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Shell and bomb craters, Kiska Island, August 24, 1943

Shell and bomb craters, Kiska Island, August 24, 1943

Funeral at Kiska, 1943. Canadian Lt. Sid Vessey of the Rocky Mountain Rangers, killed by land mine.

Funeral at Kiska, 1943. Canadian Lt. Sid Vessey of the Rocky Mountain Rangers, killed by land mine.

August 23, 1943

My Dearest Alice:

As you know, it has been about ten days since I wrote. Or at least, that is the last time I remember writing. So much has happened and so little can be told; therefore, I’m not going to try to explain. I’ve thought of you constantly. So it wasn’t that I’d forgotten. Maybe it would be better if I could forget for awhile now and then, but that is not the case.

You were telling me about going out with the guy. I hardly know what to say and make you see what I mean. I certainly don’t think you should stay home all the time. That would be the easiest way I know of losing you. Loneliness is a dreadful disease. You owe it to yourself and to me to go out when you choose. Only I hope you don’t go out too often with the guy in question. As long as you go with several, I’ll not think anything of it. But, Dear, you do understand what going, often, with one certain guy can cause, don’t you? I forbid not that you shall go with whomever you please, whenever you please. I trust you not to forget me. I am not sure we will be here the duration, but if I should be, it would be a long time to stay home all the time. I will admit I am still, as I have always been, just a bit jealous where that guy in question is concerned. But I do trust you absolutely; so you be your own master. Just don’t let anyone ever tell you that I don’t love you. You are all my dreams in one. Remember the song - “Be Honest With Me.”?

I am glad you got to see your brother while he was on leave. I’ve had three letters from Dee and he is about seven hundred miles from me. I still may get to see him some day. He is at a place you have often heard mentioned in the news. But he is safe, now. You have probably wanted to know more about the occupation of Kiska. Well, someday, I can tell you all of it, maybe. Any way, we are the master of the North Pacific now. The Japs are gone from their last stronghold. If you ask ‘what now’ you will be asking the same thing we are. But our career is planned without asking us. Ha.

I had some pictures made the other day, but they were terrible, so I will have to try again before I can send any. I have planned another cross country trek. Maybe I can get a few pictures along the way. This one is to be ten miles further than the last one, and it took three days! Of course, since these hikes are of my own free will, I have to take them whenever I can beg, borrow or steal time from the battery duties. So don’t know just when it will be. We want to do a bit of mountain climbing. Guess you could figure out an easier way of breaking your neck, eh? Ha ha. Bob and I plan to go. You remember him, don’t you?

I saw the show “Slightly Dangerous”, you mentioned. I enjoyed it. Also, you should see “Mr. Big”, “DuBarry was a Lady” and “Random Harvest”. They are all worth seeing.

I have not heard from Mama in a couple of weeks of mail calls. I guess she has gone to Alabama. Have you heard? Or do you write to Nancy often?

Well, Dearest, I’ll close for now. Hope with me that whatever happens next, here, will be for the better.

I am yours devotedly,

Raymond Gowen