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Wills, Letters & Legends

Letters home from Richard M. Leland, Jr., during the 2nd World War.

These were written by my father to his first wife and daughter, and contributed by his daughter,  Margaret Louise Leland Duvic. There are quite a few so read some now, then return later & read some more. Richard M. Leland III

                                                         Somewhere in the
                                                         Indian Ocean
                                                          Feb. 1st 1944
My Dear Children,
        Well we are still  on our way and on the water.  We arrived in Capetown, South Africa last week, stayed a couple of days and now we are in the Indian Ocean heading for our destination.
        So far we have had a most enjoyable trip  the weather has been nice and warm with a good breeze blowing and we have all taken our sun baths every day and have aquired a very good sun burn.
        The food has continued good and most of us are over eating to some extent, but I do not believe I have gained any weight.
        Capetown was a very beautiful city.  It was the middle of their summer and all the flowers were really gorgeous.  I do not believe I have ever seen any place that can compare to it for natural Beauty.
        We took a tour over the whole Peninsula and saw most of the interesting places.  It was a day well spent and I know both of you would have raved over the flowers.  There were just gobs & gobs of Hydraniga's, Roses, flowering shrubs & others too numerous to mention.
        I mailed Peg a Folder from there that will show you some of the sights we saw.  I also wrote you and mailed the letter from there, hope you have received it by now.
        Now both of you Girls write whenever you can and I will try to get you a letter out each mail.
        Give my best to all the Gang & Love to all the family


                                                                APO   7422
                                                     New York, NY
                                                     Somewhere in India
                                                         22 Feb. 1944
Dear Mom & Peg,
        Well I am sure you have received some of my earlier letters by now, and know that we arrived OK.  We are still in India waiting for orders to take us on to our final destination.  We have been here about two weeks now and hope to leave either this week or the first part of next.
        I have been to town a couple of times to try and find something nice for Peg's Birthday, but as yet have not been able to find anything, but I am going to keep trying and hope that I can find what I want.  I have been looking ( sentence cut off at this point, will add later)..... you will get gipped.  I have also looked at some cashmere shawls and if I can find what I want I want to send you a nice one for the apartment.
        We have seen quite a lot of this country and frankly words can not describe the squalor, filth & poverty that exist here.  It is unbelievable unless you see it with your own eyes.  There are 400 million people here mostly all black and dirty.  The cities are filthy and full of natives, laying, sleeping and eating all over the place.  We have seen very few white people and I can well see why, it sure isn't any place for a white woman and we will all be glad when we leave ( there appears to be another sentence that was cut off)
        I wrote Peg a letter for her Birthday, which I trust she has sent on to you and told her that I would send her present just as soon as I could find something nice.  I have also written Uncle Martin (Martin Winthrop Jones) and Pop and hope they have received them all OK.  As yet we haven't received any mail since about 10 days before we left the states and we are all hoping it will catch up with us here.  This business of not getting mail isn't so good when you are so far from Home as we are.
        The weather here continues to be nice and we are more or less comfortably situated some twenty miles from one of the large cities.  We have been to town a couple of times but as yet have (here it is cut off again, will have to get better copy)

        I have run across several officers that I have served with before, and naturally have enjoyed seeing them, but no one yet from either Camp Croft or McClellan.  Nor have I been able to locate Col. Walker (Trenton's Girl Friend) but may run into him somewhere over here.
        Now you write whenever, give my Love to all the Family and lets have all the news.
                                                                    With Lots of Love to all

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