At Sea. Enroute Port of Spain. October 15, 1947


photo (11)

David W. Shields

Dearest Betty,

Well, it looks now as though I shall be coming home to you about the second or third week in November. In any case, no later than the third week in November.

I have the Chief Mate’s berth on here next voyage, if I want it. But, I’m going to have a talk with the Port Captain when I get back and see about a Chief Mate’s berth on one of the Liberties or a C-1 out of New York. Then I’d be home every five weeks. Wouldn’t that be great huh? Then you wouldn’t be able to forget what I look like.


Gosh darling, I’ve missed you terribly. There are so many things I want to talk over with you. I value your thoughts, and the interpretations you give. I want to share so many of my thoughts and ideas with you, and get your reactions. But, I don’t want to do it by mail. I want to wait until I have you beside me, once more. Has it seemed a long time since I’ve held you darling? Have you really missed me? Not just when your alone or feeling blue, then it’s easy to miss a body. Do you really miss me? At odd times in the day. Have you looked at the office door, perhaps, wishing I could come in and take you to lunch? I hope you have. When someone, whom I’ve never met, but am terribly jealous of, takes you home, do you find yourself wishing, occasionally, that the arms you’re in were mine? Please!

Girl of mine! Just think, in less than a month, I shall be “home” and for awhile, you shall be really my girl again.

I hope that each time I leave you in the coming months, you shall come to miss me more and more, then we shall both know and this affair shall be one-sided no longer.

Well, my love, I must sleep a few hours, (very few) in order to be fit for my watch.

Sleep very well my love,

October 25, 1947

I happened to come across the rest of this letter in my drawer. Must have forgotten it was there. However, I could just as well have written it today as the same thoughts are in my head.

Except for the sailing date. as you know by a previous letter, we are due in Newport News, Va. on the 6th of December, and I’ll be home one or two days, at the most, after that. So, sweetheart, if any event arises that you think you’d condescend to be seen at, with me, I shall be free each and every night until after Christmas.

Cold as it probably will be, Brr! I shudder to think of it! We shall have to go to 3rd Cliff one day. And if there is snow at Guilford, we shall have to go there one Sunday anyway, (a visit to the scene of the crime?)

See if you and Tom and Gwen can decide on a few thing we could do, and a few places we could go on double dates. A good play, a ball game (I guess the season will be over by then though). How about “Pops”, have they started yet?


But, don’t you dare have anything planned our first night, for I want to rediscover you without too many witnesses.

I imagine, allowing two days to discharge cargo, another for annual inspection, and one more getting my relief, that I shall be home on the 10th of December; one day either way at the most. So far as I know, that is definite.

Honey, I’m giving you fair warning on this so I don’t expect any surprised comments from you. I expect to see you my first night home. If you should be out on a date, and see the Shields’ car in your yard, upon return, it will mean that I’m inside, waiting for you, and I don’t care who your date is, get rid of him but quick and come “home” to your Dave. Forewarned is forearmed!

Can you still not understand why I’m so positive and insistent about our love? Think this old one over:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
The evidence of things not seen!”

“The heart has reasons, of which, reason has no knowledge.”

I love you,

Yer ole Sea Daddy!


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