Friday, February 12, 2010

Letter 188- April 5, 1945

April 5, 1945

Dear Mudder and Dad,

This letter will have to go “free” as I’ve got no V-Mails or airmail stamps, but most fellows say that these get there about as quick as any. I doubt it but it’ll have to do.

I haven’t received any letters from you for several days but I guess it’s just a normal delay. Such big things are going on that it’s a wonder that anything is running smoothly. I don’t get to see a paper for 3 days and I’m so far behind the news that it’s pitiful. I can’t see how or why these Jerries manage to hang on. Evidently, however, they believe their own propaganda and think that if we capture them we will slit their throats. Wot a life. It’s a sad thing when the only people one ever runs across are a bunch of “jerks”. That’s Germany; a few rats and 90,000,000 jerks. I repeat, “wot a life.” To quote our beloved President, “Ah hate woah.”

That’s enough corn for the present so let’s proceed with the letter. I’m getting over the damnedest cold I ever had in my life. It was a cold to end all colds. I’d get coughing spells and darn near choke to death before I was through. The only thing that seemed to do any good is a cigarette—strangely enough. I have “beaucoup” cigarettes by the way. I have 2 unopened packs of butts in my pocket right now, heh! Heh! I can see you drooling now. A fiend ain’t I! Anyhoo, to get back to my ailment; it’s pretty well broken up now.

I wonder what it is like to be home now. It won’t be long ‘till I’ve been overseas a year. Gee! I’ll probably look like an immigrant when I get back. You know, “no spikka da Englush.” No kidding though. I’m getting awfully homesick. It’s worse here in Germany where no one can talk to the civilians.

We’re having nasty weather today, but I’m in a house and that helps matters immeasurably.

I got quite a kick out of our “assets” in German utilities. Hot stuff. Here I am putting the skids under our own dough. I’m glad that the rest of the money is in somewhat better shape.

Well, I’ll close now. I’d like to get a letter off to Jess before dark.

Best Love,


  1. In not talking to civilians Bill might be referring to the non-fraternization police adopted by the U.S. Army. GIs were prohibited from speaking to Germans unless on official business. I have forgotten the rationale, but it was a pain in the neck. GIs couldn't have Germans do their laundry without risking court martial.

    One way for GIs to circumvent the policy was to get their girlfriends displaced persons status which often included a brassard - an armband. "She's not German, sir, she's a DP."

  2. Did Bill's folks have some investments that somehow related to German business? I can see how patents held by U.S. companies could be licensed overseas. Ford had factories in the Reich that were used in the Axis war effort.

  3. Bill's grandparents Herbert and Minnie Taylor had substancial investments. Bill is referring to the inheritance his father received from their estate. It amounted to $25,000 which was a very large sum at the time. Presumably the estate was split evenly between the four childern so the total estate was probably in excess of $100,000. My guess is that he is referring to stocks, but I have no information as to what they were.


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