Saturday, November 28, 2009

Between the Lines: Bill in Combat Dec.14-21, 1944

On the morning of December 14 Company A. is ordered to move out toward Bitche. The march is made in the morning by way of Lemberg and the heights outside of Bitche are taken without opposition. The company digs in. About noon a patrol from the Second Platoon is sent into the city. After successfully penetrating the outskirts of Bitche the patrol is detected by the enemy, fired upon, and forced to withdraw, leaving one man behind and listed as Missing in Action. The patrol captures two prisoners and returns to report that the enemy defensive positions are strong with many troops. The Company remains on the surrounding hills and helps set up an observation post in the 1st. Battalion sector which gives a remarkably clear view of Bitche and the primary objective on a prominent hill at the center of town called the Citadel.

The Company is well dug in. The weather is cold. The men expect to attack the next morning. The attack does not come and everyone expects the order will come at dusk. Again the attack doesn’t come and the infantrymen must stay in position, in foxholes as much as 50 yards apart.

Once again, on the morning of Dec. 16 the men expect to launch an attack at daybreak and once again there is no attack. The men are surprised that an assault is not forthcoming. Instead they remain entrenched along the ridges above Bitche with a terrific yardage of front to cover defensively.

Unbeknownst to the men of Bill’s Company the reason for the 100th Division’s drive stopping outside Bitche is the now famous “Battle of the Bulge” up north. Because of the strength shifted to the north, the Seventh Army must take over a part of the Third Army’s sector and go strictly on the defensive.

About Letter 162

The weather is cold but fairly clear. Reports are that "evidently the Jerries are taking it on the chin." Bill reports that he is well.

Letter 162- December 16, 1944

December 16, 1944
(France; V-Mail))

Dear Mudder and Dad,

In the last 2 days I’ve received seven letters from you. The last one was dated on November 11. They had been addressed to the 210th. and forwarded directly to this division. You have just no idea how much they meant to me. I know it hasn’t been your fault and that you have been making a great effort in letter writing, but when I go so long without mail I feel as if I were lost or something.

The weather’s been cold and fairly clear for the last few days and evidently the Jerries are taking it on the chin. If it’ll only stay this way for a while the Krauts are licked.

That’s about all I have to say for now. I’m well.

Bestus Love,

About Letter 161

Co. A is using the pause in combat to train. "All morning we ran up and down hill putting on a demonstration for the rest of the battalion" Bill remarks, adding that it was tiring, but "one can never learn too much when it comes to war."

Letter 161- December 13, 1944

December 13, 1944
(France; V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

If this doesn’t look like my handwriting it’s because I cut my thumb and am holding my pen between my second and third fingers.

Not much to write today except that they’ve got us back in training. All morning we ran up and down hill putting on a demonstration for the rest of the battalion. It was very instructive but tiring. However, one can never learn too much when it comes to war sooo--.

It hasn’t rained all day today and yesterday evening the sun shone for a couple of hours. I still can’t believe it.

No mail for 3 days now. It wouldn’t be so bad if the postal people didn’t brag so much about getting the mail through. Just like Hollywood, bragging about the new movies they send overseas. The one I saw last night I saw before I came in the army.

End of paper.

Best Love,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

About Letter 160

In this, his third letter of the day from a schoolhouse in St. Louis les Bitche, Bill is down in the dumps after reading "Stars and Stripes". The war seems to be dragging on and reports indicate that the Germans are "training new armies and producing great stores of equipment." Unbeknownst to Bill the great German Ardennes offensive is just 4 days away.

Letter 160- December 12, 1944-3

December 12, 1944-3
(France; V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I said I’d write this afternoon if I received any mail from you. Well, I didn’t but I’ll write anyway. I have just finished reading the Stars and Stripes for yesterday and as a result I’m pretty far down in the dumps. We don’t seem to be getting anywhere with this war. They talk about Germany training new armies and producing great stores of equipment. Out drives seem so damned slow and to top that they talk of Japan fighting on for years. I get so damned sick of it all. Last September it sounded like everything was over but the shouting, but since then as each day goes by the prospects of a long war becomes clearer. We tell one another that it’ll be over by Christmas, etc. but I don’t believe that any of us really think so.

Well, they’re calling us out for some kind of a demonstration. It’s always “sumpin.”

I think I’ll write Jess and see if I can get a rise out of them.

Best Love,

About Letter 159

Bill continues to enjoy several days of rest with his unit in a schoolhouse at St. Louis les Bitche, France. He gets a hot bath exclaiming, "Hot water-oh boy! What luxury!"

Letter 159- December 12, 1944-2

December 12, 1944-2
(France; V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Yesterday I wrote you a letter and dated it the 12th. I was wrong so here’s another dated the 12th. It seems that we may stay in the place for several days so I guess I’ll be able to catch up a little with my letter writing. We’re situated in a schoolhouse so I’m able to obtain ink, paper, pencils and all other necessary paraphernalia (did I spell that right?). We’re not doing much of anything at all except catching up on our sleep, eating and writing.

Everybody’s getting back mail so I think those packages might come along any time—I hope, I hope. If I receive anything this afternoon I’ll write again.

Need I mention the weather?

Yesterday I got another bath. Hot water—oh boy! What luxury! Now, if I could only get some clean clothes.

My space here now is just about gone so I’ll have to close.

Best Love’

Saturday, November 21, 2009

About Letter 158

Bill writes from St. Louis les Bitche where Company A. rests for several days following nine days of combat. He apologies for not writing saying, "it's really impossible to do so under the circumstances." With contempt he notes that "The Jerries won't fight in the open country. They like to fight in towns where they can stay in warm houses while our men freeze outside of towns in foxholes."

Letter 158- December 12, 1944

December 12, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

It’s been too long since I wrote my last letter, I know; but it’s really impossible to do better under the circumstances. The officer who does the censoring hasn’t the time and the facilities are practically nil. I’ll do the best I can but I can almost promise that it won’t be good enough.

After all this time I finally got some mail from you—4 letters. You know how I must feel. Maybe I’ll get some packages soon now. We’re having our first snow in this part of France now. Just sloppy miserable weather all the time. Jimmy Chune wasn’t fooling.

When this damn thing is over I think I will go to Death Valley and live so I won’t ever have to see any rain.

Only a few more days until Christmas now. It’s hard to think of Christmas over here away from home. As far as I’m concerned it just isn’t anything at all. Oh well! A lot of people over here think it’ll be over by then. I figure that it’s always better to look on the brighter side of things. It would be a swell Christmas present.

Did you get my Christmas card? The regt. passed them out. I thought that was rather nice.
I haven’t heard any news for quite some time again. I believe that no one knows less about the war than the poor G.I. that fights the damn thing.

Well, excuse this terrible writing but a pen will cut right through this lousy paper.

This part of France is very pretty if a person gets his mind off his sore feet long enough to notice it. It’s much like the forest country in California except for the large number of little towns. The towns themselves would be very picturesque if it wasn’t for the fact that they’ve had the hell knocked out of them. The Jerries won’t fight in the open country. They like to fight in towns where they can stay in warm cellars while our men freeze outside of towns in foxholes—the polecats.

Well, I’ll close now. I’ll write again as soon as I can.

Best Love,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Between the Lines: Bill in Combat Dec.1-12, 1944

The first day of December is clear and sunny. Bill’s unit, Company A, First Battalion, 399th. Infantry Regiment, 100th. Infantry Division, U.S. Seventh Army is in reserve resting in Schneckenbusch, a small town outside of Saarbourg, France. Bill is one of a number of Replacement Soldiers who join the 399th during this time. He uses the break to send home a Christmas card and acclimate himself to his new surroundings.

At dawn of December 3 the Regiment moves out northward across the Lorrainian Plains toward the Little Vosges Mountains. Ahead lay the Maginot and Siegfried Lines. The Regiment rolls northward for three days fighting horizontal rainstorms in addition to enemy mortar and artillery. Bill and Company A spend the night of December 4th in the village of Petersbach, taking over houses for the night.

Chow is served promptly at 0700 on the morning of December 5 and at 0730 Company A moves out toward Tiffenbach. They encounter small arms fire along the way taking no casualties and no prisoners. The night is spent in Tiffenbach.

After a hot breakfast in the morning of December 6 Bill moves out along the road to Wingen. The day’s march is relatively uneventful and Company A is billeted in Wingen for the night.

On the morning of 7 December Bill’s Company makes a long climb up the hill toward Goetzenbrock which they reach at noon. The platoons are moved into buildings to await further orders when they are hit by a barrage of German 88’s. It is the first heavy shelling Bill is to experience in combat. Fortunately there are no casualties. Ahead lay Lemberg.

The following morning, December 8, 1944, after eating hot chow Bill moves out under intermittent shelling from 88’s. The objective for the day is to move onto the high ground southwest of Lemberg and secure it. Flak guns and mortars smash onto the road where the troops advance. Adding to the difficulties booby traps and mines are encountered. Despite casualties Company A secures its position and digs in along the ridge near Lemberg where it will spend an exceptionally dark, cold and wet night. The official Division history will note that this position was “captured and held against great odds.”

At noon, the ninth of December, the Company is relieved by elements of the 398th Infantry. After a four hour rest Bill and his fellow infantrymen move south of the St. Louis-Lemberg Road in the attack on Lemberg, entering the town at dusk. The enemy, occupying unsecured high ground rakes the troops with heavy fire of all kinds. Company A engages in house-to-house fighting with the German defenders. Under strength, the unit can only progress so far, and finally establishes outpost houses for the remainder of the night. During the night, “Jerry” snipers and burp gunners, aided by the illumination of burning buildings, sweep the streets with gunfire.

On the morning of 10 December the Company moves through Lemberg clearing it of snipers and taking prisoners. The remainder of the day is spent in houses on the north edge of town. Interdictory fire from enemy 88’s continue throughout the day and into the night.

At 1600 the next afternoon Company A (Able Company) receives orders to move to the rear for rest and reorganization. The nights of December 11 and 12 are spent in houses in St. Louis les Bitche. It is here that Bill writes his next several letters as he rests, reorganizes and trains for the drive on the bastion of the Maginot Line, the city fortress of Bitche.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

About Letter 157

Still enjoying the comforts of a warm building as Company A remains in reserve, Bill sends home an official 399th. Infantry Regiment Christmas card along with a 20 franc note as a souvenir.

Letter 157- December 1, 1944

December 1, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Here’s hoping this is my last Christmas away from you. The 20 francs (enclosed) are for a souvenir. That’s about all it’s good for.

(Christmas card)

France 1944

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year


399th. INF. REGT

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

About Letter 156

Bill thinks it's "swell" that he is finally with his outfit, Company A, 399th. Infantry Regiment. He says, "I was getting awfully tired of being a replacement." The weather is foul as usual but Bill says, "I'm inside a warm building so I don't give a hoot and holler."

Letter 156- November 29, 1944

November 29, 1944
(France V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Still a movin’ around and I haven’t the slightest idea where I’m going. It’s sure swell to be with an outfit, however. I was getting awfully tired of being a replacement.

It’s another of those sloppy, dark, rainy days so typical over here. Fortunately I’m inside a warm building so I don’t give a hoot and holler.

I’m all out of touch with the news again and as always when soldiers can’t get news rumor runs rampant. Entire German armies have surrendered. The Wehrmacht is supposed to give up to a man on Dec. 1 etc., etc.

No mail yet. It’s better than a month now. I should start getting it before long. Sure am lonesome for a letter. As soon as I get one or two I’ll be able to write a decent letter.
I am feeling fine. I’ll write as often as possible.

Best Love,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

About Bill's Battleground-The Vosges Mountains

The Vosges Mountain range constituted the toughest terrain on the Western Front of WWII. In the south the High Vosges rise to peaks of four thousand feet or more. Combined with the Low Vosges to the north the mountain chain runs parallel to the Rhine River along the broad, flat Alsatian Plain for about ninety miles, becoming ever more rugged as they descend to the northern terminus near the Lauter River.

The Low Vosges where Bill fought combined with the Rhine River created a highly defensible natural barrier for the German forces arrayed against the Allied invaders. The mountain peaks afforded outstanding long-range fields of fire in all directions. Thick vegetation also compounded the American’s difficulties. The vast forests provided concealment to the Germans. Since they were ensconced on the commanding high ground and the Americans were advancing from the low areas the vegetation clearly favored the defender in infantry combat.

Adding to the misery of Bill and his fellow infantrymen was the physical demands of mountainous terrain on the human body. The typical G.I carried about forty-two pounds of equipment. With this load, maneuver up the 15 to 30 percent slopes of the Vosges range induced physical stress that was literally hundreds of times greater than that created by fighting in the relatively flat terrain of Normandy, Belgium or central France. Such a situation clearly favored the sedentary and sheltered conditions of the defenders.

Despite the many obstacles Bill and his fellow soldiers faced in three months of savage fighting, the U.S. Seventh Army did what no army in the history of modern warfare had ever done before—conquer an enemy defending the Vosges Mountains.

Friday, November 13, 2009

About Letter 155

Bill is transported by a "40 and 8" train to his permanent unit saying,"If I never hear one of those rattletraps again it'll be too soon." He gets his first bath in France. He asks, "I wonder where Hitler is? That's becoming a big question."

Letter 155- November 26, 1944

France November 26, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I figure I’ll write this so that you’ll be sure and get my new address.

Co. “A” 399th. Inf. A.P.O. 447
c/o P.M. New York, N.Y.

This is about the forth letter I’ve sent with this address. I know damned well that at least one should get through pretty fast. I’ll try and send this one Airmail Special.

Well, things are beginning to speed up again over here. Everyone is talking about getting the war over by Christmas. I hope so, but after the letdown we got in Sept.when everyone thought there was nothing left but the cheering has left me a little wary.

The weather is as bad as ever. It’s too bad because everyone thinks that a couple of weeks of bombing weather would just about wash Jerry up.

I wonder where Hitler is? That’s becoming a big question. I wonder if those dumb Krauts ever think about it.

The other day I got my first bath in France. Wow! Did I need it. Facilities over here are not all that’s desired. There’s at least on consolation. Everyone else is just as dirty as me.

When the war is over there’s one thing I don’t want you to mention and that’s a “40 and 8”. If I never hear one of those rattletraps again it’ll be too soon.

That about does it. I feel well and “stuff like that there”. Please write as soon as possible.

Best Love

About the 100th. Infantry Division

The 100th Infantry Division, known also as “The Century Division” was activated on November 15, 1942 at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. It was organized around the 397th, 398th, and 399th Infantry Regiments and supported by various artillery, engineer, medical, M.P, quartermaster, ordinance, reconnaissance, and signal supporting units.

The division sailed for Europe on October 6, 1944 and arrived at Marseille, France on October 20. There it was made part of VI Corps of the Seventh United States Army.

As soon as the Division was prepared for combat, it moved into the Meurthe-et-Moselle region, and sent its first elements into combat at St. Remy in the Vosges Mountains on 1 November 1944. On 5 November the Century Division assumed control of the sector and prepared to further engage the enemy. The attack jumped off on 12 November, and the division drove against the German Winter Line in the Vosges Mountains. The 100th took Bertrichamps and Clairupt, pierced the German line, and seized Raon-l'√Čtape and Saint-Blaise between 16 November and 26 November.

In late November the division moved into the Vosges region. Elements assisted in holding the Saverne Gap bridgehead while the bulk of the division went into reserve. The unit was relieved from assignment to VI Corps and transferred to the US XV Corps on 27 November 1944. It then moved into the Moselle region. At this time Bill was transferred from his Replacement Soldier unit and permanently attached to Company A, 399th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

About Letter 154

In a private letter to Dad, Bill advises that "tomorrow I'm going into combat." He tells him that "you know better than I how mother would take it." In closing Bill tells his father, "don't worry. From now on I'm going to do a 'helluva' lot of plain and fancy taking care of myself."

Letter 154- November 25, 1944-3

November 25, 1944-3
(France V-Mail)

Dear Dad,

Tomorrow I’m going into combat. As I gather things are pretty rough in this sector right now. That about covers all I know, but I do want you to know how things stand. You know better than I how mother would take it.

I have already written another V-Mail home and will try and get an airmail off if possible. Don’t worry. From now on I’m going to do a “helluva” lot of plain and fancy taking care of myself.

Best Love,

P.S. You keep my car running good.

About Letter 153

Bill says "things are moving awfully fast now." He is somewhere in eastern France. He cautions that he may not write very often.

Letter 153- November 25, 1944-2

November 25, 1944-2
(France V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

This is my permanent address:

[Co. “A” 399th. Inf.
A.P.O 446]

I can’t say what Division I’m with yet or exactly where. Generally, I am in eastern France. I can tell you where I’ve been recently. I landed at Le Harve. We were some of the first American troops in there. From Le Harve we went to Belgium and finally to Givet. On the border from there we came here. I hope all the above was O.K. They said so.

Lots of love. I’m a little pressed for time so I’d better close. Don’t worry if I don’t write very often. Things are moving awfully fast now.

Best Love,

About Letter 152

Bill writes on the back of "some French Kid's homework." He is permanently attached to Co. A, 399th. Infantry Regiment.

Letter 152- November 25, 1944

November 25, 1944

Dear Folks,

You can see from the good stationery that I wrote this on the spur of the moment. Those numbers on the other side are some French kid’s homework.
This is really just a copy of a V-Mail letter I wrote early this evening. All I have to say is I’m with an outfit somewhere. My permanent address is:

[Co. “A” 399th. Inf. A.P.O. 447
c/o P.M. New York]

Best Love,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

About the U. S. Seventh Army

The U. S. Seventh Army was the first American formation of Field Army size to see combat in World War II. The Army was formed on 10 July 1943 to provide headquarters for American forces in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. During the campaign, it was commanded by (Then) Lieutenant General George S. Patton. It landed on the left flank of the Allied forces. The Seventh Army’s role in the plan for conquering Sicily was envisaged as being a protecting force for the left wing of the British Eighth under Gen. Bernard Montgomery. In the end, it played a far more important role. Most of Sicily was liberated by American forces, and Patton's Army rendezvoused with that of Montgomery in capturing the crucial city of Messina, Italy, the nearest point on Sicily to the mainland of Italy.

After the Sicily operation the Seventh Army was taken out of the frontline and transferred into the 6th Army Group. Its next action was the invasion of the south of France, code named Operation Dragoon on August 15, 1944 (Bill's 19th. birthday). This was conceived as a help to Eisenhower's forces fighting in Normandy by outflanking German forces in France.

Dragoon was instrumental in the rapid liberation of Southern France and providing new supply ports. It was successful as an amphibious assault. Three divisions of the Seventh Army landed. The assault forces included units of the French First Army. With French and American forces established ashore in significant numbers, the Seventh Army and the French First Army were placed under 6th. Army Group headquarters. This Army Group took up its position on the right wing of the forces on the Western Front.

The Seventh Army succeeded in fighting its way through the heavily defended natural geography of the Vosges Mountains, and emerged onto the Alsatian Plain in late November, 1944. About this time Bill was permanently attached to the U.S Seventh Army.

About Letter 151

Bill is assigned to the U.S. Seventh Army. He can say no more but hopes to give his permanent A.P.O. with his next letter. He spends his second Thanksgiving away from home.

Letter 151- November 24, 1944

November 24, 1944
(France V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

You see again it’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to write you. By the address you’ll see that I’ve moved again. I’ll be moving again soon but by the time you get this letter I probably will be with a regular outfit. Don’t write this address as my next letter will probably give my permanent A.P.O, etc.

I can say, however, that I’m with the Seventh Army. They’ll probably censor that but I was told it was O.K.

Had a pretty nice Thanksgiving yesterday—no kidding. All the turkey and trimmings I could eat and an orchestra to boot. I also went to church and a movie in the evening. Not bad for France, Huh? Almost a month since I got any mail from you. Sure’ll be glad when it catches up with me.


About Letter 150

It's Saturday and Bill is undergoing "the same silly training we had in England." The paper says that " the big drive is on with 6 or 7 armies going at once." As usual Bill is dreaming of boxes from home.

Letter 150- November 18, 1944

November 18, 1944
(France V—Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Today’s Sat. and we’re supposed to have a holiday tomorrow. So far this week we’ve had the same silly training we had in England. Anything to get a guy all wet and muddy. Then after hiking about 15 miles during a day we came back to a meal that wouldn’t fill a cavity. All of which makes me think more about those boxes. I’ll probably get them sometime next Easter but I still can’t help drooling.

From what we read in the paper it looks like the big drive is on with 6 or seven armies going at once. I’ll bet there are a lot of “Krauts” who wish they’d never been born now. I hear that Wall St. is betting 100 to 1 that it’ll be over after the holidays. Hope so!

Best Love,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

About Letter 149

Bill says "It sure is an interesting place where I'm stationed....and you don't know anything about it. " He sarcastically remarks that "I guess your not interested anyway" as the Captain told the men that the home folks only want to know that the soldiers are well. "Baloney" according to Bill.

Letter 149- November 16, 1944

November 16, 1944
(France V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

It’s sure an interesting place where I’m now stationed. Every day I learn more and more of interest and you don’t know anything about it. I guess you aren’t interested anyway. The Capt. said all the people at home want to hear is that the soldiers are well—baloney, huh?

We had a movie here last night. It was “The Impatient Years” with Jean Arthur—very good but the lousy French electricity made the damned thing fail about every 10 minutes. I’ve got to go on K.P. tomorrow so goodnight.


Best Love,


About Letter 148

Bill is finally deployed to France. In this, his second letter from the continent he comments, "Podunk would look better." Rumor has it that "Patton is going at it hot and heavy again."

Letter 148- November 14, 1944

November 14, 1944
(France V-Mail)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

This is my second letter to you from France. I believe I’ll start numbering my letters too. Things are getting a little more settled here. This place certainly is not my idea of heaven. It could be a “helluva” lot worse, however. These letters from overseas are as informative as hell, aren’t they? There’s one thing I can say though and that is, don’t ever let anyone sell you on a trip to Europe. Podunk would look better.

I haven’t heard any news for about a week now, only rumors. The war could be over for all I know. Fat chance, huh? According to the last rumor that wafted my way Gen. Patton is going at it hot and heavy again. I hope so. The war sure has lasted a lot longer than any of us would have thought possible last Sept. I guess it could last for a long time yet.

Chances are that it’ll be quite some time before I get any mail from you. Sure am getting lonely for some.

Best Love,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

About Letter 147

Bill's unit is moving out. Due to censorship he cannot provide any details saying, "as usual we're obliged not to say where or when or how." Bill attends a British vaudeville show he discribes as "so rotten it was pitiful."

Letter 147- November 2, 1944

November 2, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I’m sending this air-mail special delivery in the forlorn hope that it’ll catch up with my last letter. I rather doubt whether or not it will. You see the censoring and mail handling is mixed up now so it’s impossible to get mail through in very great quantity or with any regularity. I have received only two letters from you recently—the last being no. 17. I had letters 18 and 19 several days before.

We’re going to be moved out. As usual we’re obliged not to say where or when or how so there’s not a “helluva” lot if elaboration that I can go into.

Haven’t done much lately outside of the usual routine. I’ve washed clothes and gone to a couple of shows in the evening. The other night I went to a vaudeville show (British). It was strictly from hunger. It was so rotten it was pitiful.

I’ve got to cut this short for the sake of the censor.

Best Love,

About Letter 146

Bill sends home an early Christmas present. He wraps it in in a seperate note with a message to the censor saying, "Censor-Please rewrap."

Letter 146- November 1, 1944

November 1, 1944

Dear Mudder,

This is just something by way of a souvenir and a minor Christmas present. Hope you like it. It isn’t much but it’s about the best I could do considering the marvelous choice of stuff they’ve got over here.

Well, Merry Christmas and stuff like that there.

Best Love,

(wrapped note here)

About Letter 145

Christmas packages are beginning to arrive in the Company but Bill has yet to receive one. To cheer himself up he goes to a movie but it doesn't seem to do the trick. He closes saying "you don't want to hear any more morbid stuff so I'll sign off now."

Letter 145- October 29, 1945

October 29, 1944

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Today or rather I should say tonight is Sunday. I didn’t write a letter yesterday because I knew they wouldn’t send out the mail ‘till Monday anyhow.

This evening I went out to the movies to see if I couldn’t cheer myself up a little. I didn’t particularly want to sit around and mope either. I’ve got K.P. tomorrow now and that doesn’t make me feel any too happy anyhow.

Christmas packages are beginning to arrive in the company now but I haven’t received any. They’ve got to come soon.

I did receive two letters from you yesterday, however-#18 and 19. They were both postmarked the 17th. You didn’t ask much in the way of questions so there’s not much to answer.

As usual there’s not much doing these days. It’s maddening never to be able to do anything I personally want to do. Really this army gets more and more difficult to stomach every day. Always being told when and how you can do a thing, the boredom, the everlasting inefficiency and stupidity. Maybe I’ve got too sensitive a nature or something but I’m so goddam sick and tired of it. I can imagine how those in the fighting must feel.

I’m going to try and send something home for Christmas. I don’t know how or what but I think it’ll make me feel better.

You don’t want to hear any more morbid stuff so I’ll sign off now. Hope you are in better humor than I.

Best Love

P.S. Got the rest of the stamps.