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Beany February 17th, 1942

November 2

Key West During WWII

Key West During WWII

“Dear Jerry,

Here I am down in Key West. It is very pretty country and also nice and warm. We started out Thurs. morning and got here Sat. night. We came thru the eastern coast of Florida thru St Augustine, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and Miami.

Florida is very colorful and is as nice as people and advertisements say it is. It is like Summer all the time. Here at Key West the temperatures range from 58 to 96 so you can imagine how nice it is.

We are guarding the coast with machine guns posted at different intervals. We go on guard for six hours and then we are off for eighteen. I go on at 12 noon and go off at six. Of those six I only stand watch by the gun for two so it is really very simple work.

On our post the gun is mounted on a small cliff right by the Atlantic Ocean and it is mounted on the top of an old fort. We stay down below in a sort of cave in this old fort and it is just like the ones you have seen in the movies with holes to shout thru, etc.

Coming thru Florida we saw hundreds of groves of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, etc that were all in full bloom on the trees so you can imagine how nice it looked. There are lots of palm and coconut trees all over also trees with sleeping moss hanging from them. The towns and buildings are all beautiful and all have nice landscaping. There are many roadside taverns, stands and things for tourists.

Key West has a population of 12,000 mostly composed of Spaniards, So. Americans and Negroes. If you will notice on the map there are a string of islands leading out here that are called the keys. They are all connected by bridges some of which are four and five miles long with the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

When we were in the middle of the bridges all we could see was water. Kinda scary! Our camp is located just outside of town- I haven’t gone in yet but I guess there isn’t much there but a few cabarets and a couple of theaters. I won’t mind that tho as I love the weather and it is all very adventurous. I suppose if it is more than a month or so it would get monotonous.

There are both Army and Navy airports here and the coast is patrolled also by airplanes. The rifle companies stand guard along these bridges. Don’t tell anyone about all this as we aren’t supposed to tell anyone about it. I’ll tell you more about everything in the next letter.

Well kid, I suppose there are two very happy people in St. Paul these days. Did you have much trouble with the proposal? Tell me about it. Write to the same address and write often. Jerry, I’m busted again so if you could- thanks! Also send some stamps because I don’t know where to buy any here yet.

As ever,


How did you like the album? We aren’t supposed to take any pictures but I’ll try to sneak a few and send later. We got into the tropical zone when we hit Miami. I like the ocean- many different colors from the shore out at each different depths.”

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