Posted by: notsofancynancy | March 28, 2013

World War II, chapter 57, Oh La La!

World War II

Oh La La!

Chapter 57



Dad’s battalion has been in bivouac near St. Max, France since the 12th October 1944 and will remain there until 10 November when they will move once again. The weather has been harsh on the men and it was hard for them to keep their feet dry which let to extreme cases of trench foot.  Fortunately Dad never had to experience it. 27 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Well darling I haven’t any mail for today so I guess I won’t have much to say. But then if I try right hard I guess I can tell how much I love you. This isn’t the right place to tell you that. But I do love you any old place honey. Gee I love you so much. I got the pictures today. My God! What a mess. I didn’t think one man could take such a picture. But I paid for them so be darned if I don’t send you one. Don’t faint because they are bad. As soon as I can make up a box I’ll send the rest and you can do as you [will] about them. I have sure accumulated some good stuff for a bedroll this time. I found an old zipper and some heavy canvas and now some good old needle work and I should sleep like a child. You know with one eye & ear ready to hear that pin you dropped. Thats [sic] the way we sleep. I guess Bob’s pictures got lost somewhere. He can’t even find the plates they were taken on. I guess he will have them taken again. If not we sure made a fool of ourselves. There I have written one page and haven’t even said anything. But what do I do now. I started once to say how much I love you but that kinda played out so I’ll try again. Remember one time when we were talking. You said you almost didn’t marry me because I wouldn’t say I loved you. Now I can’t tell you enough that I do. You don’t have to worry about me not saying I love you because I want to spend the rest of my life saying it. I think that would be the nicest way to spend my life. I love you my Darling so much. Have you been reading Little Abner lately? How do you think it will turn out? It’s sure and [sic] awful mess now. The man who thinks that up sure must get paid for no sense instead of the other. I love you Honey. I’m writing Mom tonight so I’ll stop and get it done before it gets to [sic] late. I love you darling. I love you I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty.

I was able to find quite a bit on Lil’ Abner. According to Wikipedia:

“Li’l Abner” is a satirical American comic strip that appeared in many newspapers in the United States, Canada and Europe, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished mountain village of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Written and drawn by Al Capp (1909–1979), the strip ran for 43 years, from August 13, 1934 through November 13, 1977. It was distributed by United Feature Syndicate. Comic strips typically dealt with northern urban experiences before Capp introduced the first strip based in the South. Although Capp was from Connecticut, he spent 43 years teaching the world about Dogpatch, reaching 60 million readers in over 900 American newspapers and 100 foreign papers in 28 countries. Inge says Capp, “had a profound influence on the way the world viewed the American South.”

We may never know exactly what was going on in Dogpatch in October of 1944.

28 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Hi my Darling I love you. Still no mail from you. That’s two days straight. I guess tomorrow. I did get one from Eva though. She says she is getting married as soon as the boy friend [sic] comes home. And guess what she wants us to be the witnesses. I guess she will have to come out there huh! She is pretty well worked up. I guess she put off getting married because she was afraid she couldn’t resist going with other fellows while he was gone. You know Darling I wouldn’t say she loved him. I do you and I’m sure I can’t run around with other women. God they don’t even look good. Even to dance with it doesn’t seem right. I don’t know how you feel about it. But that’s my idea and the way I feel. Say Mommie did you hear about the little girl with the lolly [sic] pop and it had a hair on it. Some man saw it and said little girl don’t you know you have a hair on your lollypop. Yes she said and I’m only eleven too. Gee honey its [sic] sure hard to write when I don’t hear from you. There just isn’t anything to write. Oh yes the paper said Heddy Lamar had a vacation around that now she was going to have a baby. What a vacation???? I sure fixed me a bed roll today. It isn’t quite done but almost. And now it isn’t cold. Or am I wrong. It should be warm though. I worked all afternoon and haven’t finished so you see it’s a lot of work. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee I wish you and I could just take a vacation. So we could be together. I love you so much. I love you I love you Hows [sic] Jr tonight? All my love, your husband, Lefty

Hedy Lamarr Courtesy of Wikipedia

Hedy Lamarr Courtesy of Wikipedia

Hedy Lamar was an interesting lady. According to Wikipedia:

Hedy Lamarr ( 9 November 1913 – 19 January 2000) was an Austrian-American actress and mathematician, celebrated for her great beauty, who was a major contract star of MGM’s “Golden Age.” When she worked with Max Reinhardt in Berlin, he called her the “most beautiful woman in Europe” due to her “strikingly dark exotic looks,” a sentiment widely shared by her audiences and critics. She gained fame after starring in Gustav Machatý’s Ecstasy, a film which featured closeups of her character during orgasm in one scene, as well as full frontal nude shots of her in another scene, both very unusual for the socially conservative period in which the bulk of her career took place. Mathematically talented, Lamarr also co-invented—with composer George Antheil—an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day.

29 October, St. Max, France

My dearest Wife, Gee honey I got the nicest letter from you today. I thought so. I hadn’t gotten any for so long I would have been pleased with any. But this one was a good one.  George is a good friend Mommie. And I can’t say that anythings [sic] wrong. Only since I have been in the Army I have learned better than to take his damned bragging. As I say the Marines make history let them brag. That’s one thing they can do right. I have learned a lot about the Marines that just hasn’t gotten out. And I know a lot about the Army. I’ve seen it personally. I got a letter from Rosa & Harold also today. It was good. Rosa’s sister has another girl. That makes about 5. Boy what a family they will have. I still think they are running a good thing into the ground. He isn’t making enough for a family like that. And never will. But then that’s his business and if he likes it that well and she is willing I should care. We’ll raise ours they can theirs. She also said Dad was up to Dorothy’s and all were well. It seem [sic] I never have anything to write anymore honey. Don’t know. Guess the old noggin just isn’t clicking anymore. But what there is to write won’t pass the censor and I have written all the rest. I love you my darling. I love you so much. Gee I also wish I were there. I guess I know how hard it is to be way over here and you there. My God Mommie I’ve lived a thousand lives. And believe me if it wasn’t for you and Jr. I would quit on this one. I love you so much my Darling. I love you sweetheart. I love you. I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

Dad Wrote "Remember the French washing? Well heres the goods." The woman are washing

Dad Wrote “Remember the French washing? Well heres the goods.” The woman are washing

30 October, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, My Gosh honey another month gone and not a darn thing accomplished.  Wish this thing would get on the way. Or me. Oh! Yes. I didn’t get any mail today. And what a day it would have been to get it. One of those long lost days you know. The kind you save your money for.  You know honey I have been thinking about sending for a correspondence course and improving the old mind a little. As a matter of fact the first $4 I get I will. I already have the coupon cut out. Sure it can’t hurt any and perhaps it will help a little. Don’t think by that I won’t have money. I’ll have it when I’m ready. I sure don’t know what I’m going to write about. But perhaps if I churn the small particles of so called brain and bring together the results there might be something there. So John got married. Well theres [sic] one worry some poor sucker won’t have. I could explain that more but do I need too? Fighting over his wife too. But he was half plastered. What do you think. Perhaps Henry and Agnes haven’t any better sense that to act as they do. After all they haven’t been Grandpa & Grandma before. Give them time honey. Perhaps they will change. Here I am back on the subject of George. I guess he should be back in the states. He has been gone long enough. But do you know I’m awful glad we got married when we did. I’m afraid of my losing you. The more he would come out home the madder I would get then blow a fuse. Like I did in Ala. I guess I love you a lot Mommie. I would give my left arm to be home with you. I love you honey. I love you Mommie. I love you so much. All my hopes are getting home to you. And I just live on hopes anymore. I love you All my love, your husband, Lefty. Hows [sic] Jr. Getting along? Fine I hope.

"Just Scenery, St Max, France"

“Just Scenery, St Max, France”

31 October, St. Max, France

My Dearest Wife, Well honey I’m writing on hot air again. The mail is sure to come tomorrow. If not I just read in the paper that lots would be here next week.  It even said some early packages would be in. My Gosh honey did you see that moon tonight. Gee honey it sure makes me want to be at home looking at it with you. Bob and I had walked up to a show and came back about 7:00 and it sure was up nice then. The show sure wasn’t good though. But with the mail as it is we had to have something to do. You know I’m getting to hate to go to shows. They make me so darn homesick, It takes me about a week to get over it. Once Mom asked me what Army I was in. I can’t tell that, but I have found a clipping I’ll send it. It kinds of explains things kind of thoroughly. Oh yes I sent you a picture of me in one letter and one of Bob in another. They should be getting there before this. Also I sent a box last month. I hope you at least enjoy showing those things in the box around.  I don’t imagine they will be so good to ware [sic]. But then who knows. Almost forgot tonight is Halloween. And it sounded like someone was raising hell a while ago. Yeah raising hell with the Germans. We can hear the big guns. I guess I’ve run down now honey. I almost went to bed without finishing this but am back on the ball. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey I love you. I sure wish you were with me tonight. I have an idea its[sic] going to be cold and we could sure snuggle up close. I love you honey. All my love, your husband, Lefty

1 November, St. Max, France

My Dearest Darling, Well maybe tomorrow. These Xmas packages are sure raising hell with our mail. Perhaps if I would even get one of them it would be something to write about. But we have hopes of it getting here tomorrow. We always have that. But man how we always have to waite [sic]. Bob and I again walked up and went to a show. This time “Bathing Beauty.” Not bad either. I thought it was lots better than last night. You know it was colored and very nice on the eyes too. If you know what I mean. Oh! La La. I have been seeing these French woman washing around here. So yesterday I thought I would try it their way. What a mess. It seem [sic] they don’t need hot water here to wash. In the creek they build a kind contraption to stand on as in case of a creek kneel on and that was the way. In cold water too. The heck of it is they can do a good job of it. I must get their formula. Because I sure hate to chop wood. And it seem [sic] you have to have boiling water to boil the dirt out. Talking about chopping wood sure wish I had a couple good loads of that we didn’t burn last winter. It isn’t quite as easy to get around here. As a matter of fact you can’t get it. Well Gee honey if your mail would get here I might have something to write about. But seeing as it hasn’t I might be able to send from here. If I can send it I’ll try. Things are kinda hard to get though.  I love you my darling. I love you so much. Gosh Mommie I hope I can get home soon. But you know the chances of that. But Mommie until I do get home I’m just going to love you all the more. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I love you. I love you. I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

It seems to be a common thing so far throughout Dad’s time overseas. The mail does not come. Looking back on it, it must have been hard to keep track of where these soldiers actually were. They may stay in the same place a couple of weeks but for the most part they were always on the move. With all the people overseas it makes sense to me that the mail did not always find them. Too bad the men could not see it this way. It may have saved a lot of heartbreak if they had.  

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter



  1. Your dad always comes through as a class act and sweetheart. And not surprisingly, it’s the letters from home that keep him going more than anything else. Tough that they couldn’t come more frequently.

    • Thank you! I have learned a lot about them both by working on these letters. I never knew how Mom kept going during this time. Nice to see how much he loved her.

  2. I love that you post this part of your parents life it is like a written soap instead of a television one. what comes through more than anything is the love and commitment they had to each other, their child and country, sure wish we had more like your folks in todays world. thank you so much for sharing such a private time of their lives.

  3. Bless his heart – he sounds so lonely. How terrible he must feel to be so far away and not near your mom and his future baby. His description of the ladies washing made me very thankful for my washing machine and dryer!

    • Can you imagine a half a million men doing their laundry like that while over there? lol I just never knew how much my mother did to get him through the war. I think I really needed to know that!

      • Must be why laundress’s were in great demand!

  4. Appreciate the efforts you have made to catalog this important era. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much. It is comments like yours that keep me going. Transcribing all these letters has been quite a job but what great things I have learned!

  5. It’s really sweet to read your dad’s letters and how much he loved your mum. I guess life in the trenches or wherever would have been so grim that home would have seemed like heaven. Funny that Hedy Lamarr was regarded as so beautiful – nowadays her style of looks isn’t fashionable, that mouth for instance.

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting on Dad’s letters. I did not come along for 13 years after the war and I never knew how much he loved her and what an important role she played in getting him through the war. I have a new respect for Mom.

  6. As you know, the start of the harshest winter in decades was just around the corner. The snow and cold would soon make road travel nearly impossible…especially further north where the Battle of the Bulge took place. Christmas was the peak of the foul weather.

    I smiled a bit when Lefty was a bit jealous of the Marines… Kinda reminded me of Old Man Jack… Around that time, the only big operation in the Pacific was the Philippines and that was mostly an Army show at the beginning.

    I’m surprised you were unaware of “Lil’ Abner”. I used to “read it” every Sunday for quite some time… Well, not really read it but gawk at Daisy Mae! I recall a movie or a made-for-TV special starring Leslie Parrish as Daisy Mae… Talk about Oo-la-la! 🙂

    • Oh la la! I was just renewing my memory about “Lil’ Abner.” ha now that you mention it and Daisy Mae I have a whole new set of memories!

  7. ps Forgot to mention Daisy Mae ended up adorning a lot of our planes as art forms back then!

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