Posted by: notsofancynancy | October 10, 2013

World War II, chapter 85, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Chapter 85

Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Marvin Cain wrote "City Hall, Karlsruhe

Marvin Cain wrote “City Hall, Karlsruhe, Courtesy of the Cain Family

On 26 June 1945 Dad writes that his letter was written from Neidermendig, Germany. Neidermendig was later renamed Mendig. It was home to Mendig Air Force Base.  Once again Wikipedia tell us:

“Niedermendig Airfield (Fliegerhorst Niedermendig) was opened as a Luftwaffe airfield in 1938. American Army units moved into the Mendig area in early March 1945 as part of the Western Allied invasion of Germany and the airfield was attacked by Ninth Air Force B-26 Marauder medium bombers and P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers to deny the retreating German forces use of the facility With the end of the war, Niedermendig Airfield was closed on 11 May 1945. The ground station was taken over by Army units as part of the occupation force.[5] United States Army forces moved out of Niedermendig in the late summer of 1945, as French forces moved into the Rhineland as part of their occupation zone of Germany.”

It seems as though Dad’s unit showed up a month after it was closed and was one of the “Army units.”  That passed through.

Picture Courtesy of Murray Comb's Family

Picture Courtesy of Murray Comb’s Family

26 June, Neidermendig, Germany

My Darlings, Well honey I at least got back to the Company today and was I pissed off. Told the Platoon Sgt. I hope he slept well tonight because I doubt if he has since the 14th. That is when I should have come back. I don’t think he loves me anymore. And if he had a headache he’ll have more of a one. I imagine you’ll be about to write to Pvt again before long. I hate his way of sucking ass. Got another lesson back today. 98% and on the top was very good. Thats [sic] fine and I have two more ready to go. Only send one at a time though. One tomorrow and in a week or so I’ll send the other. And by that time I’ll have some more. Will probably finish another tomorrow cause I have a detail that’s a lot of waiting and not much driving. Don’t tell Mom but I started her letter last night and didn’t finish the fifth line so I still haven’t written her. I might even do that tomorrow. Have beaucoup of writing to do too. I didn’t tell you but the Lex [Lexington] Mill & Elevator C. Sent me a billfold. Guess they are trying to get their sucks up with me. Won’t do em any good! Some of the boys who have left here are home. Have gotten a 30 day discharge. Sure hope they give me a deal like that. That will mean we can spend a little time visiting and won’t have to worry about work so much the first month. If they discharge me right away I’ll have to find something to do and do the visiting later. Either that or go to a school right away and I’d sooner work awhile and maybe get in on a few good wages anyway. Happy dreaming. I answered all of your letters last night so I haven’t much to talk write tonight. Man I haven’t driven any since the Metz trip and today I had two flat tires. Man sure glad I didn’t have much to do. Knew yesterday I had one but the second was completely a surprise. Well at least there is a radio to listen to here but the music doesn’t seem so good. Ate supper up at F.W.D. [not sure what that is] and they had a couple women. One played the violin and one the piano. Wasn’t bad either.  Around here about all we’ll have is prisoners. And who wants to look at them now. I love you Darlings. I love you so much honey. I love you sweetheart. I love you I love you I love you Mommie. I love you so much my Darling. All my love Darlings, Lefty

Oh Dad is in a foul mood!

Can you believe it? We only have eight more letters before the last.

26 June, Neidermendig, Germany

My Darlings, Boy oh Boy got a letter from you today. And was it a good one. It sure seems nicer than hell to get them but boy how much better it would be to be with you so you wouldn’t have to write me. The Company hasn’t been so bad. Have a detail that leaves before revile [sic] and just comes back 20 minutes for lunch and get[s] here to [sic] late for retreat. And one can’t complain about that. Mississippi just came across this pen and its [sic] a Shaffer’s so I am using that. I wanted to buy it but he doesn’t seem to want to sell. I’ll keep talking.  The detail I was talking about was hauling P.W’s. [prisoners of war] to Moyen to clean up the streets. We haul them in and half [sic] to [sic] waite to see if it rains. In case it does we bring them back otherwise they stay until 4:00. The damn fools even have banker’s hours. Well I’m catching up on my schooling anyway. Finished another lesson today. All I have left to do is the test. The next one doesn’t have a test to it. So I’ll just skip it for now. Rushed for time. About all it is, is shop machine and a few explanations. I’ll catch that next round of them want to get all I can done in a hurry. I don’t know what’s to happen. Don’t know but I don’t suppose I’ll be lucky enough to come home for awhile. But I’ll hope.  So Mary has started getting around. Well I don’t know guess I should have taken a course in Care & Equipment of Babies. I dreamed about her the other night. I guess it must have been her anyway I was going down the street and showing her [off to] everyone as mine. Just as I came to a kid by the name of Hubbard she filled her pants and I got a whole hand full.  And of course he wanted to hold her. So he took her by the shoulders and was trying to shake her pants out. Man I can still see him. Me with a whole hand full and him shaking Mary. Of course he wasn’t hurting her. But its [sic] funny now. I don’t remember where you were but Butch and I were sure showing off. Well have to get up at three in the morning to go on guard. And won’t get the morning off. Volunteered to take the detail so I wouldn’t have to be around here. I love you my Darling. I love you so much I love you honey I love you I love you I love you Mommie. All my love, Lefty

What a great story. I sure wish my sister was still alive to share this with her. Mary passed away a year before my dad did.

There is only one man from Mississippi in Dad’s Company. His name is Herbert Tribble. So this must be who Dad is talking about in this letter.

Dad Wrote "Tribble, St Jean Fr." (Herbert E. Tribble)

Dad Wrote “Tribble, St Jean Fr.” (Herbert E. Tribble)

28 June, Neidermendig, Germany

My Darlings. Gee honey I missed writing last night. I got up at three yesterday morning. We were on guard three hours then went on detail until about 5:30 last night and was I tired. I ate supper and lay down and right then Sippi said better undress and go to bed. But I told him I wanted to write you and was going to get up later. I did. Long enough to undress about 10 and hit the bed again. Its [sic] a good thing I did because I had to get up again at 4 this morning and go again. Have been going all day. And we still have trucks over 40 miles. They haven’t come in yet. Man I don’t know why they have such trouble. I haven’t and I guess I won’t. I have been relieved of duties here as of tomorrow. And just to show them I’m not even going to get up for revile [sic]. Guess we leave Sat for sure. Write me here because I’m not leaving the division and can get my mail from you until you get another address. I’m going to an AAA [Anti-Aircraft Artillery] outfit. And I am hoping what rumors I hear are right. I got a card and letter from you today. It was the one you were listening to “Watch your Baby Grow.” Or such. I read part of it to Bob and he agrees with me. We must have the best baby one can have. Gosh Mommie I’m so proud of you both. And I am hoping I am home sooner than expected. Bob said Madeline wrote and said the Woodside’s sure have a wonderful baby. So you must have convinced her the same as us. You know Mommie if I knew for sure I was going to be home soon and that Pop was coming out to Kansas I’d have you and Mary come along and meet me there. But I guess it won’t work cause I may not be home for 6 months. Besides Mary is to [sic] small. Bob and I have been talking spuds. His Dad wrote and said they were $100 a peck and that’s lots of doe [sic]. I use [d] to sell them at 15 cents. Gosh Mommie I hate to stop. I like writing you but its 10 and I’m just setting here almost asleep. I love you my Darlings. I love you I love you so much Honey. I love you sweetheart. I love you Mommie. All my love, your husband, Lefty

First Letter when Dad is reassigned to go home

First Letter after Dad is reassigned to go home

2 July, Bad (something or other-I’ll find out tomorrow), Germany

My Darlings, Hello honey. I missed a couple nights again. Night before was a show and last night we moved and I guess by Gosh I was tired. So I missed again, Said good bye to all the gang last night though. It was like breaking up a family. And even though one wouldn’t expect it I believe quite a few tears were shed. No more Bob no more Clark or any more of them. 29 started and 4 were jerked out to fly direct home.  They leave tomorrow. Over 103 points and so I should be in the next groupe [sic]. I have 102 now. I don’t imagine I’ll see any of the boys we leave, before being a civilian. I’m not promising that but we have hope and rumors. God Mommie I hope they are right.

That must have been hard. These men were overseas almost a year to the day so far. Dad really thought he would get to go home before some of these men but when you start splitting up the men who had your back for the last year it must put a big strain on these already overworked men. I am sure many tears were shed that day.

 I haven’t gotten any mail from you for about 5 days now and man is my mood getting bad. I guess it will be coming though. You know honey I’m hoping I beat this letter home. But you and I both know that that won’t happen. We have taken a short step on the way home though. Boy they sure pulled the wool over our eyes today. 60 men were suppose [sic] to go to Koblenz to a ball game and they couldn’t find that many. So what did they do. Call the Company in and took us all. We road about 110 miles in the back of a truck and it rained and was cold and about everything else that could happen and we didn’t even enjoy the game. It was good though. Between the 35th Div. and 106 Div.   We won 5-3 and it was our first game in our new stadium. Well Mommie I guess I’ve said all I can except my address. It [s] all the same except I’m in Btry A 448 AAA(An) Bn. APO 408 Guess you can figure that out. I’ll have some change of address cards tomorrow. I love you my Darlings. I love you so much honey. I love you sweetheart. I love you I love you I love you Mommie. All my love, Lefty

Two months after VE-Day and it seems like Dad can finally see the end. They will transfer him to another Division to come home. This is the unit that will show on my father’s discharge papers, The 448th AAAWB Division. This caused much confusion when I first started this journey. I had done a post about Dad and had listed it like I found it on his papers. My sister called and wanted to know what was up and where I had gotten the AAAWB number from. ”Dad was part of the 110th Yoo Hoo unit then the 35th” she stated.  It was then I got my memory refreshed to the 110th and 35th QM. I know there are a lot of other men out there whose discharge papers have other divisions on them who were really part of the 35th QM. They only got put into these other divisions to be shipped home. I met one man when I first started who was the ex-son-in-law of one of the soldiers. Even though I had the roster with the father-in-law’s name on it the discharge papers said different and I could not convince him otherwise.

I really thought I would not find anything on this next town but I got lucky. According to Wikipedia:

Although Bad Kreuznach was captured by the Americans, the town belonged to the French occupation zone. The Rheinwiesenlager near Bad Kreuznach gained notoriety for German prisoners of war and internees. In the late 1940s, units of the U.S. army were again stationed in the city; until mid-2001, the American forces had four barracks, the 56th General Hospital, a Redstone missile unit, a shooting range, a small airfield and a small military training unit. The last unit was stationed in Bad Kreuznach was “Old Ironsides”, the 1st Armored Division.

The Drawings from the 3 July letter

The Drawings from the 3 July letter

3 July, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

My Darlings, Well Mommie I told you I’d find out the name of this town. What a tongue twister huh. Sure haven’t done much today. Made a watch band this morning and this afternoon made a new folder for your and Mary’s pictures. Had some really nice leather so did that instead of throwing it away.  The picture frame is something like this [small drawing]  Its [sic] nice but of course crude. The watch band is the kind with leather between the watch and wrist [the other [#14a] small drawing][#14b]  Compare that. Well I passed the day. Also filled out another test. So have two ready to send in. Must get them on the road too. Didn’t get any mail today and boy are things scarce to write about. Only four letters for the men here and I wasn’t one of them. Man how I’d like to get some mail. They are starting us out right. Have 6 of us on guard. It isn’t to [sic] bad though. Only its raining and I don’t like that. But guess I can sweat that out. There is a lot of bull flying around here to [sic]. If I don’t put the right thing down I’m not responsible. I never did say just what was to happen to Bob. I guess he’ll be here before long. Only it’s a long shot as to whether he will get to this Btry [Battery]or not. And then he may be into the 654 TD. We just don’t know what’s to happen to us or them. But by gosh we have to get it done soon. Or by Gosh this outfit is going nuts. Man I guess its [sic] rough in the ETO.  Well here it is the 3rd and I’ll have to finish this now cause I have another tour of guard and then a whole new one. Get off at 6 and go on at 8 for another 24 Hrs. Of course its on two and off 4 so it isn’t so bad.  Besides that we might move tomorrow and I’ll only half of it to stand. It wasn’t my idea though. Man Mommie things are really scarce to write about. Don’t know what I’ll write next. Except of course I love you. I do my Darling. I love you so much. Sure wish I was home with you. Have a good chance of flying home if and when the time comes. Sure hope it is soon. Well Mommie I can’t think of anything more so I’ll say I love you I love you Mommie I love you sweetheart. I love you so much. All my love Darlings, Lefty

It won’t be long now until he gets his ticket home. I know it is hard not to know what will happen to his best buddy, Bob and his fellow soldiers. But I think he will be happy just to get his own ticket.

Robert “Bob” Winter, Herbert Tribble, Harmon E. Clark, Marvin Cain, Murray Combs

© 2013 notsofancynancy

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Responses

  1. Another bad part of the war–knowing you’re going home and not knowing when. It’s so close you could touch it, yet you can’t.

    • Only one chapter left, I can’t imagine how hard it was for the war to be officially over yet your job is not done and you see people around you going home but yet your name is not called. Pretty sad!

      • It’s amazing these guys kept it together as well as they did.

      • I know, right? It is just crazy looking back on his five years of service. The one motto throughout is “Hurry up and Wait.” That has never changed!

      • Did you ever look up military slang terms and abbreviations–like SNAFU, FUBAR, and many, many more going back to WWII and still being used. Mine–that I coined DORD (Dept. of redundancy Dept.). Fun stuff. I’ve immensely enjoyed reading about Lefty and felt like I knew him. I’ll be sad to see the series end.

      • I cannot tell you how much those words mean to me. It is like I can feel Dad smile! I did look up some of the terms. SNAFU made me laugh out loud! I love DROD! hahahah

  2. I agree it will be sad to see the series end. You should definitely follow up on a book of his letters and maybe write a fictional account – I know it is easier to tell someone else what to do! I was sorry to read that your sister passed away a year before your dad. I sort of got to know her through your dads letter. Hugs…

    • Thanks Patty I am getting it ready to send to a publisher. I want to keep it from the view of me reading the letters for the first time so it will be similar to what you read here. I am sad Mary is gone too. I really wish she could know how big a role she played in my father’s well being during the war.

      • I know you miss them both, but they are together again. I can’t wait to read the book when it is published. I am very excited for you.

      • Thank you so much for you support….grateful!

  3. I loved reading the letiers from Neidetmendig, Germany. My mother, Mary Deinsburg, her maiden name, was born there in March, 1921. Her father was an American soldier, born in Poland originally, met my grandmother after WW1. My grandparents, along with some other family members, all immigrated to the US just four weeks after my mother’s birth. I’ve dreamed of going there some day. I hear I have more relives there than I do in the states. Anyway, I just felt like sharing that with you. The letters were so touching. Thanks for sharing them with the world. Take care and God bless, Sandy

    • Thank you so much for your note.

      Interesting how things work out. My mother’s family was from Czechoslovakia and came over in the late 1800’s. It would be interesting to follow their line back further and see where it takes me. I am glad you enjoyed Dad’s letters. I am not sure how he would have felt about me putting them on the Web, but I love that people are interested in them. Take care and thanks again

      Thanks once again


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