Saturday, October 2, 2010

Letter 268- January 10, 1946

January 10, 1946
Giessen, Germany (Hesse)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

During the last several days I’ve been holding off on my letters just to see what would happen next. I have here in this letter the headlines of the Stars and Stripes for the last several days I really think that they are beauts. Today when some—I can’t write what I’m thinking—wrote in the New York Times that the soldiers are making unwarranted use of the freedom of speech in order to make their complaints, I really felt my blood pressure hit the ceiling. Just who in the hell does he think he is? I love to hear these guys who’ve been dodging their draft boards for the last five years bawling out the Gi’s who have no rights in the world according to him. All these years we’ve taken the kick in the pants without much complaint; we won the war and saved their necks; we listened to the lies that have been passed out; we’ve more than won our right to speak; and now that whatever he is has the confounded gall to make a statement like that. I don’t know yet how many of these articles I’ll be able to get into this letter without making it too heavy. Now the Marine Corps with exactly the same system as the Army is letting out men with 45 points and in the Pacific he army states that men with 50 points will be home by January 31. But in the ETO what? Maybe by the time you receive this letter things will have straightened themselves out. I certainly hope so. I want to get home in the very worst way and believe that I’M entitled to it as much as the next guy. [I didn’t mean to capitalize that I’m].

I received 3 more letters from you today dated the 5th, 14th and 15th of December. These letters are older than the ones that I got the other day but nevertheless I was happy to receive them. It sure seems as if there are being some changes make at Harvard. I was rather surprised to hear that they are going to build a swimming pool at school. I thought that the Bishop was rather opposed to the idea.

So Leon is home now. I’m glad to hear it he’s really had a pretty raw deal and he’s not the type that can take it very well. That’s one thing about the infantry. Having been in it gives a man as much inward satisfaction as is possible but there is almost no outward glory such as the air corps has.

Boy! I’d sure like to see that room of mine. It must be the stuff of the stuff. I really have my doubts whether I’ll be able to sleep in such luxury after 2 years of army cots and cold hard ground. I’ll sure have a swell time adjusting myself, anyway.

That’s about all I have to say for tonight.

Best Love,


  1. Any idea who Leon was and what was his story?

  2. Nope. My guess is that he was a classmate of Bill's at Harvard School. There are so many untold stories from this war!

  3. After reading so many of your dad's letter I have to remind myself that he's just in his early 20s and yet he writes with such wisdom and intuitiveness. Some things never change and neither has the NYT. Good post.

  4. Bill was 20 years old when he wrote this letter. He does seem to be beyond his years in the way he writes and with how informed he is about what is happening in the world.

    Your right, the NYT doesn't seem to be a big advocate for the soldiers point of view.


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