In memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I thought it appropriate to post an excerpt from a letter home from a Texan on the USS Arizona. It was one of his last letters home. From Grover Barron Bishop:
USS ARIZONA 9 Nov 1941
Dear Dad & Folks:
It sure has been a long time since I’ve gotten a letter from that part of the world. I’m beginning to wonder just why there isn’t more mail? Maybe there is so much cotton to gin that you just don’t have time?
Boy, I was sure a sick boy for awhile. I am still awful weak & I still have a heavy cough but am up & around. I still am not back to regular duty but am on light duty list. Doctor says I’ll have to take it easy for awhile. Dad, on all of my beneficiary slips I’ve put Ladonia’s at Johnnie & Samies address. If something should happen to me they’ll wire here. So if anything comes for her you take it and of course notify her. That is the easiest way as each time your address changes a new slip must be made out & sworn to. This way the address is permanent & saves lots & lots of trouble for the overworked yeoman.
Dad, I’m tempted to ship over in the outfit without even a crack at the outside. Also am tempted to ship over early & try to make arrangements to get leave over Christmas. As it stands now I’m almost positive we’ll be here during the month of December. As you know a Christmas under a palm tree won’t be Christmas to us Cedar loving people. . . . .
The Army seems to be having a little trouble over morale. Well, maybe the morale is low & maybe the morale of the Navy isn’t so high, but once we start fighting that’ll all be forgotten. The men out here are hard worked and would like to see the fleet return but we have faith. We believe the President will return us home just as soon as he thinks it is safe. For that reason & because we know it is in the best interest of the nation we don’t mind it so much. In a few more months we’ll all be native anyway. It won’t matter then. I’d say the morale of the ship is as high as it has ever been. One thing that would help would be war with Japan. That would give us confidence in ourselves & at the same time furnish a lot of good training.
Well folks in about 5 minutes the lights go off & mail closes before reveille in the morning. So I’ll cut this short.
Just remember how very much I think of you & write me soon as your letters mean so much. Lots & lots of love to all.