Posted by: notsofancynancy | August 29, 2013

World War II, chapter 79, A Break Would do Good

World War II

A Break Would do Good

Chapter 79

Truman "Ben" Howard in the snow Guirsch, Belgium

Truman “Ben” Howard in the snow Guirsch, Belgium

Since my father was mustered into the Army he has been writing my mom almost every day. He has missed a few days here and there. According to the “Various Stations occupied by the 35th Quartermaster” document I have they are now moving every couple of days. In the last chapter the last letter was written on the 15th and there is not another until the 17th. Then they are sporadic throughout the end of April. I wonder what the heck he is doing to make him so busy so I will look for clues in his words.

16 April 1945 Quartermaster moved to Dolle, Germany

17 April, Dolle, Germany

My Darlings Wife & Daughter, Gee honey you have been neglected again. You know I think your mail is going to be a little lax for a while. But when I’m not busy I’ll be on the ball. Be sure and write Dad and let him know I’m ok. I should write that much. Your [sic]about the only one I ever get enough in the mood to write to. I got some more pictures today. 39 in this bunch. I guess one wasn’t good cause there should have been 40. I will send them soon. I also got a letter from you and a V-mail from Rose & Elmer. Rose didn’t say much. Just what they had been doing and that didn’t seem to be to [sic] much. I’m glad Mom enjoyed her visit. Boy sure wish I could go on a visit sometimes. Man a break would do good. I guess we have had them though. Sounds like your troubles with Mary are just beginning her staying awake now. Boy won’t be long until she will be up and running. Well you know honey if Mary is a jabber box she sure doesn’t take after me. I don’t talk enough. Your suppose [sic] to holler and act up so everyone knows you [are] either trying to suck ass or make a damn fool of yourself. Of course if you don’t want to work or do anything like such just holler around and show off because if you make enough noise that’s enough. Well honey I love you very much I love you my Darling I love you Honey. I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty

20 April 1945 Quartermaster moved to east of Tangerhutte, German approximately four (4) miles west of Elbe river

21 April, Tangerhutte, Germany

My Darling Wife & Daughter, Hi Honey, It seems like a long time since I wrote or does it. Time has gone so fast I haven’t had time to catch up. I haven’t written for two days anyway. The first night I was gone and didn’t get back until after eleven so I went right to bed. Was tired. I have 56 more pictures to send home. I’ll send a few of me this time. I have gotten my own film back. The only thing wrong the picture I took of the Dutch Mill wasn’t good. The only one in 5 rolls that wasn’t. But I have part of it. I got lots of mail while I was gone. 2 letters from you one from Mrs Johnson, Lucille, Norma, Dorothy Peterson also a roll of film from Norma. You know for all the letters I got I haven’t much to say. The dog I had back home died. Remember the one that was at Elmer’s and Rose’s when we were there. Old age I guess. Its [sic] raining here today. For a change it is good. Been awful dusty. And I hate dust. It hasn’t done so bad though. Just sprinkled so far. And I imagine it will quit. You know you were talking about some of the pictures I sent looking like the country around home. Most of it does. Its [sic] good farming land here. And even though the people haven’t much equipment to work with. Its [sic] all farmed. Maybe you’ll see a cow or horse work together. Or a couple cows or just maybe someone out with a shovel and hoe. But everyone works. They have to eat. I guess. Its [sic] pretty country. Gosh I didn’t realize you would get back allotment for Mary Lynn. I thought it would start from the date applied. Boy I’ll look good to you Huh! If Mary and Betty Wagner don’t get to Calif soon I don’t think it will do them much good. Do you. Jobs will be all filled up out there soon. And then what will one do. Oh well I have that to figure out too. Well honey I have to go again so I better start stopping. I have to get my stuff packed and all that. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. I love you. Sure hope Mary Lynn isn’t causing to [sic] much trouble. By Golly I would like to see her. I love you I love you sweet. All my love, Darlings, Lefty

Dad and Bob Winter in the doorway of the Windmill

Dad and Bob Winter in the doorway of the Windmill

22 April, Tangerhutte, Germany

My Darlings, Well here I am again. Boy been traveling again. Am settled again for a couple days. Got a rest. Think I have been working to [sic] hard. Well it is kinda rough. The roads just beat me to pieces and we have a few extra drivers so one is taking my place if the truck has to go. Boy I was looking over my letters and have I a bunch to write again. Man I didn’t think they could pile up so fast. I have about 6 from you to answer and at least 3 from Mom. Besides that I have 10 more pictures to send. You should have [unreadable] of them by now. I heard about the snow they had in the states. Sounded cold huh. It wasn’t so bad here at that time. But kinda chilly. In fact it hasn’t been to [sic] darn warm. But then we really can’t complain. Only the damn rain. It dries up. You know your description of Mary’s & Betty’s boy friend and date sure does coincide with what I told you when we were there. I said Mary was a go getter. Well gosh I’m getting no where fast and I was going to write Mom too. Here I haven’t enough to write you. Boy I’m about half asleep and would be the rest if I lay down a minute. Your right the light must have been just right when the photos of Mary Lynn were taken because the eyes just shine. Man can see them sparkle. So you mobilized Mary huh? Bought a buggy! Sure hope she enjoys it cause if she were all over town she should show her appreciation that much. You know it sounds like she is either darn independent or spoiled because Mom had to hold her to feed her. Sure sounds like Gerald had a time huh? Bet he could tell some good stories. Man sure would like to talk to him. Of course my stories and his would be quite different but interesting. [My Uncle Gerald was in the Pacific Theater Operation] Sounds like a good idea buying Mary some bonds. She will be able to use the money then when she wants it. I never really found out whether you bought that insurance for yourself or her. If you get it for yourself I think she should have some as soon as possible. What do you think? I’m almost for the insurance business. Well honey I guess Mom isn’t going to have a letter tonight. I’m going to bed. Have 10 pictures though. Ben took them. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. Gee Darling I love you I love you I love you Mommie. All my Love Darlings, Lefty 

Well that explains why Truman “Ben” Howard is in so many of these pictures. Someone sure had a good idea when they decided to share their pictures with their fellow soldiers. It has sure given diversity to the collection.

Trueman "Ben" Howard

Truman “Ben” Howard

23 April, Tangerhutte, Germany

My Darlings, Hi everyone. Believe it or not I got a letter written to Mom tonight. Guess what I did last night though. I got the one I wrote you mixed up and didn’t send it. So if you get two for the same day don’t mind. Friday the thirteenth wasn’t a day for me either. Didn’t do much. Nothing happened had a little fun and all that. You know if that box gets here I’m sure going to enjoy it. I know I would if it were here now cause I’m sure hungry and its [sic] a long time until breakfast and I have 3:20 guard to stand. Boy what a life.  I sure hope you get all the pictures I have sent. Am sending 10 more tonight. Also a letter for Mom in the same envelope. So it should be a big letter. We are kinda short on envelopes around here right now. So much else to be bothered hauling them. It won’t be long though and I will have plenty. You said I wasn’t bashful. Remember the first time we went to a show and the day your folks and you were out to Grandma & Grandpa Vance’s and I came out. Boy were they the days. Even now I have to laugh. Man. Guess you were partly right cause there was times when I thought my pursuit all in vain. Good thing I have a lot of patience.

My Great Grandmother was a Vance. It was at her brother's barn dance my parents met.

My Great Grandmother was a Vance. It was at her brother’s barn dance my parents met.

That is a major comment in the story of my mom and my dad and one I did not know. If you go back to the very beginning of their story [insert link] they met at a barn dance at the Vance’s in Nebraska. Mom lived in Kansas where Grandma Susie’s family was. My great-great grandmother, Pop’s mom was a Vance, in fact my Pop, was given that as a first name, no middle name just Vance. To me the above statement makes me wonder if maybe my father worked for the Vance’s in Nebraska. I also know that Dad’s best friend back then was a Vance. Regardless it shows that even back then Dad had his eye on this little country girl from Kansas. When you look back they started writing in 1937 and did not get engaged until 1943 when he once again came across this same girl where he just happened to be stationed on the California coast in 1942. I will always wonder if the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the war is what finally brought my parents together. Had my father not been sent to guard the California coast I am not sure we would have this wonderful story.

Went to a show this afternoon “Ministry of Fear.” Not bad. I hadn’t seen one for a long time and it did seem good. Got your V-Mail. It wasn’t the best but I sure enjoyed it. The only one I got that day. Boy I sure am sleepy. Was going to write Bob tonight but guess not. Should have time tomorrow. If I don’t I sure won’t worry. Only have three from him to answer. Oh well. That lemon pie sure sounded good. Man Mrs Johnson used to make us lemon pie.  Was it good. She would take it to the canteen and then save it until Bob and I came in. We had chocolate cake for supper. We have an awful good baker in the Co. [Company] Well honey I love you I love you so much my Darling. Gee honey I love you so much my Darling. Gee honey I love the things you tell about Mary Lynn. Boy sure wish I could see her. I love you both so much. I love you I love you Darlings. All my love Darlings, Lefty

26 April, 1945 Quartermaster move to Burgdorf, Germany fifteen (15) miles NE of Hanover

26, April, Burgdorf, Germany

My Darlings, Hi Sweet. Hows [sic] the little problem tonight. I got your letter of Apr 19 today. They have really been getting here lately and have I been enjoying them. By Gosh honey this mail right now is spoiling me. What will I do if it ever gets balled up again. I’m sure glad you are getting the pictures. I guess they would have been more interesting had I been able to write more about them. I don’t really know how much I could write. But wasn’t taking any chances. One time we couldn’t write anything. I’ll tell you all about them when I get home. You know I never get time to write you before nine. Had some funnies someone sent and I had to read them and here it is almost 10 O’clock and am I sleepy tonight. The lights went out last night just as I finished. Had to put the letter in the envelope by candle. I’ll send some more pictures tonight. 7 in all. That’s the end of another group. Be sure and look them over and if any are alike or nearly so send them to Dad. I sent him a box the other day. Of course I want whats [sic] in it when I get home but he has more room to do with the contents than you have. And besides it would be a lot of bother to you. I sent a couple German guns and a couple of knives. Not bad and might have some fun with them someday. I hope. Shorty’s house sounds pretty nice. Sure would like to see a really modern house again. They aren’t bad here what’s left of them but still aren’t anything like back home. That dampness could be taken out don’t you think. Well with a little work it could. Or maybe one just has to get used to it. Sure had a good bath today. Man I filled the tub (A bath tub too) about half full and just soaked. Man this life is rough. We have been awful busy though. You know Mommie from what you and Mom have been telling me of Mary Lynn I’m sure getting to know her. Now if I could only see her and really get acquainted. Boy am I wishing I could see you both. But I sure like reading about her. Clark usually reads what his baby does and I read him what Mary Lynn does. Of course his baby is about 3 years old . We have quite a line together. I guess I should quit and get the pictures ready. Boy am I in a mess. I haven’t written anyone in so long I guess they think I’m kaput. I love you my Darling. I love you so much I love you Sweetheart. I love you and Mary Lynn. All my love, Lefty

Dad wrote "Bob and Judson in Orleans, AND lady friend"

Dad wrote “Bob and Judson in Orleans, AND lady friend”

27 April Tangerhutte, Germany

My Darlings, Hello honey. I missed writing again last night. Seems I am missing more lately than I am writing.  It’s all in a days [sic] work though. I love you just as much though. Guess I just can’t think of anyone else cause I set down with 40 letters to write and you are the only one who gets one. Its [sic] late now though. The light should have gone out some time ago. I have a candle going just in case. Went to a show. “Bowery to Broadway.” Wasn’t bad either. Wish we could have seen it together. I got two letters from you yesterday. Only one got mixed up in some other mail and I got it today.  So I got one both days. They were good too. Nice for my morale. But seeing you would be much better. Or even knowing what was to happen.  Gosh Mommie I do dream of that cottage. You know sometimes when I’m day dreaming. I can picture Mary Lynn and you and gosh everything just seems so real. The things we could be doing. Going up to Mrs Johnson’s and just what each one in the family would say about Mary. And their meeting you. And then showing you two off to the rest of the town. I think that’s going to be about the happiest day in my life. If I could only get home to do some of the things I want. Yes heard President Roosevelt had died only that morning. Or the next. It came right to us. It was to [sic] bad. Everyone seems to be getting kick out of Bob’s and Judson’s “Girl Friend” They have more pictures & things like that here than any other place in the world I think. I would say they are the most immoral people in the world. I love you so much my Darling. I love you honey. I love you sweets. I love you so much. I love you I love you my Darlings. All my love Lefty (the lights just went out no pictures)

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Judson Haviland, Harmon E. Clark, Truman “Ben” Howard


  1. Forty letters to write but she got the only one, true love!

    • It really was. I am so glad I took this journey. I really needed to know how strong their love was through the war.

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