Morgan, John J, F2c

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Last Rank
Fireman 2nd Class
Last Primary NEC
F2c-0000-Fireman 2nd Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Fireman Second Class
Primary Unit
1945-1945, F2c-0000, USS Aaron Ward (DM-34)
Service Years
1944 - 1945
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Neptune Subpoena
Order of the Golden Dragon
Fireman 2nd Class

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Morgan, John J, F2c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 03, 1945
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United StatesNational Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors)Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1941, Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States - Assoc. Page
  1944, National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1945, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1944, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
 Duty Stations
RTC Great Lakes, IL (Company Commander/Staff)US Navy
  1944-1945, F2c-0000, RTC Great Lakes, IL (Company Commander/Staff)
  1945-1945, F2c-0000, USS Aaron Ward (DM-34)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
          John's Book This is an electronic version of a 3-ring binder that was lovingly compiled by our father, Martin H. Morgan, in tribute to his older brother Jack, who was killed aboard the Aaron Ward. The binder contains all the remaining tangible evidence of this boy's life, as his remains were never found after May 3, 1945. He was a trainer on the port side quad 40mm gun mount that was directly hit by one of ten attacking Kamikaze planes that carried a 500 lb. bomb. Jack was 19 years old and the oldest of three boys born to our Grandparent's Martha and John Morgan. Our grandfather died of tuberculosis in 1937 leaving 11 year old Jack as the man of the house. He fiercely loved his Mother and Brothers and religiously wrote home all through his short naval career, from a scared 18 year old draftee to a seasoned sailor only one year later. Those letters survived in this binder for over 50 years until opened and transcribed herein. This is a tribute to our Uncle Jack from the nephews and niece he never knew. By finally meeting his shipmates in 1996, attending the Aaron Ward Reunions, and reading these letters, we feel we have helped Jack keep his promise to his Mother and has finally "come Home". John Martin Morgan William Martin Morgan Janet Morgan Shaiko With special significance to Jane North Morgan, our Mother and widow of Martin H. Morgan (1/27/30 - 11/01/98) Full Name; John J. Morgan Date of Birth; Feb 11, 1926 Place of Birth; Phila. Street & Number; 1736 S. 18th Street, Phila. Parents; John J. Morgan, Martha E. Hugues Attending Physician; Dr. Hoban Navy Yard Discharge Card: Sept. 22, 1943. Satisfactory discharge to return to school. Working in the Industrial Dept. as a Trainee @ $6.16 salary. Summer job before his last year of high school (West Catholic H.S. in Phila.) Draft Card: John Joseph Morgan, 1404 S.Vodges Street, Phila. Registered on his 18th birthday, Feb 11, 1944. Description of Registrant; Race; White(x), Negro, Oriental, Indian, Filipino Height; 5' 8". Weight; 128lbs. Eyes; Blue(x), Gray, Hazel, Brown, Black Hair; Blonde, Red, Brown(x), Black, Gray, Bald Complexion; Sallow, Light(x),Ruddy, Dark,Freckled,LtBrown,DkBrown,Black Other obvious characteristics to aid in identification; None Draft Notice of Classification: March 23, 1944. Class 1A. Local Board # 62 at 51st & Chester Ave. Page 2 Order to Report for Preinduction Physical Examination: From the President of the United States, Greeting: You are hereby ordered to report for preliminary physical examination at the Kingsessing Center at 51st & Chester Ave., Phila. Pa. at 8:00AM on the 19th of April, 1944. Page 3: Certificate of Fitness: April 19, 1944 Having been forwarded for preinduction physical examination and having been examined, I hereby certify that you have been found: ( ) Physically fit, acceptable by Army for general military service. ( ) Physically fit, acceptable by Army for limited military service. (x)Physically fit, acceptable by Navy, including Marine Corps, Coast Guard. ( ) Rejected, physically unfit. ( ) Rejected, physically fit but unacceptable for other reasons. Page 4: Order to Report for Induction: Into the Navy Order #11966 Greeting: You will report to the Kingsessing Center at 7:00 AM on the 31st of May, 1944. Page 5: Valentine Card to "the girl I love" (his Mother). Jack 2/14/44 Mother's Day, 1944(?) . (Hand printed card with green ribbon): Just a few flowers To the dearest Mother of all To let her know that she is always Loved and never forgotten Your loving son, Jack Pages 6 through 17: Letters to Home. See separate index. Page 18: Christmas Card with a picture of the USS Aaron Ward on the front from Wayne Fowers (one of Jack's shipmates). Page 19: MIA telegram dated May 29, 1945 Page 20: May 6, 1945 letter from Commander W.H.Sanders Page 21: Newspaper articles about the ship along with Jack's obituary notice Page 22: Photos of; Rev. John F. Hugues, Captain, USN and Bob Ward, youngest officer to command a plane Page 23, 24, 25 & 26: Letters to Martha with condolences from Fr. Hugues Page 27: KIA telegram dated July 24, 1945 Page 28: Report of Casualty from Chief of Naval Personnel Pages 29 through 33: Letters from Home. See separate index. Pages 34 & 35: Letter of condolence from "Gerry" (?) Pages 36 & 37: Letter of condolence from Fr. Hugues ages 38 through 78: USS Aaron Ward book compiled by the crew with a cover letter from Capt. Sanders. Includes photographs of the wreckage and first-hand accounts from officers and crew along with final best wishes to departing shipmates. On the last page is a list of autographs from the ship's officers. Page 79: Citation from Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal to the USS Aaron Ward Page 80 & 81: June 2, 1947. Posthumous Award (Presidential Unit Citation)to Jack for "extraordinary heroism in action" Page 82: June 28, 1946. Eight page "Secret Battle Log" citing all courageous participants by Commander Sanders from the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Page 83: "100 Things You Should Know About Communism in the USA". Copyrighted 1948. Page 84: The Captain's Christmas Letter - 1954 Page 85: The Captain's Christmas Letter - 1955 Page 86: The Captain's Christmas Letter - 1956 Page 87: Gold Star Citation award Page 88: Purple Heart Citation award Index to Letters to Home: June 319. September 12 June 720. September 19 June 921. September 25&27 June 15&1622. October 4 June 1823. October 5 June 2124. October 18 June 23&2425. October 29 July 226. October 31 July 427. November 20 July 628. November 23 July 1229. December 13 July 15&1630. December 17 July 3131. January 28 August 2332. February 6 August 2833. February 18 August 3134. March 1 September 335. March 27 September 636. April 12 Letters Home 1. June 4, 1944. Co. 782 Unit B4-117, USNT&DC, Camp Perry, Williamsburg, VA. Dear Mother and Folkes, June 3, 1944, Time 0315 How are you? Gee I miss you more than I can say. Well I guess I will tell you what we have been doing with ourselves. Well we arrived at 12:05 on June 1, went to lunch and were assigned to temporary barracks that is why I could not send you my address until last night when we got our home for the next 5 to 12 weeks. The first day we were given our bed clothes: 1 mattress, 2 covers, 1 pillow, 2 covers and 2 blankets. We retired and damn glad to at 21:00. The next day we got up at 0630NT or 5:30 believe it or not, went to breakfast and started on our way to collect the rest of our gear. What a hell of lot of clothes: Blues, Whites, dungarees, shoes and all other accessaries from soup to nuts. It took our 2 matress covers to hold it all. Today we got our physical and is my arm sore from that blood test. Boy is the guy a butcher if he misses the vain(sic) he slides the needle around until he finds it. Without removing it from your arm. Well so much for that. They separated us so much that only Bill Moore and I are the only Yanks in the barracks. All the rest are rebels and boy do they stink (B.O.). They don't no(sic) a thing about soap, but they will learn, I hope! There are so many fellows from the south that you have to talk with a drawl to get any place and I mean it. We are washing our clothes and bed stuff and boy is it tough!(No washing machine). We have not as yet started our real work but I think it will start Tuesday. We are dressed in our high shoes, dungarees and blue shirts with leggens from 0530 till 1630 then we wear our whites with leggens and no neckerchief. Boy some of these guys look like they were pored into them. OK by the way you should see our heads. We all look like a bunch of cue balls and will get 2 more hair cuts or rather head shaves before we leave. By God if this keeps up we will not have any scalp. Well I am going to get cleaned up for mess, by the way the food is allright and all if you can eat so I will say so long for awhile. Your son, Jack. P.S. See if you could possibly dig up a pen and some writing paper also some ink because there is such a demand at the PX that they have the next 3 shipments sold already. Thanks. So long again. 2. June 8, 1944. Camp Perry (Invasion Day Program for Services enclosed) Dear Mom, June 7, 1944 Well here it is another day and still no letter what is the matter with you, got writer's cramp, I hope not. Sorry to have said that bit I am so home sick that it is not even funny so please drop a few lines when you have the time. It does not have to be one of those manuscripts you usually do. Bill Moore is complaining that he should have told them, the Navy, that his both legs were broken but it's too late now. Well this big invasion is under way so this means we may be here for 12 weeks to train for combat duty. We just got finished with our aptitude test to find out what we are fitted for. This may mean I will go to school, I hope so. Oh by the way, I applied for dependency and I think I might get it if you put the right answers on the questionnaire they will send you in about a few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed. Well I got my first Navy pay and I am enclosing it in this letter for you to keep or use it is entirely up to you. I also have a program from the "D" day exercises which we had to undergo. Tell Marion to write, I know she can if she gets the time, and help her make the time. Get her to write when you do please. How is Marty making out with his exams or has he finished and will he be going to West. Also how is Gene making out, I hope they both pass or passed for the year. We have 30 hours of drilling to do yet. So far it hasn't been too bad but my feet are sore. The boots they give us and the leggens are as heavy as lead and when we take them off at night we can almost fly. But I don't mind it. Life is swell except for the homesickness but we will have to get used to it. Give Goss my address and maybe he could find time to write. Also give him my best regards and tell him thanks for taking you to the station for me and also get his address and send it to me. Boy what I wouldn't give for a nice, cold, glass of beer, any kind. I think I will go for my shots tomorrow, don't get me wrong, I mean in the arms. I almost got the drawl down pat that some of the fellows ask me if I am from the South. You have to get anyplace around here. Well so long for now and please write when you can and send me a picture of the family. Your loving son, Jack 3. June 10, 1944. Camp Perry Dear Mom, June 9, 1944 I received your letter yesterday and was more than glad to receive it. I also got one from Mrs. Fogarty and today I got Gene's letter and also one from Dot Fogarty. I am sorry as I said before for saying what I did in the last letter but I guess you understand, at least I hope you do. You said that you found my rosaries. Well hold them for me because I have this pair with me. Just to let you in on a little secret. I think we will be here till August ninth according to our chief. Damn it, I guess this means I will not be able to accompany you down at the shore, but maybe it is just a lot of talk. I hope so. Tell Gene I was asking for him and that I got his very much appreciated letter. By the way, who put those big words into his head? Tell him I will pray for him as he asked and for him not to forget me in his prayers. And tell Marty I would like to hear from him too, just to find out how he likes my clothes. Boy I bet he looks sharp yeah, around the head. Tell Bob Miller to drop me a line when you see him and ask him if he would want a "Blue Jackets Manual" as I can send him one from the camp. Well now to get back to you Mom, how are you, and don't worry too much about that August 9th business. It will not do any good, you know the Navy comes first. And I hope you receive my big enormous pay (HaHa) but at least it is my first and I want you to have it with the rest of my World War II status. How is Marion, does she still have my ring? Tell her if she loses it to get out of town because I will chase her all over hell but what is the use saying that when I know she will keep it safe. You know mom I never realized how much you meant to me until now. Gee what a sap I have been and tell that to the kids and maybe they will wise up a hell of a lot sooner than I did. Well give every one my love and remember you are still my best girl. Lots of love from your son, Jack P.S. Tell Gene I will answer his letter when I get the first chance. Also tell those other two mopes to write, you know M&M. Well so long sweetheart and God bless you and don't worry I am all right and will be. 4. June 17, 1944. Camp Perry On the back of the envelope is written iA2BMandC2BNtheAof the MIL the D2BL the IT2BL and theN2BSYL. Answer next week, see if you can figure it out). See Letter #7 Dear Mom, June 15, 1944 I received a letter from Bob and he said you wanted to know more about our life at camp, well here it goes. First of all USNT&DC means United States Naval Training and Distribution Camp. In other words they train us and then send us to other camps. Well when we arrived they took us over to chow and then the gear. Noon to get our bed clothes and toilet articles and a set of dungarees and high shoes. We were then assigned to our barracks for one night only. The next day we were issued the rest of our gear and shipped to our assigned areas. Upon arriving there we got our orders for what should be done and where and why. Then we had to roll our clothes and put shoes in our sea bags. Rolling is the way the Navy presses clothes and if done right they look all right. Well now to tell you of our duties. We get up at 5:30 wash and get dressed, make our bunks and fall in for muster and go to chow by 6:55. After chow we hang around till 8:00. Then we drill till 11:30. Go to chow again and have mail call and drill from 1:00 to 4:30. Then we are forced to wash our clothes and do whatever has to be done. We have chow again at 6:24 and then we get dressed in our whites and go to the movies or some other amusement. We have a bowling alley, swimming pool, library, recreation hall, and ship service. That is where we get our cigarettes, candy, books and other odds and ends. Well that went on for 10 days. Then we were assigned to dear old KP. There is 45 fellows assigned from the 2 barracks in our company. This consists of serving the food, cleaning decks, bulkheads (walls), and windows, pots and pans and also dishes. First we arrive in the Mess Hall at 4:45 after getting up at 3:30. What an ungodly hour, boy I'm fagged out. Get the chow ready for the 25,000 men in our area, eat ourselves, then we clean up mop and scrub the decks and are free from 8:30 till 10:30. That is if you are in the mess hall. But in the galley you stay from 4:15 till 5:00PM with no leave at all. And that goes on for 5 days. I worked in the galley for 2 days now I am in the chow line and I get off from 8:30 to 10:30 as I said before and from 1:30 to 4:30 and quit at 7:00 each night before we retire at 9:30. We take a shower and get ready for bed. Our smoking periods are from after morning chow till 8:00 and from 12:00 to 1:00 and 4:30 till 9:00. Well that is about all we have done so far. We have not yet received our shots. Next week I think we will have the manual of arms, you know marching with a gun and knowing when to shift it from one shoulder to another in the Navy manner. Then we will most likely have sentry duty. Oh by the way, our barracks is inspected every day except Sunday and we are noted fair, good, excellent and unsatisfactory. We have Mass on Sunday at 7:30 and we are allowed to sleep till 6:30 on Sunday and are free for the day. On Saturdays we have personal inspection and are free from 12:00 on. So you see it is not so bad. The hardest thing about this place is to keep from getting home sick. Well Mom that is our camp life thus far. I will give you more details as they come. Oh I forgot, our barracks is scrubbed twice daily. Well mom to get down to you, how are you and the kids and Marion. I hope you all are in the best of health and I hope you are not worrying too much about me as I am in good hands. By the way, have you found out from the kids as to who wrecked Mart's bike, if so let me know. Gee mom you don't know how much I miss you especially also the kids and Marion. I only hope I am home in time to go to the shore but as things stand I will not but you have a good time anyway. Let me know what time you get home because I intend to call in McDowells. It will only cost $1.40. That is not bad considering the distance, almost 400 miles. So if your hear from me that way do not think that anything is wrong. Also tell me the night or day to call. Well so long sweetheart and give my regards to all and how is Goss, where is his address, well so long again. Your loving son, Jack (The Old Salt) P.S. I received your packages and thanks a million. I really appreciate them, so long again. Dear Mom, June 16,1994 I just received your letter today and it did not tire me out reading it. That is the kind of letter I love to receive especially from you. Well now the answers to your questions. 1st I like the Navy very much except for being away from those I love. 2nd DC means Distribution Camp which I told you in my last long letter which you have not received. 3rd I have not yet been turned or knocked out of my sack or bed. You know it is much easier when the whole crowd gets up at one time than when you get up by yourself in one bedroom. Well that answers your questions I hope but if you want any more info on what I am doing, write and I will tell you. And about that allotment. I did say that the money you got from dad's insurance was pretty well exhausted as you had planned for me to be able to work by now. I didn't tell them that dad was an insurance man or anything about the check. All the rest you know about I hope. Write and tell me what you are going to put in the letter. I also am sending my life insurance policy receipt for you to keep and read. Mom, what is the idea of mentioning beer. Don't you know we have not had a glass or smell in two weeks. Oh you are heartless. I received letters from Paul Ward and Dot Fogarty yesterday and Dot's was a 4 page type written letter of the news in the Fogarty Mansion and the Bulletin for the news of the world. By the way, how can I write to Goss if I don't have his address. By and by I think you are losing your memory and it couldn't be old age could it or is it that you are worried. I hope not. Now for some bad news. I have not been using up all my proteins and I will go to the hospital next week if my urine is not negative. They are testing for aluminum but don't worry I'll be all right. If not I will let you know. Well Mom I don't have much time so I will be saying so long sweetheart as I am off to do some more KP. Give my love to all and don't worry I am all right, honestly. Loving you always, Commander Jack, The Old Salt. 5. June 20, 1944. Camp Perry Dear Mom, June 18, 1944 Well here it is Sunday and only two weeks and a few days from home but it seems a heck of a lot longer. Well mom how are you and all the rest of the clan. I am fine but slowly melting away with the heat. Just to give you an idea how hot it is, they lot us off for the day with no drilling or anything because so many guys were keeling over. I guess it is about 115 and I am not kidding. You should be here would you be shocked, every one, including me is bare---. I just got finished washing my clothes and taking a nice cold shower, and brushed my teeth and mom you should see my fingernails. They are actually long. I guess it's because I haven't had time to bite them. But I am glad, maybe it will break me of the habit. We are having a smoking night tonight so I hear and there will be FREE BEER and cigarettes and acrobatic shows, etc. Here is hoping it is just not a lot of talk. Oh and by the way we are off KP- is that a relief boy my a--was dragging and I don't mean from sitting on it I mean work. Just think me, me of all people, getting up at 3:30AM when it used to be 12:00 at home. Boy this Navy will make a man of me yet. Dot Fogarty sent me a card from Bookbinders asking if I would join them in a seafood dinner. She is almost as heartless as you when you mention beer. Bill Moore is writing and asks me to tell you to have two cases of beer and put them in snow so they will be really cold when we arrive. I also received a letter from Mom Fogarty and Mary Louise Hugues. Mom said that Bob left for Cumberland, he is now in the USArmy. Boy will he find it different from civilian life. I know I did. About getting home, Mom there is still no exact date but they still say August 9th. I hope they are wrong because this is hell. I will try to get a poem the chief has and send it to you. It explains the place perfectly but I still think it will make a man of me. I guess Bob Miller has left by now. If he sends you his address please send it to me even if he is in Camp Perry as we could still write to each other because we are not allowed out of our unit. Well sweetheart I guess this is all for now and don't forget to write. Also tell Marion not to get back into that no letter writing association she has been in for so long. And I will write to Gene and Mart sometime this week. Give my love to all and I miss you very much. Your loving son, Jack, The Old Salt Also included was a letter to Mom from Bill Moore: Hello Mom! Jack stared this letter but he got stuck so I'm taking up where he left off. I'm Bill Moore and I met you down at 13th street. Well Mrs. Morgan, Jack is doing all right here, the only trouble is I have to wake him up every morning and then later on in the day, I have to help him with the wash. I just have to look after him like a big brother. But I don't mind it so much because Jack is just like my younger brother in the Navy who is 19. I always had to look after him too. I guess you think I'm an old man, but I'm 22 yrs. old and just as wild as Jack. We've been having a swell time down here except they make us take too many orders. Boy we certainly will be glad when we get done our boot. Well Mrs. Morgan I haven't got much more to say so I'll sign off. So long Mom, Bill. 6. June 22, 1944. Camp Perry. Hello Mom, June 21, 1944 This letter is going to be rather glum because I am now in the hospital and am as if my arm was cut off. I am so miserable I could cry and I guess before long I will be. They won't tell me what is the matter or how long I will be here. Honestly Mom, I wish I were home. I am so disgusted with this shit that it is not even funny. But don't worry I will be all right even if it takes longer than we both hope. There were 6 other fellows that came in with me so I won't be alone with nothing but white walls and everything else. He, the doctor, told us we are to stay in bed for three days. What we will have done to us is another military secret. All I know is that I have aluminum in my urine, whatever that is. Well Mom let's try and cheer this letter up a bit.. How are you and the rest of the folks? I received Marion's letter just before I left the barracks and was never so glad to receive a letter especially from home. Oh, by the way, I have just seen the FIRST pair of woman's legs since I arrived in camp. The damned nurses. She is ugly as blue mud, no kidding but she is built nice. Well mom I guess I will sign off now. So long sweetheart and give my regards to all, and tell them to say a few prayers that I get out of this hospital. Your disgusted son, Jack 7. June 24, 1944. Camp Perry Hello Sweetheart, June 23, 1944 How are you? Fine I hope. Well mom how do you feel about having an invalid son HaHa. Mom I don't know how I am going to take this but I may get a medical discharge. But I am not sure so don't let anyone see this letter. I am hoping for the best. You know I might get to go down the shore with you yet but if it is with a MD I hope I never see Wildwood or any other place. I know it is no disgrace to get a discharge but that is not what I want and I doubt if it's what you want either. I have not yet found out how I am but no news is good news, I hope. We have our urine tested every day and it is classified; negative, trace or 1+, 2+, 3+, 4+. If it is 4+ for 4 days you go home. If it is negative for 4 days you go back to boots. Anything else you stay here till they either come negative or 4+ for 4 days in succession. Well sweetheart take care of yourself and don't worry. Your son, Jack Dear Mom, June 24, 1944 Well here it is Saturday and I just received your letter. The last two letters I wrote probably have you worried sick. I am sorry but I know for positive that I am all right and will return to boot camp tomorrow Sunday and I am so happy. I don't even think of a discharge anymore. Honest mom I am all right so you can stop worrying. As you know I entered the hospital on Wednesday and go back Sunday so I will still be with my same company and is that a relief. Boy I thought that I would in the end either get a MD or have to start my boot all over again so I guess you can see or imagine how happy I am. Boy is that a relief. Well mom you could not figure the code iA2BM and C2B in the A of the MIL. The D2BL, the K2BL and the N2BSYL. Well here is the answer. I am to be married and carried to bed in the arms of the man I love. The door to be locked the key to be lost and the night to be seven years long. How do you like it. Some girl wrote that to Bill Moore. It took him a week to get the answer out of her. Mom, about that homesickness. I am getting used to it now but about the shore I still don't know but I hope I will make it. In the Navy that is all you can do, hope. Have you found out anything about who wrecked Mart's bike? If so let me know. Well mom give my love to all and you can stop worrying about my aluminum. I bet that is a relief to your weary and worried heart. So long sweetheart and remember I miss all of you more than words can express. Your loving son, Jack. P.S. Tell Aunt Anne I haven't forgotten her and will write soon. 8. July 2, 1944. Camp Perry Fourth of July traditional observance canceled. Camp commander James G. Ware asks each man to rededicate himself to the war effort. 9. July 5, 1944. Camp Perry to Miss Marion G. McCann Hello Marion, July 4, 1944 Well here it is the fourth and this is one day I will not forget. Just to give you an idea of what we did I will tell you our schedule. First we had two shots, don't get me wrong, I mean in the arm, which made my arm so still we can't move it from the shoulder to the elbow. After that we had two hours of extended order drill, that is trying to capture the enemy. Boy what a hellish time we had throwing ourselves in all kinds of swamps, etc. and to top it all off we had to carry rifles during this and that made 12 more lbs. to lug. After that we had two hours of physical training so we knocked hell out of each other again and the rest of the time was spent drilling. Oh by the way, we had our first good meal since our arrival today. I am enclosing the menu so you can see for yourself. That was at noon. For supper we had I slice of salami and potato salad, iced coffee and melted jello. That is what our meals are usually like and I am not kidding. Well Marion we received another big pay of $3.00 and it came just at the right time as I was pretty low but what I have will last me, I hope. I just paused for a nice refreshing shower and am kind of naked writing this but with this heat it is very comfortable. All I have on is shoes. We had our smoker and Bill Moore fought and was held to a draw so that wasn't too bad and the gang collected $12 and split it between him, a George McKilroy, who beat the living ---- out of another guy. All I did was sit in the stands and drink 4 whole bottles of beer and smoke butts, cigarettes to you. And they were not OPS either but the beer was that 3.2 stuff, more like water than anything else. I know for sure now that I will not be at the shore with you people. But have a good time anyway because you know I wouldn't be with you and Mom except during the day then I would go wolfing and you two would hit the cold spots, or would you. But please leave me the address just in case I should get home between the 10th and 24th and also the key to the mansion in McDowells. But as I said before, I bought it. Give my love to all and take care of that ring and please tell me if you still have it. Love, Jack 10. July 7, 1944. USNTC Sampson NY (with a hand drawn caricature of Mom on the back) To Mrs. Morgan from Bob Miller (a boy who lived up the street and died the same time as Jack) Hello Mrs. Morgan & Marion, Tuesday, July 6th You'll have to excuse me for not writing sooner but you know the Navy and how they keep you going. I've been through two rough weeks with the needles and cleaning clothes and everything but I suppose Jack went through the same thing. This really isn't a bad life. We all do a lot of griping just to pass the time away. I'm with a bunch of nice fellows and we really have a lot of fun. It's hot up here in the day time but it's nice and cool for sleeping at night. From Mother's letters I see that it's pretty hot in Philly. We drill part of the day and go to classes for the rest. After 4:30 is supposed to be our own time but they always find things for us to do. Tonight we had to get our pictures taken so this doesn't leave much time for the rest of the night. How is Jack making out? I've written him a card and a letter but haven't received an answer as yet. When do you think Jack will get home? Maybe I'll get home the same time as he will. I expect to get home between the 8th or 22nd of August. Have you seen Mother lately? How is she? Write and let me know how she is taking it. I'll have to cut this letter short because I have to write a few more letters before we turn in. Your friend, Bob the Gob 11. July 13, 1944. Camp Perry to Mom c/o Harry S. Lennox, 101 West 24th St., Wildwood, NJ Dear Mom, July 12, 1944 Oh how I envy you. While you are relaxing on the beach or in the spots, guess what I am doing? You could never guess so I will tell you. Guard Duty - 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Boy I doubt if I have had 10 hours sleep since Saturday night. This is even worse than KP. Say mom you don't have an easy job around such as; paint a house, fix a roof, dig the lawn or something do you? And to think I used to kick at those little chores. Boy am I the one who should have been kicked. I received a letter from Aunt Peg and all she did was give me hell because I put "On the House" on the envelope. Hasn't she any sense of joking. Boy I was so damn mad I didn't even finish the letter. Mom I received your packages and money. Thanks loads but you know you are over stepping that budget. You should be ashamed but I still appreciate it. Well mom here I go again. I am on guard duty to 12:00PM So since it is now 8:00PM I will have to say so long and good night. Give my regards to all. And I miss you more than words can say. Love, Jack P.S. Say hello to Grandmother for me and I will write to her later and tell Marion I am not worried about the ring as I know she will take care of it. Good-bye now, Jack 12. July 20, 1944. Camp Perry to Wildwood Dear Mom, July 15, 1944 I received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear from you. I have written you one letter before this one and sent it to Wildwood. Hope you received it. Well mom last evening we said so long to, in my estimation, one of the nicest and sweetest fellows I guess I will meet in my Navy career. He was our chief, he was made an Ensign and the only reason he took the commission was to get out of Camp Perry. We were talking to other chiefs and they said he will never make a good officer because he is a chief at heart. He did feel pretty good about going but said the only thing he regretted was that he could not see us graduate from boot. So evidently he was rather proud of our company. But why shouldn't he be, he made us what we are and as far as I am concerned I was never so close to being a man in all my life. Just think mom only 16 hours more of guard duty for awhile. But we have KP coming up again. We will have to have it from the 31st of July till the 7th of August. Just think we have 25 more days to go. When you come to think of it, it isn't too long and then we will get 10 days and 8 hours leave. But I bet that time goes like hell and the hardest part will be coming back to dear old Perry. Mom you remember Patrick Henry, the guy said give me liberty or give me death. Well now I know why he said it. He came from Williamsburg Va. The same place where Camp Perry is. Mom have you heard or received anything about my allotment. Because if not I will go topside and try and find out what is the trouble and let you know. Because there is a chance we might not get it and then I would have to change the setup. You know I give $22 and the Govt gives $18.75 I hope the weather at Wildwood is good because it has done nothing but rain constantly for the last 3 days and it doesn't look like it will clear for a while. And just think I am walking in it 4 hours at a time. What a life. My clothes are so damn dirty they are about to fall apart. When I get off guard I can't get the damn things off fast enough to get away from the odor. I had most of them on the line when this rain started and now they won't dry for nothing. Here is hoping for clear weather or at least one drying day. Well mom have a good time for the rest of your vacation and I will see you August 9th. But there is no chance to get home before that so I guess we will have to wait patiently. Give my love to all and I miss you very much. Love, Jack Dear Mom, July 19, 1944 How are you enjoying your vacation? I hope everything is running smooth. Well mom you know how I have been complaining about the Navy food. Well it came to a climax last night when our area was struck with tomaign(sic) poisoning and I was one of the casualties but I am all right now. It came on us about 9:00 last night and when we arrived at sick bay they gave us something to make us throw up and did we. Then we get cramps in our stomachs so they gave us some paragoric and did that do the trick. I just hit the head or bathroom when it took effect. I shit, pissed and threw up all at the same time and I could do nothing but laugh between the grunts and groans. At about 11:00 I was cleaned out and they asked for volunteers for ambulance drivers so I volunteered. I thought I had it bad but you should have seen some of the others. They had internal hemorages(sic) and they were nothing but blood from head to foot. We were transferring the very bad cases to the Station Hospital and we were on the go till 7:00 this morning so they gave us the day off to rest up. Kind of them wasn't it? I guess you were wondering why our area was the only one hit. It is because each area has its own chow hall. Even the cooks, chiefs and officers got it. I think this little episode will wake those damn cooks up. At least it ought to. Especially since they got it too. Well mom, I guess that is all for now and between you and me I am getting more disgusted with Camp Perry every meal time and that is three times a day. And tell the kids they better eat good food while they get it and if they don't eat everything, and I mean everything, I am going to raise merry hell with them. Give my love to all and I will be home in exactly 3 weeks today. God bless you all. Love, Jack 13. August 8, 1944. Camp Perry Dear Mom, July 31, 1944 Gee I was glad to hear your voice and now more than ever can't wait until I get home. The only regret I have is that the time went so damn fast but I will be home in nine more days if everything goes well and I think it will. Mom we had our dress parade today and we really looked good. There we were in mass formation but I (had) the feeling that it was just me alone that was passing in review and tried my best to do everything right. I guess I wasn't the only one that thought that way. And for the first time I really felt I was part of the Navy. Well mom I am on KP again and back in the galley again. What a life. But I still wouldn't trade it for any other service. Mom please excuse this writing as I have a banged up finger. And I will say so long because duty (KP) calls me. Give my regards to all and I will see you on the 9th. Love, Jack 14. August 23, 1944. Camp Perry Dear Mom, Not much time left. We are about to leave for ports unknown. Don't worry. I will be all right and will wire you upon arrival. Your son, Jack 15. August 29, 1944. 1stBatt Bks.0135 USNRB Shoemaker Calif Stamped AirMail for 8 cents! (Back of envelope: To my mother please rush. Like Hell) Dear Mom, Aug. 28, 1944 Here I am over 3,000 miles away from you and don't know when I will ever see you again. Gee mom you don't know how tough it is going to be for me. There is a lot of talk that we will be here in California for about 3 weeks then we will go to Treasure Island and be there about 72 hours and head for Pearl Harbor get our equipment and head for the islands as a clean up crew. Whatever that is. But don't worry, God will watch over me and bring me home to you again. Don't talk about what I just said because it is very confidential. Well I have seen plenty of the United States. Since I last saw you I have traveled through: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and am now in California. A hell of a lot of territory in my language. We are 40 miles from San Francisco. But will not get near it for at least 96 more hours. The scenery from Colorado is nothing but mountains except for a few ranches and shacks. Last night we passed through Reno and it is quite a place. We also crossed the great Salt Lake. Boy there is enough salt there to keep the world supplied. I think it is 30 miles wide and 75 miles long. I mean it is a hell of a big place and I am not fooling. Gee mom there is so much I want to say but just can't think of anything but home, you and the kids and Marion, boy do I miss all of you. Mom I am sending you my address but when you write put a return address on it just in case I am not here when it arrives because it will not follow me to my next destination. Just in case my last letter did not get to you, tell Marion I wish her a happy birthday. Well mom I guess that is about all for now so I will say so long sweetheart and take care of yourself and give my love to all and tell Goss I was asking for him. Your loving son, Jack 16. August 31, 1944. Shoemaker Calif Dear Mom, Aug 31, 1944 How are you and the rest of the family? Fine I hope. Well mom I guess I may as well tell you we had our overseas physical exam yesterday and got our dog tags this morning at 5:00. We are now going out for muster in a few minutes so I will continue when I return, OK? Well here I am again, sorry to have kept you waiting. Well I am not on the draft so I guess I will still be here for a few more days. Mom if and when I do go I will send a telegram from here and if I go out to the islands and you receive a telegram from me study it closely because I will in some way try to let you know where I am. If I say Pearl you know I mean Pearl Harbor. Or if I say I am wide awake, you will know I am on Wake Island, and so forth, so don't forget to study them. I expect to go on liberty at 12:30 and work in the cannery in Oakland. Funds are rather low and no pay days as yet. No mom I am not hinting for money because I know you can't afford it. Any way I will be making a $1 an hour and I am at liberty for 24 hrs. so I will have a few bucks. So don't send it because I probably won't receive it before I leave for the deep blue. Well I guess that will be all for now as life here is pretty dull. So I will say so long sweetheart and take care of yourself and don't worry too much I will be all right. Give my love to all. Your loving son, Jack. 17. September 4, 1944. From Bob Miller at Sampson NY Dear Mrs. Morgan Sept 3rd I'm sorry I didn't write sooner but you know how it is getting back to camp and getting on to the routine of things again. We aren't quite situated yet. I move to another horrible barracks tomorrow. This will be the fourth barracks I've been in since coming back. Do you remember me saying that I was praying to get situated at Electric School here at Sampson. Well my prayers have been answered. I'll be stationed here for the next sixteen weeks. Have you found out where Jack went to yet? There were quite a few fellows from here who went to California last week. Well I finally got KP but I don't mind it at all. We hand out the food. I handed out donuts for breakfast, ice cream & cake for dinner and cookies for supper. We work from 5:15 in the morning till about 6:00 at night with a few hours off in between meals. I expect to be on KP until next Saturday. Remember me to Marion and all. I'm going to close now as I have a few more letters to write. The Mess Hall Kid, Bob P.S. Don't forget to write and send Jack's address 18. September 6, 1944. Shoemaker, Calif Dear Mom, Sept 6, 1944 I received your letter yesterday and it is the only one I have received since I went home for boot leave so you can imagine how happy I was, especially hearing from my mom. Well mom how are you and how did you enjoy your trip to New York with Goss. You know mom maybe you would persuade him to take you to Shoemaker California. But then again I guess I would not be here by the time you arrived. But tell Goss thanks for the suggestion HaHa. I have had three 24 hour passes since I have been here and I have met up with quite a few girls and they are really swell. The other night I stayed at Loraine Ramsay's home for the evening and her mother treated me swell, boy she could not give me enough. So she thought, she fed me so much food that it almost came out of my ears. And whenever I am on leave I can go down to her place and stay. Prity(sic) nice or what. But don't worry mom the girl is strictly on the up and up. By the way mom if you have Bob Miller's address please send it to me as I lost the one I had. He is probably calling me everything under the sun for not writing but I will catch up to him. Mom I am going to wire for some money today so I guess I better explain why. Well it is like this, our pay chits did not arrive from Perry and it will be a couple of weeks or a month before we are straightened out and I am pretty short otherwise I would not have sent home because I know you can't spare it and when I get caught up I will send it back to you OK? Thanks mom. Well mom life is pretty much the same in California as it was in Perry only better. We get a 24 hour pass every other night. I guess that is about all sweetheart. By the way how does Mart like West and how is he making out and how is Gene making out in the 5th grade? And mom don't let Mart hand you the bull---- that he doesn't have any homework because I know better and tell him for me to make up for what I did by graduating and I don't mean just passing. I mean with honors. I know he can do it and even if he thinks it isn't worth it tell him that it might be the last favor that he can ever do for me. And he is letting the best person in the world down and tell Gene the same. I guess I sound like a preacher but mom I know what it means to quit school and also let down the person that you really love. So tell them to take the tip and I think they will. And I know they can do it. Just as well as you do. Well as I am about run out of material I will say so long and please take care of yourself. Give my love to all. And remind the kids of how important it is that they make good. Your loving son, Jack September 7, 1944. Western Union Shoemaker Calif Mrs. Martha Morgan, 1404 S. Vodges Street Dear Mom I hate to ask you for money because I know how short you are but I would like you to send as much as possible. I really need it. Thank you. Your son, Jack September 7, 1944. Western Union Shoemaker Calif Mrs. Martha Morgan, 1404 S. Vodges Street Dear Mom: Received money. Thanks. We are about to be shipped (to)a new base. Will wire upon arrival. Love, Jack 19. September 13, 1944. Treasure Island, California Dear Mom, Sept 12, 1944 Sorry that I did not write sooner since I wired you last but since then we were moved here to Treasure Island and have done nothing but pack and unpack our gear, no kidding mom our hands are raw from tugging at the ropes which secure our hammocks and seabags. But we are now set for a while I think. We are waiting on our ship. We are told it is a destroyer and from the looks of the posters around I am beginning to believe it. Mom I had a dream the other night and in it there was Aunt Peg, Uncle Joe and you and Paul Ward and Marty. It seems the war was over and I signed up for a 4 year hitch and was home on leave and there was some controversy about Paul and Mart keeping 17 dollars that Aunt Peg and Uncle Joe gave them to give me but I never received it. And I recall you giving me a quart of wine while you went to the kitchen to talk to Peg and Joe. I finished the wine and you told me about the 12 dollars and I started to fight with everyone then you tried to consoul(sic) me. And I can recall saying " I did not know why I ever came home. I guess it was just to be with you. I hate everyone else!" Well mom there it is. I guess it was my conscience telling me to write. Mom did you get the pillow case I sent you? I hope so. How are the kids making out in school? Tell the kids I am counting on them to stick it out as I said in my last letter. And I hope they don't let us down. Especially you mom because I know how much you are counting on them and so am I for that matter. So far two birthdays have passed since I have gone. Marion's August 25 and Gene's Sept 9 and yours will be up directly not far off. October 16. Well I will catch up with them soon and please tell Marion I haven't forgotten her and will write her and also the kids. Gee mom during the day when you are working you can think of a million and one things to say but when you get the chance to write you can't think of a damned thing. Mom I will tell you a little about Treasure Island just to have something to write about. Well we are situated in the San Francisco Bay close to Alkatraz(sic), the prison which they say is escape proof and we can see the Golden Gate. It is in the place where the Frisco World's Fair was held. In fact we are living in the exhibition buildings. Our barracks has a large statue of a viking in a ship named Discovery. Being a relic of the World's Fair I guess you can imagine how large this place really is. Boy you can get lost in 5 minutes and that is no lie. Well mom I guess there is no use telling you how much I miss you and the rest of the family because I think you know. In fact I know you do. I guess that is all for now. I will write again soon. So long sweetheart and give my love to all. Your loving but negligent son, Jack 20. September 20, 1944. Treasure Island To my darling Mother, 19 Sept 1944 Well mom how are you, fine I hope. And how did you like your trip to New York. How is Marion and the kids. In the pink of condition I hope. Well mom now for the news. I have been out to sea for three days. Got back Sunday and was I sick. Good God I thought I would never be all right again. But I am and that is all that counts. I was aboard a destroyer minelayer, the kind I will be assigned to. My ship's name is the Aaron Ward. I can't tell you anything about it as yet except that when we leave the US we won't be back for a hell of a long time. We will have a home base out at sea somewhere. I will tell you what we will be doing as far as I dare tell. Our first object is to hit and hit hard and run like hell. We will be all alone doing our special tasks and when we are out of ammunition we will have to go back for more. A pretty ticklish job or what. I am now going to school. I will be there for 3 weeks and then we prepare to go sailing for good. That is all for now except it would be nice to hear from you once in a while. How about it mom I have not received one letter from you since you got back from New York. Have you been on a honeymoon or something? No kidding mom if I don't get a letter from you soon I will go crazy. You know I would like to know how you and the folks are. So long sweetheart and please for my sake write soon, this is about my 8th letter to you. Love, Jack P.S. Don't worry about me just write. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 21. September 28, 1944. Treasure Island My darling Mother, Sept. 25, 1944 I was more than glad to have heard from you. I received your letters of Sept 8 and 21 today and was so glad I actually took a walk to the Bay and cried. Today is the first time I heard from you since Sept 8 when I left Shoemaker. I was beginning to think that you were ill or got married or something. No kidding mom if I hadn't received any mail by Wednesday Sept 27 I was going to get in touch with the Red Cross to see if anything was wrong. I was really worried. Mom you asked me what I was doing and what I will be doing in the future so I will tell you just in case I didn't tell you before. Right now I am going to D.P.O. School (Deck Petty Officer) which will last till Saturday Sept 30. Then we will go to gunnery school for a week to learn about the nomenclature and parts of a 20 and 40 millimeter guns. Then I will go to Point Manteras for the actual firing of these guns. We will be there from Sunday till Sunday. Then we are supposed to go on another shakedown cruise on the USS Foot for from 3 days to a week. Then we will go to either San Pedro Calif for our ship, the USS Aaron Ward or it will be brought to us with a skeleton crew. Then we will go on a ten day shakedown aboard her and again come back to the States for whatever has to be done. Then there is a lot of talk about a leave. It is not authentic as far as I know but if I send home for $75 you know I will be homeward bound for a few days. I hope so because when we go out we won't be back for a hell of a long time. Our job is to lay mines and our base will be out in the middle of the deep blue Pacific somewhere. But don't worry mom with the help of God and our fighting I will be back. And mom don't think for one moment that I won't. Because I will be back mom I know I will. Sept 27, 1944 Sorry to have delayed this letter so long but we are in a new barracks and are supposed to use a new address. But the hell with it, it is too much trouble changing it so I will leave it as is. Mom you also asked me to look up Jerry. Well I would like to but I will need his last mailing address and from that I will be able to find out where he is. Mom do you have any idea of Father Jack's address? I would also like to look him up. If you have any information concerning these matters please notify me at once, unquote. Well mom I was glad to hear that Mart is finally showing an interest in school. Tell him for me that I think it is swell and to keep up the good work. But what is wrong with the kid (Gene). Don't tell me he is going to let me down. I hope not. Tell him I am counting on him to get at his lessons and make something of himself. I mean it Gene I am not fooling. You are now starting work that you will have to know all your life. I know you think it is a lot of hooey but it isn't and I want to a hear a better report about you next time. How about it Gene, I know you can do it so just try a little harder. You won't be sorry for it. How is your boiler, does it work or couldn't they get it in without my genius help HaHa. Boy I bet that is a relief. Just think no more rusty water. This is for you alone mom. If by any chance you get a chance to marry Goss I think it would be very foolish of you to refuse. Mom a man like that only comes around once in a while. And if the occasion does not arise, stick by him. I doubt very much if you will ever get stung. And between you and me I think you would marry him. Tell him I was asking for him. How is Marion G., is she still on the go all the time? And how is her beer situation, has it improved any? Boy would I like to be home drinking with you people now and I will in a little while. Give Marion my love and tell her I have not forgotten her even though it may seem that way. Mom about Aunt Anna's eyes, do you think she would undergo an operation if you could get it done by the Navy department? And to be frank with you I think I can. I know it will be hard trying to find out but I will see what I can do on this end. I will let you know as soon as I find out and I will write her tomorrow night Sept28. I guess that is all for now sweetheart so I will sign off. Give my love to all and please take care of yourself. And tell Gene again to step on it and get ahead in his studies and tell Mart to keep up the good work. Your son, Jack 22. October 5, 1944. USS Aaron Ward at Treasure Island Dear Mom, Oct 4, 1944 I don't know whether I should write you thinking of what you said in your letter of Sept 29, you know about coming to Calif to see what was wrong. You know mom if I thought that you would I would throw away all the writing material and be waiting at the main gate for you. Gee you don't know how much I miss all of you. It was pretty bad at base camp but at least I knew I would be home in a little while but out here only God knows when I will see you again but I know I will see you so that makes it a little better. Mom I see you are numbering your letters. Well I received all three of them and this is my third since we got straightened out. I wrote my second the day I received yours and it was pretty long. Did you get it? I hope so because it is the details of what I am doing and will be doing for a little while. Right now we are at gunnery school studying the 40 millimeter water cooled anti-aircraft gun which I will be assigned to aboard the ship. And believe me mom I am going to know that thing from right to left and inside out because that is what is going to help me get back to see you and the rest of the family. I would like to tell you about it but it would take an expert to make it sound sensible and I am no expert yet. Note that yet. But I hope to be as soon as I can. Mom did I tell you they asked for strikers for different rates and electrician's mate was one of them so I put in for it. Pray my darling that I get it because it is what I have been hoping for since I came into the Navy. And I think I have a good chance but pray with me anyway. You know mom we have been asking each other to pray for so many things that pretty soon we will be two holyrollers but it won't do us any harm will it? How is Mart making out? Is he still keeping up the good work? I hope so. And shake his hand for me for not letting Issie give him a lousy deal. Boy you won't pull anything over on Mart, not by a long shot. And how is Gene, has he showed any improvement or is he going to let me down. I hope not because I am counting on him just as much as I am Mart to make their mother proud of them. Time out for a smoke while I try and think. Strange as that may seem. Reading through your letter I see you asked me about Christmas presents. Well I don't know when we will be leaving but I will try and find out. Wait a minute I am going to see the Old Man. Well mom here is the dope. We are to be shipped to San Pedro Calif. By the twenty-eight of this month then we will be there for about a week or so then go to Pearl Harbor for about 12 days and come back for our yard period at Pedro so he says. He says we have a very good chance of being in the States for Christmas so we will count on it OK? And about the ID bracelet, I would love to have one. And if you decide to get it have it made up this way. Put U.S.N. on the top, my name in the middle and my serial no. (921-44-42) on the bottom. Please. You also asked what else I would like well take a seat because here it comes. I would like dear Santa Clause to bring me a sheath knife, a waterproof flashlight and a wrist watch, that is all. I know what you are thinking, what the hell does he think I am, a mint? But you asked me and I told you. Always obliging in that way. Well I will close saying I love and miss you all. And tell Grandmother I was asking for her and give her my love also. Your son, Jack P.S. I have to change addresses so take notice on the envelope 23. October 5, 1944. USS Aaron Ward at Treasure Island To: Master Eugene T.P. Morgan Dear Gene, Oct 5, 1944 I just received your letter and am glad to hear that you are making an improvement in your studies. Because if you weren't you would never have been allowed to become an altar boy. So keep up the good work. You know Gene I always wanted to be an altar boy but with the changing of school never had the chance. You know Gene it is a great honor to serve on the altar and I know you will stay there by keeping up your studies. I wrote my third letter to mother last night, I hope she receives it. How is Marion, is she going crazy with mother trying to teach you Latin or is Marty helping you. You know he has Latin as one of his subjects, at least I think he has. I know I did. Well Gene I have to get back to school now, or didn't you know I was a school boy again, but we are going to gunnery school and seamen's school, entirely different from West Catholic or MBS. But we have to study and know just as much and maybe more to pass. I will close now. Keep up the good work and give my love to all and write again soon. Your Brother, Admiral Jack J. Morgan U.S.N., The Old Salt 24. October 18, 1944. USS Aaron Ward at Treasure Island Dear Mom, Oct 18, 1944 Well here I am again after over a week lapse in correspondence. I guess you thought I had forgotten you well I did not as you can see. We went to Point Manteras since last Sunday and got back here Monday evening. We were on the go constantly day and night so that is why I did not write. I will tell you what my job is and what we did all day. First I am a trainer on a 40mm anti-aircraft quad mount. My job is to see that me and the Pointer get the plains(sic) down and if we miss it, it is our fault. Our gun has 4 barrels on it, each firing 120 shells per minute and believe you me they make one hell of a noise. We have our ears stuffed with cotton and it still is loud. Our training consisted of ½ school and ½ firing. We were taught to take the mount down to its smallest part and put it back together again. But the thing that got me was that right after we got finished knocking it down and putting it back together again we had to fire it. Boy those first few shells and everyone was ready to get the hell out of there fast. But after that we were all right. We fired approximately 500 rounds of ammunition on the average of 75 a day. We were shooting at a sleeve trailing an airplane and knocked it down 4 times in the course of the week. You may think that is lousy but the Navy thinks it is good. After all we were never in the mount for actual firing. When we got back to TI we thought that they would give us a day or so of rest but hell no. We no sooner got up when they told us we were going to firefighters school for two days. We finished up today. Good God I hope we don't have to go through that out at sea. We fought everything from a bonfire to an engine room or boiler room fire and was it hot. It is in a confined space covered with burning oil and blazing like all hell and we have to go in and put it out. The smoke gets so thick that you can hardly see the flames until they damn near burn you. Then when the fire is put out we have to stand in that smoke till the signal is given that everything is OK. And when you come out after that damn near choking to death we have to roll up the hose and go to another fire. This goes on one right after the other and when the day is finished you look like a neger(sic) and have such a damn headache you almost go nuts. I can still taste the smoke but I will live through it. Mom it may interest you to know that while I write this letter I am munching on the cashew nuts you sent me also the candy, thanks a million mom. But I did not receive your letter of the 5th with the five dollars in it but have received your letter of the 11th. It may be held up somewhere, I will let you know when it arrives. Glad you enjoyed your trip with Goss and I was sorry to hear about George. By the way how is Goss, does he still come around at 4:30 on Tuesdays and Fridays? Just think when it is 9:30 at home it is 6:30 out here and I always think of you getting ready to meet Goss for an outing or a quiet evening at home. You know mom that really does you good and is about the only relaxation you have and I know you love it. I don't blame you, he is a swell guy. Mom before I leave for seaduty I am going to call you, it will probably be on Sunday. Gee mom it will be so good to hear your voice and Marion's and the kids again and I don't care how much it costs I am going to get by hook or by crook. I guess it will be in the later part of Dec. or the early part of Jan. I will let you know when I will call you so you can be prepared. I tried to send a happy birthday telegram the 16th but they would not send it. It wasn't important enough, that's what they said. To hell with them. so I will take this time to wish you a happy birthday sweetheart and wish that it could be more. Well sweetheart I guess that is all for now so I will close. Give my love to all and tell the kids to keep up the good work. Take care of yourself. Love, Jack P.S. Mom judge by this letter whether you can send a letter that I will receive before Oct 24 as we leave for San Pedro then 25. October 31, 1944. USS Aaron Ward My Dear Mom, Oct. 29, 1944 Well mom here I am listening to the "Manhatten Merry Go Round" and can see you after your hard day sitting in the easy chair so nice and fresh after your bath with your eyes closed, thinking about what I will never know, but it is most likely about your boys. Mom I can almost see you as if I was there with you. Well mom I am now on our ship and it is really something to be proud of. Frank Mound is singing, the night is young, and you are so beautiful. Now to get back to our ship. I was in CENSORED looking at her. Gee mom she sure has grace. I wish I could send you some pictures of her but I can't. Honest mom I can't tell you the feeling I have in my inside when I walk around the deck and see the other fellows working together to make our ship as proud of them as we are of her. Mom I am assigned below decks in the Fire Room, another step closer to becoming an Electrician's Mate. By the way, the Chief Electrician's Mate looks and reminds me a lot of Dad. No kidding mom they are almost identical in looks and ways. It makes me feel as if Pop is with me to see that I am all right. It may sound qu
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