[letterhead: “H.M.S. RALEIGH,
Ord. Sea. R.H. Gray
Oct. 31, 1940
It is now a long time since I last wrote you or saw you. So I expect that you may be glad to get this. I hope that you can find time to answer this because I love to have letters over here.
I don’t know what your reaction was when you heard that I had joined up. Probably you didn’t like it because of the way you used to think about it. I expect, however, that this last summer may have changed your mind just as it changed mine and a good many other peoples. For various reasons, I felt that I had to go. I wasn’t doing anything useful at Varsity, the family was disappointed in me as rightly the should have been; I felt that perhaps it would be a good idea to get into this and when it was all over I might have had a little sense pounded into me. But that was not the main reason. At the beginning of the vacation I had full intentions of returning to Varsity and proving that I could do something. The main reason I think was that I was getting a little mad at Hitler. I saw a good chance of getting into the navy so here I am. I think you will understand me.
All in all we have seen very little of the war yet. We have done nothing in the way of fighting and except for the seven days trip across the ocean have not even been on the sea. By the time you get this, however, there is no doubt that we will be on the sea and seeing a little action. The plan as you will have heard is to spend three months at sea and then go to an officer’s training establishment for commissions. I am looking forward to that time because, although I have absolutely nothing to complain of at present, it will mean more money and better living.
I am a little lonely away over here. I found that when opening time for Varsity arrived I missed it a lot. I would give a good deal to be back there for even one day. However, it is no use worrying about that. I am not the only one in that condition.
How were Phyllis and Ed when you saw them? Did they look nice? From what I hear they must have made quite a hit with all the relations. I am glad if they did because Ed is a great chap. I think that everybody likes him. Phyllis and he will get along famously. I have received a few pictures of the wedding and Phyllis seemed to be quite a beauty in Mother’s wedding dress. I bet it was a grand function. Your Mother was certainly welcome because I think they must have been terribly lonesome at home after the couple left.
Well I shall expect a letter in the near future. Give my love to all your family and Grandma and the very best of everything to yourself.
P.S. I hope that nursing isn’t as tough now as it was at first. You will make a wonderful one.