February 24 - March
In Norfolk Area-Preparing
for the Ocean Crossing
On February 24th Dad sent
a Western Union Telegram from Norfolk, Virginia to his sister that
indicated that he probably won't be home for awhile. Dad probably
already knew that he would be going overseas soon.
The crew of the LCI (L) 229 arrived in Norfolk, Virginia to begin
training for their role in amphibious assaults later in the year.
Since Deck Logs for the LCI (L) 229 were not available from the National
Archives, the following information was obtained from the War Diary
for Flotilla 1 under the command of O.F. Gregor organized on March
(*Please note that the original Flotilla 1 had its designation changed
to Flotilla 2 on January 1, 1943)
March 1 - March 18, 1943
Letters to Dad's
March 1, 1943
On March 1st Dad sent
a letter to his sister Mae responding to her question asking if there
is anything she could do for him. His reply was somewhat surprising:
...My album full of pictures is what
I really want. Not money, ha ha. So please Mae, I'd like to have it
to look at whenever blue and then I can always recall many pleasant
memories...Gee! If you only knew how much I want it you wouldn't hesitate
to send it...
On the subject of his niece Lynda's birthday:
...Hope she had a wonderful birthday
anyway. Incidentally from what I hear the little darlin, still thinks
of me--she's not forgotten by a long shot. For I always vision that
night at the station--one memory I shan't forget...
On naming his Brother Frank's boy born in January 1943:
...Glad to hear my nephew is doing
so well...Wish they'd named him as I asked. Guess I'll have to name
my own that way... (as it
turned out it was close, but not exactly!!)
On leaving home after his leave of January 24 -30
...but my last day sort of got me.
I do know that I have a swell family--even if it took a war to prove
On March 3rd John H. Leppert, USN assumed command of Flotilla 1, Group
3 and training exercises continued at Lambert's Point, Portsmouth
and Little Creek, VA in preparation for sailing to North Africa.
March 11, 1943
On March 11 in another
letter to his sister Dad made his second request for the album to
be sent to him.
...I asked as I remember for my album
and please Mae, have it sent. Don't know how much longer I'll be here
and I'd hate like heck to go away without it. Like a good luck piece
Since being in the Norfolk area, Dad also lamented about his long
...I've been on my feet for an average of 10 hours a day
-- no days off. So don't let anyone kid you about this Navy life--I
admit it is romantic and adventuresome, but we have to work for our
fun (darn it) ha ha...Boy sis, each night after work, I flop in my
sack and really lay there. Tired isn't the word for it. Have a little
trouble with my feet. Ache something awful at times...