Captain Wellings also sent an update home to Dolly at this time, and just to keep the thread going on what was happening with the Strong crew in the south Pacific at the time, here's an excerpt from his letter home dated February 11th:
This mornings’ press carried the news that the Japs have evacuated all their troops from Guadalcanal. This is good news for us as it should bring to an end the general fighting – both land and sea – in this area. It also confirms what we thought before I left, namely that we were getting firmly entrenched on the island and that it was only a question of time before we would have the entire island.
Since my arrival in the Pacific I have heard some marvelous stories about the land and sea fighting in the Solomons. Some of the stories about the Marines are simply priceless. I will remember the best of them for one of our sessions when I return.
Well Sweetheart your little boy feels fine. I am continuing my policy of having Fred run the ship while I set the general directives and rest whenever possible ready for the big decisions if they have to be made in a hurry. As a result everything is running very smoothly. My men are improving by leaps and bounds."
Unfortunately it did not mean the end of Japanese actions in the area, but his optimism was always apparent. He was always a man of hope and confidence, and that was beneficial for his own peace of mind and that of his men.
This is also Fat Tuesday, so I hope all of you had a great day on Mardi Gras!