Dec. 14th 1941.
In your last letter – which I have before me – you were reminding me about our trip across the Atlantic in the Samaria last year. Strangely enough I had just been trying to decide a few days ago the exact date, when we left New York, but to no avail. Looking back on it now it certainly was a pleasant voyage. I’ve wondered several times about the acquaintances I made on board and what they are doing now. They were a rather mixed lot and it would be interesting to know where they are now. It has been a very exciting year for most of us and one that has passed quickly for me at least. It seems as if it were but yesterday since I landed in England. The most interesting and exciting year in my life!
A few days ago I heard the news that America was at war with Germany and Japan. It was hardly unexpected but still it made me feel uneasy. Perhaps it will bring the end of the war nearer but one has the feeling that the world must have gone mad. One can’t think of a major power that isn’t at war with someone at present. Japan seems to have taken the States a bit by surprise to start with but things will be evened out in the end I think. It would be interesting to know how the American public will react to the war. Different than in England I think. There is such a mixture of peoples – some loyal some not so loyal. There probably will be more fifth column activity and certainly more sabotage than in Churchill’s Island. America’s industrial output should be fairly well geared up by now which will in the end beat the Japs I think. I wonder what the “Great White Way” would look like in the blackout? I hardly think New York would stand up to the bombing that London has received.
You have probably read about the activities of the submarine service in the Mediterranean. The tonnage sunk by our submarines is enormous and makes one wonder if Italy can have much left. We have just been credited with one more Italian cruiser to the already long list of victims. Being attached to the submarine service makes one inclined to swagger a bit at times. We are hoping now that we may have an opportunity to get a crack at the Japanese. This is highly probable by the look of things now and it certainly would be a pleasure. The theatre of war seems to have moved to the Pacific and places such as Singapore and Hong Kong will probably be in the news a lot in the near future.
Christmas is but eleven days away at this writing but somehow it doesn’t seem like it. I find it hard to think of Christmas without snow and cold. One thinks of Christmas as a time when all of one’s family are under one roof and all are happy and contented, but I’m afraid this one will be different for me – much different. It is the one day of the year when I always managed somehow to be at home. I suppose in England Christmas is Christmas war or no war. I hope you had a good Christmas and that your brother was able to get some leave.
By the way I’m sending you a small gift I picked up rather cheap. It isn’t much but I couldn’t think of anything else that would be fitting. I thought of silk stockings (knowing how scarce they are in England) but thought you might be offended. Anyway I didn’t know the size or color and it would be rather embarrassing buying them. This is the only means I have of showing my appreciation of your goodness in writing to me so often despite the fact that I write so irregularly. Each time I write to you I try to avoid writing about myself but somehow when I re-read my letters there seems to be an excessive repetition of the first person singular. This is rather hard to avoid as there is a limited number of subjects to write about (room for a smart quip here) as you know. At least I give you time to recover, between the irregular intervals separating my letters. Anyway I’ll keep writing until you scream to stop it and I’ll still be looking forward to your next letter.