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Many Happy Returns of Sept 6., Ma!

Sept. 4, 1944

Dear Folks,

Your meaty letters still come from Squam, though I realize that by now you must be, perhaps reluctantly, back in Groton. At least the weather should be more cheerful there than when you left. Yes the Squam letters between them made up a meaty log and cut down the distance between there and here immeasurably. Not bad to have eleven at the camp and people at Hoag and Jimmy Point and Grandma at Hodge like old times, but doubtless also like times to come, often and even in the near future.

You may remember my slighting the “invasion” a little and showing more interest in Saipan. Well the latter with its accompanying sea and air battles, the greatest seen yet, was largely our (the Navy’s) show —remember the Marines are part of the Navy—but it’s now over. I can’t say that the show in Europe has just begun, but it did bog down a little, didn’t it? The progress now is to me positively thrilling, that from the South almost as much so as the other. I wish I had had a share in the attacks around La Plage. What a thrill it would have been to dive bomb that airport. It won’t be long now before we’ll be getting considerably more help in the Pacific, though this is just one way of looking at the things that are making Adolph sweat. Already the latest Newsweek’s map, including even speculated drives, is out of date. I’d say the main thing to worry about is what’s going to keep the public from feeling that the War’s as good as over as soon as Germany falls. Maps in the newspapers will help. What a boon to the science of geography this war has been in several respects.

Speaking of wars, the battle of California continues unabated. We don’t do anything very different from what we’ve been doing, though we fly more often with the other squadrons of the air group, in short practice group tactics. Just recently we’ve shifted to an 0800 – 1700 day, which makes it nice to get through earlier, but grimmer to get up.

On the last couple of days off I’ve gone bicycling from Oakland, a week ago Sunday with feminine company (Lt. j.g.) up to the hills, or rather foot of same, climbing afoot the rest of the way – some nice second growth redwoods seen; yesterday (it just happened some of us got two Sundays in a row off) alone to the mud flats of South Alameda to look for shorebirds, of which there were thousands, including various sandpipers, yellow-legs, dowitchers, plovers, willets, godwits, and even avocets, beautifully marked creatures (splashes of light and dark) with remarkably upturned bills.

Lately I’ve played more tennis than swum, having found several not too good enthusiasts in the squadron.

In the food line this seems to be the melon season, so you can imagine my mouth watering just before I dig that spoon in. Weather’s better too. My present room-mate is more permanent but seldom shows up, being married, which is nice for me. Best time.

Love, Toots

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