Dear Mudder and Dad,
A year ago tonight I went to the show with you, Mudder; and we came home to learn the great long awaited invasion of Western Europe had taken place. I remember you said something about how glad you were that I was home and not “over there”. God! What a year it’s been! Camp Reynolds, Shanks, New York, the Queen Mary, Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Paris. Something that wouldn’t happen in a lifetime ordinarily crammed into weeks, days, seconds. So much has happened and yet it’s only been 1 year. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the same person that waved goodbye to you from that train nearly a year ago. I’ve crammed a helluva lot of living into the last year. For the most part it wasn’t pleasant living. I hope it hasn’t changed me too much.
“Happy Birthday”, Dad. It’s a somewhat belated greeting, I know; but—no excuse. You mentioned something about my being home for your vacation. I sure wish I could but that’s how it goes. Maybe I’m better off where I am. (ANY DISSIMILARITY BETWEEN EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS AND MY HANDWRITING IS PURELY COINCIDENCIAL)
I have just figured out a way to lick Japan without invading. It’s gas—not used as one naturally thinks against cities and such but rather as a high altitude spray—it would hardly be effective against human beings but against livestock and especially against Japan’s waterborne rice crop it would be devastating. I’m going to submit this idea to the “Stars and Stripes” and wait for the kickback I’ll get from the old “biddies”—“Oh how inhuman. How could you think of such a ghastly thing?” They would rather see our boys die by the thousands storming the shores of Japan. The ones who have to do the dying ought to be asked.
Before long you’re going to begin to get some packages from me, I hope. Don’t be too surprised at what comes. For instance; one linen tablecloth 160 cm x 160 cm and six large napkins, one electric train, gauge ‘oo’minus the engine (that’s for me after the war) and I’m still trying to find something unique for you, Dad. Maybe one of those German pipes the bowl of which sits on the floor while you smoke. No, huh? Well, I’ll get something good! At the rate the fellas are going over here they’ll have all Germany bought and sent home in 40 pound packages in a few months. I couldn’t resist the electric train. It’s one of the best in the world. Cost about $75.00 in the states—cost me $7.30; has automatic switches, uncoupler and signals. The cars are what is of interest though. They are purely German; quaint little things with even the usual run of advertising on the sides of the boxcars. Even if I must buy an American engine for it, it will be still authentic since 50% of European railways these days are using American locomotives.
That about does it.
Best Love, Bill