Louis Lights Letters Home from March 16 to 26, 1945 while aboard the U.S.S. Logan (APA-196)
Between March 16 and 26, 1945 my father, Louis Light (Y2c) age 27, wrote the following series of letters to my mother, Alice.
The letters were written on the U.S.S. Logan (APA-196) which was with Task Unit 94.19.12 made up of a company of ships (Logan APA-196, Lowndes APA-154, Newberry APA-158, Hinsdale APA-120, Pickens APA-190, Sanborn APA-193 and Sibley APA-206) and assorted escorts that sailed from Apra Harbor, Guam to anchor at Saipan, Marianas Islands, to evacuate wounded and prepare for the invasion of Okinawa. On Thursday, March 22, the Logan narrowly missed colliding with the U.S.S. Lowndes (APA-154) (page 172 Lowndes Deck Log).
All of my fathers letters were handwritten in either fountain pen ink or pencil on thin onionskin ships paper. The letters show periods of boredom with the longing for loved ones and home only broken by moments of fear and preparation for possible death. They are recorded here as written. The U.S.S. Logan participated in the invasion of Okinawa, which began on March 25. It had previously participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima.
Wartime censorship aside he found ways of saying where they were by referencing prior battle events or by giving other subtle clues.
I will transcribe more of his letters to share out of respect for what Pop and others had to endure during war. Martin Light
FILE NO: APA-196/
U.S.S. LOGAN (APA-196)
C/O FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
16 March 1945
Just got off a letter to you stating this letter may be delayed a few days. Hope it gets there O.K.
Nope, Im not looking forward to any more invasions they arent fun, before, during or after. Im ready anytime to come home.
The foxholes of Japanese are solidly built of reinforced concrete & are deep into the ground with an oval roof making a slight hump. They are hard to see from the air. Their coastal guns and mortars are still on the beach as they were when the island was captured last summer. Young Bill will be able to give us much information some day. It rains every day as he says. The hills are green & rolling with an occasional one which could be taken for a small mountain. Wish it had been possible to go in them but the area is severely restricted, anyway I laid on the beach & if all places got a sunburn on the back of my legs. I wore my trunks & think it was from stooping & bending from digging for shells. I got several nice ones for you small tho.
One of these days Im going to teach you to swim.
By the way honey, I know youll not jeopardize anything by repeating verbatim my letters. What I mean is dont quote me or anything directly. It will take a little time, but well see you get a wardrobe.
March 17 (5:20 am)
Just a few minutes before general quarters. How are you this morning?
Your letter of March 6 received yesterday and note we are of same mind re the weather. Well mix it.
Your boss seems to be very understanding and Im glad to hear it. It seems pretty high type persons work there.
Is your sinus bothering you ala Fields? Re your building up yourself so you wont get these colds it seems your diet is all right but you are not getting enough sleep. How about it? You & I both require our full quota of sleep or we feel it. That has lots to do with our emotions, and state of well-being.
See where Ill have to pick up an anchor for Brians pot.
Yep, the Prot. Minister is aboard yet. Hes a Baptist, period. Time is flying. Id better close until later.
I love you darling. Your Hubby.
Armfuls of hugs, love, kisses & -------
Started to write you at 5:30 this morning but general quarters interfered. Since 6:30 am I was busy at the Stenotype until 12 noon sharp. Yesterday was same way & tomorrow will be the same. It all has to be transcribed & sent in for checking the battle radio circuits.
Had chow while ago & dozed over afterwards. I dreamed of meeting Brian or seeing him close. I could see his white teeth & his famous grin, I was peeking thru the clothes hanging on the line & he was by the porch. Sure would like to see him. G.Q. sounded & we were off again.
Dont suppose Ill get any mail for several days. Understand another Jap city got hit & the Marines finally got Iwo Jima. Japan is anticipating an invasion hope shes not disappointed. Dont know how it looks back in the States but from here the war is moving darn fast. Its hard to get an overall picture from fragmentary news.
It is late Sunday afternoon & at home this time its time to eat. What shall we have? How about that fried chicken, lets get 5 & fry them, as for me all I ask for are: chicken, rolls, butter, gravy, fruit salad, milk - & you so pretty. So, keep my plate shined up. Then wed go to a dance later and have a swell time. I sure enjoy dancing with you and am looking forward again to our dancing again & play games. Youll make a fine pool player. Remember how much we laughed at the USO last year? Well do it more the laughing. Oh, yes, the moonshine is our specialty. Lets go out every so often & spoon in the park. O.K.? I want your kisses so badly & how I miss them.
We have no Catholic chaplain aboard. The one last Sunday came from another ship & was late & Mass didnt take long. Every chance I get I read the study book from the confraternity in St. Louis. Ill let you know more as I study it.
Your picture well, its simply beautiful. The pearls & pin set your dress off. Your lips look so rich & full I well remember their taste.
How about getting some under clothes on your next program underskirts, panties, brassieres, etc. also a garter belt, remember?
A little jump from yesterdays letter got busy up until now at 12 noon. If young Bill would come out & stand on a mountain top I may be able to see him this evening. Hope there is mail for us. Have not heard from Phyllis & wont for a while if then.
The weather is all right wind a little stiff. The Stenotype & I have been buddies last three days.
That dream I had yesterday noon was so real it seems that Brian should be around the corner. Id sure like to see the young Scamp. Suppose he would want an anchor for his pot? Well take them pony riding him & Maria. Does Maria sleep well at night? & not toss as she used to? How about Brian?
Have any luck with getting any films?
What is news in K.C.? How is your new job? As soon as you get oriented theyll put you in a responsible place. Are there any courses you could take?
Perhaps this will get out if I mail it now & mailman takes it off the ship.
I love you.
How are you tonight? Thought yesterdays letter would be last for a while but think maybe this one will get off in time.
No mail today from anywhere.
Marias letter was very nice. Is she getting long & lanky? Is Brian getting chunky? What does he do when he wants to wet or otherwise? Do you think he will be hard to break? Dont think there will be any other children as nice looking or smart as they are. Are Brians teeth as sharp & white? Are his two front teeth spread a little?
It didnt rain today, I dont think. Our dungarees hung up on the railing & dried all night. Hope your backyard has grass clover. Did the kids want to swim in it?
Remember the APA Pre-Commisionary School? It was closed down or decommissioned as of Feb 1. I suppose it will be an annex to the Receiving Station at Bremerton since its ideal for that.
Did you ever hear what became of Farragut, whether it was closed for good or made into something else?
So, is the grass becoming green & a feeling of freshness in the air? Springtime is the best of all so many pretty things to smell & one gets a new lease on life when lilacs are smelled. An orchard is swell too. Early fall, when the trees are just turned & the smell of burning leaves around sun down with the quietness which descends & the peace & serenity that comes to one. Its next to heaven.
Its hot tonight & the perspiration is coming thru the paper. Please excuse it.
Wish I could think of some jokes or something funny to write.
By now, surely they have put you in the advertisement section. Do you think the V.A. has more to offer than Soc. Security even tho stricter I mean as an organization goes. How old is the V.A.s? Im so glad it all worked out, your transfer from the Bu. Of Mines seems the Lord is with you in all ways. Are your girlfriends very old?
Oh yes, the clutches came from Stenotype Co. 4 of them complete with wrench & instructions. They made the wrench & did not charge the Navy for it. I dont know the cost anyway, the Navy paid for it all.
Good morning & afternoon,
How are you & the kids? Our weather is still hot. It seems everything is the same.
All my love, Louis
Your March 14th & 15th letters came tonight. Sure glad they did, as it seems theyll be last ones for a while.
Spring must be right around the corner. You know, to always be in a climate that is the same is monotonous. The freshness of spring always brings hope for better times to come in all ways. I cannot feel it here, but can remember the smell of spring.
Sure sorry to hear Grandmas rheumatism is bothering her. Id like to see her have complete rest some day. She is getting old and Id like to see her enjoy her remaining years without her having to be under a strain. Ive always had a special regard for her.
Glad to hear the kids are doing fine & Maria is beginning to get sufficient rest. I am very pleased too, to know You Are Going To Bed Earlier! You need 9 hours sleep. Congratulations.
It seems they are recognizing your ability at work. I know they would. That organizational chart job was just a test. Few can do the kind of work you put out. Keep it up. Im proud of you. You always did put your heart & soul in your office work. The other girls, no doubt, do not have much interest in it. Dont let the job put you under a strain & worry, as the kids need you now more than ever. I miss my sweet letters too.
The B-29s are overhead & I wonder where they have been. Probably bombed Japan again. This war is moving to a climax at a fast pace. Japan can expect anything from now on.
No, I do not think you will have any adverse reaction to the horn tooting. You have the ability & personality, brains & beauty to back it up. You are doing fine.
Your questions about the young yeoman here in the office of 11 yeomen, the chief, one-second class & myself are the youngest. The 3rd class & apprentice yeoman are men over 30 to 36 years. I had a laugh.
You sure are doing fine to be where you are when you have not had a chance to learn much. However, you have an excellent mind & when you get the secretarys job, you can handle it without any come back.
Honey, my mail next time will be delayed. I thought these last few ones would be, but have a pretty strong hunch this letter will be it. We are all anxious to get going & get it over with & get back home. The tension is terrific.
Thank you for the 5 big red kisses on yesterdays letter. Yum, they looked so swell & kissable, shaped just right. Ive been missing them. One of the boys got a letter & when he opened it, the scent wafted all over the office. It smelled so nice & feminine.
I dont expect you to be a clinging vine (itll be nice sometime), but your femininity & being all woman is my fondness for you, which I like. You are a perfect woman. You know how to please your husband in all ways in turn, your husband will do his best for his wife always in all ways. If she will let him.
There is a beautiful full moon out tonight ... well!!!
Scuttlebutt (some over heard it via radio) has it tonight that a big offensive is on to put Germany out of the war in a few weeks & the Navy has bombarded Okinawa & several other islands between Formosa & Japan proper. This usually means plenty of action soon. Amphibious landings usually follow naval bombardment. Well, let it come. We all were scared last time; this time well have several extra pairs of dungarees in case we P in them. Everybody here is awfully glad the waiting is over. A chaplain came aboard this morning & said Mass. I went to communion.
Later, 25 March
Here it is a little later. We swiped a pot of coffee & are drinking it and waiting. Everyone seems to be in good spirits tonight.
Golly, sure wish I could see you tonight, caress you, fondle you and tell you how much I love & miss you. You are my woman forever. Ill take care of you in all ways. We are building on a firm foundation now & well not let it become undermined in any way what so ever. Lets have a union between us, which nothing can disturb.
Ive been thinking lots of our H. III & am planning it the way I want my sweetheart to have & doesnt involve much money in fact, much can be cheap. I didnt mean to emphasize the money angle in this way. But I want you to myself first for a few days.
Henry was fooling re the pictures of Suzy. Hell take her picture personally. Hes never bothered me except now & then hed come up & Id tell him what the score was & what was waiting for him at home. Hes terribly anxious to see her. He is so full & big & feels as tho he could come in Suzy so many times.
I love you darling & always will. Keep your pretty chin up. I trust you completely in all ways.
Your loving husband, Louis
Good morning Darling,
It would be swell to eat breakfast with you this morning or any other morning you are an excellent table partner and bed partner too.
Just have a moment to write. This mail will be going off shortly.
Let me have all the news - & when you get squared away at work, all about the doings at home, our youngsters, etc. Hope your new job does not take up any overtime as you have little time for yourself & other things now.
Remember, I always love you.
Yours ever, Louis
P.S. Remember, the 10 oclock sleep dead line.
P.P.S. Love from Henry to Suzy.