Posted by: notsofancynancy | June 27, 2013

World War II, chapter 70, My Dearest Wife and Daughter

World War II

My Dearest Wife and Daughter

Chapter 70

Dad on the left

Dad on the left

It has been 15 days since my sister was born. Dad still does not know the particulars including what she was named. It seems as though someone has told him the baby has red hair. I don’t see Dad having a problem with that though as it seems he is just happy to be a Papa bragging about her to all his buddies.

26 January, 1945 Quartermaster moved to Bettwiller, France

Bettwiller is located in northeastern France. It seems the 35th Quartermaster is closing in on Germany.

26 January, Bettwiller, France

My Dearest Wife and Daughter, The mail hasn’t gotten here yet and man am I getting low on writing material. Boy oh boy if I get this page full you’ll be lucky and if I have to start another I’ll be unlucky. This is the last page and I forgot to go to the supply room for more. Unless a brain storm comes along I’ll be ok.We are about to have coffee. Some French lady is making it for us. I hope it is good. Also we are here in the house. Bob, Judson and I. Our lighting system seems to be on the unlighted side. We have one but not so good. Mom was telling me about all the babies that were in the hospital with you. Boy oh Boy it sounded like a production line. How is our daughter tonight? Hope the red hair hasn’t gotten you down. I sure wish I would get some mail telling me more about her. I know it is coming but dog goned [sic] it sure is taking its [sic] time. And I am in a hurry. What does Mom and Pop think. They wanted a boy huh! I didn’t. Wasn’t going to say though. I would have been happy with a boy. They sure have been kidding me. We had the first girl born to anyone in the platoon. Its time someone changed the routine though. And I’m not complaining a bit. I love you my darling.   I love you so much. Gee honey sure makes a difference having a baby too. Now I can say I love you both and I do honey. The two most precious things in the world to me. I love you so much honey. I love you. I love you. All my love Darling, Lefty

From everything Dad has written so far he is happy Junior is a girl and being the first girl born in the platoon sure makes Dad one proud soldier and that sure gives him something to talk about.

Marvin Cain, Shirley B. Wood, William G. Price

Marvin Cain, Shirley B. Wood, William G. Price

28 January, Bettwiller, France

My Darling Wife, I slipped up on Bob. He is in the other room doing something and I’m using his paper and pen. So if I have to change in a hurry don’t mind. Just came in from guard. It isn’t so cold out tonight and the moon would be out if it were clear. Boy you should have seen the moon last night. It and the snow sure lit up things. Just like Kansas with the snow. I wish to God I was in Kansas now. I finally found out what was wrong with Fred. After so long a time they have written me about it. He is in the hospital with trench foot. Of course they didn’t have sense enough to tell me how bad if they knew. I don’t know why in the hell I write home They just give me a brief resume of what goes on and leave it at that. I would know more if they wouldn’t write and I just ask someone else. We still haven’t gotten any of your mail so I’m still in the dark about the baby. Sure wish some would get here soon. I’m getting awful anxious to know what you named her. And how the both of you were and all the rest. This mail sure leaves one in a bad position once in a while. Here I am a father for 18 days and know nothing more about it. Rumors of mail tomorrow so I’ll waite [sic] and hope. I made a gallon of coffee before I went on guard and Bob has finally consented to make another one now. So you see how much sleep I’m going to get tonight. But I like the coffee so I’ll help drink it. Boy I’m having a hard time getting this page started. First Bob came and I gave him his pen. Then I couldn’t find anything to write about. Then the darn stove ran out of gas and we had to fill that. Now I can’t think of anything to write again. I read your letter again about Grandma at Christmas time. Sounds about like mother before she died. For the kids sake (me too) we had someone dressed as Santa and usually mom would have to help everyone else before she opened anything for herself. Of course that’s been a long time ago and I can hardly remember. Well honey I hope you and the Girl are getting along well. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey how I would like to be home with you. I love you Darling. I love you so much I love you I love you. All my love Darling, Lefty

That is a story I have never heard about Dad’s mom. There are very few stories I remember about her. She passed away in 1936. Dad was only 16 years old and from the stories he told he did a lot of the care and entertaining while she was ill. I don’t know much more about her so this is great insight to the kind of person she was. I sure would have liked to meet her.

29 January, Bettwiller, France

My Darling wife. Boy Mommie was I up in the air today. I got a letter and looked at the date. It was the 13th and I was so anxious I didn’t look to see the month. Well what do you know. It was Dec. instead of Jan. So again I am out. Still haven’t found out anything about the baby. Boy am I hoping for another mail call. I sure hope to get those lost letters soon. The one I did get though was quite swell and I sure needed the encouragement. You talk about making stew. Boy I sure would like to try some of yours. This stew we have been cooking up around here sure isn’t what its [sic] cracked up to be. We haven’t had to [sic] much but what we have sure is good. Besides the time I can eat that is when I am so hungry anything would taste good and then that goes down the hatch. Its [sic] about time we were having some more pictures. We haven’t had one for some time now. There must be some in the E.T.O. we haven’t seen. Boy have I been going around today. I started out to fix the lights so I could read when I went to bed tonight. Well I had one small bulb and one large. After test run and what-do-you-know. The big one was burned out and I have to do the whole darn thing again. Only this time Bob got the light and I have it fixed so I can write with it. After a while I’ll change and read. Perhaps some of the others will want to write first and by that time Bob will be in and I know he will write. (Sure am filling up space aren’t I) I got the most interesting Christmas card from Ventura yesterday. It was not so much reading on it all it said was Christmas Greetings-Betty Boyer. God she should have saved the money it took to send it. I almost blew my top. I sure hate to get something I can’t read. Oh yes to show you how well I’m up on my correspondence it was sent to Nashville, Tennessee. [Dad was stationed there before he was shipped overseas] Say Mommie were [sic] going to have to change that razor strap idea to Mommie with an apple switch. Well honey I’ve been thinking and there isn’t another darn thing I can think of so I guess its [sic] time to say I love you honey. I love you so much my darling. I love you honey. I love you I love you I love you. All my love Darling, Lefty

The View through a WWII Soldier's Eyes

The View through a WWII Soldier’s Eyes

30 January, Quartermaster moved to Verdun, France

30 January, Verdun, France

My Darling Wife, Well honey here I am again. Boy have you been the neglected wife lately. You know I just have had about time enough to eat sleep and sleep and sleep. Well anyway where I was at last night it was too cold to be trying to write so Bob and I went to a show. “Dust be my Destiny.” (Don’t mind my writing I was interrupted) The show wasn’t so good but there was a comedy that was swell. About an organ grinder. “To go on with the show.” It cost us 15 francs about 30 cents and wasn’t heated. Well I sat there for quite a while. Finally had to put my gloves on but still my feet were cold and I wasn’t exactly warm otherwise. But later found I should have stayed because it was lots better than where we were sleeping and although I didn’t sleep cold it sure was hard crawling out this morning. But who cares I didn’t freeze and everythings [sic] ok now. Another experience in the E.T.O. [European Theater Operation] Hows [sic] the girl tonight. Still no mail and I’m not sure just when it will be here. But we have hopes of it being here someday. You know I still have about 5 packages coming from Christmas. Boy if there is anything to eat in them. I better not be hungry when they get here. Back to the baby.  I sure hope everything is ok and she has to beat Mary Sue. Drop a few beans and little spinach in her diet. We have a schedule to meet now. I wrote about two days ago and again you’ll probably get them both the same time because I think they got in to [sic] late for the mail and I ‘ll have to do it all over again. Sure hope you haven’t been looking for a letter every day. I haven’t missed on purpose honey but sure hate it anyway. I’ll catch up now though. You know I ‘m sure sweating out this letter because there isn’t anything to write about. And believe me I sure can’t do any good with what I have. I’m getting to [sic] old to write. I’ll have to get home so you can keep up my correspondence. Oh happy day. Well Darling I have some good news for myself. Am on guard so I must close this and get some sleep. I love you so much honey. Gee honey I love you so much. I love Mommie. All my love Darling, Lefty

31 January, 1945 Quartermaster moved to Rijckholt, Holland approximately six (6) miles SE of Masstricht, Ninth Army Sector.

31 January, Rijckholt, Holland

My Darling Wife and Daughter, Hello honey I sure fixed you tonight. Had a hard time filling those big pages so now I have found this. [small lined paper] To [sic] much brain work to be writing that much. Have to save the brain! That [sic] all. Hows [sic] our daughter tonight? Have you walked the floor with her yet? I’ll bet she is a pip. Boy I can see the two of you (sure wish I can see the two of you) getting along there. Remember Mommie someday you’ll have to tell me all about it. I imagine by the time I get there she will be big enough to exploit that red haired temper. It won’t be long now until she’ll be a month old. And it won’t be much longer until we’ll [#3] be married a year. Happy Anniversary honey and I hope by that time we will be home together. I sure wish I could get some mail so I would know how you were. In a couple more days. I guess some will be here. You know I sure thought I could get a couple pages written on this paper. But no luck. I have been playing cards with Bob. You know if I keep on telling you there isn’t anything to write about you’ll believe me in time. How many letters have I missed writing that in. Another bad habit of mine. Well I still haven’t finished this Mommie. I got started playing cards again and still haven’t had a brain storm and it is almost bedtime. I love you so much my Darling. I love you honey. I love you I hope some mail comes so I can read how much you love me honey. I sure like that part of your letters. Boy honey I love you I love you so much. All my love Darling, Lefty

2 February, Rijckholt, Holland

My Darling Wife & Daughter, Hello Darling how are you and the girl coming tonight. Boy I’ll bet you two are getting right up in the lights there. How does Mom and Pop like her by now? There is something I would like to say but I just don’t know anything about her. I’m sure sweating out those letters I have coming. It was tough waiting until she arrived. Now to find out complete news is worse. Well I guess it will nice when it does get here. Say on about two letters before this I have been dating wrong. Here it is the second and last night I had the 31st on your letter. I guess I have forgotten how fast time does fly around here. Going to have to get on the ball I guess. Yes here we are in Holland. Considerably different than anything we have seen yet. The people here speak lots of English. I was surprised. Its [sic] different in ways then the book says too. Well enough for that. The S&S [Stars and Stripes] tonight has a big picture of Shirley Temple getting her said first kiss. They didn’t have my picture on the first one I had. What a joke? Someone said a kiss is a kiss even if it’s a cow. So she didn’t do anything so great.

The then 17-year-old, Shirley Temple starred in a movie called “Kiss and Tell” in 1945. But her first onstage kiss was reported by many sources to have been Dickie Moore in the 1942 movie “Miss Annie Rooney.”

I got [unreadable] again tonight. I went into the other room and a little girl of about 6 who lives here was playing hide and seek. Boy she is as smart as a whip and sure had to laugh at her. She got so excited she would jump up and down. Once she had a G.I. helmet on and every time she jumped it would fall down over her eyes and she couldn’t hide for moving it. It was better than a show. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey I love you an awful lot. Every day it seems I love you more and long ago I thought I loved you all I could. I love you honey I love you I love you. All my love Darling, Lefty.

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family- Murray on right

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family- Murray on right

4 February, Rijckholt, Holland

My Darling Wife, Hello honey this has to be short and sweet. I have to go to bed. I have been on guard and have to get up early and after all I have to have my beauty sleep. I got two letters and New Years card from you today. But both were before the baby came. So I don’t know anymore about [her] then that.  I did. But they sure was nice letters though and the card was really grand. I like them since you have been writing on them. But before they were discouraging. Well you were talking about New Years. It wasn’t so bad. We had a good meal and all the rest. I guess that’s all we can say about it. Lots of water passed under the bridge since then Wow. The weather isn’t so bad now. At least it isn’t so damn cold you can’t turn around without freezing. We were awful lucky the winter didn’t hurt us much as a whole. Awful miserable though. Gosh honey any letter I get from you sure isn’t dull. Boy how I miss them when I don’t get them. The only difference between you and me. You can write what you do from day to day and I can’t. It seems nice to be able to really what goes on during the day. The only thing I want now is the first letter you wrote after the baby was born. Then all the rest I have missed. Boy will that be a happy day. I guess. Yes Mommie I guess 179 would beat me. The last time I weighed was 12 stones 12 lbs. and that should be about 130. That was a long time ago. I might get the 12 lbs now. Boy would I have liked to seen you then. I would like to see you just any time damn soon. The announcement sounded like they might be good. By now someone else has read and laughed like I did. I thought they were funny but good. I don’t like the name Margaret named her baby. It was quite a boy though wasn’t it. But if they do call him Ronny it won’t be bad. I think I heard about Hartwell in the church paper. Although then I didn’t know who he was. Well honey I love you lots. Gee if I could only see you and the baby. I am so looking forward to the time when you and I are together. If this damn war was only over. Honey I was going to send you some money for our Anniversary but we haven’t been paid yet. So if it’s a little late I’m sorry. I love you my darling. I love you I love you so much honey. I love you I love you darling. All my love Darling, Lefty

My sister is now almost a month old and still no current letters from home. It sounds like Dad must have gotten a current letter from my grandma though if not, how did he know about the red hair? If he did get a current one why did Grandma Susie not tell Dad the name of the baby? Maybe she thought Mom did and maybe Mom’s letters are just not there yet. It is just like the rest of this journey. I can only speculate and with all my speculation I just have more questions.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Judson Haviland, Marvin Cain, Shirley B. Wood, William G. Price, Murray Combs



  1. You can tell how overwhelmed and tired your dad is, but not even a war could dampen his gushing excitement about his new daughter. If you have a lot of questions imagine how your dad must have felt!

    • Exactly my point Will! But it seems like right now he is doing so much driving the days must be going fast. I am at least thankful for that.

  2. This is a touching account back before internet and skype and emails and all. I have heard it called “snail mail,” which sounds about right from your dad’s letters home.

    Are we going to get to read when he finally gets the letters he so longed for? Sure hope so.

    Thanks for sharing. I have a soft spot for our military men and women.

    • They come so irregular it hurts my heart when I read he was not getting the letters he so desperately waits for. Some days he gets them and some days not.

      Because of the way Dad raised me I will always have a soft spot for our military too!

      We must never forget their sacrifice!

  3. It really is hard to imagine the waiting, waiting, waiting for news from family! I’m certain so many men were left with the same frustration, and given today’s immediate communication it really feels deadly slow! i’m eager to read his letters when the news finally comes in!

    • Communication has come a long way! It breaks my heart to know how uncertain the mail is for him.

  4. I reflected on the first letter… He wrote they were staying in a house and that a lady was brewing them coffee… Since your dad was behind the front lines, I wonder if that house is still standing. Perhaps it has been rebuilt since then but I bet you would have loved to see that same house… and whatever happened to that kind lady? 🙂

    One Nisei vet said all they had were C-rations in a cold, damp forest – and how they wanted so wanted to start a small fire to warm it up. I think they would have jumped at that stew Lefty mentioned!

    And the frustration of not knowing about his daughter!!!

    • I found the talk about them trading/buying veggies from the French to make the stew was interesting. It reminded me of a favorite when we go camping. I call it Hobo Stew. Everyone brings their favorite veggies and we just see what we come up with. We have had some interesting Hobo Stew!

      And how frustrating to not have the details of my sister. I bet there were many soldiers who endured the same. One thing I know we must never forget!

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