I received an email out of the blue last week from Tara in Seattle. She found some of Frank Tyrrell’s letters that her father bought at an auction in Federal Way. Tara was kind enough to research Frank Tyrrell and to track me down AND to mail the letters to me.
I am struck by the kindness of people.
Here is one, written by Frank as he was on a transport ship to Europe.
Here is the transcript:
8 April 1944
I was going to write yesterday, but the sea was a little rough and I felt a little bit like I was going to feel pretty rough so I didn’t write,
It don’t make much difference. I can’t mail my letters until I get there and I don’t know where I am going.Right now however we have to put on long underwear its nice and cool outside but inside the ship is warm and crowded. They say a man will live longer in the water if he has on long woolens so I guess I will put them on.
I was upon deck last evening. It was beautiful. The water was quiet and a bright moon shining. Boy oh boy, honer, if only you had been there.
(A day later but what the hell)
Honey when I get out to the coast once more [Seattle] you can bet your last dollar all the sailing or traveling I do will be across the [Puget] sound or maybe if I feel real adventurous, we might get as far as Victoria or Vancouver.
This damn ocean gets monotonous as hell. I hope we keep the ship under us until we hit good old terra firma. The firma the better.
We have 2 meals a day at 0715 and 4:15 in the PM so far they have been excellent.
Honey there would be so much to write about if I were only were free to mention or talk about any of it.
I was fairly disappointed at not getting to see you in New York but I guess the Army doesn’t do things to please me.
Hoever you can bet we will make up for it once this mess is over and I get back home.
Well Honey here I am again. I have been feeling pretty food to-day in spite of the fact that it was rough and stormy. Yesterday I didn’t feel as good.
I saw a show tonight. An old one but I had never seen it before, The Great Ziegfeld. It is now 1100 o’clock and I just got out and as I was coming down from the officer’s lounge where we have out pictures I took a stroll out on deck. It was black as the inside of a cow. How I would love to have my honey here boy oh boy what a night for romance.
Well my darling good night for to night. If I am not on the verge of sea sickness again tomorrow I will add a few more lines. To-date I haven’t had to been over the rail, but honey I was sure close a couple of times.
Next day. I wrote a V Mail letter today. I will mail this letter at the same time. You can then tell which letters arrive 1st.
You may have wondered about me making a food allotment so I will explain it to you. My base pay is 200.00 plus one [looks like “foggy”] (longevity pay on increase of 5%)=10.00. Total base pay 210.00
I now get a 10% increase on my base pay for overseas service 20.00.
Plus 2 rations @ 21.70=43.40
Plus rental or quarters= 90.00
Now for deductions there is
6.90 for insurance
37.50 for a bond
225.00 for your allotment
21.20 for my rations
291.10 total deductions
363.40 total income
gives me 72.30 a month which is plenty.
Yes my dear $72.00 a month will be all I need. I would much sooner have a little nest egg for us to get started on once I get back.
We get cigarettes for .45 a carton on the boat and I understand they are the same price in the post exchange over where we are going. Cigars still cost me $3 a box, of course they are a .10 cigar, but I don’t like them as well as I do the Roi Tan and Aurelia Sports. In fact my dear any time you get a chance you might send me a box of aurelia sports unless I write and tell you I can get plenty over here.
At present I am setting around waiting for a show to start. We are supposed to have “Sun Valley Serenade” to-night. As luck would have it we have been having a lot of shows that I haven’t seen.
There is lots of poker playing going on around me but I don’t like to play well enough to get into a game that would cost me from 50 to a 100 dollars if I started loosing. Nope not for your old man. Not yet any how. We have had one man in the Bri pick up $2500.00 in a few minutes shooting craps.
Well honey things are getting pretty crowded so I think I will close this rambling.
Give my love to moms and Big Daddy.
As I mentioned in the V-Mail letter I am writing this with the assumption that you will be home by the time the letters reach you. I didn’t get any letters from you before I left, I didn’t expect any, really, because I wasn’t sure you had received my address. However young lady I better be getting some soon.
Your devoted husband
Capt. Frank D Tyrrell 0394383
Hq 3rd Bn 331st Inf.