World War II Letter by Joseph Flynn
November 2, 1942
We are on a cruise to Africa to engage the enemy. This ship has gone through a lot of preparation for this battle. My ship is only a part of a large convoy. There are quite a few troops with us and a lot of planes.
The only information that I have is that we are headed for Casa Blanca in Morocco, Africa. The fellows aboard are quite happy and they seem to realize that we are headed for actual battle
I am writing this letter in realization that this may be my last to my beloved parents. We may pull through, but there is also a possibility that I may meet death in battle. I cannot explain too much. My life so far has been pleasant and I was lucky to have such wonderful parents and brothers and sisters.
If I should lose my life , and I do believe that life is the sweetest thing that a person can possess. (sic)
I have Government insurance and dad has the regular insurance on me. Please use the money for the purposes that you and dad think best.
My bonds are few, but I would like you to have about $100.00 yourself. Save the rest for Errol, (he is talking about my dad) for when he grows up. I would like to see him become a priest. Use the money to see that he is educated to the best that the small sum would allow. It is not much, but it will help. I am sure the rest of the family will not mind me not giving them any material wealth. You deserve all that I can give and more. But tell them that their treasures are not always in the form of wealth. Life is the sweetest thing that they have. Guard it carefully. I give them my love and also to Dad. He gave much and asked little. The best father that I could ask for.
Give all my possessions as you deem fit. Give Helen my camera. If she does not want it she can get more the $100.00 for it.
Please don't grieve for me. I hope that I will be happy. All I request is that you remember me in your prayers and have a Mass said for me on my birthday and on the day that I lost my life. Am sending all my love and hopes to my mother and father and brothers and sisters. I went to communion just before we sailed.
Your beloved son,
This letter was written by a sailor that later died in battle on September 11, 1943 in Solerno, Italy onboard the USS Savannah, as a 21 year old from Lynn, Massachusetts