Posted by: notsofancynancy | March 14, 2013

World War II, Chapter 55, Life in the ETO

World War II

Life in the ETO

Chapter 55

Dad Wrote "Chateau where we lived"

Dad Wrote “Chateau where we lived”

In the last chapter Dad’s Battalion got bombed, near Nancy, France. The Third Army under the command of General Patton has made Nancy an important communication center. Once that had been established Dad’s battalion has moved to St. Max and is transporting the 35th Infantry around. There is a lot of war going on around him but because of the censors he is not able to tell exactly what is happening.

14 October 1944, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, So George is home. Gosh that is quite a surprise. I imagine he has changed. What did he think of Jr. Bet he didn’t like that at all. I got letter no 5 from you today. So I have missed 2-3-4. Nice average huh. Perhaps they will come soon. This one made darn good time. I don’t seem to be in such a good letter writing mood. I reread your letter and reading of George being home makes me homesick and now I’m to [sic] dead to write. Boy that doesn’t take much anymore. God Mommie I wish I were with you. Perhaps its [sic] better this way. At least you have a little income. Don’t know how it will be when I get out. I got a letter from Harold [Dad’s brother] today. I guess they are ok. They also sent a sympathy card from Aunt Annie’s funeral. I guess I should send it to you but what’s the use. About 6 words and you have read them before. I guess Harold bought flowers and included us in them. If they would have let me know about the funeral sooner I might have conceded. You better write them because I don’t think I’m going to. I love you honey with all my heart I do. If this letter doesn’t make sense to you forget it I wish I could go out and get on a 6 months drunk. If something doesn’t happen soon I think I will. So Jr. has a nightie to look forward too. Gee honey I think your [sic] going to make a swell mother. Your [sic] sure a swell wife. At least I can’t complain and I am the one who should if complaint were necessary. I love you so much my Darling. Mommie will you excuse me for tonight. I don’t think I am going to write anymore. I’m just going to go out and sit. Perhaps I can think this off. I don’t seem to be able to write. I love you so much honey. Gee I do. Goodnight my love. Your husband, Lefty

Who is George? I wonder if knowing that he is at home with Mom is the reason this letter sounds so discouraging or is it because of all the fighting going on around him. I guess we will never know.

Lefty and Vi

Lefty and Vi

15 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Well honey all I have tonight to write about is your picture. I have told you what I really think of it. Its [sic] swell honey. If the half I took up was gone I would think it better. I did kind of ruin it didn’t I. I sure wish I were that close to you now. As you suspected no letter from you today. Guess I was lucky yesterday. The mail just isn’t doing us justice. How is Jr. tonight? Hope he is ok. You know honey I’ll bet he sure does enjoy those things you are making. If he doesn’t well just let him make his own from now on. Mrs. Johnson must be sick. I haven’t heard from her for more than a month now. She’ll probably be writing soon. I kinda look for her letters. She has all the news about the fellows we were with. Know what I mean. Of course I didn’t mean I looked for hers half as much as yours. You always come first. Gee I just thought I had an insight  on something to write but decided it wouldn’t come through so what’s the use. My cold has kinda cleared up and everything else. Even the nose is better. Although a little sore. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I sent a box about a week ago. Also another money order. Hope you get them. I love you honey. For tonight, all my love. Your husband, Lefty

16 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Gee my Darling the Mail man was good to me today. I got three letters. That makes the first five I have gotten. The ones were kind of damp but I could read them. Gee it seems so good to get mail again. Even If they don’t come in the right order. Cloyd is getting to see some country huh! Wish I could have gone. But no luck. Dorothy must be getting his mail more regular now. Sure hope so anyway. Remember the big speal [sic] I wrote about Mrs. Johnson’s letter last night. Well I got one today. I guess she is having quite a time with the Parade Rest. A service canteen. Also her oldest daughter has had an operation and the next has love problems and youngest seems to be a pill in between the other two. I hope Grandma does get to come out. It would be nice if she did come after Jr. but just coming is awful nice. I think my blood pressure is up to [sic] Mommie. The closer to Jrs day the more excited I get. And you know that isn’t so far away anymore. I sure wish I were there. Gee Mommie 11 ½ pounds. Maybe we’ll beat Dionne. Huh! I don’t know. Boy that is a lot of poundage. I can see why everyone is wrapped up in Jr though. Mrs. Johnson asked for your address. She wants to send you a Xmas greeting So she said. I seem to be in good health. I’m still blowing it out my nose. I mean my cold. The skinned place is ok too. A little sore. I’m not saying anything Mommie but I’m sure thinking I love you a lot. I have written you every day for a long time Mommie. I hope you get them cause there may come a time when I won’t get to. I love you honey. I love you so much. I guess its [sic] time I quit and try to find my bed. Its [sic] awful dark and wet. I love you my darling. All my love, Lefty

Dad Wrote "Chateau of Chow" Mr. Cain wrote " Chow, St. Max"

Dad Wrote “Chateau of Chow” Mr. Cain wrote ” Chow, St. Max”

17 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, You know that chest of drawers has been quite a misery to me. First you were going to paint it then you got the paint to paint it and then I’ll be darned if you didn’t get the chest of drawers. I’ll bet it was nice though. And Jr will be pleased too. Hope you have enough drawers in case of twins. It would be awful if Jr the second had to sleep on the floor. Whats [sic] Henry and Agnes’s idea about babies? Don’t let [them] give you any wooden nickels. Mommie. I could chase two cups of good cocoa with all most everything. As a matter of fact I believe I could chase it around a couple of blocks. We got cocoa but its [sic] not good. Well honey Jr might be a war baby and he might have to wear his clothes a long time but I’ll bet you 75 cents that he won’t have a bro or sister until he does. Sounds like your [sic] going to have plenty company next summer. If they all come out it will be almost like home again. I thought I was going to have something to write tonight but there is so much talking going around I can’t think. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey I love you. I wish I were there. All my love, Lefty

18 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Hows [sic] my Mommie tonight? Good I hope. And at least have dry feet. Mine are sure wet and a slight bit cold too. But then I guess that isn’t bad because the rest is dry. A dry place to sleep and hey can I sleep lately. I got your card of Sept 20 today. It was nice. Besides being nice it had writing on it and boy that was good. They are the ones I like. Also I got the V-Mail you wrote. I guess that puts me up to about the Oct 6th or 5th letter. No I’ll hope for the rest since then. We had a picture show today. It was pretty good. I just didn’t get the name but I hadn’t seen it so to me it was awful good. I sure got homesick too. Boy it sure doesn’t take much to set me dreaming to a wife and family. Mommie what will I write now. Boy this is a dead old world where writing is concerned. How is Jr. tonight. Hope he isn’t chasing Mommie around yet. Well in case he is just climb a tree. Remember Harker Harvey. Well through the grape vine I guess his wife is having a baby also. Only she is about to beat you. Dec. I get it. So give her a run for her money Honey. Can’t let him get ahead. Gee heres [sic] where I usually say goodnight. I love you my Darling wife. I love you so much. And you do know honey I want to be with you so much. Just to help the little I can with Jr I love you honey. All my love, Lefty

A Convoy of American Soldiers Move Forward in France World War II

Convoy moving forward to Chateau

Mom is now about six months pregnant. They are expecting the baby about the 10th of January.

20 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Gee honey that old mail man isn’t doing me justice yet. Tomorrow maybe. But I wanted some today.  I did get a Christmas Present from the L.S.O. Lexington Service Organization It was only a handkerchief. But then I can always blow my nose. Also got a birthday greeting card from them. Gosh what am I going to write now. This is sure getting to be the berries. [I have no idea what he means by this]  Almost like the folks. Maybe I should start canning I’ll have a couple of pickles to talk about. Bob and I had our pictures taken today. I’ll send them someday. Have to get them first. Hope they are good. Only had one pose taken. I didn’t write yesterday honey so therefore didn’t get to ask how Junior is. I’ll bet he’s ok though. I have a slight headache tonight. Maybe its [sic] from sleeping to [sic] much. Think so? My cold is getting better the nose is almost well and I’m inclined to think I’m going to have to run into a tree so I’ll have something to write about. Ann sent Ben some of the colored pictures we took They said they were just of them. I hope ours are as good.  Well honey here’s a good one Dudley got a Pfc [Private First Class] rating which is swell. But the joke is his wife bought material for a dress at $4.00 a yard. We kid him about it. I sure don’t know how they’ll ever make it when he gets out of the army. I love you my darling. I love you so much. Gee I only dream of being home with you. All my love, Lefty

21 October, St. Max, France

My Dearest Wife, I didn’t have much to write last night so guess what I have tonight. Still no recent mail. Oh! I got a card you sent sometime B.C. But that didn’t help much because you wrote an airmail the same day and I’ve answered it and burned the letter. Or maybe it was one I haven’t gotten. You quoted on the back you were writing one anyway. The card was nice. Mommie there’s more B.S. going on around here tonight. Man if one can’t think of it the next can.  But can’t think of anything to write. Just think honey tomorrow I gained another year on you. And the next another month without you. That’s what hurts. Bob and I decided you and Madeline should have gotten a couple 4F’s. In the long run they’ll be in better shape than us anyway. If this weather doesn’t get me it will sure leave its marks. I’m getting so desperate I can hardly walk. You better tune up that typewriter because you’ll probably be making the living yet. I’m to [sic] lazy. Besides that the mail isn’t getting here. It will though. But I won’t get over being lazy. I love you my Darling and promise to write a good long letter as soon as I get something to write about. I love you honey. Oh so much I do. I love you. All my love, Lefty

Dad Wrote "Service Platoon Men in the back of the truck, Duke in seat and Keller on hood"

Dad Wrote “Service Platoon Men in the back of the truck, Duke in seat and (John) Keller on hood”

On 22 October, 1944 my father turned 25. What was he doing for his birthday? I see him driving troops around dodging enemy fire. Maybe he is riding as the machine gunner manning the gun which is attached to the top of the truck. The letters in this chapter are scribbled, hastily written. Dad is not making sense in some of his writing as if he is distracted and depressed. I can certainly see a big difference in his letters. I wonder if my Mom noticed as I do. What a way to spend your 25th birthday.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Harker W. Harvey, Robert “Bob” Winter, Truman “Ben” Howard, Oswald W. Dudley, John Keller



  1. Thanks for this posts – it’s always my “thursday-treat” ;o)

  2. Gosh – I can’t imagine how much work this is – compiling and translating and putting this in type. But what an incredible job you do! These photos are so very amazing – and the letters are so cherished. Wonderful – I am in awe.

    • I must be feeling a little emotional this morning! Your words brought tears to my eye. Thank you so much! Your words touched my heart. I just wish Dad was here to see what I have done. I sure do miss him and it is words like this that keep me going. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  3. I have not been getting emails linking me to your latest posts! It has been a while. I’ve got a lot to catch up on!

    • Hi Patrick! I have been wondering where you have been! Welcome back!

  4. I have to say, it *is* kind of hard to read this because it reminds me so much of both of my granddaddies. They have passed on (one in Dec 2007 and one in Feb 2008). Both were in the army with similar experiences and I am still slowly processing their deaths as well as the memories they left behind.
    — But…… now *I* am wondering who George might be. Did I read too fast and miss the ‘finding out who George is’ part?

    • No! I have no idea who George is. With both Mom and Dad gone I don’t think we will ever know. The downside of doing this after they are gone.

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