Letter found in the SLC Association Memorabilia sent in by William Bean. The letter was published in the Our Navy Magazine.
The following letter, written by a Navy dad to his little daughter.
Happy W. Harden, CBM, served aboard one of the famous ships of this war during one of the greatest battles for the Solomons. We think it is a letter that Loahna Yvonne will cherish to the end of her days, an epic of this war, and of the devotion that moves men to die for their children. Little Loahna Yvonne is typical of the future for which America fights.
Dear Loahna Yvonne,
I give you a Ship, a ship that taught both your mother and me the meaning of the word “love.” The love that conceived you, the love that has watched over and cared for you from time immemorial.
I give you the heroes who have lived and died on the Ship, that you and all of your little brothers and sisters may live in a world clean of all nazi flotsam; clean of all the diabolical fanaticism of the Judo warrior, or the boastful braggadocio of the Fascist soldier.
I give you “Baby Bivens”
[Vernard E. Bivin, S1c]
, the trainer on an anti-aircraft gun, who had his left thumb shot off with a portion of the training wheel through his stomach, but who still fired his gun until ordered to stop, then dropped dead---fighting to preserve that love of all parents for their young.
I give you “Moose” Mathews, [Sidney P. Matthews, CWT]
the Chief who went into No. 2 fire room to save what men he could, after the Ship was mortally hit and steam was everywhere. He saved all but one man---12 in number, then passed out by breathing live steam.
I give you “Acree”
[Lloyd E. Acree, AOM3c]
fuse pot loader, who was fatally hit by a piece of shrapnel in the left elbow, and in the stomach, while carrying a projectile. Rather than let the shell drop, which would have exploded if the nose fuse or the primes were bumped, he crawled to his gun and told his gun captain to load the shell for him, as he was tired. He died in the corpsman’s arms.
I give you “Gus”,
[Harold E. Kronquist, CFC]
the Chief Fire Controlman, who, though the back of his head had been blown off, still set up the range on the director which sent it to the guns---the data that enabled our ship to sink the Japs.
I give you the lookout [Vernan A. Grave, S2c]
who reported the Mogami cruiser that hit the Boise, and enabled us to put fifty slugs in her--although his whole left shoulder had been blown off.
I give you my ship, the out-fightingest Ship in Uncle Sam’s Navy, and I give you the love of that Ship, the love that the above men shed their blood for.