John Morgan Rex at Hamilton Field, Marin County, California about 1941
Helen’s brother John Morgan Rex was stationed at nearby Hamilton Field. On December 5th he left for the Philippines aboard the troop transport SS President Johnson. After learning of the December 7th Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the President Johnson returned to San Francisco.
The following letters from Helen’s collection better tell their story.
John Morgan (Johnny) at his barracks at Hamilton Field, California,
or during schooling in Illinois; at Scotts Field and Rantoul.
Letter dated and postmarked San Francisco, December 9, 1941.
Dear Sis,Just a note to let you know everything is ok. I am in a Neutral port and safe. We are awaiting further orders. I sent you a wire “collect” and I don’t know if you got it or not. They may not send them out. I hope so though as I sent one to the folks too. I also sent them a letter. You write them too won’t you. Well it looks as though we are in the war at last. I hope they soon get us to where we can do something. I’d like to say more but this country of ours is at stake and we can take no chances.
Oh the only way I could send a wire was collect so don’t think I am trying to chisel you out of anything.I’ll drop you a line later as soon as I find out about where we are going, but I’ll never tell you where I am at so don’t worry. Well I must get this off so I will stop.
Take care of yourselves and I’ll do the same.Bye for now,
Lots of Love, Johnny
1309 Derby Ave
December 10, 1941Dearest Johnny:
Received your most welcome letter today. To be honest with you, you don’t know how happy I was to get it. At first I thought you must have mailed it before you left San Francisco. We didn’t get the wire. Guess they have been too busy.
Oh Johnny we saw you leave. We were on the fishing docks. We got over there about 6:45 p.m. They wouldn’t let us in because it was so late. It certainly looked like there were lots of men.
Your packages arrived OK. It was very sweet of you my dear. I hid them in the cedar chest and Glenn doesn’t even know I have them. Also the money order. I’m going to do some shopping today. Get something for Harold & Diana and get it on its way.I have a letter from Winnie. They are having a reception on the 12th, Joy that is this Friday, for her.
Everyone at the Ward inquires about you, particularly Ralph and Aileen. I’ll have to let them know I have heard from you.So far I haven’t heard any of the warnings. We did miss the radio Monday night.
We only held a short mutual last night, because there was to be a black out.
I sent an Airmail letter to the folks yesterday saying not to worry and that we are ok. I guess there will be those who will feel safer in the mountains and will return home.
Well I have to get to work. Inasmuch as I have to go to Leadership meeting tonight. I thought I would get this written now.
We constantly pray for your safe keeping Johnny dear. I’ll write often, and hope you receive them all.
Loads of Love [Helen]