Posted by: notsofancynancy | December 27, 2012

World War II, chapter 44, England

World War II

England

Chapter 44

Lefty

Lefty

Because Dad’s letters are censored he is not saying much in them. Most of the letters are professing his love for Mom, paragraphs of love with just a little news mixed in. I don’t like to change how I am writing his story but in an effort to keep things moving I will edit the letters and only include the news.

4 June, 1944, Cornwall, England

Darling, How’s Mommie tonight in Sunny Calif. I guess you should have gotten lots of letters from me by now so maybe you feel as well as I did when I got mine. Gosh Honey they were like chocolate to a kid. I went to church again this morning. Liked it very much. The preacher was very good although it was in honor of Sunday school and therefore was for the children. But good. Wish you had been here for dinner. We had fried chicken and Ice Cream and boy what a meal. Sure tasted good too. I was awful hungry.

6 June, 1944, D-Day-Operation Neptune, According to Wikipedia:

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Alliedinvasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 am British Double Summer Time (GMT+2). In planning, as for most Allied operations, the term D-Day was used for the day of the actual landing.

I always thought that Dad’s Division was a part of the Normandy Landings but according to the 35th “Quartermaster Station and Area’s Occupied by the QM” They are still in Cornwall, England. Could they be moving around the area?

Various Stations and Area's Occupied by the 35th QM

Various Stations and Area’s Occupied by the 35th QM Courtesy of Marvin Cain’s Family

2 June, Cornwall, England

God I would have given 10 pounds tonight had your mail come through. But it didn’t so I have to waite [sic] another day. God I wish it would get here. Bob and I went to a dance last night. Not much doing at first. I was only going to listen then my feet got itchy and I danced some. You would go nuts around here if you didn’t do something. Long old hours waiting to get back. Did you see Madeline while you were up there. She wrote Bob and said how long you were there and that you planned on coming back. You know honey I’m keeping track of you through someone elses [sic] mail. But surely would like to get yours. I know its [sic] coming Honey and you are doing all you can to get it here. Guess I’m just anxious.

8 June, Cornwall, England

Darling how’s Mommie tonight. Writing I hope cause I’m certainly not getting any letters. It has been almost a week now and things are certainly getting dead. I’m it. By the way honey do you know I get a kiss good night every morning [sic] when I get up. Find a time map and see the difference in time between there and here. I think you’ll find that mine is about 6 next morning. Bob and I went to a show again tonight. It was good but do you know Bob doesn’t make half as good a person to see a show with as you. He doesn’t get frightened. Well Mommie I love you so very much. I’m hoping you are getting my mail now.

Dad and Bob overseas

Dad and Bob overseas

8 June, Cornwall England

I got a letter from you this morning and was I glad even if it was an old one. Where did you borrow the pretty stationary and green ink. It certainly goes good together. I’m certainly glad Dad is in good health. Or better than the last time I saw him.  He was looking pretty bad then if you remember. Here I have been worrying about your finances. I didn’t realize the allotment check would be that much. I guess you could use more though anyway. I’ll have to send it after the first. Honey about the other. Well there isn’t anything else in the world I want more but I hope it isn’t that way just yet.  But if it is I’m going to be very happy. Much more so though if I were there. I suppose you know now though. For sure.  Mom told me about meeting you in the telephone booth what a place for a reunion. I love you honey very much gosh I wish I were where you could try to squeeze me to pieces. I will be someday though and then look out. I have been writing to Calif for sometime so you should have plenty of mail when you get home. At least I’m hoping you have. Believe me I’ve been writing enough between V-mail and air you should get reading material for months.

I have to assume Dad is talking about Mom being pregnant. I can understand the hesitation he has to her being pregnant now. After all he may never return and right about now he may be seeing some action overseas. What was that like for Mom? Knowing she may be pregnant and knowing her husband may never come home. She must have been scared too, right? And is she pregnant? I mean after two months of living as husband and wife it is certainly a possibility.

14 June, Cornwall, England

I guess I’ll write tonight. Maybe not much but enough to let you know I haven’t broken my arm so I can’t. Gosh I’m glad I have some one back home who writes to keep up my spirits. Don’t know what I would do if I didn’t hear from Bob and Norma (Dad’s brother and sister-in-law) once or twice a week. Of course they never have much to write and haven’t heard from us since we were married but still I have heard about three times more from them then anyone. These nice long days are so easy to pass especially when you have been looking for someone to write and then get disappointed. I must say too that I think our mail has been coming this way twice as good as I have expected it too. You should know though that your mail will be awful late for awhile. Anyway honey thanks alot for writing you have been so swell about it. As I have said Madeline certainly seems to be in a rut. Every day when Bob (Dad’s Army buddy) gets her letter he usually says something about how sorry she seems. Then he goes into a blue mood for a couple hours then waites [sic] the until the next day. Then the same thing over. Now take me for instance I never have that kind of trouble because my wife doesn’t think it necessary to write.

Oh dear! He had me wondering whether he was being sarcastic or not and by the end of the letter you can sure tell he is not getting enough mail from her. He sure makes it clear he is not happy. I wonder if it is just the mail service. The letters he has written the past month have been written to various addresses. Dad has been following Mom on her trip back to Pasadena with his letters. Some were addressed to Nebraska, some to Kansas and some to California. I guess Mom is finally back at home in California but even this letter had been delivered to the wrong address.  Dad addressed it right but it seems they delivered it to Glendale rather than Pasadena and it had been forwarded. Also it has to be taking a while for his letters to get to her after all his letters do have to be censored before they get far which I am sure have delayed his. Maybe Mom thinks Dad is not writing to her, it could be one vicious cycle.

Wayward Letter

Wayward Letter

17 June, Cornwall England

Gosh Mommie I got another letter from you today and it was so swell. Man was I getting down in the ruts. I guess I just can’t take it. Man when no letters come for a couple weeks I’m just out. Walks around here in about 2/3 of a daze and get to thinking a lot of things. I shouldn’t have taken it out on someone and up to date you seems to be the only one I got to be wondering why everyone else had been getting mail and not me. It kinds of hits a low ceiling when none comes. I’m glad the pictures Ann sent out where good. Ours should be coming before long. Hope they are also good. For what they cost they should be trimmed in gold. I have been playing ball lately and am none the better for it. Have one finger hurt and today a couple of us went after the same ball and tied. My jaw feels like someone has been beating on it for a week. It isn’t bad though. Nothing that won’t be over with shortly. Bob got a crush bracelet from Madeline for his birthday and his mother sent him a tie. I guess that is OK too. Anyway he certainly likes Madeline’s gift. Said he had been wanting one for ages. On the back it had engraved “To My Man.” Gosh Darling you’re getting me all excited about what you promised to tell me. Can’t waite [sic] to find out for sure. Think I’ll have a few too many (unreadable) the day I find out. Of course a negative answer would be different. I’m hoping for the best. I love you Darling. Guess I’ll have to go to church again tomorrow. I tried last Sunday and never did get up. I was awful tired doing nothing. It’s eleven now honey so I’ll quit and go to bed. I love you Mommie very much. Wish I were with you right now instead of here. But then I love you. All my love, Lefty

This is another great example of how much letters from home meant to these men. One day he is upset because he is not hearing from his wife and the next the relief of receiving news from home.

© 2012 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter

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Responses

  1. These letters are so amazing – and such priceless treasures! I’m so glad you have them and you are sharing! Wonderful, wonderful…

    • Thank you so much Susan, I am happy I have them to share!

  2. the anguish he went through is so hurtful to my heart as you know that the letters are what kept him going. Is this when they were expecting you?

    • They were ever so important to Dad and the other soldiers but his words sure bring home the idea of how much they depended on them.

      I am not born for another 13 years.

  3. Frightening how a hiccup in mail delivery could have such a big effect on morale. It seemed to be all or nothing then.

    • It seems to be a common thing the whole time they were overseas. But how could it not be. They did not stay in one place very long it must have been hard to get the mail to all those fighting.

  4. I guess mail both ways was very important for morale. When my father was slack in writing home, the Salvation Army got word to him to pick up a pen.

  5. I’ve read through these twice and it just breaks my heart how it must have felt to not get the letters he was hoping for! Glad to know they did get through that time!

    • It breaks my heart too. Especially since I know how many letters Dad has sent to Mom. The suitcase I have is over flowing with his letters. I really wish I had some of Mom’s letters but I have not. I am just thankful to have his.

      • I am really enjoying following along as you transcribe them! Thank you for all the effort you are putting into this! It must take you HOURS! ((Hugs)) Rani

      • Comments like this make it all worth it. Thank you!

      • I know what you mean. I’m the chief researcher and tree-keeper for my family, but I have about 37 distant cousins that I do tag-team research with. They send me hints, and I dig deeper. I have spent hours and hours transcribing documents and posting them to our online tree. I have sent group emails with each new significant find. Many times, the cousins don’t seem to even READ the stuff I share. And these are MY cousins, and these are FELLOW GENEALOGISTS!

        Maybe I should figure out how to share the stuff on WP like you do. Even though it wouldn’t be FAMILY that would read, at least it would be fellow genealogists and history buffs, like the folks who follow YOUR blog. 🙂

      • That same thing happens to me. I don’t think one family member reads Dad’s letters. If you post it here I would read it!!!! It is the people who follow me here that keep me going!

      • I will be thinking this through in the coming days and figuring out how to begin. Thanks for the encouragement! Have a blessed night!

  6. It’s so interesting to think about how many days, weeks, and even months could go by without really good communication during that era. Yet a friend of mine told me how difficult it was for her to have “instant” communication with her son in Iraq. She almost always knew when he was going to be in a particularly unsafe or unsettling circumstance. He would email or phone before and tell her not to worry, but that he’d be unable to use any communication methods for a day or so. Although she was relieved she could talk to him with relative ease, she also admitted to me that she sometimes felt like she knew too much. It’s just an interesting thought. But it comes to mind as I read your dad’s sadness and anxiety when he didn’t have a letter. It’s almost hard to relate to that in today’s world!

    • It is amazing to me how in touch the troops are today. I know Dad is going through a lot but yet he says nothing about it. I am sure that is because of the censor though. I am not sure which is better. I am sure that I would be worried either way. I mean I am worried about my dad even though I know he comes home and it was seventy years ago.

  7. We have indeed been blessed by modern technology. Now there is skype and although not the same as being home, I am sure it brings much comfort to the families and the soldiers. Just a tidbit. My dad landed on the beaches beginning of July and from what he said once they landed they still had to deal with snipers and traps, and then as they were moving more inland there was still plenty of fighting. Interesting to note that your dad will yet see plenty of action.

  8. The prolonged feeling of dread must have been terrible, dreading that someone any day might come knock on your door with bad news. Your mom and all those left at home to manage really deserve a lot of credit too. Are you going to watch ‘bomb girls’? Starts this week again…season 1 was awesome.

  9. Good stuff. Thanks for it. As a letter writer, I very much appreciate all of this.

    Best,

    S. Thomas Summers
    Author of Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War

    • There are just not enough letter writers left in this world! Bravo and thanks for stopping by!


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