"So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies, He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body." (Ephesians 5:28-30)


After we became engaged I was almost immediately sent to sea. Charlotte wrote to me almost every day while I was away at war. I wrote to her often but not nearly every day. Although she tried to save the letters I wrote to her, they somehow became lost and were not available when I was writing about the war years. Now, in December 2009 some of the letters I wrote have been found. I am recording them below as a separate part of my biography. They tell the story of our engagement again, the actual thoughts I was thinking as I left my betrothed at the train station in Chicago for the war in the Pacific (March 1945), until I returned for our wedding (May 1946).

A Card From Ogden, Utah

As I am making my way by train to San Francisco where the Navy will send me to sea.

March 20, 1945


It was rough traveling last night in an ancient coach worse than the one we were on. We have a 2 hour layover here. It’s cold and the mountains have plenty of snow on them. We’re over the Continental Divide now. I’ll write a nice long letter from California. I love you.

F. M.


A Card From Berkeley, California

March 25, 1945


I said I’d send you a postcard from each place I went,. Here’s a starter, All my love.

F. M.


A Card From San Jose, California


I like California better the more I see of it. San Jose is a beautiful part of the country: Mountains, flowers, fruit trees, and good old clean fresh air. I’ll have to bring you out here sometime. All my love,

F. M.


On Board Ship, Wednesday. 25 April 1945

My Darling,

We have made another port and we can’t get off the ship or mail or receive letters. So really, I had rather we hadn’t come into this port at all. I’ll take a chance and tell you where I am. By the time this letter is mailed it will be weeks old. Anyway we are at Censored.. It isn’t proper to call it a port at all. It is just the tiniest of coral reefs almost right on the equator. I don’t know how the ships find it at all it is so little. Nevertheless if we could go ashore we might find a cold drink or something. It is stifling here on board. It’s almost impossible to sleep at night. And our drinking water is hot. As I write this I’m using my shirt tail to ward off the dripping perspiration. It’s about the same as Gulfport last summer. Well, I hope we don’t sit here long. Maybe it won’t be quite as warm there.

Darling, this little atoll wouldn’t be a bad place to visit if one could do as one pleases. It isn’t so warm up on the main deck as it is here below deck. The beaches along these islands are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

But I’m not likely ever to come here in peace time. There are so many much nicer places to go.

Darling, I miss you more than ever. I know you must be worried not getting my mail from me. But I’m saving up the letters, about one every other day since we left San Francisco. You should get a lot at one time.

I love you very much. Just stay as sweet as you are.

All my love. F. M.

Aboard ship, Friday, 27 April 1945


I know you are Hole in letter due to censoring not getting any letters from me for such a long time. But remember, I’m not getting any from you either and it certainly isn’t pleasant to me either. I wish there was something I could do about it but I guess there isn’t.

You know I love you and that I always will. But all I can do is talk about it now and think of the good times to come. I have too much time on this journey to sit around and think of being away from you and feeling sorry for myself. But when I get to work I’ll just think of you as the beautiful little girl who is waiting for me and, believe me, I’ll work all the harder to get back quicker.

It’s still hot. I guess I’ll just have to get used to it. I’m gonna try to find a cooler place to sleep. Lots of fellows sleep on the main deck but last night it rained and ran them all in.

So long for now, Darling. All my love, F. M.


On Board Ship at Sea, Monday, 30 April 1945.


I’m hoping this old trip will be over in a few days. I’m sure tired of it. I’ve spent practically all my time on board reading whatever novels I could get my hands on. One day I read two full length novels in one day. Our sleeping quarters are so hot at night that on two occasions I went topside to sleep. The first time it rained during the night and drove us below. The other time it was perfect.

It was a perfect night in many ways. The water was as smooth as glass, much smoother than I’ve ever seen Lake Michigan. There was a magnificent sunset. One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in years. And then a full moon came up. When I finally got thru looking at the moon and dreaming about you, I enjoyed the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages.

But I really didn’t get thru dreaming of you, Darling. I’ll be dreaming of you constantly un til I see you again.

This afternoon I had two cups of ice cream. Now that’s something I really enjoyed in this hot weather. Our meals don’t seem to be designed for hot weather. Evert thing is steaming hot and greasy. The only food I’ve really enjoyed was a cold orange for breakfast and lemonade for dinner on several occasions. But it really isn’t bad. The food is as good as it was at the pier, almost.

Of course, at the pier I could come around to your house once in a while for a square meal. You always claimed I ate like a bird but if I did, darling, you couldn’t have lived at all because you barely picked at your food, except on two or three occasions. I’ve probably lost weight since I’ve been on this ship. But I’m plenty healthy and rapidly getting used to the heat.

Darling, I think often of the times we had together. But I think more of the times to come. I’ll admit, I don’t think about the future very definitely because it looks so far ahead. That is, I don’t know definitely what we’ll be doing for a livelihood . But I do know, darling, that I’ll be with you. And what more could I look forward to.

I love you. F. M.


On Board Ship, 1 May 1965.

My Darling,

I am now writing in a blower room, that is a room where air is collected and blown into the ship for ventilation purposes. In the first place, this is the coolest place about. And there is so much noise in here I cannot hear myself think hardly. A good place to go and exercise my lungs. No one can hear me, not even myself. I just finished singing at the top of my voice. It does me good. I haven't sung any since the last time I went to church in Chicago. And for me, who at one time practically lived to sing, play, and hear music, that is really something.

No, I haven't been to church in over a month. I haven't met a single other Christian. I have met fellows I thought were Christians but after talking with them I found out they weren't. But I have found out enough to know that it would be good for me to talk to them more often. There are a surprising number of very consientious fellows around here who have studied the Bible on their own hook and have found very nearly the truth. But they are off in one or more things due to the influemnce of the Chaplains or some denominational teaching. The chaplains are doing a lot of harm, I am persuaded. The religious minded boys have no one else to learn from and the Chaplains are teaching them that they have only to believe to be saved. Thus, when the fellows have the belief, they are satisfied and it will take a lot of teaching to change them.

I sure do miss my music. When I was at Lipscomb, music was nearly my whole life even though it was extra curricula. I thought then that I would like to study music alone , instrumental and vocal and try to earn a livilihood in that line. I still think I would like to do it. But really I guess I never had the chance. I would have had to chuck everything go go to school for two or three years and that was next to impossible because I didn't have the money. So it was always the old see-saw. I had to work to get money to do what I wanted and then I couldn't do what I wanted because I had to work. It's gotten so I sure do hate a hum-drum existence where one has to work continuously to enable himself to go back to work the next day. About studying music too, I was always afraid that after wasting a lot of time at it I would find that I didn't have enough talent to succeed in it anyway. But I still contend that the ideal life for me would be where I could work with music all the time.

Gee, I've sure written a lot of junk about muyself. Please forgive me. I really don't think about myself very often because I'm thinking of you instead, darling.

Its May 1, and I'm thinking what a beautiful day it must be in Tennessee. A perfect day for you and I to go climbing up one of those beautiful Tennessee hills where you can see for miles and I could kiss you right out in the open so the whole world could see that I have you. You're my girl, you know. I love you so much that it's a temptation for me to jump overboard and try to swim back. I'd love you more and more if that were possible but really it's not.

I read a good book today. It's called “The Chicken Wagon Family.” It's sort of a sentimental book and I'm a sentimental guy.

So long for now. F. M.

On Board Ship at Sea, Saturday 5 May 1945.

Hello Darling,

There isn't any activity to write about that I haven't already written about. But I can write scads about how much I love you. I guess I had better do that.

But first there is some good news about my trip. That is I am gonna disembark tomorrow. That will be the first time on land in a month and that will certainly be fine. I better not say where I am yet, until I learn what the Censor rules will be. But you should know where I am from what I told you before I left San Francisco.

The best part is that I can receive letters and mail the ones I've been writing. You will have lots of mail to read when you receive these. You better read the earliest ones first or you may not be able to get any sense from any of them.

This address that I have will probably only be temporary. I'll probably get a new address when I'm assigned to a ship.

Well now, I'm glad the trip is over. I'll be ready to come back just any time I get the chance but my guess is I'll be over here at least two years. It's horrible to think of but I can see nothing else. I may be lucky and get a ship that goes back to the States often. I hope so. At least I can save all my money for a day when we can spend it together.

Darling, I miss you so much. But I've got to bear it out away from you for a long time yet. I can't let myself think of going back too often. But I will think of you and do think of you all the time because I love you. F. M.


Ship At Anchor, ComAdCom, 7th PhibForce, C/o FPO, San Francisco

16 May, 1945.

My Darling,

Guess what? We just had a show. Two civilian performers had organized it with a lot of local talent from the Navy. The civilians were plenty good, comedians and impersonators, the Navy furnished a good orchestra and we had women in it too!! Several WACs came aboard and one of them sang a few songs. I didn't even know there were any WACs over here. A stage was built on the deck of an LST and the LST drew alongside us so we could see the show too.

I'm still doing the same thing, working at odd jobs every other day and going to school in between. I'll certainly be glad when I'm assigned my own ship. We are kind of restricted here.

Darling, my name is in to get paid. I'll have two months pay coming and as soon as I get it I'll send you the money to get the ring. I sure wish I could be there to present it myself. But I can't have you walking around ring-less until I do get there. But I know that you are mine anyway, sweet. And that's what matters.

I've received no mail yet except the one and only bunch of letters from you. I ought to get another bunch soon.

How are you, lovely one? Are you staying up late and working too hard as usual? I'll bet you are. And is it warm and nice in Chicago now? It's warm but not nice here,

I'll bet the weather is just right for us to take an evening stroll. The weather down in Alabama and Tennessee is best this time of year. Honeysuckle and all kinds of fragrant smells in the air. It's the kind of weather they were talking about when they said, “in the spring a young man's fancy .” but I can only dream about that here.

Be sweet, little darling. I hope you have all kinds of pleasant dreams. And just remember some day they will be real, not dreams.

I love you, F.M.

Staff, ComAdCom, 7th PhibForce, Box X, c/o FPO, San Francisco

25 May 1945.

Hello Darling,

I love you, I love you, I love you!! That's all I can think of. Why don't you take your other week of vacation in the Philippines? Believe me, I'll never come here again unless it is on a vacation.

But what am I kicking about? Really I don't know what the Philippines are like for I'm confined to the ship most of the time. There are some beautiful mountains visible in the distance. The few times I've been ashore I've found everything pleasant.

Well, I've been working in the Post Office sorting mail for the past two days. But it didn't help me any for I didn't get any mail. I can't imagine what has happened to my mail but I know it must come eventually.

I think I might be assigned to my permanent station aboard an LSM (Landing Ship Medium) and I don't think it will be but a few days until I go aboard it. But I've learned to just wait with my fingers crossed. An LSM will be a pretty good assignment and I guess I'll have to be satisfied with it.

How is everything in Chicago and everyone? I know you are keeping me informed if I can only get some of the letters. I hope you are getting mine O. K. these days.

During my spare time I read books and look at movies. I'm reading “Rise to Follow,” the autobiography of the violintist, Robert Spaulding. Tonight the movie is Bob Hope's “Princess and Pirate.” We hear some pretty good radio programs from the G. I. Stations near here. Have you heard any good music lately?

Now remember, darling, you are my sweetheart, my love, my wife (or at least as much as possible under the circumstances) and knowing that makes me happy even in the Philippines.

I love you, F. M.

P. S., Note the new addition to my address.

Note: There seems to be a number of letters missing between my letter of 25 May 1945 (immediately above) and the next letter of 21 November 1945. During this period World War 2 ended and my duty became “Mop-up” type. Also, censorship was removed from all letters. We could tell where we were and what we were doing.

USS LSM 53, San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Phillipines

21 November, 1945

Dearest “Lovie,”

We just got back from Guiuan a short while ago. It is about 30 miles from here and it takes about 3 hours to make the trip. Our ship (LSM 53) is in A-1 condition now. Hope we get to make that journey home soon. But there has been no more word on it.

About half way down from Guiuan this afternoon we had a most delightful thunder storm. There was a little wind but mostly it was just a good hard cold rain. It was just what we needed to cool things off. It was terribly hot this morning. We were also practically out of fresh water and I was awfully dirty. We couldn't wash being so low on water. We just had enough to drink. So several of us ran out on deck and took showers in the rain. It was the first time I have really been cool since I got over here, I guess. The rain was coming down in torrents. It sure was invigorating.

I've just been having a long conversation about Alaska. Whenever I get a listener or someone is interested in Alaska then I really get wound up. I haven't talked so much in ages. I almost got hoarse. I guess I'm still pretty much enthusiastic about going back up there. There will be quite a bit of hardship, Darling. But in my opinion the good things far outweigh the bad.

Maybe I better count out some of the bad things to you for I want you to know what you are getting into. Of course, we probably won't be going up for quite some time but I like to talk about it anyway. In the first place, the mosquitos come in swarms. But they are not hard to keep out. Ordinary screens serve as barriers. And there are no mosquitos in town or in any cleared out area. The only time the mosquitos ever bothered me was when I went hunting out in the bush. We'll take along plenty of things to keep the mosquitos off. There will be mosquito head nets, nets for the beds, screens for the windows, etc. And the summer doesn't last very long. So that pretty well takes care of the mosquitos.

It will probably be pretty lonely unless we live right in town. But I like a certain amount of solitude, not too much. Anyway we will be close enough to town to drop in pretty often, I promise. Of course, we may live right in town. Then it will be just like in the States. Then there is the possibility we may have to live in a log house without many modern conveniences. We will have electric lights for we can have our own power plant.

But the plumbing will probably be sadly lacking unless we live in town. We will have to have some sort of good heating plant. Diesel oil stoves are ideal but maybe we'll have to use wood for awhile. I'll really turn into a tough character if I have to do much wood chopping. Darling, I will promise you that you will never have to chop wood. So now you can rest easy.

I don't know what else bad I can say about it. It should be great fun making a home up there. We will have a good chance to exercise our ingenuity in creating many of our household articles and furniture. Of course, we can buy furniture there the same as in the States at practically the same price. In the winter there will be skiing, ice skating, sledding, and just oodles of other interesting things to do. Would you like to learn to hunt and fish, sweetheart? I think you would like it very much. What do you think? Of course, I can't speak for you, maybe you wouldn't like it. The people are so very friendly, too. Well, we'll see about it all later.

In the meantime, darling, I just want to get home. I just want to marry you and take care of you. Do you know that I love you with all my heart, F. M.

LSM 53, San Pedro Bay, Leyte Philippines

24 November 1945

Dearest “Lovie,”

Do you like your nickname? You will have to live up to it when I get home to you.

Good news! Our flotilla got orders to go back to the States! I don't know when we are supposed to leave but probably within a week or two. That means we will be back in California about the first of January or the 15th of January. That is, I think that is the approximate time we will get there. I am not sure. Anyway we are taking on even more fuel and provisions and the crew is about to be screened. That is, the low point men are to be swapped for high point men from ships that are not going back. That is the only catch in the whole thing. I might be left behind in favor of some Radio Technician with more points than me. Don't think I wont be keeping my fingers crossed for the next couple of weeks.

I got one each letter today from you, Papa, and Mama. Isn't that swell? Say you sure were a fat little young un. But I love you despite that. I'll have to admit that you were a pretty good looking baby. I'll also have to admit that you are still a pretty good looking baby. Perhaps you are more of a baby now than you were then. But don't worry, Lil' baby gal, youre my baby now and I'll take care of you. I'll spank you when you need it, kiss you when you need it, and just take charge of you altogether.

Now Sweetheart, I'm sorry you were sick in bed. That sounds pretty bad, stomach flu. I wish I could have been there to comfort you. Now you must not have been taking care of yourself. You ought to be spanked now that you are well. Darling, please take good care of yourself. That winter weather in Chicago is enough to get anyone that has to pop indoors and outdoors, from hot to cold all the time. You get yourself plenty of warm things to wear, you understand. I'm liable to pop up anytime to take you on that honeymoon and you wouldn't want to be sick then would you? O. K. Then, you get plenty of rest, quit working so hard. You work entirely too hard at home, you know that sweet. You just let the house stay dirty if you are tired. I know you come home tired and and then work hard cleaning up the house.

I just heard on the radio that you all have about 1 inch of snow there in Chicago now. It's still summer here and will be forever, I guess.

Darling, I love you so much I just don't know what to say. You mean everything to me. That's why I want you to be well and not sick. Just wait until I get home. I'll take care of you.

We were expecting another Typhoon here but this one missed us just like the other one. It veered northward just as it was about to hit Leyte. We are getting plenty of rain but no wind at all.

I spent yesterday and last night aboard LSM 65 fixing their radar. Their Radio Technician went home on emergency leave so there was no one to fix their radar when it broke.

Darling, maybe it won't be so long now unil I can hold you in my arms again. Lets hope so.

All my love, F. M.

Western Union Telegram

27 December 1945

To Charlotte V. Wiesen, 3651 West Byron St., Chicago, Ill.

Loving wishes for Christmas and the New Year. You are more than ever in my thoughts at this time. All my love, Dearest, F. M.

USS LSM 5, c/o FPO, San Francisco, Cal.

On board ship at Marcus Island.

8 January 1946

Hello Darling,

Its a cold, wet, rainy morning. But we are in a little better condition this morning, too. Yesterday they succeeded in dragging our ship off the beach. She floats O. K. so they took her out to a bouy and tied her to it. Only a handful of men were left aboard her. The LSM 428 then came in to the beach and the rest of us went aboard her. So we are all warm and dry in the troop compartment of the “428.” (For background, several days earlier we had scraped the reef when trying to beach my ship, the LSM 5, and cut a big hole in the engine room. The engine room filled with water and everything on the ship went dead. She was simply sunk on the beach. Luckily, she still floated when pulled off the beach.)

We are only aboard this ship temporarily. Probably for only a couple of days. I haven't changed my address yet. Prospects are about the same. A Tug Boat will probably take the LSM 5 back to Guam. Then we don't know what.

Well anyway darling, my Navy life can't last too much longer. If the Navy point score keeps coming down as usual it will be down to 30 points by April 1st. By then I will have 29 ½ points. That means I can start for home then and I will certainly be discharged in April or the first part of May. That's not so far away is it darling?

We can be married in the spring when the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of what the woman thinks about all year! Where will we take our honeymoon then, darling? If we go all the way to the rockies we might still get in that skiing that we planned. High up in the mountains at some mountain resort, how would you like that? But we will probably be tired of winter by then and want to go somewhere that is warm where we can swim and lie in the sun. How does that sound, honey chile? And then if we can't find a place to live we can just camp out all summer. Probably you wouldn't like that so well.

If I could only hold you in my arms now, darling. I could tell you how I long to kiss your soft lovely lips and feel your smooth white cheek against mine. But darling, each time I think of it, it is just torture to me. It is torture knowing that you are there wanting me with you, but not being able to go. I love you, sweet, and I always will. Take care of my darling good, now. Pretty soon I'll be able to look after you myself.

All my love, F. M.

P. S. Please give the enclosed $20 money order to Woodrow for contribution to the Garfield Park church. I have sent the same amount on two other occasions and haven't heard whether they received it or not. F.M.

USS LSM 5, Marcus Island

9 January 1946


How are you today, sweet? We are still in the same fix. Last night the Tug Boat came sailing over the horizon and right behind it came a Repair Ship. So some thing will happen pretty soon. The Tug is anchored offshore, and the repair ship is tied up beside our disabled LSM 5. However I and 17 other men of the crew are still living aboard the LSM 428 and eating our meals ashore at the Marcus Island airport building. They are beginning to unload the “428” but seem to be in no hurry about it. No one seems to be in too much of a hurry now that the war is over. Can't say that I blame them. All we are doing is eating and sleeping. There is nothing definite about what will be done next. I'll let you know as soon as possible. I hope we put our ship back in operating condition for that may mean that we'll come back to the States.

It's kinda cool here again. And the big trans-pacific airliners are still landing and taking off. I go to a movie almost every night either aboard ship or on the air base. They have a very nice theater on the base. It is typical of all the theaters I have seen over here. It is an outdoor theater, of course. It is situated in a little valley like depression with the screen erected at the bottom and the seats built up the inclined sides in front. A little house at the back houses the projector. In some of the theaters in the Philippines they used cocoanut logs for seats. All the trees on Marcus Island have been shot down so we have benches made of lumber. Large mounds on each side that the Japs had big guns erected on, knock the wind off from all angles. The big guns are still there pointing their long barrels out to sea.

Well, darling, so long for now. I love, you, know that? You are sweet and lovely. Will you marry me? F. M.

Saipan Island, USS LSM 5 (Disabled).

6 February 1946

Hello Darling,

I ought to get several letters from you today and some from Mama and Papa too. You see it has been two days since anyone has collected the mail from the post office so we should have a slight accumulation. Heres hoping.

Conditions here are the same. We are living comfortly and monotonously. Chow is not so good as it has been. The cooks get by but they aren't excellent by any means. No one on the whole ship eats very much. However no one is losing any weight either. I have been getting a little exercise swimming. So most of my “bay window” is gone now and I am your handsome boy friend again, Ha. Ha! Darling, I'll get fat when I get home and start eating your excellent cooking. I just know I will. And I don't want to be fat. You must promise to make me work out enough so I won't be.

On the other hand, I'm afraid you are too much concerned with your weight, darling. You tell about how you cut down on eating certain things and how your weight has gone down. Now Lovie, what makes you think I want you to get thinner? The way you were when I left you was just perfect. And if I may say so, your figure was very nice indeed. I'm not apt to forget a thing like that. Now when I get back am I gonna find a little wisp of a girl who might break in two when I take her in my arms and give her a little squeeze?

I know you will be the same girl and I love that girl for just what she is. And you know what, she is kinda special in every way so no other girl will ever do. Cause no other girl could measure up to the lovely lady that I am going to marry.

Darling, what are the new developments on the home front? Anything new in the housing situation, in the trailer situation and the things that affect us when we are together again. Wish I was there now and we could have that wonderful wedding very, very soon. Darling, now that you belong to me it is just no fun at all living away from you. I want to be with you more than anything in the world.

All my love, F. M.

USS LC(FF) 370 at Saipan Island

8 February 1946

My Darling,

Happy birthday!! Of course, I know it will be over when you get this. But we will celebrate it over again when I get there, if you want.

Notice my new address. I am to be transferred tomorrow. I don't think it will help my situation any, however, as I probably still wont get to start home until April. This LC(FF) 370 (Landing Craft, Flagship) will probably sit right here at Saipan for several months.

All LC(FF)'s were at one time LCI's (Landing Craft Infantry). So you see its an even smaller ship than an LSM. It's only 160 feet long and about 20 feet wide. Whereas an LSM is 200 feet long and 30 feet wide. I will probably have plenty of work to do but I'll write more about that later. Just wanted you to get my change of address quickly.

Know what, sweetheart? I love you!! I do, I do, I do!!! So long for now.

All my love, F. M.

USS LC(FF) 370 at Saipan Island

14 February 1946

My Darling,

Will you be my Valentine? I don't have to ask you that, do I? Cause I know you are my Valentine. And besides that you are the girl with whom I am madly in love. You are my sweetheart, the dearest person in the world to me and the girl who is to be my wife. And darling, I love you, know that. I love you for your kisses and because you make a sweet and pleasant little armful. But more than that, I love to just be near you, to see your beauty and hear your soft lovely voice. I love you because you are my dream girl. Didn't think there was anyone who could fill out my dream specifications but you do, far more than I ever dreamed. Darling, I'd just like you to know, I love you.

Today I met another fellow who is an Alaska enthusiast. He has never been there but wants to go so I told him all about it. The thing that started the conversation were some pictures from Alaska in the January 22nd “LOOK” magazine. He had a little copy of a booklet about Alaska. I'll send you a copy of it soon.

Have you noticed the articles in some of the recent magazines about the modern houses that are being built nowadays? I like to look at them and dream what our super-home will be like some day.

Now I would like to have big windows, maybe complete walls of glass opening on a nice little terrace or outdoor garden. Plenty of light in the house with transparent up near the ceiling to let the light in and the interior at night lighted with diffused indirect light with a switch to make it bright or dim as you wish. Built-in radio and “super record player” so we can hear our favorite music. And a built-in television set, home movies, etc. Indirect heating through the floors and ceiling so there will be no radiators or hot air vents. Lower in the wall with exhaust fans for summer ventilation, or air conditioning, either one.

In the kitchen there would be the most wonderful things your little heart could desire. Or maybe by the time we get all this we can hire a cook. Anyway, right over the sink will be long wide window so you can look out at all the beautiful flowers and mountains in the distance. There will be a most up-to-date built-in stove and refrigerator with exhaust vents over each to carry away all the odors and give plenty of ventilation. There will be lots of cabinets, a little built-in radio in the kitchen (for soap opera's). A dining room adjoining connected by a wide door and open wall with only a kitchen counter separating the two. The dining room will be completely open to the living room too except maybe for a folding partition.

The bed room will have big wide windows and a bed aboug 10 feet wide and 10 feet long (well almost). The bathroom will be divided into compartments and there will be a big shower nook, full length mirrors, sun lamps shining out of the wall to dry you and warm you and give you a tan when you come out of the shower.

There will be a workshop where I can build radios and a recreation room where we can have parties. And, oh yes, of course there will be a nursery and special room for the children. Not a bad prospect, is it?

Oh, those are just my ideas. You must tell me yours too and we'll put them together and really have a “super-home.” Get your ideas in soon. The Perry home will be a-building before you know it. What do you think, little darling? Maybe some day we will have something like that. Until then we'll just have to be satisfied with the trailer!

All my love, F. M.

USS LC(FF) 370 at Saipan Island.

19 February 1946

My Darling,

How are you these days? Gee, I miss you and want you so much. It will soon be a year since I have seen you. But it will be only a few months more now until I am back with you, darling.

We are leaving for Guam in just a few hours so this will probably be mailed from Guam tomorrow morning. It's only an overnight trip from here to Guam. And when we get to Guam the general opinion is that we will leave for the States very soon. However, no one has said anything official about it so you know I am not counting on it.

In a couple of days I'm going to take my exams for 1st Class Radio Technician. So I may have a promotion soon if I pass.

Darling, how are you and the weather there bearing up nowadays? How are Bob and Chick and your Dad getting along?

Stay as sweet as you are, Lovie darling.

All my love, F. M.

USS LC(FF) 370 at Guam.

20 February 1846

Hello Sweetheart,

Here I am at Guam again. We came here last night and I didn't get a bit seasick. Aren't you proud of me? I had a different job last night. The ship hasn't got enough hands so they put me on as helmsman. That's the man who steers the ship. So for about 4 hours last night I was steering the ship. I'm quite an important man, ain't I?

Of course, the sea was pretty calm last night. That's probably the reason I wasn't seasick.

Well, the scuttlebutt that is going around the ship says that the staff personnel are to be transferred off the ship and we are starting back to the States soon. I'm almost afraid to say anything about it because the same thing might happen this time as happened last time. Anyway I will wait and see and maybe I'll be pulling in to California in about a month or so. That will be lots better than waiting until April to start back.

Darling, its been well over a week since I've heard from you and it seems like so much longer than that. I was lucky to be anchored right next to LSM 5 for over a week after after I left it so now it won't be much of a lapse for me to wait for mail to be forwarded to me.

How's work these days? And what are you doing for fun nowadays? Do your brothers entertain you some times or are they like most brothers and won't go out with their own sisters? Well, now I used to not like to go out with my own sisters. I don't know why cause I sure would like to be in a position to go out with one of them now. But I would most like to have a date with you, darling. Guess I would spend most of the evening just looking at you and getting up the courage to kiss you again. But you say I'll have plenty of encouragement so I imagine you'll be kissed plenty.

I love you, F. M.

USS LC(FF) 370 at Guam.

22 February 1946

My Darling,

We are still here at Guam and there are no new developments yet. But the general opinion still is that we will start back to the States soon.

I have been busy every day and tomorrow I have a date to go to another ship to repair their radio. Also I am right in the middle of the 1st Class Radio Technician exam. I took half of it today and will take the other half tomorrow. So far I have passed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I haven't made too good a grade so far because it has been so long since I have done anything like that. If I could have taken it right after I got out of school I could have made 100%.

I found the most wonderful place to go swimming the last time I had liberty. It is at a recreation area called Hoover Park. The water is crystal clear. It slopes down deep and five feet from shore it is over your head. Then about 100 feet out it slopes up again to about 1 foot on a reef. There are diving boards and platforms and floats there and life guards too. There are beach chairs along the beach and shelters of red, orange, and green canvas so that it looks just like a circus or coney island or something. It is most fun to wear a pair of goggles and swim under water looking at the magic world of the bottom of the sea. Of course, I can't stay under water long but its fun to do anyway. There are all sorts of beautiful coral formations , funny looking fishes and sea animals. One goofy animal looks looks like a wiener, feels like a rubber cushion and lays right on the bottom. I stepped on one and it scared me but it wont hurt you. There are little sticky animals with horns all over them. But they stay under rocks and you are not likely to step on one.

We are anchored way up in the inner harbor here at Guam. There is a big repair ship with a brood of submarines not far away from us. Also a few merchant ships, a few LCI's, LST's, and LSM's. In the center harbor there are several Jap ships. But other than that the harbor looks deserted compared to the way it used to look.

Darling, how are you? Still no mail from anyone. I love you, know that? It sure is hard to wait and wait to get to where I can take you in my arms and kiss your cares away.

I love you, I love you, F. M.

USS LC(FF) 370 at Pearl Harbor

28 March 1946

My Darling,

I went to church last night. We had another song practice before the regular meeting. The teacher is Brother Baker. He is really good at it, has his program outlined well and is a good teacher too.I thought he and his wife looked familiar so I asked him where I had seen them before. And believe it or not, it was at Northwest church in Chicago. Do you remember a Brother and Sister Baker? They are very good friends of the Grandys and asked me to remember them to the Grandys. They remember Sister Zini and remembered you and I. Seems that they remember seeing us on a bus after church or something. They were only visiting in Chicago for their home is in Texas. Bro Baker is either going to school or working out here. I didn't ask him. Isn't it a small world. I'm always meeting someone I have known before.

I have a date to go out to Brother Chessire's house for supper tomorrow night. I hope I get to go. They are threatening to take our liberty away from us then for we have to get out of dry dock tomorrow and will have to have working parties to get supplies and fresh water. But maybe I can get liberty by night time.

Darling, I'm so lonesome for your company. I just belong with you and I'm gonna be awfully lonesome until you take possession in person. I guess I'm just a baby but who wouldn't be with someone like you to love me. As for yourself, little darling, I think you need someone to take you in hand too. And I'm just the guy who can do it. You don't just belong to yourself anymore but you belong especially to me. Think I can make you happy sweetheart? I'll do my best.

How are the plans for the wedding coming along? Who is going to be your bridesmaid? And who are we going to get to perform the ceremony. We will have the wedding at Northwest church won't we? We won't be able to have any instrumental music but maybe we can get Mary fields to sing without instrumental music. I don't know how it would be without accompaniment. How many are we going to invite? I think I would just have all my relatives who live close by (Hardly no one in my case) and all our close Chicago friends. Mama and Papa are coming, Maybe Bert and my sisters. I doubt if any of my other relatives will be there. O course, J.W. And Opal, Earl, and any and all them folks at church you want to come. Marge must come surely and that will make a nice little crowd. We could get J. W. to perform the ceremony, or Brother Thomas, or anyone you might want. I really don't have any preference just so they tie the knot good and hard so my little “lovie” will belong to me for life. And the printed announcements we can mail to whomever we want. I will want lots of them for I have just gillions of relatives all over the U. S. to whom I want to send them. And I must send them to my old girl friends just to let them know I am out of circulation! (Ha,ha, joke! I've been completely occuppied with no one but you, darling, ever since I met you, know that?) Lets see, I would want about 20 (maybe 40) or more announcements to send out. So you can judge how many to tell Earl we will need. He is going to print them isn't he? I don't want to send mine out too early. I'll mail them a couple of days before the wedding. Then all the folks won't think I'm hinting for wedding presents. Oh, I don't think they would think that anyway. Just so they get them about the same time the wedding takes place.

And Darling, have you thought of any special place you want to go during our first wonderful weeks together. I'm just full of general ideas but I have no definite place in mind. I'd like it to be some nice quiet lonely spot (Just lonely for us, for it won't be lonely when we are there.) with plenty of good fresh air and outdoors and a cozy little cottage for us. Then we can just stay a long time and maybe you can get a little bit used to having a man encroaching on your private life. But darling, I never get used to having you around. You will always disturb me and you will always be lovely and exciting. Whenever I want to study or work I'll just have to send you out of the room. I'm sorry but how could I work with you bewitching me by being near to me. Even when I am away from you over here I think of you constantly, darling. So when you are near to me, my mind will just have to be on you. I couldn't help myself.

Hiamoe Loa Ke Kane Wale Ka Wahine” is an Hawaiian warning not to marry a lazy man. But “Nani Kou Maka” means your eyes are beautiful and

Aloha Au Ia Oe,” F. M.

USS(FC) 370, San Pedro, California

18 April 1946

My Darling,

Did you get my telegram? I sent it as soon as I could get ashore which was the second day we were here. And I finally got one letter from you, darling. It was dated April 6th. You had just heard from me that I would leave Pearl Harbor on April 2nd or 3rd. You said it might be safe to set the date for the wedding for April 27th. “Lovie,” I wish there was some way that we could set the date for that date. I hope you haven't already had the invitations dated. But it looks like they are not going to let me go until May 1st. I may be able to leave a few days before that but probably it will be May 1st. I am eligible for discharge on April 25th as I told you before but they only let men go on the first or fifteenth of the month. I just found that out. I am still trying to find some way to get away before May first. I might get leave before then but I doubt it. It just looks now as if I am going to have to stay out here until the first.

Remember in my other letters I said that I might be able to stop by in Denver and arrange for accomodations for our honeymoon. Well, I might not even be able to do that. You see, sometimes the Navy sends us in drafts of several men together and then you have to stick right with the draft, no stops all the way and you don't get to pick the route you want to take. However, I don't know yet if I will go in a draft or alone. I hope I will go alone.

I think, sweetheart, it will be safe to set the date for our wedding anytime after the 7th of May. I might be there by the 5th of May and then again I might not be. If you want to set the date for May 11th, I think that would be O.K. all around. So if you want to, you just go ahead and give Earl a date in May it will be all right with me.

Darling, I haven't heard from Bert yet about whether he will be able to come up and act as best man. I feel sure that he will though. As for two men to act as ushers, I just don't know who to ask. There really isn't any fellows in Chicago who are really close friends except J. W. Everyone else I just know as a nodding acquaintance. I want J. W. to take some part in the wedding if he will. Who shall we get to perform the ceremony? If we don't ask him, then I would like for him to be an usher. Let me know whom you would like to perform the ceremony. Then I'll write J. W. and ask him. Maybe we should ask Brother Thomas to be the minister and perform the ceremony and ask J. W. to be an usher? I wish Bro. Ritchie could perform the ceremony but I guess that isn't possible. Would it be proper to ask Bob or Chick or both to be ushers. Do you think they would consent? I would like for them to if they don't mind. Of course, your Dad should give the bride away. Maybe he doesn't want to but I guess he will. (On second thought he probably is glad to get rid of her. He is probably wishing I would hurry and come take her off his hands.

A cozy little group of 70 for the reception, huh? I'm really glad you planned it. It will be fun. To tell you the truth, darling, when I first thought of it, I didn't like the idea so much. Not that I don't like the idea of meeting all the people, I will like that very much and it will be a joyous occasion. It was just that I kinda feel jealous of my lovely little lady. I had the feeling that when the preacher pronounces us man and wife I wanted to scoot away with you real quick like somewhere where I could have you all to myself, just you and I. I just kinda hate to share you with anybody else for a little while after the ceremony, anyway. But I really am not adverse to the idea of a reception. I guess I'm resigned to the idea now. But you can just bet your boots that I'm not going to share you for very long. Just long enough to say hello to everyone and introduce me to any whom I might not know. Then I'm going to kidnap you and probably give you a spanking besides.

Dearest, if we do go to Colorado we could grab the Denver Zepher about 5:00 Saturday night and be in Denver the next morning. That's the train that I rode to Denver the last time I left Chicago. It's the most wonderful train I ever rode on. Don't worry, sweet, you won't have to sit up all night. I'll splurge and get pullman berths. You know, I've been thinking, we might even take a plane. I'd like that, would you? It won't cost hardly any more than the first class on the train. But we will discuss that when I see you.

I just had an idea. I might ask my Dad to be an usher at the wedding. Maybe he would like that. Maybe too, he would rather just be a spectator with my mother. Is it proper to ask one's father to be an usher? Seems to me it would if you wanted to. Wish more of my relatives could come to the wedding. But I guess there won't be many, if any, outside of my immediate family.

Lovie,” I'm more lonesome for you than ever, now that I'm back in the States. And I'm so dissappointed that I can't leave right away. I was all set to leave real soon, all excited and flustered. Now I just feel awful, makes me cross with everyone, when I get liberty I don't have any fun cause I feel I'm just wasting good time that I could be on the train to Chicago.

I had my first liberty yesterday. Left the ship about noon and rode the liberty boat in to the Naval Base. From there I caught a bus to Long Beach, about 4 miles from the Base. Long Beach is a real nice city of about 225,000 people, about as big as Nashville. I looked around the main streets of Long Beach for awhile then took the electric train (something like the trains that run on the El) to Los Angeles. It is 22 miles, about a one hour ride. The country around Long Beach is just covered with oil wells. There are so many derricks that it looks like a forest of derricks. About half way to Los Angeles the country is very pretty with big stock farms, mostly horses and big fine stables. Reminds me very much of Tennessee.

Los Angeles is a very big city. It has a population of 2,000,000 people and the downtown section is about the same as that of Chicago. We ate supper in Los Angeles then decided to ride out to Hollywood. So zip, away we went on about a 30 minute ride to Hollywood. It is a separate city with about 200,000 people and it really is nice, even nicer than Los Angeles. All the famous places you have heard of are there scattered all around the place. The NBC and CBS studios, the famous theaters and night clubs. We went skating at a huge roller skating rink. It was fun. We had liberty overnight so we went to see the movie “Outlaw” about 2:00 in the morning. What a picture that was!! Pretty good. We got back to the ship about 7 AM this morning. Don't worry, darling, I was sober. We really made a night of it. I don't think I'm going to do anything like that anymore.

Darling, I want so much to kiss your soft lips and hold you in my arms. It won't be long now.

I love you, F.M.

P.S. When you decide on the date for the wedding, take in to account that it will take me

4 days to get to Chicago, 2 days or more to get discharged at Great Lakes, 3 or 4 days to go to Nashville to get some of my clothes, etc. However, I think it should be safe to set the 11th. I'll take a plane if I have to. Just thought I'd mention it so you would know all I have to do and how long it will take. Also I have to buy some civilian clothes. But maybe I will get to start back a little before May first.

I love you, honey chile, F.M.

3651 West Byron Street, Chicago, 18 Ill.

20 April, 1946

Dearest darling,

Your telegram came Wednesday night April 17. Rather Western Union phoned and gave me the message. The actual telegram arrived the next morning with the mail. Darling, two weeks will be such a long time to be here all alone without you. Do you know just how much I miss you? You are just about the only thing in the world that I cannot do without. Do you know I love you more and more every day. You mean so much to me, darling.

Tomorrow I'll tell Earl to go ahead with the invitations and announcements. It sure is a good thing that I waited, isn't it?

Darling, I have already asked Brother Thomas to perform the ceremony. I do hope that Woodrow can be an usher. Do you want to ask him?

Now there is really something awful that I have to tell you. We were going to have three of the girls be attendants. I believe I told you about that, didn't I? Well I had a white formal dress and I got hold of two others in the same style. We had worn them when we sang in concerts. Well Marge took them to be dyed. One was to be a pretty blue and the other two would be pink. But when she went to pick up the dresses at the shop they were practically ruined. So that was that. Now we haven't been able to find anything nice, that is, three alike. So Marge is going to stand up alone. I managed to borrow a pretty blue dress for her from a friend. Now I am wondering if it is proper to have more ushers than bridesmaids. What do you think?

Golly, but I'm glad I'm only going to be married once. There sure is lots to cope with. Then too, one of the tenors in the quartet will have an operation on his knee some time in May. So now I must ask someone else. Guess it will be Calvin Rudolph. Did I tell you about the music? Well I have asked eight of myfriends at church if they would sing. It will really be very lovely, I'm sure. Mary fields will sing “Oh Promise Me” and “Because” with a humming background by the others. Then they will sing Faithful and True (Wedding March) together. Then after the ceremony they will sing “Loves Old Sweet Song.” I have a very nice arrangement of the song.

Dearest, I want to tell you about the grand surprise shower that the folks from church gave for me at Juanita and Calvin's house. Daddy knew all about it. But he kept it from me very well. He and I were asked to spend the evening at their house. There were forty one people there. Opal and Woodrow were there too. Oh darling, I received so many beautiful and practical gifts. I wish you could have been there but you will see everything when you get here.

Sweetheart, I am so worried about Chick. I think he must be a confirmed alcoholic by now. He goes to the tavern every night when he is through work. What, oh what can Im do? Bobby says that he can't leave the stuff alone. Bob is worried about him too. Darling, the other night my father promised me that he would not drink again. We shook hands on it. He said when he did that, that he really meant it. I believe him.

Forgive me dearest for unburdening my mind to you, darling. I love you so much, and while our wedding will mean so much to me, our marriage will mean so much more.

All my love, Charlotte

P. S. Chick has a brand new pair of blue trousers that he says you can have. Also a muddy that is in perfect condition.

Love. Charlotte

3651 W. Byron Street, Chicago, 2 Ill.

22 April 1946

My Darling,

Yesterday was Easter. Did you see the Easter Parade? I wore my new flower hat, in fact I made it myself. I am also making a blue hat that will match my blue suit. Now hurry home, Dear, cause they are just waiting for your approval.

I hope the next couple of weeks will pass quickly, don't you? Oh, of course you don't. Bet you are enjoying the lovely California sunshine, huh? Well we have had lots of sunshine for the last couple of days. Today is simply gorgeous. The temperature must be about 80 degrees. Makes me want to head straight for the country. But it will be lots more fun when we can hike and do lots of things together. I can hardly wait until you are here, sweet.

Last night the singers went over the songs for our wedding. They practice on Sunday nights after the service. I asked Calvin to sing tenor. Guess I told you that John was going to have an operation on his knee, so he doesn't think he will be able to be there. But there is one person whom we can't do without and that is you.

Darling, if we don't go to Colorado, what do you think of New Mexico. I bet Colorado will be sort of cool this time of year. Have you ever visited the Carlsbad Caverns? That is in New Mexico. Well anyhow, when you get back we can decide where to go for our honeymoon.

Bobby just came home from seeing the Doctor. He had a fever of 102 this afternoon. The doctor gave him quinine. This is the second malaria attack he has had since he has been at home.

Well so long for now, I love you, Charlotte.

P. S. Now don't bother to look up Esther Williams the next time you are in Hollywood. Ahem!! Am I jealous, huh. Yours, “Lovie.”

P. S. again: Guess I didn't tell you that a letter came for you from Northwest Church in Seattle. Do you want me to send it? On second thought, I guess I'll just put it in with this.

USS LC(FF) 370 at San Diego, Cal.

28 April 1946

My Darling,

(Letter has a big hole in it and may not be deciphered correctly. But here is the best I can do.)

I contacted the Colorado Department of Public Relations to see about a place we might go on our honeymoon. I asked for possible reservations and put your address as my address. So if you get anything from Colorado, please go ahead and open it because it will be about our possible honeymoon.

We can really have a swell time in Colorado, Darling. We can do such things as hiking, mountain climbing, swimming, boating, horseback riding, camping, fishing, perhaps hunting, and maybe skiing if there is any snow left on the higher levels. Now don't you worry sweetheart, I won't try to make an outdoor girl out of you all at once. There will probably be lots of less strenuous things we can do also like taking siteseeing tours by car or bus or we can just loaf in the sun. And besides I will want to spend most of my time telling you how much I love you.

We can spend a week or more in Colorado and then take a sidetrip somewhere like New Mexico or Wyoming. We can go see the Carlsbad Caverns if you like. Denver is a mile high and we will be in the mountains at anywhere from 6 to 10 thousand feet up. At that altitude we will have to take it easy the first couple of days to get acclimatized. It won't bother you except to make you extremely out of breath just from the exercise you will get from walking and climbing steps. But you will get used to it quickly. It might be warm during the day but it will get very cool at night. Down in Denver it will be hot probably. I was there one June and the temperature hit about 110. but at night it would go to about 50.

The Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico are at quite an altitude too. About 4,000 feet I think. So it will be cool at night down there too. Almost all of New Mexico is at a mile or more of altitude. I've never been in New Mexico and I'd like to go. I have been reading the Want Ads in the west coast newspapers and I often see ads for Radio Servicemen. Not that we want to come to the west coast to live, but maybe I can get a summer job in Denver or somewhere else while we are on our honeymoon. It wouldn't be necessary to be a radio job. Then we could extend our honeymoon out all summer. Think you would like that, sweet? Then we could see lots of Colorado and it wouldn't be so expensive. And in September we could come back to Chicago or wherever I decide to go to school. But we can talk about that later, darling. And it's more fun just waiting to see what might turn up.

I hope everything is O. K. and you haven't had anymore disasters like you told me about the three dresses. I wrote to Woodrow to be an usher and also asked him, if my brother couldn't come up, if he would be my best man. I remember that Opal and Woodrow asked me to dinner the first Sunday I was in Chicago. They invited you too, and you knocked me for a loop. That day I think I first noticed mostly your sweet, soft voice and the quiet almost confidential way you had talking to me. Then about the next Sunday we were both invited over to the Duket's for dinner. After dinner we went siteseeing downtown on the bus. I think that day I noticed mostly your lovly little nose and it was then that I decided that I simply would have to see more and more of you. All along I had noticed that you were very pretty and very sweet. So you see, if it hadn't been for the Duket's, maybe we might never have gotten well acquainted at all.

And now, practically all I can think of is that I am in love with the most wonderful girl in the world. And the most wonderful thing about it all is that she loves me too. So now we have the ingredients of a happy life together.

Lovie,” I've just about given up hope of leaving here before the 1st of May. It's almost the 1st now anyway. So look for me around the 4th or 5th of May. But you don't have to look for me. I'll find you, don't you worry. So long for a little while.

All my love, F. M.

Telegram from FM to Charlotte from California.

1 May 1946.

to Miss Charlotte Wiesen, 3651 West Byron Street, Chicago.

Navy insists I be discharged Memphis will go Nashville then Chicago arriving ninth sooner if possible.

Love, F. M.

The Marriage of FM and Charlotte was entirely successful from May 11, 1946 for 61 years until May 27, 2007 when Charlotte passed away after an illness of several months. I am convinced that our marriage was successful in every way because we were both first “married” to Jesus Christ and then we married each other in Christ.

Wives be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies, He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33.)