Posted by: notsofancynancy | April 11, 2013

World War II, chapter 59, Honest Abe

World War II

Honest Abe

Chapter 59

Dad Wrote "Brin, France"

Dad Wrote “Brin, France”

It seems to be the same old stuff going on with Dad. The most important thing is the mail. Has it arrived, how many letters came, and answering Mom’s letters if he has gotten any? Although I know his letters are censored and he cannot talk about what is going on around him I wonder how he can NOT talk about it. I wonder how hard that is for our service men not talking with their loved ones about where they are and what obstacles they had to overcome in order to be alive that day. Maybe it is better that we don’t know.

9 November 1944, St. Max France

My Dearest Darling, Hello Mommie. Hows [sic] my one big moment tonight. Boy do I rate lately. I got another letter from you today. I guess it was a special one because it wasn’t numbered. It was mailed Oct. 18 so it came in about the right time. But I’m sure proudest of that birthday card you sent. If possible I’m going to keep it. I guess I just like to hear you say things like that. Did I tell you I also got a letter from Eva yesterday. There is another girl who is very sorry she didn’t get married before her man went across. She said if they had been maybe she could have had a baby too. You know honey you seem to be the envy of all the girls. Gee honey I sure feel proud to have someone write and tell me how glad they are. Most of them sure build it up too. Well Mommie I don’t care much about apricot up-side-down cake, but you better have plenty of apple pie and cheese. Boy I sure like that. You know I finally got all my Bros and Sisters written to except Ruth and I don’t write much to her. I sure would like to find out Fred’s address and such though. I’m kind of worried about him. He just isn’t in a very good outfit to be in. About like Cloyd and things will happen about the same. Oh! Yes he should be old. Darling I guess I know what you mean by the plain old “I love you” sounding cold. I have been trying to think of some new way to explain it for some time. All I can say honey. Its [sic] something I just live for. I don’t know what I would do without you. Honey you just seem to be in my blood and I don’t want to get you out. I do remember the two months we had together. Gosh it makes me want to get up and come home right now. I sure wish I could. I love you so much my darling. I love you I love you All my love, your husband, Lefty

Last pack of letters tied by Mom's hand

Last pack of letters tied by Mom’s hand

It is here I must un-tie the last stack of letters that were tied by my mother’s hand. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I want to see what information is hidden in this stack. On the other hand it is the last stack that has the original ribbon on it.  It is like Mom tied them and then clipped the ribbon short so it cannot be re-tied, I have tried. This does not mean that we are almost done with the letters but it does mean we are close. According to Dad’s discharge papers he was overseas one year, two months, and 23 days. He was shipped overseas in May of 1944 so that will not put him home until August of 1945.That is another eight months! I bet had he known he would be there that much longer he would not have been too happy. But then if he did know what could he have done? Not much would be my guess, not much. I think it was better he did not know.

10 November 1944 Quartermaster moved to Brin, France, approximately five (10) miles SW of Chateau-Salins.

10 November, Brin, France

My Dearest Darling, Abe I was known as in those days. Honest Abe yes, yes. But I got another letter from you. Boy oh Boy. But you said you hadn’t received any mail from me. So I hope by now you have gotten results from all my struggles. So the old woman in the front of the house is giving you fits. I know what you mean. Man some people sure can make one mad a lot faster than others. A few around here are the same. Oh yes I recall the dog I gave a bath and didn’t dry by the fire. There were two reasons why I didn’t use the fire method. But as now I just can’t describe them. [I wonder if it was because they were on black out and were not allowed a fire] But as I remember I did wrap her up in my field jacket and cover her up with Dudley’s. And she didn’t even move all night. So she didn’t have a chance to be sick. After all of that she ran away. I’m glad though. I have a hard time keeping myself in line. (Chow line) Yep Mommie I did shave in cold water in Durham. But I sure didn’t have to break the ice from it first. Try that sometime. Boy oh Boy. Its [sic] good for the morning after.  Well I answered all I could think of in one paragraph and answered one of your letters. Now should I or shouldn’t I answer the other. Well if I do I don’t think any will come tomorrow. I better waite [sic]. If not I’ll not have a darn thing to write and believe me I couldn’t think of anything. News is sure scarce around here. Honey I sure haven’t said anything today have I. I will now. I love you. Hows [sic] that. I love you. I love you so much. I guess your[sic] just my honey-I guess. Well Darling I can’t even get this page filled tonight. Hows [sic] Jr. now Mommie. I hope he is ok and your [sic] cold too. I know a cold isn’t anything to have but everyone does. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I love you, I love you. All my love, your Husband, Lefty.

Brin, France, Linden, Price, Hansen

Brin, France, (Raymond D.) Linden, (William G). Price, (Reynold G.) Hansen

11 November, Brin, France

My Darling Wife, You know Mommie yesterday I saved a letter to answer and got another. It has happened that way for two or three days now. Guess I’ll just have to keep on saving one so I’ll keep getting them. Yesterday’s letter was No. 20 and todays 19. Kind of mixed up wasn’t they. But very good. Man if I would have been sick they would have been good medicine.  Boy I liked them. Honey give me more.  Ernest sure got jipped on his baby didn’t he. Man it must be small. Something awful must have been wrong with her or gosh I don’t know. It couldn’t have been much too soon. According to what I have been told. Mommie you keep telling me about the things we have gotten. But you never did say just what you did with it all. We must have quite a lot now huh! I have been thinking the house is about full. Jr. must take up quite a share of it. Boy honey your[sic] sure doing a swell job on the home front. Wish I could say the same. I guess I’ll have my turn though. Think so. Don’t tell me Dean has gone to the dogs too. He doesn’t seem big enough to be having hard times yet. I mean the night after. People do grow up don’t they. He seems almost as forgetful as I. Remember when I left my dog tags and you almost had the police looking for me. I still should be kicked for that. Honey you seem to think you don’t look so good. I mean in comparison with the size of clothing you have to ware [sic]. But I think you looked ok. In fact I know you would. Gosh my Darling I just love you so much. Honey its [sic] about that time and I have some sewing to do. I love you so much my darling. I also got a letter from Mom today. It was sure nice also. But I haven’t time to answer it tonight. I love you my Darling. I love you so my Mommie. Gee I wish I were home with you. All my love, Lefty.

12 November, Brin, France

My Darling Wife, Well I did it again. Got another letter from you today. If I had answered your letter last night I wouldn’t have. Am I lucky. I have been dreading the day I didn’t get one though. Boy the mail is sure the most looked for thing around here. Of course a discharge will come in mighty handy though. And we are sure looking for the time we get out of this damn place and come home. Sounded like about all the neighbors are getting sick around there. Boy oh Boy I sure hope you don’t get what I had. Man was I under the weather for a couple days. Then I couldn’t get my appetite back. When I did that I got the mess kit blues with it and still didn’t feel so good. But everything is ok now except the onerness [sic] and waite [sic] until I get home and I’ll get some of that. I do hope your cold is all over now. It sure is a good idea for a quilt. I mean the one you started for Jr. out of the scraps. It sure must be pretty. Once I started one back home and it finally petered out and I never finished it. Perhaps it is in the trunk. Waite [sic] until you see how crazy I was. Sounds like Pop should be looking for another job. Bet its [sic] that smoke and dust that’s getting him down. That and his resistance being so low he catches a cold. Honey I haven’t numbered my letters, but I only missed two days last month. So I know you have plenty of letters coming. I sure wish you would get all of them like I have the last five days. But someday you’ll get them. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I love you. I love you. I wish I was home with you tonight. Man I sure have some cold feet. I love you honey. I love you so much. All my love Lefty

Dad Wrote " A German Track Truck"

Dad Wrote ” A German Track Truck”

13 November, Brin, France

My Darling Wife, Hi Honey, Wanta toast your tootsies with me tonight. We have a nice fire here and I haven’t anyone else I’d rather have with me. Back on the subject I love you my Darling. Oh la la Junior is going to have a big ward robe [sic] now. I know you have been writing the things you have been making, but I didn’t realize he had so much to look forward too. Boy oh Boy you must have been working in the past two months. But I guess he should appreciate you. Huh! You know Honey I just can’t realize that Robertas [sic] baby was so small but I guess you were right she had a little one. You know you were talking about that breaking out on your toes. Well I had to look mine over to see if I had anything. Sure looked funny to see ones toes again. About the only time one sees them is when we take a bath and then you have so much else to look at you never pay any attention to a little old toe. Well I had no foreign material except a couple in grown toe nails and they weren’t enough to be bothered by. I never did have trouble with my feet. I don’t know why. I never did give them special care. Mommie I guess the way I got my nose skinned is kind of funny. You know something to laugh at on one of those evenings when we are setting by the fire place looking out that east window at the moon. I’ll give you the low down then Or perhaps someday I’ll tell the grand kids [sic] and you can kinda listen in. Now the censor is and I don’t want him getting a headache laughing at my mistake or cutting my letters anymore [sic] than necessary. The nose is ok again now. But was darn sore for awhile. Remember the kiss you sent me. Well it reminded me-a while back Bob got a letter from Madeline and she had pressed her lip prints on it. You know in lip stick [sic]. Well Bob asked if I believed in mental telepathy. Well he said he laid in bed one night and kept repeating he wanted her to do that and she did. I laughed as usual but he was in earnest. It was funny. He is really in love. The one you sent sure wasn’t stale as you said though. Boy I sure enjoyed it.  But the returns might be awful late. Here it comes honey. “X” I hope you like. It. Its [sic] about time I was stopping this line and going to bed. Oh happy day bed. Sure sounds good. (and hard) But I sure sleep warm now. I really like my bed roll. Its [sic] twice as good as the one I have on maneuvers. And I thought it was good. I love you my Darling. I do honey. I love you so much. I sure hope Jr. is behaving as he should. Boy honey I’ll be glad when I get home to you both. I love you. I love you. I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

Mom is now about seven months pregnant. I have searched through all our family pictures and I cannot find any showing Mom pregnant. I find that rather curious as she was pregnant many more times after “Junior” came. And what is up with Dad thinking it is a boy? I mean he has a fifty-fifty chance of it being a girl. We have two more months to go before we find out which it will be. Well you do, I already know and no it wasn’t me. I don’t come along for another 13 years.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Oswald W. Dudley, Robert “Bob” Winter, (Pictures)  Raymond D. Linden, William G. Price, Reynold G. Hansen

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Responses

  1. Enjoyed your post. I have the same problem, Dad’s letters sounded the same because of censorship. There were still things going on. In India & Burma they sometimes used elephants to move rail cars. I’m going to include a picture in one of the posts.

  2. The track truck photo is incredible!

    • I know right? The soldiers must have thought so too as they took so many pictures of it.

  3. What touched me the most was your writing of coming to your mom’s last ribbon…one that she tied with her own hands. What did you do? You should be able to remove the letters without having to cut the ribbon… Try compressing them for a day or two then try sliding them from the middle out, leaving the top and bottom letters for last…

    • Because of the delicate shape of the letters it was impossible to get any of them out of the middle without tearing them. I tried early on. I have kept all the ribbons and they are in a compartment in the suitcase. and of course I have the pictures.

  4. so touched and movedwith the letter from those who are away from home because of war..hope, people will realized that nobody wins in war.. Everybody losts.

    • Thank you so much. It was a bad time for Dad being away from his new and expecting wife. You are right everyone loses!

  5. Your mom must have been so worried, yet so thankful to know she was so loved. I mean, who ever receives letters like this these days? Do you all get the Canadian series ‘Bomb Girls’ down there. It’s in it’s second season, set in a canadian town where the women left at home work in a factory making bombs. The music and clothes are a big part of their stories and we see woman’s roll in communities changing for the first time. You might enjoy their stories too.

    • I think I have seen Bomb Girls advertised. I will see if I can find it.

      My father’s fellow solder, the one he talks about most Bob has a girlfriend back home in Nebraska and at one time she was working in a bomb factory. Dad mentions that in one of his letters. Now that is one family I would like to find, Robert “Bob” Winter’s family. Dad talks about him in almost every letter. And I kind of feel like he is family.

      • I’ve seen a show where they hire a ‘Geneologist’ to trace family that might be an option. I seems like it shouldn’t be too hard with army records, maybe your local VA office? Good Luck Nancy.

  6. I was also touched about the ribbon that your mom tied around the last batch of letters. I held on to some books that belonged to my mom for over 20 years because it had her signature in them. It was hard to part with them.I know I would feel the same way. I am also waiting in anticipation of Jr’s arrival and kept thinking she should have the baby any day now.. 🙂

  7. Wow, The last ribbon, makes the hair on my neck stand up. What you are doing is really cool. Would make a great movie or documentary.

    • Thank you so much. Each great comment I get makes me know I am doing the right thing by untying them. My heart does too!

  8. So enjoy reading all this. Wonderful to have it all written down and with such lovely photos. I am writing our family history, taking me 20 years so far. I think the reason that you have not got any photos of your pregnant mother is that back then women were not seen in public once they started to ‘show.’ it was deemed ‘not nice,’ and my own grandmother stopped going out in public and rarely entertained. My own mother hid her bumps under smocks. Ladies had a ‘lying-in,’ period following a birth as well. In the Catholic Church a woman had to be re-churched after a birth, to cleanse her of her sin!! Needless to say, men were whiter than white always and without any sin which needed forgiving or had to be re-churched. Hope it gives some insight into why you possibly didn’t see any pregnant mum photos. 🙂


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