(The following are letters from the father to the son during the latter's service in World War II.)
May 10, 1943, Seattle
... and we're so hungry for steak I'd be willing to risk my new uppers on the toughest piece of beef in Montana.
Your Railroad has been real active out this way. There's some kind of secret project underway at Hanford, Washington. I understand The Milwaukee Road was called on to move the town's whole population almost overnight, to make way for the war work.
The folks at home who work on The Milwaukee Road are doing all right too. President Scandrett had a message in the magazine the other day telling about it: "Four thousand pounds of scrap and fittings were removed from under buildings. There have been 98,650 pounds of shop-made tools taken from the blacksmith shop and converted into scrap ... also from the shops, 1,849 pounds of brass recovered ... also 36,559 pounds of miscellaneous scrap recovered from the roundhouse and shops."
Here at home your mother has given me a new job. I have to peel the labels off tincans every night and stamp them out flat for the scrap drive. At least it gives me exercise ...
May 9, 1945, Seattle
My blood pressure is running pretty high. We've done so much celebrating in Seattle since Germany surrendered day before yesterday that I feel like I personally fought through the whole European campaign.
Your mother and I were wondering where you were in Europe when the end came. And how about those European Railroads? Was The Milwaukee Road's 744th Railway Operating Battalion able to get them in running shape? Here at home all the Railroads have done a great job. As General Somervell said the other day: "That the Railroads have been able to handle this enormous military traffic on time and with a high degree of comfort is a record of which every American Railroad must be proud."
The feeling seems to prevail that the Japs won't last long. Apropos of this, your Railroad is getting all set for peace, according to the magazine, and has quite an improvement program underway. About the biggest project, I guess, is the opening of a new double tracked line into Kansas City, jointly with the Rock Island, over the new President Harry S. Truman Bridge.
December 18, 1945, Seattle
... The Milwaukee Road is out of receivership, in case you hadn't heard the news. Mr. Scandrett is President of the reorganized Company and Mr. Leo T. Crowley, a man of wide experience in financial affairs, is Chairman of the Board. Actually, there seems to be no change in management and its policies.
I see by The Magazine that 6,916 of you Milwaukee Roaders were in service. That's a record any Company can be proud of ... you can imagine how anxious we are to see you when you get home next month.