Posted by: notsofancynancy | July 4, 2013

World War II, chapter 71, Buzz-Bomb Alley

World War II

Buzz-Bomb Alley

Chapter 71

5 February 1945 Quartermaster moved to Stahe, Germany-“Buzz Bomb Alley”

Dad Wrote "The Mill I told you about. The only picture that was good. Bob, Edlund sitting, Haviland, Hannery (sp)"

Dad Wrote “The Mill I told you about. The only picture that was good. Bob, Edlund sitting, Haviland, Hannery (sp)”

I found a great article written by a man who was only 15 years old in 1945 and was living in the area when Buzz Bomb Alley was given its name.  Bernard Bergonzi  explains that the bombs were called Buzz Bombs or Doodlebugs because of the sound they made.  At first they were confused as to what this new weapon was as they had never seen its likes.  Come to find out these Buzz Bombs were unmanned, self-propelled, radio-controlled bombs with wings. Once it reached its range it would crash, detonating on impact. The problem with these planes was they were not accurate at all. I guess this is why it became an alley as opposed to all them hitting the same place.

(Read “Bernard’s story” here)

6 February, Stahe, Germany

My Darling Wife and Mary Lynn, Now finally I got enough data to find the unknown facts about the baby. One some time ago from Mom said Mary has red hair and now its [sic] blonde. Well she (Mom) said it just looked red but red or blonde its [sic] ok by me.  I’m going to love her just as much. Gee honey she sure sounds first class. And as Mom said it wasn’t as bad as you expected. I’m glad of that too. I love you honey. The mail came in finally. I got 4 or 5 letters from you and to [sic] V-Mails and one letter from Mom. A letter from Dorothy Peterson, Eva Woehrle, Mike and Lucille and one from George Wagner. It seems so good to get mail again. Boy this crowd is almost getting along now. And once in a while a small argument but nothing much. Most are answering the letters they have been waiting so long. But now every things [sic} under control and the mail will be more steady now. So keep me posted on that baby-cause ah wants to hear lots about her. I’ll start answering back about Dec 28 and answer them all. The mail will be more steady now and I think I’ll get more tomorrow. George Wagner said he saw you at the show “Since you went away.” We have been shut off from all shows and all the rest of the so called privileges. (as if a man in this country had privileges.) Well someday I’ll tell you why but this ain’t hurting us any. 

I wonder if the reason they are cut off from” privileges” is they went dark to hide from the enemy bombs. I can only imagine.

We have been having a little rain lately. But the best part is the frost. Its [sic] coming out of the ground now and being from Kansas you should know what that means. There’ll be better days. Just waite [sic].  Well Mommie we get gum here, but only once in a blue moon do we get Dentyne and that’s my gum. I guess that’s why you sent it. I have plenty of it though so don’t worry about [it] anymore.  Well look here I’ve filled one big page and haven’t completed but one of your letters. Its [sic] sure easy to write when you have some good letters to answer. Of course I’m a long way from the important one. (17th) I’m off again. Sounds like Deloris is getting along ok huh! I hope she is having a good time. What did she think about the Australian Officer? Or did she say. That sewing machine was jinxed. We didn’t make much of anything. Had some shoe taps we tried to sew on and some other things but nothing came out of it. Broke the needle to [sic] soon and had to do the sewing by hand. There wasn’t much to write about in that one. Best to read here- comes No 3. Bob and I usually writes [sic] together and mail them the same way. So I imagine the one you received was miss sent there and was fastened to his. Say you didn’t need the castor oil did you. She should have had you eat some cheese. You would have waited another hour or so. That’s pretty close though Mommie. Every January at 11:30 will swing a big one. That’s splitting the difference in half. Well so Lila and Lester’s getting married. Good for them. (should I have said that) I don’t think so much about Betty and Paul though. Not my way of living I guess. Honey I am about run down for tonight so I’m just going to keep the last letter and answer it tomorrow. I’ll have a big enough fun for tonight. I love you my Darling. I love you Sweetheart. I love you Mommie and Mary. I love you I love you I love you. All my love Darling, Lefty

Dad and Bob Winter

Dad and Bob Winter

I was wondering how that letter made it to Cozad. Now it makes more sense. Bob Winter was from Cozad which is where my father’s family is from so when I saw it was sent to Cozad I wondered why it went to Pasadena by way of Dad’s hometown and how did they know it was his hometown?  If his letter was stuck to Bob’s it explains why it went to Cozad first.

It took 31 days before the letter with the details of the baby came. Dad now knows Mom named my sister Mary Lynn. She was born with red hair which would turn blond from the sun. All five of us kids would have that same hair.

7 February, Buzz-Bomb Alley, Stahe, Germany

My Darling Wife and Mary Lynn, Gee honey I got another letter from you today. It was Jan 31. Sure hope they are coming and you are getting mine. I’ll answer the one I didn’t last night. I have read about twenty times and still enjoy reading it. I sure hope Mom gets over her cold soon. Boy it sure seems to be hanging on. In your letter of the 17th she had it and still had one in your 31st letter. She had it and she better stay in bed. We have colds here but they don’t last. We have two small ones instead of those long affairs. I’ve solved the problem of how to keep Mary Lynn from kicking you in the stomach. Turn your back to her. You can do that now. But don’t you go to sleep [like] that.  Yes I know Mrs Dorothy Grilla. I graduated with her sister Alyee. Also went with her Bro until the 6th grade. Then he quit. Her name was Halfrider. Read quite a bit about her husband in the paper. Did she give you a line about me. We didn’t get along so well. But then it didn’t make much difference. No law said we had to get along. Bob just came in maybe I can get in the mood now. I just don’t seem to be able to write when he isn’t here to interrupt me every once in a while. He is reading his mail and every once in a while he smiles so I guess Madeline still loves him. Boy honey I would be proud of you if you hadn’t saved a nickel. But look how much more prouder [sic] I am since you have saved what you did. It doesn’t make any difference Honey the money is yours to do as you please with. I only wish I had more to send home. That’s what I want most just to give you and Mary what you want and when you want it. Boy if it ever comes the time when I can’t I don’t know what I’ll do. I guess then you’ll have to find yourself a new husband. Then when we were having ice cream we had to have a fire to eat it by. It was about blizzarding [sic] everywhere. Have had it each time. But the snow cream we had was lots better than we had at mess. (They are talking and getting me all mixed up). Gosh no Mommie I’m not disappointed about Mary. I guess there aren’t to [sic] many boys in the family cause I wanted a girl. I haven’t said anything because I knew you thought I would have been disappointed if it hadn’t been. Bob and I had been discussing that long ago. I’m more than pleased honey if I were only home so I could enjoy her. I imagine she will be a big girl by that time though. We sure have a bright future don’t we. They can’t teach a dog new tricks. So the daughter has to start in early to laugh up until you wrote that you said our daughter and then you said your daughter. See what I mean when I said I wish I were home to enjoy her. Then you could hear me laugh. I just teased old Ben about the blanket Ann sent. He seemed pleased or as usual. In case her allotment doesn’t come through ok. Let me know. The Dr. could have sent those papers in, and had it done. But I imagine the Red Cross will get things done. I feel the same way as you about Frank and Dorothy. Man they have had a hard time keeping two and here they have about 9. Christ I would have to quit 10 years ago. Guess they like it though. I love you my Darling. I love you both honey. Just you and Mary Lynn. You know I like that name better every time I read or write it. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. I love you I love you honey I love you both. All my love, Lefty.

The paper Dad is using right now is pretty fragile. Not in a thin way though. The letter dated 7 February almost fell apart as I opened it. It did rip in one of its folds.  As I take this letter out I see it is the same material as that previous one. The paper is larger than others, he writes small and fills both pages.  It is a lot of not talking about the war going on. I open it with caution.

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

8 February, Buzz Bomb Alley, Stahe, Germany

My Darling Wife and Daughter, How are my best two girls today. Its [sic] been swell today. No snow no rain no sleet and not to [sic] much work. We keep busy and that’s enough.  I got the first word from my correspondence Course today. Sometime ago we sent a tracer to find out what happened. And got an answer from that. It seems they sent one lesson the 5th of Jan and I didn’t get it. So they sent another the 19th and I haven’t gotten that either but it kinda enlightens one to know something about it. At least maybe the $2.00 wasn’t wasted. Its [sic] been over three months since I sent the enrollment in. Sure wish I could have gotten it right back because I’ve wasted a lot of time. I sure hope you can read this because I’m setting in a chair writing and should have spurs and a saddle. One leg is broken on the chair and everytime [sic] I move it slips and my looking glass is in danger. I have forgotten just what I wrote last night so if I double up don’t think much about it. I thoroughly agree with you about Frank & Dorothy and also think the same thing Harold & Rosa. Man they are making cannon loaders for the next war [hard to read] But if they like it let them go. Just don’t you get any ideas like that though. I don’t like large families. Yes Mommie it gets awful dark here. But you should have seen it when all the snow was here. Boy nights were just like days. You see the wind didn’t blow and it just clung to the trees. Some bushes had as much as three inches on them. The pines were a mass of snow. Then on [#14] top of that a big moon. It sure was bright. Dark again now though. I love you both so much. I love you Mommie, I love you I love you I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty

I carefully fold this fragile letter and slip it back into its envelope. As I do I wonder if anyone else will ever take it out and read it again. I then move it back in the stack and move on. It reminds me of how lucky I am that I have these letters and how blessed that I have the time to record them.

10 February, Buzz-Bomb Alley, Stahe, Germany

My Darling Wife and Mary Lynn. Hello honey. Hows [sic] my wife & daughter? Well honey this should be short and sweet unless I have more luck than usual writing. Have a detail at one so must work this afternoon and that isn’t far away. I didn’t have time to write yesterday so I would have missed two days. But maybe this will fill in. I didn’t get any mail yesterday. So I haven’t a letter to answer. But there surely will be some today. I saw a Dutch windmill finally. This one must have been over a hundred years old. All hand made and sure was something to see. Boy the blades on it must have been a good 25 feet long as far as blades it had four of those. Then on top of the tower was made to turn so you can turn the blades into the wind. That was done with a hand crank on the outside. The shaft the blades were on must have been just a big tree squared and fastened on. On the opposite end of the blades was a large wooden clog wheel. It must have been twice as high as I.

Dad's Drawing

Dad’s Drawing

That is quite a drawing but it explains more than I could tell. The whole thing was very quaint and really a good job of building with what they had to work with. Well at least the damn thing is still going. I love you my darling. Its [sic] almost time to eat now and I have to get things lined up so I can get to work. I love you honey. I love you so much. I love the both of you. I love you I love you so much. Gee honey tomorrow Mary Lynn will be a month old and not long until we will be married a year. Congratulations my Darling. I love you so much. All my love Darling.

What I find interesting is they find this “Dutch Windmill” in Germany and not back when they were in Holland where you would expect to find a windmill.

11 February, Buzz-Bomb Alley, Stahe, Germany

My Darling Wife and Mary Lynn, Hello Mommie and Daughter. How are my two best girls tonight. If you feel like I do your awful. I got three letters and a Valentine from you, Mom, and Mrs. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson sure gave me heck for not telling her about the baby. She said she had gotten your card and also announcement. But said she was waiting to answer until she had a box ready to send. She said what, but you have probably gotten it and me telling you again would only bore you. She also wanted to send me some gum and candy but I wouldn’t send her a request. You’ll probably hear about that too. Or I don’t know her. Sounds like the daughter could lend me a couple of her blankets huh! I’ve seen the time I needed them but not now. It isn’t so cold and I believe it will be better soon. I saw some dust today. First in about 4 months. Yes I hit a bump and some rose from the floor boards. And that’s about all we will see for some time. I sure hope Mary Lynn has gotten over the stomach trouble. She is a month old today huh! Yep Mommie I think Mary Lynn is worth several rooms. After all when we get old there will still be a moon. We can look at that one. You know I’m sure glad you are there and still enjoying them both. Even if you can’t see to [sic] much of the moon. I’m right proud you haven’t a mess like over here to put up with. I sure hope those pictures are good too. Man am I aching to see some of her and you too. Boy honey I’m so sick of mud and rain that if anyone mentions it to me when I get home I think I’ll just go nuts. You have heard of all the mud they had in the last war. Well I didn’t believe it but now I think I can add a little to their stories and still not make it B.S. Now I’ve hurried so much I have forgotten what I’m going to write. I just toasted a piece of bread. But the damn stuff is to[sic] fresh and wouldn’t be good to eat though. Which reminds me I didn’t have supper. Got in a little late and was to [sic] lazy to go down after it. Was a little beat up from these rough roads too. I told you the lights were going out. They did and I haven’t even told you about my dog. Yep got another dog. Named him Adolph. I’ll tell you more about him tomorrow if he comes back. I love you my darling. I love you so much honey I love you both and wish I were home with you. I love you I love you so much. All my love Darling, Lefty

Being “beat up by the roads” is one thing my brother remembers our dad talking about.  That’s right I have a brother for anyone keeping track. But he is the baby of the family. From Dad’s writing and the pictures he really went through the mud and rain while he was overseas. Thankfully it sounds like they are finally out of the snow.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Truman “Ben” Howard, Murray Combs, Judson Haviland, Donald Edlund

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Responses

  1. Thanks for this great post – Have a wonderful 4th of july.

  2. The photo from the Combs family is of a “rifle grenade”. A special adapter would be pinned onto the end of a Garand’s barrel then a special round was chambered. The trigger was pulled and the rifle grenade would be send downrange. The special round would have one helluva kick so the stock end of the carbine would have to be planted into the ground.

    • And that is why I love you Mustang Koji. You bring our photo’s to life! Mr. Combs grandson will be interested to find this out. I can’t wait….BTW there are 50 new picts in the picasa album, and more are coming from the Comb’s family


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