27: This Really Is A Rugged Life.

Sunday night[1]

Dear Girls,

This is really a rugged life–we have absolutely no time off–even to sleep–the men are getting worn out, quite overworked–going at least 8 and often 12 & sometimes 16 hours a day–more than half of it at night, all running & crawling miles–and miles–

But of course we’re all getting healthier, and we’re really enjoying it, though you wouldn’t know it to hear the moaning. Colonel Hart’s reception was a lulu–and Ed and I made a big stir with our Torch Singers–we sang a couple of numbers with the band and wowed him.[2]

Mother, it sure was wonderful to have you here–you know how much I wanted you to come. It was only a couple of months that I was out here but it seemed like years. I only hope now that we do go back through the East so that I can see you again Gretch–write often, though I can’t. It’s getting dark now, so I can’t write more, and must go to bed.

All love,


[1] Probably mid to late June 1943, after Margaretta’s visit and between Hart’s arrival and Keyes’ departure.
[2] Colonel Franklin Augustus Hart took command of the regiment in June, 1943. “Torch Singers” might be a reference to a singing group (similar to Phil’s later Agony Quartet) or just for singing “torch songs.” The 24th Marines had their own full band, made up of musically inclined members of the regiment.

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