"First let me say that the Strong is still Strong and getting better each day. My crew and officers have developed the team work necessary for a good ship. I now feel that I can take them anywhere and be sure that they can do a good job. No – we haven’t been through a big battle. It is just that I notice the way they do their work plus grand performances at the various practices.
Incidentally and confidentially we are getting a good reputation as a snappy good shooting and alert ship. I only hope – that when and if the time comes to prove we are good that we will exceed our reputation.
Life out here never changes. Every day is the same as far as work is concerned. We are in port once in a while but there is nothing to do. We do now have an officers’ club where the boys can get some beer – very seldom do we have hard liquor at the club (transportation problems). All hands are aboard by 1800. After dinner we have the movies and then to bed. Movies of course only when we are in port. Last night we had "Road to Morocco" – Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Bob Hope – it was the "nuttiest" show I have ever seen, but funny.
I must tell you a good story. The night before we sailed on our last trip, we received a message from a ship which had just arrived from Al’s home port that they had 30 cases of Ale (qt. bottles) for us. We thought it was a joke but investigation confirmed the message. We didn’t know what to do as it was 2200 and we were sailing early in the morning and of course we couldn’t take it aboard. Sooo – at 0500 we had a big motor launch from the tender with our working party and removed it from the ship to the recreation center (enlisted men) ashore. They stored it for us. Yesterday my boys certainly had a party
and today there will be another.
I still have no idea who sent it or payed for it but I suspect Al very strongly. I must write to him tonight and include congratulations on again becoming a father.
Saw Rod Smith ashore yesterday. His stories were better than ever. He told a long story about telling you as a new Navy wife about your duties in connection with finding out when and where I would be transferred and the future movements of my (your) ship. He really was a scream. His eyes rolled better than ever. Guess what?! Charles Wollen came aboard yesterday. He is assigned to a ship in this area. We spent all afternoon talking over Wash. – the Navy and the war. He is doing a splendid job – (a darn important one). I will see him tomorrow morning when I go to his ship to attend a "bull session" on aviation intelligence."
The next day on the 15th, he indicates that he's still hoping to get a change-up in duty:
"I still think I have a good chance of getting home in June although I have not heard from the detail officer. However you know only too well that there is always a chance of the best of promises going wrong in the Navy – Look at Boot – he should have been home long ago. If you and Betty get a chance to get a good place for a couple of months by all means take it. If I get back in time and get a little leave which I probably will – a good rest or change of scenery in the country or seashore will be most welcomed.
Talking about getting relieved – I wonder what kind of a job I will get. Chances are that I will have to put a new destroyer in commission. I will not relish the job – particularly now that the new boats have even less personnel with experience than I had. Also I would try to train my executive officer to take over before we go west. I say this because if I had to do any fighting I
would prefer to do it in the Strong – now that my crew and officers are all well trained. However I know that due to the terrific expansion I will lose at least 50% of my officers within the next nine months so perhaps it is just as well for me to leave. Another thing is that command duty spoils you for any other type of duty. As one officer said "from now on I want to work for myself".
He's hoping at this point that he'll be able to turn his command over to Fred Purdy, his right hand man. Retirement and reassignment, spending more time with his wife and daughter, those are uppermost in his mind.