In this letter, Chuck mentions bartering with the “boatswain”. A boatswain is an occupational ranking for a member of a boat’s crew who trains, directs and supervises personnel in charge of ship maintenance duties—a manager of sorts, who acts as a middleman between the authority and the crew.

He also talks about a Kay Kyser broadcast he was excited to hear. Kay Kyser (James Kern “Kay” Kyser) was a popular radio personality during WWII. As part of his segment, he was a big band and swing vocalist and bandleader. His bands were in several era films. Chuck’s favorite music was big band and swing, for which he played percussion up until his passing. It isn’t surprising that this surfaces in his letters.

An interesting note is that the recipient address on this envelope is merely a city and state. At the time, Milford must have been a pretty small town. Or, Frank was a well-known city figure. Or, both. I’m not sure if letters would have been delivered to mailboxes, or picked up from a postal office. I grew up in Valdez, Alaska and the postal office was somewhat of a cultural epicenter just like the grocery store. Every day, everyone would stop at the post office to get their mail. I can see how it would be easy enough for a postal office to not need mailbox numbers in a small enough town.

Chuck also talks about a bowling alley. It sounds as though he purchased or acquired it himself somehow, then invested money into it. I don’t remember him ever talking about a bowling alley with me, so I’ll have to ask my father about it. Perhaps there is more to that story.

Letter home, envelope; May 16, 1944

Letter home, envelope; May 16, 1944

Charles D. Paul MoMM 3/c
SCTC Terminal Island
San Pedro, California

Mr. and Mrs. Frank O. Paul
Milford, Utah

U.S. Navy
May 16
6 PM

Letter home, page 1; May 16, 1944

Letter home, page 1; May 16, 1944

Letter home, page 2; May 16, 1944

Letter home, page 2; May 16, 1944


Dear Folks,
Well here I am still waiting to see what’s going to happen. All the fellows leaving now are going to Washington or oregon to get their ships. I have an idea I will be doing the same soon.

The weather has finally cleared up, and the sun is really pouring down. If it wasn’t for the flies and gnats, it would really be nice.

I finally got around to getting some liberty. You just have to know the right people. If I had a car to loan the boatswain, I could get a leave. one of my buds got a leave for just the reason. The boatswain uses it while he is gone. Some guys are just lucky.

When do you think you will be leaving Milford, or don’t you know? It would be nice if you could stay awhile.

If you can get anything out of the bowling alley, sell it. I don’t need it. You can have whatever it is worth. I wish I had never seen it. It cost me more than anything I have ever had or done.

Today is pay day and did I know it. I had to buy a few clothes and it left me flat.

Did you hear the Kay Kyser broadcast last week? I was fortunate enough to get on the front row. It was a pretty good program. he had a couple of star singers and a good band. I had a chance to get liberty that night, but am glad I stayed for the broadcast.

How is Don getting along? I hope he is well? How much does he say now?

It is chow time, and I can feel it.

With love,