World War II
Something to Fight For
According to the document “Various Stations and Area’s Occupied by the 35th Quartermaster (QM)” on July 21, 1944 the QM moved from a bivouac [temporary camp] near Les Landes, France to another bivouac area two miles southwest of St. Clair, France. Dad has just found out that Mom is pregnant and he is pretty happy about it. I believe that this news gave Dad a new lease on life, something to fight for.
20 July, Near Les Landes, France
Gosh Darling three letters today. Well I don’t get any for a couple days. They were nice Honey but you sound like you are getting worried as whether I like Jr. Forget it honey you should know me better than that. I do like it honey and believe me you are a good wife. I really wanted it that way as much as you only you had more foresight and now we’re both happy. You should have lots of my letters now so you know how I feel. I’m very happy about the whole deal and everything would be perfect if only I were there to help. Or be in the way as usual. I think I have the most perfect wife in the whole world though. And don’t think I am not pleased. Guess what Madeline is doing. Painting and stenciling bombs. Bob got quite a bang out of that. Guess she is going to teach again this year though.
Madeline may be working at any of the three ammunition plants built in Nebraska during this time including: plants built in Nebraska during this time including: the Cornhusker’s Plant in Grand Island; and, the Hasting Naval Ammunition Plant and the Martin Bomber Plant, both located near Omaha. I would love to know the story about Madeline and her bombs. I can only hope someday the Winter family may read this and give me some insight. Now back to Dad’s letter.
Oh Honey we got a good one on Bob. He got some small can openers in some rations and we were horsing around and he said he was going to send one to Madeline. Well we jumped on that and said what a bright future he was going to have sending his wife a can opener. Since then we have really laid it on. Have I said how much I loved you Darling. I do love you very much. I should be kicked for ever saying anything about your writing. I am awful sorry honey. I love you and Jr. We three are going to have lots of fun someday. I would tease Ben about beating him but I believe he feels bad enough now so I don’t. It’s so nice. I have always dreamed things like this but didn’t think they could be true. I am happy honey and I love you very much.
My Darling Wife, Gosh honey I didn’t get a chance to send the letter I wrote last night so if I just write another and put it in the same envelope would you mind. I just reread a couple of your letters and couldn’t find much to write about. Only I guess if you like to buy groceries you’re going to have the job. Guess I’m not the type cause I never did like scouting around to find the best deals or find out which can of peas to buy to get the most for my money. I just bought and that was that. How’s Jr. tonight. I hope he behaves better than the Calif Sunshine. I know he will though honey. With you there I guess he’ll be spoiled. Me too.
22 July, Near St. Clair, France
Hi Darling, How’s the best wife in the world tonight. I still haven’t taken many pictures . But anytime now I might be. Can’t tell. I guess we can send them home. They go to someplace and if any information is in them they are held until after it has been released and then sent. It was that way. I’m not sure now. When I get a roll taken I’ll find out. It will probably change a couple of times before then.
23 July, Near St. Clair, France
Happy Anniversary Honey, Hope you are writing the same thing to me. Remember it wasn’t long ago that I got your letter wishing me the same. Now we are even. The day hasn’t been so bad. Went on a detail came back went to church read my mail and now am writing. Not bad for me Huh! If I would have been with you it would have been a perfect day as far as I am concerned. I did get two letters from you so it was a little better. It seems we get our mail every third day. And when that third day gets here we are reading mail. How’s Mom? Hope she is feeling better you better be careful how you go handling those tubs of water too. I don’t want anything happening to you either. That would be awful, Gosh honey be careful. I would have liked to have held your yarn but gosh it would have been a long stretch from there to here. Remind me and someday I’ll tangle some up so I can hold it. Wouldn’t that be good. Ann sent Ben one of the pictures we took the day in Raleigh. It was kind of good. I guess they are doing ok.
Mom and Dad have been married five months now. Two of them they were able to spend together now they are going to be having a baby. It will be like Mom is a single parent until Dad gets home. I really think that is what he was worried about. Thank goodness Mom is back at home living with Grandma Susie and Pop.
24 July, Near St. Clair, France
Gosh Mommie another day has gone by. Seemed like a year though. Gosh time seems to be going slow in comparison with the time we were together. Remember how we would go somewhere and gosh it was midnight in no time at all. Well you don’t go anywhere now so we have that time on our hands even without thinking of being away from you. I love you Darling. We got a good one on Ben today. We were all rushing to the showers and I’ll be darned he ran in with his shorts on. Did we ever laugh. He said well he had something to write home about. Well he isn’t the only one. I’m writing it too. Can’t you just see Ann Though. Gosh last night Bob and I were talking and we both decided that the first thing we were going to do when we got home was to buy the biggest and cockiest rooster and have chicken and noodles. Also apple pie with cheese. We have the darndest things to talk about. I better revise that. The second thing. First I’m going to Calif. Bob will have his in Nebraska. We are still arguing about his honeymoon Of course that’s just something to talk about.
26-27 July, Near St. Clair, France
Gosh Honey I got in late from detail last night and was awful tired so didn’t write. Hope you don’t mind. I got a nice long letter from you today. And gosh did I ever enjoy it. Hadn’t gotten any for about 4 days or maybe it was three. Anyway I got one from Mom also. They sure did hit the spot. She said Cloyd [Mom’s cousin] was back in the saddle. I’m glad to hear he wasn’t hurt too badly. What is his address maybe I’ll find time to drop him a line.
I have to assume that Cloyd was wounded overseas. Mom and Dad got a V-Mail from him in April and he was doing fine. Here is the V-mail for your viewing pleasure.
One thing about Junior. If he isn’t spoiled by the time I get there he will be shortly after. I am good at that. By the way you never did say what Mom thought about it. I have been wondering. Hope she liked it as well as I did.
And he did, spoil us I mean. I was certainly a Daddy’s girl. But I don’t come along for another 13 years.
30 July, Near St. Clair, France
My Darling Wife, Well I’ll try to do better than last night. I did want to finish that last page. But due to bed check and the coffee getting done early I didn’t have time. It’s a long story honey but someday I’ll tell you and we will both have a laugh. You asked what I wanted a boy or a girl. Well I’m just going to take what you give me honey and be all to [sic] satisfied. Gosh honey I’ll be happy if it is twins. I like Lee as a boys name. A girl well anything but Dorothy will do there. But there has been so darn many names the same in my family lets don’t choose one of them. You think of something and I’ll let you know what I think. You have more of a brain for names than I. Can’t say that I ever had a turtle for a pet. Guess I’m like you they like me too much. Once though I did make a small wired in box and caught flies grasshoppers bees and such and put in it. It didn’t last long though. A bee stung me through the wire and I throwed [sic] it away. Nothing has happened around here to write about so I guess I’m run down.
31 July, Near St. Clair, France
Fine night Mommie. Gosh wish I was with you. Sure would have fun I bet. Got paid today and sent for a money order but it didn’t get here. So I’ll have to send it tomorrow. That is our day. Mail should come then. I should get at least a couple letters then. I’m answering the third and last tonight. So if everything comes out right I should have some new news then. Nope honey there’s only one baby show ours will be entered into. We’ll show him to everyone. But as far as making a fool of him. Certainly not. I imagine you did enjoy the show though. I haven’t seen you around a baby yet. You haven’t enjoyed. Oh Boy! Mommie I’m just a baby at heart. Watermelon would taste good right now. I know a lot of thing that would. Bacon and eggs fried by Mommie would be best though. I wrote Dad today and told him he was going to be a Grandpa again. Was I suppose to. It been about the first I have written since you told me. Oh! And a V-Mail once in awhile but not a letter. Bob just went by and thought I was an early bird because I had this much written and he hadn’t even started. I love you Mommie. I told Ben about Jr. He said God I wish I could say the same. He said Ann said she would have triplets some day. I love you so much Honey. Everyday seems like a year. Sure wish I was on my way home. Gosh I love you.
1 August, St. Clair, France
Gosh Mommie if this seems a little dusty don’t say much. We were out riding today and everything I took seems to be dirt. I did wash once though. (Believe it or not) I sure hope by the time I become Poppa you can say more than just two words about it. Better than that I hope I’m home by then. But you know the chances on that. Bob made another break today. He was talking about what someone fed him once. He said they fed him half of one of those cheeses. He meant a small can of cheese but sure sounded funny the way cheeses came into the story. Well something to laugh about. He has been laughing at me all day anyway for having him about pushed out of bed this morning. There’s a longer story to that too. Some long night when we can’t sleep I’ll tell you. Well Mommie here’s the end again. I love you so much I guess I have to prove that someday. Be careful of junior Mommie and careful of yourself too. I love you darling.
2 August, Near St. Clair, France
Hows my wife tonight. I hope you are well and happy. I’m well but not happy. Gosh I laid down after chow to sleep and now I think I could eat a could dozen men. Feel rough like one does after he awakens. I guess I am not going to have much to say tonight. Listened to a radio and the news sounds good. Churchill gave a speech I guess. I heard it anyway.
According to this website, hansard.millbanksystems.com on 2 August 1944 Prime Minister Churchill gave an encouraging speech. Here is an excerpt from it.
I have upon the whole a good report to make to the House. On every battle front all over the world the armies of Germany and Japan are recoiling. They are recoiling before the Armed Forces of the many nations which in various groupings form the Grand Alliance. In the air, on the sea and under the sea, our well-established supremacy increases with steady strides. The losses by U-boats since the beginning of 1944, compared with former years, are almost negligible. The vast fleets of the Allies have sailed the seas and oceans from January to June with less than half the losses we have 1460 inflicted upon the small, dwindling and largely immobile naval resources of the enemy, both in the East and in the West. It is always possible that there may be a return of the U-boat war. There is talk of Germany trying to make U-boats faster under the water: there are various talks, and it is never well to discount these matters. It is always possible that the Germans may gain some temporary relative advantage in their aircraft. For these reasons we must be very careful not to relax unduly either our precautions or our exertions in order to turn our strength to other channels. Naturally, we wish to turn our strength increasingly to other channels: when one danger is removed a new opportunity presents itself; but we must be very careful, in view of the possibility of unexpected and usually unpleasant things turning up in future. But at this moment, throughout the world there is no theatre in which Allied mastery has not become pronounced.
You can read the whole speech at this link. It does make the situation sound a whole lot better.
Mom has been able to carry “Junior” four months now. I hope she is in the clear of the chance of losing the baby due to her endometriosis. The baby is due in January; will Dad make it home in time for the birth?
© 2013 notsofancynancy
Robert “Bob” Winter, Truman “Ben” Howard,