Ours is a rare letter as most of Hammett’s available letters are typed. Hammett writes to Army buddy Captain Isadore Gottlieb stationed in Tampa, Florida, talking about life in Alaska, friends they have in common, and the war. Hammett refers to his location in Alaska as “my present spot isn’t what you’d call conveniently located in relation to women and whisky… [but] the air is fresh here. But can you drink double bookers of fresh air with a beer chaser?” He then offers information about other Army buddies and asks if Gottlieb knows of some others. “My bunch seems to have left Sea Girt… Monash beat the game and got out of the army with an honorable discharge….” He informs Gottlieb that according to another friend Monash is happier now “doing radio programs.” Other buddies in common include Figaro and “the big boy from Altoona.” Regarding the war, Hammett tells his friend that “there isn’t any local news… rumors about what’s going to happen to us float through the air a dozen a minute… but it’s a long time since I’ve wasted any ink copying down latrinograms.” The letter is signed, “Hammett,” with his full Army APO Seattle address written at the end. Our research indicates the letter is unpublished as of 2001. The air mail envelope stamped by the U.S. Army contains the same return address found at the bottom of the letter. Hammett wrote out the envelope identifying himself in the return address as, "Capt. S D. Hammett."
Hammett was a veteran of World War I where he contracted Spanish flu and tuberculosis. He subsequently pulled strings in order to join up during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Hammett spent most of the war in the Aleutian Islands, where he edited a popular Army newspaper "The Adakian," from 1944 to 1945.