Posted by: notsofancynancy | February 21, 2013

World War II, Chapter 52, Bombed

World War II Bombed Chapter 52

Dad Wrote "Judson Haviland  in bomb crater"

Dad Wrote “Judson Haviland in bomb crater”

There is a lot going on in the war in September of 1944. According to Wikipedia:

The Battle of Nancy in September 1944 was a 10-day battle on the Western Front of World War II in which the U.S. 3rd Army defeated German forces defending the approaches to Nancy and crossings over the Moselle River to the north and south of the city. The battle resulted in U.S. forces fighting their way across the Moselle and liberating Nancy.

What amazes me most about Dad’s letters is there is no mention of what is going on around him and the war is raging. I know he is not allowed to write about what is going on around him but it seems as though there may be some mention of it in his letters. 15 September 35th Quartermaster moved one (1) mile NE of Goviller, France approximately twenty (20) miles SW of Nancy 15 September, Near Goviller, France

My Darling Wife, Here it is the 15th already and the war’s not over yet. We all had hopes of it being long gone by now. But no such luck. This morning before I went out Bob and I made a deal. I was to get a dog and he was going to make a chain. Well whatta you know I got the K9 but Bob had work to do so failed with the chain. Now we have to give her a bath and deflee [sic] her. I am writing this while to water is getting hot. Yes it’s a girl so we have to warm the water for her bath. Me I shaved in cold. So the latest asset or credit is a dog. What next? Well the dog has been bathed. Bob and I went to see the finish of that show we started to see last night and what do you know one of those French babes came over and sat on my knee all evening. Boy was she cute. Jr. will have a fine time with her next time. She was only about 3 but as I said very cute. Now I have interruption. The dog just jumped on my lap and I’m trying to write with her there. What a dog? She seem [sic] cold. I wonder why. Only I’m cold dry and shes [sic] wet without any winter underwear. Maybe we should have built a fire for her. I got a letter from you today written the 6. Not bad huh! It was the one you asked if I would like to live there permanent. [In California] I would like that. In fact I have been talking of that as home for some time. Now what do you think of my taking advantage of this deal of going to school and taking up some kind of trade after I get out. I have been thinking quite a lot of that too. It would only take about 6 mo. And I could go to a school in LA I hope. It would be a trade honey and that means a lot. Gosh the Army only pays $75 a month on a deal like that and of course the school but maybe I could work a little otherwise. Now what do you think of that? I guess everything was wrong when I got sunburned. We went over 600 miles in 48 hrs. and the wind and sun was mighty rough. We all had a little peeling to do. About got cooked. Had no cover over us at all. I guess its [sic] time to quit my darling. I love you so much. You are the best wife in the whole world. I love you my Darling.

Bob Winter

Bob Winter

18 September QM moved to outskirts of Haraucourt, France, almost directly east of Nancy, approximately ten (10) miles. No Day written September, Near Nancy, France

My Darling Wife, Honey I haven’t written for some time and I guess this won’t be much. Besides having lots to do I can’t think of anything to write. Only I love you very much my Darling. Gee Mommie I never could write how much I love you but its [sic] an awful lot anyway. Wish I were coming home tonight. I haven’t received any letters from you for several days. Did get a couple of cards you wrote in August. They were awful nice. Also got a couple of letters from [unreadable] in Nebraska. Only I didn’t even read them. Honey was there anything I was suppose [sic] to do about your Dr. bill.  If so let me know. How is Jr. now? Mommie be careful. Oh I know you will but it makes me feel better if I ask you to [sic]. Oh yes the dog left me. She didn’t stay only a couple days. Guess I’m not good company for any other girl. Perhaps she will come back. Well Mommie this is all for now. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I’m back to the old days again not writing. I love you.

Dad Wrote "Bob same hole"

Dad Wrote “Bob same hole”

20 September QM bombed and strafed by four (4) planes, dropped two bombs in vicinity of area, no causalities. 20 September, East of Nancy, France,

My Darling Wife, I love you Honey. That’s the best beginning to a letter I can think of. But I do love you. After I had finished your note last night the mail came and I had three letters from you. Also one from Mrs. Johnson and Bob [Dad’s brother]. Gosh what a mail call. Had to crawl down in my blankets and read by flashlight. But anything to get them read. Boy were they good. Gosh if I keep thinking of you and not writing I’m going to miss tonight. Almost dark now. I’m glad Grandma wasn’t as bad as they thought Boy I was pretty worried the first letter I got. By the way I haven’t written to Mom for some time so tell her I still remember her. And will write as soon as I have time. Gee wish I could go to a dance once. My feet have been itching for some time now. I guess if I dance it will be with Bob. There are a lot of things I would like to be doing now. Guess I’m just damn happy to be doing. Have a good time Mommie. It won’t be long now until you’ll have Jr. to contend with. I thought I was going to get a good letter written to you but I guess if I say I love you very, very much my Darling and am wishing I were home it will be the important thing for tonight and I mean it too. I do love you Mommie so much. I guess I just don’t know how much. But I know I’m so damn lonesome I don’t know what to do. God honey if I don’t get home soon I don’t know what I’ll do. I love you darling.

23 September, East of Nancy France,

Happy Anniversary Honey! I’m on the ball this month. But as you see I haven’t been writing. Chalk another point against Hitler. He sure is causing me a lot of trouble. But Mommie even though I’m not there and can’t write everyday I think about you lots. I think about the best wife in the world. How much fun we had and are going to have. I’m awful lonesome for you. Guess I have said that before. Bob and I have been planning on going to town. But it seems we just haven’t the time or something is wrong. It’s just as good. All I’d do is spend money and for sure you can use it better there than me foolishly spending it here.  I can’t see any use in spending it. I can’t get something to show for it and you sure can’t do that here. Ben often asks about you. Of course I told him and he wrote Ann. He said once what Ann wrote but I have certainly forgotten. Maybe I wrote it I don’t remember. You know Mommie I’m like the Dr. I don’t see how Jr. can come later than the 10th unless he is stubborn. Remember we left the 6th and I know it must have happened before that. You were in Kansas by the 14th. The way you talk I don’t know. (ha ha) It turned slightly cold and we haven’t been able to swim anymore. Now all we worry about is the mail. Which reminds me I haven’t gotten any for three days or longer. Seems like years though. I’ll teach you to swim or drown someday. How will that be. I love you honey. I guess it is time for you to gain. But 4 ½ pounds is a lot all at once isn’t it. Well gain lots Mommie cause Jr. will be an awful drag. Not that he will be bad. One loses weight when they are sick. Me I have lost it anyway. For the last while I haven’t been able to distinguish between me and a shadow. (When I can see it) Honey I’m afraid I’ll have to agree with you about Whitney Lee. It is terrible. I like Terry Lee or Billy Lee better. Of course I’m just making suggestions. Don’t worry Mommie Jr. shall have a name even if we have to name him Tom. Gosh Mommie Bob has often told me I looked all worn out when I came back to camp. But you know I never enjoyed staying up talking to anyone so much in all my life as I did to you. It was almost perfect then. And even though I didn’t get much sleep I didn’t mind a bit. We did talk about some funny things didn’t we. But you know we ironed out a lot of things we didn’t know didn’t we. So Mac is coming back. You know I never did like that guy. Sure wish I were home too. Every day I wish it more too. Just can’t waite [sic] until I get there. I love you honey. I love you so much.

 Dad Wrote "Bob and Ben Howard in the same crater" Marvin Cain wrote "1000 lb bomb crater dropped by US plane on 35th QM CO"

Dad Wrote “Bob and Ben Howard in the same crater” Marvin Cain wrote “1000 lb bomb crater dropped by US plane on 35th QM CO”

25 September QM moved to the SW section of Nancy, France, to Rommel barracks Wikipedia explains how important the capture of Nancy was:

The capture of Nancy provided the Allies an important communications center in France and the city later served as the garrison of U.S. 3rd Army Headquarters. The German defenders of Nancy, however, largely escaped the encirclement of the city and were available for further operations during the Lorraine Campaign. The XII Corps’ successful assault across the Moselle around Nancy also prompted the subsequent German counter-attack at Arracourt by the 5. Panzerarmee.

© 2013 notsofancynancy  Robert “Bob” Winter, Truman “Ben” Howard, Judson Haviland, Marvin Cain



  1. these photos are so haunting! And as to the anniversary – congrats girl! I’m not sure if Mom over at maybesomeoneshouldwritethatdown already nomiated you for the Liebster award – if she did, too bad. As to whether you’re up to accepting it? I’ll leave that for you to decide. I love this blog and only wish you the best!
    take care-

    • Thanks! It really means a lot!

      • you are very welcome. Keep up the great work. It’s important to remember…

  2. Getting mail from home was such a morale booster, wasn’t it!!

  3. My father was injured in that battle. He was a replacement troop who had been dropped off to join a unit, and within the hour they were shelled. It was his introduction to combat, and his new brothers in combat as he hunkered down in a foxhole with three other soldiers. In spite of having the lucky position – at the bottom of the hole, he felt a sharp sting in his face, underneath his ear. When the shelling ended and all of his newfound buddies checked with each to make sure everyone was ok, my dad said, “Im not sure.” The blood running down the side of his face was evidence that he had been hit by shrapnel. He’d only been in combat for not quite one hour, before he had to take the same truck back that had brought him there. The only good thing about my Dad’s injury was that it sent him back to England for medical leave, and by the time he was sent back to the front he had missed fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. His original unit that he trained with suffered 50% casualties, and the rest we captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war in a German camp. But every time September rolled around in our house, Dad would quietly announce, “We’ll, this was the day they almost killed me in Nancy.”

    • Wow thanks for sharing. I have to wonder if my dad was the one who drove him. And then how many others did my father drove away from the front lines. On a side note I was born in September and they named me Nancy. Makes me wonder.

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