17 January 1984

Mr. John J. Miller
Box 316
Douglas, WY 82633

Dear Mr. Miller,

   I can see why you were made historian of that fine ship, the USS FARENHOLT. Your material is written in an interesting manner and history becomes more important to every one of us when our memories are not as clear as they used to be and we commence to wonder what happened to all those friends we once knew so well. Time is running out and if we are going to record any of the things that happened so many years ago, it had better be done soon. You have a most important and a most frustrating job. The importance is there and we can’t quite put our finger on what really did happen and if we speak without checking the records we are apt to make some serious errors.
   The idea of putting the history you write of the FARENHOLT in some place where it will be available to interested people [and] some historians in the future is good. Probably one library is about as good as any other because it is very hard to predict which libraries will be in existence 100 years from now or what a library will do with records it has when they get pushed for space some day.
   I have turned all of my papers over to the Naval Archives. That is probably as good as any place but what will happen to the Naval Archives 100 years from now is not certain either.
   My eyesight is not good any more. I must read with a magnifying glass. Consequently, I cannot go over my files to see if there might be something in them of interest. I don’t remember any incident off hand so I would have to find data in the files to help you.
   I think you are doing the right things to get a record of what happened. That is to tape the conversations of a group of people reminiscing. One man’s remarks will jog another man’s memory and the story unfolds. That is the best system, I understand, but it requires a lot of patience and a lot of tape—and above all—somebody to go over the tape to type what is important and to discard what is not.
   Good luck to you and I am sorry that I can’t remember any stories off hand.

                Sincerely yours,
                Arleigh Burke

To my old shipmates in FARENHOLT

   It doesn’t seem possible that so many years have gone by since that hot day in August, 1943, when I joined your wonderful ship in Noumea. The memories of those nights “up the slot” are vivid to all of us, for that was where we spent most of our nights. Our days we spent taking on more ammunition and fuel in Purvis Bay. But our memories of those hectic times are memories of people, people who fought hard and successfully. People who devoted themselves to doing as much as they possibly could for their ship and for each other. The people we served with during the war are the best friends any of us have. That is why it is always a happy time when we can get together.

   In October that same year FARENHOLT was a lucky ship, for we had our first R & R in Sydney. That was the time I detached from ComDesRon 12 to return to the Solomons immediately, but I carried out those orders the first night we arrived in Sydney. I remember that too - and I have always wondered whatever happened in Sydney.

   Have a wonderful reunion.

                  Sincerely yours,
                  Arleigh Burke