World War II
A Bun in the Oven
Dad’s handwriting is becoming harder to read as though he is in a hurry to write. I know he is on the move and must be getting a taste of what the war is all about. My brother reminded me that he wrote a lot of the letters in the cab of the truck while they were on the move. What amazes me the most is the content of the letters do not let on to what exactly is going on around him. I am sure he would not have wanted to worry my mom anyway.
Wikipedia has a great overview of the 35th Infantry which is the unit the 35th Quartermaster was assigned to overseas. Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
The 35th Infantry Division arrived in England, 25 May 1944, and received further training. It landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, 5–7 July 1944, and entered combat 11 July, fighting in the Normandy hedgerows, north of Saint-Lô.
16 July, Somewhere in France
Dearest Mommie and Junior, Gosh what’ll I do now. I’ve never been a Papa before. It wasn’t very much of a shock though because I kind of had a suspicion about it from the last letters. Believe me I was happy when you wrote for sure. I believe I even had a few tears. Maybe I’ll be home by the time the addition is made. I have hopes and so does everyone else. Gosh Mommie I don’t know what to do. I feel like an older man I guess. But take care of yourself. I certainly want nothing happening to you.
Well it is official, Mom is pregnant. But the big question is will she be able to carry this baby to full term? Mom had endometriosis and had several miscarriages during her childbearing years.
No send no money. I have to [sic] damn much now and only have about 75 cents. I haven’t spent anything in so long one would think I was hoarding. But I am not. I’ll send you some as soon as I’m paid. Perhaps this month. Have I said that before. Gosh they have about a half page about me in the payroll this time. Another thing my bond allotment will automatically stop as soon as I have one complete bond. So therefore that will give me more than enough here. So I’ll have to be sending you some anyway. I am glad I can. I have your letter you stated Happy Anniversary Honey. Well today is the 16th so I’m not getting your mail any sooner than you mine. Of course I got another the same day about Junior. How do you feel about it honey. Are you sorry. I’m not. I have a double portion to look forward to now. I can hardly waite [sic] hope that isn’t to long. I’m glad the family picture is good. Of course Grandma and Grandpa would have things like that to say. I’ll bet they are awful proud though. I know I would be. You say you haven’t cashed your allotment checks. You mean you have had enough money with what you left me with to get along. Gosh Sweet I couldn’t have gone a week on that. Lookie honey that’s your money. You better use it. Now you’re going to need it even more. What about Junior. Want to pay ourselves or want it to go in a servicesmans [sic] account. I’ll write the details on that next time. I love you very much Darling. I said once I didn’t want it that way but it’s certainly nice to look forward to. I love you sweet, All my love, Lefty
16 July, On the move in France
Well gosh I wrote to Mom last night and dated it the 17 and also one to you dated the 16. Well time is finally catching up with me so now I’m on the ball. Ben is ok. He and Ann are going to try raising watermelons now. She said she might even swallow a seed. Of course that is what he said.
Ben and Anna Howard married 10 July 1942. Anna passed away in 2005 and Ben followed her home in 2010. They are buried in Glass River Cemetery in Michigan.
He was as lucky as we. Remember how I was against the idea and you were arguing even before we were married. I guess you got your way Honey and am I glad. Boy oh boy. Hope you feel the same as I do now. Mommie you tell me not to send you any money. What will I do with it. I haven’t spent one cent since payday then only bought my rations. Of course I haven’t been paid but when I do I’ll send it. Bob went to church tonight. I was going this morning only had a detail and didn’t get back in time Oh! Well next time won’t be as often but as good. Mommie I’d love to have you send me things but right now I have so darn many to take care of that I don’t care for anymore. Not now anyway/ I know sweet you want to send them but please waite [sic] awhile anyway. It would take a long time coming. One thing you can send film 127. I can always use those. Although to date I have only taken one picture. Me in my shorts. You said you liked me in them so I dood it.
17 July, Somewhere in France
My Darling Wife, I was so surprised today. Two letters from you. Gosh Darling it seemed so good to get them. Of course I have been getting lots of them lately but I guess I’ll never get enough. It always seems I could just read on and on and they are certainly what one needs when I can’t be with you. I got a letter from Dorothy (Dad’s sister) today and you certainly made a big hit with her. What did you do to all my relations. They all write the same. Of course I knew it but wanted to be selfish and keep it to myself. They couldn’t miss liking you though. Darling I don’t need anything. All I can want is to be home with you. I love you so much.
Consulting with Wikipedia’s 35th Infantry’s Combat Chronicle I found
The (35th Infantry) Division beat off 12 German counterattacks at Emelie before entering Saint-Lô, 18 July. After mopping up in the Saint-Lô area, it took part in the offensive action southwest of Saint-Lô, pushing the Germans across the Vire River.
18 July, Somewhere in France
Gosh Mommie I have about 30 minutes to compose a letter to you. So if this isn’t so good don’t blame me. Know what I did last night I went to bed and couldn’t sleep so I got the flash light and reread all your letters. Gosh I enjoyed them again. Bob and I went to sleep this afternoon and woke up just in time for supper. Gosh that is timing it just right isn’t it. I shaved and washed my head. Can’t say hair anymore. Haven’t much of the since the barber went by. Anyway I feel all clean now. I’m glad Junior is being good. Just be damn careful honey so he keeps that way. And cut this old stuff about not being a good wife. You’re the only one I ever wanted and I wouldn’t have anything but the best and you’re it. I love you darling. That thirty minutes is about up darling so I should be stopping. I love you my darling wife very much. All my love, Lefty
Dad’s Division is on the move again. I have a feeling it will be that way for the rest of his time overseas. With Mom being pregnant it sure gives him something to live for. Maybe he won’t take as many chances that he might have without this news.
Truman “Ben” Howard, Robert “Bob” Winter, Walter Huntsucker