Dear Mudder and Dad,
I suppose that you’re surprised to hear from me. I’m surprised myself. I’ve been pretty busy lately as you can well see from the papers. Now it seems at least possible that the damn war could be over before too long. In fact, it could be over before you receive this letter. I hope, I hope.
I received 3 letters dated March 13, March 17 and October “sumthin”. I wonder where that last one was hiding all this time. As the French say, “Cest la guirre”. I’ve said that before, haven’t I?
At this time I’m sending home a box of souvenirs that I’ve picked up in my wanderings. There’s nothing that amounts to much but I think it’ll interest you. As follows: First there’s the little Nazi pennant. I don’t know where it came from. One of the fellows in my squad found several of them. Then there’s the green and silver tassel from an officer’s sabre—left behind in one of the Jerries speedier retreats. Later I hope to obtain an entire sword. There are 3 belt buckles, each of them different. The dull metal one is Luftwaffe. The O.D. buckle is regular army and the shiny one is Hitler Jugend or Hitler Youth. There are 2 breast emblems. The green on white cloth eagle is regular army and the other Luftwaffe. Next there is a shoulder flap and collar patch. The silver shows our “caput” friend was a buck sergeant and the pink piping shows that he was a member of an armored infantry outfit. I don’t know what the campaign ribbons represent—probably honorable mention for kicking some defenseless civilian in the face. The same goes for the red, white and black ribbon. The metal wreaths, pips and eagles are from Nazi officers caps. I don’t know exactly what the rest is, but the Cross of Lorraine is Free French. The postcard’s of “Unsere” “Wehrmacht” I also thought interesting. I thought I’d send all this stuff home so that Daddy can pass it out to the kids at school if he likes.