Roy E. Smith

Write About Christmas Spent on Battleship
Musician Third Class Roy E. Smith, son of Mrs. W. R. Davies, 1421 State Street, and member of the ship's band on an American battleship somewhere on the Pacific, writes very interestingly of his plans for Christmas and about the actual celebration onboard ship. 

In a letter written two days before Christmas, he says, "We've been hoarding breakfast cereal and tuna fish and have a box of cigars and bought some canned peanuts from the ship's store, so we are going to throw a Christmas party of some sort for the boys in the band. 

"If we would only get our back mail, I'm sure there would be some packages and some of them might have some food stuck away in them. It would be fun to open up something anyway. Well, it will catch up with us sometime, and then we'll declare a post-Christmas. I'm sure our chaplain will hold services and we'll probably have a song fest. I'll be thinking of all of you and dreaming of the day when I can be with you again, when peace again has the upper hand." 

What actually happened he relates in a letter written on December 29. 

"The holidays are over for us and, though we did not celebrate in the conventional way, we did have a fair share of the right spirit. The boys in the band made a tree from a broom handle, some baling wire for limbs, strips of paper for foliage. Tooth brushes, cigarettes, cigars, soapboxes, and every and anything colorful made the decorations. It served its purpose well and we were quite proud of it. 

"Our noon chow was wonderful, a real honest to goodness full-course meal, without a single dehydrated entree on the menu. We did so appreciate it. Maybe next year I can be with you all and make up for this one. None of our packages have arrived to date, however, we expect them within a month or so. 

"I must close, for we have to play honors for an officer. I miss all of you and am looking forward to returning home."