Saturday, October 24, 2009

Letter 142- October 25, 1944

October 25, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Well, here I am again. Wot a pest, huh? I’m now going to attempt to write a letter despite a rather noisy poker game being fought out right next to me. If you suddenly find a full house or two in this letter, you’ll know I got a little “confoozed”.

Life is just as boring as ever around here and to make things worse we’re restricted due to the periodical “E.T.O. Roundups”—picking up AWOL’s. so, “as fer usual” there’s not much to write about. Some fellows can think up the most interesting pack of lies to put in their letters but I just can’t do it. T’aint right.

I just went up for a shower and is that an ordeal? Definitely. The night air is cold enough, but in that shower-room which is full of holes and cracks for the wind to whistle through anyway—you can imagine. It’s like a nudist colony in Siberia--I wanna come home. I ain’t never gonna like this war. I wonder how many others share my feelings.

There’s a terrific air of expectancy all over around here now. Everyone feels it but no one knows what it is. The front has been pretty quiet for some time now and there seems to be a terrific turmoil going on inside Germany. I think something’ll pop soon now. Just a hunch—but.

That about does it. Not much news but I try to write a letter every night now. Tomorrow I’ll start answering all those back letters again.

Hope you are all well and say hello to the neighbors for me.

Best Love,


  1. I interviewed a vet seriously wounded in Normandy. He and a bud discharged themselves from the hospital in England and hitch a ride in P-38s (crouched behind the pilots) back to the continent. They were open about being AWOL and as long as they were headed to the front, no one really minded.

    The reason they left is that if you were in the hospital more than 30 days, you stood to be fed into the replacement system and you would never get back to your home unit. Many GIs, particularly infantrymen, were very possessive about the units they trained and fought with and felt strongly that their best path to survival was "back home."

    There were obviously many soldiers who had no intention of reporting back for duty, as in any war.

  2. During the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War it was known as "French Leave". When Lee invaded Pennsylvania a number of Union soldiers took "French Leave" and returned to their homes to help protect thier families from the Rebel invaders. Quite a few of these soldiers died at Gettysburg, never to return to their original regiments. Although they may have died heroic deaths, officially they were "away without leave".


If you receive an error message when posting a comment or preview please hit "Post Comment" or "Preview" a second time and it should go through.--Greg