Sunday, March 28, 2010

Letter 204- June 22, 1945

June 22, 1945
(Goppingen, Germany)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I know I haven’t written in a coon’s age but likewise I haven’t heard from you in a long time. The only difference is that I know you are writing even if I’m not getting any mail.

Last night we had some pretty wild weather here—especially for the first day of summer. We had an electrical storm and the wind blew so hard that a lot of glass was broken in this bloomin’ town. There wasn’t too much rain though. The Russians have been moving out for the past week now so every 5 minutes a G.I. truck swishes past covered with red flags and full of singing ‘Russkies”. I went into one of the camps after they left and boy did they leave it a mess. The Krauts had their volunteer fire brigade there all morning because they were afraid the Russians would set the “jernt” afire before they left. That afternoon I recruited my own little army of 25 firemen to keep the civilians and Pollocks out of the camp until the military govt. had made its inspection of the place.

Speaking of the Russians they put on a show for us the other evening. I went for lack of anything else to do but was certainly surprised by how good it was. It was mostly Russian swing and good. In fact, it was remarkable since only 6 weeks ago they were working in slave camps and even yet have no orchestrated music. As I said, it was mostly swing and gay Russian music—“Russian sailors dance, etc. with very good dancers; and a few off color jokes all of which goes over big with the G.I.’s. There was one Polish girl who put on a Spanish dance and one could see where her concentration camp number had been branded on her left forearm. After the show was over one Russian girl in terribly broken English thanked us for releasing them. God! It made the tears come to everyone’s eyes. You don’t have to worry about our relations with the Russians. The big shots may be having a tough time but the Russians here think that the average G.I. is about 2 removed from God. The average American, by merely being his own easy going friendly self is accomplishing more than all the treaties and conferences put together.

Last night’s S. & S. (Stars and Stripes) claimed that the Air Corps will run out of targets in Japan in about 3 months. It would sure be swell if they could knock her out by air. I can’t see how they’ll manage at all by the time the combined air fleets of the U.S. and Great Britain get working on them night and day if 450 plane raids are ruining them already.

Well that does it.

Best Love,


  1. Interesting stuff and echoes of what I am doing with part of my own blog, following my late Dad's active service in Lancasters from Jan '45 through to the end of hostilities.

    I don't have the personal archive you do - it must be very precious to you - so my posts are based on squadron history and some reminiscences from Dad, who wouldn't speak of it until the last year or so before he died.

    Enjoyed my look around so I'll be back.

    It was a very perceptive comment about how easy the personal contact was between ordinary soldiers compared with the political contact of the leadership. If only we could run countries that way it would be a better world perhaps.

    kind regards.....Al.

  2. Hi Al- Welcome to my blog. I hope you will become a regular visitor. Yes, my dad's letters are very special to me. My great-great grandfather's Civil War Letter are also a personal treasure. (see my companion blog)

    My father was between 18-21 years of age when he wrote these letters yet he was mature beyond his age is many respects including his powers of observation and political awareness. As you read through the letters you will find numerous comments and observations about the war, politics, and human nature that Bill makes. He is opinionated and can be quite sarcastic and caustic in his comments, but also sentimental.

    I look forward to hearing more of your comments and I plan to take a look at your blog too.



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