I've been aboard this destroyer for two weeks now, and we've already been through four air attacks. I'm in the war at last, Doc. I caught up with that task force that passed me by. I'm glad to be here. I had to be here, I guess. But I'm thinking now of you, Doc, and you, Frank, and Dolan, and Dawdy, and Insignia, and everyone else on that bucket. All the guys everywhere who sailed from tedium to apathy and back again with an occasional sidetrip to monotony. This is a tough crew on here and they have a wonderful battle record. But I've discovered, Doc, that the unseen enemy of this war is the boredom that eventually becomes a faith and, therefore, a terrible sort of suicide. And I know now that the ones who refuse to surrender to it are the strongest of all. Right now, I'm looking at something that's hanging over my desk, a preposterous hunk of brass attached to the most bilious piece of ribbon I've ever seen. I'd rather have it than the Congressional Medal of Honor. It tells me what I'll always be proudest of, that at a time in the world when courage counted most, I lived among sixty-two brave men. So Doc, and especially you, Frank, don't let those guys down.
Frank S. Nugent (1908–1965), U.S. screenwriter, Joshua Logan, co-scenarist, John Ford, and Mervyn LeRoy. Ensign Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon) reading a letter from Mister Roberts (Henry Fonda), Mister Roberts, Mr. Roberts expressing his feelings about war and admiration for his former shipmates, in a letter (1955).
Based on the play by Joshua Logan and Thomas Heggen and the novel by Thomas Heggen.