Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Letter 141- October 24, 1944

October 24, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I received your letters of the 12th. of Oct. and the 14th. I must say that I was shocked to hear of the death of Horton Grant. I believe I was closer to him than anyone else at Harvard. Honest to god, I can’t figure this damned world out at times. A nice kid like that has to die before he even starts to live while the very scum of the earth goes on and on. I noticed by the papers the other day that Baron Toyama, head of the notorious “Black Dragon” society, had peacefully passed away at the ripe old age of 93, I believe. There’s a man who has dedicated his entire life to unheard of violence and terror goes like that at that age. Why he didn’t even have to witness Japan’s coming anguish and destruction. Meanwhile, young people who have never done any harm are dying by the thousands all over the world, some of them like Horton even without the slightest reason. At times I find it difficult to retain my belief in the right.

To turn to happier thoughts—your letters are beginning to arrive pretty regularly now. It’s too good to be true, I know but they’re coming in about 10 days.

The weather was quite cold today but it didn’t rain. I like that better. I haven’t been doing anything spectacular lately as per usual. I went to a show last night—old picture. In the army nothing exciting happens ‘till on hits the fighting, and then it’s too damned exciting.

Well, the bottom of the page gives me a chance to sign off.

Best Love,


  1. I'm willing to bet the news about Horton Grant really brought it home for Bill. He's been training hard and is now just a few hundred miles and a ferry ride from some serious war, but now he feels the real cost. It would be interesting to know more about Grant and how he lost his life.

  2. I recall my father mentioning the name of Horton Grant. It is the only name I can remember him talking about from his Harvard days so I know they were close. I have no knowledge of the circumstances regarding Horton's death. It is truly humbling to know that behind each of the millions of deaths as a result of WWII there is a personal story of human loss.

  3. I had the privilege of showing Dad the list of dead from his hometown. They had just one high school. For almost every name he had a short story. "He was head of the National Guard in town." "On the football team." "I knew his sister."

    One name that I remember was Toshio Mayeda called Tosh by his classmates and Sweed by the football coach. Tosh and his family were interned because they were Japanese descent. He enlisted and was killed in Italy.


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