Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letter 226- August 10, 1945

August 10, 1945
(Derdingen, Ger.)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

It is now 1800 hours of what might be the greatest day of my life; the end of this God awful war. As I write an announcer is speaking in German of the Japanese surrender offer. A.F.N. has announced that if Japan officially surrenders within the next few hours as is expected they will warn us by a 30 second sound pitch over the radio. I guess we’re all praying that this is it. I’ll underline that last phrase. It used to send chills running up and down my spine. It meant attack. Some of my letters must sound a little dramatic but it seems to be in the air.

I’m sure that never has anything happened so fast. Five days ago a year, maybe 2 years seemed inevitable in the Pacific but now it may be that in a few months when I come home that it will be for good. My mind is not conditioned for that kind of thinking. Anyway I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Well, “whatayouknow”?! I received your package with the shoes, etc. today. It was postmarked the 17th of July. Not bad, eh? I’ve got the shoes on now. It’s the first pair of Oxfords I’ve had on since I was last home on furlough 14 months ago. They feel funny but good.

Boy is there a storm raging outside. 3 days it’s been going on now, and in August too. Someone should take Europe weather and all, dump it into the toilet, and flush it down good.

This school we’re living in is a rather modernistic affair, “L” shaped, with one side practically all glass. As a result the cold comes right in and there’s no coal for the furnace. What a situation, what a country, wot a life. I don’t know what I’m talking about. Four months ago I would have thought this was heaven or better.

Most of the boys went to a show in Stuttgart tonight but personally the long, cold truck ride didn’t appeal to me & since the pending big news (I hope) was so interesting I decided to stay here. I should have liked to have gone though at that. The play is the Broadway hit, “Kiss and Tell”.

Thanks for the package.

Best Love,


  1. I talked to a vet (he passed away just a few weeks ago) who was on a train in Indianapolis en route to the Pacific when the news of the nuclear attacks came. He had already fought the Japanese in the Aleutians, the Germans in Italy, and was on his way back to fight more Japanese. As far as he was concerned, Harry Truman was the greatest president.

  2. Bill disagreed with Truman's politics for the most part, but he was forever grateful for his decision to drop the bomb. Anyone who fought the Japanese for control of a Pacific island must have shuddered at the thought of invading the mainland. Most predictions called for casualties in excess of a million.


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