15 May 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – Red Bank, New Jersey

Postmark Date – 15 May 1943

Letter Date – 14 May 1943



Dearest wife and baby,

How are my two girls tonight? I hope you feel as good as I do, and I also hope you are as lonesome for me as I am for you. I think you are, aren’t you? The reason I feel so good today is that I got all my back mail from you that was sent down to St Pete. Also one right from home plus one from big brother Clarence. I had so darn much fun reading them that I almost missed school. Boy was I ever glad to get them. While the other guys were not getting any mail I was really pulling them in. You should have seen their faces. I have so darn much to answer that I don’t know where to start, but to begin with I am sort of mad to think you would not believe me when I told you I would come back and marry you if I had joined the Navy. I know how you felt. I don’t suppose you did know if I would have come back, but if you know what had been in my mind you wouldn’t even have to ask me. Honest, honey, I love you more than life itself. It’s awfully hard having you ask me questions like that. I want you to know now sweetheart that you never have to worry about me. I am yours and Bonny’s forever, as long as I live, and I figure on living to a ripe old age. Do you think you can stand me that long? I wanted to marry you before I went to or before I try to go to the Navy, and I would do it all over again if I had a chance. And I don’t think I could love you anymore than I do now. This is the truth you asked for. It’s the whole truth, honey, so help me. I want you to believe me. When I started to read what you asked me I got so damn worried and sick that I couldn’t hardly read any farther, but I want you to ask me anything you want to. It will help clear up a lot of things. But don’t scare me so much next time. About me thinking that you and (?) we’re carrying on – it was just a crazy idea of mine. I was so darn jealous and love you so much that I couldn’t think of anything else. I see what a damn fool I was  now. I guess I am starting to grow up. Not the same little boy that left you, but grown up to think a few straighter thoughts and figure out things in a more sane way. Maybe you won’t get so mad at me then. These letters are not coming so fast as they did from St Pete and this one will be a little shorter one than I write tomorrow night. I’m going to close this one now as the lights are going in a little while. I will write you a big, long one tomorrow night. I will have more time. Until then, goodnight honey. Please don’t worry about me. I will love you always. Night now, baby, from Daddy. PS – Please keep on loving me as I will always love you with all my heart. Ralphie

Notes: I had forgotten that Dad had attempted to join the Navy at some point before joining the Army Air Corps. I don’t recall what kept him out. I don’t think it was anything health related. As for Dad living to a “ripe old age,” I would have to say that didn’t happen. He passed away when he was 70, which to me is not old. His health was good most of his life but he worked exceptionally hard without much rest for 50 years and it finally caught up to him. Smoking did not help. The overall tone of this letter is more deep and contemplative than previous letters. It will be interesting when I get to Mom’s letters to see exactly what she wrote. I can’t quite make out who Dad thought Mom was carrying on with. I know what it looks like, but I don’t want to speculate.

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