Howard returned to Australia in mid-1943. He was within APO 923, which was Brisbane.
My Darling Margaret,
I'm afraid that it has been too long since I have written you but I have been moving around the country a good bit of late and I wanted to have a permanent address to give you when I did write. Even now I do not think that this one will be permanent. I hope to make one more move.
I guess that I told you that I am back on the mainland. After the last year or so this is rally a country club existence. I even get Cocoa [sic] Colas frequently. Ice cream too. The movies here are later than those we saw before but I can put up with that I guess. This is a pretty nice company I am in now altho' all companies seem to be more or less alike.
As soon as I came here I got me a furlough and I went where I wanted to this time and had me a time for sure. I will tell you all about it when I see you. This place I went to had more civilians than soldiers and you can guess that this alone was worth the price of admission. I got me some film for my camera while I was away and Ruth sent me a roll of Kodachrome too so I have some for now at least. There are some restrictions on taking pictures here so I can't get too many that I feel are suitable.
I have gotten some mail since I shifted bases and no doubt I will be getting more - I hope. I can't think of any burning questions that you asked me that I can answer right now. All I can think of right now is how much I miss you. I got a wire from you too. They have a very nice custom in this company and that is that someone that is going where it is available gets a box or two of fruit most every day. It is paid for out of the company fund and I think it is one of the nicest things that I have run across for many a long day. Some day when I get some time that I think that I can spare I will tell you about the theater situation in this country. Right now I will just say that I need you more than somewhat and wouldn't it be just dandy - - - - -
Lots of love
He wrote on July 26,
I have several letters and a [ ] from you. You are doing much better in the correspondence section than I am. I don't know. I seem to have lost interest in writing to everyone except you. Some of my correspondents are doubtless wondering what kind of flowers they have over here, but I'll get back in the groove after awhile. This will have to be just a note and I will say that I am as well as ever in spite of the chow here. Food comes and goes and right now it is on the debit side of the ledger. One thing in the army that an enlisted man can raise hell about and get away with is the condition of the mess. The officers do not seem to know about it or they would do something about it.
Maby I'll break down and tell them. Oh well! some times things are bad and then all of a suddent they get worse. Actually I am enjoying myself here a good bit. The work is not to the word escapes me, hard will do, and we lead a kind of country club life. I seem to have quit drinking. I don't know why because elbow bending is one form of exercise that I have always approved of.
Lots of love,