Eniwetok, Marshall Islands
May 17, 1948

Dear Mom,

We are out in the lagoon off Eniwetok now taking on water from a yard waterer.  There is a destroyer on the other side of her.  It is 5:30 now and they are still over the side painting.  These destroyers spend most of the time on patrol outside the lagoon and when they are in they paint wholesale.  They have the worst duty here spending 9 straight days going around in circles on patrol and then a few days in.

I wish you would see about Montclair.  I haven't written them as I thought I would go and see them when I get home.  There's nothing I can do out here.

I received a letter from Fran today. She wrote it while down there with you.  What's happened to her enthusiasm about nursing?  I guess she's tired of the training and wants to practise what she has heard preached.

May 18

Well I'll finish this tonight.  We just now heard over the radio in a special news broadcast that Truman has said that joint task force seven (that's us) has completed a series of three atomic weapons tests.  How true, and how glad we are.  Now I'll be going home in about two weeks.  I can say a little more now so I'll tell you we are planning to leave here about next week, Monday probably.  We are supposed to go to Kwajalein and from there the ship will go to China again.  This time minus me and seven other guys which is half the crew.  We all were supposed to have gone home earlier but were held over for the operation.  If all goes well I'll leave Kwajalein about the first of June.  By the time you get this you'll have read all about the operation so I can't tell you anymore than you'll know anyway.

Mom I'm terrible sorry about Mother's Day.  I didn't know it was Mothers Day until the day before.  I always thought it came around the end of the month and no one keeps track of anything here.  We don't even have a calendar.  I know the day itself isn't so important but the thought.  I'll get you something nice when we are together again.

I got a letter from Aunt Johanna today.  I mean Aunt Mary.  What I meant to say was this.  I received a letter from Aunt Mary today and enclosed was one she had got from Aunt Mathilda that Aunt Mathilda had received from Aunt Johanna and which Aunt Mary forwarded to me.  That may sound involved to some people but to the Larson clan it's entirely normal.  In the letter Aunt Johanna mentioned that she had started to work on some old silk stockings (making a rug) but had given it up after a little while as sewing doesn't rest her as it does some people.  Aunt Mary said she was going to send her a bundle for her next birthday (unawares of course).  She asked me to come down when I got a chance and do some fishing.  She sends me papers from Miami and candy once in a while.

It seems my grammer gets worse each day.  We usually speak in monosyllables and just try to get the meaning across.

I drew all my pay today and am going to send you two hundred dollars to deposit for me.  I might get a chance to go over on the beach tomorrow.  I'm the mailman but when we are making runs they bring our mail out to us.  I think we will stay at anchor tomorrow as the other islands are secured and everyone is down here.  If you want any of the money help yourself (or do I have to say that).  Why don't you take about 25 dollars and get something you want as my Mother's Day gift.

Well Mom that's all for now.  Will write later, (I feel liberated now that the operation is winding up).