Every now and then I'll interject some of my own commentary on these love letters, that will be in parentheses, and also I'll occasionally provide some links and/or information about what he's referring to. In the previous letter, Tom mentioned heading for Buckingham. I wasn't familiar with that name so I googled it and found a listing saying Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Florida, Ft. Myers area, which I clicked on and found this link that gives some historical information about it http://members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/FL/Airfields_FL_FtMyers.htm
His next letter, dated....
July 8th, 1945
We arrived here at 11:00p.m. last night so tired and dirty that we hardly cared what happened next. But after a good bath and shave and a night's sleep, we feel pretty good. It was sure a tiresome trip and I'm sure glad it is over with. We made wonderful time but had to ride on a bus for the last 150 miles. I haven't even moved today except to get up and go to chow and check in at Headquarters, and am going to loaf around and rest up for awhile, then see what will happen for the next few days. It's so hot here today that it is miserable and after the nice cool weather in Chicago, it seems warmer than it really is. I wish that I were up there today so that we might go swimming or for a walk in the park again. But of course, you are glad that I'm not there, for I know that I talked too much and bored you, although I enjoyed every minute I was with you. I would like to spend a lot of time with you and I know I would love every minute of it. I only hope you won't forget me and that you will write soon and as often as you can. And Dear, I know it is asking a lot of you but I wish you would send me a picture of yourself so that I might have one to remember you by and always think of you as the sweetest and nicest girl I have ever met. Although I only knew you for a few hours, I feel that I have known you for years, and if I stay in the Army forever I will always know I will never meet another girl as fine, sweet and good as you.
Dear, I will send you my wings just as soon as I can find a small box to put them in and I hope you will wear them and think of me sometimes.
So sweetheart, I will be waiting to hear from you and hope you write soon.
Yours with love,
(I'm imagining that she had been out for a walk in the park and he was maybe there in Chicago for a furlough or lay over. He might have been wearing his uniform and the two of them must have struck up a conversation in the park, making small talk at first. My Mom would have been the type that if she had been approached by a serviceman during that time where the whole country was focused on winning the war, and he had spoken to her, she would have been kind and considerate enough of him, to give him some of her time, out of respect for his service. She may have viewed him as being kind of lost or lonely and just in need of someone to talk to. She obviously gave him that gift of her time and it seems to have had a great impact on him.)
July 9th, 1945
Another day has gone and all I've done is rest and think of you and do a little sleeping, but it's too hot to sleep good. How is your sunburn now? I hope it isn't as painful as it was while I was there. The next time you go to the beach you will have to be more careful. I wish you were here to go to the beach with me this evening, for I know you would like it here. Of course it is too hot to go in the daytime, so we go in the evening while it is cool and have lots of fun watching the waves come in to shore. Did you ever swim in the ocean? I like the salt water better than I do fresh water because I can swim in it so much easier.
Well I found out this morning that I am to be an instructor of Gunnery tactics and will go to work tomorrow and will have to be on duty for four hours a day, and the rest of the time I have to myself. That's not so bad and its not a bit hard, so if I can stand the noise, everything will be fine. Some of the boys here are being discharged and maybe I can be sent to a better field that this, where it isn't so hot all of the time.
I'm going into town this P.M. and try to send your wings and if I can, will have that picture taken and send you one if you would like me to.
I had a letter from Mother and Brother Louie today telling me that Brother Donnie is in Denver, Colorado in the hospital there, and is not expected to live. But if he does go on, it is good that he could be near home and see Mother and his family before he goes. I don't know why I tell you these things, only I feel that I have known you for so long and want to say so much, but have no right to say them. I hope you understand what I am trying to say, and what I wanted to say that last evening we were together, and I hope I don't make you angry with me, for I want you to write as often as you can. When I first saw you in the park that day I wanted to speak to you and was afraid you would be mad if I did, but I just felt that I had to know you, no matter how I did it, and now I'm glad for I wouldn't have missed knowing you for anything and I hope some day to see you again and renew our friendship.
I've already written to Mother about you, and I hope she invites you to go to the ranch for a visit when I get a furlough next fall.
I have hopes of being home in time for Thanksgiving and the fall roundup, and if you were only there I know it would be perfect. Would you come if Mother writes you? I would love to have you there for a month or so (!) if you could get away.
Well Darling, I will close now and hope to hear from you very soon.
(He mentions in a later letter that his family's ranch is in Utah. I thought it was a little much for him to ask her to consider staying at his ranch for a month, after they barely knew each other. Is he sounding a little desperate? I also believe their time spent together was mostly talking. My Mom was the type that she would have never cheapened herself to become a one night stand for this soldier. Not that it didn't ever happen back then, but I believe it was no way as prevalent and accepted, unfortunately, as it is nowadays. Keep in mind that she was also exchanging letters with my Dad at this time, who was in the Army also and stationed in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. I've also changed this Tom's brothers names and the one that he said was in the hospital in Denver was hospitalized from a war injury, I believe.)