following letter was written to John Allderige to his sister and
Sunday 3 June 1945
Dearest Peg and John,
This is rather
difficult to start correctly — I don’t
know whether to first apologize for not writing, or just buzz along
with the huge amount of stuff that I have to tell — or what.
Your letters have been coming through with wonderful regularity telling
of life in Coral Gables, the moving from Allentown, and the prospective
plans to return to Detroit. I can’t tell you how much it means
to have all that news come in. I only wish that I had cut you in on
as much. Mom has been shooting on my letters to you as I understand
it. Here is the firsthand information, though, and I promise to keep
it coming more often from now on.
Right now I am
up in the radio shack listening to Radio San Francisco making with
some good old US jive. It does sound pleasant. I hope you’ll
pardon this typing — you’ll probably relish it though.
I’ve found all of a sudden that I can gang out letters much faster
this way, make ‘em much more legible, and write much, much more.
So, on all counts, it’s better than the old grubby way.
I know you’re probably wondering about all that action we had
last May 11 — if you’ve heard anything about it. Mom has
a rather complete account from me, one that kept me going for quite
a long while, and one tht I couldn’t hope to duplicate in any
manner. She’ll pass it along to you — in fact, if my figuring
is correct, you’ll probably be in New York at the time it arrives.
I have more to add to that — I can add to it almost any time.
But that’ll come along to mom and she can take care of gathering
it all together.
There’s one thing that I want to mention that, as far as you
(especially John) are concerned, is of more importance. For about 11
months I’ve been aboard this ship and all that while there’s
been an electrician’s mate third who went to second a short time
ago — his name is Web Treat. Just yesterday I found out that
he’s a Michigan man, Class of ’42, a Phi Delt — knows
both of you and innumerable people that are friends of yours. Hap Langstaff
and Bob Ufer were bosom buddies of his. He remembers bob Cooper very
well, Dolas White — all those gents up at A squared. We had a
grand old gab fest — he’s one heck of a swell guy. He remembers
you, John, and said that you and Peg went up to some weekend party
at a lake which he attended. I also learned that Jeep Mahaffey played
for Michigan only last fall! Glory, that guy must be all of 30 or more.
Anyhow, Web is married — he never finished Michigan from what
I gather. Lives in central Michigan. the trite expression that it is
a very small world certainly applies.
We have received
several indications in our press news that the story of our action
on May 11 has been announced in the states. Possibly
you missed that — I don’t know just how much it was published.
As I mentioned before, mom has all the dope on it. At present, we are
resting up in port, fixing the ship up, seeing movies, sleeping full
nights in bed, reading and writing — it’s quite a relief.
This in-port routine is hard to beat considering the circumstances.
I never eat breakfast, sleep through till quarters. We have quarters
(when the guys muster at particularly designated spots on the main
deck according to divisions — gives us a chance to get ‘em
all gotether and get dope out to ‘em) at 0815, so I sleep till
around 0800 (8 a.m. civilian time). After the shave and shower, business
following quarters, I take up work at my desk for about an hour. that
consists of clearing up the confidential mail of the previous day,
working on stuff for the repair ship to do, studying communications
when I’ll have that who blessed department. Around 1145 thoughts
turn to lunch and some hour or so later all that is finished and I
mosey around the ship just seeing how the work is coming, especially
in the particular area concerned with my gear and that of the communications
department. A routine boat trip for officer messenger mail comes up
at 3:30 p.m., which I just love — that boat is no better and
I invariably get soaking wet! After that, it’s cleanup for evening
chow, after which a flick is in order, then writing. All-in-all not
a very tough day. I’m stepping that routine up a bit now, though,
the rest is over and we’re attempting to return to “normalcy.”
Heigh-ho — that’s just about all I can pound out for now,
Peg and Jay. These fingers are rather tired, to say nothing of my eyes.
Again, all the luck and good fortune to both of you in your new venture.
I’m rootin’ for you — I think it’s great that
you can come back north again and chalk this interlude up to travel
education. Say hello to the kids for me and have a wonderful visit
with mom and dad.
Love to you both,
Nip (Nip is short for “Hipper,” Ensign Allderige’s
childhood nickname, still used then in the family.)