22 Jun Countdown to D Day, letters June 4th and 5th
Letter #7 Dated June 6 -44 (but envelope is stamped June 4, 1944 and V-mail letter #8 is dated June 5 – 44 so think he put in June 6 when he meant June 4th)
Hello, my darling – 1st Sgt Bill and I took a little walk last night, and decided to brave the stares of un-romantic GIs and pick our wives some flowers. So we did. And stuck them in a book – and here they are – at least the ones that came out the best. Are they intact at all? or have they returned – just to dust?
Can’t understand it – we’re still sitting here in the same old camp for four days now. but we lugged our trusty ol’ duffel bags about a half a mile today – just to keep us in practice, I imagine. We had a full field inspection – everyone in a line with his stuff laid out exactly the same. We were ready to leave our barracks at 7 AM – actually called out about 7:30 – and from then on we fussed around until 12:30 when the colonel finally got around to us! But we had a good hours sleep in the sun – and it was pleasant watching the planes making vapor trails in the sky, and the cows
meandering on the hillsides, and the wind whipping whitecaps on fields of new grain.
Bill & I went over and got a hair-cut yesterday. 1 shilling – 20 cents! Just one barber – and a good one – but promptly at 4 PM, and smack in the middle of Bill’s job – he puts down his tools and has his cup of tea! Bill & I just laughed – and waited.
We saw “Son of Bernadette” last night. Cripes it’s long – and slow – and just a good picture (for free movies here, so what can you lose?), but it alone ran for 3 hours.
We’ve discovered that a canteen cup of hard cider ( 1 shilling, 3 pence) is the best drunken liquor to be had at NAAFI, and you can stand and watch guys earning the same salary you are shooting craps for pounds. They toss in around like dimes! A couple of hundred dollars on the table at one time is not extraordinary. Guys win or lose a hundred with impunity. Me – I’m biding my time, and seeing as much of the countryside as is possible from a train window, or looking over a camp fence.
Well, it’s 10:30 PM, and getting a little too dark indoors to be writing. And also cold. I can see why the British like Victoria. Our Seattle climate is quite similar, I gather, to it here in England – except maybe it’s more so here. I know that at 5:30 AM it’s darn cold standing around at Reveille without a field jacket.
Now I must go down to the room marked “Ablutions” to wash and brush my teeth. Latrine is another room entirely. My blankets are made up for sleeping on my wobbly double-decker bunk with a straw mattress. No sheets. No pillow (except my carefully folded shelter-half) but I’ll sleep fine – and maybe dream of you and Karen – I hope.
Haven’t any mail yet – but neither has anyone else on our shipment – but we hope for some soon.
Gee, but I love you guys,
V-Mail dated 5 June 1944 Letter #8
Good evening, sweetheart – How’re my babies tonight? Not much of any news from here. Bill and I went to see “Pistol Packin’ Mama” last night – Phoo! Then dropped into NAAFI for tea & cakes, and then over to the library to read up a bit. It’s about the only place in camp where you can find a little peace and quiet. We got out of camp for the first time this morning (haven’t had a pass now since before we left U.S. – the one we were going to get some time ago fell through because we moved out) and that was on a nice long 4 hr. hike with our Co. saw several very interesting big – and little – churches. One huge castle with a big garden with statues, etc. Lots of flowers in bloom now – especially those long (2′ or 3′) things with little bells going up – what are they? flocks? anyway, they’re lovely – red, white, purple – etc. And two or three varieties of rhododendrons also in bloom – and (you’d have liked them) dogwood trees – and some great big ol’ trees with red, grape-cluster like blooms. And also long-john underwear, aprons etc – this is Monday – washday. Little English towns are cute. Houses built right up on the road – you can look in the little two ft. windows (glass has always been expensive here) and see the little rooms. Yards are all in back of the house – with high hedges or walls around each (privacy also is dear – dear) Goodnight now, darling. Hey – I love you – ME – M & B – your husband –