67: I’m Glad He’s Happy.

30 April

Dear Girls,

Here’s $75 more–to be used as you see fit. If you need it, use it–if you don’t, then bank it.

This letter from Bill today–he sure is a brick–I’d give a lot to see him out here some day.[1] If not, there will certainly be a hell of a big celebration when we get home together. And thank the Lord Martha sounds like a good girl for him. I’m glad he’s happy, but his descriptions of happy married life certainly didn’t do my morale any good. That of course is my idea of heaven on earth–after this war.[2]

I’m still getting the New Yorker–I get a tremendous kick out of it, as you know. It is my hometown paper–it is redolent of all that I love in the Big Town.

Couldn’t you put an ad in the paper–then if you got the pistol, get a permit, on very legitimate grounds. And how do you know I wouldn’t like this girl in Gretch’s office? Anything looks good from this distance. Not that Mother isn’t always right–you haven’t missed yet, but someday you may call one wrong. And I repeat–shelter all the sweet young things for a few months after I get back.


[The enclosed letter:]

April 12

Dear Phil,

You’re right long time no hear. Damn it was good to hear from you man and find that you are OK. Believe me sitting here in good old U.S. safe and sound I have worried about you.

Yes I am instructing–still after eleven months of it, fighting the battle of Daytona Beach, thinking! Christ I hear from guys like you out there and feel like a fountain pen commando. Well by God I’m proud to know you and to have been a friend back in the old days of Phil Delta Theta.

You know, all along I have had the wish that someday I could fly in first and soften up a place for you and your boys. Maybe I will before very long–I have applied a second time for transfer to an active squadron and now a new one is being formed that I think I will get in on.[3]

Now I’m going to tell you about what married life can be. I’m not trying to rub it in boy but I hope it will give you some ideas on trying it your self with another girl. Remember it was not Marge but another girl that has made my life so happy and worthwhile.

We were married in Jacksonville on January 22, ’43. Phil I’ll never forget how beautiful she was coming down that aisle, scared a little, shy and excited just as I was. I had twenty four hours so after the wedding we had our reception, champagne and all, then we ducked out to Ponta Vedra. That is a wonderful place, a beach club hotel. We had our own cottage with a balcony facing the sea. That was a wedding night out of some beautiful book. She had a lace robe and gown all cream satin and hand lace, she’s blond Phil and in that she was something a man never forgets.

The next day when our time was up we drove back in our little Ford that her family had given us as a wedding present. At the time I was still a student at the Field, an officer in final training. So we were there in the local hotel for six weeks. The things we made on a toaster and in an electric coffee pot would dumbfound you. Ever tasted stew boiled in a coffee pot? Good by God. From there we went to Daytona where I completed training as a dive bomber pilot. At that time I was made an instructor. I still had to go to the Great Lakes to qualify aboard the training carrier the Wolverine.[4] I made 12 landings aboard her. Then 20 days leave and back to Daytona and a wonderful little place on the beach. At this time, about the middle of June it was, we got ourselves a cocker spaniel puppy, five weeks old and black as night.

After a blissful summer there, consisting of swimming, fishing, and of course a lot of flying with the students I was transferred to DeLand. It is just about perfect. When I get back I’ll send you a picture. By the way–I should tell you right here that at the moment I am in Washington and with my family. I am here to ferry a plane back to our base and have permission to stay on a day.

Now–back to our married life. That house has become such a part of our lives I swear I don’t see how we can leave it. Martha and I are so crazy about it. It has beautiful grounds with [illegibile] and lots of little nooks where we can take our Victrola and listen to our symphonies. Phil I’m guilty–what in the name of God’s green earth did I do to deserve this? Here you are sweating out the fight, doing a job while I sit and take all the gravy. Mine not to question why, I guess.[5]

Wait ‘til you get married and you have such domestic problems as, who is going to wash the dog and how to keep the man of the house from spending all the bacon. Then of course there are mornings after a party when everything is frozen solid and there is no breakfast because we left the icebox on “coldest” all night after making ice cubes. Here is a tip never fail to notice the fact that, despite the dust that has been on the top shelf for weeks is still there, the house is spotless and that she must have worked like a slave all day. It’s all part of the game and it’s well worth playing because the result is a feeling of contentment and well being that one can find no other way.

Phil the weather is lifting and it looks as though I’ll have to shove off so so long for the moment. Drop me a line when you get the curtains up in your foxhole.

Damn it man take care of your hide I want to do things with you when this is over.



[1] William “Bill” Timmis was a friend and Phi Delta Theta brother from Swarthmore.
[2] Timmis had recently married Martha Blalock.
[3] The squadron, designated VB-87, was commissioned on 1 July 1944. Timmis would get his wish for combat.
[4] USS Wolverine (IX-64) was formerly the sidewheel steamer Seeandbee, converted for training operations on Lake Michigan.
[5] Timmis went overseas with VB-78 in January 1945, flying off the USS Ticonderoga. He would eventually rack up 11 combat missions, and receive the Navy Cross for his role in sinking the battleship Hyuga.
[6] Yours In The Bond–letter closing for fraternity brothers.

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