December 19
 1944 | 1945 | 1946| Years After
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A letter from Lt. Robert Marshall arrives detailing Guy's last mission. Also, a letter from George Martin shares observations from his son, Lt. Robert Martin, about his friendship with Guy and the December incident. The McMurry War Whoop features an article about Guy by Margaret Dickinson. Letters arrive from Lt. Robert Martin expressing his thoughts about Guy, and from a local boy, John Henry Mullins, who saw Guy just prior to take-off on December 19.
   February 1-5
Tuesday, February 1
Imagine getting seven letters in one day -. Yes sir - and four of them from service men. Lt. Marshall wrote the last time he saw you, you were close behind Capt. Faulkner as he made his recovery into the sun. He was following a Corsair F4U in trouble and went to help -. He said "It wasn't until I returned to the base that I learned that Guy and Cloudy had not returned -." He also said many nice things about you. A letter came from Lt. Martin also. He sure let us know how close all of you were. He tells of your empty cot - the good times you've had and the great possibility of you still being alive. He also said he and Lt. Marshall were given the job inventorying your belongings to be shipped home which was against their personal opinion but it was regulations. He also mentioned you Capt. Faulkner, & Lt. Marshall had been recommended for decorations. These Marines were real friends -. Late in the evening Rev. Gerhardt came by and brought some beautiful flowers..
Wednesday, February 2
Dorothy Jean had been invited to a birthday party and she had a cold and couldn't attend. I took a little gift to the little girl and then went over to the Book Store. This week there was a write up about you in "The McMurry War Whoop". So Irene gave me some copies that were lying around the book store. I hadn't been home long when I had an attack of Asthma - sure enough I had left my "flit gun" as D.J. calls it down at the store. I called Jim and he came in a big hurry to take me to my "flit gun". In the afternoon the Andersons came by and talked a long time they were kinda worried about Bob - . They heard on the radio about some Corsairs running into a storm and 6 of them were lost. This evening your Mom was blue and couldn't hold tears back. She had been holding tears back so long now -. I think she had held them back as long as she could. I feel sure she will feel better tomorrow.
Thursday, February 3
This is one of those days - no mail no news so I'll skip this day and tell you what happens or takes place at bed time most every night. If you've ever wondered how Patent Medicine Companies stay in business then you'll know when you finish reading this -. Dorothy Jean marches bravely back to the kitchen and while standing at attention I pour 1/2 of an aspirin in a teaspoon down her followed by a teasp. of Cod liver oil. As I tuck her in bed - she gets a good rub down with "Vicks vapor rub". Then for good measure I rub a little "Cuticura ointment" on her arms. That makes 1 down 3 to go -. You know I never could swallow a pill, well I've learned - I down 6 large capsules. Drink a little soda water. Jump into bed rub myself down with "Ben Gay" and then give the "flit gun" a few sprays in my mouth - That makes 2 down 2 to go -. I'll tell you the rest another dull day -.
Friday, February 4
Yes we are still with your folks. I cleaned house while your Mom went after the mail. If you will notice every day we hardly do anything until after mail time. There was a letter from Roy and one from V.J., too. Your Dad had written them and told them he would come and get V.J. and Judia. You can imagine how surprised they were to receive a letter from him. V.J. & Roy wanted them to bring Dorothy Jean & I with them. Your Mom had gone to get her hair set when your Dad came in with a special deliver letter from the Martins in Walla Walla Wash. also a telegram from your Uncle Homer. The Martins had heard from Bob and he told them about you -. Your Dad left immediately to meet the train Uncle Homer was coming in.
Saturday, February 5
No love, No nothing, til Judia Faye comes home - words sung by D.J. as we all prepared to go to Corsicana -. The Andersons came by and brought a letter Bob had written your Mom. It was very nice and encouraging. I didn't tell you a boy named John Henry Mullins wrote to his folks here and said he talked to you before you took off - on your last raid -. He said he was waiting to see you at the field when the fliers returned and said you did not return/come back but you got lots of Japs before they got you -. Your Dad came in and said Howard phoned the bus was broken down in Dallas he wouldn't be home. Your Mom was all upset because Roy & V.J. were expecting us in Corsicana Sun. Marie was planning to go down too -. She phoned him and he headed for home. Wish you were going along.

   January 22 from Lt. Robert Marshall
Lt. R.M. Marshall, USMCR
VMF 216, Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Cal

January 22

Lt. Robert Marshall
Dear Friends,
By this time you have surely received notice from the Navy that your son has been missing in action since December 19. I wanted to write to you immediately but was told to wait until you received official notice.

I know that there isn't much I can do or say that will help in any way but I thought you would be interested in knowing what happened. Captain Faulkner was leading Guy and myself on an escort mission over Rabaul. We saw some friendly planes in trouble and dove down to help them. Captain Faulkner made his recovery into the sun with Guy close behind. I was a little behind them but followed until I saw an F4U diving with a zero on its tail. It did not appear to be in serious trouble but I went to help. While I was maneuvering and firing at the first Zero some more got on my tail. I rolled to avoid being shot down and was unable to find any of my flight after that. It wasn't until I had returned to base that I learned that Guy and Cloudy had not returned.
I have too much faith in our planes to believe that either of them were killed. My own plane had about three hundred holes in it but I was only scratched. We all believe that they were forced down and either are captured or are waiting to be picked up by friendly patrols. Many pilots have been found after living with the natives for months. I hope that will be the case this time.

In the meantime it was necessary to return Guy's personal effects to you. Lt. Martin and myself inventoried them and have turned them over for shipment to you. Much of our khaki clothing has been ruined here so we did not return all of Guy's. If there is anything missing please let us know and we will try to find it.

Guy was a splendid officer and a popular man in the squadron. Captain Faulkner, Guy, Martin, and myself had lived and flown together since we left the States. We really miss them. However we have not given up hope that they will be found safe and well.

If there is anything we can possibly do please let us know.

R. M. Marshall

   February 2 from the George Martins
Walla Walla

My dear Mrs. Kemper:

We received a letter from Our Bob, on Jan. 20th telling us of the sorrowful happenings that entered your Home on Dec 19th. At this late date we want to express our Heartfelt Sorrow and most sincere Sympathies to you as one Parent to another. You will never realize how happy you made us by your letter of Jan 7th. We have regarded you as a neighbor ever since, knowing that you as well as ourselves were interested in more than a casual way in that Flight Group of which Our Sons were members. That picture has taken on added sentimental value at this Home, because, we feel since corresponding with you that we had two boys instead of one in that Flight and knew from your interest you felt the same about it in Bob's letter. He started two sentences to tell us to tell you, but each time, he seemed to ponder over whether to write them, and ended up, "just forget it for now" as I can't seem to think of what I really wanted to say, but added "you write Mrs. Kemper a damn nice letter as Her Boy was Tops and My Real Friend. He was one of our Best Pilots and it's just like losing a Cog out of a Machine since he has been gone." He remarked that he was the last one to see you son off on that mission, and said to tell you that if your Son went down, you could be assured that like all Good Marines, He did so after He had given all He had, including His Life. He also remarked that if we knew what happened on that day, that Guy's Mother might be writing the consoling note to Bob's parents. i believe that if you write Lt. R. E. Martin, that you will receive some consoling facts and other happenings of the Boys of that Flight since they went into that part of the Pacific. It's Navy, no number as yet, because he is in Australia but will be back in combat, maybe, before this note reaches you. Bob is not an emotional Lad but was very much broken up over this one sad Event in your Life.

It seems rather cruel that for the few short years we have had them that now they should be called upon to Fight and see that we might continue to live a Free People, but as words are rather meaningless at a time like this, we have the consoling thought that your Boy and Ours would have it no other way and that they did and will continue to do the job they loved Best. When Bob was Home on leave a friend asked him why he picked that dangerous Branch of The Service and he remarked, "I don't want any mistakes to cost anyone else their Lives and you have to be Tops to rate a Marine Commission." And as He wrote us, your Son had been one of the Neighborhood Gang of years gone by and that we hope you consider Bob as such.

With Our most sincere Hopes that The Good Lord will give you Strength and Consolation in This your Darkest Moment.

We remain
Sincerely Yours

Mr. & Mrs. Geo. T. Martin
366 Chase Ave.

I sent Bob your address with instructions to write you, but he like all other boys are or is rather at a loss as to what to write to a person he has never met, and I am confident that if you write him personally you will get a reply, also if we get any further word we will let you know.

   January 23 from Lt. Robert Martin
My dear Mr. & Mrs. Kemper,

Lt. Robert Martin
I hardly know what I want to say, yet there is so much to be said. When Johnny Hartig was killed we were all so busy getting ready to come out, that none of us had time to realize really what it meant. But since the time Guy was missing until the last of December, there was little else to think of at night. His cot was next to mine and remained unoccupied until we left.
As you know we have lived together since the middle of last April and shared so many good times together. Even now there is a space in this hut for his bed if he were here. But, and this is what I want to convince you of, and what I want to say more than anything else, he is only missing, and there is good reason to believe that, at worst, he may be a prisoner of war. And also he may have gotten from the water to the jungle. And we have some of our own men up there to take care of such pilots as many get to the jungle. So please don't say he's dead and let it go at that

I was given the job, and it was very unpleasant of inventorying his belongings together with Lt. Marshall. While all of his belongings may not be shipped home, only those with no personal significance will be left behind. We had to do this because of regulations and our personal opinions did not enter in.

I want to think you ever so much for sending those clippings to my folks. Tey were very thirlled and pleased to thing that anyone woulod do something such as that. Altho they do not know Guy, they do know who he is and what he looks like, as the picture of our flight from Melbourne was always kept on the fireplace mantle..

Before I close I want you to know that Guy has been recommended for decorations and that he, together with Captain Faulkner and Lt. Marshall went in to help two other men who they did not even know. But they did know that they would have to go against such tremendous odds that it would only be luck if they succeeded.

I've flown with the best pilots the Marine Corps has. Guy was one of the finest and bravest I have ever had the privilege to fly with.

Bob Martin

   January 11 from John Henry Mullins
Jan 11 -

Guy was shot down over enemy territory during a bombing raid - they escorted the bombers up there but a lot of the Zeros went down, he got several of the Zeros before they got him. I was talking to him just before they took off & was there when he left. One of the pilots told me all about it when he got back then went to look for him but couldn't find anything. Anderson is still ok.

Family travels to Corsicana to see Roy and get V.J. and Judia. Roy has orders to report to Goodfellow Field in San Angelo. Mrs. Kirwan reports hearing a radio program about Guy's mission. Letters arrive from Kae Olivadoti and Lt. William Nowadnick's wife, Doris.
   Febuary 6-12
Sunday, February 6
It was 7:20 A.M. and we were on our way to Corsicana to get V.J. and Judia. We arrived at 1:00 to find Judia - a "big girl". The phone rang - it was Roy he wanted us to come get him -. It had been nearly a year since I had seen Roy and was I ever glad to see him. Of course your Mom & Dad were just beside themselves -. Your Mom took a picnic ham & Hot rolls. Think Roy - didn't eat?! Oh My! We all just talked & played with Judia. Roy took the car and went to the field by 10:00P.M. and everyone went to bed except V.J. & I. We stayed up and washed dishes -. Since we hadn't seen each other in so long we lay in bed and talked til' about 2 or 3:00 A.M. Did your ears burn that night - if so - now you know why-. It was all good tho- Honest!
Monday, February 7
We were awakened by the phone ringing - it was Roy saying the commanding officer was mad and wouldn't let them come in until 10:00. Then here he came at 10:00 with a big smile on his face -. Yes sir! He knew where he was going - The "only one" in his class too - His orders were Goodfellow Field, San Angelo -! We jumped up and down with joy. Then - wouldn't you know it - Roy took your Dad to an Auction Sale. After they returned we packed the car and I mean packed - in the car and headed for home --. On arriving we found a big stack of letters we had written to you returned and the long lost - Howard. He had Uncle Homer with him. Uncle Homer stayed up with Howard until after check in.
Tuesday, February 8
Get up HOWARD get up I wanna get up -! It was D.J. waking us up -- at 9:00AM - ! You see Howard & I hadn't been together in so long that we talked until 6:00 A.M. -. So you can imagine how wonderful we felt getting up at 9:00.
We went down to the store. I went to bed while your Mom fed D.J. Howard felt awake enough to take your Grandmother and Uncle Homer to look at some property. After check in your Mom fixed Howard's clothes so he and Uncle Homer could leave. Yes I said leave. They are going to Dallas to get the bus and try to get the fare raised to 7 cents. He was also going to track down a rumor Mrs. Kirwan told him about. It seems a woman told her she heard on a Radio program that Lt. G.H. Kemper and two other fliers were attacked by 13 Zeros and you shot down 12 of them before the 13th got you -.
Wednesday, February 9
Dorothy Jean and I spent the night with your folks since Howard was away -. I forgot to tell you in the mail yesterday was a letter from Kae Olivadoti, Mrs. Juanita Marshall & Mrs. W. R. Nowadnick. Kae told your Mom about you sending the beautiful grass skirt to her from Hawaii. She said she received your Mom's letter telling about you the day she got the proofs of the pictures she had made for you - .So she is going to send it to your Mom to keep for you -. The other letters were certainly sweet. Doris N. said Bill had just sailed. In the news today an island in the Kurile Is. Not far from Japan was bombed, there was no resistance. It's Wednesday we got the news about you and all day your Mom has been blue -. This day is always hardest for her the day tears must come.
Thursday, February 10
Roy phoned V.J. last night and said he didn't think she could come down because he wouldn't get to leave the base very much. Around 2:00 Marie Judia phoned your Mom from Dallas telling her she had been sick was the reason she did not come to Corsicana Sunday but said Roy spent between trains in Dallas with her and they visited with the Kirwans. Your Mom's Club met today but she did not feel like going. She has felt so blue. All day just worrying about you. Bless her heart I wish I could be of some help to her. V.J. and Judia came down this evening and are planning to spend the night. The radio just reported Wake had been bombed 12 times so far -. I was expecting Howard home today maybe he will come home sometime in the night with some news about that rumor.
Friday, February 11
There never was anyone glad to see morning as I was -. Why? Because Howard came in - in the middle of the night and crawled in bed with V.J. & I - oh! He slept quite well but we - well skip it -. Judia was first awake - she slept with your Mom & Dad - . Howard told me Mrs. Kirwan didn't remember the woman's name that told her but she would try and find out. In the morning's mail I got a new jumper dress, blouse and leather belt for my birthday. D.J. got a lb. of valentines from Big Spring. V.J. had to go home her Mom was sick. I moved back home and then Howard & D.J. & I went to see "Guadalcanal Diary" Jim Thorp's son was in the picture. After the show we went by Charity's. Your folks came by with V.J. Uncle Homer came in --. Say - we sure let everyone at the show know we were Marine fans - !
Saturday, February 12
ToDAY is the Birthday of Jean, dots - me!!
I woke up this morning taking another darn cold --! Fine birthday present! I stayed in bed and cut out Valentines. Your Grandmother had given her a book of Valentines. Your Mom got a letter from Mickey Chilton's mother today. She said Mickey was in the Solomons Islands too but he had a different no. and was based at a different field from you. Your Dad took your Uncle Homer to the country with him. Say - you remember Billie Logsdon she had a 7 lbs. Girl today. Howard came in this evening and brought 1/2 of the grocery store I think plus a 9 lb. cooked picnic ham -. I fixed supper. Howard really did eat. It had been a long time since he had eaten at home.
   February 3 from Kae Olivadoti
February 3, 1944

My dear Mrs. Kemper -

Kae Olivadoti
I received your very sweet letter yesterday. I notice it is dated Jan. 30. It must have been held up somewhere along the line, because I should have received it before this.

I want to thank you so much for the clipping. You know, it helps a lot to at least know the whole story. Now, more than ever. I feel certain that Guy is safe somewhere.

Please Mrs. Kemper, certainly I realize how you must feel, but you must try to get some sleep. It is most important that you keep your health. Even if you have to have your doctor give you a mild sedative, at least you will be able to have a restful sleep. I, too, wish I were down there now to be able to talk to you. You can't imagine how difficult it is for me to put on paper what is in my mind and heart. It would be so much easier to talk with you.

I don't know whether Guy wrote and told you or not, but last Nov. he sent me a grass skirt outfit from Hawaii. He said he was sending me a present on one condition, that I have a picture taken. I guessed right away what it was & sure enough - a grass skirt. I wish you could see it. It is the most beautiful outfit I have ever seen. (I've seen some which girls from my office have received from their boyfriends). It is complete - from ankle bracelets to bra - top. The skirt is real grass and dyed a very bright yellow, with pink flowers around the hips. The bra and the lei and bracelets are red and white. At first I was a little backward about having a picture taken in the outfit, but I had promised Guy I would have it done as soon as I worked up enough courage. I finally went downtown & had the job done. Then I received your first letter with the sad news, the day after I got the proofs of the pictures. You can imagine how I felt. I could have kicked myself for not having the pictures taken sooner - and Guy wanted one so badly. I went ahead and put in an order and had some made. They are supposed to be ready on the 10th. If they are, here's what I would like to do. If you don't mind Mrs. Kemper, I would like to send one to you, to keep for Guy. Would you mind too much? The picture really isn't beautiful, but I know how much he wanted one - and I promised.

I don't know if you have seen a picture of me before, if not, I am going to enclose a snapshot so that at least the first time you see a photo of me I will be decently garbed. Don't misunderstand - it isn't that the Hawaiian pictures are indecent, it is just the fact that I don't think it would be just the right kind of picture for a first glimpse of a person.

In my last letter I told you what a wonderful person Guy is. (I say "is" because, well, I just know he's safe) I have always thought very highly of Guy. Of course, there never were any serious intentions between us. To me, he is the most marvelous and most sincere friend I have ever had. I liked Guy very much, altho' I knew I was not in love with him. Yet, he is the type of person I would love to have near me. Love had never even entered my mind - if it had, it probably would have been so strong and besides I was happy, just to know him - tho' I hadn't known him very well. But still, when I was with him (just 3 times while he was here) I felt as tho' I'd known him for years and years. That's the kind of person he is. I loved his company. So wonderful to talk to - and so much fun to be with. I never want to forget him - one in a million - that's Guy.

If it will be all right to send that picture to you Mrs. Kemper, please let me know. And above all, if there is any more news of Guy, I'm sure you won't hesitate to let me know. I have faith in God, and I know our prayers and pleas will be answered.
With love and high hopes,

   February 4 from Doris Nowadnick
1718 Robin Drive
Corpus Christi, Texas
February 4, 1944

My dear Mr. and Mrs. Kemper

Doris Nowadnick
Please forgive me for addressing the envelope so peculiarly, but I haven't the remotest idea how else to get in touch with you and am not even sure that this will reach you.

I'm Bill Nowadnick's wife. You have probably heard Guy speak of him. They went through training together in Corpus and Florida.

I had a letter from Bill today. He's been overseas for almost two months now. In his letter, he said that he had received a letter from Guy and was sending it on to me as it would be the last letter we would ever get from him. I do hope I misconstrued his meaning, but I'm terribly afraid I didn't.

Guy meant an awful lot to both of us. He was Bill's dearest friend. One of Bill's greatest regrets was that he got behind in his training while he had pneumonia and didn't get to go in the same squadron with Guy.

To me, he was a fellow Texan in the midst of mobs of Yankees. And, fortunately for me, he knew quite a bit about cooking and helped me more that a little during my first few months of homemaking.

Bill told me several times that Kemper was a natural born fighter pilot and that he had rather fly with him than anyone else he knew.

He was truly a wonderful person and we all loved him dearly. It's pretty hard for me to express just what I feel because I'm so very worried about Bill. Of course, there's little we can do - except work, hope, and pray for an early victory.

Please believe me when I say my very deepest sympathy goes out to all of you and your loss is, in a smaller way, our loss, too.

Doris Nowadnick

Follow-up from the Marine Corps
Inventory of Guy's property

Letters from Lt. Mickey Chilton, Lt. Robert Martin, and the George Martins. Prof. Bynum speaks about Guy during a program at McMurry. A package arrives with some of Guy's property.
    February 13-19
Sunday, February 13
As I opened the morning paper there was Paul Clark's picture he is missing in action over Germany. He leaves a wife and she is expecting a baby -. Your Mom went to see Mrs. Clark this morning. Mrs. Clark's son Gene is in Italy -. I felt a little worse today - and so I stayed in bed most of the day. V.J. came over in the afternoon and brought me a birthday present - and D..J. a valentine from Judia. Listen did I tell you about your Dad? He honestly can hardly see how to read the paper each night -. He borrows your Mom's glasses every night. One night he had them on and someone knocked at the door - he yanked them off in a fury - and said - "Here Honey, take your glasses." No sir, he didn't want anyone to see him in glasses.
Monday, February 14
Today is Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine to you Guy - wherever you are -. If you wanta know I feel awful I have a temp. 102 and I feel like I'm taking pneumonia honest -. I had written my mother I was sick - so she just phoned to see how I was feeling -. Your Mom came out and cleaned house and to take care of Dorothy Jean and I. I forgot to tell you D.J. woke up vomiting -. One dose of medicine cured her though. Your Mom brought me a birthday present. Howard told me when I get well I could go down and buy me a new dress -. This must have been too much for me because - my temp. - went to 103 - . Mother sent me medicine and D.J. some "big girl stuff". D.J. got a big stack of Valentines.
Tuesday, February 15
I feel better today my temp. 101. Dorothy Jean feels fine. Your Mom spent the night with me. In the morning mail I got another jumper dress my mother made it and sent it to me. Your Mom got a letter from Mickey Chilton. He said he had heard about you and he told your Mom the same things the other boys had written. He said they thought you would show up sometime somewhere - they felt like you were still alive somewhere. Mrs. Blanks came by to see your Mom. D.J. sang some songs for her so she took D.J. home with her so she could sing for her family. She and D.J. made a date to go to the Book store the next morning to buy ice cream.
Wednesday, February 16
Your Mom spent the night again last night. Howard came in with the mail -.
Guy's watch
The government sent your personal belongings back to your Mother. She opened the package immediately to see what was there. Your watch was beginning to rust so Howard took it to Crowell Jewelry. We just wondered if this was all they would send back -. There was also a nice letter from Bob Martin. I phoned Miss Iris Graham to ask her about what Mrs. Blanks had told us. Miss Graham said Mr. Bynum made a long talk about you in your honor during a program at McMurry Friday. Uncle Jeff came in yesterday he ate supper with us tonight. I still have a little temp - today but I am much better.
Thursday, February 17
I feel a lot better today so your Mom's going home. I talked to Mava on the phone she said she heard from Elmer and he sure hated to hear about you. She heard from "Potsy" Gates too - he said it was hard news to take - but he prayed for you every night. --
Now back to the bed-time story -. Your Mom gets her orange ready - pours out her mineral oil and then goes over and sits down. When she has built up nerve enough to take it she runs over downs the oil followed by the orange. Finding the Doan's Kidney Pills - downs one and then for good measure she takes a soda mint tablet. After trimming her corns and putting a little eye water in her eyes - Yes - she's ready for bed -. That makes us 3 down and 1 to go -. I'll continue another day -- is that ok with you --?
Friday, February 18
I got up to do a days work and didn't realize how weak I was. Your Mom stayed in close and worked at home the weather is so cold out -. As Howard says -"someone left the barbed wire fence down between here & Lubbock - ." Your Grandmother is better she has been ill again. Some startling news came over the radio - Truk has been attacked but no details - . Then - our worst loss - 1000 perish when an allied ship was sunk in European waters - .
Of course this one to go is your Dad - yes a real GranDad. He takes a swig of mineral oil as easily as a sot can drink liquor. Then a cold capsule. Yes - he's ready for bed but far from doctoring. He gives his side a rub down with Red Arrow liniment. Yes the ole stand-by black salve goes between his toes. And last a bit of cuticura ointment on his feet and hands. All down, none to go - lights out!!
Saturday, February 19
In the morning's mail there was a letter from Mrs. Nall - remember her -? Howard lived at her house in Big Spring - . I had written her because her adopted son Johnny is missing over France. Johnny was born during the other war in France. She was awful sorry to hear about you, she remembered meeting you. V.J. phoned and said Judia had another sty on her eye - . Poor little thing she has had boils & stys for the past few months -. My Mom phoned to see how I was - . Oh! Yes the Fourth War Loan drive is over and the whole nation went way over the top. Admiral Nimitz said our Marines were still advancing in the Marshalls. Roy phoned that he was going to have some time off so Howard, Uncle Homer and V.J. are leaving at 7:00 - for Angelo - .

   February 3 from Lt. Mickey Chilton
1st Lt. Mickey Chilton
VMF-223 c/o FPO
San Francisco, Calif.
February 3, 1944

Dear Mrs. Kemper:
Lt. Mickey Chilton
I just received your letter of January 16, and will do my best to tell you everything I know. On Dec. 19 Guy was flying with Capt. Faulkner in the neighborhood of Rabaul. Some of the bombers dropped back & they stayed to cover them. A couple of the boys below them got into trouble and they went down to help them out and were jumped by some Zeros. Lt. Marshall went down and shot one off their tail and before he could do anymore he was severely shot up himself. That is the last that Marshall saw of either of them. We still haven't given up hope that he will be found safe and in good health, and you mustn't either. Having flown with Guy at Melbourne, I know that he is an excellent pilot and he has a good head on his shoulders. No one seems to know what happened after Marshall had to leave. If I find out anything more about Guy I'll write you immediately.
My folks & I certainly appreciated the letter you wrote them and the clippings you sent. If there is anything I can possibly do for you please let me know and I will be only too glad to do it. Keep your chip up Mrs. Kemper & remember that a few prayers for Guy's safe return might help a lot.

   January 31 from Lt. Robert Martin
R. Martin, 1st Lt. USMCR
1st Marine Aircraft Wing
Flight Echelon, c/o FPO
San Francisco, Calif.

My dear Mrs. Kemper,
Lt. Robert Martin
I just received your letter inquiring about Guy. I know what you must have gone through, and am quite provoked at certain parties for having caused it.
At the time Lt. Marshall and myself debated quite a while and finally consulted with our skipper whether we could write to you or not, and he was quite firm in stating that no one should write until the official announcement had been made.

We wrote just as soon as was possible. I think you can understand why those things are done in that manner. And I'm just as sure that the letter that was written to Cap't Faulkner's folks passed uncensored, as bases are never mentionable.

I know by now that you will have already received my first letter and all I can do now is to repeat that there is every hope in the world that Guy is still alive.
I know that these letters are not very satisfactory but I've tried to give you all the facts and some of my own feelings, much the same as I would have liked Guy to have done were the situation reversed.

God bless you Mrs. Kemper and don't give in to any thoughts that Guy is anything but alive somewhere.


   February 11 from the George Martins
Walla Walla

Dear Friends:

We received your most interesting and descriptive letters and appreciate them more than we can say, because we know the heartaches and tears that went into every line, but at this time I want to remark that you are taking it on the chin, standing up and if your son were there, that is the way he would wish it to be, and I'll say "Orchids and our most sincerest admiration of and to you and all American parents who are called on to suffer on account of this cruel turn of events. We feel that clipping, "A Thought for Today" was very appropriate and I would say at this time that you are one of the few people you meet nowadays who put their Trust in God. Money and social climbing seem to be in order with the Majority.

I do not know your church affiliation, but regardless of what it is, our trust in a Supreme Being at all times, and especially in a time like yours will most certainly ease you over the rough spots. The Service Flag in our church (which happens to be Catholic) has or did have nearly three hundred Blue Service Stars, but they are rapidly being replaced by those of Gold, and it certainly is a reminder of the Need of One in Whom we can place our trust.

We are proud of Bob's letter to you, and knowing that it was written with his heart and feeling throws us because he was never a boy to show his feelings, and we never knew what was going on behind those Blue Eyes of His. I know that your son and himself were very close, because when the boys went into flying, regardless of what Base, they had to make a will, and in it name the "Buddy" who was to take care of their property and accompany the remains to their Home. That was if it happened in the States and Bob remarked when Home that he hoped he was never called on for a Duty such as that. Because The Boys were a wreck when returning from such a mission and from his word to us, I'll add that you can consider him an adopted son as he seemed to be more attached to your Boy, than any friend we have ever known him to have since childhood. We have not heard from Bob for over two weeks, but he remarked about being ready to go back to combat, and maybe he is farther away than during his last combat base and we can't help but worry and look for the mailman each day. Again we want to thank you for your grand letters and for the copies of those others. I also noted that you had one from the Commanding Officer. It really makes you feel good to know that the Boss is up there leading the Boys, and not directing them from a nice chair somewhere in a safe place by remote control. We would most certainly be glad to hear of your Family, because we were under the impression that Guy was your one and only.

Hoping and Praying that before long, that you might be awakened early some morning with the News, Safe, Letter following.

Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Martin

One of the fortune teller's predictions falls through. Howard receives his draft notice and reports to the draft board for a physical examination.

   February 20-26
Sunday, February 20
Remember the fortune teller said we would get an official message from the government you were a prisoner of war today -. But we did not get one - . It just came over the radio, details on the Truk attack - the Jap's Pearl Harbor. They lost 201 planes, 50 damaged, air fields destroyed, 26 Jap ships sunk - this happened the 16th & 17th. The second day of the attack there was not one Jap plane in the air. Can you guess why? We got one ship damaged and lost 17 planes. Hurrah for us! Your Dad just called he said your Mom didn't feel so well - she has a sore throat. Well - it is late and no sign of Howard, V.J., and Uncle Homer. I guess they will come-in in the night. Good night to you - Guy wherever you are and God bless you - .
Monday, February 21
Yes sir - Howard did come home late in the night - . Gosh! Was I glad to see him. He's been gone so much lately - . He said Roy was really homesick to see everyone. Howard showed them the city, etc. so you know they really had a grand time. They also saw the Ray Olivadoti's. The Corsairs were mentioned in the news today for the first time in a long time. They attacked Cape St. George in New Ireland. Oh! I wish we could hear from you - we think of you all the time -. If there was anyone to want to be in the middle of things - you would - right now -. Maybe you can soon -- let's hope so - . Guy if you do show up - it will take a special airplane to carry all your mail. We all feel badly because we didn't write more often - .
Tuesday, February 22
What a way to celebrate George Washington's birthday - working. Anyway I sent 68 lbs. of laundry off - cleaned house and washed that blonde-headed kid's hair of mine. Your Mom has been resting she hasn't felt so well. V.J. came over and brought Judia. They just reported on the radio that we bombed the Kurile Is. And we attacked the Nip's convoy off the New Ireland coast, we sunk 6 freighters -. They are still moving up on the Marshalls. You know I feel right sorry for Howard -. Every time he hears the word Marine his face turns pink and his eyes fill with tears he just sorta trembles all inside -. He says he just can't help it - he feels sorta proud or something. He doesn't know what it is about the word Marine that makes him feel that way - but I do - don't you -?
Wednesday, February 23
Howard didn't sleep well - and when he did wake up he said, "I just know I've got some mail, I've got to go and get it -. Maybe something about Brother." Well - he did get some mail - from the draft board - he's 1A -! Your Mom got a very nice letter from Major Ben Hargrave, Jr. We had never heard of him before but the way he wrote you were all good friends. Howard phoned for me to get ready - we are going to Big Spring in less than an hr. Howard read the papers from the draft board over, it said if you think there is anything wrong come before the 25th. So - we arrived about 9:00 and were my folks surprised -!!
Thursday, February 24
My Mom's house is a mess they are having the kitchen done over - new paint, paper, linoleum it sure is going to be nice. Howard got up too late to meet the bus -. Uncle Homer was coming through on the bus on his way to the Carlsbad Caverns and El Paso. Back at home V.J. and Judia spent the night with your Mom & Dad. Howard went to the draft board and then to the doctor. The doctor looked at his side - and said with a frown on his face - he had never seen such a hernia that bad before -. He said he had never turned down a man with a hernia before but he was now -. He also said he wouldn't live 10 years in that condition that he had to have something done -. If he had to have an emergency operation he might not make it through. So they bid him farewell -.
Friday, February 25
It is very lonesome today. Why? Because we left Dorothy Jean in Big Spring for a visit. I packed her a suit case and sent it to her on the bus. I'll bet D.J. isn't lonesome - knowing her and how she likes to have a good time. V.J.'s Mom is sick but she is still with your folks. V.J. is really proud. Roy phoned he was the only one in his class to solo. Pretty good I'd say -. I went to your Mom's for a little visit and took Judia for a little walk. Howard came in and we ate dinner at Doyles Cafe then went to a show. Oh my - did I tell you Dorothy Jean wants a baby sister. She asked me where she could get one so I told her she would have to pray for one -. So - every night - she asks for a baby sister -.
Saturday, February 26
Howard and I mailed Dorothy Jean a package. V.J. just phoned and asked me to go to San Angelo with her she's leaving this afternoon to see Roy. She just got back from taking Judia to the doctor, Judia is sick. He's giving her sulfa and some tonic. Mrs. Boyd came down and visited most of the afternoon with your Mom. Mrs. Boyd sure has been sweet to your Mom. Howard left early with three bus loads of soldiers for Ranger. They will come back tomorrow. I cleaned house and ironed -. Nothing to do - my family all gone -. I vont to be a - lone -! I stayed all by myself -. The radio reported the Americans hit Guam and Marianas. Knox says the Nips fleet is at home. We strike closer to Tokyo every day --.

Letters from Julia Sullivan, a former landlady, and the George Martins.

   February 27-29
Sunday, February 27
Tis Sunday and I stayed by myself - last nite I had planned to go to church and when I woke up it was raining - 90 per - outside. I've never seen such a rain -. I hope it fills your Dad's tanks he really needs water -. V.J. is in Angelo today, Howard's in Ranger, D.J.'s in Big Spring - and me - I'm at home darn it! I spent the after noon at your Mom's playing with Judia -. I taught her to say "Verla Joyce", "carrots", "spinach", and "Roy". The little mess can say anything when she wants to -. Your Mom, Dad & Judia & I went riding all over town. Judia wanted to get out -. Howard came in about 8:30 so we headed home to get some sleep - . Nighty Night!
Monday, February 28
Guy I guess you wish I would just skip the whole thing - because it's rather boring I know - especially days like this one -. Anyway - instead of eating 3 meals a day - then going to bed like the average, we ate 2 meals - and didn't go to bed til morning. (2:00). Your Grandmother fell today and hit her left side on a chair. The Dr. taped her up - he doesn't think she broke any ribs -. She really feels tough tho -. Did I tell you about the war correspondent over on Bougainville? He said the boys were loading bombs in the planes to be dropped on Rabaul and they were writing things on them with chalk. One boy wrote this on a bomb - "Have you heard this one? - It'll kill ya!" Pretty cute - huh?
Tuesday, February 29
Oh! This date reminds me of Leap Year! My one chance oh! I forgot - I'm married!
Guess what? I answered a chain letter for the first time - and today I got a 25 cent war stamp from Toledo Ohio. In this chain letter you send war stamps instead of money -. Say, remember Miss Sullivan in San Angelo? I received the nicest letter from her today. That ole lady sure did like you. I received a rather personal letter from Dorothy Jean also -! Howard is developing pictures. There's some mess in the kitchen and I might add - there's a pan full of pictures of you -. I wonder why anyone would want a picture of the Lt? Huh? There isn't much doin' down your Mom's way -. She's writing letters. Good bye until tomorrow -.

   February 23 from Julia Sullivan
Feb 23, 1944
318 Spaulding
San Angelo, Tex.
Mrs. Howard Kemper
324 Sycamore
Abilene Texas

My dear Jean -
I was indeed glad to hear from you but your sad news about Guy actually made me sick the rest of the day. However I'm glad that you wrote me about it as I shall make special mention of him in my daily prayers. Surely if there is a chance in a million for him to save himself he is physically and intellectually fitted to do it.

All through the war my tenants have been soldiers . I've had Lts. Corporals, Pfc's, Cap and one Major - but not one of these seemed to come up to Guy. He was so fine in every way - with such pleasant natural mannerisms, and I had a lot of time to enjoy him being here because Howard slept late and Guy was always up early. He would stand around with me while I watered the lawn - fed the chickens, etc. then we finished up with our orange juice on the front porch. He would not let me fix his breakfast because he wanted to eat with Howard, and they always went to town. However it seems that those islands where he is missing are the worst yet. Are you reading the Col. Dyers story that has just ended in Standard Times? If you are not, get the book by all means when it comes out.

I was indeed sorry to hear of your many illnesses Jean and better be on your guard. That's why I stayed in Texas when I came only to stay one month in 1917. All my life I had asthma in Missouri but not one spell of it in Texas. No one can tell me of the suffering that it brings - I know it all too well. No doctor, no medicine, no diet nothing brought relief there. But Texas dear old Texas meant a new life to me. But my hands - they bother me yet not as well as they were when you were here. Did you hear that Judy May and Tobey have a son - born last Oct. in California? So, Dorothy Jean is 4. I'd love to see her. Hope her hair stayed platinum blonde. I often think of her, how unusual she was. Tell her I'm still using her purse. And that blue dress that you refused to finish and gave to me (shortening) turned out so well. Let me hear when you hear from Guy. So many do turn up O.K. when listed for months as missing.
Love to all
Julia Sullivan
Feb. 25 - 44

I have a Lt. from Boston Mass. in your apt. He is a flier and his wife is from Denver.

   February 24 from the George Martins

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Kemper:

Your letter of Feb. 16th, received and were very sorry to learn of illness in your family, but trust at this time that you have fully recovered. We have had a siege of "Flu" in this town and county, and our hospitals are overflowing. Our Air Base has been vacated and it makes a kind of lonesome appearance now at night to see all the rows of lights and unlighted buildings. At its peak, I think we had 25,000 men, but like everything military, it was all hearsay. Bob worked on the runways in the Eng. Dept. before going into Service. But we have a 500 bed Vet. Hosp. from War One, and The McCan Hosp. "Army" of War Two 1500 beds and it is being enlarged. They are both built at the edge of our town, on 640 acres that was formerly Old Fort Walla Walla, the oldest in the Pacific Northwest.

Our weather over which the Chamber of Commerce has no control is not much to our liking as last Fall was dry and our wheat crop is yet to be planted. This is a wonderful Pea and Wheat District, as well as Truck and other Products, also we raise a large crop of prunes and apples. The growers claim that they were not making a dime, but notice they have a large number of bonds, and seem to have their nice cars and it's business as usual. I know we made some money, on a smaller scale than some, so I guess the bigger ones are not suffering too much.

Our local paper carried an account of The Bulldog Sqdn as well as a picture of Bob. I'm sending you a clipping and please note that the acct. does not tally with the letters you received from Bob and the other boys, although it was written by a Marine Correspondent.

Sam Hayes of Sperry Flour had it first on his broadcast and he sent us a nice letter of 257 words with his compliments and it was written and dressed up by Him.

I don't know just how far Abilene is from San Antonio but I do know that our Howard would be more than pleased to visit you, if it is possible because the boy certainly loves to travel and sometime in April he is going to realize his ambition as Uncle Sam will furnish him transportation about that time. He will come out of that Base either a Flight Officer or a Navigator. From his letters he is not one bit in love with the climate down there, but I think the main reason is the daily letters from a young lady in this town.

As to your question of what happened on Dec 19th, Bob remarked maybe we had better not tell you but after what you have gone through up to now, I'll tell you with the understanding you are not to mention same to Bob. On Dec 19th when ordered out to combat, it simmered down to one plane and two pilots, Bob and your son. A piece of silver was flipped, Heads or Tails and Guy won the toss and the plane and that has troubled Bob ever since, and if you will notice, that Flight was one short on that date. I don't know whether there is a shortage of planes there or what, but I'd rather you would ask Bob, for or about any outstanding memory between the two of them on Dec 19th. So from that happening and their months together you can see it has been a real blow to him. We received a letter yesterday and Bob stated they were just taxiing or about to take off for combat, as vacation was over. It was dated Feb-9th and he said that none of the boys including himself were overly anxious to go back up, but it was one way of getting home provided he came thru O.K. and thought he would complete his combat hours by June. I can't say that that is a very bright picture to look forward to, but as per usual The Marines seem to have everything under control.

Hoping that by this time your health has improved and with our most Sincere Regards,

We remain
Mr. & Mrs. Geo. Martin

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