Dan Wilson’s last letter was written on lightweight airmail paper. The fountain pen ink bled through a little so is hard to read.
February 11, 1945
Received your V-mail letter of Jan. 27, yesterday. Very glad to hear from you. I hadn’t had any mail for about a week. Also received the Jan. Reader’s Digest. I’ve read several of the stories and articles in it already and the other three men in this shack have read it also. It’s interesting reading for everyone. Thanks a lot for sending it, Mom.
I wrote in my last letter of several prisoners being freed at Manila. I found out later that the majority were found to be civilian internees; but there were several hundred military personnel included. The more territory that the American armies take from those Japs, the damn sure closer it becomes to the day when we hear from Dale.
When you wrote that Dale was missing on a straffing [sic] attack on an airdrome, I can understand the circumstances they were up against.
Well, I have been flying some this week; but the rest of the time has been the same routine procedures. When it rains, a guy can’t do very damn much anyway. Today is cloudy, but it’s not raining, yet.
I think I’ll wait for the noon mail to see if I received any. If I do, I’ll probably have something to write on in answering them.
Well, I got some mail alright! A big letter with picture of frosty trees in front of place from you written on Feb. 1. Also a good letter from Junior and a V-mail from Doris.
I think I’ll just answer your letter as you have them written in your letter.
Glad you got the map that you have. Seems that you can spot things out damn well on it.
Glad you’re sending that film you mentioned. I figure that it will be plenty of film alright. The ones with the cameras and film like to keep the negatives themselves; and send them home to have them printed, as it’s hard and sometimes impossible to get them printed here. To get them developed into negatives is a simple process and can be pretty easily done here, though. So, I’ll soon be able to gather up some negatives to send along with the pictures, and maybe you can get a few extras made of the better ones and send one of so to each of the rest of the Wilson family.
Yes, Junior is too far along in flying to be taken out of it. They have been taking air force personnel into the infantry, but as yet I haven’t heard of air-crew personnel transfered [sic] to it.
Junior is doing O.K. there with the AT-6. Says it’s foggy there in the mornings; being along the coast. His letters recalls to me of the same things I did. Seems that they’re trying to get some of them into being a damn “Flight engineer” on a damn B-29. Of course that doesn’t go for a pilot that’s all out for fighters. Junior’s in line for the P-51 or P-47.
I haven’t heard from Donald for some time. He’s without a doubt the one in the family who’s seeing and in on the most action.
I’m glad you wrote in detail about what happened to Dale’s plane. And those letters the other folks have written to you. I think it’s great of you to all correspond with each other. Yes, Dale will be walking in there at home sometimes, soon.
This is about all for now. I’ll put in a couple of pictures that I have now.
Wishing you the best of everything.
It is so important we have these letters to not only remember them, but to get to know them as people, not just a number in the statistic file.
Letters like this are amazing. The help us remember how we got to where we are today as a country! Sometimes I feel like they should be “required reading” for all Americans.
those heroes were just our sons and cousins
I agree. I’ll bet that wartime letters and diaries are being used in teaching history, now that so much is available online through the Library of Congress’s Veterans’ History Project: https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/html/search/search.html.
I hope you are right in that. That would be great.
Truly a treasure – a time capsule that brings the period alive. I received your book last week – hope to read it soon!
Enjoyed all the comments to this posting and as with all the above so enjoyed reading this letter with a hint of sadness too