Language of Material: English.
Scope and Contents
This series contains correspondence from EM2 Elwyn Batchelor, USN to his wife Irene Oliver Batchelor primarily during his
service in the Navy during the Korean War. Early letters are from the Fleet Training Center, U.S. Naval Station, San Diego.
He served on the U.S.S. Nereus and U.S.S. Frontier. He professes his love and faithfulness in every letter and writes how
much he misses her. He writes little about his work in the print shop, electrical training, more about how he spends his leave
time. He writes about his pay, their finances, how much he wants her to finish high school, the possibility of having children,
her stay with his parents in Hermiston, OR while he is stationed in Bremerton, Washington, spending leaves with her. There
few letters from April 1952 as he spent most of the month on leave with her. Late April his ship is loading ammunition in
anticipation of sailing to Oakland, CA then overseas. He writes of her meeting him in Oakland and then San Diego before he
May 7, 1952 - .."Only 373 more days my darling and I will be out of this man's Navy for good. You can help those days go
by faster by writing me a letter every day." --
June 3 and 13: in the Pacific, headed to Japan. From Yokosuka, Japan he writes of meeting up with his brother, Carl, and
hopes of transferring to Carl's ship, the USS Valley Forge. June 20 and 23 he writes he dosn't want her to stay in San Diego
any longer - "I want you to go home where you belong." June 29 visits Tokyo.
He often writes about how hard it is to be broke all the time but also of how he spends his money - that he just bought two
lighters and a pair of binoculars and went drinking. He hopes she is saving money, but wishes she would send him some and
buy him a camera. He has her anniversary present picked out ... Can she send him $20. Money issues and saving for the future
are often subjects of his letters. He tells her how much of the $185 monthly allotment she receives should go to savings.
July 30, 1952 - "I sent off my ballot a few days ago so I can vote for Stevenson... if Ike gets to be present he will want
a lot more men in the service...There will be a war with Russia before long no matter who gets in..." Repeatedly asks her
not to go to San Diego or Arizona with friends. Wants her to stay with her mother in Madera and get a job. He often writes
of his jealousy and hopes she is "behaving" assuring her of his faithfulness. He frequently writes about his daydreams of
getting a job on a remote lookout with Irene. He frequently mentions the photos he is taking and the album he is making.
Sept. 1952 - he writes of rifle training, but doesn't score high enough to make marksman. Sept. 19 - in Kobe, visits Kyoto.
He writes how he hates doing his own washing and ironing and looks forward to her doing it for him. Oct. 4 - reports he "made
second class." He writes repeatedly of wanting her to send him cigars, stamps and other sundries as he is spending his money
on film and developing. Remarks on Irene buying a car, advises her to get insurance, and a driver's license - "You know I
am very glad you are learning to drive, Irene, but for God's sake be careful."
Oct. 28 he writes of possibly needing to go back to high school before enrolling in college. Nov. 7 writes his mother may
have cancer. Nov. 18 letter itemizes his pay. Nov 22 discusses birth control, tells her "You can't get one (diaphram) unless
I'm there to sign for it...It is against the law for a Dr. to sell them without the husband's permission."
Writes he wants to go to Oregon State in Corvallis when he is out of the Navy. Writes often of their plans for when his ship
returns to Long Beach, CA in December and he has leave. Last letter in 1952 is Dec. 15. - In January 1953 - he writes of plans
for his discharge in Bremerton, WA, and where they will live; how he will take the bus to Madera to get her and they'll drive
back to Bremerton where he's arranged for them to rent a smaller trailer home.
There are no letters from January 29 to May 5, 1953.
On May 5 he writes there is no housing where he is working in Kinyua, WA and she'll have to stay in Hermiston. He is writing
to her at his parents' address. He writes "I don't like being away from from you either, but like I told you, I'm not ready
to settle down and start asking permission to step out the door... When I'm ready to settle down I'll come home to you...
You know I want you to find a job and go to work. I don't make enough to pay for the car and some for furniture too. I don't
love you now the way I used to. You took that love away and only you can give it back."
And on May 25, writing to her in San Diego, "I don't want a divorce from you darling. I thought I did, but now I know I don't..
I've tried to forget you, Irene, but I just can't do it.... I think we can make a go of our marriage now because we have both
learned our lesson." He writes of coming to San Diego to find a job. In Feb. 1955 he writes to her in Madera, CA asks about
her visit with family and if her mother is "spoiling Cindy."
On Feb. 21 he writes to advise Irene on what formula to feed Cindy and how often. He looks forward to the time he can drive
up and get her. In the last letter, undated but apparently written soon after Feb.21, he writes of missing Irene and Cindy
and how much he loves Irene.