Nov. 19, 1946

Dear Mom,

I’m in San Diego now, we came by train last night & were assigned bunks. We met the other half again we’re all going on the Billy Mitchell. There’s hundreds of other guys going too.

We were just down to the docks and saw more ships in one glance than I ever saw in my life. There’s hundreds and hundreds of them here being decommissioned. They’re being preserved in that silk looking encasing. They’re lined up 20 & 30 abreast all kinds of them.

If anyone ever asks you to give to the Red Cross – well just don’t. I always heard the other servicemen talk about what a phony outfit it was but now I Know. About 5 of the guys went down there to borrow about $5 because we’re not getting paid. Again & he told us no luck. It said it had to be urgent he doesn’t think that a guy needs cigs, stationary & soap when he hasn’t been paid for a month & won’t be. What a lousy outfit, I mean it.

There were 150 guys here who all of a sudden were given a 30 day leave & all broke.  When they asked them for traveling fare they told them to go down town & set up pins for a couple of days.  That's a fact for he told us that himself.  We wanted to chip in & buy a camera but I don't know.  It'll take us a month or more to get to China & about 17 days to Guam.  I'll be making $96 a month over there & will be able to send you a lot for it's cheap living there.

We're scheduled to leave here Fri the 22nd now & I can see myself a seasick boy for a couple of days.  They say our destination is Shanghai so I guess ye olde "Anchors Aweigh" really apply here.

I've been living out of a seabag so long it's pitiful & another month or so to go.  I think we're making a record, you can imagine putting all your clothes in a potato sack and live that way for a couple of months.

We'll be at sea for Thanksgiving & probably Christmas but it makes no difference where you are if you're not home.  That's something I'm really going to miss, being with you for that day but you know I'll be thinking of you.

We've gotten so we can take anything passively, no chow, no sleep, no pay we just know it's no use & put up with & kid each other about it.  At least we're all together, Rick bunks right above me here & Pete, Beanay, Philo, Pasquale & the rest are within a 2 1/2 ft radius.  Pasqual's bunk is right next to mine & if I move in my sleep I'm in with him.

Well mom, I'll write later