Posted by: notsofancynancy | April 25, 2013

World War II, chapter 61, Christmas 1944

World War II

Christmas 1944

Chapter 61

Dad Wrote "A captured German Vehicle. Dudley leaning on window shield. Morris in seat, Dennis and Harvey at rear of vehicle. The rest I am not sure of.'

Dad Wrote “A captured German Vehicle. (Oswald) Dudley leaning on window shield. (Myron J.) Morris in seat, (Gerald) Dennis and (Hawker) Harvey at rear of vehicle. The rest I am not sure of.’

Dad is driving his way across France moving men and supplies and getting them to the area’s they needed to be.  That was one of the only things I remember him talking about. How many miles he drove while he was there and although I don’t remember exactly how far it was it certainly was a lot.  I read where the Quartermaster also preformed mortuary services so I am almost certain he has had to drive deceased soldiers where they needed to be.  Although Dad does not talk of such things and never did to me. I know his reality is not what is written in these letters.

20 November 1944 Quartermaster moved to Dalhain, France, approximately five (5) miles NE of Chateau-Salins

20 November, near Chateau-Salins

My Darling Wife, Gee Gosh Honey. I finally got your package and was it nice. The thing I like best was the shaving cream. It wasn’t brushless. They have issued enough around here but I wouldn’t use a brushless shaving cream if I had to shave dry. I have been using plain hand soap. This should last me until the war is over. I don’t use so much. The candy was good too, but only the caramels were eatable. You see it draws dampness and the other was just a ball. I haven’t seen any come through as well as the caramels. Now I’ll tell you the laugh. The mum [underarm deodorant]. I just don’t know what I’ll do with that. A little body stink over here just helps kills some other.  I like it though honey but we all had a laugh over it anyway. I said as soon as I saw the gum “I’ll bet Vi ran all over Pasadena trying to get that gum.” I’ll bet it was hard to get huh! I can sure use all of it though. Thanks a million honey. Now I also got a package from Lucille. She had some eats in it. Cookies, a can of chicken noodle soup, raisins. A Kraft Dinner. But there as you she sent Vienna Sausage and we have that three of four times a week. Mommie I am not giving you heck or anything like that. You see we have something to laugh at and those are just a few of the things. If we didn’t do something like that we would be a bunch of dead pans and that wouldn’t do. Its [sic] funny to use, but I know you have a hard time sending anything. Both packages were swell, but I wouldn’t have traded one good long letter from you for a dozen of them. By the way this is another candle light edition and its [sic] darn late. I got up at 5:30 this morning and it looks like I’m going to do the same tomorrow morning. Don’t mind though these early risings kinda gets the bats out of the belfry. (Freezes them out) Now I’m lost for something to say except I love you my darling. I love you so much. Mind if I get my beauty sleep now honey. I have to keep in time for when I come home. I love you Darling. So much. All my love. Your husband, Lefty

Ah, Vienna Sausages! We never went camping growing up without having them. I guess Dad had enough of them overseas because that was the only time I recall having them. I remember how much my older sister loved them. For her it was like a delicacy. She really loved those things.  What a great memory this has brought me.

21 November, near Chateau-Salins

My Darling Wife, Hi honey I guess it is time to write. I guess you will have to excuse me last night. I was tired. I like this paper but am sure use to that big clumsy stuff they issue. I got a package from Dorothy Peterson today. A box of candy and some V-mail. The candy was sure good. I was rather surprised when it came but it went faster than it came. We have a share and share alike plan here and it sure works good. Don’t know what I’ll do with the V-mail. I have a whole lot now and never use it. Bob and I went hunting today. Got two rabbits. Someday ask me the details about that. Anyway we sure enjoyed them. Of course they were tame rabbits, and easy to catch. And good to eat. Guess we will have to do that more often. Only Bob doesn’t eat them. If he knows it. Remember the two books you sent. I read both of them last night.  First time I have seen anything like that since we came to France. That was a thousand years ago. Gee honey I really don’t know what I’m going to say now. I didn’t get any letters today so I haven’t a darn bit of news. Oh! Plenty of news but can’t tell you just what it is all about. I saw the show Casanova Brown. Have you seen it? I hope so. Its [sic] good for the coming Jr. Boy oh! Boy did they overdo it. And did I laugh. Oh la la. I love you my darling. I love you so much. I’m going to write Lucille and Dorothy so I must stop. I love you sweetheart. I love you. With all my heart I do. All my love, your husband, Lefty

“Casanova Brown” was a 1944 movie starring Gary Cooper. Here is the plot according to IMDb:

“Cass Brown is about to marry for the second time; his first marriage, to Isabel, was annulled. But when he discovers that Isabel just had their baby, Cass kidnaps the infant to keep her from being adopted. Isabel’s parents hunt for the child and discover that Cass and Isabel are still hopelessly in love. “Written by Anonymous

22 November, near Chateau-Salins

My Darling Wife, Hi honey how’s tricks? I love you. Is Jr ok? I hope so. Sure wouldn’t be good if he wasn’t.I presume he has his good days and bad. I hope they are mostly good though. Went to a show tonight “Adventures of Mark Twain.” I thought it pretty good. It sure was different from what we have been seeing. They showed “Take it or leave it” this afternoon. I didn’t get to see that though. As you see we didn’t get any mail today. Gosh I wish Christmas wouldn’t come this year. Sure didn’t do the mail any good. Should I say this is by candle light. As usual we have been scouting for a motor . But can’t find just the right one. Going to make our own electric system and then we’ll see. They are making toasted cheese sandwiches and do they smell good. I couldn’t sleep if I ate and who wants to sleep. Is this good. Gee honey I wish the mail would come so I would have something to write about. I have been writing the same thing for so long that I even hate to read my own letters. (I don’t most of them) I love you my darling. I love you so much. Gee if you could only see me now. Wouldn’t that be grand. I love you honey. I never did write Dorothy or Lucille last night. Well I was on guard so that helped. I love you. I love you. Nite my darling. All my love, your Husband, Lefty

23 November, near Chateau-Salins, France

My Darling Wife, Say Mommie you don’t know how near you came to not getting a letter tonight. After chow I put on water and took a bath and washed my pinkies. Then made my bed laid down and was almost asleep. Had I completed the letter you would have been neglected, but today being Thanksgiving I just couldn’t do that. We sure had a good dinner. Turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries, peas and carrots, raisin bread apple cobbler and of course coffee. It was really good too. But supper killed that. Spam again. Say in case you can’t read this I’m all cramped up trying to write in bed. Have to be in a bad position in order to see. Again I didn’t get any mail. But a couple of men got packages so we ate. But again that isn’t helping my morale anyway. We still have tomorrow though and when we haven’t that to look forward to we won’t need the mail. Have been looking at our picture. Honey you know you’re the prettiest woman I know. Gosh I love you so much my darling. If I don’t get on the ball your [sic] going to miss tonight-anyway. I got to thinking about you and that’s as far as I got. Gee honey I miss you so much. I haven’t anything to say now except how much I love you. I love you so much my Darling. I hope you and Jr are getting along ok. I wouldn’t want either of you getting sick now. It just won’t pay. I love you honey. I love you so much. I love you. I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

Dad Wrote "Lisdon, France

Dad Wrote “Lisdon, France

24 November Quartermaster moved to vicinity NE of Morhange, France, at railroad station

25 November, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, How’s my one and only tonight honey. I hope you and Jr are still getting along. I didn’t write last night. I was on guard and didn’t have time. Besides that I went to a show and it was late. Well there wasn’t anything to say anyway. Only I love you. I sure got going today. Found a sewing machine and tried for two hours to get the darn thing to run and the next three spent getting away from it. Of course I couldn’t find any sewing to do generally so am making some things out of leather and sewing that. Kind of hard of [sic] the machine but what the h… Its [sic] not mine. Should have been here yesterday. We had French Fries and were they good. Of course Bob and I had our share. We cooked them. Today I have made about 40 trips to the can. The way we started out we were going to catch some more rabbits and have too but couldn’t find any. So we ate them and I guess it was just to [sic] much. Remember the rabbits I told you we caught. Through the grapevine I found the mechanics were feeding them for themselves and Bob and I just turned up while they were gone and got the hares. Thanks to them. Last night when I came off guard I found a big black and white tom cat and took it in and gave it to Bob. Well he was in bed and the cat slept on the head of his bed. This morning the cat had the pillow and Bob had none. Then the poor cat got tossed out. It was a pretty cat though but no one liked it. I love you my darling. I love you so much. I believe its [sic] time to turn in. I’m had and its [sic] almost 10. I love you honey. I love you so much. All my love, your husband, Lefty

27 November, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, I guess I’m the goat honey. Two reasons. I wrote day before yesterday and forgot to mail it. Then last night I finally got a letter. Well instead of having two letters in one day I decided to answer it today as the mail had been coming so bad. I didn’t look for another letter today. Gee I got three today. One from you, Mom and Harold and Rosa. So it all adds up that I now have two letters from you. Boy are you the one. Getting candy from Dad [Dad’s dad]. I don’t know about you. How do you do it. I’ve been trying for 4 years to get a letter from him. I’m sure glad you are getting some of my mail. Here I’ve been using good energy writing and your [sic] not getting them it’s almost as griping as this damn sewing machine. Sure wish I had some of Jr’s unmentionables here I could run a wicked stitch on them. I have been trying to remember a girl back home by the name of Eleanor but do you know there is only one I know of. And if George married her he did better than the last time I saw them together. She wouldn’t even let him sit beside her in the house.  You can times 5 by 10 and get the amount of sunshine I have seen here.  Then I don’t believe I added enough. We are used to it now and if it doesn’t rain we don’t feel right. One kid I came into the Army with has been discharged. He is supposed to be home now. Of course he hasn’t been with us for a long time. He is Rose’s brother. Wish I were that lucky. I wonder did Bob write Madeline about writing you or not. You see she doesn’t like me and I didn’t ever expect her to write to you. Bob didn’t say anything about it. Well honey I don’t know just what to write about now. We had some more of those French Fries last night. Had the rabbit to go with it this time good too. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I must write home tonight so I’ll have to stop. I love you honey. I love you All my love, Your husband, Lefty.

I wonder if this is the first time Dad has been having French fries.  It must be a significant encounter with the fry for him to mention it.

28 November, North East of Morhange, France

My Dearest Wife, while I’m waiting for Bob to come in I guess I better be writing. He is on guard and when he gets here will go to bed. Its [sic] that time too. I got another package from Lucille today. This had two cans of chicken soup and a small cake, a can of treet. (its meat I guess) some nuts and a candy bar. I guess that’s all. Its kinda nice But dog gone it I didn’t get any letters. So I am mad.  Boy you should see the knife I have now Mommie. Remember the two I had. Well I broke one and someone swiped the one I bought. So I had a French bayonet and made another. Didn’t like it so somehow I came across a French sword and in turn traded it for a French throwing knife. Then Bob and I found some Flex-o-glass and made handles for both. His and mine. Now I have your and picture on one side and Dad’s on the other. It sure is nice. Hope I keep from scratching the glass now. About every time we have church here I’m either so busy or I am on detail. So I haven’t gone for a couple of Sunday’s. I guess I will have to go next though. I received a letter from George but I imagine he is getting tired of that because I never have answered. I should but I just don’t know what I would write. You walking 10 blocks. If I were to walk that far now I think I’d die. I do all of my traveling sitting down. And that’s a lot sometimes. I guess if I were there I you’d have to cut that in half and pull me Oh! La la. Gee I thought I would be able to fill another page but I’m sure I don’t know what with. I finally wrote and thanked Dorothy P. for the candy. I even sent her a Xmas card. That is about all I could send. Its [sic] too late now. I can’t buy anything. I hope you get the box I sent. Madeline hasn’t gotten hers so maybe they are on their way and not lost. I love you my darling. I love you so much. I love you. Gee Honey I your [sic] the one for me. All my love, Lefty, your husband.

Dad Wrote "Lisdon, France"

Dad Wrote “Lisdon, France”

I had never heard of Treet before so I had to look it up. Interesting enough it is similar to Spam only less greasy. Made of chicken and pork it is produced in the USA by Pinnacle Foods’ Armour Star. Spam is another camping food that we had but I don’t remember ever having Treet.

Mom is now about seven and a half months pregnant living with her parent in Pasadena, California. I am glad she had her parents to help her through this time. I can’t imagine how hard it was for both of them with him so far away and really not knowing where he is. The mail is still not coming regular and I have to wonder if it is the same for her. Here she is carrying his child and she is not getting regular news from him where he is or if he is even ok. I bet she was as glad to get his letters as he was of hers.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Pictures: Oswald Dudley, Myron J. Morris, Gerald Dennis, Hawker Harvey

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Responses

  1. If your dad was in Europe through VE Day, that means he was at war when his first child was born – that’s pretty wild.

    • What is even wilder is how long it took for him to get the telegram that it was here. But I don’t want to spoil anything!

  2. Your dad got burned out on vienna sausages, too. I’d heard of “Treet” before, for some reason.

    • Yes I would think he got real burnt on the sausages. After all people keep sending it to him!

  3. So fun! “How’s tricks?” I love that. And fun to hear about the contents of the Christmas package. So sweet and personal between them. Treet–“similar to Spam but not as greasy.” There are just a whole lot of little gems in these particular letters, aren’t there!

  4. Now I understand why dad never ate Vienna sausages – I can just picture him sitting in the cold writing her along with my dad writing to his mom and sisters. I wonder what gifts my dad got. Knowing my gram it would have been plenty of grits! 😉


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