Posted by: notsofancynancy | January 31, 2013

World War II, Chapter 49, The Third Army

World War II

The Third Army

Chapter 49

Dad Wrote " I guess she was in a hurry" Mr. Cain wrote "Between Orleans and Le Mans"

Dad Wrote ” I guess she was in a hurry” Mr. Cain wrote “Between Orleans and Le Mans”

My parents have been married six months now. Dad will turn 25 in October and Mom turned 20 in January.  Mom is four months pregnant and although they have known each other since 1937 they only lived together for three months before he was shipped overseas. For a couple of months Dad’s battalion was following the First Army but on August 6 they were assigned to the Third Army, Patton’s Army.

13 August 1944 QM (Quartermaster) moved approximately two (2) miles east of Le Mans

13 August, Near Le Mans, France

My Darling Wife, Well honey here I am again. Don’t know what I am going to write though. There sure isn’t anything I know of. Want to know what I would like to do tonight. Go to an Abbot and Costello show. I’m in that kind of mood I guess. Want to have a good laugh and can’t find anything to laugh at. Would like to have some bacon and eggs too. If you and Mom keep up you’re going to have lots of fruit canned. If I were only there to stick my finger in it once in a while then it would have that added flavor. Guess what I believe I’m going to have to put my shoes on. I have been running bare footed since chow and its getting mighty chilly around now. I guess I’m about run down . Gosh I haven’t written very much Darling. Oh yes! I love you honey. You know I got two letters dated July 20. Guess you wrote twice. Gosh I guess I really do rate honey. One written in the morning and one evening. You stated in them that such. Gosh honey I don’t know what to say. That’s the first time I ever got two letters from the same person in one day. I love you my Darling. I love you very much. Its stopping time though so I love you. Wish I was home.

16 August QM moved to bivouac area on the outskirts of Norel. Approximately forty (40) miles east of Le Mans.

16 August, Near Norel, France

Gosh Honey I haven’t written for a couple days. I hope you aren’t thinking I’m neglecting you my Darling. I’m not I just haven’t had time. I’m not stringing you when I say that either. I got a letter from you today also one from Mom. It was the one she put the pictures in. Gosh honey when I saw them I got so homesick for you I could have cried. Well I was too damn tired to do that so I’ll just try to tell you how much I miss you. God Darling I don’t believe I would miss my left arm as much. I love the pictures though very much. Thank Mom for them cause I’m not responsible for my time anymore. And don’t know when I’m going to have 5 minutes to write. I love you very much my darling. I’m going to bed now.

Dad Wrote "Clean up time, Hanson, Levinsky, Huntsucker, Morgan"

Dad Wrote “Clean up time, Hanson, (William “Bill”) Levinsky, (Walter D.) Huntsucker, (Herbert V.) Morgan”

18 August, Near Norel, France

My darling Wife, You know Mommie I have sure been looking at those pictures to pieces Mom sent. Gosh I’ll bet they think I’m crazy looking at them so much but gosh they never give me time to write mush anymore so I look at your picture. Crazy isn’t it. But I love you honey. Maybe now I’ll have a little more gumption and tell you what I do think of them. They are very good. But I haven’t’ figured what you were making such a face at in the one.

19 August, written on same page as above.

You see Mommie my minds in the right place. I started to write yesterday and went to sleep on the job. I’m sorry. But I have been damn busy getting things in shape and I haven’t really known what sleep is for a while. Caught up again for a while I hope. Should be able to have a little time to write now. Gosh knows Mommie I have been thinking of you. I hope you’re ok. Our mail is in a lull again and we haven’t gotten any. I’ll probably get a whole bunch tomorrow. Guess what Mommie? Bob and I had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Of course we had to cook them ourselves and the bacon was to [sic] hard and the eggs burnt. We only had enough time to rush them down anyway so in a couple of days I’ll tell you how they really tasted. But they were good anyway. Almost had chicken too. Only I pulled it out of the pan and threw it away. I couldn’t convince Bob that chicken cost more than eggs. I sun burned my face and you should see my nose. Boy is it peeling. Don’t believe I’ll have any of it left. My face is so sore I’m not shaving so you see I did get it hot. Oh boy Mommie how I would like to set down to waffles. Even the mention of good food makes my mouth water. I think I have had three hot meals this week. Not bad…. plenty of coffee though. That is what counts. Well Mommie I guess I’ll have to call this quits for tonight I should have lots to write don’t you think. But I haven’t just can’t think straight. I did go swimming tonight. Boy was that good. Sure took the kinks out. I love you my darling. Love you so much. I sure wish we were together. Mommie it seems like ages, years and all the rest since I saw you. Gee I wish the war was over. I love you Mommie. Bob said to tell you hello and that he is still kicking.

Marvin Cain, Wood, William G. Price

Marvin Cain, Wood, William G. Price

20 August QM moved to bivouac area on outskirts of Baigneaux in dense woods.

21 August, Near Baigneaux, France

My Darling Wife and Momma. Well honey how’s Junior. Ok I hope. I know you probably wouldn’t tell me anyway. To keep me from worrying. I know he’s ok anyway so there. Gosh there isn’t anything to write about. We haven’t received any mail for so long we have forgotten what it is. God wish it would get here. Remember how hard I have said we were working. We did it again. Got another cussing. I knew we were working hard enough to get it. Just didn’t know when. Don’t seem to be able to work hard enough in 24 hours to suit them. They gave us a talk on drinking and we only have one person in the platoon who hasn’t been able to do his duty and it’s expected he can’t (I mean from drinking.) I should have 6 front teeth kicked in for not finishing this last night but I just sat there thinking how much better some people thought they were than others. And I got so damn mad I saw red and couldn’t write. So Bob and I went and got some eggs and fixed eggs and bacon. After that it was too late to write. We got mail today. I got two letters and one V-Mail all from you. Boy was I glad to get them. That is why I always try to write as often as possible. I think I ran an average on those 10 letters though. You’ll probably get 1 in 10 days now. I’ve had an awful time trying to write. Hey Mommie remember I told you I sun burnt my nose. Boy you should see it peel. Looks like a new potato with red paint all over it. It isn’t sore anymore and I have shaved. (Not lately though) I read Bob the part in your letter where he should get married and stay in one place for a month. He just laughed. I’ll tell him why later. He won’t come out [to California] anyway so I just agreed to have something to tease him about. I believe he would come if I talked hard enough though. I can just about see those heat waves rising from the Kansas wheat fields. I’ll bet it was hot there. Its [sic] hot enough here once in a while. I hope I am there to help polish those little shoes Mommie. Gosh I love you so much. Don’t see why we can’t get this damn war over and get home. If we had enough chance maybe we could. I love you honey.

22 August QM moved to area vicinity Pithivers for issue of rations, Stayed approximately four (4) hours continued move to Ladon, directly west of Montargis.

23 August, West of Montargis, France

Well Mommie, I dood it again. Missed writing last night. I had time in the afternoon but can’t get in the mood then and last night had a hurried call and didn’t get any. I thought the same thing was going to happen tonight but it turned out to be a day run. And am I glad. Did I do wrong Mommie by writing Dad about our baby. If so I’m awful sorry. I guess I was too excited. Should have known enough to let you do the head work in the family.  Yes Mommie I like chocolate ice cream only the other day I was telling Bob about the first time we went together and I bought you that banana split and you couldn’t eat it because of the chocolate. Quite a memory don’t you think. I must write Mom tonight. You know I haven’t written her since I got those pictures. You’re the only one I have written. If I can keep my eyes open long enough I’m going to catch up a little now. Shouldn’t be so sleepy I got to sleep from 4-8 this morning. Lucky. I love you my Darling. Wish I was there to help you buy for Jr. Glad you did get the money order. That was three months pay. Had $1.60 left after buying stamps. Not bad huh. I love you darling.



24 August, West of Montargis, France

My Darling Wife, Fountain pen day again and I’m not about to fill it now. [Letter is written in pencil] I got your letter with the newspaper clipping in it. I have neglected to tell you we are in France. Guess I wanted to spare you the worry. Nothing to worry about though that box had not fallen on me yet. I know the newspaper would have it in there sooner or later but didn’t know when. Well now you know why I haven’t been able to write you so often. I’ll also be able to explain later why we wrote more at one than the other. In other words Mommie nothing is complete only I love you. Gosh Mommie $388 in the bank. What have you been doing putting all the money in the bank and not saving any for yourself. It sounds mighty good though sweet. Wish I could send you more. Don’t know where I could get it though. Even now I won’t be getting over 14.00 a month. Our bond allotment was cancelled. Or did I tell you. The gov. [government] had no partial bond allotment anymore. So therefore we will not have that to worry about.  Well Mommie I don’t know what to tell you about the names. They aren’t bad I guess they will do. I hadn’t thought much about it either though. Haven’t had time to think about anything. Yes they’re good. Boy I just looked at myself in a mirror and am I getting wrinkled about like a man of 90. Well Darling I love you. I hope Jr. isn’t causing too much trouble. I only wish I were there to help you. I’m getting damn sick and tired of this. There isn’t anything to worry about Mommie. I’ll let you take care of yourself and Junior and we will when we get there and I’ll worry about getting there. Neither can do both but each can do their part. After all this is a 50-50. So I love you Mommie bye now. I love you.

25 August QM moved to bivouac area in the vicinity of La Chapelle approximately four (4) miles east of Montargis.

It is really hard to read these letters. I know there is stuff going on that Dad cannot talk about. His letters are scribbled and written in haste. He also started one letter and fell asleep without finishing it. They seem to be on the move almost daily. He seems to be having a hard time finding the time or stuff he is allowed to talk about to write about. I know there has to be fighting going on but he cannot talk about it. Somehow Mom has read in her hometown paper that there are actually in France but he does not want her to worry. What would that have been like? To not know where you’re new husband and the father of your baby was and if he was safe. I just can’t imagine.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter




  1. Thank you for another great post. It’s so sad that your parents lived together for only three months and later your dad has gone to war – that must be such a hard time for your mom. War is the worst thing on earth.

  2. It is just absolutely unbelievable to me that everything I’ve read about your dad happened to him before he was 25!

    • It is unbelievable to me too and I am his daughter!

  3. What a treasure of history you have, Nancy. Again, your sharing it with the world is inspiring.

    • Thank you for your kind words, such words make it all worth it!

  4. In the first photo, the man on the right is holding a M1 Garand as you must know by now. It fired a heavy-hitting round. In the shadow area, I see what appears to be a M1 Carbine, which fired a less lethal round. It was normally issued to rear echelon soldiers who moved from place to place.

    One thing that caught my attention is when Lefty remarked how he got homesick looking at the pictures from home. That occurred frequently from what I was told here and there. Definitely feelings that only they experienced living in fear daily.

    • Once again thank you my friend! Your insight is priceless. Since they are driving the infantry around it makes sense about the M1. It is hard to tell they are even in the fight reading his letters. He sure is keeping it a secret, but at this point it is what it is all about. Not giving away any secrets even if they ARE in rear echelon’s.

  5. Your poor dad, trying not to worry your mother. So tired, but trying his best to give her comfort. It’s blogs like yours that make me sad about the decline of handwritten letters today. You can read so much more than just the words, as you mention above.

    • I am ahead of my posts quite a bit in transcribing his letters and it gets worse. It is so hard to read and “hear” how bad it is for him. I mean he does not say so in the letters but I can feel it in his handwriting.

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