Saturday, July 10, 2010

Letter 247- October 16, 1945

October 16, 1945
(Stuttgart, Germany)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

The last time I wrote I said that I was on detached service. Now I’m on detached service from detached service. I’m driving in Stuttgart for the “Century Sentinel” the divisional newspaper.

Here it is difficult to believe that 30 miles away in Derdingen a line company that actually fought and shed blood is living in relative discomfort with nothing in the way of amusement or convenience. Tonight I had a long talk with Ralph Taylor, an old combat man from my squad and he gave me a pretty comprehensive picture of the situation. It’s rotten throughout. While lower echelon units are crying for men divisional headquarters is packed with men doing nothing but live like Turkish Sultans. Officers and enlisted men alike live in mansions like the one in which I write this letter. This is Stuttgart’s most fashionable district. There’s not a house around here that has less than 20 rooms. Here they live amidst all this splendor with their myriads of servants, personal autos, convenients or mistresses or whatever you will, all of which are currying the favor of the conquerors. They sit in their sumptuous offices and award one another various awards and decorations for valorous and meritorious achievement (Division Headquarters was never closer than 40 miles from the front lines). They eat excellent food and can easily obtain any of the luxuries that the line outfits are so tightly rationed on—candy, cigarettes, liquor, gifts—anything--! And this is what I fought for, what men gave their lives and limbs for. There’s a lot of bitterness welling up in me and the rest.

I guess you can forget about my Bronze Star. The Public Relations Officer’s third assistant pencil sharpener got it instead. Of course he never heard of a gun or saw a Kraut, but he’s so much more important and I such an excellent procurer for the officers that well---. Today they again approached me to see if I would re-enlist. Ha!

I received two more packages from you this week; the one with the T-shirts and another with food. They were swell. I especially enjoyed the tuna. We never get fish at chow and I’m very fond of it.

The weather here has taken an amazing turn for the better recently. We’ve had warm sunny days and since I must be driving an open jeep it’s been a Godsend.
It seems now that I’m going to be transferred out of the Division. I’ve managed to stay much longer than most but I’m about at the end of my rope—there’s almost no one left. There are several places I might go—3rd Div., 78th Div., 386th Div., AAA (anti aircraft ), or military govt. It’s hard to say. The 78th is in Berlin.

It’s sure murder with these strikes, etc. these days. We don’t know if we’ll ever get home. The Germans claim that we’re cynical—small wonder.

Well, I’ll close now with a request--2 bottles of Sergeant’s Mange Cure and 2 bottles of Fitch Shampoo. It did my hair good last time and maybe it’ll save some of it now.

Best Love,

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