6 September 1945

Dear Mom;

Well Iíll go back on my word again and write a letter.  We are still here.  Censorship is off and I have been given the green light to shoot the works.

We were to board the ďNeshobaĒ at a Seattle pier on Sunday and sail the same day.  We didnít. The ship had some repairs to make so we got off on Monday and returned to Fort Lawton.  Then we were to board again on Wednesday.

However, a War Dept circular came out on Monday which call for screening out the high point men and upper age men.  This looked very suspicious as the circular was to be released after we had sailed which made it look like the release was intended just after we sailed.  It smells very definitely of a ďshanghaiĒ job.

Fearing public reaction, the W.D. told us to go ahead and screen out the eligible men.  This was done and now we have lost quite a few men.

However, our group was the last one to sail. The rest of the division is on the high seas.  Paul Lundstrom is among them.  The question is will the eligible men from the advance be screened out overseas or left in the division.  If the latter happens, there will be a whole lot of agitation.

Well, anyway our orders to sail on Wednesday were canceled and changed to Thursday.  Then the news came out on Wednesday that this was canceled and we would remove all our stuff from the ship on Thursday.  Then the orders were again changed.  Our stuff would remain on board but we would not sail on Thursday. That is the story.

In other words, all is confusion.  We donít believe the Ward Dept knows what it is doing.  We do know that it is plenty scared of Congress and public opinion.

Now as the situation stands we might ship tomorrow, the next day or perhaps not for two weeks.  And there is the possibility we might not ship at all.

I am acting as first sergeant of the company.  If we ship overseas I certainly will be promoted to Tech Sgt and the chances are good that I will be the permanent 1st Sgt..  That is the highest rank in the non-com ranks I can attain.  I would run the company.

The next age drop should get me out of the 97h Div.  Wouldnít necessarily get me out of the army but it would keep me in this country if we havenít shipped. However, I donít know if that would be good or bad.  As long as I stay in the army, I might as well see the world.

I havenít been getting any mail.  None of us have.  We are supposed to be on the high seas and our mail is going directly to Frisco and then overseas.

If we had sailed when we were supposed to, we were scheduled to stop in Hawaii for a c few days.  Now I donít know.  If we sail from Seattle, our Postmaster will still be in Frisco.

Seattle is a very pretty city.  It certainly is a city of hills but faces on a beautiful waterfront.  The weather is generally very pleasant.

You might see the 97th written up in the papers.   Donít believe all that you read.  I read a lot already that isnít true.  Nobody knows the score on anything, the W.D. least of all.

If we stay here much longer, I think our mail will be diverted to us.  That is all the dope for now.   If we donít shove too fast, Iíll write a letter the day we sail.  That is all for now.

Love to all

Billy

(over)

Latest is that we completely unload the ship tomorrow (Friday).  Rumor has it that we will sail next Tuesday.