Posted by: notsofancynancy | April 4, 2013

World War II, chapter 58, Third Army VII Corps

World War II

Third Army XII Corps

Chapter 58

Dad Wrote "One of the places we lived in."

Dad Wrote “One of the places we lived in.”

Dad has been in Saint Max, France since 12 October 1944. That is where he spent his 25th birthday. He was sick that day and spent the day in bed nursing a horrible cold. Mom is almost seven months pregnant. Thankfully she is living with her parents in Pasadena, California and Grandma Susie is helping her with the pregnancy. Mom has been making clothes and quilts for the new baby and getting things ready for its arrival. Dad on the other hand is living among the soldiers transporting troops and trying not to get killed.

3 November, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Well honey I finally got a letter from you. It is No 17. That makes 1-2-3-4-5-6-10- 17, I have gotten. Gee I wish the rest would get here. Here I have been trying to make love to my wife and she only gets part of hers. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I sure wish I were there to make love to you personally. This damn correspondence sure doesn’t get it. But I guess if others are doing it we can. It gets kind of dry doesn’t it. I love you so much though just to hear you say it makes little chills run up and down my back. I love to hear you say it honey. I guess you told me about Aunt Clara’s operation in some letter I missed but I kinda suspected she was to have one cause in one letter you said the Dr. said she had to have one. I sure hope she gets on ok. It was quite a serious deal wasn’t it. Lucille had something of the same. Grandpa has sure taken himself a job. Man those 200 cattle would be enough without the silo. But then I guess if he didn’t have something to do he wouldn’t be satisfied. George should be a lot of company for Grandma. Even though she does have to waite [sic] on him a bit. He must get around on crutches doesn’t he. I’m awfully glad Dick and Gerald are back on the ball. Dick seemed so much in love with him when we were there. I even felt kind of sorry for her. I noticed several times she was almost [ready] to cry [sic]. God Honey if we even get like that I hope someone kicks my teeth in. (I mean mad at each other) I’m not about to go around finding reason for you to get mad at me though. I’m plenty satisfied with the woman I picked for a wife and have no reason for you to be looking around for another. Bob feels the same way. I guess that’s why we like to run around together. Perhaps Betty and I have the same thing. I had had an unsurely stomach ever since I had the flu. One day I’ll have the damndest [sic] cramps and then I’ll be ok for awhile. Boy [I] have an unusual feeling down there. I do have an appetite now though and believe I’ll get over the rest before long. Mommie there sure was a beautiful moon this morning about 5 this morning [sic]. Gosh I wish you had been here to help me enjoy it. Boy that would have been fun. It was awful cold though. But I had my rubbers on. Here’s a story

Please dear, don’t ask me to marry you yet.

Mother would just have a fit.

Good Heavens, it was only today we met.

Won’t you be patient just a bit

You know how people will talk about things.

I mean, if they are not in good taste

Besides, I don’t think a girl, If she wed

Will marry a man in such haste

I will wed you tomorrow, my love, if you like

And share the same toothbrush and comb

But if you keep teasing, Darling tonight

I’ll get up, get dressed, and go home.


I love you darling. I love you so much. I guess its quitting time for now. I love you sweetheart. I love you I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty

Dick is Grandma Susie’s sister, yep Dick was a girl. They all had nicknames, Kid, Babe, Susie, and Dick. The only one in that family who did not have a nickname was Clara. She was the youngest, maybe they ran out of nicknames. I was told that Gerald was injured in this war. I guess he had a rough time with his injury and they went through quite a bit getting him well again.

Uncle Gerald

Uncle Gerald

4 November, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Know what happened 4 years and 2 months ago today. I joined the Army. And boy has things happened since. Did you ever suppose then that you would have married me. No I had no idea of it either. In fact I hadn’t even an idea I’d ever get married. Gee I’m sure glad I did though. Two reasons. You and Jr. The most wonderful reasons in the world. Again today we got no mail. So I really haven’t much to write. As usual. But have the urge and know I should so will jot down what I have. We had chicken for dinner today. It was sure good. But what ruined it In the paper tonight I was reading what the P.W.’s [Prisoners of War] back home were eating. Man have they a menu. Over here they shoot an [sic] so we send them back home so they can get fat on what we should be eating. I even see where over 500 of them are on a strike. Sure wish they would send them back here. We know what to do with them. Bet there wouldn’t be any of that old shit here.

I have to wonder why they would post an article in the paper about what was going on with the POW’s in the states. It certainly was not good for morale as we can see by my dad’s words. What I find interesting about this time the German POW’s were actually used to help the mid-west harvest their crops after all. Most of the young men from the mid-west were overseas with my dad. It just does not seem right. And now reading that Dad felt they were shooting themselves just to be taken prisoners? It really does not seem right.

If this letter has the jiggles blame it on Ben. He is sitting here on the bunk playing the mouth harp. And of course you know all that goes with that. I didn’t know just what driving with lights will be like. Man its [sic] been a long time since I have had a chance to do that. Even back in the states we had to be careful and I didn’t do much night driving. Wonder how it will be to just drive again. Remember when I wanted to part my hair in the middle. Well I have begun that. No don’t prepare to kick me. It really isn’t that bad . Waite [sic] until you see. Oh La La.! Well Mommie how is Junior treating you now? Gee it won’t be long until he’ll be beating you around huh! I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee Honey I hope Jr. isn’t over 10 before I get home. I love you and always will my Darling. Gee I guess you must be getting tired of that by now. But I do love you honey I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty

Dad Wrote [Raymond F.] Linden, [Donald R.] Edlund, [Truman "Ben"] Howard

Dad Wrote [Raymond F.] Linden, [Donald R.] Edlund, [Truman “Ben”] Howard

6 November, St. Max, France

My Dearest Wife. Hello Darling miss me last night? I was on National Defense. (Guard to you) And didn’t have the time.  I couldn’t find time yesterday because I remodeled my bed roll and I really worked. Then today I had to do the whole damn thing again. Did you ever try sewing an eight feet of zipper on a piece of canvas. Well you’re talking to a man of experience now. I sewed the same one on three times before it worked. First I had a 6 foot one on it but didn’t like it that way and Bob had a longer one and wanted the short one so I traded. It does work lots better and I had the time so I didn’t mind.  Bob and I went to another show tonight. “Best Foot Forward.” I had seen it but just couldn’t remember what it was all about. It wasn’t bad even for the second time.

I haven’t told you the secret yet have I. Got three letters from you yesterday. Boy were they good for what ailed me. Then I didn’t have time to write. The letters were awfully nice though. They were 12-13-14. I guess in time I’ll get all your mail. But gee I sure wish they would come right. Honey about Jr’s day of arrival. I was only kidding. Guess I just thought it would be something funny to day. I do trust you. I can see what you based your date on and guess your [sic] about right.  But honey don’t ever think I don’t trust you. I know you love me as I love you and I can’t think about anyone else. Let alone trying to be with them. They don’t even look good to me. You should have seen the beautiful girl I was with just before I went on guard last night. Boy was she nice. She can just put her shoes under my bed anytime. But darnit [sic] Guard came around just to [sic] soon and I had to put your picture away and go out and sit in the hole. Yes Honey I got the colored picture you sent. It was in good shape too. And was it good. You know sweet you sure take a good picture. Lots better than I. I love you. Well Darling I guess I was just on the ball the night I thought of Terry Lee as a name. I can’t think of a girls [sic] name to save me though. I thought Cynthia Lee was good as a girls [sic] name. But of course it has room for improvement. That is if you have an idea. I do like the two though. I’m sure glad Gerald has heard from Dick. That would be rugged to have a wife [and] not hear from her. Even for two or three days if I don’t hear from you I start getting bluer. I’m blue just being away. It sure doesn’t seem like two years since you moved into that house. But do you realize it has been over a year since I was there. Man life sure flys [sic] doesn’t it. By the way we have been wondering. What’s the latest popular song? We never hear any late ones here. Gosh my love if I keep on going tonight I’m sure I’ll not have a thing for tomorrow. I love you my Darling. Gee you’re the one in the world for me. I can see that now more than ever before, I love you honey. I love you so much. I love you, I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

Dad Wrote "Sgt. Sill"

Dad Wrote “Sgt. Sill”

7 November, St. Max, France

My Dearest Wife, Well honey this Calif sunshine we are having is sure getting deep and mighty uncomfortable too. Boy am I glad we have a dry place to sleep. I’m sure it isn’t half as bad now as before. Oh for a little rain. (damn little more). I guess I was in my right mind last night when I just answered one of your letters. Because I sure didn’t get any today. I did get a birthday card from an old teacher of mine. She had a little note on the back telling me a few of the school happenings and that’s about all. Guess I’ll have to answer it though. Because I didn’t last year and she might feel a little bad if I don’t write sometime. She sends Christmas and Birthday greetings to all of her old pupils. It has been sounding to me like Jr. is going to have the works. Boy I like to hear it too. Gee honey it sure isn’t going to be very much longer is it. Even over here Mommie. I guess you’re going to have me walking the floor. Will that be a happy day. Much better of course if I could only be there. I love you so much Mommie. Ben heard from Ann and she in turn heard from Alberta and she has a boy. I suppose you have heard that by now though.  Alberta said he looks like a string bean. I guess he looks like his Dad. Huh! Oh yes! Ben, Bob and I went for a shower and then a show. I thought it was a real good show. “Music in Manhattan.” Of course it was the same old thing only a little more mixed up. It had Anne Shirley and Dennis Day. That was the first time I have seen Dennis Day in the movies. He wasn’t bad either. About like he was on the radio. I guess I should start talking about Christmas. I guess you’re going to have to do the buying this year honey. As for buying things here. Well everything is sky high and there’s no profit in that. I was looking at some “do dads” today and what was worth buying I couldn’t send home and what I could send home I would have in the pig house. I guess I’ll just have to bring something for you when I come. I don’t think anything would be very good by the time it got home anyway. I’ll be thinking about you anyway my love. Perhaps we will get a break by then. I see in the letter I should answer tomorrow that you got five letters from me. Sounds like your mail is coming through again. I’m sure glad honey. And yes I’m keeping enough for myself. You have me guessing so I kept 500 Francs this month and guess what I have left? 500 Frances. ($10.00)  I was going to send it to Harold, but decided to keep it another month. You see we have no need to spend money and there’s no use spending it foolishly here. We can do that when I get home. It will be a lot more fun then. I guess it is quitting time again. I have to put a couple more blankets in my bed roll. I love you so much my Darling. I love you, I love you honey. I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

I could not find a video of “Music in Manhattan.” But I did find a synopsis on Movies/ :

In this musical comedy, a pair of small-potatoes performers try to make it to the big-time after winning an amateur talent contest. Though this leads them to a few professional gigs, something is missing from their act and they are not popular. Believing a little cash will boost their career, the girl heads for Washington, D.C. to see if her wealthy daddy will help them. En route she is mistaken for the wife of a well-known pilot and ends up in his suite having to pretend she is his spouse. When the pilot meets her, romantic sparks fly. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

8 November, St. Max, France

My Darling Wife, Mommie guess what? I got your birthday card today. It was the nicest one you have ever sent me. And the note on the back was sure swell too. You only hope half as much as I that I’m home by the next one. Because I’m sure going to be a wreck if I’m here that long. Just being away from you is enough to wreck me. Then this damn country to boot. Say honey would you buy three or four combs and just drop them in you [sic] letters. Don’t get over a nickel one because they don’t last long enough here.  To explain why and the high prices here. One kid paid 60 francs ($1.20) for what we could have gotten for not more than a dime there. All things are about the same thing. I also got letter No 18 today. Your card was so much nicer. I had to talk about that. Your letter was darn good too. Wish I had gotten a couple dozen each. They have finally permitted us to say we are in the Third Army XII Corps. That kind of answers Moms question of some time back. I guess you won’t have to worry much about Bob and I getting acquainted. Or kissed. Guess those days are over. Besides we just couldn’t do it.  I guess you and Madeline really have us. I know two men in France that are in love. The rest I don’t care about. I love you my darling. Say that quilt for Jr. Couldn’t you just put a little mean boy in one corner.  With Papa and a razor strap just as a reminder. As long as he is going to have nightmares he just as well be dreaming of me. I don’t know what I’m going to write now. I guess Roosevelt is going to be it again huh! I just heard it over the radio. Nice things these radios. If they work. Well Mommie I guess its [sic] getting time. I love you my dearest. I love you so much. Gee honey I hope I am home soon to tell you that in person. I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

1944 was an election year and according to Wikipedia President Roosevelt was the favorite going into the election. At this time he has already served three terms and with this win he would have serve another. He was in office from 1933 until he passed away in April of 1945.  I feel he was one of the most loved presidents we have ever had. I guess the voting population of the United States in 1944 would have agreed.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Truman “Ben” Howard Pictures-Raymond F. Linden, Donald R. Edlund, Truman “Ben” Howard, Sgt. Sill


  1. Love the last line of the ditty!

  2. From reading the string of letters from Lefty, it is easy to see how soldiers would “lose it” if they got a Dear John” letter. The long distance love for a girl they were dating before shipping out evolved into full blown fantasies for some. Old Man Jack mentioned in passing once (and briefly) a guy lost in in ran into the jungle with a carbine and never was found…

    • * lost it and…

    • I can’t imagine what life would have been like without the letters. And the unpredictability of the mail service? Dad had a few fights with himself and mom’s letters when he thought she was not writing and it was just the mail not getting to him. I have a new respect for my mom who kept him going through this war.

      • And that’s the core of the Greatest Generation… on the front and the home front.

  3. Uncle Gerald looks like a movie star! The photos are so special, too. I feel like I roll back time when I come and listen to your father’s beautiful words to your mother, Nancy. It’s wonderful.

    • Uncle Gerald was a kick! I did not remember he was injured in the war. I am quite ahead in my transcribing and there is some great stuff coming up. Including the birth of my oldest sibling.

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