14 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 14 March 1943

Letter Date – 13 March 1943



To my dearest wife,

Well, here it is Saturday afternoon and I have a half a day off. I have it off but nobody can leave the hotel until five tonight. The mail was just handed out and I was glad to hear from you. It will give me something to do this afternoon. After I write this I will get into a game of cards. Besides reading that’s about all there is to do. Boy it sure is a nice day down here. The sun is shining is nice and bright and there is also a nice cool breeze blowing off the Gulf. I’ll bet this kind of talking don’t make you feel so good, seeing you are up where it’s cold, but I thought I would tell you anyway. Today was the first day we could wear our summer issue uniform. You most likely have seen it already. It is sort of a silky suntan. Boy, they sure look and feel nice. Right after chow we had to stand personal inspection. Our squadron was said to be the best in the post. In this inspection we have to stand at attention while the officer walks down the front and the back of us. He looks at each one of us and if there is something wrong with us he will soon let us know. I guess I was all right, as he didn’t say nothing to me. When we got back to our hotel the Sarge said we were pretty damn good. Say, while I’m talking about sergeants let me tell you a little about ours. He is a little short southern guy, about five foot and a half and maybe about 140 lbs, but he is one hell of a nice guy. Sort of tough at times, but then I guess they all are. Now I can see what Alvin and Clarence are doing in the army. You asked me if they have a USO down here. Well they have, but they won’t do me no good as you know how I like to dance. I guess they have a lot of ¬†servicemen’s centers around here, but I am not going out and I don’t want to do so without you along. If I did I would not think I would be treating you fair. At least that’s what I think, so I’m not going out. Maybe just to a show or for a walk around town. I can’t think of a thing more to write to you now but I might add a little more in a letter tonight. This is your husband signing off with loads of love and kisses to the sweetest wife in the world. Ralph

PS – I forgot to tell you I’m going to church tomorrow. More love and kisses. RP

Notes: Of course Alvin was Mom’s brother and Clarence was Dad’s brother. Both were older and already in the Army. I never saw my Dad dance, ergo the crack about “you know how I like to dance.” Not sure if he mentions it in one of these letters, but one of the “shows” he saw in St. Petersburg (or possibly later in Tampa) was Sally Rand, the famous “fan dancer.”

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