Posted by: notsofancynancy | August 22, 2013

World War II, chapter 78, Just Doing Their Job

World War II

Just Doing Their Job

Chapter 78

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

Notice the pup tents and look closely at the road. Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

You can click on the photographs to make them bigger

Still traveling in Germany the 35th Quartermaster is doing their job getting those supplies and such to where they needed to be and collecting the fallen. Dad is in charge of making sure his truck is in running order after it has been used by others. It is just another day in the ETO (European Theater Operation) when Dad goes out and finds two flat tires on his truck.

6 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Darling Wife & Daughter. Oh Gee Oh Boy Oh Gosh another letter from you 28th not bad huh! Hope they keep coming like that. I was sure glad to get it. I also got one from the church. George put a note on the bottom. He was bragging about Mary Lynn. He said “Your baby was in church last Sunday and kept quieter than most of the adults.” What power of concentration! And at such an early age too!” She must have been good huh! You asked me to write him. Well I’m wondering now if he sent another letter or if this is the one. Oh well I’ll answer this one and wait and see. I’ll have to waite [sic] until I’m in a good mood though. If I only knew something about the set up it wouldn’t be so bad. Yes honey we have crossed the Rhine. And everything you said was true. Of course being on the outskirts of Berlin sure wish we were there though. Do you know how long it would take laundry to get dry hanging out here. Well I believe we could have hung it out last October and it wouldn’t be dry yet. This would sure be a swell country for a duck farm. And you needn’t worry about getting them a place to swim. Sure hope you get some of those snaps taken of Mary Lynn soon. Every letter I get I look to see if there are any pictures in it. I showed a kid that lock of Mary’s hair the other day and asked what color he thought it was. He said “I’m not color blind its [sic] redder than hell,” I thought it was red too. The new outfit sure sounds good. Sure wish I could see it. Sounds like you really went for the Navy blue. Say Mommie don’t rush yourself with the candy. If your [sic] awful busy I’m really in no hurry. I can’t think of another thing I want except you and Mary. And of course its [sic] me that will have to come to you. Hope I can do that soon. I sure hope Mary Lynn gets over being scared by the time I get there. I hope she gets over it soon anyway. Don’t believe I have ever seen a baby that wasn’t scared though. Maybe not quite so bad. I’m sure glad Johnnie’s folks are hearing from Bob since the Bulge. I’ve been wondering about him. I didn’t even know where he was but you said quite some time ago he was in Germany so I didn’t know. Well honey I’ve run down even if I haven’t said much. Didn’t do much today just fooled around. I love you darling. I love you so much. Gee honey I love you I love you Darling. I love you I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty (8 more pictures tonight honey. I must have skipped 8 somewhere because it coming out 72 instead of 80)

7 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Darling Wife & Mary Lynn, No letters today. But I have one from yesterday I can answer. So maybe I’ll have something to write about. Say will you send me the recipe on how to gain weight. Boy sure seems like your[sic] doing it. Perhaps I just need some of your good cooking. I think I got something today. Yea a black eye. It isn’t black yet but its [sic] awful red and has a little cut on the upper lid. Nothing to talk about. But makes conversation. Playing football and ran into someone’s elbow. The songs you wrote about have heard “Rum & Coco Cola.” I guess that’s all. We hear mostly older songs. And they sure sound good. We had a darn nice day today. The sun was shining and it was warm. I worked on my truck this afternoon. It just came in from D.S. [I wonder what D.S. means?] and was it a wreck to look at. What was wrong with it you wouldn’t think it could have fixed. Well it won’t be so bad in a couple days. Can’t complain though. Tell you what I’ll bring the books home from my AFI course. They are quite interesting and I find it good reading. I have about ½ of the 4th lesson finished. It is on exterior finishing. It tells pretty much all. I’ll explain it more next time. This is pretty heavy paper and fills up pretty fast. Well honey I’m tired and must have my beauty sleep. So I guess this is about all I have. Isn’t much is it. The important thing is how much I love you. I do Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey every day I love you more. I love you I love you my Darlings. All my love Darlings, Lefty

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

9 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Darling Mommie & Mary Lynn, Hi honey hows [sic] my Darling tonight. Boy what a night. We went for a walk. Of course you can’t go over a couple of blocks but we went all four ways and came home. There is a law against walking so we don’t do it. But it was too nice to stay inside. I got a letter from you and one from Bob and Norma. So it wasn’t such a bad day. Was on guard last night and slept late this morning. Then the truck was gone so didn’t have much to do the rest of the day. When it came in tonight there was a few small things to do so I did that after chow. Its [sic] nice to keep things like that caught up. Then there’s never to [sic] much at once. Right now there is a thousand and one things anyway. I got a V-Mail from Aunt Clara yesterday. She didn’t have much to say. She said she had had a letter from Mom and I guess Mom told her about Mary.  Say I guess Mary let them know she was around at the clinic. Good for her. Its [sic] no fun being around and not having anyone notice you. That’s whats [sic] the matter with me I never made enough noise. One thing you didn’t say though was if she was still healthy. Sounds like Phyllis is getting all worked up. Sure hope everything goes well for them. Wish her warms wishes from me. Gosh honey guess I’m all run down again. Sure can’t write much anymore. Perhaps sometime I’ll get on the ball again and put out some decent letters. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. I love you my Darling. I love you sweetheart I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty (The last 8 pictures are coming tonight honey. Now I have to get some more before I can send them)

There he goes talking about Mom’s weight again but in this case I wonder if it because he is not getting enough to eat. I wonder if that is why he is losing weight. What about this football game? How normal does that sound? I am sure after some of the missions Dad has been on there is a need for any kind of normalcy.

11 April, Gladbeck, Germany

My Darling Mommie & Mary Lynn, Well its [sic] sure swell out tonight. Just came back from a show. “Here Comes the Waves” Was pretty good. Had a lot of laughs. But I thought Bing Crosby was the wrong one for the part. It was crazy in places.

Back to the weather. Its [sic] warm in fact I helped load up today and really had a sweat up. I didn’t write last night. Didn’t get in until after 8:30 and had two flat tires to fix. And I never saw tires that were so stubborn. The kid helping me broke a hammer handle and it hit him about the same way that one did me if you remember. Only it didn’t cut him so bad. He really had a headache though. Boy I sure hope those pictures you had made of Mary Lynn are good. I’m sure wanting to see them. I got your letter today telling about them. It was written Apr 2. That’s not bad. I’m glad you are getting some that I am sending. I have 8 more now but am going to waite [sic] awhile. Hardly anyone has seen them and they are some that everyone one wanted to see. Well they did when we took them. I’m glad you got the letter telling about me being busted. Thought you would be mad. Well I was mad when it happened too. Mommie I would have to write a book to tell you just how and why it happened. I just got mad and asked for it. That’s the truth honey. What made me mad and such. Well I guess I just got my pride hurt and right now I think some can see what I said was true. Its [sic] my turn to laugh now honey. Well [sic] forget the rest. I don’t want to talk about things like that when I get home either. All I want to talk about is you and Mary Lynn. 

And he didn’t talk about it or most of his time overseas. There were some things he talked about but I have to believe he talked Mom’s ear off when he finally did come home.

You talked about writing Ruth. By gosh I haven’t even written Dad for about a month. By the masterful thinking I did guess I haven’t written him since I was busted. Guess I’ll have to get that done. How time does fly. Yes Darling time does fly. Its 10 now and 5:30 comes pretty early in the morn. Especially when you’re on the go about 18 hrs a day. I love you honey. I love you Darling. I love you so much. I sure wish you could send Mary Lynn here so I could see her. I love you Darling. I love you I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty

My sister was three months old on 11 April 1945. Dad has a couple of pictures of her but is waiting for more recent ones after all a newborn changes day by day. I hope she is not scared of my father when he comes home.

12 April 1945, Quartermaster move to Recklinghausen, Germany

According to Wikipedia:

Recklinghausen (German pronunciation: [ʁɛklɪŋˈhaʊzən]) is the northernmost city in the Ruhr-Area and the capital of the Recklinghausen district. It borders the rural Münsterland and is characterized by large fields and farms in the north and industry in the south. Recklinghausen is the 60th-largest city in Germany and the 22nd-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia.

12 April, Recklinghausen, Germany

My Darlings Mommie and Mary Lynn, Gosh honey Mary was three months old yesterday and I did not even mention it in my letter. But I was thinking about it sometime yesterday because I knew what day it was. You know honey I got those three pictures today. They were sure good. Gosh she is just as sweet as you have been saying. Is the serious one though I don’t think you and I have a chance. She looks just like her Granddad Wikoff. Boy I don’t think anyone could find anything different in that picture. He was the first I thought of when I saw them. Bob sure went nuts about her too. Just the other day he was saying he wished he and Madeline had one. Wonder what he thinks now. I got the returns from my first test on my schooling today. 98 not bad for me. Sure wish some of my old teachers could see that. Would their eyes come out. I guess everything came today. The test-the pictures-three letters from you one from Mom and one from Frank & Dorothy. I sure enjoyed them all. Guess Franks have been having a time. One boy broke a collar bone and from what she wrote I guess the rest have had something happen to them. Worst of all the tractor broke down and they had one hell of a time getting parts for that. I guess everything was under control when she wrote. I think they had that show “A Song to Remember” for us one night only I was on guard and didn’t get to see it. The ones that did sure didn’t like it. Of course over here your taste for shows change a lot. It has been awful nice here today. But had to ruin it by raining tonight. And me as a sap had to be out in it. It isn’t cold though. I haven’t even changed clothes. The mail came just at the right time and I was out talking to Bob was the reason I got wet. We were to [sic] lazy to move inside. Boy sure sounds like Mary Lynn has sure got an appetite. Boy so have I. I guess I eat to [sic] much, but I’m always hungry and eating is the only thing that helps. Its [sic] getting awful dark now and the lights are out so I better kinda stop this and go to bed. Boy honey those pictures are sure good. I love them very much. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. I love you I love you sweetheart I love you I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty

13 April 1945 Quartermaster moved to Querenhorst, Germany approxmaetly 45 miles NE of Braunschweig (Brunswick)

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

Courtesy of Murray Combs Family

14 April, near Querenhorst, Germany

My Darling Wife & Daughter, Hello Mommie here I am again. Believe it or not. Didn’t get to write last night again was kinda busy. Didn’t get in till about 12 and boy was I tired. Well I’ll live and anyway I didn’t have much to do today. I still have a couple of letters to answer from you. Good thing because I sure haven’t much news. I have those pictures of Mary Lynn about worn out from showing them around. Boy you should see them smile and look when I show her. Man honey I sure do like them. I think she is sweeter every time I look at them. Once Aunt Clara said Mom could write a couple pages on how cute she was. I can see where she gets that much material now. Gosh Mommie I just don’t know what to say. I sure think she is swell. I sure hope Mom enjoyed her visit with Dick and Gerald. Hope you got all the things done you had to sounded like you were going to have a busy day. Some of the trees here are about budded. Man they are going to be kinda pretty. It seems good to think of spring again. Because I really believe it is here and after the winter boy spring is wonderful. Well honey Its [sic] 10 and I have to get up at three in the morning so I better get to bed. Boy that is going to be a short night. I love you my Darlings. I love you so much honey. I love you I love you Darling. I love you I love you. All my love Darlings, Lefty

15 April, Querenhorst, Germany

My Darlings Mommie & Mary Lynn, Gosh honey have I been busy. Made a box and it wasn’t a masterpiece either but it sure served the purpose. Here it is 9 and I’m only beginning to write you. So you can see this won’t be to [sic] long. Its [sic] been a hectic day anyway. You know we don’t know if its [sic] going to be nice here or not. It can be so darn cold one day and warm the next. Shall we say its [sic] Calif weather unusual. Yes honey the money I sent you was German. One Mark is worth about 10 cents now. So you would be quite rich if the money were any good. Its [sic] not though. But you can dream. Yes Mommie you sound like you had a busy time while Mom was gone. I guess she should be back now though. Hope she had a good time while gone. Boy the women here are sure the busy ones too. Got a letter from Rose & Elmer yesterday. Guess I should read it again so I’ll know what happened. Then I’ll tell you. Must have lost it. Oh well she didn’t write much anyway. Said the wind was blowing. Our mail is all balled up again. Don’t know whats [sic] the matter with it. Should be coming though. You know honey I think those pictures are swell. So do about half the others. Gosh sure wish I were coming home to see her. Well Darling I must get to bed. Its [sic] up early again and man this early mornings are getting me. I love you my Darling. I love you so much Honey. I love you I love you Darlings. All my love, Lefty

Five Generations of first born daughters

Five Generations of first born daughters, about 1956, and interesting side note. They spelled my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother’s names wrong.

Life goes on in the ETO. My father has been overseas for eleven months and my sister has just turned three months old. Mom is still living in Pasadena, California with her parents. Grandma Susie loved having a baby around and I know both she and Pop spoiled the heck out of my sister. I have heard stories about how much my grandparents loved having my sister around. Mary Lynn made it five generations of first born daughters. It must have been hard on my mom not having her husband around but then this was not uncommon in 1945. With a half a million young men fighting I know there are many people back at home enduring the absence of their loved one. I know most of our country was affected by this war in one way or another.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter

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Responses

  1. Another great post, “notsofancynancy.” If I may offer an appropriate quote, “The American G.I. is really fighting, because he wants to get his gob done and get back home.” –Gen’l. Jos. Stilwell.
    I was stationed in Germany near Frankfurt and remember how cold and damp it was in the winter. Even in late spring and early summer, it was cool and rainy. Living in a tent under these conditions would be miserable.
    Your father gave some clues as to why he got busted. “I just got mad and asked for it.” The fatigue, living conditions, and everything else got to him–he’d apparently, reached his boiling point.
    The term “D. S.” mentioned in one of your Dad’s letters caught my interest. I went through my Dad’s letters and found the same reference–“Leitch & Myers, first two casualties in company, killed in plane wreck–they were on D. S.” I’ve searched the ‘net with no success. Let me know if you find out what this means.

    • I love the quote and know that is how my father felt especially at this point in the war. He has been over there almost a year. I am hoping someone will know what DS means. If I find out I will be sure to share it with you.

  2. Sorry about the typo in the quote–I do know that “job” is spelled j-o-b and not g-o-b.

    • lol when I read it I thought it said job!

      • “D. S.” =disability status? detention status? This inquiring mind still wants to know.

  3. What a wonderful family photo of all the firstborn women! Interesting…even with names misspelled. Your dad’s loneliness comes through with such poignancy. I can’t imagine…and that’s the truth. We really can’t! It does add so much to what we think we know of that time, though, just to read his letters. They are truly fascinating!

    • Thank you so much! And no we can’t really know what it was like for them. I am still amazed that during all the bombing and shooting and such he still writes like there is not a war going on.

  4. Keep up the good work!

  5. I thought of you and your post when I read Ken Follett’s latest book, Winter of the World. Follett did such great research of what it was like for the soldiers fighting during WWII. If you haven’t read the book yet, I recommend it.

    • Thanks I will check it out. I tried to read one about the men who fought in the battle of bastone. It was the writers first hand account. It made me cry and I was not able to finish it. Dad’s letters are so censored and he keeps all of the war parts out of them. I guess that is why he wrote them that way. Not to worry my mom too much.

  6. Notsofancynancy, do you know what it’s like to change tires on trucks like Lefty’s? It is a backbreaker. Can be real painful too if you “miss”… Having been a mechanic, I’ve had to do it only a few times but if you watch this bid, you should get an idea…unless you do it at your propertyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeBx8V7-ZTg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • OMGoodness! That is a lot of work and to think he had two flats in one day. Now figure in our photo’s we have several of them changing tires. Do you think they would have kept such tools on the trucks with them? Wow that is amazing. Thank you for sharing Mustang Koji! I had no idea!

      • I don’t know if they would have unless they carried a spare. Even so, I wouldn’t know how they could have seated the bead nor pump it up…

      • It is certainly something to ponder. Spare is good for one flat but what if they had two? What then? I wonder

      • I am going to use the video with a picture of dad’s unit changing a tire tomorrow. I had no idea how hard it was.


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