Posted by: notsofancynancy | March 7, 2013

World War II, Chapter 54, Nancy to St. Max

World War II

Nancy to St. Max

Chapter 54

Dad Wrote "Nancy, across the river Moselle, on the St. Max, Mr. Bob and Popp, Hansen, notice the fish just at the point of the (unreadable) The man was very happy that we took that."

Dad Wrote “Nancy, across the river Moselle, on the St. Max, Mr. Bob and Hansen, notice the fish just at the point of the (unreadable) The man was very happy that we took that.”

In the last chapter we learned a little about the liberation of Nancy, France which was accomplished on 15 September 1944. It provided an important communication center and a garrison for the Third Army which the 35th Quartermaster, my father’s division, is assigned to.

6 October, Near Nancy, France

My Darling Wife, Honey remember a couple letters back I said I wouldn’t be able to send any money home this month. Well do [sic] to someone being generous I can. You see I changed guard with a kid and he paid me for it. So here comes the money. Sure I kept out enough for myself. Because all I need is 100 francs to buy envelopes with. Otherwise I have nothing to use money for. And there isn’t any use in carrying it around and I know you can use it. So I send it home. I’ll send this money order tonight. Remember your letter of the 19th. The little island in the corner. Gosh Honey I guess I could spend a life time on one with you. I saw a little island once and was just thinking about something like that. I sure could see things on it for us. Any damn place would be good enough if they would only let us be together. I love you my darling. I’m glad the Red Cross was on the ball and got your papers out. Sometimes they aren’t. Now I hope everything goes ok.  Do I ever have a cold. My nose is about to run away. I don’t suppose it will last long but it sure is a nuisance now. Bob has one too. Maybe I got mine from him. I don’t know Mommie perhaps Jr. will be left handed. But then it isn’t so bad being that way. Mommie I haven’t ever seen Cloyd’s outfit. Don’t know why guess our trails just haven’t crossed. His address was ok though. Also Uncle Georges was ok. I finally got here. The mail has been coming good the last three days. Got 26th & 27th today. So George is coming back. That’s good I’m for anyone coming home. In fact I’d be so damn happy if I were coming home. I just can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do. One doesn’t have to have ice cubes to fight with around here. Usually the ice is on the ground and God knows there’s enough fighting. Pop said there was ¼ inch of ice on a bucket yesterday morning. I sure wish I could tell you how I have spent a couple week ends [sic]. And then you would think full pants full. [I have no idea what he means by this. An odd thing to say] I’m glad Pop didn’t mind Jr. I didn’t think he would. I guess there wasn’t much he could say huh! Mommie I hope you didn’t send too much for Xmas. Cause it will be next spring before it ever gets here. Your last one hasn’t even gotten here. And have I been looking for it. I’ll like it though. I’m sure of that Mommie. Darling I must quit now. I love you Darling. Gosh I wish I were there to tell you about it. I love you Sweetheart. I love you honey. All my love, Lefty.

7 October, Near Nancy, France

My Dearest Darling, Gosh Honey this sure won’t be much to write about tonight. Nothing happened today. My cold seems to be a little better.  Only it seems to have settled in my left ear. It seems kinda plugged and has a ringing in it. I imagine tomorrow I’ll have the mess kit blues. We got some pears today and they are about half green but we ate them anyway. More fun. Yesterday I sent a money order and today I sent a box. Of course there isn’t much in the box. But thought perhaps if you couldn’t read it you could toss it in the car. When it comes to those kind of things I’m not so good so you’ll probably have to throw it out. I imagine it will take a couple months to get there so don’t look for it to soon. I’ll write Clara and George one of the first day’s [sic]. Perhaps tonight only I just can’t think of anything to write I just can’t think of anything to say to you. Just reread one of your letters and there wasn’t anything important in them. Except of course that you love me and that’s damn important. I love you too Honey. Gosh I love you lots. Mommie I have slept in so many different places I Kinda had to laugh when you said you slept with the curlers in your hair and had a stiff neck. Man was the ground hard for while or a truck bed or something. But now just anything feels like a feather bed. Of course not like the one we slept on at Grandma Shultz’s but we are comfortable. I think when I first started this deal of sleeping on the ground you could have heard the bones creek the next morning when I got up. We won’t have to buy a bed Mommie. Just throw a couple of blankets on the floor. It just seems like a dream here. Wish someone would wake me and I’ll be home in your arms. I think I could sleep there forever. Mommie I love you so much. I’m hoping to see you sooner than anyone expects. I know I won’t but you can dream, I love you Mommie, I love you. All my love, Lefty

What is really going on?

What is really going on?

This letter was hard to transcribe. Dad’s writing was hurried and scribbled. It makes me wonder what exactly is going on to have his handwriting so bad. Was there something significant happening around him? I have to wonder.

8 October, near Nancy, France

My Darling Wife, Oh! Gosh honey two beautiful letters from you today. Man was I glad to get them. There wasn’t any yesterday and I thought we had gone into a lull in mail. Gosh I sure like to get your mail. I imagine you know how I feel.  My cold is still running. I have thought of putting a pipe on my nose and have running water in the house. It has broken though and I imagine in a couple days it will be a thing in the past. In other words I’m about to lose it. Goody-Goody. I hope the pictures are good too honey. But then you always take good ones. I got one of Bob and another bald headed kid the other day. Bob had on a fur hat and Chuck had the fly pond showing. It should be good. Say you did right well in the candy didn’t you. I’ll bet it was good. You’ll have a job making some for me when I get there. Boy will that be a grand old time. Say Mommie I have hinted about the hard times we have had here. God I imagine you’re all worried about it. Don’t Honey. There isn’t anything to worry about. Seems there isn’t half as much danger as I can let on. Norma and Bob sent me one roll of film. I got it a couple weeks ago. I have about three rolls I haven’t taken yet. But I imagine they won’t last long. I don’t know why it came so fast when your package isn’t coming. I love you my Darling. Gosh I love you so much. I sure wish I was there so you could give me that big kiss. I’d sure return it. I love you sweetheart. I love you. All my love, Lefty

Dad must be trying to calm Mom’s nerves about what is going on around him. After all in the last chapter they got bombed.

Written in haste?

Written in haste?

11 October, Near Nancy, France

My Darling Wife, Gosh Honey I didn’t get to write last night so this should be twice as good. Was on guard and just didn’t have time. Gosh I love you lots Mommie. I haven’t gotten any mail for two days now. And besides that the weather, and a cold I have been in an awful mood. The cold is about gone. I [unreadable] up and I guess it did some good. I hope the breaking out on your toes has gone away. Ever since I got in the Army they have harped on athlete’s foot. Me I really haven’t been bothered. Don’t know why. Guess I’m not the type. Gosh I guess “Algiers” and “A Star is Born” is old. I remember seeing them when I was home. I think in 40. Say honey you should just see my nose. Man you should see it. Last night on guard I slipped and fell, my helmet fell over my nose and I landed on it. Therefore I lost—I don’t know whether its [sic]ten inches of skin or ten inches of hide. Besides that its awful sore. So maybe I cracked it again where it was broken. I think they should give me the Purple Heart the DSC and a couple silver stars or something. But I guess I’ll just get a scar. Darling you can say my wife is no good but I’ll give 1001 to 1 odds you can’t make me believe that. I think she is awful swell. And just wish I could be there to kick her little butt for saying things like that. I love you Darling. I could use my scarf if you sent it honey but the sweater well we can’t wear them outside and its [sic] no good underneath. Of course if you sent it too I can always use it. Don’t send things though if you haven’t. Darling I love you so much. We are talking about driving trucks back home. I love you honey. I guess I just can explain how much. But it’s lots and lots. I love you, all my love, Lefty Your Husband

11 October, near Nancy, France

My Darling Wife, Another day another 15 cen. [cents] Gosh honey am I lucky. One letter in the platoon and I got it from you too. Now I have nothing to write but perhaps I can scribble a little. I guess I am excited about Jr. Honey only I don’t know how to show it any more. I think about you and him a lot and all the good it does me. I guess I’m just not the exciting type anymore. Not like I used to be anyway. I find it doesn’t pay. But honey I do have that feeling of getting to be Papa. I think I got about 10 letters from you last month so the rest are either coming or lost. Gosh see how much I have missed. And the long days I have put in when I could have used those other letters. Perhaps they will come on some other days as bad. I told Bob about you learning to fry chicken so we could have them when he and Madeline come out. He said well you’ll have plenty of time to practice before he makes enough money to come to Calif. I guess I haven’t convinced him yet. Perhaps I should be there to help you drink that milk. Man honey do you realize I haven’t had any fresh milk since I left there. Just can’t get it here. And boy do I miss it. Also wouldn’t mind setting by the fire having a little ice cream. But I guess if I had you I could do without all of them thar things. What I want is you and that little one soon.  You aren’t kidding I’ll walk Mommie. I’m so sick of riding I’m glad to get out and do a little walking. In fact Bob and I have done a little lately. Just around camp though. I haven’t heard from home for about a month now. I guess Mike has had trouble. I thought he would be well by now though. You haven’t met Aunt Annie. She is from North Platte. I didn’t even know she had died. I was named after her husband. Lorens P. Lorensen. (mom’s Brother) Its quitting time my Darling. I love you so much. Yes darling there are letters on the way. But for a week I didn’t get much writing done. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I love you, I love you, all my love, Lefty

12 October Quartermaster moved to new area within the town of St. Max

Dad Wrote:"  Note the Chateau in the rear, Pretty ain't it, Hanson Edlund ." Mr Cain wrote "St. Max"

Dad Wrote:” Note the Chateau in the rear, Pretty ain’t it, Hanson Edlund .” Mr Cain wrote “St. Max”

12 October, St. Max France

My Darling Wife, Gee Honey am I ever miserable. I am wet and no place to dry. I guess I’ll dry though. I have quite a few times before. I got the portfolio today honey and was it swell. Just what I wanted. But I like the picture best of all. Gee it was good of us wasn’t it. I mean of you. I didn’t fair [sic] so well. I have spent most of my spare time looking at it. I also got a letter from you dated the second. So now I have the first you numbered. I’ll see how many I don’t get. That jacket for Jr. sounds swell. Make me a couple huh! Guess I should have ties with draw strings though cause my feet sure have been getting cold. I guess I do get your mail honey. But it all comes at once and in between times I write. I haven’t gotten any. Lately though they have gotten here good. I only hope they keep up. I have missed some of your letters though Darling. I don’t think I got any dated between the 8 & 15 of last month and other times it has been a long time. They are urging us to write all V-Mail now and during the holiday’s. They say the air mail just won’t get through in less than 6 weeks and V-Mail should only take 10 days. Up to date though it is the other way. I got the paper today with my picture in it. And believe it or not they have changed my address. It no [sic] comes here. Boy was I surprised. I thought sure it was lost. I’ll send it in case Dean doesn’t bring the one he has. I wouldn’t send it but it mentions our wedding and so that’s it. Madeline is sure laying it on thick because she didn’t get married. I guess she sure wishes she would have. So does Bob. In case this paper is blotted don’t mind. Its [sic] raining and once in awhile some hits. I can hear it. Mommie I just thought about something you wrote yesterday. I wrote once I was more excited over Jr. than the war. And you answered that. Well last night I gave out a big speal [sic]. Which is right but now that the wheels have turned and I thought up the angle. I’ll say its [sic] true. I am so tired. Darling I love you so much. I’m so glad to get the folio and picture also envelopes and such. But most of all the picture. It [sic] won’t be lonesome for awhile [sic]. I love you so much honey. I do darling. Sure wish I could tell you all about it some other way. But I love you is I love you any old way. Nite my Darling. All my love, your husband Lefty.

Mom and Dad's Wedding Picture

Mom and Dad’s Wedding Picture

13 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Well Mommie that liquid sunshine stop [sic] and a little of the other kind came down. Boy were we glad. Kinda got the dampness out. And does that need to be done. I got a letter from Bob[Dad’s brother] today. I guess they have been having quite a time getting the farm to look like one. You know. Chickens, cats, hogs, dogs and such. The cat family advanced in a hurry. The old cat had three young ones and that I would say is to [sic] many.  She said Dad was ok but Ruth had to take Janet to Lincoln to have another cast put on her foot. Gosh I wish that would get ok. Sure hope Jr doesn’t have anything like that wrong. He won’t though. By the way how is he. You didn’t say in your last letter. I’ll ask. Did the Dr find the heart beat and such as she should have. Bob got a letter from Madeline and I guess she hasn’t been hearing from him either. She said if she didn’t hear from him by today she was coming to France to find him. Have I told you how much I loved you. I love you so much my Darling. Gee I wish I could tell you how much but no words can say that. Mommie one time Pat and Mike had been on the front line for a long time and were pretty tired. Well they saw a cow and got an idea. They skinned it and Mike got the front half and Pat in the back and started walking around disguised so no one would shoot at them. Well all at once Mike first started running and so Pat had to follow not knowing why. Well they ran a long ways and finally Ike says “Its no use Pat brace yourself here comes the bull.” Perhaps you have heard it but maybe not. Gosh I have about run down again honey. I love you very much. How does Mom & Pop feel about the Baby now? Has Pop changed from the way you said when you told him? I like it. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Sure wish I were coming home. I love you, All my love, Your husband, Lefty

Well it seems both Grandma Susie and Pop are ok with the baby coming.  It must have weighed heavy on Dad’s mind, wondering how they felt. After all Mom and Dad pretty much eloped and she got pregnant in the few months they had together. Then he was shipped out before she even knew she was pregnant. He seems to have asked many times in his letters what they thought about it. Dad must have been beside himself waiting for an answer. I know he really did care what they thought. The mail not getting there must have kept him on edge. Once again I wish we had Mom’s letters to read about what she had to say about it. It seems as though Dad has not been able to keep many of them what with the rain, limited space to carry them, and all the rereading he did they may not have held up well. I also have to wonder if he did not keep them for security reasons.

Robert “Bob” Winter, Charles “Chuck” Lance



  1. Your dad was a serious romantic! As always, I love going back in time with these letters. World history and personal history all rolled into one.

    • It is amazing to see how in love he was with her. I also wonder what he would have done without her. She pretty much gave him something to live for.

  2. Thanks for this wonderful post and for sharing this pictures with me. We used to live in Nancy for two years and now I know how it was looking in 1944.

    • Has it changed a lot?

      • of course, but not all things are good, too much things who are destroying the character of a city…

      • So sad!

  3. I love the part of how he sent her money and didn’t keep much for himself. Too sweet. Amazing job on this, as always!

    • It is so sweet but even sweeter that she put all his money in the bank and is saving it for when he comes home or when the baby comes whichever comes first I guess.

      • Boy, what a different era, huh? All that saving and stuff. There’s your generation gap – it’s too bad that didn’t get passed down.

  4. One thing I have taken in from reading all these letters from Lefty is how things have changed. Not just with the physicality of it (envelopes, V-letters, etc.) but the waiting and waiting. And their beautiful language.

    Our military now with the use of Skype or similar can now chat with the desired party. But thing is for sure… Their descendants will not have have any letters to read like you. It is all live.

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