody Else
Porter X

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[February 7 1928 cancelled Carrolton Ohio]

Dearest Bea:

Im here in Carrolton paying my Dad a little visit and Ill be home in a day or two I hope. Im waiting for a bus now to take me out there and have only about 7 minutes before we go. Ill write tonight if I get a chance so



It wont be long now

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1928 Feb 16 AM 10:51

Western Union Telegram

Private Emil Thomas=
4805 Wetzel Ave Cleveland Ohio=
Ten Days Extension Granted=
The Commanding General

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Feb. 16 1928 Pittsburgh Pa. Depot

Dearest Bea:

Ive arrived this far on my journey safely and Ive been gone from Cleveland less than four hours. I was going to write on the train but found I was just out of envelopes and anyway the train was shaking to much. Even now Ive got to write in pencil cause my pen is dry and my ink is in my grip and that is checked.

I tried to sleep in the train a little but couldn’t so I just stayed awake and thought of you and of how happy you have made me and I only wish I could have stayed another day. Where did you go to when I boarded the train? You disappeared fast. I looked for you when I got on and wanted to see you just as long as I could but you were gone. Oh well honey I guess it was just as well cause I felt pretty bad about having to leave so quick and you staying would only have made it harder for both of us.

I dont know how much of this you will be able to read but it cant be helped cause Im writing this on my lap. My intentions are good at any rate. Ill close now and see when I leave here so


P.S. Dont forget young Joe the crack basketball man.


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Feb. 17, 1928 Post Band Quantico Va.

My Own Derby:

I arrived here this morning two hours late but the sgt of the guard Checked me in as being on time so I was all set there. My bunk was turned in before I left so I didnt have a place to sleep so I curled up in a corner and slept like a rock till Reveille. The Drum Major came around soon after I woke up and I started raising the roof on account of the extension so he told me that my extension had been granted only it was late. He himself had taken it to Post Headquarters and saw the General in order to get it because the company commander had refused to grant it. I only wish I had stayed there even without the telegram. The major goes on the mat before the General for refusing a hearing on the telegram because it was really on a sick leave.

Ive been drawing my bunk and property all morning or I would have written before. Then to I was up to the sick bay this morning and got put on light duty.

I wonder if you know how much it hurt to come back when I did. I certainly can’t tell you honey because it hurt more than I can tell. I know it hurt you to cause if it hadn’t I don’t think you would have left in such a hurry. I sure would have liked to see you those extra few seconds till the train left but Im sure I would rather have you leave the way you did than to see you with tears in your eyes. Ill confess your eyes sure looked nice with tears in them the night before I left but tears generally mean a heart in anguish and a sickness of the heart isn’t nice to experience nor to see in the eyes of the one you love. I only wish I was well enough fixed to bring you along. The last year sure would be nicer with my wife present. Oh well Ill just have to make the best of it, although I don’t suppose it will hurt any to dream, Will it? Well I don’t expect Ill be able to make another furlough for a while now but maybe you can do what you told your Dad about coming down here and if he can’t come maybe you can tease the folks into letting you come alone I don’t think we should need a chaperone anyway still Id rather figure that way if I could help it. Id rather come up there myself.

Well honey Im going to mail this with the stamp Ive got and when I mail it Im going to get more stamps so I can write to Max and Min and Jim & Erv tonight if Im not to darn tired.

Im sending you the money for that telegram and you may paste it in the scrap book as the furlough that I refused. Don’t forget to send those shoes honey.

The best we can do now sweetheart is just to Love one another more and more each day and look forward to our next meeting and toward our wedding day and may the sun always shine on it and its anniversaries

With Beaucoup Love & Kisses
Your Porter P.S. For the 100 candle power For those lips

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Feb. 18 1928 Library Quantico Virginia

Dear Heart:

I know my extension got there after I left and although it is a bitter disappointment I guess the best thing is to do as you say. Just take it shoulder to shoulder.

Im glad you said what you did at the depot. Im happier than a person would guess just because I know its true. The only fly in the ointment is the tardiness of my extension. Dont you worry about my forgetting what you said when we parted honey, how could I? Don’t you realize that, that was the first time you told me of your own accord, that you love me?

I wonder if you realize just how happy your letter made me this morning. You know, every soldier thinks a lot more of his sweetheart when she is brave and Im no exception honey so lets just be brave and take things as they come. We have known each other five years now and if things must be I think we can wait for another thirteen months although I dont exactly relish the idea.

I took my writing tablet (one of them) and came over to the library to write this morning with the intention of writing to Jim & Erv after I finish your letter but I come to find out that this tablet has only got one sheet in it so they will have to wait till this afternoon for their letter. I wrote one to Max and Min yesterday afternoon but was to tired to write to Lill or Erv. I went to sleep at 8:00 P.M. and slept right on through everything.

Did you go to the game last night? Who won? Did Joe shine again last night? Id have liked to have got there. Dont forget though honey I don’t care how much you see him play nor how much you admire him don’t forget you are mine and so you mustn’t love anyone else. I don’t know what Id do honey if you ever left me now.

Well honey I can’t think of anything to write now and anyway your letter was short to so Ill close for this time cause if I dont Im liable to say things I don’t mean. By that I mean Im liable to make a mistake and write what Im calling the Marine Corp on account of my extension being so late.

Much Love & Kisses from

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Feb. 19, 1928 Post Band Quantico Va.


I was writing to Lill this morning and I told her I was going to write to you when your letter gets here and sure enough here comes your letter while Im finishing her letter.

I sure wish Id have known about that extension in time. Id sure have enjoyed that game. I might even have been able to take some of that dirty work out of those West guys and might incidentally have got some much needed exercise.

Don’t start worrying about a name yet and anyway “Joe” seems to be as good as any I know of and at least he would be named after, “shall we say an idol?” and the name is no tongue twister.

Sure honey the first few days after a parting are always very trying, in fact every day of a separation is trying only the first few are worse than the rest. I was kind of wishing you wouldn’t open the telegram until my letter got there because I knew it would give you a bad minute or two. It couldn’t be helped though. The man that caused the telegram to be delayed so long was our company commander a Major and he has been warned by Headquarters that another similar act and he would be given the privelidge of resigning his commission or being court martialed because in the case of a telegram there really is no way of knowing how seriously the extension is needed especially when the reason is personal as given in the telegram or when the furlough is a sick leave. I didn’t want them to ask him to resign, Oh no, I wanted them to muster a firing squad and put me in charge.

Sure honey you know just about how I felt after the last furlough only you don’t feel it as much cause after all Im expected to come back but after my last furlough I felt on top of the parting that I was a failure and I wasn’t wanted. That is changed now though so that part don’t hurt anymore. Dont blame yourself for that cause it wasn’t your fault. You loved me then only you didn’t know it or Im sure your answer at that time would have been the same as it is now.

Im more glad than you can guess to know that that little pin is such a comfort and a consolation to you. Well dont worry honey it wont be long now until we can be together always and then nothing will ever separate us again. Then we’ll make our dreams come true.

Im glad to hear that your cold is better honey and I hope it keeps that up and then after that if you wear your boots when you go out and a slicker on wet days you wont catch another so easily.

Ill try my best honey to make out that list but Im not sure how correct it will be cause Im so much in love that I forgot to keep up my book to.

Well here goes what I know. I arrived at your house about 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday Feb 8th and spent the evening with you till about 1:30 A.M. Then Thursday I got to your house about 7:30 and we stayed in again until about 2:10 A.M. Then Friday I met you at May Co’s entrance at 5:15 P.M. We went to Hoffmans to eat some supper, no success. From there we went to the square for a car and met Hoppy’s sister then to Hoppys house and then to the game at West tech then home till 2:10 A.M. Then on Saturday afternoon we waited for Lill and John till 9:30 P.M. I had supper at your house that night. Lill and John took the car at about 11:30 P.M. and we came back till almost 2:00 A.M. Sunday afternoon Erv and Jim tried to get me stewed no success and Sunday night I got over at 8:00 P.M. and went for the Chevy with your Dad then we got Anne and the four of us went to the Airport and afterwards through the flats and got stuck off of Spring Rd. in a deep rut. Monday the 13th you stayed home from work and I was over all day and we went to a show at night. We saw Chas. Chaplin in the circus had a good laugh. Tuesday we went to Mins house for a while and came back and I stayed at your house till way after 2:00 A.M. Wednesday I called you up downtown after sending my telegram and we went home together and waited all day for the extension. Again no success so we went up to see erv and Jim to say goodbye and also to Mins to pack my grip. Lill and John came over so after saying the farewells we went back to you house. Thursday morning we met on the corner of Stickney Ave and went to the depot together. Then you told me for the first time of your own accord that you love me.

Note: We did not go to Brookside

It got cold down here again to. It was so cold this morning I could hardly more.

I hope you do get your fiddle out today like you said and practice some and just forget the time and do it often. I want you to honey cause you are liable to forget how altogether if you dont practice.

That, “on the square” and also “How could I forget”, makes me happy and so does the

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Good for musicians lips

XX Good for 40 candle power

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Feb. 20, [19]28 Post Band Quantico Virginia

My Own:

I just couldnt wait another minute to write this morning Im the closest to being happy right now that Ive been since I got back. I drew my clarinet out of the store room this morning and cleaned it up and tried playing – and honey I actually got a noise out of it. No bunk. But how? I have no lip at all and my complete register is about six full tones and Oh! what tones. Just like my dads Ford and my fingers refuse to synchronize with my lips and I had to use a mirror to be sure I still had a tongue in my mouth. It simply refused to function. Now after about an hour of practice it promises to loosen up but now my lip is dead so while Im resting it Im going to see if I can still write a letter.

The Drum Major was real nice to me and has been since I got back. He told me that I didn’t have to start practicing yet if I didn’t feel fit but I was just dying for the old gob stick. The Drum Major also hinted to me that I may go out in a detail to Port Au Prince Haiti cause they are making out a detail now and are short I men. Nothing definite only he told me that they might have to take men who have as little time to do as I have. That would kill my time in a hurry and give me a chance for a better rating but I don’t want to go now. Still duty is duty and its not for me to question my superiors decisions if they say go I suppose Ill have to go. Ill try not to though.

Well honey are you over the blue spell yet? I hope so because it does more harm to brood over things that can’t be different than it does good and I signed my name for four years to do or die and its to late to cry now.

Well honey I guess Ill close now and try my hand at practicing again so


See You Later On the Square


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February 21 [1928] Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dearest Derby:

You and I both feel so all alone, honey. Yet all in all Im happy. Im happy because I know that you and I are going to be one, and because I know that at the same time you will be all mine. Im happy and thankfull for all these things and still I feel all alone as you put it just because we had to part so suddenly after the happiest week of my life so far. Oh well maybe its all for the best as you put it. Only I wish you would set our wedding date. Im sure anxious to know when so Ill be able to count the weeks and days. Thats liable to kill my time more quickly. I think I told you in yesterdays letter about a tropical detail. Well there is nothing definite out yet today but I don’t think Ill get to go. Ill let you know either way so (take it easy).

Do you know how much in love I am sweetheart? Well for example this morning I slept in cause Im on light duty and so Im not forced to make reveille so I slept in and missed my breakfast. When I woke up it was nine oclock. The first thing I thought of was your letter cause it was time for my Tuesday morning letter and I hadn’t received one yesterday so the first thing I thought of was you and my letter. It was there to. Five pages full. Gee that made me feel good.

Im glad Grandma put you to bed with all those mustard plasters honey. Im afraid you don’t take good enough care of yourself honey. Im afraid some day one of those colds will get the best of you and Ill be all alone in this world again. Don’t let that happen honey, please take good care of yourself for my sake.

Certainly a soldiers sweetheart must be brave honey and you were to, but of course there is a limit to everyones endurance and I think your and my limits were just about reached.

Talking about that money honey I forgot all about it till this letter got here. I remember saying I was enclosing the money but Im darned if I remember doing it so I checked over my months expenses so far and they check without including that so I think I didn’t send it at all. I think you are fibbing again. Aren’t you? Dont forget the answer to this question. (On The Square) Im just curious to know if my accounts lied and Im not going to forget about our partnership so let me know.

Certainly were partners honey were going through life shoulder to shoulder even if we are separated for the time being. Partners now and always will be. Lets seal that with a kiss. X

They played quite a few numbers at the state when we were there sweetheart and I can’t remember names so Im afraid you will have to tell me what role you bought. I miss the piano to. Are you doing what I asked you to honey? With the violin I mean. Please put in a little time on it honey.

I didn’t notice that Anne made any remark that might cut honey. All I heard was a little good natured kidding and I took that as it was given. Its quite natural for an engaged couple to be teased you know and they cant afford to get sore because they would lose to many friends. You just forget all about it cause if she did say something she didn’t mean it.

You don’t know what icy cold means cause it dont get at your bones the way it does here. Boy we get all the moisture from the Chesapeake Bay here beside what we get from the mountains, the Atlantic and the river.

Now your talking honey when Im looking forward to the time when we go to buy that paper at the court house and that little ring. Boy that thought was all that kept me from staying in Cleveland when I saw you leave the depot. That thought is all that keeps me from going Bolshevick right now. Id sure like to be with you as long as I can do it honorably and as much as I love you and long for you I just couldn’t bring myself around to bring disgrace like that on myself and my loved ones.

How lucky do you think you Are? Ill bet a nickel Im luckier than you are. Im watching one of the barracks while the band is out practicing for a parade for tomorrow and the guy thats watching the next barracks just came in to chew the rag and interrupted my train of thought.

Well honey Im going to close now and don’t forget to tell me what I asked and if possible let me know the big date cause its up to you

Your Puritan


Forty Candle powers XXXX

Write Soon

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February 22, 1928 Post Band Quantico


I just received your letter as I was fixing to write. You see the band left for the Washington’s Birthday Parade in Alexandria and Im left to watch the barracks again, so I decided to pen a few lines and then practice the rest of the afternoon. You see honey Ive really got to do an extra amount of practicing now if I expect to have my finger get tough again and my lip hard. Although the chances are even both ways still I might have to go to Port Au Prince and if I do I want to be in good enough shape to hold down a decent rating and a decent chair. The only way I can see of doing it is by Muyo practice.

Sure honey I believe you when you say that you are interested in Joe only as far as sports goes, and I agree that his grit and playing is to be admired.

No I never read, “Under Two Flags,” maybe some day Ill run across it and Ill read it then. Say honey, Is it a good wifes duty to chose the books for her husband? If not, why you better assume those duties anyway cause Ill warn you, I can’t pick a good book to save my life. The Librarian here always picks my books for me. Boy what taste! The books she picks are just like she looks, but she’s so darn nice that I hate to disappoint her by not taking them. She means well.

Why don’t you have Hoppy come over to play cribbage every night then Id get a letter a day. Maybe. No honey I didn’t get a cold. Those things weren’t made for good Marines. Sure theres an awful lot we are missing all the time only we dont realize it and once we do why we always try hard not to miss it. New we were probably in love ever since we went to school together only we never knew it or rather you never knew it. What other girl ever inspired me to write poetry to them and when did any of them ever get me to write more than once a week? Why they couldn’t do it.

Say honey I was talking to the representative of the company where your Pearls were bought about the care of them. I don’t know if you know it or not but by washing them in milk they are supposed to get more lustrous. He didn’t say how often but he said just luke warm milk.

For a week now Ive been trying to enclose those theater stubs from the State for the scrap book so today I stopped writing the letter long enough to address the envelope and put the stubs into it. I addressed it first so Id be darn sure to get the right envelope.

Well bye bye honey and write to
Your Puritan

Love and many Kisses and may we always cherish them as we do now. I Promise to ___ to ___ and to____ Will you promise the same?


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Feb 22, 1928 Post Band Quantico Va.

Peg O My Heart:

I wrote you one letter earlier in the day and mailed it just a while ago. Since then I got notice from the company that Im going to Port Au Prince Haiti. The detail leaves on Feb 28th so of course I had to write you first of all. Im going to write to my dad and sisters etc yet and thats going to happen as soon as I finish this letter. Then I don’t know how much time Ill get between now and the 28th. Not much Ill bet. Well be rushed right along trying to draw clothes etc and packing the stuff that don’t go along and standing a million inspections physical and otherwise.

Ill have to go now honey there just aren’t any two ways about it. Ill just have to obey orders and please honey please take it easy and be brave. I may have to go now but Ill be back.

Just keep writing to Post Band until I write and tell you Ive arrived there.

Now Ill have to close honey with much

Love and many Kisses

Your Puritan


for the 40 candle power XX

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Feb 23, 1928 AD Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dearest Derby:

I really should not be writing tonight cause nothing new has happened today.

Last night after I wrote your letter and a couple more I started to go over my clothes and junk and I separated the stuff Im taking along and what Im going to store. I also took those sailors blues out that Im going to send for you. I sent Erv and Jim their emblems that they wanted so bad and would have sent the blues at the same time but I didn’t have a carton or anyother thing to pack them into but Ill get something tomorrow or know the reason why.

Gee honey I don’t know what to think anymore. I haven’t heard from Lill yet nor from Erv or Jim. Ive had a kind of sneaking feeling that Id hear from them either yesterday or today but no soap.

Well what have you been doing here lately, beside thinking of how unjust this old world is to some of us. Oh yes Ive been doing my share of thinking to and Ive just about decided that we get along better here if we dont think. That isn’t what we get paid for. They have some high salaried officers to do that for us.

Well honey if you see either Lill, Erv, or Jim tell them for me that I want them to write soon and do the same for



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Feb. 24, 1928 Post Band Quantico Va.

Darling Derby:

Your letter arrived about ten minutes ago so I decided to sit down and answer it now as I have a little time on my hands.

Why do you say my letters arrived? Did they get all bunched up again? I tried to kind of keep them separated.

Ive been humming, “Blue Heaven,” all the time since Ive been back now only instead of Mollie and me, it was (Derby & Me) You see you aren’t the only one that has been working that song to death.

Im glad to hear that you got your violin to work like I asked you to. Your shoulders may hurt the first few times but just stick by it and do it right honey not half way but just so.

There is no if about my going to Port Au Prince now. Its certain that Im going now We leave on the Norfolk Boat on Monday night

No fooling honey Id like to go to Port Au Prince allright but now I hate to go just because Ill be separated from you by so many more miles. Last night I lay awake till almost two A.M. thinking of you. No kidding honey it hurts to go now. At this time a year ago I would have been real happy for this chance but now Im not. Oh well honey what can a good soldier do but obey orders? Oh the duties down there will be with the band just like here only I don’t think we’ll have as much police work as we have here. Dont worry sweetheart, there are no dizzy blondes down there. Only Hatien niggers and even if the place was filled with blondes they wouldnt bother me any. You know how I like blondes. The only good thing about Haiti is the beer and the climate.

Dont worry honey your folks may at one time have been disappointed by getting a girl instead of a boy but I don’t think they are any more. Im sure they are just as proud of you as I am and some day we may present them with a grandson so that ought to make it up for them.

Im glad you sewed up that tweed skirt honey it wasn’t bad – but it showed entirely to much for any mans good health.

Well honey when I go down there I dont know how this mail business is going to be. I think mail comes and goes twice a week if Im not mistaken but I dont mind getting two or three letters at a time and Im quite sure you wont either and at any rate dont worry or get disgusted honey because I love you and think of you all the time so that thought alone should and will keep me out of trouble Unless I forget to wear my hat and get sun struck, and there is no danger of that cause they dont let us even stick our head out of the window without a hat on. One of the campaigne hats with the wide brim on the peak. The total capacity of these hats is about a half gallon. They are careful not to let us get the half gallon into them though. Each one has four vent holes in the crown.

Well honey I may get to write tomorrow and I may not but dont worry if I dont and dont forget that I love you, so write to Your Puritan



Did you notice the absence of these in yesterdays letter? I was rushed in the last minute and forced to sign off in a big hurry.

Love Your


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February 26 [1928] Post Band Quantico Va.

Dearest One:

I received your letter this morning and was happy as can be until noon. Then I missed my pencil from the set and the day is ruined cause it was stolen not lost. I posted a couple of rewards for it but no results so I had the barracks and every man in them searched and still no results. I figured the fifty dollars should bring them around cause I promised to ask no questions but no results. I even tried to get the guy thats got it sore by telling all the men what I thought of the man that took it. What I said was enough to make any man that has any self respect at all get out and fight now and only have one hand but I can still kill with one punch the guy that ever shows that pencil where anyone can see it. I wish I knew what is causing all this hard luck Ive had here lately.

Ive got a cold in the head now to from washing my hair at night and sleeping in this cold place with wet hair.

No! I didn’t think that West Tech played like a green team and I think that I can truthfully say that they showed some very good team work and some very neat plays. By the way I wrote to Bill Caldwell and give him a brief but clear outline of the service as I see it and told him that I would try to clear up any points he doesn’t understand.

Well honey I expect this will be my last night at the Post Band Quantico for a while. When I get back Ill be able to count the hours of my enlistment on both hands. Im leaving here with a nice thought for the Post Band at any rate.

Ill never forget that pencil and if I ever find the man that got it Ill smash him like a ripe tomato. Im going to Haiti now where the good beer flows free and when I get there Im going to stay strictly to myself no favorites and no buddies. Ill just practice in my spare time. Ill never again trust any man in the service.

Oh Ill see you about our big day alright honey if thats the way you want it only don’t forget you are the one that sets the day. There is only one day that will ever mean any more to me than any other day and that day will be the big day so if you have any favorite dates just pick one. Only we’ll make it as soon as possible after I get out and get steady work.

Well sweetheart don’t forget I love you and always will so no matter how far apart we may be dont forget your Porter. He will always be thinking of you and working toward the day when you will be all mine.

I tried to get some dope on the mail deliveries down there and find that right now its supposed to get there twice a week and sometimes it does and sometimes it don’t. At any rate write often and Ill be sure to get at least one or maybe two every time the mail does arrive. In turn I will write as often as possible and Ill make sure that no boat leaves without at least one letter from me.

My address while down there will be 2nd Regiment Marine Band Port Au Prince Haiti

Any letters you may write before the middle of March though shouldnt be sent there send them to Quantico until I write and tell you Ive arrived. Ill drop a few lines every place we stop with

Love from Your

XX 40 candle power

XXXX for your lips

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Feb. 27 1928 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Derby:

The shoes arrived this morning thanks muchly for them. They arrived just in time. Ive got everything packed and waiting to leave when the boat gets in. We go as far as Norfolk by passenger boat cross to Hampton Roads by ferry and there we embark on the U.S.S. Kittery as far as I know. If it is the Kittery I know of a bunch of Marines that won’t enjoy the trip very much cause she sure is some rocking tub. The Kittery I mean.

Do you know that in spite of the fact that this trip is taking me far away from you and in spite of the fact that the Kittery means so much misery Im still looking forward with pleasure to my trip and my stay down there.

I won’t get a chance to mail those sailors blues now but one of my buddies will mail it some time this week and with it a few books those you sent me and one other.

When I mail this it may be the last for a while now. At any rate for a few days. Ill try to drop one when we hit Guantanamo Bay although I doubt if we will be allowed to disembark there. We’ll probably only stop to drop the supplies for that post.

Well honey if I dont get to write soon just remember that Im thinking of you and I love you and hope that you will think of me often and continue to love me and write to

Your Puritan

“On the Square”

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Feb. 28, 1928 Naval Operating Base Hampton Roads Virginia


We arrived here this morning after an all night trip aboard the civilian liner “Northland” We stay here till day after tomorrow I think then we go aboard the Kittery for the big trip. The only stop over we make is Guantanamo Bay Cuba. I dont think there will be any liberty because we stop only long enough for coal but Ill manage to get a letter off some way there.

We didn’t get paid at Quantico before we left but we did sign the payroll here today and I refused for the very simple reason that theyve forgotten my specialist pay and are trying to fox me out of six bucks. Im not signing for anything that isnt right so Im going to put in a letter through official channels to get the matter adjusted seeing as I dont need the money right away. The only thing is theyve made me mad as the dickens by trying to gypp me.

The first thing they done when we arrived here this morning at about 10:00 A.M. was to give us breakfast and assign us our rooms. Three men to each room. Then they gave us each a certain detail. Three of us got mess duty. This is easy though so I wont kick. The good part of this is that we eat when ever we want to and what we want to. Its to bad this isnt going to last any longer. Im going to turn in and sleep till four oclock now cause that is just time enough to get my supper before we have to serve the regular meal. The rest of the gang will be gone on liberty to see the town all afternoon so I wont be disturbed any. I dont know when or where Ill get to mail this but Ill mail it the first chance I get. I dont believe there would be any use of writing here cause we will be leaving about the time this arrives at your house and by the time you get it we will be gone about our seasick way. Yes I mean sea sick. I dont believe the man has been built yet who can make that trip aboard the Kittery without getting sea sick. She’s the worst tub in the U.S. Navy.

I wish you could be making that trip with me honey. That would just about make that trip perfect. Id even forget to get sea sick then. I sure miss you honey, more than Ive ever missed anything in my life. My only hope is that I may be worthy of you and your love.

Ill write more later sweetheart but right now Ill close with


P.S. I havent heard from Lill or Erv or Jim or anyone yet. Did they all die? xxxxxxx XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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February 29th 1928 Naval Operations Base Hampton Roads Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Im still at Hampton Roads but I don’t think we will be long. We go aboard the Kittery tomorrow and sail wither tomorrow or the day after before daylight.

Ive been one of the lucky ones to get mess duty while here and although the hours are a little longer the work is easier and we eat when we feel like it and whatever we fancy. Ill bet I ate a quart of olives today and drank enough coffee to float the battleship Maine.

Gee honey Im figuring on doing some tall practicing when I get to Port Au Prince. Ive just ordered myself another exercise book and two books of a six volume studies. These two books contain most of the harder overtures and small Operatic selections. Ive already got two exercise books and now the one Ive ordered will make three. Ill never want for anything to practice from.

Well sweetheart Im not over anxious to go down there nor am I trying to get out of the detail. If I stayed in the States I might be able to make another leave before I get paid off but if I go to Port Au Prince Ill save about $75.00 by not making that leave. It may make it a little harder for both of us by being separated for so long a time but on the other hand it will mean so much more toward our wedding. Then to it will make us appreciate each other more if that is possible and just think darling when I come back Ill be able to count my days on my hands and then Ill be a free man again and Ill be up there with you. Then Ill bet they’ll never separate us again. Not if I can help it.

I haven’t heard anything about my pencil yet even in spite of the reward they must be afraid of exposing themselves. Id like to lay my hands on the guy thats got that. Ill bet that bird would think three hundred times before he ever touched another cent or article that doesn’t belong to him. Ive got a kind of a hunch that the pencil is right along on this detail with us. If it ever shows up Ill sure get it. If it ever shows up in Quantico Ill be notified by a dozen guys and the man in whose possession it is found will be locked up until I can get sent back to prosecute at the guys General Court Martial. Id hate like the dickens to send a man up four a couple of years for theft or cause him to get discharged dishonorably but if that pencil is ever found Ill sure do that thing.

Well honey Im going to sign off now and get this letter and my order off so bye bye for now and dont forget to think of your


I love you more each day honey and if it keeps up like this Im afraid Ill be loving you to death. I still dream of little Joseph. Do you?


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March 2, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia


We were supposed to leave aboard the Kittery today but that old tub is so crowded that we are being left behind and it may be a month or more before we get to leave here. Im in the Mess hall now and I suppose Ill stay there until we leave here. Seeing as we’ll be here a while you might write to me at this address

Pvt. E.G. Thomas
Hampton Roads

The (MSM) at the bottom means messman. Thats just a precautionary measure.

This would be a nice place to be stationed if they only had a band here. I can look right out of our window over the Bay and see everything from rowboats to battleships and even aeroplane carriers. That means the new ship (The U.S.S. Lexington) shes out in the harbor now she sails for San Diego on March 7th

I havent written to Min or Erv or Lill or anyone yet since I get here but I think I will today. I think Ill write to Min first and then if Ive any ambition left Ill write to the rest of them. My mail so far has been forwarded to Port Au Prince so it will be another week before I get any of it so write soon. I kind of wish they would hurry us out of here and get us going to Port. Im anxious to get a good lip on the clarinet again and here I am without an instrument.

Well if they don’t send me down there pretty soon I won’t have much time to do when I do get down there. I should worry though. If they keep me here three months Ill come home on another furlough. I dont mean maybe either and if they get wise about it Ill just turn into sick quarters again and leave them get someone else to do the work Im doing now.

Well honey this letter is being written in spasms. This is the second spasm. I was called away kind of sudden like to serve eleven oclock chow and by the time we got our own chow it was time for the regular mess again.

You can’t imagine how much I miss you honey. It seems like Ive loved you since I knew you honey but I never knew how much nicer it is when your love is returned. That furlough sure made me realize what a nice thing Love can be. It makes a man want to get going and get something accomplished. I just can’t seem to do enough to suit myself anymore and everything I do I always wonder would she like it this way. Call me a sick calf or whatever you like but its true. I think of you all the time and always imagine that you are there by my side.

I saw two good pictures in the last two nights. One was, “The Wizard” I forgot who was playing the lead part and Last night I saw ”Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” Im not a gentleman though, Im a Marine and most Marines Love Brunettes and a few prefer blondes, but none of them love blondes. They do say that a blonde is treacherous and can’t be trusted. I know a couple that Id trust with anything I own. One especially. This one did me a big favor, a favor Im afraid Ill never be able to return. I wish I knew how I could. Perhaps some little gift from the tropics, when I arrive there, might be appreciated. Do you think so?

Well honey Ive still got an hour to write before I have to go back to the mess hall and at just such a time I run out of things to write about. Ill bet if I was to start working right now Id think of a cool million things to write about but when I sit down to do the writing my mind seems to wander to “My Blue Heaven.” You remember The cozy room and the fire place in that song? Thats where my mind wanders to.

When that fireplace and that cozy room comes true and its Derby & me & Joe makes three. Then we’ll be happy in our own Blue Heaven. There won’t be any squads right column left then anymore.

Well honey Ive still got enough time to write Min a few lines and let her know where Im at so when you get this dont forget to write because Im lonesome for a letter or two a half dozen wont spoil me. Ill always be

Your Porter

Here’s some Love & Kisses from
Your Puritan

P.S. Dont forget to write soon

P.S.S. Write soon

P.S.S.S. Dont forget a couple of letters.

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March 3 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia


Ive just written a letter to Lill and Im going to try to write you a few lines before I have to go to the mess hall again. Im acting chief now and Im responsible to see that all the tables and dishes and so forth are cleaned properly and that the mess men give good service at meal times and I sure have to look alive to make em work.

Some goof just came in and spoiled my train of spuds thought so I threw him out. The darn fool came back at me and was going to wrestle with me. I threw him through a loop the loop and made him say uncle. Hes some kid just came into the service and don’t realize how much hes got to learn yet before hes a real Marine.

Ive been on the go since 3:30 this A.M. now I had to get up to help the cook get the chow and Ive been keeping the messmen going ever since in order to get the mess hall ready for the regular Saturday inspection. Im so tired I could sleep for two weeks.

Well honey I havent heard from you in such a long time now that I don’t even know what you have been doing or what you intend to do or what pictures you intend to see or anything about West tech.

I saw another good picture here last night. I saw, “Larry Semon” in “The Woman “The girl in the Limousine” That picture was a scream and I don’t mean maybe. I think Ill get to see another good one Monday night. Ill try to get around to it. Its “Karl Dane” in “The Enemy” I think its going to be a ripping good one.

About 3 hours later.

Well sweetheart it may take me a long time to get a letter to you written but I generally do. Its been about 3 hours now since I had to quit writing and go back to work. We had a big chow and served twelve tables which is 120 men and then only enough showed up to fill about eight which means 80 men so we had to empty all those extra dishes and all that extra food and had to clean & scrub the tables all for nothing then we had to put away a bunch of supplies that came in today. All in all Im just about out on my feet. My puppies feel like five balloons on each canal boat.

Well in spite of being dead and tired etc Ill bet if I was given the chance right now I could sit up till 3 A.M. and make love to you every minute of that time. I sure miss you honey, even more than you realize. If I was out of the service now and had you and a good job all to myself Id be the happiest man in this old world. Id never ask for anything more. “Just a Cottage Small” Ive been singing that tune all day now. Gee honey if I was going to stay here the rest of my cruise you could feel perfectly at ease. There isn’t a woman of any description within 9 miles of this place. The only time Ive seen a woman since I got here was the other night when I went in to town and the outskirts of the town are just 9 miles away. This place is nice though. The quarters here are in a old hotel that the Marine Corps bought with the land. It’s the Pine Beach Hotel. We sleep three men to a room and weve got plenty of space to spare. Our window looks out over the bay and we see all kinds of watercraft from Battle wagons on down to row boats and at night we can see the lights of Newport News across the bay. I cant see anything but your picture now though. Ive got it right across from me. Oh yes I took it along in my heavy. I wrapped it up in my towel and they thought that was the way I had the towel folded.

Did I tell you about my watch honey? I broke mine and took and traded it for another broken one. The fellow told me it is over 80 years old and I found out today that in July it will be 87 years old. Its one of those that you wind with a key and set with a key a regular antique. If I get a chance to get it fixed I will and if not Ill send it to you the way it is. I dont want to take it to Haiti with me. Its very old but its also very nice flowers painted in the dial and all. Its even in a padded leather pocket case. I wouldn’t part with it even if it couldn’t be fixed. Lets see now that means it was bought just about twenty four years after the Revolutionary war or about nineteen years before the Civil war. Is that right.

I guess Ill have to close now honey and dont dont forget to write cause if I dont hear from you at least by Tuesday Ill quit writing until I do hear from you so if you love me write to

Your Puritan


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March 5th 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia


I just got my work for this morning done. We got through kind of early. My men went bolshevick on me yesterday so I showed them my game. I got myself a chair and sat down and made those birds sweep the galley, then scrub it and then sweep it again and swab it. Then we started all over again till the deck shone. Boy what I mean those buzzards worked this morning. They weren’t taking any chances on working till 9:30 at night again. They know who is boss now. There was only one reason why I didn’t like that and it was because I couldn’t write the letter I wanted to write last night.

This is some rotten life honey. Here is another day gone by and still no letter from you. Gee I wish you would write. I guess you did though only the letters are being forwarded to the wrong place. Im lonesome though and getting no mail makes me blue on top of that Im wondering if my Derby still loves me. If her letters would get here I would know but this way I can’t tell. Do you realize that its now nine days since I heard from you? Nine days. Thats to long for any man to wait for a letter. But then I know it isn’t your fault. Do you want to know what I done? I tore up everything from the way I had it packed in my sea bag and got out all of your letters and read them over. Ive simply got to read a letter from you every once in a while and if I can’t have a new one I guess Ill have to read the old ones.

Do you know that its both nice and bad to be in love while in the service. I think there is nothing nicer than true love since Ive tasted it but its also got its bad side because to love someone and be far away from them makes it hard. As much as I like the service, still I hate it for keeping me separated. Still I put up with it all because it all brings us closer to “Our Blue Heaven.” That day whenever it may be will be the happiest day I ever want to see. Im always afraid it won’t happen though and it hurts to even think that way. I haven’t even got a bit of reason for it but every once in a while I think, “Just suppose she should change her mind.” Then my whole day is spoiled. I don’t know what Id do if you ever quit me honey. I love you so much that I just couldn’t live without you. I wish you wouldn’t insist on my seeing you personally to decide the big date. Id feel better if I knew how much longer Ive got to wait. Just like the Marine Corps I know just how many days Ive got yet. Ive got 482 more days. I get paid off on the 482nd morning from now so you see Id like to figure that out the same way. That makes the time pass quicker. If you can’t decide yourself get Hoppy to help you out. She seems to have a lot of good ideas. Some night when have nothing else to do just get a hold of a three year callender and find a date you like and then let me know how many days.

I had to quit writing when I had finished the word three in the last paragraph and served two chows and got the galley cleaned again before I wrote the rest of the sentence.

Oh well about 20 or 25 more days and then we leave for the land of good beer and sunshine.

Some bozo here thats sleeping in this room with me just gave me a sermon on self control if he only knew. You tell him honey. I stutter to think that he would preach to me about control of our passions. Why Ive got more control of my passion than he has over his own head.

Talk of a sick calf all you want to honey but if I don’t get a letter tomorrow Im going to start tearing up things around here.

Doggone it I cant help thinking of that darn cottage small by the waterfall. I have a couple of songs like that and I keep singing them all day long and I just cant get them out of my head for some reason or another but that cottage small runs through my head more than any other. Dream castles I guess.

I suppose by this time you will have received your sailors blues and the books. Haven’t you? One of my buddies up there at Quantico promised to send them first chance he got and I think by this time you should have them.

Say I hope old Bill Caldwell dont take to writing to me in Haiti for a while yet cause if he does his letters are liable to travel six months before I get them. Ive written to Erv and Lill and Min and left them all know where Im at. I think Ill write to my dad tonight if Im not to tired. I told him not to write till he heard from me so I guess he’s still waiting.

Well darling I think Ill quit writing now and start hoping that I have a letter from you tomorrow cause if I don’t have one by then Ill go nuts. If thats possible. Write soon often and much honey or Im liable to think youve forgotten to Love Honor & obey cherish or that you don’t love me anymore so if you don’t want me to think that write to

Your Puritan I dont like that

P.S. Dont forget to write

P.S.S. Make it soon & often

Love & Kisses

40 candle power


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March 6 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia

Dearest Derby:

Here is another day half gone and still no letter, oh well it may arrive this afternoon. I just wonder how Im supposed to write and keep my mind on what I am writing when the victrola next door is playing, “My Blue Heaven,” and every once in so often it switches to, “Im Drifting back to Dreamland.” Thats another song I like very much

I saw Lillian Gish & Cark Dane in, “The Enemy,” last night but it wasn’t half as good as I expected it to be. It was fairly good though.

Well honey Im starting to think that you are sorry you ever promised to marry me, or else that you don’t love me anymore. I only wish you would write soon so I could know for sure that it isn’t true. When I get your letters all the time then I know that you love me even as much as I love you. But how am I supposed to know or be reassured when no letters some. I wish I had you here so I could hold you close and kiss you. Then I know that no one could every take you from me. I can still taste that kiss I got at the Depot and Im not stretching the truth one bit honey when I say that the kisses I got while on that furlough told me of a great and a nice love. Those kisses are still warm on my lips honey. Ill never forget any of them. The memory of that furlough will always be with me honey, no matter where I go.

Ill have to be going to the Mess hall now in a few minutes honey so Id better close this missil with much love and kisses and many hopes for a letter soon so write to you Marine friend and make if Muyo Pronto

Always Yours


40 candle power

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March 6, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia

Dearest Derby:

I wrote once this morning but Ive a little time over this afternoon so how could I spend that time better than by writing to my sweetheart.

I just heard some news this noon. The Marine Corps is going to give me a nice present for my birthday this year. I just heard that the next boat for Haiti is the, “Vega,” and she sails from here on my birthday. Oh well dont worry sweetheart that will make my tropical duty so much shorter. They won’t keep me there even a year then cause I wont have enough time to do. I only wish I could take you down there with me. That is the land of romance you know. To be able to take you along would fill the cup of joy, but as that can’t be I guess we’ll have to make the best of things as they come.

Have you been doing any practicing on your violin lately? I hope so. Id like to know that I have a real musical family. Know what Im going to do honey? Im going to make a nice big radio set and Im going to to have a genuine mahogany cabinet made for it. They have better mahogany in Haiti than they do here you know. That will make one piece of furniture we won’t have to buy. I think Ill make a set like the one Min and Max have only a nicer looking one.

Gee its turned colder down here today honey. Its so cold that I was just thinking of going down to the galley to finish this letter but I decided not to cause all the cooks and messmen are down there fooling around and they would always be interrupting my train of thought.

Have you decided the day yet? I mean our big day. Do you know honey Ive just been thinking our wedding day will make me a very happy man but do you realize that it wont be the only happy day in our life. If you want to go through with it the arrival of (for the sake of argument shall we say), “Joe,” we would always have a binding tie. Of course that’s up to you. You know as well as I do what it will mean but if you are willing you’ll surely find me the same.

Well honey girl this paper is getting full so Ill close while I still have room for the

Love & Kisses


Here’s drinking to the day. Make it cherry. XX

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March 7, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia

My Own Derby:

Why don’t you write to me. Here Ive been watching the post office door all day hoping that there might have been some delay and still hoping for a letter. But no letter came so Ill have to read some of the old letters again and wait and see how lucky I am tomorrow. I only hope I won’t be doing the same tomorrow. I only hope I won’t be doing the same tomorrow as I did today. Just think honey eleven days without a letter. What would you do if you had to wait that long for a letter? Two hundred and sixty four hours and each one of those hours have been slow and dreary for me.

Ive been having some pretty nice luck with my finger here lately but today I hurt it trying to educate one of my messmen. I always wonder when I look at him or watch him work, just why. They shot men like Lincoln & McKinley and left guys like him live. His name is Abe to so Ive just about decided that Booth shot to soon by a few years and got the wrong Abe.

I heard the Top Sgt here say that there might be a ship leaving here for Haiti about the 29th of March and he is going to try to get me aboard her. I don’t know if that is good or bad news. In a way Id like to go and in another way Id like to stay here till I didn’t have enough time to do and then Id get sent back to Quantico. Id like to go to Port au Prince though until my thumb gets a little tough again cause no matter how carefull I am its always freezing here. Still I believe Id rather stay here where I would get a chance to come home to see you again. I could to if Id make the request here to remain in Hampton Roads for duty and be transfered out of the band but Id be losing to much. Ive just decided to buy me a set of clarinets. One B[flat] clarinet, one A clarinet and one E[flat] clarinet. These same would cost me at least $250.00 Are they worth that much to me? Im afraid not but Im darned if I haven’t a good mind to get them. I think Ill wait till I get paid off though. Then Ill have a good clarinet and not as much chance of ruining it. Well Ill close honey but please dont forget to write soon and often and very very much to your lonesome lovesick calf.



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March 8, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Ive got the blues. No letter today either. Why don’t you write? Have I done or said anything wrong? If I have Im sorry. I hope you havent changed your mind and decided that you wouldn’t go through with marrying me. I love you to much honey, still if it would make you happier – just let me know. You know I told you that if you found you had made a mistake by accepting me Id go and it may be hard to say or do but I stand by my word. I do hope its not that though. If it is that Ill promise you won’t hear from me anymore. This will be the last letter I write until I do hear from you. I heard from my dad this morning and when they handed me the letter this morning I thought it was from you till I saw the front.

Ive been spending all my spare minutes today reading over all your letters and I just couldn’t stand it. For once in my life Im afraid, afraid you are casting me off. I sure wish you would write and end all this useless misery. I can’t believe though that you would want to break our engagement it has been to beautiful. Ill never forget the happy moments you have given me. both by your letters and your kisses and by your promise. I only pray to God that it may not be over yet. Oh it can’t be though. I love you to much to let you go so easily as that. Cant you see yourself honey that I love you? Yes love you more than anything. Why don’t you write?

I cant write anymore now as my head huts hurts me and my heart is to heavy to tell me what to write except that Ill love you always now write soon so I may know.

Love & Kisses


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March 9, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia


Your letter got here this morning. Ive never knew it to fail yet that when I get hasty and send off a letter Im liable to regret the very next day I always get a letter that had been delayed or something. I wish you would just disregard the letter I sent yesterday. Im sorry I sent it, or even wrote it. I didnt think it was possible that you should forget this love of ours so soon but you know how that goes when no letter gets here for two weeks.

Ive been sick for the last couple of days but I didn’t turn in and just stuck it out. I got up early as usual this morning and got the chow out but I immediately turned the whole mess over to an understudy and came up to my room and slept till eleven oclock. I went back down then to see that the early chow was put out and I was feeling better. Since then Ive put out the regular noon meal and got the galley clean and now Im feeling almost fit as a fiddle. I had two letters waiting for me when I got down there. One from you, thank God, and one from Erv. I must have been nuts last night cause Im finding things done that I dont remember doing. I find on the back of the folder of your picture that I have all the, shall we say (red letter letters) recorded. The back of the folder is ruled off into spaces and each (red letter volume) that I ever got is recorded, day month and year. “By red letter volume,” I mean a letter that contains something that means more to me than what some of the others do. Maybe just a word or an expression or something. I had to get rid of some of those letters honey cause there was no room to take them along so I saved the most important ones and squeezed them in. They are letters such as the one you mailed July 7, 1927 where you promised to be my wife and like the one to the Greatest of the Great Pvts and the one where after the Post script you signed yourself BeaX. Those are just some of them. There are 114 so far. I think Ill keep up that list as long as the spaces hold out.

Im sorta glad Im not going for a while but in another way I wish I was there already. Im losing money by staying here. Ive got no rating while Im here. If you want to honey Ill put in a request to stay here but Im warning you I stand to lose some money if I do. Id probably get rated but Id lose other ways and that would mean so much less of a start for us.

I didn’t even know you were having those pictures enlarged. I suppose you told me about it in the letters that are doing all the globe trotting.

The Lexington left here a couple of days ago. Id have liked to have been aboard her but she wasn’t going my way at all. She’s heading for the West Coast.

Yes I can see where one Marine will forget how to pivot for squads right column left. He will most probably have to learn how to take care of a furnace.

I believe you are right about Hoppy. What she needs more than anything else is a Prince Charming. Id have like to had her meet Erv but maybe its as well she didn’t. He isn’t good enough for her and who should know it better than myself. Hes an athletic fan like her fond of sports but hes a darn sight to crazy yet.

Why should you write that experience is the best teacher? Have you had that experience?

Darn right Ill, “write!”, and also, “Love,” my Beatrice. No one knows how much I love her and as my vocabulary is small and I keep my mouth shut a good deal of the time Im afraid no one but my Beatrice will ever know, and if there is a God in Heaven Im sure he will help me to be worthy of her or at least as worthy as it is possible for me to be.

You havent told me yet if you have received the two packages Im having sent you from Quantico. Have you? The one had those sailor blues in it and the other had those books in it.

Did I tell you about that old watch I got my hands onto? Im crazy about old things like that. Wait till you see it. You’ll be wild about it in place of winding it with the stem you just press the stem and the back opens up to the place where the key is used. Then you pry the next cover up and you see the working machinery in it. Real old fashioned clockworks. Ill send it first chance I get to keep it from being stolen so if you care to see the inside save these instructions.

Im also waiting for the bawling out Im going to get on account of my pencil. I got a letter from Quantico yesterday. They found some guy that had a gold pencil and they had him under guard until one of my bunkies who had a copie of the floral design could get back from liberty. He wrote me about it and said the design was altogether different and anyway it was some other make of pencil not a, “Wahl.” I wrote back and told him to offer a reward for me to any one that brought in any correct information. I suppose its useless though whoever got it knows better than to let it be seen.

Honey Im going to give you a good laugh. Im going to rewrite Erv’s letter for you word for word and letter for letter. He writes

Dear Buddy::-,
I received your letter of March 3 & was sup glad to hear that you were still in the good old U.S.. I am sorry to hear that the U.S.S. Kittery was to crowded to that it was no room left for you but I think you better off in the it States don’t you think so. I wrote a letter sometime in February but I don’t think that you have received it as you dont state in your letter. How come y that you are swinging grease balls what in Hell did you do now that you are in the grease ball bushiness business.
For some reason or other my mind is blank today for writing so I will make this letter short but still theres some news it to interest you y a to give the satisfaction, that I have received your letter will write soon as something pops in my head.
Respectfully Your Buddy

I have written him a letter telling him they had made a grease ball out of me for the duration of my stay here. That is the letter I received today and all those words scratched out are just as they are in his letter.

Well honey I hope you forget all about that letter I wrote yesterday and will write me often so I wont have to wait so long for another letter and lets hope that it never comes to what I was afraid of in yesterdays letter. I dont know what Id do if that ever did happen. Think of me only as your Porter and Love me as I love you and don’t forget to write soon to Your


XXXXXXXXXXXX OO XX Have you figured this out yet X 

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March 10, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton roads Virginia

To the one and only Derby:

I know now that all my fears were groundless and I know that in spite of everything you are still my own ____. Still waiting for the time when I can come and claim you. Oh yes. I think those things to. My imagination is always working. Im always building castles and working toward that day. How happy Ill be and how proud. I know Ill be happy and if I can make you as happy then Id be satisfied.

Who wrote my name and address on the envelope of the letter I received today? It looks like your writing and again it doesn’t. It looks like you might have been very nervous or excited when you wrote it. What was the matter? Or are you sick and didn’t tell me? The writing in the whole letter seems to be different.

The champion olive eater seems to be in better health and spirits today than he has been for the last couple of days except for a bump on the skull that I got this morning coming out of the supply room. I seem to be O.K. Thats what I get for trying to take six foot of Marine through a five foot door on a run, It it seems I must have forgotten to stoop or else the door forgot to stretch. I havent decided which yet. I guess its about six of one and a half dozen of the other. The finger seems to be coming along fine when I dont bump it and Im being as careful as I know how to be.

I wish I could be with you to hear you play our piece with the violin muted. Ill bet it sounded nice. Still if Id been there I don’t suppose you would have played it. You would have been sitting by me, where you belong.

Oh I don’t know honey I think the only reason we can’t think of a whole lot to write is because we write so often. If I was to write only two letters a week I think I could put more pages into them but Id rather get one short letter every day or every other day than to get a long letter twice a week. How about you? Do you know a little verse that goes with, “Mendelsons Spring Song,”? Its something like this, “Once upon a time famous poet said. Ill pen an ode to Spring. But, when he began to write he found the bird had taken wing. Then someone played a melody so grand, his soul was moved. Tis Mendelsons Spring Song said he” Did you ever hear that verse honey? I don’t remember it all but I think that is about what you were trying to tell me. Now I can’t write what Im thinking because now Im singing the, “Spring Song.”

Is that the best you can wish for honey? To be in the country for an extended period of time. My word, you should hear my wish once and see how simple it makes your little wish. I wish I was with you right now and that I was in a position to make you my wife today. We wouldn’t have to cut loose to have a good time then, we would have one another to make us happy.

Say if you dont quit adopting every gas station and railway station that we go to why soon we’ll have such a large family that we won’t have any room for, “Joe.” Better go easy honey. How many stations have we got now.

How come Mom beings the letters to work? Doesn’t she start work at the same time you do? Sure you could guess by now that youve got a letter most every day cause Ive only missed three days since I got back off of leave. Thats twenty one out of twenty four.

I had a big argument last night again. Ive got a room by myself now and some guy came in snooping around last night and ended up by making some wise crack. I was forced to give him a lesson in manners and then throw him out on his ear. Can you imagine that guy telling me that you must be Jewish. I guess I know better myself and I guess he does to by now. He’s got an awfull time explaining how he nearly put his eye out on the door last night. You cant fool these old soldiers around here though. They know to much cause theyve seen to many shiners to think that that many guys run into doors. I topped off all the fun though by putting him out of the mess hall for making to much noise this noon. He will make an apology or Ill run him ragged.

Well honey dont forget to write often and think of me often and love me a little. Ill always do the same honey always. Ill Love Honor & Cherish my Own.

Love & Many Kisses

XX 40 candle power

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March 11, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia


I hardly know if I should expect a letter today or not but Im going to try my had at writing anyway.

This day seems to be Sunday to some men but outside of the fact that it brings me a day closer to you, it is just another day for me. This makes 475 more. No! --- I just figured it up again and 375 to do for 3 months early discharge. That would be 10 days more than a year to do.

There was a detail of men sent back from Nicaragua last night, or rather they got here last night. Honey you can’t guess how glad I am now that they wouldn’t let me go along when I wanted to. These men tell some awfull tales of bad food no place to sleep living in mud up to the waist drunkenness, sickness, filth and also blood thirstiness. One of them shows us a shirt taken from a gook. This fellow had put a whole clip through the gook into a space almost as small as a silver dollar. Then he took the shirt for a souvenir. We fed those men and when I saw how starved they were I gave strict orders to feed them all the could hold and I mean they did justice to the meal. Some of the men were sent back because they got malaria from the drinking water others got other diseases some wounded. Two died on board ship from wounds. Im sure glad now that I didn’t go down. The only thing hard about band duty down there is the starvation and what little gold fish & hard tack they get is mouldy. So the worst part of that is the living conditions. Those fellows got under a shower here for a decent bath and almost had to be driven out to give the next man a chance. I hear that one man was so over joyed to get back to the States that when he got into Norfolk and saw a white woman his feet gave out on him. Thats what the, “Glory of War,” does for men. They have Chaplains and Chapels here where they preach about the Ten Commandments where it says (Thou Shalt not kill) then they turn the men around and let them, “Kill & be Killed.” If they are going to stop all the useless slaughter down there they ought to get it over with as soon as possible. They could put a shot over the Island from any one of their, “Men O War,” and blow the place completely off the map without loosing a single Marine. All those fine white American boys being killed just so a few less niggers will be killed. This may all sound kind of radical to you honey but it isn’t. If I was called on to go I wouldn’t balk any Id do my share like the rest do but what makes me mad is that all those perfectly good White men should be sacrificed to save a few ignorant niggers, without whom the world would be much better off.

I think Id better find out what time it is honey and finish this after we get dinner served.

Well here I am again about three and a half hours later.

Weve served cow since then for twenty men at eleven oclock and cleaned up after that and served chow for 100 more men at twelve. Boy what a chow. Breaded veal cutlets, gravey, mashed potatoes, stewed corn, cream peas, asparagus – tips, celery, lettuce salad, bread, butter, coffee, cake & ice cream. They sure serve good chows here. They can do it easily enough though cause theyve only got a few men to feed, not like at Quantico where each company feeds over twice as many men.

I just found out that Im not getting a letter from you today honey. Why? Its because there is no mail delivery here, like there is in Quantico, on Sunday. I believe finding that out has taken away much of my pep to cause now Ive forgotten all that I was going to tell you but then why worry Ive two and a half hours to remember it in.

I suppose you will be wondering why I’m using this stationary again. Its because the pen was getting empty and caused a big blot of ink to fall on my last sheet of the other paper and as I have quite a bit of this on hand I decided to use it up. Chalk up 40₵ more saved toward furniture.

Im even doing my own laundry this month. Not because Im trying to save those few dollars but because if I was to send clothes to the laundry here and got notice to leave in a couple of hours time Id just be out that many clothes. I washed a half dozen suits of underwear and a dozen hankys and a couple of towels yesterday and Im washing some socks tonight and if Ive got time afterward maybe a couple of shirts.

I read a good book in my spare moments since Ive been here. The name is, “Mr. & Mrs. Villiers,” its got some pretty radical ideas of married life in it. I got a big laugh out of it.

I saw, “Johny Hines,” in “All Aboard,” and that is a scream, if you haven’t seen it and get the chance go, by all means, you’ll like it I know.

Gee honey, this world sure is a funny place. Here weve been having weather quite in keeping with the time of year, not to cold and still not spring nor has it been rainy, yet about a hundred and fifty miles north of here in Quantico and Washington they had one of the hardest snow storms and blizzards that theyve seen in years. That isn’t so far from here either. One might almost say a stones throw. Id really like to see a real good snow storm just once more before I leave for Haiti.

Ive just been thinking honey they wont be able to keep me down there even a year cause we don’t expect to get down there till sometime in the later part of April or first part of May and they dont discharge a person that far from home. They always send them to the closest garrison camp to their home and discharge them from there so if I get down there in May they will either send me back in the early or middle part of March or early part of May. wouldn’t it be hotsy to know one is coming back to the states with only a few days to do when one arrives? Gee it will be easier to keep working down there now cause Ill always be thinking, “only a year and so many days and Ill be able to go to her for good. You can’t imagine how much it spurs a fellow on with his work when his loves a girl and knows that she loves him in return. Its made me so that no matter what they put me to doing or how much of it I can always sing a song and think about you and even if they were to stop me from singing a song at myself they couldnt no way stop me from thinking about you, and that in itself is a consolation. Thats why I like to get up early in the morning. It just gives me so many more hours each day to think about you and about the kisses I got from you.

Do you still think that everything I want to write about vanishes when I sit down to write? No my sweetheart it doesn’t, only the most important things do and it makes me so sore to forget those important things that I dont write the rest of the things I think about. The most important thing I can think of is that I love you but I always forget just how I had intended to put it into the letter and if I was just to write I love You and repeat it a dozen or two times you would soon grow tired of it. Then what would I do? Id have a broken heart. I can’t bear to even think of anything like that honey all I can think of is that I love you and of course I think of a home and kiddies and a violin and clarinet duet to lass the time away. Then a few say about 17 or 18 years later I can see more. Ill bet you cant guess what it is? Ill tell you if you can’t guess. Just ask me.

No my darling this life doesn’t get boring for you or for me because we have to much to look forward to. It may be that times passes to slowly for us but we aren’t bored. We might be able to tell all about what a cruel world this is for keeping us apart but we are never really bored. When you want to get away from everything for a week or two it is a sign that you want to forget routine matters but its not because they bore you but because a change of scenery makes one forget and it makes the time pass quicker.

I hope Mom doesn’t have to carry this all the way over town for you honey. If it has to be taken down to you Id advise her to ship it by express or freight or something like that. Ill bet she would cuss me for a month if she had to carry it very far, I wouldn’t blame her either.

Well darling I hope you will enjoy this letter although Im afraid that will be pretty hard to do and I hope you will write to me soon, often, and much. That part should be easy. Im closing now so write to

Your lonesome

Love & Many Kisses


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March 14, 1928 464 days and a flop


Please don’t think for one minute that I doubt you honey. I don’t in fact I trust you more than anyone I know of. I was simply beside myself the other day when I wrote that letter. I hadn’t heard from you in such a long time and I didn’t realize that it takes a day longer for a letter to reach you from here than it does from Quantico and the same with the letters for me. By this time I think you will have received the letter telling you to disregard that letter where you say I doubted you. I am ashamed of myself honey but I just couldn’t help it. I love you so much that my mind refused to figure out anything else. The only thing my mind was saying all day was, “You lost her,” and it was torture to think

I just got another letter from my dad today honey. He told me about everything he bought with that check and all about the stock hes got now. He wrote part of the letter in german trying to fool me, but I foxed him and wrote back in german. Ill fool him good some day. Ill tell him something in Spanish and Ill bet he’ll lay off then. I dont know much Spanish but what I do know is just that much more than he knows.

Ive started work in my course again honey. I wrote out a lesson on Transformers last night. I sure burned the midnight oil. I worked on it till eleven oclock last night.

That watch I was telling you about cant be such a relic as it is old. I performed an operation on it the other day and wound it up with a pliers and stuck it together and lo and behold it ran for a period of 7 hours and twelve minutes.

Have you received one of my letters yet that was mailed in Washington? I suppose you are wondering how come when I am about 150 miles south of there. Well a buddy of mine went to Washington to get some dental work finished that was started when we were in Quantico so as he was going to Washington I thought he might as well mail it for me and we would give you a small puzzle to work out.

Im getting more time to write here for the last few days. They have been keeping us well supplied with messmen. I just got three more which all means the work gets done so much quicker. These three seem to be a little radical as yet but Ill soon take that out of them. Ill have them working themselves to death for a few days and they’ll get so they jump when I yell. Then if that don’t bring them around Ive got another method that will.

I wrote a small note yesterday so I haven’t much to tell you today but you should have enough news stored up to write me a book.

I Love you more each day darling if that is possible and I think of you always. Only 464 more days.

Muyo Besos Ye Pesos
Your Porter

“See you later”
About 50 or 100 times


Enclosed –

4506 Oak Park Cleveland Aug 2 – 27 –

Dear Friend, --

I might as well tell you in the first few lines what Ive got to say. Lindy flew to Paris and has just visited Cleveland – but I sent you a letter a short while ago and didn’t receive no ans so if you don’t get this letter please write to me and I will send it at once. – “Yaw”

Business has been dull since you lefted especially the saloon business. Your wife was took to the insanig assylm yesterday she was crazy to see you.

I saw your boy yesterday for the first time. I thinks he looks just like you but he is all right otherwise so I would not worry if I were you.

I am sending you by Adams Eggs Press your overcoat and as they charge so much a pound to send it I cut off de buttons. Hoping this will prove satisfactory You will find de button on the inside pocket.

I almost forgot to tell you I got married last week I got a pretty good wife. She from Mt Zion but I think I could have got a better one at Newville as they have a larger stock to select from.

Well kid we aint doing much around our neck of the woods no excitement only we held a few beach parties and wiener roast. Also I got into a scrap with the step father because he beat my mother up. I come out the worst he didn’t come out very nice I battered hell out of his face knocked out a couple of teeth and blackened his eyes and all I got was 2 bites on a little over my tit and another on the arm also I got my neck all scratched up where he tried to choke me.

Irving is Lifeguard instructor down at Brookside park also he aint working neither is Bill Meyers. I work every day but still Im flat broke week in and week out.

I don’t know if you knew that Lindy was here in Cleveland for the 1st and 2nd of Aug. there was some excitement about him I only went out to the airport to see his plane. Boy it’s a small one.

As this is all I got to say I will Klose my mouth and aspect you to do da same. Hoping dis will reach you before you get it and dat you vill answer before dat. I remain your confectionary second to the last Kousin

James Anderson
4506 Oak Park

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March 14 [1928] M.B.N.O.B. 462 more


Your special delivery arrived this noon and as we just got our tables cleaned and re-set Im through till four oclock so Im going to answer it now.

I think I told you in one of my letters that I had one posted in Washington. Well the fellow that took it along forgot to mail it, gave it back to me this morning so I mailed that a little while ago.

Dont bother your little head trying to figure it out darling, Im getting your letters now and those that were forwarded to Haiti will get to me sometime or another.

Boy what I mean, if you could see me for one minute now to wipe away those doubts that arent here, Ill bet you would never go back to Cleveland till I get discharged. Id never leave you go any more honey.

I believe you when you say you love me darling and Im happier for knowing it, and as for that furlough you might never forget it but neither will I.

It does seem like there must always be a fly in every ointment, dont it honey? Here weve both found love only to be denied that love well the love isn’t denied cause Ill always love you no matter how far apart we may be but, they or if you would rather have it that way fate sees fit for us to be separated for a while yet before we shall have a chance to be married and to show our love other ways than by these precious letters that we both value so very much.

What luck Im having here honey. First I get to be in charge of the messmen here and now I get an even better chance. It seems that the all Marine baseball team is going to train here this year. They will probably begin getting here tonight and as they have special chow while training we have set four special tables and Im going to be in charge of those four tables so it will be up to me whether or not the Marine team is well fed or starved while training this year. I will still be in charge of the other men but I won’t stay behind them all the time because Ill is busy with my four tables. Don’t you wish you were me? Just think of all the baseball players you could get acquainted with.

Know what I was thinking of much of the time when I didn’t hear from you darling? Well I was going to get a week end and a 72 hour leave that’s 120 hours all told and I was going to come up and take you along with me. That would just have given us enough time to have got married but as that wouldnt have given us time to get married in Cleveland and we couldn’t hardly take Hoppy to Pittsburgh I put that plan out to the wind. On 120 hours I could just get to Cleveland at 6:00 A.M. and take the train out again at 8:00 A.M. and I wouldn’t have a layover long enough to be married until I’d be almost back but gee honey if 120 hours would have given me time to catch a later train you would be a married woman now and your residence would be temporarily in Norfolk Va. I mean I was honestly speculating on that only the time tables showed me it couldn’t be done and still have Hoppy there for a while I was going to get you and make apologies later but I changed my mind.

I received a letter from Lill this morning about an hour after your letter she hasn’t much to say but what she has to say is sure welcome. She says that I shouldn’t say Im writing Beatrice a few lines. Lill says to tell the truth and say “I’ll write you a few books.” She also wants to know, “If you still write me volumes.” How does she know you wrote that to me? Surely Ive never told her and Im sure she’s never seen any of your letters once they got here. There seems to be a, “gook,” in the wood pile somewhere. I guess I’ll have to investigate. Did she get out seeing you Sunday? Or were you out? She said she might see you but she said it was such a nice day she didn’t think you would be at home.

Thanks for telling me again that you love me and taking such pains to be sure the letter gets here honey I sure appreciate it and it’s made me happier than you can guess.

Well I guess I’ll close now honey and try to catch a couple of winks of beauty sleep.

Yours Always

P.S. Thanks for being mine always.


XX 40 cdl PR

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March 15, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Va.


I received another letter this morning and Im thinking it’s too good to be true. The letter I received this morning is, -- well I think I’ll call it your relief letter, because you are as much relieved to know that I have received your letter as I am to know that you still love me.

I guess you are right there to when you say it wasn’t Erg’s letter that cured my sickness. Well honey to tell you the truth about it your letter sure cured the sick heart but the tired feeling was cured more by taking it easier at my work and letting my men do a little more instead of trying to do it all myself. Ive only got about 40 minutes though till early dinner because I had to serve a special chow for the few ball players that got here. It seems they aren’t going to stay though. They are going to stay nine miles from here at Norfolk instead. Tough luck.

Im glad you got your packages honey and Im glad you liked the outfit although I was a little afraid it wouldn’t fit. Im glad you liked that extra book honey. I enjoyed it myself. Sure I picked it myself but don’t blame me because I was just lucky enough to get a good one, most of the books I pick are, “lemons.”

Don’t worry about that watch honey I’ll send it the first chance I get to go to town. I can’t very well go to town until Uncle Sam decides to give me my last month’s 20/80 or at least it wouldn’t do any good. We will get it in a few days now so why worry. I performed another operation on the watch the other night and had it running for 16 hours but one can’t afford to take a watch apart every time it needs winding and unless I can get a key to wind it with Im afraid that is what we will have to do.

I wrote Babe a letter last night and asked her to write. I didn’t know the baby was sick. Im glad she is better again. I guess I’ll have to write Bonnie a little letter one of these days when I write to Min and I’ll have to tell her where Emil is and also where, “The lady,” is.

Well honey you refer to the trick they tried on me that Sunday. I suppose you mean the time they tried to get me drunk? Honey I could take two to their everyone and still drink them drunk. Ive quit drinking that way though.

Well darling Ive simply got to quit for a while now and go to the mess hall for early chow so Ill write more at about two oclock this afternoon.

1:30 P.M.

Well honey we got through in nice time today everything went as smooth as velvet everyone did their part without any argument whatever.

Ive decided on a new idea since I got Lills letter yesterday. I decided I would write you a book seeing as everyone thinks thats what I should do. Ive decided to answer all your letters as they come with short ones and all the time Ill be writing this ?? Book. It will probably contain many things youve wanted to know for a long time. Don’t be surprised now honey if the letters start coming two days apart or more maybe three days but no longer. Im going to look over your letters one by one and answer anything you may have saked me. Then when I get the book done if its alright and suits me Ill send it to you. Is that all right with you?

I guess this will be all for today honey so Ill close with

Love & Kisses



I love you more than anything my darling.

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March 15 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia

To my darling Beatrice:

Do you remember the first letter you wrote me after I had enlisted in the Marines? It was posted on June 20, 1926 and arrived at Quantico June 22 just 365 days after I was sworn in. You told me to consider myself bawled out for not writing sooner. Thats one of the few bawlings out that I have never forgotten and never will. I had asked you if your dad would have any objections to my writing to you. You went to great pains to assure me that he would not. He used to think different when we went to school, you know, but you told me he had changed since then.

You told me you had never seen me in uniform and you went on to assure me that you didn’t mean that as a slam. As if I could possibly take that as a slam. How proud you were of the fact that you had just become a senior. I may not have told you so then darling but I to was proud of you.

You told me you had been to see, “Kiki,” “The Blackbird,” and Brown of Harvard. I wish I could have seen those shows with you. Do you know that I can never even think of a show anymore without thinking of how happy I was when we went to those shows together, its then I realize how much I missed you during the time I wasnt writing to you, and just what it was I missed.

That letter was one time when you doubted my word. I had told you that I was studying, and you said seeing is believing you couldn’t imagine me studying. I wonder if Lill ever showed you the proof of it when you was over at our house. Oh yes they have presented me a nice diploma signed by M.G.C. John A. Leguine.

You asked me to write and tell you how things looked around Quantico, wanted to know if we had big or little trees, did we have nice horses, did we see any ball games, were there any lakes, boating, or fishing. I don’t know if I ever answered that flock of interrogation marks and commas or not. It seems that the trees are about the same as at home only they are all strange. Not one of them had ever been in Cleveland and they were so stuck up they wouldn’t talk to me anyway. Yes we had nice horses but it was very hard to get a hold of them cause the officers were always riding. Im sure Ive told you about the baseball games and as for the players you know them as well as I do and know as much about them if not more than I do, so I wont start telling you about them. There are no lakes around Quantico nor are there any around here. The Potomac River went by Quantico and when it gets down to here it is Chesapeak Bay. The fish are plentiful around this side of the Globe but so are the confounded eels. We aren’t allowed to go boating because it affords another way for dissatisfied sissies to desert.

You closed the letter with, “Your used to be Friend.” Was that nice for my sweetheart?

Your next, “Red Letter,” came on July 8th. I believe I was in the Hospital at the time trying to argue the doctor out of the notion that I needed my appendix out. I won the argument, by the way.

You asked me if I had turned woman hater. I guess you know why now don’t you? Who wouldn’t after a loveless engagement just to please an over nosy parent. Yes Im referring to the affair with Evelyn. Thats where I learned to mistrust a blonde.

You told me you had gone fishing with your dad and the fish refused to bite so you gathered water lilies. You were contemplating at the time on a camping trip with your dad and you were going to take growler along. I never did see that beatifull beautiful green bathing suit you told me about. You simply had to learn to swim then. No success I think.

You said never mind the ink you liked pencil better anyway cause ink is so sloppy, yet you gently hint that pencil rubs and fades to easy by giving me a pen for Xmas. Oh! Ive stolen a march on you then I guess.

Do I ever think of old West Tech? How could I help but think of West Tech especially when I realized how much I missed by stopping when I did and above all when I met you there?

That letter was when you asked me to make a furlough before Christmas if possible. You sure were anxious to see me then. If I remember rightly my supervisors weren’t so anxious that I should come and see you and had a guardian angel to (protect?) me from all temptation of coming anyway. That was six months later though. Ive several volumes to go through before then.

In your August 14, 1926 letter you showed your first sign of affection also your first sign of Jealousy but not of me but of how good I was doing in music or at least you claimed to be jealous. Well honey thats over now we have one another to look forward to so there is no sense in it (Practice what you preach Porter)

Helen and you had been bathing and your shoulders were sunburned you said I ought to see yours and Helens shoulders. Hm interesting part of the anatomy to be gazing at. Can you make that out?

Your Oct 2 1926 letter is next in line and you asked me what a formal Guard Mount is. Ill try to explain. The old guard Those that are not actually on post form in skeleton squads, that is six men to a squad thusly

XXXX and as many squads as they make is supposed to be as many squads as the new guard has full squads thus

XXXX These aren’t well kisses you know, each cross is supposed to represent a man. Then they stand at attention and the band plays generally a march after aggilance call is sounded to march on the colors. The old and new guard march over to the right of the band into a single line. Then they stand at parade rest while the band marches in front of the line and back again to its original position. We call this trooping the line. Then we play a waltz or something while the guard are inspected. Then the sgts of the guard report their companies. Then the pass in review.

Next you ask what Ive been doing. Thats so far back I couldn’t tell you. Ive forgotten all shall we say unpleasant things that happened so long ago. I suppose though it was either guard or else swinging a pick and shovel or something like that, generally was.

Next comes your letter of Oct 12 1926 you started out with (What do you think?) How the heck should I know what I was thinking of at the particular time that you were writing that volume?

You closed that letter in French with “Your Friend Occupied,” I think is what it means, it is like this, “Yotre Amie occupie,” was my translation right? Do you want to know what my translation is based on? Its on the word Bon Amis. My uncle who is passed on now explained to me when I was just a kid that it means, “Good Friend,” or something like that so I knew that “Amie” means friend and, “ocupee,” looks like occupied and, “Yotre,” looks like yours. Hence my version of your shall we say , unusuall ending of this letter. So much for this one.

Your October 22, 1926 edition was a bit of advice to stick around cause the service was doing me so much good and telling me how many more good things were in store for me if I stayed. That letter makes me feel like shipping over for the good I get out of the service. Shall I?

You said you cant ever think with your eyes shut. You must have learned how between that time and my last furlough, cause every time you closed your eyes and I asked you you said you were thinking.

October 31st edition you told me you had met my sister and the most of the edition was devoted to raving about her. Here you was in love with the wrong member of my family and here was me willing to give my right eye just to have you love me even to let me love you if you couldn’t love me. Here I was ready to shoot up a regiment of men just for the right to love you or be loved by you and you were wasting this perfectly good devotion on my sister.

In your Nov. 9, 1926 edition you promised to tell me some of the things Lill has been telling you if I was good. You never did. I just wonder now. You said (hoping I think who you think I mean) Took up your letters about that time once honey and tell me what that refers to if you can find it please don’t forget darling cause I sure want to know.

You gave directions like this soon after that letter. To be taken after each meal with or without water according to courage.
Doctor Bea:
Same as for rattlesnake bite.

In your Jan 2 1927 letter you asked in one breath when they were going to let me out of the brigg and in the next you asked how my music was coming along. Did you think the brigg was built to make us feel at home? If carrying and lifting trash cans full of wet ashes all day makes a man feel at home, it was. Music my eye. They wouldn’t even leave us talk cause it made to much noise. Let alone blow an instrument. Anyway the only personal stuff we were allowed to keep while in there was a couple of suits of B.V.D’s and some toilet articles and writing material. How the heck could I sneak a clarinet in? Under my B.V.D’s?

Well honey this much of the book has taken me all the spare moments of this day with the exception of those minutes I used to answer your letter, and as it is time to retire use Kelly Springfield or, “what have you.” Ill close for tonight


Well this is another day honey which all means another dollar from old Uncle Sam. It means more to me though. It means one more day toward “My Blue Heaven.” When I look forward to that my darling I get as happy as a kid. In fact I sometimes get so happy that I can’t even think. Thats a good excuse for not writing when one can’t think, one cant write either. I only ask to get to see you once more. Ill bet that will be one long time though that once will last the rest of my life cause Ill never let you go anymore. I can just about see us waiting like I told you at one time till about two years after I get discharged. That idea was all O.K. then. Id die now if I had to wait that long. I don’t know what it is. I know you love me and I don’t think you will give me up any easier than I would you. In fact Im beginning to think it couldn’t be done no way. I don’t believe they could make you give me up for any reason yet, Im always afraid lest something should happen that would. Honey if you ever do give me up for any reason at all. Well Id never leave anyone else have you.

I just run across a place in one of your letters where it was you that was cheering me up and a few letters later you were the one that needed cheering. I just wonder now if I ever did give you that cheering. If I didn’t Im afraid you wont get much of it today cause it’s a dreary rainy day out today and the dreariness seems to be contagious.

Your next letter indicates that you didn’t need any more cheering but it also says my letter arrived at the right time.

Oh dear! He was such a terrible looking thing, and I came near not having a Beatrice to write me even a short letter. I got so sore when I read that part of one of your letters. I was going to look him up. Well after reading half a page more I find out that it he was a mad dog. Someone else probably had the pleasure of killing him for giving you such a scare. Now Id like to kill him for giving me such a scare.

No Im not 180, Im 21 this year. Oh! pardon me. I see you mean 180 lbs. Oh yes I was that at one time but Ive reduced since then a few pounds. Im about six pounds less now than 180 lbs but if I stay with the Mayonaise dressing, olives, and sweet pickles, I wont be very long. Oh I dont mean that Ill be any shorter than 6 ft but I mean I wont be under 180 lbs. very long.

Oh, you made me say, “Yes,” one time and you didn’t even give me a chance to argue but you steadfastly refused to say, “yes,” yourself for a long time. You’ve made up for lost time though.

Do you know what the answer to this one is honey? I love you so much that just thinking of the time Ive got to do yet makes me sore at the Marine Corps. I love you more than anything else. I don’t believe its possible to love more than I do and still every day I feel like I love you more. I can’t possibly love you more though because my love is as strong now as it seems possible to be. Try to figure it out. Im darned if I can. It just beats me some way or another so I cant think of anything else.

Say I always get jealous when I read some of your older letters. You are always telling me about some other guy and I always resolve inwardly to find that guy next time. I get to Cleveland and I always change my mind. I think Ill have to forget to change my mind about the pianist of the orchestra in the Rialto. You were to stuck on him. Why honey Ill swear you wrote almost a half page about him.

You also had another one of your, “Bright ideas,” as you call them when you wrote that letter but wasn’t ready to tell yet. I wonder if it is ready now? You never have told it you know.

Here Ive got a letter from you posted March 28th 1927 that gave me warning that it was no nice feeling to have a crushed thumb. That was eight months before I got mine crushed now how did that happen.

I don’t know what is the matter with me and my writing today but for some reason or another I can’t seem to think of anything to write about neither does my pen want to write.

No I didn’t mind your not autographing your picture at the time but later I kind of wished you had. Im liable to get it mixed up with all the other girls pictures I have if your name isn’t on it. No darling it isn’t necessary to put your name on any picture you give me although I don’t mind but I know the picture was given to me so Im satisfied and if anyone else thinks I swiped it Im fairly confident that I can convince them that they are fooling with someone else’s affairs and that their intrusions are unwelcome to me. If anyone wants to know who the girl on the picture is. If I feel like telling them I will if not I wont. Im generally glad of the chance to talk about her though.

The next letter I have from you was right after my third furlough or your first one. You asked me how could I go to sleep and pass up all that beautiful scenery on my trip back. If you had laid awake nights for a week wondering (Why) someone refused to be your wife and if had been worrying your head off do you think you would prefer scenery to a bit of sleep? I doubt it.

You called me, “Porter Dear,” in that letter. That gave me more hope than anything else. It made me happy and still it worries me cause I couldn’t figure it out for myself.

Now to put those letters aside for awhile and give you what little current news I have up my sleeve.

To begin with my music arrived today, a whole half months worth of it. Do you think you can figure out the last sentence Well it means it cost half my months pay. It is well worth it though it has all kind of standard overtures and selections in it. All solo & 1st B [flat] clarinet. I only wish I had a clarinet here now. Id have a good chance to practice.

I dont remember if I told you in yesterdays letter or not but the Marine Baseball team have decided to do their training elsewhere this year. Namely, Norfolk Va. which is nine miles from here. I guess that gives my idea of getting the low down on them a punch in the kneck. Poor idea. Im really sorry for it. Oh well Im kind of glad honey cause I expect we might leave here within the next couple of weeks and Id only have to feed them and wouldn’t see them train at all from the looks of things it looks like its going to rain for the next six months not only the next two days. Heres luck to them (Bottle of ink) I hope they all break a leg.

Guess what Ive been singing at my work all morning? Your wrong it wasn’t Blue Heaven at all it was that Souvenire song that I like so well.

In place halt! Until about 6:30 P.M. or 7:00 P.M. anyway until after supper.

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March 17 / 1928 6:15 P.M.


Im afraid I must close this book without finishing it if I ever want you to have it before I get paid off. I wont have a chance to finish it after tonight cause Im afraid there won’t be any tables or anything aboard ship to write on. Yes “Dear Heart,” you have guessed the reason for all this haste. Im not going to Haiti but to Nicaragua instead. We will probably leave Monday so Im going to have to pack my stuff again and do it when my work in the mess hall is done tomorrow. Well as much as I hate to go to that darn place still in a way Im glad. Im going down there and get me a couple of “gooks,” and when I get them there wont be any fight in them at all. Someone has to pay for taking me so far away from you and it might as well be a nigger as anyone else. The funny part is they aren’t even sending me as a bandsman but are sending me for straight duty. I think Ill put in either for Aviation or Machine gun Company.

Now honey I know just how you are going to feel about this news but it can’t be helped Im afraid, it looks like ill have to take orders like a good soldier and like you will have to bear it with me like a soldiers sweetheart. God alone knows how much I hate to ask you to bear this with me darling and we will just have to trust him to watch over us both and to loosen our burdens.

Oh how I hate that place, Nicaragua. Well they are sending me down there and if I take to free a hand and Kill a few niggers for looking cross eyed maybe they will realize that I didn’t want to go to Haiti Nicaragua but to Haiti. Of course you will keep on writing to this address and the mail will get to me faster.

Well darling I love you now and always will if that is any consolation to you. Ill always be looking forward to the day when I will come back to you and will always remember darling that you are all mine and if, “God Almighty,” wants me to come out of it all a sound and healthy man why everything will be nice for me but if he wants that I should come out another way beside healthy, Then Ill make every nigger I see pay and Ill not come out. I want you to be brave my sweetheart and no matter how heavy your heart may be look up to the world with a smile on your face.

Im doing that honey. I don’t like to go away from you either but there is no one beside you and me that knows it. I won’t ever have any one say, “He was a coward,” not if I can help it honey. Im going down there with the full knowledge of what I am going into and if they smite me on one check Ill turn the other and do it with a smile. Im smiling now but not my heart. That feels like lead. Oh that this world should come to this. They teach you “thou shalt not kill,” and then turn around and make you kill. Well I can sure do that if that is what they want.

I suppose about this time you will be thinking my good senses must have left me suddenly or something to that effect. Im going to assure you they have not left me. Oh no, my darling Im simply angry at the hypocracy of it all. They keep books in the libraries for us to read such as is in front of me now. The title if, “In his Steps,” or “What Would Jesus Do?” The author is Charles M. Sheldon. Now if he were in my place and someone said, “kill,” What would he do? Would he rather obey orders or would he rather stay by the, “Commandment” I believe it would be one pretty hard party if we were to try to lead this life in his foot steps from the “Garden of Gethsemane,” to, “Calvary” I wouldn’t be such a big sin to ask us to fight if it were someone with intelligence but to kill those ignorant niggers that are no comparison at all for us and only just for one reason, because the big money sharks on Wall Street have their money invested there. For that reason we have to sin to commit the capital sin. Take life.

Well darling as I said before we will just have to be brave and take things as they come and we will look things square in the face. In other words we won’t let other people know our real feelings except maybe our love. That I never would deny. Ill live only for that love darling and for a, “Captain Joseph,” later on maybe. I only wish I could make you my wife before I go darling then I know Id be back O.K. Oh Ill be back O.K. anyway honey so lets not worry any more about it. Im afraid as it is you should be the one to preach to me about how brave a soldier should be and how I am worrying to much.

I may send another package of things home to you darling if I can and I may send your picture because I don’t want to break it by putting it into a heavy marching oiler and you can send me another small one to fit in my purse as the other one got spoiled one time when I got wet to the skin trying to use a motorcycle to swim through a lake after a cloudburst.

Good night I though all night that I didn’t have a thing to smoke but I remembered some tobacco in my pouch that was to fine for a pipe so I just found some cigarette papers and as my thumb wont work rolled one with one hand. Its funny how many things we can do in need that were simply impossible before.

I wrote my dad a letter today and told him I might go but it wasnt a sure thing then yet but Im not going to tell him yet for a while till I get down there. Im not going to write to Lill about it at all nor to Min. There is no hurry about letting them know so you can tell them when you see any of them.

Im losing money by going down here because all Ill be drawing will be privates pay no specialist money but I dont care. Ill have enough to get married on when I get back and I hope Ill be able to earn enough after that to support a wife on. I may make some kind of a rating down there to who knows? I may get pushed into the motor transport company or something with a chance for a darn good rating.

Well darling all we can do is hope for the best and put our trust in God so lets live and be happy in this beautiful love of ours while we may. Ill think of you always and you do the same and we will leave the rest in the hands of our maker.

If you write soon I may get the answer to this when I hit Nicaragua. Ill surely have one more letter before I go aboard ship Monday so Ill remain

Your Lover Always





Weve got most of our life to make these good honey and I mean to cause I love you so much


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March 18, 1928 M.B.N.O.B. Hampton Roads Virginia


Just a few lines to let you know that I haven’t left yet but that I am expecting to soon. We leave here to join our Regiment The 11th Regt. At the navy yard at noon tomorrow. I had to draw some more clothes today so I had to repack my sea bag beside that I had to stay in the Mess hall today yet I was supposed to be relieved last night. Ive just through packing and have very few minutes left till Taps so I thought Id use them for a good cause.

Do you still love your Porter honey? Even when he is going down to kill, “gooks”? That’s funny but he’s more liable to come back to you if he kills them than if they are left to live. No darling Ive kind of got over my blues cause I found out today that very little of our time will be spent in the hills in pursuit of Sandino but we are going down to suppress any trouble that may start at their election of a President to take Diaz’s place. Oh. We may get into the hills now and then but the most of ours will be in the bigger cities and in the capital.

Well Darling, does that make you feel any better? Ill write to you often when I get there and again before I sail if I get the chance. Ill try to send the watch before I sail if I can. You just keep writing to me here and the letters will reach me and dont be so very surprised if you dont hear from me for a couple of weeks cause the trip alone will take some time and a letter to the
States from there takes some time to so write to

Your Love Sick Marine

Kiss me by the radio like this XX


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Mar. 19 1928 N.O.B. Portsmouth Va.


Here we are at the navy yard at Portsmouth. Not much distance for one day but it’s a start anyway. We probably leave here tomorrow or the day after. Just as soon as all the men get here. We will be the 1th Regt. And most probably the 3rd Battalion. It seems funny to do straight duty again after doing special duty for such a long time. There are quite a few of my buddies that came through traing with me that are in this company. I dont know yet what it is all about but its, “Nicaragua here I come,” and, “Bye Bye Sandino.” I got a swell rifle and boy what I mean those gooks want to keep out of my way if they want to to stay healthy. I was going to start in on a couple of them as we came through Norfolk but the man in charge (a corporal) wouldn’t let us.

Im going to send that watch from here if I can and I most probably can as soon as we get some liberty to go to town.

I had to store a lot of my clothes at Hampton Roads cause I had to darn many to bother with on an expedition. I suppose half of them will be missing when I get back but it’s the best I could do.

I suppose you will be wondering whats the matter with my writing. Ill tell you. Theres nothing to write on and sitting on a bunk and trying to write in your lap is no easy thing to do unless I can find a post Exchange to get some envelopes why this letter wont get mailed for a day or so. I think Ill get some though.

Well honey I don’t know about how the time is going to pass for you but I expect it will pass pretty quick for me cause there will be something new during each day. From what I hear why we will be back in the States by next October when the gook election is over so I may be home for next Christmas. I hope so. Any way when I get back Ill have so little time to do that Ill be able to count the days on my fingers almost. Even if I get back in October then Ill put in a request to be paid off 3 months ahead and Id only have 5 months to do, as it is tis only 159 days. I think.

Im lonesome and blue today honey. Lonesome because you arent here and blue cause there was no letter for me before I left Hampton Roads today and one was due today. You see the mail come in before we left cause we didn’t leave till 1:30 this afternoon. That letter should have been there. I think Ill have to have the Post Office Department wages cut.

Well honey thats all for this time but Ill write more before we leave so Love



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March 20. 1928 Still at Portsmouth


This seems to be another day and another dollar earned. Weve been on the go all day and well likely keep going till taps tonight. This is noon and the rest of the gang have gone to show. I went to the Post Exchange and got a small box to ship that watch and Im enclosing this note. God only knows when or where I will get to mail it.

I also got a new Kodak yesterday a Eastman Autographic No 1 I dont know how Im going to get the pictures printed and developed but they will be taken anyway. I wouldn’t make a trip like this without a camera if I had to starve to get the camers.

We got assigned to companies this morning and Im in the sixty first machine gun company Eleventh Regiment and we will probably be at Leon Nicaragua. We aren’t sure of our destination yet.

Don’t be surprised if you dont hear from me for a while honey, cause I don’t know when Ill get the next chance to write or mail a letter. In fact I don’t know when or where Ill get a chance to mail this yet.

I suppose youve still got the directions for opening the watch just press [illustration of watch] this and the back opens then you see this [illustration of watch] those two circles represent the place where you wind and set the thing. Ive tried to get a key for it here but no one seems to carry any of them

Well honey we have a rifle inspection right after dinner preparatory to turning them in so Ive got to close and Ill write as soon as I get a chance.

Love Your


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March 21, 1928 Navy Yard Norfolk Marine Barracks


Ive just got to write to you tonight if I never get repacked. It seems that the U.S.S. Ogalala got in today and 16 men have gone aboard already to load and we go aboard tomorrow morning. We leave when she gets loaded I think.

I walked half a dozen miles across lots till I found a post office today and mailed that watch. There is a small letter in the bottom of the box. We had another “heavy” today layed out on the field for eth majors inspection so that means repack everything. We also were assigned machine gons and drew steel helmets, Pistol, blets, holsters, clips etc. and drilled about an hour in the bargain. Some day.

Now its just up to us to put about 3 complete changes of clothes and our toilet articles and mess gear into a heavy and make the roll so tight it will fit into the brim of our hats. Nice people.

I wish we would get started cause the sooner we get Sandino’s scalp and put the fear of Christ into his followers the sooner we will be back to our loved ones.

I sent off a letter to Erv today that I had written a couple of days ago but couldn’t mail it cause there was no post office to get stamps at but I found one today so now Ive got stamps so I sent it off and tonight Im writing one to you and one to my dad. Maybe one to Lill before I go. Whats the matter with my letters honey? The one that was due here Monday hasn’t arrived yet and the mail that gets to Hampton Roads got here yesterday and today so it evidently never got to Hampton Roads or else they’ve forgotten that I left there.

Ive met about half or two thirds of what is left of my old company that I came through boot training with. Ive also met many of the friends that Ive had at different times since Ive been in the service. This place isn’t so hot though for anything else. The bunks are nothing but canvas cots, no mattresses or pillows and the chow is worse than it was on Parris Island. Oh well weve only got once to live and the sooner we get it over with the sooner we’ll be done.

You never have decided yet when the big day will be so if you don’t decide soon Im going to decide to make it one week after I get home after my discharge. Oh yes that means that I have good intentions of coming home before that once more if I get back to the States soon enough.

Im still seeing things as they should be about eighteen or twenty years from now and Im strong for it honey but first Im looking forward to another big date. I often feel that a dozen guys like Sandino with an army apiece couldn’t hurt a guy that’s as lucky as I am. I sure feel mighty lucky since July 7th 1927. Im old man “Luck” himself. Lindy’s got nothing on me for luck. As far as I know he hasn’t found or been accepted by is idea of a perfect sweetheard and mate. I have.

Tell Helen that if she and Anne feel very peppery and quarrelsome to come down and look me up and Ill let them try their luck at beating up on “Our Friend” (Sandino) That should give her a fast couple of rounds and Anne chould be able to argue him to death. Please don’t take these as slams its just a little fun.

Im going to try to take some pictures while we load ship and some more on the trip and Ill try to get em developed and printed at Ocotal in Nicaragua if we stop over there long enough and if there is a photograpers there. Ive got a dandy Kodak again it is smaller than my other one was this is a No 1 Kodak Eastman Autographic Kodak sure a swell one cost me twelve bucks without accessories

You will find my new address on the sheet facing this. Our headquarters will probably be at, “Leon, Nicaragua,” but we aren’t sure of that yet so just mark it Nicaragua until you hear from me down there and Ill let you know.

I love you darling and they will never make our return soon enough to suit me cause when we do get back Im coming to see you. Its really cruelty to make a man leave the woman he loves when he loves her as much as I love you. I love you so much that I can’t eat in the day and can’t sleep at night.

Well honey they cant keep us apart forever so write soon to your




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Private Emil G. Thomas 3rd Battalion 11th Regiment 61st Machine Gun Co. U.S. Mrines Expeditionary Force Nicaragua

March 22, 1928 Navy Yard Norfolk

Dearest Derby:

I didn’t expect Id be here to write to you tonight I expected to be long gone but we aren’t going to go aboard until tomorrow morning.

Today we were standing by to go aboard and in the mean time we took a little physical drill and machine gun instruction. The later was very interesting. More so than the former at any rate but Im still betting that the casualties on Sandinos part will be larger if they turn us loose with a couple of straight razors apiece. I don’t know much about Machine Guns but then weve got about a twelve or fourteen day voyage ahead of us to learn about the Machine Guns in and when we do Look out Sandino and all his relatives and friends.

Sorry to hear that Tech lost that game to South. That was a deciding game to, wasnt it? Oh well it isn’t the fact that your beat, that counts. Its how did you fight and why? Who was it that wrote those few lines? He must have been a smart guy whoever he was.

Dont worry about my not knowing what part of Jimmys letter is bunk and which isn’t. When you know him as well as I do you cant help but know which is bunk and which isn’t.

No honey I never did receive the letter witht eh Tech Team’s pictures in it. I guess its still trying to find out where the heck Im at.

Darned if I know what made that fool think you were Jewish but don’t worry about it he either thinks different now or else he realizes that what he said was an insult. Anyway he knows better than to repeat his words. Id break his back in two if he ever did repeat those words so I could hear them or about them.

Why the heck don’t you bawl me out and tell me how careless I am to let that pencil stolen on me, or is that bawling out still traveling too.

We just got some definite information now. They told us to be darn sure to have everything we will want on the trip in our sea bag heavy cause the sea bags will be in the hold where we can’t get at them so Im going to repack my heavy again tonight. Heres hoping this is the last time cause if we roll them much more Im liable to roll them in my sleep and you might wake up some morning and find yourself rolled up in a heavy marching order. You wouldn’t like that so well, would you? It might not be so pleasant cause they get rolled pretty darn tight. Something like a corset.

Darn right Id try the cave man stuff honey. I love you so much that if I was to see you right now Id never leave you go anymore. They say everythings fair in Love or War and I seem to be having plenty of both right now only even the plenty isn’t enough as far as the love is concerned. Ill never get to much loving and I doubt like the dickens if I wouldn’t try cave man tactics right now if you were here and wouldn’t get married of your own accord. I wont say that I don’t prefer the other way but if the other way didn’t work Id sure use the cave man method.

I received a letter from Lill about an hour after yours. A nice letter to. It was three pages long. Its not often that she writes that much in the same letter.

Yes Ill admit Helen and Jimmy would make a good pair in those uniforms but Im darned if Jimmy only had a little more sense Id like to see those two make a pair marching together to the alter. Hes not good enough for her though. Neither is Erv. I only wish he was. Id have liked to see Hoppy struggling with the Jacket of that Gobs outfit buyt Id rather see you in it. In fact Id rather see you anyway.

Don’t worry honey I wont gyp you on letters if I can help it but of course you know that I might not be able to write every day while Im down there nore will I be able to receive them every day. I may be some way from a post office most of the time. Depends on where Im doing duty heres hoping its very near a post office

They will probably assign one corporal and two or three privates to preserve the peace in each small village or town and when we go into the hills where Sandinos army might be we will probably be a full squad, eight privates and a corporal. Thats noting though. In 1924 they sent 42 Marines to China to protect two full regiments of the army from the Chinese rebels.

Well honey we leave tomorrow sure so bye bye for a while and write often to me at the address on the envelope. I love you now and always will darling and if dreams come true we’ll both be very happy. Think of me often



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March 24, 1928 Aboard the U.S.S. Ogalala


Your letter of consolation was received by me about 2 minutes before we came aboard the tug that brought us out to the ship. That was yesterday. We spent the day in standing in line for chow and trying to find a place to crowd in our folding cot. We are now almost eighteen hours out, about 200 miles as they go in the navy.

The water is pretty rough today and bound to get worse cause we are scheduled to run into a storm sometime today. We are doing everything but barrel rolls now so what will we do then. I havent been sea sick this trip yet but Ive got a hunch I will be soon. Im going to write this letter a little at a time and when I get an envelope full Ill start another one.

I don’t know what to say to tell you how much good those few lines just before my departure done me. I realize how you feel about my going honey cause I feel the same way but it cant be helped so we will just have to make the best of a slightly bad bargain.

Time out.
Sunday A.M.

I was called away from your letter kind of suddenly yesterday when we had a class in Machine gunnery on the upper deck and one thing followed another and I didn’t get time to get back at my letter till now. Im going to write instead of attending the religious services this morning. Im sitting on a mine-rack at the stern using the mine-rack to write on. Its not very steady but its as good as anything I could find.

Oh yes we have a class today too. They are going to have a first class M.G. Company by the time we need one. The class meets – Time Out

Monday noon

I started to write some more yesterday but was called down for not being on time for class. We also had to go to church and I met one of the Hoffman boys there. Used to go to school with em. They live on Stickney. I knew he was in the Navy but I didn’t know what ship he was on.

Well honey we are getting down into warm country now yesterday morning we passed Key West Florida about 60 miles off the coast this morning we passed San Salvidor Where Columbus is supposed to have landed also some other group of Oslands. I don’t remember the name of them. We slept under one blanket last night, and were uncomfortably hot. Today it is to darn hot to wear any clothes only they won’t leave us run around that way.

I tried shaving last night and Im afraid my face got into the way a little cause I seem to have only half a face left.

I hear we stop at Panama but cant go ashore but the mail gets dropped there. We should get to the canal tomorrow night and lay to and go through Wednesday. They don’t go through at night so they always wait till morning to start through cause it only takes about eight hours to go through. Weve been practicing firing the Machine guns through the nime gate in the stern shooting at barrles tied about 1000 yds behind the ship. They are real hard to hit too because the waves roll them around so much.

Dont worry honey I love you as much as you love me and Ill come back to you some way and whats more Ill come back to you as soon as pissible.

It seems strange to me that so many men should be feeding the poor starving fishes and I can’t seem to. I eat just as much as any of them and I just don’t get sick. I guess my stomach is made of sheet iron or something.

Well honey I want to try to drop Erv a few lines so Ill close soon. I don’t know if I will succeed or not at the rate we are having classes but Ill try it anyway. Id like to write to Lill and to Min too but I doubt if I will get the time.

Id like to get a couple of letters at Panama but I know I wont so Ill just make the best of things as they are.

Well honey write soon so Ill be sure to have a letter when I get down there. Ill close now with Love and many Kisses

Your Porter



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[March 28, 1928] Date ? 1928 Wednesday


This is Wednesday and we are due to hit the canal today some time probably in tow more hours Im going to try to write you a few lines before the mail is taken up.

More dope – We are getting cleaned up for the canal. We are just two hours out and they are figuring on going through the locks on this side and we anchor in Gatun lake over night and we will probably go in swimming seeing as that’s fresh water. Birthday suits regulation What a relief that will be from the heat, sweat, dirt; and salt water.

Well honey I must be moving so write soon.

Our address is now 61st Co. 11th Regt. Expeditionary Force Nicaragua U.S.M.C. c/o Post Master Balboa Canal Zone

Dont worry honey cause Ill surely come back.

Always Yours



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P . F . C .     E M I L     " P O R T E R "     T H O M A S ,     U . S . M . C .      L E T T E R S




APRIL 1928—MARCH 1929