Transcribed by James Fox, August 2004|
from the Deposit-Coach Fox WW2 Letters Collection
Ens. Richard H. Storrer
March 23, 1946
Don't be alarmed - it' been a long time coming but the time has come. It's been a long time since I left home but it didn't take me a year to write anyway!
Just a brief bit of history to bring you up to date - I reported on the West coast June 2nd, '45, and after spending some time in both San Diego and San Francisco left the States August 9th, five days before the war was officially declared ended. A month later Sept. 9th, I caught my ship here at Guam. and since then have been to the Philippines, Saipan and Japan. That's about it Coach, and I didn't have a thing to do with fighting and winning the war.
It's been a great experience out here and I wouldn't take anything in the world for it. We have been quite fortunate to be able to travel around a little. You see, although we are a landing craft (LCI(L) -Landing Craft Infantry (Large), we have been converted to carry cargo and Guam has been our home port because we have been hauling spare parts (Diesels) for the Supply Center here.
About a month ago, Feb. 22nd to be exact we shoved off for Shanghai but after two days out our port shaft broke down and we had to return to Guam. We were quite disappointed because we had been anticipating that trip, just to compare China with Japan. We had a big time in Japan studying a cross-section of the country. If I were an author I could write a book about it and I could do much better by telling you about it, but I can sum it up by saying, they are at least a hundred years behind us in most every way and really they had no chance winning the war.
This conversion of a war-time Navy to a peace-time outfit has become quite a problem out here. The personnel situation is very critical because they are trying to demobilize and still operate these ships. My skipper is waiting for a relief right now and I have already relieved the Executive Officer - he went back to the States for a leave and reassignment. I have charge of personnel now, that's how I know it's such a headache. It's easy enough to transfer the men for discharge but it's a job to replace them I think they would be wise if they decommissioned many of the small ships - it would relieve the situation. But the boys who are running the ballgame are USN and since I'm USNR, I'll let them worry about it and I'll take my discharge when the time comes.
But we've talked Navy long enough.---
I understand the oldtimers have quite a ball club representing De-posit this year. I sure would like to see all of them WORKING together again - Skinny*, Pete*, Squirrelie*, Duffy*, Franny* and all the boys. It must be a different picture around home with many of the boys back Here's one boy who would like to be with them too!
You know I think you told me that you wanted to talk to me the last time I was home when I saw you for a short time one day. And I never showed up again. - I guess I had things on my mind. Anyway I'll see you when I get home again and we'll have a "meeting of the minds". At least there'll be one mind between us - mine never developed!
Please don't think me soft now or trying to kid anyone - again If I could express myself by writing, I would tell you how much sports have meant to me since I left high school Rather I should say, how much I gained from sports while I was in high school And I know my own ability. I'm a pretty
crude athlete, but that doesn't even count. It's the way it makes the old mind work and develops the "little man" inside of you. Well, you figure in there too, but you don't want to hear about that. We'll talk it over some day. O.K.? - we probably both have questions we want to ask too- I do!
I trust that D.C.S. still ranks on top in whatever she undertakes. Tay, you're getting to be a veteran in this position called principal. You haven't made any enemies have you, Coach? As long as there are people in authority there will be enemies - I know that from where I sit. They're really not enemies - just people who have different ideas on certain things.
Things can be carried too far, I always say so I guess I better bring this manuscript to a close. Please extend my best regards to the family - Mrs. Fox*, Jean* and Jimmie*. Say, those kids must be growing up but fast. If Jim is as big as I am when I get back, I won't be surprised.
I sure would appreciate hearing from you and getting your slant on D.C.S., the basketball team, and everything in general. But please don't wait a year to write!
Good luck, Mr. Fox, and keep your eye on the ball - baseball is just around the corner.