We stopped in Chicago to say goodbye to my mother and sister Lois, and headed west. In early September the plains of Iowa and Nebraska are not only very hot, but a dry wind blows steadily across them. This was, in the days before car air conditioners, and as we drove mile after mile in the heat with the wind blowing across us I began to feel exhausted. By the time we reached Lincoln, Nebraska, where we were to spend the night with our friends Otho and Joyce DeVilbiss, my appearance frightened Joyce half to death. Five months pregnant exhausted and dehydrated I was a sight. The first thing I did was take a bath, and then stretch out between the sheets of a cool and inviting bed. Their plans for going out to dinner had to be abandoned.

Joyce and Otho were old hands at driving across the plains. They told us that the most debilitating thing is not the heat, but the drying wind. To survive it is best to keep the car windows almost shuts and to hang wet towels inside of the windows on the sunny side. Otho and Charles went out early the morning and managed to get some dry ice, which we put at our feet, and off we started again,, complete with wet towels. We drove through the heat all day, and that night as we drove into Cheyenne, Wyoming, we were in a swirling snowstorm. From Wyoming we headed south through Utah, and down across a corner of Arizona, and so into California, doing as much of the desert driving as possible at night. At last we reached Los Angeles, California, and called our friends the Clarkes from the first available phone booth.

Oh. the debt we owe the Clarkes. They received the worn-out travelers with open arms and a welcoming dinner, but best of all they had found a small furnished apartment which was ready and waiting for us. It was not far from where they lived in Inglewood, in a little complex of small rental units. our address was 5272 West 82nd Street. No welcome could have been more appreciated.

Our little house had a respectable living room, complete with a pull-down bed, a nice sized bedroom, a fully tiled bath, and a kitchen and dining area with a small utility porch opening off it. It was in a quiet residential area just off Figueroa Blvd., not far from Manchester Boulevards near shopping and transportation. The very first thing we bought was a large console radio.

Charles enjoyed his new office. Most of the young men working there that winter were also out-of-staters selected during the reform period, and most of them were newly married. It was a ready-made group of young friends, newcomers to the areas as we were. We pot-lucked, played The Games and argued mightily about the war which was not/raging in Europe.

We saw a great deal of the Clarkes, and drove all around Los Angeles, through areas still very much countryside --Inglewood, Burbank, Anaheim, and Baldwin Hills which were covered with cattle and oil wells. We drove out to Knott's Berry Farm, which was actually a farm, on the front porch of which Mrs. Knott served home made food to the people who drove out for dinner. Our little house cost $35.00 a month, completely furnished. Food was incredibly cheap. You could go into the orange groves and pick up oranges which had dropped from the trees for a quarter a bushel. Dinners at a very nice restaurant might cost 50q- for a three-course meal, and we were enormously impressed by our first super-markets. Los Angeles was unbelievably clean. When I took my laundry up to the roof of a small apartment building to hang It up I could see Mt. Baldy's snow-capped head easily from our Inglewood area. Los Angeles was a very nice place for a young couple on a limited budgets although I think we were now making $150.00 per month --if not the massive amount of $175.00.

My Trenton Obstetrician had recommended a Dr. in Los Angeles who turned out to be a class-mate of his,, and who agreed to take me on at the same fee I had been going to pay in Trenton -- $100.00, less what I had already paid the Trenton Dr,-and I became Dr. McCausland's charity case for 1939, since his offices were high above Sunset Boulevard and most of his patients dripped mink and came in chauffeured cars.

California enjoyed a heat wave that fall, which raged well into December. I felt fine and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Sometime in early January we went to see Kirsten Flagstadt and Lauritz Melchior in Tristan Und Isolde, and I had some doubts as to my ability to hold out during the entire performance but made it by getting out of my seat and stretching out in the aisle beside the seats. My mother arrived to be in on the birth of her first grandchild who was due to arrive about January 12. She insisted on seeing the obstetrician and gave him a long account of' her' own difficulties during childbirth, which I am afraid made him absolutely determined that I was not going to have the same trouble. Long after the baby was due we went to see Gone With The Wind, and again I was not sure whether the show would end before the baby arrived. Finality, with the baby past term by anybody's calculations I took castor oil and went to the hospital. With Charles, my mother and Al Clarke all holding a watching brief in the waiting room I was in labor for 30 hours before producing a fine, husky 8@ pound baby boy. I was quite prepared to see a dark baby, so I was astonished to have the nurse bring in a large blond baby, held up in her arms surveying me, with his hair tied up in a blue bow. Charles Albert Bentley had arrived.

I know that everybody's first child is the most miraculous thing that ever happened but as a completely unbiased witness, I must tell you that In this case It was absolutely true. Upon his very first visit to my bed, he was lying on his tummy across my stomach,, and raised his head and shoulders to look at the bed lamp which was on. He smiled and waved his hands upon being cooed at while still in the hospital. He followed my face with his eyes. before coming home, and when he arrived at home he was the ideal baby who never cried, slept when he was supposed to sleep, ate when he was supposed to eats and was interested in anyone and everyone who paid the slightest attention to him. In those days a new mother was kept in bed for two whole weeks in the hospital, and since I had had a difficult labors it was 15 days before I was even allowed to sit up and dangle my feet. As a result I was weak as a kitten and stiff and sore beyond belief. Luckily, when I went home my mother was there to help out and someone gave me 3 months diaper service as a present and all was well. Certainly I had no postpartum depression. I was delighted with life.

I can tell you very little about life In Los Angeles, or the development of the Great War for the next few months. My lovely new baby occupied my whole time. My exceptional obstetrician sent me to an exceptional pediatrician. For a number of years prior to 1940 the behaviorists had controlled pediatrics, and the rules were that you were to handle your baby as little as possible. The more the baby was alone in his crib and his room the better, and he was to be taught to conform to a rigid four hour feeding schedule. As a result, a few babies were wakened to feed when they were not hungry, but thousands lay and screamed and screamed and screamed for hours when they were. It was an agonizing period for new mothers and their friends and neighbors. None of that for me with my fine advanced pediatrician, who felt there was no point in torturing mother and child. When he was hungry, feed him. He was nearly 10 years ahead of his time.

Several of our new friends were urging us to get out of the middle of Los Angeles, and up into the hills. After looking at several highly unsuitable houses up in Laurel Canyons we found a lovely little house at 2022 Stanley Hills Drive, high up above Hollywood Boulevard. It was partially furnished and we had a few things sent on from Trenton. It had only one drawback. It was as I have said high up in Laurel Canyons and every morning the baby and I had to drive Charles down to Hollywood Boulevard to catch the street car, and every evening we had to drive down to pick him up. This was all well and good in fine weathers but the road down was precipitous and curvy, and at one point you had to make a sharp right hand turn from Stanley Hills Drive onto Laurel Canyon Drive, with nothing in front of you but the drop straight down into Hollywood. As a flatlander, I could just barely endure the trip in good weather, and I began dreading the rainy season long before it was actually upon us,

Shortly after we moved into Laurel Canyon Charles Mother and father and sister Charlotte came out to visit us and their new grandchild. .I was truly looking forward to their visit, but just as they were arriving I began to feel frightful. I managed to get dinner for the first night. but had to renege on things from then on, leaving Charles to entertain his family alone. I had been to the Ross-Loos Clinic, but the Drs. there didn't seem to be able to find anything much wrong with me, but I grew steadily worse, and by the time the Bentleys left I took to my bed, and we had a practical nurse. The Dr. made almost daily house-calls, and still could not find anything to diagnose although I was running a raging temperature and complained bitterly of a sore throat. Finally he sent me to the hospital where I was diagnosed as having one of the first cases of Infectious Mononucleosis ever diagnosed in Los Angeles. For days there was an absolute parade of Drs. Residents, Interns, etc. through my room asking questions, taking blood samples and looking at my throats I was even the subject of a paper read at the monthly meeting of the L. A. Medical Association.

Danny Goldy came to see us and sent Buck a bouncy horse, Clarkes and Milnes continued to be good and helpful friends, The baby grew and throve, doing everything that the books said he should do, and doing them earlier than the books implied. Spring turned into summer and summer into Fall, and with the approach of the rainy season we looked for a house which did not entail a twice daily trip down the mountain, and finally found one at 1512 Browning Boulevard. This house had a large living root, full dining room, large kitchen, three large bedrooms a two car garage and a completely fenced in back yard with two apricot trees and a peach tree. It also had a large front porch and an underground sprinkling system --- and all for $35.00 per month. $35.00 seems to be the magic numbers doesn't it? But that is what houses were going for in Los Angeles at that time.

My mother had been planning on coming out for Christmas, but suddenly decided that she and Lois would come out for good, giving up their Chicago apartment. Since we had plenty of bedrooms they lived with us on Browning Boulevard for a while until Lois got a job and they moved Into their own apartment. On Buck's first birthday we decided that it was time to think about another baby, feeling sure that it would take longer for me to become pregnant this time, but again, no sooner said than done. The war in Europe was proceeding briskly. Dunkirk shocked and frightened the world, and there was much talk of America's getting involved in the war. Charles was offered a three month job making a survey of man-power for possible war use. He was to work for the U. S. Civil Service Commissions but do the work at the Civil Service Assembly offices in Chicago. I went with him for a visits and we had a fine time. We had decided that since Charles was to return in 3 months we would trade in our car in California, where used cars commanded very large prices, and buy a new one to be delivered at the factory in Detroit in three months time, to be driven home by Charles. This was a great saving, and as I remember it our nice new red Chevrolet cost us $800.00 delivered in Detroit.

I went back to Los Angeles, and Charles stayed in Chicago and had a wonderful time with all our old friends at the Public Administration Clearing House, and making some new friends among whom were the Coops. He lived at International House. At the end of his three months the study was extended for a year, and he decided to remain since the Los Angeles city government was rapidly drifting back into Its old bad habits, and the new reform people were being pushed out. Back in Los Angeles I sold what furniture we had bought, and arranged to have the things we had had shipped from Trenton shipped on to Chicago. I packed all of my personal belongings and got ready to move with my 18 month old toddler to 'an apartment which Charles had rented at 5718 Kenwood Avenue, It was to be furnished with my mother's furniture which had been In storage somewhere on the south side.

Early in August Bucky and I set out for Chicago by airplane. I was almost 7 months pregnant and I could not face the thought of chasing Buck up and down train aisles for two nights and three days during the trip back to Chicago. Therefore, hardy pioneers, we climbed aboard a plane at 5 P.M., were served our dinners, and the stewardess made up the berths for us and for another woman traveling with three small children. Yes, I said berths. The interior of the plane looked very much like the interior of a Pullman car. Seats were just like train seats -- an upholstered bench facing another upholstered bench all down both sides of the aisle. Shortly after the children went to bed we were told that we were going to fly high to get above the stormv and since the plane was completely unpressurized she supplied us with oxygen tubes with little nozzles we could hold under the children's noses. Fortunately Buck fell asleep early, because we did not get above the storm and rode for what seemed a long time through lightning and thunder and tossing about. When I went back to the ladies room I found the stewardess there, half hysterical. It was her first flight, she had never seen a storm, and she wanted me to stay with her. I pointed out that I had a baby asleep in the berth, and that in order to keep the safety belt around him I had to be there too. I went back --- and went to sleep. I woke when we landed for refueling, and could clearly hear the pilots standing just outside our windows talking about the severity of the storm. We woke to a lovely calm morning, had breakfast on the plane and were met by Charles and were taken to our new home. I was delighted to be back in the University of Chicago area. I had spent my early childhood there, I had much enjoyed working there, and we had many friends still in the Public Administration Clearing House building. In addition, Charles had made new friends, of whom the Coops, Bob and Jean were special favorites. Bob and Jean fell head over heels in love with Bucky. They though the was the cutest thing that they had ever seen, which won them immediate popularity with me also. They had been married for three years and were in some conflict as to whether or not to start a family. Jean, who was from a large family, was all for it. Bob, who was an only child was not so sure, but upon meeting Buck agreed that if Jean would guarantee that their child would be as cute as Buck Bentley, he would agree. Naturally she made that guarantee and for the next 6 months we suffered with them in their struggles to get pregnant, which did not happen quick as a wink.

Our little apartment was in a typical Chicago court, and had a large living room, a large dining room, a nice kitchen with a large pantry so situated that it could be used as a child's room, a large bedroom and a sun-porch. We were on the first floor, within easy walking distance of the Midway and the playgrounds of the University of Chicago Experimental School, where we walked every day so that Buck could use the nursery school equipment. Almost all of our friends at 1313 were in somewhat the same stages of parenthood as we. It was a very child-centered group. One of the men in one of the offices started a small scientific experiment in which each morning he asked the young fathers how their children had slept the night before, and by the end of a few months he was ready with the scientific conclusion that the children were restless or quiet in synch. There might be an exception or two, but on the whole all of them had a quiet night or a restless night at the same time. He was going to try to correlate this with weather patterns, but the war threw his plans off. We all pot lucked, played The Games and argued about the war, just as in California. I think that the ESP of the game was higher in Chicago. I can well remember one game in which the men were pitted against the women. They were sure they would stump us with the baseball expressions "Tinkers to Evers to Chance." It happened that I got the quotation to act out,, and in a kind of despair just began to throw an imaginary baseball, catch it, and throw it again. In absolutely record time Jean Coop screamed, "Tinkerl to Evers to Chance." Which led to accusations of cheating, and general dejection on the part of the men.

As soon as possible after arriving I searched out a pediatrician, and was fortunate in being told about Dr. Beng. Hamilton, who was the joy of the University community. I also went over to Chicago Lying In Hospital which was part of the University Clinics, and was assigned to Dr. Dieckman, then head of the Obstetrical department. We had immediate conflict over the fact that I cited my California Dr., who had said that the baby would arrive on October 27, whereas Dr. Dieckman maintained the baby would arrive on October 15, and continued to maintain this until long after October 16. A young neighbor in our apartment building was Alicia Busser, wife of a Foreign Service attache. She had two little girls born in the Argentine, and was expecting a third child. She had had natural childbirth in a Catholic clinic in the Argentine and was determined to have this baby the same way. A few hours at Lying In, strapped to a table, feet up in stirrups, alone, or with impersonal masked attendants, she soon gave up and asked for pain relievers and anaesthetics. She was quite bitter about the whole experience. Lying In was as coldly impersonal as she reported and as determined to work on sedated patients, and I remember nothing about this delivery, although it was short and not difficult. Thomas Frederick was born shortly before midnight on October 27.

Tom weighed in at only a few ounces over five pounds, and from the very beginning I worried about him. He was jaundiced not very active, and he would come in screaming with hunger, and after just a few seconds at the breast would fall asleep. I pestered the obstetrician about him, and lay there fretting to myself, sure that my baby was dying and no-one was doing anything. Finally, on the second or third day Dr. Hamilton appeared, examined the baby and ordered saline IVs for the little thing. He could not get them to waive their rigid rules about bringing in the babies only on a four hour schedule, and they would not transfer him to the high-risk nursery. He asked if I would have help at home, and I replied that my mother would be there as well as a practical nurse. He told me to get out of there at once and to take the baby home and put him on a self-demand schedule. So home we went on the 3rd or 4th day, which was an unheard of speed at that time. Unfortunately. my mother came down with a terrible case of the flu the day before I was due home and did not dare come near either Buck or the new baby. The nurse and Charles got me, the new baby, and Buck settled for the night. The next morning the nurse appeared. miserable with flu, and left, So. there we were, new, screaming baby who wanted to be fed every two hours, active Bucky, and Mommy who had been brain-washed to think that new mothers belonged in bed. We got over that idea fast.

The poor new baby cried day and night for what seems in retrospect to have been months. Buck was very good, but also very active, and had to be kept on a leash while out with the baby-carriage since he dashed across every street and down every alley if not hung on to. I found a partial solution to this by hiring a young negro high-school girl who came in after school every day to sit with Tom, who was sleeping, so that I could get my active 2., year old outside, Tom's constant crying had us all at our wit's end, and our wonderful pediatrician appeared more than once at our door late in the evening to give the baby a suppository to make it sleept, and go give Mommy a shot so that she would also sleep through the night.

My mother and Lois were now living at the St, George Hotel, on the Midway at 60th and Dorchester. Lois had found a job in the Loop. I can remember little except crying baby and super-active Bucky during the months of November and December, although I was dimly aware that something tremendous happened on December 7.

Young men between the ages of 22 and 30 had been drafted some time in late 1940 on the premise that they were to be trained and then released after a year so that new draftees could take their places. Unfortunately Pearl Harbor changed their status, and those so unfortunate as to be caught in that early draft were in from the very first moment of America's involvement in the wart and did some of the nastiest fighting in Africa and Europe, and later were even sent to the Pacific. There was no doubt after December that the United States was now in the war. A real draft was begun, and men and material began to flow to Europe and the Pacific. Living as we did in the Middle West we were very little affected by the black-outs and scares that prevailed on both coasts. The Pacific coast outdid itself

In war hysteria and prejudice against the Japanese, and not only took part in the cruel and unconstitutional business of putting everyone of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps far into the desolate Interior of the country. In addition Japanese property was liquidated at only a fraction of its value, much to the benefit of their aryan neighbors. Both coasts were blacked out, and we even had a brown-out in Chicago and environs, but I think that was more a matter of conserving electricity than fear of bombers seeing us from the air. Rationing was immediately established, and many foods were difficult to get. I cannot remember clothing being rationed but gasoline was. Since the railroads were tied up in war shipments fruits and vegetables from the west coast were difficult to come by, so that citrus products were in short supply. People with small children had to rely on help from friends and relatives to supply them with extra food stamps for such Items. Mrs. Bentley and Marion came to visit us the spring of 1942 to see the new baby and become reacquainted with Buck. Charles' manpower study was to end the first of August, and I fully assumed that he would be going to Washington where the action was. I was astonished when I found out that he had no intention of going to Washington, although he was offered a job there. Instead he took a job with the Federal Public Housing Authority which was building housing for war workers, and went to work In down-town Chicago. For some reason he was absolutely determined not to go on living on the south side of Chicago near the University. Sot leaving the babies with my mother I set out on an apartment hunt. Apartments and houses were in short supply as war workers began to fill then up. My mother was planning to take her furniture and move back into her Des Plaines houses so we had furniture as well as an apartment to getc I finally found an apartment on Keeney Street on the south side of Evanston, between Hinman and Judson, three blocks from the Lake. A fine place to live with two little boys. We enjoyed 416 Keeney.

Tom, who had been a sickly baby, was now a husky nine months old, not in the least backward in what he was able to do physically. By the time we moved to Evanston he was well able to sit up and ride happily in the double buggy I got at a garage sale, which solved my problem of how to get to the store and to the beach with a nine month old baby and an active 2 year old. I had several old friends living nearby. Adelaide Upsal had children just about Buck and Tom's ages, and Mary Jordan had already enlisted as an army nurse. which she was to remain for the next 40 years.

Our little apartment, which cost 0 per month, and was held at that price by the rent freezes had a nice kitchens small dining-room. a living room, two bedrooms, and a sun-porch which became our play-room. We had an Interesting sumar in Evanston, going to the beach, going out to Des Plaines, and making the acquaintance 4 Red and Nan Alexander. In September I decided to take a course In chemistry at Northwestern University. I had a mad dream of finishing off the few things I needed for premedical workt and beginning medical school training. Chemistry was one of the things I needed and most dreaded. We lived only a short bus-ride from Northwestern, and I found a capable woman who came in to baby-sit while I went over to the University three mornings a week to take my course. The course went well in spite of my dread of it9 and I finished in June with an A. Other things did not go so well. I had a terrific attack of what we now know was asthmag but at that time was treated as though It were bronchitis and I was hospitalized for a few days. Bucky had his tonsils out and developed something which led 4he pediatrician to hospitalize him, and I would go to the hospital to see the poor little thing who was in isolation, standing alone in a large bare ward calling out, "oh please, somebody, somebody, please come." It was enough to move a heart of stone. We were all finally well by Christmas, and that spring Mr. and Mrs. Bentley came to visit us.

By now the war was really raging in Europe and in the Pacific. The campaign in Africa had taken a frightful tolls as had the invasion of Italy. The Russians were by now allies, rather than enemies,0 Norway had been invaded, France had long since fallen and DeGaulle was in England trying to pull some sort of Free French forces together. Charlotte Bentley had married William Pettit and was back living with her family since he was overseas in the Merchant Marine. My mother was back In her house in Des Plaines, and Anne Tucker and her boys came for a long visit that summer.

Toward the end of that summer Charles decided to enlist as an officer in the Navy. He had a terrible time putting on enough weight to be acceptable to Navy regulations, but by dint of taking a second medical, before which he ate a number of bananas and drank a lot of water he squeaked by. We settled back to wait to see what would happen to us. At about that time Charlie also decided that it was imperative that we sell our nice new Chevrolet. Gas was getting scarce, but so were cars, and my mother had a garage standing empty, but there was nothing for it but to sell the car, which we did, making about $200.00 on the deal. So we had no car for the duration of the war, and when we wanted to go out to see my mother we went by bus.

When we finally learned that Charles would be in Princeton# New Jersey for his indoctrination and that he would leave sometime early in Decemberg we decided that we would go to Trenton to stay with the Sr, Bentleys over Christmas so that we could have the holidays with Daddy. We accordingly sub-let our apartment in Evanstont packed up our clothes and left for Trenton. I have a few letters from that period, which I will use to tell my story.

December 10, 1943 -- letter to Anne, Dick and Charlie.

My dears;

Well, Daddy's commission has finally come through and we are now members of the United States Naval Reserve. Due to the sad fact that he was born a year too soon, he is only an Ensign, and guess where, of all places, he is going for indoctrination -- Princeton. Since he has to go on December 15, we will go along and spend Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma Bentley in Trenton, and be able to see him over the holidays. Wasn't that a nice break? I suppose I should go back to the beginning and explain a few things. In the first place, as you know, he hoped to do personnel work in the Navy --- and in fact, had been asked to apply for his commission at the time that he did because there was a specific spot for him. However, the powers that be In Washington didn't see it that way, and since he is just barely thirty and in good physical condition, the decree is that he shall do sea duty. Thus, he has to spend two months as Princeton, finding out what the Navy is all about and learning how to salute.

We are now all embroiled in getting under way. Daddy has to get the office ready to leaves buy uniforms etc. I think that we shall rent our apartment furnished to the young naval couple upstairs since that lease is just about up. The couple taking the apartment will also take the cat. All of this will ease the financial problems. Since the Navy works on the theory that you pay for your uniforms and transportation first, and then they reimburse you, it means a considerable outlay. If we hadn't sold the car and had that money I an not sure we could make it.

We are having a cold wet fall. I didn't go back to school this year because this navy business was pending and so don't have that to worry about. Bucky is very happy in nursery school and will be able to re-enter when we return in February. We are going to rent the apartment for the whole two months, and if we get back sooner than that will spend a few weeks with Mother in Des Plaines.

Now I have to begin worrying about taking Christmas presents as well as clothes to Trenton. I already have most of the boys things bought, and they will have to be packed and taken along ---blocks, trucks and what not. Charles seems happy about the whole thing, and I just keep my mind off of it most of the time and just think about the trip.

Love to all


Letter of December 20 to the same group, now including my mother.

My dears;

And now we are all established at the Bentleys. Daddy, isat Princeton, and the boys and I have the big front bedroom to ourselves. We have the Pettit crib for Tom, and the most elegant big rocking horse you ever saw for Buck. It has real hairs and a long tail, and is a real old fashioned rocking horse that looks like a horse. Buck is fascinated by it. Tom has celiaca again and we are struggling with that.

Charles had no leave the first week-end he was at Princeton, so I went up there Saturday evening to see him for a few hours. I was as jittery as if he had been gone for 6 months instead of 6 days. Not much to report on Charlie's Navy life since it is still so new, but I must report that I have at last seen him salute. He had never had his uniform on outside of the house, until we left for the station on our way to Trenton, and I will tell you, you would think he had to uphold the whole honor of the fleet he was so conscious of It in the station in Chicago ---- having carefully read all of the advice to now naval officers which had been passed out to him when he was sworn in. However, no-one has to salute in stations and no-one did. on the street in Princeton we passed a negro GI, and my word, you never saw such a polished salute as he passed out -practically swept him off his feet. Charles returned it, so now I have seen that sight. Of course, Charles registers disgust at my enthusiasm. It Is now old stuff to him. There are eight men in the suite at Princeton. Two bedrooms and a study,, which makes it slightly crowded. Their schedule of classes is fairly heavy, and they take a bit of everything --- Ordnance, Rules and Regulations, Navigation, Seamanship Fundamentals, etc. Since it is the dead of winter, and downright nasty out, they do very little military drill. They march to and from classes and mess. They are wearing their greys and raincoats instead of their blues, and greys were never intended for Princeton winter weather. Charles wants his suit of long underwear to wear underneath his clothes. Since they are of varying ranks they wear no insignia at all during their period of indoctrination (except on leave) partly so that they can be regarded as a class, and I suppose partly because some of the men in the class are of a rank higher than their instructors. Charles will be home next week-end and we will know a bit more.

We are enjoying our stay with Grandpa and Grandma. Tom is not nearly as shy as I expected, but I imagine Buck will drive everyone out of their minds. It began to snow and be very cold almost as soon as we arrived, and it has really been too nasty to be out ever since we arrived, which is especially hard on Buck. We are all excited about Christmas. All Buck wants is a Christmas tree with lights, and some candy. We saw a Santa Claus In downtown Trenton yesterday. and that is what he told him he wanted ---- although that isn't the way he put it. He had seen Santa Claus in Evanston before we left, and when this fellow took him on his knee and asked him what he wanted Buck said, "Don't you remember me? I told you what I wanted in Evanston.' He finally broke down and repeated, however.

And so to bed



December 27, 1943

My Dears,

Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma was a great success. Charles got home about noon on Christmas Eve, and we had the family Christmas dinner with all the Bentleys and their husbands and wives present on Christmas Eve. The grown-ups opened their presents after dinner, after which we trimmed that Christmas tree with lights that Buck was looking forward to. Of course, there was a terrific lot of stuff for the kids -- probably too much, but since about half of it was war stuff I expect It to be broken within the next few days. Bucky got a train that wound up, but he broke it the day after Christmas because he pushes it around Instead of letting it run on its own mechanism. It doesn't matter a bit to him since he would rather push it round and round the tracks or over the floor.

I want to thank you all for the things you sent on to us, The boys are too wild to take in what came from whom, Santa Claus just left all of It. Bucky is a scream about his Christmas tree with lights. It was all he asked for, and it was the first thing he noticed, and kept right on noticing for several minutes. It is also the first thing he tells everyone he got. He almost didn't get one sin ce the Bentleys haven't had a tree for years and had given up all their old ornaments. I scoured the town and
found a few tinselly ornaments. Luckily Mrs. Bentley had kept a few old strings of lights to decorate her mantelpiece and windows,, and it didn't look half bad.

Charles still likes life at Princeton, although he Is about to freeze to death in those grey uniforms@ They take exams every Saturday and have to get passing marks or they don't get week-end liberty. He is interested and will do all right. Princeton is full of uniforms - Army, Navy and Marine. There are very few civilian students there, and they are mostly in the old do rms. The new dorms are full of the various branches of the service. The indoc. school officers can only use the gym and pool at certain times, so they are not going to get an awful lot of physical drill or toughening. They march over to the dining hall and bolt down their food, but do not march back again, which gives them about half an hour
after meals to themselves.

We have now become acquainted with Cousin Staton and have seen the Campbells several times. We have done little else because the weather
Is still nasty, and I cannot take the boys out much.



December 27 Addition to Mother and Lois

We had a very nice Christmas and I thank you for the presents you sent us ,,,,,,,,,,..Charles came home early Friday afternoon and there were twelve for dinner Friday evening, after which the grown-ups opened their presents and the children had their presents from the relatives. After the boys were in bed we trimmed the tree and filled their stockings, so that Saturday morning they had their big Christmas. We didn't do much Christmas Day but go to see Mrs. Bentley's father. on Sunday we went over to see Staton's things9 and then went to Campbells for supper. Charles had to be back by 800 Sunday evening.

Charles may be going from here to Harvard for four months, and then we don't know where, so I think I will just-keep the apartment for those four months and then decide what to do..... 0*0*0006090I will write to Uncle Dick, and if I ever get up to New York will try to see them. I am not sure If I will get up. It is an awful struggle with the two of them. I leave Tom with Mother B. frequently when I go out, but Buck drives her nuts --- as he also drives me nuts these days. He misses Charles and cries each night because he wants Daddy. The place is strange and he won't go out alone, doesn't have enough to do, and is one bundle of energy. I am going to use some of the Christmas money to send him back to nursery school when we get back. He needs something more than someone yelling at him, and he has gotten so he doesn't want to do a thing if I am not there to see or hear him.

Charles has a very strenuous program at Princeton. They don't do any (or at least, not very much) marching or physical stuff, but they have hours of studies. He was struggling with the Morse Code this week-end.

See you soon



That is the last of the letters from Trenton. The weather continued bad* I managed to take the two boys up to Bronxville, N. Y. to visit Helen Brown Curtis and her two little girls,, thus relieving the situation in Trenton, but by New Year's Mrs. Bentley could not stand the strain any longer and we went to Princeton to the Inn for almost a week. Living in a hotel with two tots who are already over-excited and under-exercised was no fun, so the boys and I went back to Des Plaines where we crowded into my mother's little two bedroom house to await the arrival of Charles on the 10th of February.

The spring of 19!V4 was a difficult one. Charles was having a ball in the Navy, but the boys and I were stuck In a small apartment without a car In the usual ghastly Chicago spring weather, unable to get out of doors. When the weather permitted I bundled up the boys, walked with our suitcase up Keeney Street to Chicago Avenue where we caught the Evanston bus and rode to Howard Street where we caught the Des Plaines bus. We rode the Des Plaines bus for over an hour, and when we got off at the Des Plaines depot we took a taxi from there to my Mothers. A ghastly trip, but it gave us a much needed change of scenery, and meant that I could leave the boys for an hour or two to go up town or to the library. In Evanston the nearest store was three long blocks, and even a grocery expedition with two youngsters in bad weather was a real chore. I certainly longed for something definite to be decided about our future. We had no idea whether Charles would be sent to sea or to some base where we could go, or even to some base where we could not go. At any rates we could not stay indefinitely in the Evanston apartment which was costing us $75.00 per month, and my monthly allotment was to be $75.00 per month, when and if I got it.

Lois had a job in Chicago and seemed to be doing very well. My mother was involved in church work in Des Plaines. Anne and Harry and their boys were In Wichita, and Dick and Ruth were in New York. Young Dick, who was now 22 was in the Marines and in a short time Glenn was to be in the tank corps. Charlie remained in Akron, Marion and Bill Ball were teaching/I school in Butler, New Jerseys and Gladys and Herb Morse were deep in the Maine woods. Frederick worked at the pottery. and Charlotte was back at home on Greenwood Avenue since Bill Pettit was at sea in the Merchant Marine. The fighting in Europe and Africa dragged on, the war in the Pacific was going badly.

I now have many letters to fall back on. Charles and I wrote every day, and I managed to save almost all of his to me. He saved most of mine, although during his first four months in the Navy he was moving around so much that few survived. These are somewhat edited, and were also somewhat censored years ago when I first went over them. However, I think that they provide many interesting insights into what life for an average couple caught up in the tangles of war was like.

February 25, 1944 -- Charles to Phyllis


just got back from Bomb Disposal School here in Washington. There they teach men how to remove unexploded mines and bombs, booby traps, projectiles, and all that. They have a big museum that we we4l@ through. It has all kinds of German and Japanese ordnance in it as well as Americans English, Italian, and miscellaneous others. They have everything from 30 caliber shells (3/10 of an inch in diameter) up to the 4000 ton blockbuster which is about 15 feet long. A couple of young kids took us through (both Lieutenant J.G.) One had been on Guadalcanal, and the other all over the Mediterranean, including North Africa, Sicily and Italy. He was only about 23 and had 2 rows of campaign ribbons, one of which was the Legion of Merit Award. He told us of a number of his experiences. One was removing Is400 pounds of TNT from a hotel in Naples where the 5th Army Headquarters had been for a week. It was one of those 21 day time bombs. similar to the one that wrecked the Naples Post office. It Is all volunteer, thank God, and C. Bentley is not going to be one of them.

Some of the bombs are made so that they won't go off when they hit the earth, but will detonate on the slightest movement after that. Parachute bombs are particularly difficult when they land in trees because shaking the tree may set them off. He had seen nine men killed at once when someone stepped on an S bomb ---- the kind that flies up in the air about 4 feet when someone steps on it, and then explodes, throwing 350 steel ball bearings in all directions. People are at their best when thinking up ways to kill others. The Germans are best at booby traps. You see a pair of binoculars lying on the grounds so you tie a string around then and go over to a nearby gully and pull them toward you, whereupon the gully blows up. Somebody is going to get hurt playing with those things. Had two letters from you today, one of which was a dissertation on reading, Maybe we can read a book aloud sometime as we did with D. Copperfield. Also had a nice book review of RFD from you, for which I thank you very much, only are you sure that it wasn't written in the Sinclair Lewis vein?

Sheeley and I have been playing cribbage all evening. It's a pretty good game, we'll have to get a set soon. .It's my bedtime now. Tomorrow night I'm going to the Mosher's for dinner with the Howells, Be of good cheer, my love. Enclosed is a letter from my mother.

Have you any mail I would like to read? I forgot, though, you won't be able to write to me for some time.

I love you,


February 29, 1944 -- Charles to Phyllis

Dear Schmaltzi

Didn't think we would ever make it, but we did and here we are. Chronologically. it went something like this. We got here at about 500 yesterday afternoon -- at Solomons, Maryland, which is all to hell and gone away from everything. This is a big camp, known as the U. S, Naval Amphibian T raining Base. Men are trained here for LCTs (Landing Craft Tank.) and LCIs (Landing Craft Infantry). I guess I'm not supposed to mention the number of men in training, but there are lots, both officers and men.

We had dinner at the officers mess, served by negro officer's stewards (one of the few things negroes are allowed to do, although there are a few ships manned entirely by negroes.) Last night we went to a movie they have on the base ---free--- showing all the latest films. Last night's was a stinking extravaganza called "Broadway Melody," or something. The lead was played by that horrible loud-mouthed fool who was in "This Is The Army." Again he was the big-shot producer of musical comedies that set the whole country raving. God, it was awful.

We came back to our bunk in a Quonset hut after lights were out, and my bed wasn't made and I could find only one blanket. So I quietly froze to death during the night. It started to rain in the middle of the night, and Christ, was It cold. The bathroom, or "head" as it is known in Navyese, Is about 25 feet away, which makes it nice shaving.

This morning we visited classes. They have a rather casual way of teaching a lot in a short period of time, although they attend class from 800 in the morning until MO at night. We got our first boat ride this afternoon for about 3 hours In an LCT. It's hell of a big sbip, considering that they can put It aboard another ship. It carries 6 medium tanks, so it isn't exactly a rowboat. The Commander says he Is going to take us out in a boat tonight and sleep on It all night. Hope they have some blankets because it is snowing now.

Tomorrow we are going on an an LCI. Your letters containing the tax stuff arrived just before I left, thank God. I had a chance to show them to the officer in the Annex who helps make them out, and he said your method was correct. We didn't have time to go over the figures for accuracy, but you are a genius to get the method right without help, he said. Which I always knew. Because you are so beautiful. Hope you are well besides.



Since I could not mail letters to him for a while with any certainty that he would get them, I wrote and sent daily letters, but also wrote a running letter, dating each day and held it for 10 days. That is the only one which survived,, and I have cut it severely.

February 28,1944 Phil to Charles


What fun you will have on your trip. I am sorry you won't hear from me, and sorry you didn't get my last few letters raving about Tommy and how he is growing, etc. I won't repeat because you will get them

We got back home this morning in fine shape. Everyone well. I am now reading Madame Curie. I get my hair done tomorrow. Don't you wish you could see me?

Feb. 29,

By the way, please, Just as soon as you can.make some sort of arrangements about alotting me part of your salary. I was talking to Nan when it dawned on me that if they just shipped you off to sea from this trip it would be months and months before you could do anything about it. And what would happen if anything happened to you on this trip? I still don't see why you didn't do it in Princeton. My goodness, by permanent they don't necessarily mean for the next 10 years. They must have some provision for change of address. I haven't gotten any pay since January 15, (Am't: $45.00) and it may be April 15 before I get any more, With insurance and rent, plus livings that's eating a terrible hole in the money I'm counting on. Bank account as of March I' .t -$726.00.Tues. PMs

I had my hair done today and look simply ravishing with nobody but the cat to see me. Also, I bought "The Flowering of New England" and "New England Indian Summer," both by Van Wyck Brooks,, today and spent a happy afternoon in the library instead of shopping.

My mother was here when your letters to the boys came. Buck had to have his read at once, and nearly had a fit because Tom wouldn't let anyone see his. He rushes off with it and looks at it carefully all by himself.

oh, what a wonderful time you are having. I could scream. You are seeing everyone simply everyone we really like. Oh, GRRRR.

Bob Bishop finally got ants in his pants and came home. They told him he could have 15 days when the baby was born, but he couldn't wait. It was due Sunday, and he came now to be here for the arrival. It will probably be perverse and be two weeks late. I will write to your mother now. I feel a trifle futile writing to you when I can't mail it anyway. By the way, I would like my slide-rule. I have redone 5 chemistry chapters, but I gag at doing the problems out mathematically.

Love p


Wed. Mar 1

Had supper at Alexanders tonight. Red rode the boys piggy-back and horsed around with them, and did they enjoy it. He should have about 6 kids. Washed and Ironed today and dreamed up a lot of lovely new ways to fix up our house. Now all I need is a little time and a little money.

I got your letter about your moves and will write to you at various places. It sounds like you are going to have a marvelous trip. I am anxious to hear about it. I love you. Hurry up and find out when and where we can get together.

Saturday. Mar. 4

Sent you two letters to Camp Shelton, I hope you get them.

If anyone knew how I hated early spring they would jail me. After being cooped up all winter and then having one or two nice days, the boys are simply wild men at being cooped up again by nasty weather and colds. It snowed again this morning. I could scream.

I was reading to Tom, and I put him down saying I would write to Daddy. He is standing on the rung of my chair, looking at the paper and saying, "His Da-Dat" Isn't that clever? We read "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son," and after "The pig was eat and Tom was beat and Tom went crying down the street," he put out his lower lip and said, "me?" in a very small voice. I said, "No, that wasn't you, was it?" and he said with great gusto, "Un-Unh!'

I made a lampshade out of wallpaper which was quite successful. Made it for that round lamp. I also cut about 4 inches off the legs of that little mahogany drop-leaf table, and tomorrow I am going to enamel it black and decoupage some of the roses from the same wallpaper on it. I wish you could see it, because I have an awful feeling it won't stand up under packing and shipping. (This is the little drop-leaf table which is now in the cabin.) [Now re-finished and in my house. -TB]

That's all for tonight, Love,

Sunday Eve. Mar. 5

Sunday, with all the Daddles walking tots up and down the street reallyrgets to me a trifle. Tom woke with a nasty cold this morning, so we are in all day again.I enamelled the table, and it looks fine, although I used the Opper, or "it doesn't matter how, so long as you get it done," technique. I was afraid to use the Bentley, "correct, or not at all techniques" because it would have been not at all. Did it before doing the breakfast dishes, pushing boys out of the way with one hand.

Mar. 6 .and waiting for Buck to come home for lunch. The house looks as it hasn't looked at any time in the past five days. I have disdovered. One thing, it is no use ranting and being mad at Buck for the things he does. All you can do is provide him with as much outside activity as possible, and then grin and bear it. It is all probably the signs of genius that he is so eternally busy. But I sweart I am on the trot from 7 AM to 7 PM when he is at home the house always looks like hell. Send him to school and I get it all tidyt the wash donet lunch cooking and a letter to you written by noon. He can take ------ Here he comes. Look out!
Mon .Eve, Nursery school is worth 16 dollars of my money any time. I have the strength to be decent to Buck if he is off my hands those 3 hours in the morning. Otherwise I am beside myself by noon, and he makes life hell for Tom while I try to work. No doubt he is an FDR in the making.

A nice long letter from you today from Little Creek. But,, oh my,
next time pick something simpler than crocodiles with tanks coming out of their mouths to send the boys. -What is this?" Why are the tanks coming out of its mouth?" Is it a boat?" "Then why do they make it a crocodile?' Did it eat the tanks?" "Well, did it eat the amphibian boat? "Then why did they make the crocodile? Long pause. "Read it again." "Why is it funny?" And on and on and one After many meals with nothing but pudding or fruit for dessert I am finally making myself some cake and it smells delicious.

P.S. I am just going to sit down to Spur with rum in it, gingerbread, a pack of cigarettes and a good book. Hat Ha!

Mar 9 Tues. AM.

15 degrees above zero here, and you In Virginia. A fine thing.

Every time I think of our having sold our car I could scream. We do the damnedest things. They may seem sensible at the time, but later you can't figure out why or how you made such a decision. As for selling the car -- we could get $1,300 for it now, and we could have been using it all of this time. If we didn't want to use it we could have left it in Mother's garages and God knows, everyone else seems to have plenty of gas.

I must do my dishes. Tom is playing with Bootchie, Buck is at school.

Tues. PM.

I have been writing you reams about my dwindling bank accounts which I shall cut out of this letter and destroy, but I wish to emphasize that I think you should make an allotment to me as soon as possible. They must have some way to take care of change of address if I move.

A blizzard is raging without, and my cough gets steadily worse. Write more nice long letters. They will be preserved for posterity as our adventures in World War II.

Mar. 10, Thurs.

Got your letter from Camp Shelton today, saying you had received my two letters. You have been very noble about writing, and I am much interested in all you are doing. Furthermore, I envy you.

We are having a very severe cold spell, and I have a cold I can't seem to shake, although both boys are over theirs. (Ed. note --
remember that cat we have.)Nan and I went downtown last night and saw Walter Hampden in Sidney Kingsley's new play "The Patriot." All about Jefferson. Very good indeed. I was especially smitten with the Alexander Hamilton -- A short stout fellow. I wonder if he has a Ford and twin beds.

Bought Bucky new shoes today, and am knitting my 3rd white wool sock. I bought some wine last night, which I am now drinking and thinking of you. You know, I have seen you only 5 times since the 15th of December. That's a long, long time. Do you still remember how I took in the morning? I hope not. I shall add more to this tomorrow night, and then try to go to D. P. on Saturday.

All my love,


March 20 1944 -- Charles to Phyllis


While the boys are at the officer's club getting a beer or two I'll write to you, and then I have to get going on that income tax. Last night we boarded an LCI (1) with all our gear. We were to go out in the bay and anchor, and then sleep aboard. It had been raining and snowing all day, and by the time we were ready to shove off a hell of a gale was blowing. They finally decided not to go out. We went to bed anyway on the ship, in the sleeping space used for the army when In operations. The Captain was a Lieutenant J.G., 24 years old. There are two other officers aboard, and about 40 men. The night was uneventful except that it was cold as usual. We were up at about 600 and had chow. They happen to have a good cook on the ship, and the meals are delicious. At about 700 we shoved off, coming down river into Chesapeake Bay. By the time we hit the bay the wind had blown up a lot of rough water.

These LCIs are just tubs with hardly any draft, and each little wave or gust of wind sends them flying. We pitched and rolled until I thought the boat would turn over. We joined up with a group of 11 other LCIs and proceeded down the bay. In a little while an airplane came over towing a sleeve and we had target practice with the 20 mms. They shoot tracers and it Is interesting to watch them go up toward the sleeve. They make one hell of a noise with 2 of them going off 5 feet away from you.

These ships are training ships. Aboard with us was the regular crew and an additional crew completing their training. The training crew stays aboard for 2 weeks, most of which time they are operating the ship while the regular crew stands by and shows them what to do. We went all over the ship and watched everything in operation. These are pretty nice boatst except that they roll so much. None of us got sick, but some of
the new crew did.

In the afternoon we passed a battleship cruiser and destroyer having practice on a Sleeve and then I went below and had a couple of hours of sleep. Earlier we had passed some 3-masted fishing schooners and they looked anachronistic with amphibious craft steaming all around.

We had left Solomons, Md. at 700 AM and finally reached Little Creek, Virginia at 6sOO PM, so we had a good ride. They put us in another Quonset hut, but this is a little better since it has places to hang clothes, bureaus and a table at which you can write, none of which the ones at Solomons had. The Government knocks $4.00 off your per them when you occupy government quarters ashore, and then charges you $.85 for bedding. Tomorrow we are going to find out all about LSTs and probably will go out on one, In the meantime keep happy.

Love, Charlie.

March 119 Saturday


I'm writing to you from aboard the heavy cruiser USS Quincy, a brand spanking new ship. only three of us got to go, and I am one who drew a lucky number. We came aboard last night at 8 PM. They were supposed to have room for us, but the Admiral and his party came aboard and they put us up in the wardroom on cots. We lay In Hampton Roads all night at anchor and got under weigh at 6 AM. It is now 1100 AM. and we are locked in the wardroom. We were up top side a little while ago. It isn't very rough, but it is very cold.

While we were there they sounded "Battle Stations." and the whole crew rushed to their guns throughout the ship. Then they catapulted two airplanes off with a bang. They sounded "Condition Zebra" which means all watertight doors battened down, so we had to stay up there and freeze to death. When they opened the doors again we came back to the wardroom and then 'battle Condition 'Zebra sounded again and we are stuck here.

The ship is being inspected by a group of officers from the Miami. They have worked out some kind of problem, and the Quincy crew works on the problem while the Miami men observe. I don't know what the problem Is,, but I know they are zigzagging like hell, because one minute I am on my left ear and the next on my right. This is a beautiful ships about as large as a small battleship. It carries a complement of 1,600 men and bristles with guns of all sizes. It was commissioned on December 15, 1943.

We are being escorted by a destroyer and a Navy blimp. Today we are sticking around Norfolk, probably about 50 miles out, and tonight we go back to Norfolk to let the Admiral and his party go ashore. Then we turn around and head north for Boston. We expect to arrive in Boston on Monday afternoon, On the way we are to have firing practice and I'll write you all about it. Last time I wrote to you I was at Camp Bradford, and then we went to the Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, Va. That is a tremendous base, including air stations, shipyards, storage depots and is surrounded for miles on each side by shipyards. Norfolk was a town of 100,000 before the war, and there are 450,000 there now. We visited only the Pre-Commissioning Detail, which staffs destroyers and destroyer escorts prior to the vessel's commissioning. They have new men coming in,, and their job is to form them into crews and send-them out on a ship. During this time they give everybody some training in destroyer duty, but not much, and both the men and the officers are green.

The problem is in its 38th minute, and they appear to be making progress because doors are slamming all over the place. The wardroom just got flooded with heavy smoke. There's a guy with a gas mask. He turned out to be a mess attendant setting the table. Looks funny, through the smoke. Man spreading tablecloth wearing gas mask. Wish somebody would do something about this smoke. Ah, here come 2 more in masks with asbestos gloves and electric light cord. They disappeared into the smoke. It's so thick I can't see across the room. Just then they threw us out of the room and we went topside where we could breathe. Finally the drill was over and immediately they had an abandon ship drill and the Admiral made an inspection of that.


Yesterday we saw the planes launched from the catapaults, and then saw them brought in. They drop a rope mat over the side and while the ship swings, the plane comes down and settles on the mat. The pontoon has a hook on its underbelly which catches in the mat, and the plane is drawn alongside and the crane lifts it out of the water. The ship doesn't stop during the maneuver.

After this we headed back for Norfolk, dropping anchor in the bay at 6 PM., We were on the bow when they dropped anchor, and I was amazed at the complexity of the anchor tackle. We stayed in the bay for only a half an hour and then headed out again after the Admiral had left.

They have given the three of us the Admiral's cabin. The Admiral sleeps here, but also uses it for plotting his maneuvres, so the place is equipped with all kinds of gear. lls30 -- Just had firing practice. They called "Man your battle stations," as I was writing, so I went up to watch. I mean up too, because we climbed up to the highest point where there was room to stand. After an hour of waiting the drone came over. A drone is an airplane without a pilot, controlled by radio from a control plane. As it came into sight they gave the order, "Commence firing," and wham they cut loose with the 8" and 51 guns. It practically knocked us off the bridge.

They fired about 25 shots in that run, and we were showered by cork from the 5" guns. The blast is terrific with flame and black smoke pouring out. You can see the projectile going up, and then see it explode. They missed the drone on that run, and the port guns got ready. Again, wham-bang, and all of those 51 and 811 guns exploded. Your Charlie was hanging on by his teeth by that time. They made four runs, and on the 4th a shell from a 51, gun exploded right on the nose of the drone and down it plummeted into the sea. The 20mm and 40pm never got a chance to fire. It was quite an experience. You probably get used to it in time, but the first time is a bit of a shock. My left ear is still dull, although I had cotton stuck in it.4s15 PM. It has become rather rough. Up to now we have had pretty good weather. Yesterday it was cold but smooth, and this morning the weather was practically balmy. Now a strong wind has come up and the sea is full of white caps. I understand that we won't get into Boston until tomorrow nights Nobody has been seasick yet, but if it gets much rougher we will probably have some casualties. Fortunately we have the cabin to ourselves and can get sick in private if necessary.

Anderson and I just took a trip through the ship. You would be amazed at the gear they have. Almost everywhere there are machines and gadgets of one kind or another, and almost everything is electrical. The guns were fired this morning by someone in a room far below the main deck. Men stood in the turret to load ammunition, but radar found the target, trained the guns and fired them. Radar is a marvelous thing. When an airplane is still out of sight they can not only tell exactly where it is, the speed and direction in which it is traveling, but whether it is friend or enemy. They say that the old-line Navy men scoffed at radar when it was first put on the ships, but it proved itself in short order. Now it is probably the most important piece of equipment aboard.

The food here is just delicious. No wonder people like this life. Here you have a tremendous body of knowledge to sink your teeth into, good living and excitement. In peacetime there is probably nothing quite like it.

Just bought a carton of cigarettes for $ .55.

9 PM

Have just been down to the wardroom for coffee and ice-cream. 'There Is always coffee in the wardroom, any time of the day or night. For seven meals they charged us $3.00 -- not bad, considering that we had steak, chicken, and just about everything except nightingale tongue under glass. This has been a wonderful trip, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Hope you are all well.

Much love,


April 4 -- Phil to Charles


I am in the process of getting whatever it was that Buck had. Tom and Boggen also have It. Buck feels marvelous, and of course, this would be the week he has vacation. However, he has been out a good deal of the day. I decided to forstall some of his recklessness by telling him he could go across the street whenever he liked. Sure enough it worked. Instead of dashing madly across when he thinks I am not looking, he stands on the curb like a super-cautious spinster and looks both ways. If there is a car as far away as Chicago Avenue he waits for it. I told him that just looking before he started wasn't enough,, he must keep on looking, and not run. So he crosses at a snail's pace, swinging his head from east to west with every step. He decided he was going to go up to the store to buy oranges and cookies for me because I couldn't leave Thomas, who is sick. He crossed Keeney, and then walked up to Hinmas where he met Mr. Tessendorft and evidently asked him to help him, because Mr. T. steered him across. He then went very solemnly up Hinman about as far as the courtyard of that first building and then slowly and sedately turned around and came back, carefully crossed Hinman and Keeney and reported that he didn't think he wanted to go. That long long expanse of Hinman from Keeney to Kedzie evidently gave him cold feet.

It is lovely out, but cold, We would take a walk if we weren't sick. Thomas insists on sitting on my lap, and the reason I am writing to you now Is that I intend to go to bed at about 7 this evening.

I feel lousy,



Chas to Phil -- Just dated Tuesday


Didn't do much today except tour the classroom facilities and talk with the Commanding officer and a number of other officers. We went through the torpedo building where they teach the repair and overhaul of fish. Saw several movies on PTs. Well we went to the polaroid trainer, which is a device for training machine gun AA gunners. There is a screen showing movies of airplanes coming over. You wear polaroid glasses that give a perception of depth. The machine gun is equipped with some kind of photo-electric cell that simulates tracer bullets on the screen and records the number of hits. The gunner stands at the machine gun, and when the plane comes In range opens fire and tries to get tracers on the plane. It is quite realistic. it still isn't natural for me to be an officer. When you go into ship's service, for instance, you have to go to the head of the line and be waited on first. We went to a movie tonight, three of us, and when it was all over none of the enlisted men could leave until we had left.

It ain't democratic, but who am I to disrupt the Navy traditions. You have to conform or you will be in a very embarrassing position.

Have to go to bed now. Big day tomorrow. Be a good girl.

Much love,


just dated Saturday


Sorry to have missed a couple of letters. They have kept us on the run and this is the first time I've had to sit down. We came from Melville to New London by PT, and I was glad we did because it was a good trip. The sea was quite rough at first and we had our teeth knocked out bouncing over the waves. The PT boats are flat-bottomed and the waves carry you high in the air and then throw you down, wham'. We were making about 20 knots, so It was bang, bang all the way. It was cold too, and we wondered why they put the PT training center in a cold place like Melville. In the dead of winter the boats come back covered with Ice a foot thick.

We arrived in New London at about 400 in the afternoon and Immediately It became apparent that we were in for our best time. They had a full Commander to meet us with a couple of station wagons. Commander Morgan, USN, a Naval Academy graduate who had the Navy Cross and who has seen a lot of action. He is here waiting for a new submarine to be commissioned which he will take command of.

Our rooms are as nice as most hotels, and It is quite a shock after living in Quonset huts with coal stoves. There are 2 of us to a room, twin beds, innerspring mattresses, wash basins in the room and a head next door. These are permanent building but new. We had a late dinner and then went to bed because we were all pretty tired. Saw a movie first,, "Passage to Marseilles" with H. Bogart.

Next morning we were up early and started our rounds with Commander Morgan. First a trip around the base by car, then to the water tower to watch the boys learn to escape using the Munson lung. They start with an 18 foot edcape, and then a 50 foot one. officers have to take the 1009 escape in addition, The Instructors wear only goggles and go down 1001 without the lung. Those who fail can't stand the pressure on their ears or get panicky. If they fall this test they flunk out of submarine service immediately.

After that we went through the torpedo building and machine shop, then went over to meet the Admiral. It was fun to shake hands with a Rear Admiral, but more fun to hear a Captain call someone "Sir." Rear Admiral Daubin is, Commander Submarines, Atlantic Fleet. We spent the rest of the day In the school, and here again, they treated us like visiting dignitaries. They interrupted classes for us, and tried to give us a good picture of submarine training. After about 3 hours of torpedoes, radar, sound-equipment and periscopes we went up to meet a couple of Commanders who had just returned from sea. Both of them told us of their recent experiences, and I'm anxious to tell you about them. one of them sank or damaged a Jap carrier that was on its first cruise. It was the biggest carrier they had built, and the pride of the Jap Navy. This Commander hit her with 5 torpedoes at once. The other officer found himself directly in the path of a Jap destroyer. He threw 3 fish, one head on, and one to hit her on either side in case she zigged or zagged. She did zig, in fact, she turned on her axis and all three fish hit her. She sank in just 40 seconds after the first one hit, 25 seconds after the third.

These submarine boys really have guts. Benson,, the one who sank the carrier started out very casually with "We were lying off Tokyo one day when........" It's dangerous work, and no fooling. It takes plenty of cool nerve to cruise in Jap waters and wait for something to come your way, and then to wait helplessly while the depth charges go off around you. Last night we had dinner with several Commanders, and then went to a commissioning party. When a ship is commissioned the whole ship's company, officers and men, throws a big party, and this was big. Liquor flowing all over the place, wine women and song. It was a well regulated party, though, and while there was plenty to drink nobody got really drunk. I even danced a couple of times, much to my amazement. Tonight we are going out to dinner with the Commander again. Tomorrow morning we are going out on a sub and we are all looking forward to it.

Right now I'm tired. 4 FM and I think I'll catch a little shut-eye before dinner.

Much love to you. Hello to Buck and Tom.



Had our submarine ride today, and you will be glad to know that we came up exactly as many times as we went down. We made about 6 dives, and I think the deepest we wetnt was 110 feet. If you want to see something complicated you should see the inside of a sub. Valves, dials, wires all over the place. And crowded! If a pin is dropped on the deck the room is cluttered.

Running a submarine is a real skill. The trim of the boat has to be such that a man walking from one room to another will tend to make the boat tilt. The Commander told us that he once had his boat in such trim that
he was able to surface and dive merely by moving the two periscopes up and down. This was a brand new sub we were on, and it is a beauty --- the USS Cavalla. We really weren't in any danger because they mark off an area for us to maneuver in and all ships in the area are warned not to get near* It's a pretty thrilling sensation to go down for the first time, even though it isn't In battle. They dive In nothing flat too, and come up the same way. They had a gun battle drill, and from periscope depth it took 1 minute and 10 seconds to surface and get all the men out on the deck firing the guns. Commander Morgan took us through the boat and explained a lot about it. I went on two trips with him because so much went over my head the first time. After you go down there is little sensation no matter how rough the surface is. We were out from 9 AM until 5 PM, so we had a good chance to see things.

Last night the Commander and three other officers threw a dinner for us at a hotel in New London. Cocktails before dinner, wine with dinner, and liqueur after. We had the most delicious lobster a la Newburg you can imagine. Then they told us some stories of their experiences, and My God, what a life they lead. Commander Morgan was in the Aleutians and sneaked past a destroyer to get Into a bay. Just as he was about to fire on a cruiser they went aground on a reef and stayed there for five minutes. After dumping most of their fuel they finally got off and crash dived, whereupon a second destroyer coming after them got on the same reef and never did get off. They had lost most of their steering gear, so they lay on the bottom for a while. Then the Japs started throwing depth charges and looking for them. At one time a grappling hook hit them and passed the complete length of the boat. It was a long storyq but they were down for 14 hours before getting out of the bay and into the ocean.

This has been a fascinating visit and I have gained a great deal of respect for the men in the submarine service ------ their personality, courage, technique, ability and absorption in their work ---- but above all for their strong desire to fight the Japs. It is almost a consuming passion with them. Amphib. men seem possessed by a fear of getting hurt, and while sub men would hate to die as much as any other man, they accept the risks for the high stakes, And the stakes are not personal glory, but the satisfaction that blowing a Jap shim to hell means helping to win the war. I take off my hat to them. It may sound maudling but I'm proud to be in the
same Navy with them.

Besides, I love you. Maybe there will be a letter tomorrow*


April 6. Phil to Charles.

Dear Sweetie,

We are having lovely weather today, I think I will hang my curtains back up. I washed them all ready to be hung on a moment's notice if I rented the apartment furnished when we came down there, but I gather we will have some opportunity to use them before we go. Red Alexander still hasn't heard anything, but for some reason they seem to expect that he will be leaving directly. Tom Kelly with the four kids was drafted, and I guess is leaving this Monday,, He Is a graduate engineer, but so far is just an apprentice seamant,though they think he will get to be a Petty Officer. Wynn Howard is deferred again, this time until September. John Curtis's deferment Is up this month, but I am sure he will get another one.

Thomas talks quite a bit now. While I was baking the brownies he was sitting in his highchair watching. He kept asking "me ids?" I kept saying, no, they were for Daddyt which pacified him. "Da Da dis.11 He can say "bee-bee," "horsee" "Kitty did dis,' "Buh Buh fee cake." He is getting quite brilliant and understandable. Bucky was out all morning long tearing around the neighborhood with the older boys and was completely exhausted and cross this afternoon. Neither of the boys would drink his milk at supper, and then 15 minutes later, when I was washing the dishes, they were squabbling over Buck's glass which was still on the table. To forestall trouble I started right over with Tom's glass, but before I could get there the milk was all over the floor. I was so mad, and so determined I would not begin screaming at them that I just stood still and gritted my teethe and then, I couldn't help it, I just spilled Tom's glass deliberately ----- poured the few drops that were left in Buck's glass on the floor too, and then went and washed both glasses. It scared them to death. They didn't even think It was funny, they howled and howled. I would have been sorry to be such a dope if the results had not been so gratifying, but it was just about the time milk has been spilled today, and I could stand no more.

Ginnie Bishop had to go to a funeral this morning --- the fiance of her sister-in-law, a young navigator, aged 19, had been killed in an airplane crash just as they were coming in from a routine flight. They were to have been married in two weeks, and she wore her wedding dress to the funeral. I took care of the baby while she went to the funeral. I am now waiting for Monday night, when I will hear your voice.

Love, Love, Love,


April 7 -- Phil to Charles

Dear Honey,

A slight lull as the boys listen to their records before bed. I got that Winnie the Pooh one about "What Shall We Do About Poor Little Tigger," and "The More it Snows." We have a record of "A Child's Garden of Verses" that is not awfully popular, and a Frank Luther recording of 'Strawberry Roan" and "Home on the Range," which Is very, very popular indeed. T was wrong about that lull, though. They can find more damned things to fight about. They both have to have the same book, sit in the same chair, etc. There has been pulling and screaming ever since I sat down here ----- in facto I have been sitting here very little of the time. I have been arbitrating. We are now listening to one of the cowboy numbers, about which Buck said as he put it on, "Here's a song about a man who Is leaving his Mommy" -- and as it came on F. Luther said, "Here's a song about a cowboy who is leaving his sweetheart."

Later --

Boys in bed, ironing done.

I got two letters today, which was wonderful, but It will mean I don't get any tomorrow. Late this afternoon the phone rang, and a lady said, "We have an Easter order for flowers for you from Weiland the Florist. But, Mrs. Bentley, it is for cut flowers which are so very scarce this year that we wondered if you would consider a plant or a corsage?" I agreed to this, and I then told her that I would be away over Easter, and could she deliver them early. She said she would, so I decided on the corsage, which is to be delivered tomorrow morning before I go to Des Plainest and I shall be a thing of beauty on Easter Sunday. I thank you very much. None of your packages have come yet, so we are waiting breathlessly. (And, by the way, I found out where I can get your father's book rebound, and I am taking it up on Tuesday and will have them send it on to him.)

Do you remember when we first moved In here and noticed Johnny Kennedy, and decided that that was what Buck would be like? Well, he is. He is now the neighborhood scourge. He comes in mud from head to toe. He chases dogs, knows everybody's business, digs up Mr, Blakels plants, and chases the little children across the street with sticks. He wants to spend all of his time with the older kids, and much prefers the other side of the street to this side.

Today, when it stopped raining at about 4830 he insisted on going out. After bopping little Nancy Morrison over the head, I saw him running after a great big boy on a bicycle, sticking his stick between the spokes of the wheels until finally the big kid got off his bike and chased him ----- whereat he ran like hello laughing uproariously. Bentley the heller. He then sat down on the curb beside Mr. Brown's car and gave the man nervous indigestion by putting his feet down into the street in front of the car when he wanted to starts Mr. B. finally had to get out of the car and chase Buck away. And, of course, he took off his galoshes and carried them home, walking in all the puddles along the way. Whatever happened to the little boy who was friend to all the neighborhood?

I know I hound you about letting me know about our coming down there, It must seem to you.11ke fearful impatience but do you remember waiting for your commission? When one is sitting still, just waiting for something to happen each day seems like a year. To you, who are so busy two weeks just seems like two weeks. To me, the period since February 13 seems a couple of centuries, and the time since March 26 is at least a decade.

I can hardly wait until Monday night.



April 13 -- Charles to Phil


I think I have a house for you. Found it tonight by the grace of a lucky tip from Skip Batchelder. It has 2 bedrooms, fairly large living room with a dining area at one end, and a little kitchen through an arch. It is about 51 from the beach, and 6 blocks from the Hotel. The rent Is $75.00 per month. It will be ready on April 30, which is a Sunday. Under the circumstances it would be nice if you could get here on Sunday, and I hope you can arrange it.

The order for packing and crating the furniture went to Great Lakes today. I asked to have it moved into Rothery's warehouse if possible. If Rothery does get the job you might have them pick up the box of photographic materials at your mother's and repack it so it can be shipped sometime. I feel much relieved to have a house almost in my grasp, and I won't jeopardize my standing by having the Navy move you down since I'm not shipping my furniture down here.

Friday is my father's birthday so I want to write to him tonight. I'll tell him you are getting the book rebound as a present, so I hope you follow through on that.

Love, etc.,


Friday -- Charles to Phil


I took the house I told you about. It is 6 blocks from the hotel, and there Is a beach and lifeguard out in front. Altogether I think it will be adequate. The rent is $75.00 per month plus gas and electricity.

If you can avoid It don't wear any winter clothing, and certainly don't bring any. Bring all your summer things and whatever toys the boys will need. Do you think Tommy can sleep in a twin bed? I understand that you can rent cribs here, but they are quite expensive -- $4.00 a month. I may also be able to rent a buggy. The stroller you have hardly seems worth shipping.

Love v


Also Friday Charles to Phil.


Just as I got back from mailing the air-mail special this morning the telephone rang and it was Mrs. Malone, the woman from whom I had rented the house. Her message was that she had talked with the owner and it had been decided that they couldn't take us ----- the children were too young and might soil the rug. Mrs. Malone was just the agent and wouldn't tell me who the owner was, but of all the God damned excuses I ever heard of. After arguing for an hour I gave up in disgust and started looking again, and I think I found one that is even better than the one we lost. It is not a large house, but it has 2 bedrooms, an enclosed porch, a good-sized kitchen, large house, but it has 2 bedrooms, an enclosed porch, a good-sized kitchen and Is a little closer to the hotel and quite close to several other people whom I am fond of. The women who owns it has had a misunderstanding with the OPA and can't discuss rent until Monday, but I feel 9 sure it won't be over $75.00. Now keep your fingers crossed. It will be a much better house than the other if I get it, and I'll take it even if the rent is $100.00 a month, which It won't be.

Don't worry though, kid, I'll find something. I think I'll call you Monday night if I get this. No letter from you for 2 days. Maybe something has happened to the delivery service. My cramps have gone, so I guess I'm not pregnant. Hope you are the same.

Much love,


Monday, April Chas. to Phyl


Just put through a call for you. Hope It doesn't take all night to get through as the last one did. I go on watch at 11, so if it doesn't come through by then I'll have to belay it. As I told - you, I got a house today. It has a screened in porch and a fireplace in case it gets cold, which hardly seems likely. The stove is electric and so is the hot water heater, so you will have to go easy on-45 t-41 the hot water because power is expensive down here. our electric bill will probably run about $10.00 a month. The house is only a block from the beach and about 6 short ones from the hotel. Sometimes they deliver milk, but you will have to arrange for shopping once a week. Send me a couple of ration books and I'll try to get some food into the house before you arrive. The gals here wear summer clothes exclusively. It Is hard for you in cold weather to visualize what It is like here. It Is hot and humid as hell, and you will be quite uncomfortable most of the time. You will probably live in your bathing suit. The bugs will drive you crazy, although it will be a field day for Buck. The sand flies come in through the screen and eat the food off your plate while you are drinking your tomato juice. In a few weeks the land crabs will appear. Big crabs that live on land and come in great multitudes. They say you can't drive down the street without crunching them. Wait until Buck brings them in the house.

Yesterday I got out on the beach a while and got some sunburn -- perhaps a touch too much. In the afternoon I had to dress in whites and go to a cocktail party for the staffs of the Indoctrination School and the Tactical Radar school. I wish you could have been there. It was an opportunity to meet all the men and their wives. Besides I would like to have seen the expression on your face. The nation at war, and here we have a hundred naval officers in whites, 50 women In flowing dresses, drinking cocktails on the Country Club lawn. What a sight. There Is a bartender and general handy man at the hotel who stepped out of Wodehouse, and he was in his glory walking irom group to group with his cocktail shaker. Life magazine should have seen it. After the party Chas. Byrne and I went to the Batchelders' for dinner, and at about ten Byrne and I took Betty to another party, leaving Skip home with the children. Got home at about midnight. I think you will like Betty, a Wellesley girl. Her children are 9 months and 2 -- both girls.

One of the nicest couples here is the au pair. Jeff Is an Ensign who, like Skip, was a student here until pulled out to be an instructor. His wife seems like a good egg. They have a 9 month old boy and will be just around the corner from us. I hope you like her because it will be necessary for you to work out a cooperative arrangement with someone to do shopping. The Griffins will also live nearby. Hank Griffin, you recall, is my boss.

Much love,

Chas -

April 14 -- Phil to Chas.

Dear Sweetie,

I left the boys In Des Plaines with Mother, and I am here alone, packing. I shouldn't be writing, but I had a lovely long sleep last night, and I had some thoughts on young Buck that I though I might tell you.

He is very much upset by all of this moving around, missing Daddy, and now knowing that we have to leave Bootchie behind. He Is very show-offy, and instead of being a nice big boy when out, he crawls around, talks baby talk, etc., and it has been puzzling me. I suddenly realize that one thing that Is wrong with him is that he doesn't have any big boy things to do to attract pleasant attention to him, and at the same time everyone Ignores him as a little boy because of Tom. You won't know Tom. He flirts and talks to everyone and is just as cute as he can be. So Buck tries it too, and it doesn't work. We have got to give him some big-boy mannerisms. When we get to Hollywood it should be easier because he'll have you to watch. He now bites his nails to add to all else. I suppose he needs more cuddling. Certainly he needs someone who can roughhouse with him. I just can't do it physically any more. He watches me play with Tom or carry Tom around, and he never comes and asks for it himself any more. It makes me a little heartsick and I do as much as I can. It will certainly will be wonderful for him to have you around for a while, though he may not have the sense to make the advances. Handle him all you cant and I hope that for a couple of-weeks at least you can stand a lot of It. He's an awfully big child, but he's missed a lot of babying.

I'm sorry this is all about Buckv but with excitement and all he Is pretty out-of-hand, and this time even my mother can see it isn't discipline he needs. He is a sentimental chap. He has lost Daddy, and really doesn't believe you will be back. He doesn't want to move out of this house, and it breaks his heart to lose Bootchie.

Oh, boy, a week from today I'll be there. Do you dream about it? I do.



p. S. I just tore open this letter to add this note. My mother just called to report that Buck had just smeared a whole bottle of nail polish (bright red) on Tom's hair and they have no remover, so will I please bring some. We will probably have to cut Tom's hair all off -- and won't he look lovely arriving? What a guy.

We gave up the lease on our apartment -since there was way the boys and I would be able to afford to live there again., We put our furniture in storage, and the boys and I took a train to Hollywood, Florida to be with Charles.