Sunday, December 27, 2009

Letter 172- January 23, 1945

January 23, 1945
(Somewhere in France)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Hmm! It’s been 9 days since I’ve been able to write you a letter but I know you’ve been following the doings of the 7th. in the papers and know that the weather on this front has been miserable to say the least. We’re well equipped but one can’t write a letter when he’s covered with snow and ice and has a couple of inch thick mittens on his hands. Oh! This is a rough life. When this thing is over I’m going to slug the first bird who says “what did you do during the war?” Really. When I was in the Engineers I had no idea just how rotten a deal the Infantry got. I think the extra $10.00 they give us is a because there’s not one man in a thousand who wouldn’t give all his pay and more to be in any other branch. We have 10 times harder a life than anyone else. At least one can certainly be proud of being an Infantryman. Most people don’t realize it but the combat infantry badge means a “helluva” lot more than things like wings and so forth. One has to go through hell to get the former.

Now for some good news. My Christmas finally arrived. The day before yesterday I got a box of cookies from Grandma and Jess. Boy oh boy! That fruitcake was moist and as fresh as if it had just been made. It was delicious. The other box contained the compass, candy, gum, game, etc. it’s sure swell. The box from State College was full of cookies and I must say they were expertly packed. Not one was broken, although the box had obviously taken quite a beating. Half the box was full of Tollhouse cookies and the other half was full of ginger cookies with sugar icing. I passed out some cookies and a very few pieces of fruitcake to fellows who had given me some of their packages, but mainly I feasted myself on the contents. It was the best eats I’ve had since I left home.

Today I’m again back in a warm house toasting myself by a fire and generally enjoying myself. The best thing of all, however is catching up on my sleep. In a foxhole one sleeps 2 hours and then stands guard 2 hours. You know how that works out. No one gets any sleep at all. Even now I find myself waking up at regular intervals during the night. Lying on the cold ground really does your kidneys a lot of dirt too.

We’re supposed to get P.X. rations today—2 cans of beer, some candy bars and cigars, etc. I’ll probably trade my beer and cigars for candy. I like beer, but I like candy better and as for the lousy cigar……

We’re in the midst of a “helluva” lot of overoptimistic speculation on the outcome of the current Russian offensive. Rumors have been rampant for the last several days. As for myself I’m suspicious of all the claims that are being made. These things have blown up in my face too often.

I certainly wish they’d try a little harder to get some news to us. Battalion or somebody stole a radio somewhere and they get radio news but by the time it’s passed by word of mouth down to me it’s so garbled and exaggerated that it’s worthless.

Getting pretty near chow time so I’d better cut this short.

Best Love


  1. Do you happen to where exactly in France he was?

  2. On this day Bill's Company A was in Enchenberg, France. The next day they would move to Glasenberg where they would remain in houses until January 30.


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