Fort de Russy
Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaiian Is.
3 Sept 45.
Dear Jean and Mary:
I am wondering if this letter will reach you before I do myself. If it gets away tomorrow, there is good chance of it, anyway it is nice just now to sit quietly and comfortably and talk to my two best girls. One big 4-motor silver aircraft swooped down into Hickam Field, situated between Honolulu and Pearl Harbour, on the island of Oahu, in the late afternoon sun yesterday. We had been in it, airborne exactly 31 hours from Manila, stopping only an hour or two at Guam, Kwajalein (in the Marshall Islands), and Johnston Island. The last two are very long specks on the vast blue infinity of the Pacific Ocean, - hardly big enough for the runways on which these big air liners land and take-off. It is always a bit startling, after flying over nothing but water and clouds for 8 or 9 hours, that the pilot and navigator of th aircraft actually finds such a tiny spot. Anyway they do, and its a wonderful feeling when they at last bank smoothly to descend, and you can get a glimpse of that little bit of dry land below. In daylight it is a creamy white pitch of smoothed coral [?] sat in the deep blue waters. At night it is a cluster of twinkling lights, like a rich diamond broach set alone in the middle of a large black velvet cloth.
My travelling companions from Manila this far were mostly G.I.'s about 25 of them, a couple of Lieuts, a captain, and a major, all going home on "points" or compassionate leave from the Pacific War Theater. They are practically all young, some are roughnecks and others are students whose college studies have been interrupted by the War, which in many ways is the biggest of all Universities. Good lads, and all happy at the thought of getting back to good old Texas, Illinois, Oregon, Brooklyn, California - etc. With one burly "gangster" type from Boston, I enjoyed 5 games of cards - He won 3 games. He told me he had made & sent home $15,000 during his 3 years overseas - profits from a gambling racket he ran. Shoed me all the receipts too! He was one of those likeable rogues and I enjoyed his company. By now they will all be either in San Francisco, or getting near to it, while I am tarrying here in this beautiful place for a few days business - which at the same time will be a most welcome rest up - and chance to get my old system back to some approach to normal. These long sustained moves by air have a chaotic effect on all the biological functions.
This is truly one of the loveliest places in the world - and so clean, tidy, and around Honolulu, just a little too civilized. But I'm enjoying it - every bit of it. Am putting up in a lovely officers' rest club on the edge of Waikiki beach, a clean little room to myself hot and cold showers down the corridor, white sheets on my bed, a beautiful green park with palm trees out the window, and a fresh breeze coming in through it. Excellent food in the mess, and the staff & NCO's running it are friendly and obliging. To-day is a holiday - Peace paraders etc, so I was forced to take the day off - willingly enough. Spent the morning swimming and getting a sunburn, a snooze after lunch. Will go out again soon now, before dark. Should be leaving for S.F. in 3 or 4 days - it may take a couple of days by train from there to Seattle, Vanc'r and Victoria. Don't be very definite telling people when I will be home. Would like to go quietly to my family first - we can see the others later.