33rd President. Typed letter signed (TLS) “Uncle Harry”, October 26, 1945, 7×9, The White House Washington stationery, to his nephew Fred L. Truman at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, in full:
I received your letter of the twenty-third and have signed the application and sent it on to Nat Jackson.
I am glad you got through the Knight Templar degree – I know you will get some good out of it.
I am sorry Bob Wright’s picture got mixed up. I’ll see what happened to it.
J.C. got home yesterday, having been discharged from the Missouri at Norfolk. I talked to your Aunt Mary over the telephone this morning and she told me he had not had enough to eat. I think I’ll have to take a look into that.
Good luck to you and let me hear how you get along.
Accompanied by original White House mailing envelope.
A wide-ranging letter touching upon several topics but notably, President Truman mentions another nephew, J.C. Truman (Fred’s brother), who had served in the Navy during WWII and had just been discharged from duties just days before this letter was written. During World War II he served on the battleship Missouri, participating in major combat engagements at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. On September 2, 1945, he witnessed the Japanese formally surrender aboard the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
USS Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and is best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II. It arrived in New York City on October 23, 1945 and on October 27, 1945, President Truman boarded the ship in NYC as part of Navy Day ceremonies.