Glenn at home in Richards, Texas before the war
Remember the slightly underweight 18-year-old rural Texas boy who enlisted in the Army Air Corps in June, 1943 and wrote to his parents that he had to do “what I feel is right for me” following his enlistment? Eighteen months later, this 20-year-old young man horsed around with his Air Force buddies at a base near London, England – waiting for their first combat assignment. Thanksgiving had come and gone; now Christmas loomed large in their minds. They would be an ocean away from home during the holidays in 1944.
Glenn (on shoulders) and his buddies
On December 19, 1944, 2nd. Lt. Glenn L. Morris wrote this letter to his girlfriend Selma who was finishing her first semester at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
I promised myself that I’d write every day to you once I got overseas. Do I do that? Not quite. We do have a pretty heavy schedule right at the present. That should be over with fairly soon. Then I’ll try to write every 2 days anyway. It’s just twice as hard to write now since you can’t say anything that might endanger our security here. Oh well, I’ll have a lot to tell you when I get back. I probably won’t tell you much then, cause we’ll have more important things to talk about. Me & you, for example. Selma, do you want a ring. I mean, you told me all the time you didn’t, so I naturally believed you so sincerely that it made me quite unhappy, if you remember. Anyway, I wouldn’t give you one unless I was there in person.
There isn’t much entertainment for officers here. The food is good, I think. They don’t have much candy, however. That wasn’t so subtle, was it? If you can get any old beat up candy bars, ship them to your old daddy. Be a good baby cause I love you,
Meanwhile, back in Waco at Baylor University…
Selma made new friends
Glenn wrote another letter to Selma on December 22, 1944. He had marriage on his mind.
As the fog comes on little cats’ feet. (Where have I heard that before, oh yes ‘Fog’; Carl Sandberg). I’ve forgotten what romantic stuff I was about to give you. You’d be surprised at the sentimental thoughts I’ve been thinking anyway. By the way, will you marry me?
Last night Dan and I played basketball. We played two games and won both. Some sort of league. All I know is I can hardly walk I’m so sore. Honey, do you think I’m getting old. I’ve told you about my mustache, haven’t I? If I haven’t, it’s really sharp. Of course, it is a shade blonde. I think you would like it. Most of my public does.
Saw a show tonight, ‘Road to Frisco.’ It was pretty good. The title was ‘They Drive by Night’ when I saw it before.
Well, Baby, outa space again.
I love you,
On Christmas Eve, December 24, 1944 the Army Air Corps lieutenant wrote again to Selma.
As I think of all the Christmases past, my thoughts naturally are of you. You will always be associated with my pleasant memories. I have no memories other than good ones of you. In fact, I think of you as everything good. I’m not as good as you are, honey, in thousands of ways, but I do love you, if that makes up for any of my faults.
Would you like to know how I’m spending Xmas eve? Well, the whole crew got together a little while ago & played poker. I never played poker you know before getting into the Army. I think I’m weaker in many ways than I used to be. Well, we sent the boys (enlisted men) after some little pies they can buy at their club. They should be back shortly. We have a pretty good time together.
Darling, I’m anxiously awaiting your first letter. I’m sure you are writing and will never quit as I’ll never quit loving you.
Merry Xmas, Glenn”
Hm. Does absence make the heart grow fonder…or wander…
Selma and a boy named Tommy at Baylor
We’ll leave Glenn waiting for his first letter from Selma at Christmas with combat waiting for him just around the corner. His mother, father and sister Lucy celebrated Christmas in Texas, but both sons were worlds away so the mood was somber.
Glenn and Ray’s sister Lucy (far l. and far r.)
with their parents George and Betha