Howard wrote Margaret on March 23, 1944. I have no letters from him from December until March.
McCloskey General Hospital
I got your letter today and I will answer it at once. There are a couple of questions that you did not answer. Honey child you perhaps fail to understand first how important these little items are to me just now. I am really a short timer here maby. You see I may get out of here any day and I may be here for quite a while but I've got to assume that I will be out any day. In order that not an hour will be lost when I do get away I want to be all set. Now I realize that it will be kind of tough going from your end but I am counting on you. Just rest your mind about a vacation next winter. If I'm still in the Army. I'll get off about whenever I want to and if I'm not I'll be there anyhow. Don't talk about work to me my love. I have been overseas for 25 months and in hospital for three months or so - remember? If I get discharged my vacation will be for many, many days maby a year even. See if you can manage some place other than Chicago. It is too large and we can't stay in the hotel room all the time. Whenever it can be managed tho. Honest to God having the though of you in my arms drives me mad. What a [ ] or [ ] is quite amusing (?). Now tell me, can I reach you by phone in case I want to find you right quickly - how are you fixed for fund? scratched out: if we are not close enough together to discuss money then ] we should be close enough to-gether now to discuss money by now. If I get a month's furlough I am ready and willing to spend any part of five hundred fish. Money has no value at a time like this. Now altho' it is of no importance to me I would like to know how the domestic situation is. Can I call without your being sent to bed? from the American Red Cross. Wonderful things beds?
I have no further reports on my condition but I am being test for everything almost. If nothing expect to be discharged though. Put your mind on your work my love and help me get organized. You seem to imply that a spring vacation looks favorable but implications are not sufficient - in this case. never forget my love that I have an idea however faint of whar you are up against.
All my love ALL ways,
I don't have any stamps.
In the next letter postmarked March 29, 1944, Howard enclosed a small photo with two pictures. On the back it says Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Vic. The initials "F.R. are on the the right side.The picture on the left is of a person perhaps in uniform outside a building, the picture on the right is of a car in the foreground perhaps next to a street.
McCloskey General Hospital
My darling Margaret,
I got a lot of mail from [scratched out: people] overseas yesterday. I expect that this will clean up my back correspondence, at least I trust so. It is becoming more and more established each day that I will be discharged. This makes me feel badly but I guess I'll live. If and when I get out I will [scratched out: be able] give Major Riggs a call and we will be able to spend a little time together. Of course I will be able to come thru Chicago. Make your plans accordingly to stay for a few days anyhow. If I get discharged right quick I'll go home for a few days but that won't happen. I rather think they will keep me around for a few weeks probably. Take from one your old letters that you are an almost perfect 36. You shouldn't tell me those things. You speak of our love or attraction for each other. I'll guarantee you that you are the only little chick that ever satisfied me completely. Great stuff. Try to fix it so that you can stay at least a week.
A little matter for your information -- you have no doubt read in the papers that a good many cases being returned are neuropsychopathic or psychoneurosis cases. In a lot of cases these guys have to be locked up for a while. A soldier could be locked up and still be writing home all the time that he is ok. It would be embarrassing to both parties if company would come under those circumstances. I am not one of those but it could be you know. What I want to impress on you is to never never visit a hospital without an invitation. The visiting hours here are 2-4 and 6-8. I'll be glad to receive your pal when she comes on her inspection program for that's what it is). She's liable to be surprised because this whole wing of the hospital I am in is composed of psycho wards. It seems that under the army medical system any normal case is automatically a case neuropsychosis. I don't know when I'll see you but I can't wait.