Daily Archives: March 19, 2017

Family treasures: My mom’s letter written at the end of WWII

Another treasure from the family papers.

This one is a short, two-page handwritten letter from my mother to my father’s parents in Long Beach, California, dated August 19, 1945, just days after the Japanese surrender that marked the end of WWII.

It begins:

“Well, the war is over and thank goodness so is the wild rejoicing. I suppose Long Beach was in a state of bedlam like Honolulu. From my sister’s description, they acted the same in Los Angeles. We watched the mad surging crowds (mostly sailors) from a second story window down town and thanked our lucky stars we weren’t on the streets acting looney. In fact that wasn’t the first celebration, for when we went through town the Sunday before, there were parades etc starting up on receipt of that famous false alarm that was broadcast. People were throwing firecrackers into the streets and we had to stop several times to avoid them.”

Here’s one of the photos taken by my parents of those crowds in downtown Honolulu, which I had posted earlier.

August 1945

The letter went on to comment on expectations that living conditions would soon improve.

My mom thanked my grandmother for her help finding material for a quilt being sewn for my sister, Bonnie, then 2 years old. But she added, “don’t go through any more trouble about it, as very shortly the stores will be stocked to overflowing again, and I will be able to get the perfect match here.”

And this sentence about travel from the mainland to Hawaii: “Wartime conditions on ships were anything but enjoyable as many of our friends can testify. Rooms for two were packed with 6 & 8 peole and there was no recreation. But very soon, now, fares will go down and conditions improve…”

Just click on the letter (below) to see both pages.

August 19, 1945