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Sept. 2, 1942

Dear Folks,

The idea of you both coming down here after all is a mighty pleasant one. Don’t feel, however, that it is a parental duty or anything like that, because leave after the training, perhaps nine weeks from now, is pretty definite. It isn’t that the Navy just isn’t giving any more leave, but rather that we were not through our training. If you did come down, there would be no trouble at all getting you on the station and showing you around a bit. I’ll probably join the officers’ club, and that might take care of a meal or two. The only place I can think of near the station where you might be able to stay is the Azaliana (sp.?) Inn at Orange Park, but I suspect it’s very expensive. That and the other possibilities I’ll look into, but aside from hotels in town and the various good bets at the beach, I have no further ideas yet.

Down here lately it hasn’t been excessively hot for more than a day or two at a time. July was far hotter than August, which was cloudier and with more showers. This month may be hot, but it may be stormier too. Tail-ends of hurricanes sometimes strike, I hear, but never the real thing.

Life goes on much as usual though rather more pleasantly than before when one was a cadet. Every night liberty continues at least for a while and I go out whenever I frequently feel like it. Last night for instance started with phone calls (sometimes unavoidable unless politeness is also to be avoided) to three different girls, two of whom were actually in, but naturally soon to go out, and it ended at Fred Astair’s new movie—most enjoyable. Anyone who minds going to the movies alone is foolish, just as anyone who minds reading a book alone!

Yes, though still much like cadets, we do rate more respect and on suitable occasions there seems to be no doubt about our rating a salute. By now you probably know more or less what our uniforms are like, but in case not here are brief descriptions.

Summer working uniform—khaki, absolutely plain except for single gold bar on each side of collar; black tie as before; brown shoes. Coat with brass buttons, metal wings and blue shoulder boards with single gold bar and star is part of uniform, but doesn’t have to be worn at our squadron. We are allowed to wear khakis with coat and either overseas caps with small wings or garrison caps with khaki covers ashore except on formal occasions, but have to wear white cap covers at the squadron.

Summer dress uniform—same a picture plus metal wings, bar on shoulder boards and officer’s cap.

Winter working uniform—khaki shirt and black tie; green single-breasted suit with embroidered gold wings; green overseas cap woith wings or garrison cap to match. Suit has dark buttons. Brown shoes.

Winter dress uniform (really the everyday uniform of most naval officers)—white shirt and black tie, blue double-breasted suit with brass buttons and gold embroidered wings (above pocket), single stripe and stars on sleeves (gold stripe); garison caps with white on blue covers depending on local order; black shoes.

Well that’s the total. Full dress, etc., are obsolete in time of war, which is very convenient. A big, heavy blue “raincoat,” by the way, is our all around coat. Mine has a detachable lining, which doesn’t make it much lighter when detached, but it helps. Our flying suits are varied for evey sort of weather (hot or cold)—light cotton jackets and suits, leather jacket, leather suit with wooly linings, etc. These last come free.

Remember now I’m not expecting you to come down. I know the expense would be much and I do expect to get leave.

Love          T.R.

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