USS Reid WWI Navy Letter February 1918

This letter was written by a sailor, who was serving aboard the USS Reid, during WWI. From the letter…..

   Such a sweet fat letter from you yesterday when we got in! Tho very much delayed from the time of starting  to the time of finishing. I certainly did enjoy the accounts of the kiddies Christmas, they were very lucky kiddies, and I’m glad you were remembered too, tho you didn’t go into detail about your gifts. I’m glad my stuff got through all right. By the way I’ve got Morgan a little something, too. I know he doesn’t need it, but it’s so nifty I had to get it. It’s a French bluejackets’ cap, with the name “France” in the cap ribbon. The French kiddies wear them a lot and every time I see one on the street I imagine Morgan in one. The red “button” on top and the white piping are very attractive, I think. I’ll box it up and sent it along with te postcards, I know you’ll have a good laugh over them.
   We had very good weather on our last rip, which really consisted of two, and we certainly must have passed pretty close to about three subs, from recent reports. We did have a “scare”, but that was all. If all our trips could be as smooth, I’d like to hit the sea most all the time, only of course if we could get our mail.
   We got back and shortly after had our mail, and I drew one letter from you, as I said before. Had to go ashore yesterday, of course, and made a very necessary purchase of a pair of bathroom slippers, and Morgan’s cap. Later, I ran into Red and Skip and Speck, and we all had dinner together, returning at ten. I immediately went to bed, but not to sleep for a long time, cause I caught a cold in my chest last trip, and I tried to cough my fool head off. That’s why I’m staying on board today, and I’m going to stay until I’m OK again.
   Before I forget it, I want to be sure that you understand about life insurance, etc.
1. Traveler’s policy.  $50.00 per mo. For 20 years. Apply to the, Bureau’s notification necessary.
2. Compensation. This amounts in your case to $52.50 per month during your life, tho I believe it is subject to reduction when the children are self supporting. Apply to Bureau of War Risk Insurance, Washington, D.C.
3. War Risk Insurance. I’ve taken out $10,000, you name, and you should soon get a policy. It pays $57.50 for twenty years. Apply same as above.
   Now be sure and make a memo of the above, dearest.
   I hope Morgan enjoyed his trip. It’ll do him good, I’m sure his actions on the way to the train were very amusing. I suspect the next letter will tell all about it.
   No, I’m not going to scold about the furs. I’m glad you did get them. If I’d been home with you, the chances are I would have got them for you anyway, and since you are so pleased with them and got such a good bargain, I’m mighty pleased also. I hope I’ll get home before it gets too warm, so I can see you in them, I always liked you with a fur about your neck.
   Don’t you worry about my “advancing intellectually.” It isn’t happening at all. As a matter of fact, outside of the professional side there’s been nothing at all to develop one, and I fear you’ll find me very backwards when I come home. The only reading I ever do is in magazines, and I find that after a hard trip, the frothier and lighter the story is, the more I enjoy it. I don’t care much about highbrow stiff these days!
   Now I’ll tell you a story or two. The negro stevedores have furnished a lot of fun. On one of the transports upon arrival on this side, the censor found a letter from one of them to his wife, which ran somewhat as follows. “Woman, you might just as well take another man cause I aren’t coming home no more. I’se a furrin nigger from now on. I’m going to stay on this side for ever, leastwise until dey builds a bridge.
   I believe this one came from the Sat. Eve Post, but it’s worth telling, I believe it was Irvin Cobb. Someone was talking about the job he’d like in the war, and he said “the job I want is chauffeur of the fastest Prince Arrow I can find, and chauffeur to a general that’s got a yellow streak a yard wide!
   We’ve got some darkies on board that start a song service before going to sea, and it has been observed at sea that they do dome praying. Someone asked what they were praying about, and the reply was, “We’re praying for the Captain and the Navigator!” There are several more that I’ll tell next time.
   Must get to bed or I’ll have a relapse. I love you so much, sweetheart.

No comments: