Wills, Letters &
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.
M. Leland III
Somewhere in the
To More Letters
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
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
With Lots of Love to all