Sammy M. Ray, a Pharmacist's Mate 1st/C in the U.S. Navy, from 1942-1945, writes a seven page letter to then Acting Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore. Ray and Wetmore maintained an active correspondence throughout Ray's tour of duty, discussing Ray's activities collecting birds in the Pacific Islands during World War II. Additionally, Ray tells Wetmore about living conditions, battling disease, and war engagements in the Pacific. Ray was one of the many of the soldiers who collected specimens for the U.S. National Museum during the war. Ray's specimens are housed in the National Museum of Natural History.