Sunday, April 11, 2010

Letter 210- July 8, 1945

July 8, 1945
(Vaihingen, Germany)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

Well, we’ve moved again. And what a hole we are in this time. Vaihingen is nothing more than a large village about 15 or 20 miles north of Stuttgart. It’s all very ancient buildings European style narrow streets with poor garbage and sewage disposal. Everywhere one sees in big black letters “EINTRITT VERBOTEN—TYPHUS.” Of course the troops are safe enough. We all get regular typhus shots and have our own water supply, but still even if you’re immune yourself you don’t like to dwell in a pest hole.

Overlooking the town is a castle or “schloss” about 1000 years old; very picturesque if I may use that word which abhorred one Dr. Ross so much. On the tower is a huge clock which can be seen all over town. Yesterday a friend of mine and myself climbed the tower and set the clock which was 6 hours off. The people in town were watching us and we received hearty congratulations on our return. Evidentially it always had been wrong as long as anyone could remember. What a country. There was a little fighting but not much damage here—too bad.

We are relieving the French and the inhabitants are very glad to see us. Everyone greets me pleasantly even if it is in a somewhat subservient manner. I guess they’ve groveled in the dirt for so long now that it’s all they know how to do.

I received you letter in which you said you were sending my C.I.B. along now. I’ll bet it’s a nice one if it’s better than the issued one. I’ll guard it with my life.

You asked why this is the Powderhorn regt. This is our Regt. Insignia:

(sketch here)

It’s silver and powder blue like the C.I.B.

I’m enclosing another coin in this letter. No, I’ll make it two—an old American nickel—1857 and a KREUZER? Dated 1765. I believe that if you looked up coins of the Holy Roman Empire you might get a lead on the coin you already have.

Well, that’s all.

Best Love,

PS. I have 3 large old silver coins 1676-1690 inscribed “Marian Grosch”
Was ist das?


  1. Apparently "Mariengroschen" were small denomination coins bearing the likeness of the Virgin Mary ("Marien").

    Love the letters.

  2. Glad you are enjoying the letters.

    The coins my father sent home are just about the only artifacts besides the letters that survived the war. When I was a teenager in the 1960's I discovered the coins. There were about 15 of them. Bill describes them in letter 199 dated May 30, 1945. I carefully cleaned the coins and put them in an empty film can. Unfortunately they have been lost although they may be with my mother's (still living) things somewhere.


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