26 Sep Back to work, April 13 & 14, 1945
Dad’s back to work after his furlough and it sounds like a rough transition. How couldn’t it be? He mentions purchasing a carved picture and sending it to her and this is so exciting to me, as I grew up with these carved wooden pictures and thought my Dad had gotten them in the war, but wasn’t sure of their history. Now I know! I’ve scanned one and am sharing it here.
The second letter is really interesting, as he recounts seeing many German prisoners packed together in box cars and the backs of trucks, and many French and Belgian prisoners that have been released from Germany on their way home. The war is indeed winding down!
13 April 1945 V-Mail
Hello, My darling, Well, here I am back in the old stamping ground again. Arrived yesterday afternoon, after a long and dirty trip. Very tired, but worked until 11:00 last night straightening things around. Haven’t had time to get my personal stuff arranged (or even read any but yours of the stack of about 20 letters waiting for me) and the way it looks it may be some time before I do. But it was wonderful to get all of those from you!! Ltrs all the way from Dec 6 to Apr 1st!! Ain’t that crazy? Just to get off a few things that I remember of immediate note, Mom’s birthday is May 2nd! Means that you will be late, but I was thinking that maybe it would be nice to send your and my mas some perfume for Mother’s Day (and birthday, in case of my Mom). What do you think? It may be a little difficult to pick you up some more of the Dutch coins, but I’ll try. Golly, darling, the garden sounds really super. Isn’t it great that Mercedes and you get a kick out of that sort of thing? The picture of you on the porch also arrived, and as you say it is not too good, but you still look good to me even if you are an old hag!! You will be receiving another package from the Riv. I had eleven hudred franc left, so went down to get another one of those carved pictures, but they were closed, so Madeline (M’elle Madeleine Savary) is going to buy it and send it on to you. I think they’re darn nice, and are spots that I’ve seen, making them the more attractive. And now I gotta read my other letters, and write Mom a happy birthday letter. I love ya’ don’t I? Pappy
14 April 1945 V-Mail
Hello, cutie, It ‘pears as how I’m going to be busier than ever for a few days, so I figure that I’d better get in another letter while I can. Just got around to reading all of the other letters I had when I got back and have sent Mom a birthday greeting and told her to expect a present from you in due time. In case you didn’t get the other letter, I think it would be nice if you send a bottle each of the perfume from Nice to your mother and mine for Mothers day, or birthday or whatever you want to call it.
My gosh, but we saw a mess of Jerry PWs loaded on the old 40 & 8 French RR cars!! Trainload after trainload of them. And up here we passed truck after truck with them packed on the back. Also released Fr. and Belg. who were on their way home after 5 years in Germany! They all waved and cheered us as they went past. As in France, some towns are complete rubble, and others (such as the one we are now in) haven’t even been touched. The people go about their business and look no different than those in Holland or Belg, except maybe a little better. At least, the women look better. but don’t compare, of course, with those M’ellse in Nice!! Iee-yi-yi!!! I haven’t got around to telling you yet, my darling, but as everywhere else, I haven’t changed a particle since the moment I left you at Bill and Ellens (none of the guys here can understand how I had such a wonderful time without ever having been drunk or slept with any one the whole trip!) But I know, and you know! I love you, baby. Think nothing of it if letters aren’t too frequent. I’m BUSY!! all my love —Pappy