Posted by: notsofancynancy | August 15, 2013

World War II, chapter 77, A Driver’s Works is Never Done

World War II

A Driver’s Work is Never Done

Chapter 77

Dad and his Beep

Dad and his Beep

In the last chapter Dad made it clear he is done with this war and he is ready to go home. Unfortunately the Army is not done with him yet. He and his fellow Quartermaster’s have a lot of driving to get done before Uncle Sam is finished with them. It seems a driver’s work is never done in this war as there are provisions that need to be delivered, men that need to get to where they are going, and supplies that need to get to the front lines.

29 March, Lohnen, Germany

Dearest Mommie and Mary Lynn, Boy I have lots to write about tonight so I’ll dig out the paper and perhaps it will be a lighter. If I do I’ll probably forget all I have to say. I got the Easter card from Mary Lynn and you today. It was nice and the letter was too. Boy it sure seemed good to get it. I also got an Easter card from Ruth & Babe. She didn’t say anything though. I saw Lucille’s brother. Boy is he fat. Seems this country is good for him. But he like the rest of us has had enough and is ready to go home. He is doing the same thing. I am almost. Guess he has had a pretty exciting time since he left the states. I think by now you have gotten my letter asking about insurance. So that answers your question as to how I feel. I think its swell and in 18 years Mary will be able to use a little of that money. You talk about dreary weather. Man have we got it. Harker Harvey and I are sleeping in the back of the truck and last night every time he turned over I could hear water run off onto the floor. The roof leaks. But not to [sic] bad I guess. The floor leaks too so it runs on through and we don’t have to stand on it. The only thing dry about this country is the drinking situation. No drinking liquor. By gosh I would have like[ed] to have been over here in the Gay Nineties. I’ll bet the women didn’t ware [sic] all that crap. I believe they are getting civilized enough to ware [sic] a little bit now. I’m thinking then they even had the dresses off. Have you ever heard the line about the laugh boys in the last war feeding the girls in Paris the big he stuff. Well I think the women were just looking out for themselves and took the men for a ride. And they are doing the same thing now so the big boys tell me. Haven’t been there myself. I’ll answer Georgie’s  letter Mommie. It might be a little late because we haven’t much time anymore. And I am glad of that. Keeps one’s mind busy. I have been going to write him but just haven’t worked up the mood lately. In the mood I’ve been in it sure wouldn’t do any good to write him.  I’m not much on dates Mommie. I guess Easter just slipped the mind. I didn’t even wish you a happy anniversary this month. I didn’t forget just didn’t write it. Guess you’ll have to be my date [unreadable] from now on. Well honey I have some more pictures. I have an idea about. I’m going to explain them on a sheet of paper and send it. If it does pass the censor don’t mind. I have written on the back something about them so here comes the story behind the story. I think I’ll end this and start that. I love you so much my darling. I’m hoping too that I’m home by next Easter. I love you so much my Darling. I love you Honey. Thank Mary Lynn for the card. I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty

I never did find the paper with the “story behind the story” on it. Many of the pictures I have are written on but there are still many that are blank. This is why this journey started in the first place. It was to honor the men in those pictures. It has been interesting to now find out that the soldiers shared their pictures with each other allowing other’s to order a set of their own pictures. With what I originally thought were my father’s personal pictures show insight not only in his time overseas but also capture his fellow service men’s time in the European Theater Operation.

Dad Wrote "I am not sure but I think this was once was a house. several look like this "

Dad Wrote “I am not sure but I think this was once was a house. several look like this “

30 March, 1945 Quartermaster moved to Dinslaken, Germany

April 1, 1945 Quartermaster moved vicinity of Gladbeck, Germany

April 1, Gladbeck, Germany

My Darling Wife & Daughter, Gee Honey Guess I’ll have to do like some did just write April Fools and sign it. I sure won’t be able to write much anyway. I didn’t write last night. We had fried chicken and by the time that was all over with it was past time for bed. Have to get up early lately. The chicken was good though I thought.

2 April [written on same page]

Hello Honey. As you see I didn’t finish this last night. Got sleepy to [sic] soon. Just came in from guard and haven’t got to [sic] much time before the lights go out. So this might be short tonight too. Didn’t get any mail today so haven’t any more news. I have some more pictures. I sent 8 last night in Mom’s letter and will send 9 tonight. That makes 32 in this group. I sent 8 in another bunch. So you have 40 on the way with these. Oh yes when they all get there if you have two of that’s about alike why don’t you send some of them to Dad. I haven’t sent any home. We had a March day today. The wind blew, well maybe a little [unreadable] was mixed up too cause it rained. Over here though doesn’t matter what month or day it rains just the same. Sounds like Mary Lynn is really getting fat. And as if she is getting to notice things too. Sure wish I could drop in and see her. Man would I ever like that. Mommie if I ever get home I’m going to be hard to get outside the door from fear someone will want me to leave again. Boy honey as a letter writer I sure punk. But there isn’t a darn thing to write about. Oh yes was looking at a Dr’s book and know all about having babies. If you want any advice just ask me. Wow???? Well Darling its [sic] a short time until morning and I have to spend part of it on guard. So I had better close this. It isn’t a hell of a lot. But I love you lots. And to me that counts more than the letters. Gosh honey I just sit and think of how much fun we had and are going to have when I get home. I love you Darling. I don’t know what I did without you. I love you I love you honey. All my love, Lefty

Bombed House

Bombed House

3 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Dearest Darlings, Boy the mail man was good to me again today. Two letters from you and one from Mom. They were the 9-10 but I sure did like them anyway. Boy honey the days just aren’t complete anymore without mail from you. Of course we don’t get them every day.  But I miss them then. Then I guess I have those most wonderful wife in the world cause I sure miss her enough.  Just seems I can’t waite [sic] another day to get home to you. God honey I couldn’t get along without you now. The sun came out for a while today. But last night on the last tour of guard it rained the whole time. I guess it rained nearly all night. Not much but enough to make it awful miserable. I was slightly damp when I came in. It wasn’t so cold though. Sure hope it clears up toot sweet. Gosh honey Easter kind of slipped up on me and was gone before I knew what was happening. I do hope you got uptown and bought something new for the day. Don’t just remember what I did. Guess I wasn’t working guess to [sic] hard anyway. (if I were doing anything) I guess Bob and I have switched to barns. I’m supposed to build Bob a barn when I get home.  Have the blue prints in one of the books and have been trying to sell him the idea. It is a good one but it would take a small fortune to build. Anyway we were only talking. I am beginning to like the course more all the time. I have finished lesson three now and haven’t heard from the first one I have sent in.  Hope they get through ok. You know when and if I get home I might be able to find a school right there in or near Pasadena to go too. You know I think a lot about that too and the more I think the more I’m bound to do it. I’m thinking it’s a good idea. Nope Mommie I’m sure not sorry I got married. I have something to look forward to now. I have you Mary Lynn and look how much fun we have had. It was the best two months in my life that we were together. I just hope we are together soon.  Then on the other hand Mommie you have saved the money like I should have. I am awful proud of you and the things you have done to make me happy. Just hope I can do the same for you. And we can both be twice as happy as ever. I know we can if we get the chance. I love you my darling. I never did find out how much Ray’s baby weighed. He doesn’t talk about him and I haven’t asked any questions. He and I don’t talk to [sic] much anyway. You have the right girl though she did work at the store. I was awful surprised though. He usually tells about everything but didn’t even mention that. I’m sure glad Mom and Pop like Mary. I thought maybe at first before she was born they wouldn’t think so much because of me being over here and such. But they are just not the people to be mad at one. I sure think they are swell always have. I’ll send some more pictures tonight honey. What’s worse I’ll bet they never all get home. Well 8 more tonight. I still haven’t gotten mine so am still on the 80 bunch. You know the trees here are almost in bloom and flowers have been out from some time. Gosh it doesn’t seem that late. Its [sic] really chilly here. Wet too. The birds have taken a powder I guess haven’t seen many around. Guess they have gone back to the coast where they can lay eggs instead of bullets. You know there is a regular thunderstorm outside. Usually the Artillery makes one think of such but this time it’s the real thing. Perhaps Mary Lynn is afraid to sleep alone. Boy I was when a kid I just wouldn’t do it. Or perhaps she thinks your lonesome and has to take care of Mommie. Remember how you used to kid me about my styes. Now its [sic] my turn Ho Ho. Well I hope it is ok now anyway. The toe I had broken is all well except I think I’m going to lose the nail. Boy I don’t think I will ever forget that. So Mary Lynn does have red hair officially. I’m glad. Kinda like it myself. It will probably be blond before its [sic] all over with. Its [sic] quitting time honey. I love you my darling. I love you so much honey I love you sweetheart. I love you I love you Darlings. All my love Darlings, Lefty

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

4 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Dearest Darlings, Hi Honey. It isn’t quite time to write. Haven’t had supper yet nor the mail hasn’t come in. But we are supposed to have a show tonight and I don’t want to miss it. Haven’t seen one for so long I won’t know how to act anyway but I’ll go and stare. I just wrote Grandma and Grandpa Warta. I have been going to do that for a long time and finally did the job. Hope someday I’ll catch up with my writing. People around here have some well kept gardens. Man these German women are just like plow horses. They seem to be working all the time. Well they have a lot to do so I need to worry. That’s pretty good washing your hair in the wrong water. Had to laugh at that. My hair needs washing too. Want to drop over tonight and do it. You won’t have to save the rain water here. There is always plenty around. If not just waite [sic] 10 minutes.  You were asking about our lighting system. Well I don’t know just which area you were referring too. We have had anything from candles to electric lights. Right now we have a generator and generating our own power. Once or twice we had light from a truck and used a truck battery. We could see with them and that’s about all. The deal we have now we can use one radio. Hear it. I heard Henry Aldrich and some darn good music today. The news is what we listen to most. It all seems good but not good enough. What I want to hear is the peace treaty. The sterilizing of those bottles sounds like quite a process. Boy these babies raised the scientific way sure got a break huh? All the bugs should be dead after 10 minutes don’t you think. Well guess I’ll waite [sic] until I see if I have any mail today. So until then I love you Darling. There wasn’t any mail and we did have a show. The name was “Murder my Sweet” Dick Powell, Anne Shirley, Clara Trouer. Sure was good. Boy would I have liked you to have been there with me. It was one of those where you would have just cuddled down real close. You know like you used to do. Boy I love that. Gee Honey I’m all run down. All except I love you. I love you my darling. I love you honey. I love you so much honey. Hope Mary Lynn isn’t leading to late hours for you. I love you both so much my Darling. I love you honey. All my love Darling, Lefty

Dad talks about Henry Aldrich, Henry had a teenage geared sitcom, radio show which was quite popular. Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

The Aldrich Family, a popular radio teenage situation comedy (1939-1953), was also presented in films, television and comic books. In the radio series’ well-remembered weekly opening exchange, awkward teen Henry’s mother called, “Hen-reeeeeeeeeeeee! Hen-ree Al-drich!”, and he responded with a breaking adolescent voice, “Com-ing, Mother!”

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

I found this great website where you can listen to old time radio shows. I have listened to a couple of the shows as I write this chapter and I try to put myself in my father’s shoes. Did he laugh at this part or that? Did he listen to this exact show, did Mom?

(RadioLovers.com allows you to listen to old time radio shows)

5 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Darling Mommie & Mary Lynn, Boy Mommie I got two more letters from you today. The 20th and the 27th. Boy the last one sure came over the waves didn’t it. Man were they good. If this isn’t to [sic] long tonight don’t say anything. We had a show tonight and it didn’t start until 8 and was extra long. The name was “My Baby Likes Music” Sure was good. Had one this afternoon too. It was “Experience Peerless” or something. Couldn’t see it quite so good and to me it was all mixed up. I don’t imagine we will have many more for awhile. That’s about the limit. Guess what. We had some chicken soup today. Wasn’t bad either. Somehow we came across a chicken and it was too damn old to fry so we stewed it. Man Mommie you should see the way we operate on a chicken. We sure do a sweet job of it. Sure have been listening to the radio myself lately. Just got the darn thing so it would work good. And it isn’t to [sic] good. Now can only get a couple stations. But one is an English station so we have that. Man Mommie I’m hoping you don’t have those treatments to take for long. Going to the Dr is bad enough. But I imagine that is little discouraging. You sure aren’t losing much weight though are you. Bet you will though as soon as it gets hot there. You know that pop corn you said you popped sounded good. I think I told you Lucille sent some to me and also Bob’s folks to him. We sure had pop corn for a while. We didn’t really have a good place to pop it though and in places it was kinda discolored due to excessive heat. They really have some good music now. Man I could listen to it for a long time.  You know I sure would like to go to a dance. Man by the time I get home I won’t even know how. Its [sic] been over 10 months now since I have been to a dance. Boy that’s a long time. Next month it will be a year since I left you too. And boy do I want to get back now. Sure am lonesome for you honey. I love you so much. Sure hope Pop has gotten ok with the back. Well darling I’m about run down now. I love you so much my Darling. I love you honey. Gee Darling I didn’t ever thing I could love someone as much as I do you. I love you Mommie. I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty (8 more pictures today)

I could not find listing for either “My Baby Likes Music” or “Experience Peerless” on the internet but the number one song from this time was “Rum and Coca Cola” by the Andrew Sister’s so I will end this with a link to listen to this song. Now let’s imagine we are sitting in the barracks writing a letter to the one we loved after a long day of driving supplies around but I don’t really think we could ever imagine what that was like.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Harvey Hawker, Robert “Bob” Winter, Truman “Ben” Howard, Donald R. Edlund, Murray Combs,

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Responses

  1. Enjoyed the read–as I like all your WWII posts. It’s ironic–I had been thinking about popular music of that era before reading the post. One of my mother’s favorite songs was “Deep Purple,” (not related in any way to the later rock band), as performed by Helen Forrest and the Artie Shaw Band.

    • I looked it up and am listening to it right now. What a beautiful rendition. I love this era, now it has much more meaning to it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for another great post – it is as I could see your dad. Oh and many thanks for the Andrew Sisters, it was a great song.

    • It really was fun to listen to the song while I wrote! Thanks for the great comment!

  3. Nice to see The ANdrews Sisters again!


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