85: In The Hearts Of All That Knew Him.

August 23[1]

Hello Mom,[2]

What do you mean saying I don’t have to answer your letter, of course I will. It was so good to hear from you. I’m glad that we have managed to keep touch with each other and I hope that in years to come it is never allowed to die. Outside of my own family Mother & Dad & Pat and Martha and Courtney you and Gretchen are dearest to me. I often think of both of you and remember times we have spent together. Yours is the only place except home where I can come and feel completely at east in a way that is hard to explain. Perhaps it’s because of the love I feel for both of you. I know that I can never replace Phil I would not try to, but because of him I want to feel that your lives are mine in some small way. I’d like to be able to watch over you and be in on the things that concern you. Like the others you mention Phil does live on in the hearts of all of us that knew him.

The war is over now and I am very thankful that I was given a chance to come home.[3] It makes me feel that I must make every effort to justify the thing that was given to me. While it was going on I tried to even the score and I guess in plain numbers I did but it occurred to me that Phil wasn’t interested in how many lives I took even though they were Jap.[4] Instead he was more concerned over his mother and his sister and over the lives of his friends so that is how I want to try and carry out what his friendship and loss has meant to me. If you will always let me be a part of your lives, helping if ever I can, I will be happy and grateful.

Here is some news about the young Timmis family. Courtney has finally accomplished her feet, in fact the pedal extremities are now usually found in her mouth! Shades of Shakespeare! She can turn over all by herself and shows strong tendencies to crawl. She is the picture of health, I know because pictures are my sole source of information.

The old man was promoted August First to the impressive rank of full Lieutenant complete with double bars and healthy pay raise. Mother and Dad are setting the D.C. world afire with their dramatic efforts and are being polished to further perfection at the Catholic University’s dramatic school. Pat is about to go overseas, doing what I’ve not been told. Best of all I’m still happily married to about the most wonderful person on earth. I love her so much, why couldn’t Phil have met someone like Martha instead? I’d give any thing in the world if he could have had some of the happiness I have known.

It should not be long before I get home and then [illegible] of the descent of the Timmis Jr’s outfit!

Give my love to Gretchen and prod her into a letter maybe?

My love,


[1] Postmarked September 4, 1945.
[2] This term of address, and Bill Timmis’ subsequent paragraphs, show how close the two families were.
[3] Japan surrendered September 2, 1945; Timmis probably paused writing this letter and picked up again after V-J Day.
[4] Timmis was awarded the Navy Cross for his role in sinking the Japanese battleship Hyuga.

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