10 April 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 10 April 1943

Letter Date – 9 April 1943



Dearest wife and baby,

Got your letter today, and that is the kind of letter I like to get. Nice long ones with lots of love in it. It helps cheer me up and forget the army life. Just keep on writing ones like that and I will be satisfied. It was awfully hot down here today and they really drill the drill out of you whether it’s hot or not. The water just runs off a guy and then that dry dust covers up and coats you in one dirty mess. I am glad you got your check, as it will help you out and you sure need it. I hope that money that I sent home will help you out, also. I am going to send all that I don’t need home. You will have more use for it then I will. I do my own washing, so all I need money for is getting my uniform cleaned and pressed, and a few candy bars if I can get them now and then. So the boy friends are starting to come around, are they? I guess I will have to come home and take care of them. I am only fooling, as I know my wife wouldn’t do anything like that to me. You never would believe that I trusted you, but I do right to the bottom of my heart. I asked you once not to go to the dances and I’m going to ask you again. Let me know what you think of my crazy ideas. You will probably curse me out plenty, but then you know how I feel about you. I love you so damn much that I just can’t think of you ever talking to some other guy. I am glad that everybody is giving our baby a lot of stuff. I only wish I could send something else besides love and kisses, but I will send something when I get to my permanent station. And they better all make a big fuss over her because look whose baby she is. I am so proud of how that every time that I get a letter from you with something about her in it I show it to the guys in my room. I darn near break the buttons off my shirt. Then they congratulate me and that sure sounds nice. I just came back from town before I started to write this letter. I got a (?) (?), a hat, and a shoulder emblem. I am going to send it to you. I haven’t got them on my shoulder yet, but I will when I get to school. It is a nice looking emblem, and you can put it on that kimona that I knitted for Bonny right where I wanted to put a big flower. I bet the little devil would think she was in the army. I can’t think of much more to write tonight, but I will send some more tomorrow. All my love and kisses to my sweetest wife and baby from Daddy

PS – Did I ever say that I love you? I do with all my heart. Night, babies. R P

Notes: The green-eyed monster rears its ugly head again, as seems to be a running theme in all military letters I have transcribed. The really odd part of this letter is the bit about Dad knitting a kimono for Bonny. Jumping Roosevelt Grier! I knew Dad had some basic sewing skills, but knitting is a new one on me. Maybe there’s more to this story than meets the eye, but for now I will have to take it at face value.

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