Posted by: notsofancynancy | May 23, 2013

World War II, chapter 65, Belgium 1944

World War II

Belgium 1944

Chapter 65

1944 Christmas Stationary

1944 Christmas Stationary

It is only six days until Christmas and there are a lot of fathers, sons and husbands who will not be home for the holidays in 1944. The influx of Christmas packages trying to make it to these soldiers will only “ball up” the mail as Dad says.  There are a lot of men who will not get their letters and packages until quite a while after Christmas arrives in France. It will be just another day for the soldiers.

19 December, St Jean-Rohrbach, France

My Darling Wife, Hi Sweet hows [sic] Mommie tonight. In good spirits I hope. I didn’t write last night. Got started doing something else and before I know it it was bed time. That was twice I didn’t write within a week and that was bad. The other time I was on guard though. I did get to a show last night. “Important Year.” It was a screwy thing but I bet it is happening every day. We haven’t gotten much mail the last couple of days. I wish that correspondence school would get on the ball so I would have something else to do for a change. I have been putting handles of knives for some kids around here and have sure given my fingers a beating. I cut the end of one and have a couple blisters and some more are a little stiff. Of course there isn’t anything serious but I want to be a book worm for a change. You’ll probably be a neglected women when the school comes through. Because for awhile I’ll bet I’m all wrapped up in it. I think it is going to be interesting. You know Mommie I’ll bet the church committee is going to get awful disgusted with me. I got another letter from George and he wants me to write him. Well I haven’t. I read some of the letters that have been written and they seem so silly I get disgusted and don’t write. Its [sic] nice for them to write and I imagine they like to get the letters but gosh why make fools of themselves if they pertain to the church ok but did you ever read and really notice those letters. I got a Christmas card from Eva the other day. It was just a card with no writing and really not worth the money. Nice though. Her and her guy are having a time I guess. Mommie I love you so much. I love you honey. Its [sic] time for the lights and now I’m a long way from bed so I better quit. I love you so much my darling. Gee honey I love you. I love you. I love you. All my love honey, Lefty

St. Jean, France

St. Jean, France. Dad stayed on the third floor

20 December 1944 Quartermaster moved to the city of Metz, France

20 December, Metz, France

My Darling wife, Just 5 more days until Christmas and then New Years. There is always something to keep the mail balled up. I’ll sure be glad when the holidays are over and we can start getting things straight. And being so close to Christmas makes it less than a month until the little one comes out to get acquainted. Gee honey that sound swell. Now all I can wish is that I were there. I never wanted anything so much in all my life. I love you so much my darling. As you can see we have not gotten any mail lately. Boy you know that sure tells on a bunch of men. But if the morale of this outfit ever gets down its going take more than mail to get it up again. We are ok honey. We know why the mail hasn’t gotten here and all there is to do is waite [sic]. Guard again tonight. It sure takes time but there isn’t anything hard about it. The only things its [sic] awful disgusting and to [sic] much time to think. If I ever take 10 minutes off to really I think I would take off and walk home. But I can find enough to keep busy and think of you at the same time. That’s the part I like thinking of you honey and some of the things we are going to do if things turn out just right. Boy honey I love you. Tell you a good one on Bob. Last night he got to talking and before he knew it the lights were out and he didn’t write Madeline. So today he has been thinking of a good excuse why. As crazy as he can act he has brought some good ones. We saw another show tonight but didn’t really enjoy it. You see the mail didn’t come until after it started and then was to [sic] darn anxious to see if we had any. It was a good show though. “Moonlight and Cactus” Someone around here has found another dog. But I heard him barking about 6 this morning and so I imagine by tomorrow he’ll be gone. It just doesn’t pay to open ones mouth at the wrong time. Well my darling its [sic] about time I was adding the finishing touch to this. You know Mommie I always like to end a letter to you because I can say I love you and I just like to say that. Of course I could tell you I love you before the end but I usually have something else to say there. I love you my sweet. I love you so much Darling. I love you. I love you. All my love honey, Lefty

“Moonlight and Cactus” staring the Andrew Sisters was a movie that resembled what was going on in the United States. When Petty Officer Tom Garrison (Tom Seidel) comes home on shore leave he finds because of the shortage of men in the states that women (The Andrew Sisters) have taken over operating the ranch.

23 December Quartermaster moved to a new area within Metz, France

23 December, Metz, France

My Darling wife, Hello Honey have you missed me. I haven’t written for two days this time. Been kinda busy. I’ll reform now though and get back on the beam and keep my correspondence up. I haven’t gotten and [sic] mail though so as you can see I’m not going to have much to write about. Gosh only one more day until Xmas. I sure hope you have a nice Christmas my Darling. I imagine by the time you get this letter it will be time to wish you a happy birthday. And also congratulate you on the swell job with Jr.  Well honey I sent Mom some money to buy something for you for Christmas. I hope she gets it in plenty of time. If she doesn’t I’m sorry. If she does good for Uncle Sam. I also said if she didn’t know what to buy just to give you the money. But if she does that you be darn sure you get yourself something. The moral of this paragraph is Merry Christmas, Happy New Years. A very nice Birthday. The best Anniversary and good luck with Jr. Talking about anniversary think here it is 10 months and I’m an awful lot in love with you. Should be shouldn’t I. Are you sorry honey. This has been the happiest 10 months in my life ever if we only had two of them together. Boy honey I don’t know what I would do without you now. Mommie do you remember me telling you about my back being sunburned and my eyes being about the same. Well anyway the eyes were sure hurting. Well if your [sic] interested I’ll tell you why they were so if not don’t read the rest. About that time we were in the dash across France and was really doing some good work. What really did it. We drove over 600 miles in 48 hours and loaded twice and unloaded twice. Man I have driven but that was it. We didn’t have time to wash and the dust hot wind and all just burned clear through. I think it took me two weeks to get caught up on the sleep from that. And I believe some here haven’t ever caught up yet. Still running around in a daze. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey. I hope Jr. doesn’t get balled up like the mail and cause as much worry. I hope he just comes as he should. I love you honey. I love you I love you. All my love My Darling, Lefty

600 miles in 48 hours may not seem like a lot?  I bet the loading and unloading took the most time. It must have been a rough detail when you remember that these trucks were only going between 25 and 35 miles an hour.

Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

25 December, Metz France

My Darling Wife, Hello honey  Hows [sic] tricks tonight. I love you. Just think today was Christmas and not a bit of cheer. That is not more than two quarts. We kinda divided that all had about a taste. I have about a quart and if things doesn’t change a lot by New Years [sic] I’m going to get so plastered I can’t see. That’s a promise. The Captain asked if I remembered last Christmas. I must have made a real ass of myself then because everytime [sic] he thinks of it he always kids me about it. Today was mail day. Well at least I got a letter from you. Dec 16 Also a package from Mrs. Johnson and one from Aunt Dick. Aunt Dick sent a book. It was nice we don’t have to [sic] much to read. Mrs. Johnson sent some cookies gum candy and a couple dime comic books some stationary a pair of socks hankerchief  [sic] comb and I imagine  a few other things I can’t think of. It was nice too. But I think the letter from you was twice as good as both. God Mommie I hadn’t gotten any mail from you for so long I believe I almost thought the APO had my name messed up. But it came today. Oh yes I got the Christmas card from the Stanette’s also today. Sounds like Jr is getting a little tiresome Huh! Well perhaps by now he will come out in the open and you won’t have to blow up. It does make it kinda bad when one gets mad doesn’t it.  But one really doesn’t feel right unless he does blow his lid once in a while. Well honey I’m sure out lately as far as writing is concerned.  I can think of lots before I started writing but sure can’t afterwords [sic]. The only thing I can think of is how much I love you and want to be with you.  I guess it is all that really counts because I really do love you so much my Darling. I think I would be the happiest man in the world if I were only home with you. I would even be awful happy if it looked like we were coming home soon. I love you my darling. I love you so much. Gee my Darling I love you. All my love, Lefty

According to an article I found on How Stuff Works:

German forces depleted in Belgium: U.S. soldiers watch Allied and German planes battle on Christmas Day, 1944. The weather over Belgium had recently cleared, and Allied aircraft were finally able to support ground troops in a counterattack against the Germans. Hitler’s belief that the Western Allies were weak and divided proved unfounded. Montgomery’s British forces attacked from the north, Patton’s U.S. Third Army attacked from the south, and American troops successfully defended the town of Bastogne. Beginning on January 8, the Germans retreated from the Ardennes. The Battle of the Bulge had been frightfully costly to all combatants. American casualties numbered about 81,000, and German casualties were between 60,000 and 100,000. But Nazi Germany’s loss of men and materiel was irreparable.

26 December, Quartermaster move to Arlon, Belgium, Billeted in Palis-de-Justice, Place of Leopold

A  not so welcome white Christmas in Belgium

A not so welcome cold and white introduction to Belgium

27 December Quartermaster moved to Guirsch, Belgium, approximately three (3) miles north of Arlon

27 December, near Arlon Belgium

My Darling Wife, Hi Honey. This damn pen isn’t working right and I’m about run down. I didn’t get to write last night. Had a busy spell and was awful tired and was late when we could write and I just didn’t. That makes you about neglected in the last week. Only three letters. But I grant you it won’t happen again. I’ll hope. We had a nice Christmas. Of course we had turkey, potatoes, gravey [sic], cranberries, bread, butter and a big delicious apple. And did I enjoy that. To top it all off our PX Rations came and we had some good candy bars in that. Good old US candy. Its  [sic] usually good. Then came the mail and I had a letter from you that was the best and the last mail I have gotten. Gosh I wish they would get on the ball again for a couple months. I hate to think of Junior coming and me not getting the news for a month. It is happening every day though. Harker hasn’t heard from his wife yet. I wish we would have another show here. They make me awful homesick but for a while it helps the morale. Man I’ve sure been low lately. And do I have a hard time writing when I feel like that. Just waite [sic] though the mail will start coming soon and then Oh! Boy! You know I’ve about done every thing now. I even had breakfast in a court house and you know I’ve slept in the court room. And it wasn’t bad either. You know Mommie I think they are going to have to send me home soon or your [sic] going to have a hard time getting along with me. I’m going to be so much in love with you’ll have a hard time getting anything done. God honey I sure love you. And every day I love you more. My darling I love you so much. Mind if I just kinda call this enough for tonight honey. The fire is kind of warm and I’m getting sleepy. I love you so much my darling. I hope you and the baby are getting along ok. Boy honey that will be something when he gets there. I love you so much I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty

The time is coming! Mom’s is about eight and a half months pregnant.  Will the baby come early or on time? And I wonder how long it will take for Dad to get the news. Communication has come a long way since back then. Now days you could use social media to be in the delivery room no matter where you are. Back then men did not even attend the actual birth. The husband waited in a waiting room while the woman delivered. Things sure have changed.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Harker Harvey

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Responses

  1. Love the Xmas stationery! All getting v exciting about the birth.

  2. Poignant … and very keenly felt … the words of your father.

  3. I like the line ” But one really doesn’t feel right unless he does blow his lid once in a while.” They were under such intense pressure that I don’t think you could survive without blowing off some steam. That being said, your dad always seems remarkably composed.

    • That is what slays me about these letter’s! He is so composted not letting on what is going on around him. It makes me think of all our service people and how hard it must be to not be able to share this part of their lives with their families. We must never forget what they have done for us!

  4. This is another of your really good posts. Thank you for posting this!

    • Thanks for reading it and liking it enough to comment! Awesome!

      • You’re very welcome!

  5. This is fascinating! Thank you for sharing these treasures. I have some of my uncle’s and my father’s letters home. I didn’t notice what Division your father was in. My uncle was with Old Hickory, the 30th Division.

    • Dad was with the 35th Quartermaster backing the 35 Infantry. Letter are a forgotten form so I really cherish them and love that I am able to share them. Not sure how Dad would feel about me hanging his dirty laundry on the line! hahahaha

  6. 600 miles in 48 hours in war torn France – and in the worst winter in decades. Even at the low speeds you mention, the roads were not paved, filled with potholes or just plain muddy. Add to that the potential load the trucks were laden with, that was an awesome achievement, I think!

    • One thing you forget my friend and that is that a lot of the roads were bombed and these drivers had to work their way around the bomb craters. This is the one thing Dad complains about. I guess he had a lot of kidney problems from getting so jostled while driving.

      • Lol. That’s what I meant by “potholes”! 🙂

      • Oh hahaha We live with potholes here on my dirt road so to me potholes and bomb craters are two different things. Glad we got that sorted out! lol


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