Somewhere???? 6 Oct 44
I received your package to-day. It has been so long since I have had a good cigar that I smoked Tommy’s first so I would enjoy it more.
Midge keeps me pretty well posted on all the family even though I don’t have time and I don’t write often when I do have time.
I bought several bottles of good perfume for Midge. I ams ending it through a little at a time. If it all goes through OK I’ll mail her some more. Otherwise I’ll hang on to it until the war is over. I have been buying all the “Chanel” #5 and #22 I can get. It’s fairy cheap in France but as expensive as hell in America.
I I remember, Maynard Muilenberg’s number correctly mine is two less than his.
I sent Midge some cameras and I have one very good one that I am carrying. It belonged to a Gerry major but the son of a bitch won’t miss it now. I took 2 rolls of film, but didn’t understand all the gadgets so the pictures didn’t turn out. I think I have learned how to run it so I should get some good pictures of Adolph’s country.
I’ll send you a good Gerry flag as soon as we get into Germany.
Thanks again to you and the kids for the cigars.
Tell George to have a jug on hand because I am going to celebrate from New York to Seattle. I have sent Midge a few hundred dollars from my earnings (?) to finance one hell of a big party.
Every one has their idea of when the war with Germany will end. My idea is October will damn near see the end if not its end. I can dream can’t I.
So long for now
22 Sept. 45
Dear Sis [Celia Perry]:
I just returned from a 7 day leave on the French Riviera. I had a hell of a swell time. We flew to Nice from Munich crossing the Alps on both trips. The place or town where I stayed was Cannes, staying in the best hotels and getting tight with Mrs Rich Bitch the cream of French society is an enjoyable time for a short time, but at the end of 7 days you begin to need sleep and run low on cash. So are ready to come home.
I think I’ll be wanting to use some of those shells I am doing my damnedest to get transferred to a unit which is coming home. I have 94 points which makes my chance of a transfer pretty good. This outfit is almost like a new division because we have had so many officers and men ship out in the past few weeks and are getting low pointers in from other outfits.
You might tell anybody that was going to write to send letters to our address in Seattle from now on and contact the DeSmet News if you will to send my remaining copies to Seattle.
Don’t write to me anymore for I am pretty sure of leaving the Division in a week or 2 to start for home.
If I get a chance I will drop a line when I leave.
8 Sept 44
Just got your letter, dated Aug 10, to-day. If you don’t send them air mail they certainly come slow.
I don’t have a swastika to send you but here is the color patch from a German sailor’s summer uniform. It might make a nice pillow cover or something. I don’t pick up many souvenirs. They are too hard to carry. I have a nice camera and a couple of pistols. I did send a few home.
Things look pretty good from the rounds of the news broadcasts. I sure hope to hell it ends pretty soon as I am getting damn sick of it. We have a lot of fun and have a few big parties but it is still going to be nice to have it end.
I have my testament I think it is in my field bag and as good as new.
Well I will bring this to a close. Hello to all the folks.
22 July 44
Dear Sis, Geo and Kids:
Just a note to let you know I am still OK. Things get a little rough now and then, but I think we have seen about as tough going as we can expect.
Now all I am doing is waiting for the damn gerries to throw in the sponge. When that time comes your little brother is going to do a hell of a lot of celebrating and I do mean celebrate. I haven’t spent a cent since I left England as I can well imagine I will be able to make up for lost time. Some one just mentioned that tomorrow was Sunday. Every day is the same in Normandy as far as I am concerned.
Say hello to the Nelings and tell Bess I received her letters and will write when possible.
2 July 44
Dear Sis & family:
Just a note to let you know I am OK. Although I have opened more cans since I left France than I ever opened in my life before.
We get good rations, cigarettes, and some candy. However they neglected some of us by not giving us any cigars. The ones you sent me were O.K. I am not particular about what kind they are just so they are cigars.
I think I wrote and told you I was in France. We are in combat over here. In a way its OK because the sooner we get into things the quicker it will be over and baby that can’t be too quick to suit me.
Once I get back to Seattle you will probably never see me again course I think my traveling days are over.
Major Brown asked me who I was writing to. He said to tell you to buy all the whiskey you can and we will stop in on our way back to the coast.
I wonder if I will get to Berlin and Paris. We missed New York and London so it wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot to be sent back to the states before I get to see either one of those cities.
Well it looks like I have a lot of work to do so I will close this and get busy.
1 July 1945
Dear Tommy and family:
I am sorry as hell, but I don’t seem to be able to get a hold of a Jerry rifle. You see when the war ended they were either surrendered or collected by the army and turned into collecting points where they are destroyed. I will keep on looking and I may be able to pick one up, but don’t plan on it. I am sorry I didn’t send one when we were still fighting for they were plentiful then.
I might tell you of the country I am in now. It is called Bavaria. I am on the Danube wrier near the Austrian Czechoslovakia border. The part of Czechoslovakia I am near is called Bohemia.
Contrary to all the songs and stories the Danube river is not Blue, but a dirty greenish brown. I know for I have been on it in a boat and as I set in my office writing this letter I am looking out on to the river. The biggest city close to use is Passau a very old city established by the Romans. It has a large cathedral in which is the largest pipe organ in the world. There is also an old castle there which the division has turned into a rest center for G-Is and a part of the castle is a club for officers. Among the entertainers are many Hungarians (gypsy) musicians, acrobats and we even have a circus of our own it is also Hungarian.
This part of Germany is a farming country with rolling hills and many trees. We are about 3 to 4 hours by jeep from Birchesgarden (I am not sure of the spelling) [Berchtesgaden] which was Hitler’s hang out. From the southern part of ouroccupation area the Alps are plainly visible. The people especially the peasants have very colorful costumes. The men wear short leather pants bright green or red jackets and very funny hats. We are not very far from Nuremberg, the place where the Nazi’s used to hold their big pep meetings.
This is all very beautiful but I wish to hell I were out of it. With a little luck we will no doubt be home by Xmas then probably go to the Pacific. I hope not. [letter is torn at top of page] If I could hit a pheasant it has been so long since I have tried. Maybe if I had my Tommy gun I could scare hell out of one.
So long old fellow,
25 June 44
Dear Sis, Geo and kids:
As Tom may have told you by this time I am in France. Nothing much of anything that I can talk about and still keep my letters right.
One that we do have that is different from England and that is sunny warm weather.
I am spending my tour of duty, which happens to be from 0200-0400 this morning, catching up on my correspondence, and if I have time maybe I can study a little French.
The kids would get a kick out of the kids here. They all have their hair cut or hacked off in a kind of a Buster Brown affair. [pic] If you get what I am drawing. also they wear heavy shoes either wooden or wooden soles with leather tops. The little boys have a queer looking costume. From the front it looks like a dress but when you see them from the side you can see they have pants on with a kind of smock or apron on over the top and a belt cinched up around their waist.
I have been trying to make myself a cup of coffee using heat tabs and my canteen cup. “Heat tabs” are a white pill about 3/4 inch in diameter and 1/4 inch thick when you lite them with a match they give off quite a little heat. In fact, it takes 3 of them to hear a canteen cup of water.
O boy this night life is killing me. I find that I can smoke 4 cigarettes drink one cup of coffee and write about 1-1/2 letters in an hour.
Well Sis keep me posted and don’t expect regular answers from me from now on (as if I ever answered regularly I know. I beat you to it.)