Monday, February 15, 2010

Letter 189-April 20, 1945

April 20, 1945
(Paris, France)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

You said that there would be a blank spot in the mail from me and I guess this breaks it. I really can’t remember myself how long it’s been. This war is like that. A person seems to lose thought of everything. You know what the situation is from the newspapers. I don’t see how this damn thing keeps going but it does. I can’t make heads of tails of it.

Anyway I’m in Paris in the spring. “April in Paris.” This sounds romantic doesn’t it? I was fortunate enough to draw a pass for Paris last week and I must say it came at a wonderful time. I was getting so fed up that I almost blew my top. My outfit all feel that way.

Maybe it’s only because I’ve just come off the lines, but Paris seems to be all it was ever claimed to be. It’s broad tree-lined streets, perfumed atmosphere, its millions of apparently worthless but charming people—it’s all here.

There are automobiles everywhere and at night the city is lit up as if there never was such a thing as war. In fact all of Paris is out at night. I do believe that there are more people around at night than in the daytime. There’s only one place I’d rather be and that’s home.

I went on a tour yesterday and had this picture taken in the “Place de Concorde.” Where we stand is the spot where the guillotine stood during the Revolution. Just out of the picture, on the left is the American embassy. In front of us is the famous Egyptian obelisque of Luxor and beyond is the Seine and the Chambre of Deputies. I’m standing in approximately the center of the third row. We saw almost all the important sights. The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, I think, were the least impressive. The Arc d` Tromphe was impressive. We paid our respects to France’s “Unknown Soldier.” Napoleon’s Tomb, I believe, was the most impressive of all. The church was built in the 17th. century. The windows are made in such a way that there is sunlight in the church even on a cloudy day. I couldn’t swear to that, however, since the day was beautiful.

I’ve had some pictures taken while I was here. I don’t know how long they’ll be but they’ll be along anytime.

An artist here drew a fair sketch of me the other day. I’ll send that along too.

I’ll try to write again tomorrow.

Best Love,


  1. With any luck Bill's pass will extend to when the Germans surrender.

  2. Bills next letter is dated April 24, 1945. The next day the 100th. Infantry Division will go into 7th. Army reserve after 175 consecutive days on the line.

    It is interesting to compare the 2 photos of Bill, the one from Paris that accompanies this letter and the one taken shortly after his enlistment that is on the Header of this blog. In 18 short months it seems that Bill has aged years. At 19 years old he has the tired look of the grissled veteran that he is.

  3. PS. On the 24th. Bill is back with Company A.


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