Monday, September 26, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Letters Home from William Robert Blades March 18, 1941 and March 21, 1941

March 18, 1941

Charleston, SC

U.S.S. Livermore (429)
N.Y.C. N.Y.

Dear Mom and Dad:

Getting along swell and feel pretty happy from the news I heard today from one of the radiomen. He said that two of the ships in our division are in Newport, R.I. and are waiting for duty in the Atlantic Fleet. Our ship is the flag ship and leader of the 21st Division and we carry aboard a Division Commander and he is the head of the 5 ships in the division and the 2 ships that are in Newport came up from Puerto Rica. We report for duty tomorrow. We made our final speed run today and I hope nothing went wrong or we will stay here until they fix it. All we have been doing is going on speed runs and coming back in and rip the engines apart. I weighed my self today and I weigh 139 lbs. and have grown a couple of inches. My face has filled in quite a bit and I feel swell. I met a fellow who comes from Manchester, NH and he lives on Kelly Street and I was telling him how often I went up there and different places I knew. Tell Grammie Davis that he was telling me that at the food of Rock Rimmen they have built a swimming pool and a big park. We had quite a time talking over different places. I am sending some of the match packages we have on the ship. Every ship has their own match covers. I received a letter from Grammie Blades and Edna May Saturday and almost keeled over when Edna May was married. Boy, I thought it was bad getting married down here at 14 or 15 yrs. but she takes the cake, and to an Army man at that. How did you like the write ups we got in Georgia? I laid on deck for a couple of hours yesterday and got quite a tan. It feels good to be in the warm weather. All the girls down here think of is getting married and I’ll hold the fort for a long time before I think of it. Will write again soon and hoping that dope about Newport is good. I give my regards all the folks.

Lots of Love “Bill”

P.S. The Wasp and the Tuscaloosa are in Norfolk. Boy it would be nice to see Rose and Frank.

March 21, 1941
Norfolk, VA

Dear Mom and Dad:

Received your letter and was glad to hear from you. Just before we shoved out of Charleston, yesterday at 4:00 p.m. a new destroyer pulled in and it had all the fellows I went through training with aboard so I missed them. When we left Charleston we didn’t know where we were going and this afternoon we landed in Norfolk, VA at 3:00 p.m. Just as we pulled in the President’s ship Tuscaloosa shoved off. The Wasp is in and four destroyers and a cargo ship. As soon as we landed I went over to get a hold of Roy Frank but they wouldn’t even let sailors of other ships aboard so I have to get in contact with him tomorrow some way. We had all the lights on the ship out while we were under way all night except our running lights. As soon as you open a hatch the lights would go out. Those are orders all the time we in the fleet and we are in the fleet and go through special orders for a couple of months. There is a notice up on the bulletin board to be ready to leave at a minutes notice so I don’t know how long we will be here. There is still talk that we might go to Newport, R.I. and I hope it’s true. I have enclosed some pictures, of The Plunket, a ship that is in our division and ours is an exact duplicate. That S.M.R.L.H. means “Sailors Mail Rush Like H---“. Well there isn’t much more to talk about so will sign off giving my regards to you all.

Your Loving Son “Bill”

P.S. I worked in the laundry one night so a fellow could go ashore, so I will have about $20.00 coming next pay day.

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