Sunday, August 24, 2014

Naples, Motorship Gripsholm - October 28, 1945

Part of the continuing letter written to the girls during the voyage on the Gripsholm.  

Dearest Darlings,

Mother speaking.  Here we are again in this beautiful harbor of Naples. When we got up this morning we could see the islands at the entrance to the harbor. It was beautiful as we came slowly in.  There is evidence of great damage in the harbor. Several sunken ships partly out of the water; the modern dock building where our ship is berthed is nearly a complete wreck from bombs[1]. We can see other buildings that are wrecked too. The dock is swarming with Jeeps and all sorts of American war vehicles as well as American soldiers; for Italy is still under military rule. We are not to be allowed ashore at any of the places we stop. It's a State Department order for all passengers. We're sure sorry about this. Our next stop will be Piraeus, Greece. This morning a Flying Fortress[2] and two fighters gave a real welcome as we came into the harbor. It was very thrilling as they circled low at top speed several times.

When we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar it was so lovely. The sea was calm and blue, and our first glimpse of Africa (home) were the lovely Atlas Mountains.  The view of the Rock of Gibraltar was disappointing as we didn't go very close to it. There were school after school of porpoises playing that afternoon, a special exercise put on for our benefit I think. We have been wishing for you every time there was anything of interest. We miss you at every turn.  My birthday was a secret between us[3]. It was a happy day. I'm feeling younger instead of older, that's a fact!  Maybe it's because I'm leading such a lazy life.
As soon as you can get some films send us some snapshots.  I'm longing already for a picture of you. Would you like to have your picture taken for us and have some cards made like we did last year?  If so, do, and send the bill to the Mission office. Send Christmas cards to all our friends. Even though the ocean is now between us nothing can ever separate you from my heart. I love you more than ever and think of you daily and pray for you and rejoice in all that God has enabled you to do. I marvel when I realize just 2 months and 5 days ago we left St. Louis. God has wonderfully undertaken and my heart is full of praise and thanks.

With oceans of love, and a kiss on every wave,


  1. According to Wikipedia, Naples was the most bombed city in Italy during World War II. 
  2. The Flying Fortress, a nickname for the Boeing B-17, a heavy bomber used in World War II. This one was probably with the Fifteenth Air Force.
  3. Coralee's 45th birthday was October 26th.    

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