28 May, 2012

28 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
28 May, 1945      0810

My dearest sweetheart –

Yesterday, the 27th – I actually received a letter from you postmarked the 19th and that was really something. Apparently you’re not getting anywhere near the same service in you direction, although you may be, by now.

I was glad to read you got the package containing the scarf. I bought it when I was in Paris. I also got some perfume for Mother A, B and Ruth – but there’s been no mention of that arriving – as yet. The Star of David interested me also. I found it in an obscure corner of the big place when we were on the Rhine. I don’t know what it was doing in that house. As far as we knew, the Count was a Nazi. I tried to contact him to find out about it, but I never could. Anyway, coming out of Nazi Germany, I found something symbolic in it and thought I’d save it. I guess you’re right about the furnishings. I don’t know, dear, where you’re putting all the stuff – but I’ll bet we’ve got a bunch of it. It’ll be fun sitting down and telling you about where I got this or that, just as I anticipate telling you all about the snapshots I’ve sent back. Seems to me you ought to have quite a bunch of them by now. It’ll take months for me to tell you all about them – but heck, we’re going to be together for a long, long time.

Yes, yes – you made me kind of jealous mentioning Stan Berns and his fianceé’s doing a little loving – although I don’t think it’s quite the best taste to go visiting and bill, coo and neck all over the place. Nevertheless – I’d sure love to do a little of that with you. Boy – have we got a lot to make up for! You mention that if they asked your advice – you’d say to get married soon and that you wouldn’t waste another opportunity and then you go on and wonder whether you would or not. Well, darling, as far as I’m concerned – I’m thru wondering. I’ve changed from the man I was when I left. You want to know what the advantage would be if we had to be separated again. Well – to that, I’ll ask – ‘What would be the advantage of just being engaged?’ The way I feel now, darling – so long as we’re certain we love each other and want no one else in the world – we ought to be married, be man and wife and have the satisfaction of knowing that in fact – we belong to each other. Even if I have to go to the Pacific – that war is going to fold up soon. Wait and see. And with what we read in the Stars and Stripes about 14 or 15,000 MC’s in the States are going overseas – I think I may have a good chance of staying put once I get back. Of course we’ll have to wait and ‘talk things over’ – but I’m just giving you fair warning what I’m going to talk about!

Yesterday, Sunday, was a quiet enough day. It continues cool and we’re missing out on some swimming – but it will probably warm up soon enough. They’re starting to give out passes to Paris and Brussels again – but it’s almost not worth it for 3 days. They’ll soon be giving Leaves, too, to England and the Riviera. I might be interested in that. I guess the Army is doing its best to help kill the time – but nothing will really help, sweetheart, until I can get home, tell you and show you how much I love you – marry you – and – what the heck – that’s a good place to stop – isn’t it, dear?

Love to the folks – and to you, darling.

All my everlasting love and devotion


about Bill Leahy and the Seventh War Loan Drive

The war bond campaign was a unique fusion of nationalism and consumerism. Seeking to stir the conscience of Americans, it invoked both their financial and moral stake in the war. The sale of war bonds provided a way in which patriotic attitudes and the spirit of sacrifice could be expressed, and became the primary way those on the home-front contributed to the national defense and war effort. One observer noted, "It was a program that instead of seeking to eradicate differences...would make them a source of strength and unity by finding a common cause in which all could work for the financial security of themselves and of their country." While the initial goal of the war bond campaign was to finance the war, the positive impact on the morale of home-front Americans was perhaps its greatest accomplishment.

Elaborate plans were made for the Seventh War Loan Drive. Nationally planned special promotional events far surpassed those planned for any other bond drive, and the Office of War Information pledged 50% of all available radio time to advertisement of the Seventh Loan. An additional $19.1 million was contributed to advertising in support of the drive, and the combined estimate surpassed $42 million in free advertising. Beginning on May 14, 1945, just a few days after V-E Day, some officials feared the goal of $14 billion would not be reached if Americans believed the surrender of Germany made full subscription unnecessary. These fears proved unfounded, as the individual sales goal of $7 billion - the highest of any war bond drive - was surpassed by $1.6 billion. The final tally recorded sales of over $26 billion dollars during the six weeks of the Seventh War Loan drive.

From TIME magazine, 28 May, 1945, Vol. XLV, No. 22  comes this article with the title "US at War: For a United People". It tells of Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Presidential Chief of Staff, and the Seventh War Loan Drive.

Your sons, husbands and brothers who are standing today upon the battlefronts are fighting for more than victory in war. They are fighting for a new world of freedom and peace. We, upon whom has been placed the responsibility of leading the American forces, appeal to you with all possible earnestness to invest in War Bonds to the fullest extent of your capacity. Give us not only the needed implements of war, but the assurance and backing of a united people so necessary to hasten the victory and speed the return of your fighting men.

This appeal, being given the widest publicity, (3,000 magazines with a combined circulation of 175,000,000 are printing it in one form or another) came from the nation's five-star admirals and generals—Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Arnold, King, Nimitz and Leahy. They knew, as well as anyone, that the Seventh War Loandrive was primarily a campaign against inflation. But support by the public would also demonstrate the nation's will to see the conflict through. To the leaders of the armed forces this was important. They anticipated the anguish which would arise when the people, now celebrating a victory, came face to face with new griefs and separations. They also knew, as military men, the importance of giving the last enemy no rest, or time to entrench himself against the final onslaught. Delay would raise the cost in American lives.

In its various ways last week the public got behind the drive. In Chicago Musi-comedienne June Havoc auctioned off two pairs of nylons at $1,300 worth of bonds a pair. The three survivors of the six-man detail which posed for the famed flag-raising picture on Iwo Jima — Pfc. Rene Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes and Pharmacist's Mate John Bradley — rode through the rain to inspire the cheering citizens of Boston. In Tampa, a 75-mm. cannon boomed hourly from Plant Park. In Indianapolis, Mayor Robert Tyndall gave "the order of the day": Over the top. Indianapolis. Cheyenne County, Wyo. held "pie socials." Funnyman S. J. Perelman and Author John Roy (Under Cover) Carlson exhorted the people of Pittsburgh. Troops simulated airborne attacks on Chicago. In The Bronx, bond-buyers were allowed to ring a replica of the Liberty Bell. In Manhattan, buyers were permitted to eat their way through a five-layer, six-foot-high cake, or take a trip through a model aircraft carrier.

The "Mighty 7th" War Loan drive, with the highest goal yet for sales to individuals, got off to a better start than any drive so far. In the first week 23% of the "little man's" $7 billion quota was subscribed. The rest would come harder — when enthusiasm had cooled.

Of the five-star military leaders who had signed the appeal to the public, none understood the critical need better than the man who bears the expansive title of Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army & Navy. And yet, among the seven signers, Fleet Admiral William Daniel Leahy is the least known.

Fifty-two years in the Navy shaped the thinking of Bill Leahy, born on a farm near Hampton, Iowa. As a midshipman at Annapolis he sailed aboard the leaky, century-old frigate Constellation. As an ensign, he was a member of the crew that took the Oregon racing around the Horn and bellowing into Santiago Harbor. In 1937, by appointment of his old friend Roosevelt, Leahy became the Navy's top dog — Chief of Naval Operations. The Chippewa Indians made him an honorary member of their tribe — "Great Man Sailing Around."

Leahy knows that victory over Japan is certain now, unless the determination of the people slackens. His prayer at the end of a long career is the same prayer he had in 1938: that the military leaders will continue to get implements they need and "the assurance and backing of a united people."

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