21 Oct Fascinating times, June 9 & 11, 1945
Now that the censors have gone, Dad’s letters a more substantive which is wonderful! The ever-present “what’s next” is looming in his letters as they go about their days wondering. I love in the second letter where he and his pal Spalding have been put in charge of the Rathskeller and have so much booze left that they’ve decided to make it free! The prices they were charging by today’s standards are incredulous!
9 June 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, baby, no mail for the last few days, but I guess we can’t expect it every day! (but we can hope). Got your mothers Mar 12 ltr last night, to give you an idea of how screwed up mail can be generally. I still don’t understand how we can get some letters in six days, and take a couple of months to get others. Here it is Sat night. Yippee, I just had six rousing games of horseshoes, and when I finish this I think that I will go down and have a few beers!!! Ain’t I the one, though? Fop. Fortunately, tomorrow is our day off, with NO reveille (did I tell you that we are having 6:30 reveille now?), so we probably won’t get up until we hear the breakfast bell about 5 minutes to 9 (five minutes is PLENTY of time in the army to get up, shave, bathe and be waiting a couple of minutes in the chow line). We keep getting and losing different units all of the time (I mean two or three changes each DAY!) so our work is getting quite complicated, besides we keep getting more than we keep losing, so we are now the largest ordnance group in the largest army in the world…Really, and we have a battalion that is the largest battalion, etc! I now have four men working in the office here with me, besides three telephone operators, and two messengers. About all I do now is shuffle papers around and have guys actually do the work on them. Of course, I chip in and help out on files, of registering or signing the stuff in or out whenever one of them gets too rushed. We have a damn good system worked out, if I do say so (and you KNOW I would say so) and the stuff really pours through. I’m still amazed when someone comes in and asks for something and (business of snapping the fingers) like that we get it for him!!
Enough bragging. I get pretty damn lonesome for you guys many times. This is one of them. Keep busy, Niebauer, that’s the ticket. I cer’ny do love you, sweetie. I guess that’s all for tonight. G’night my love,
11 June 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, Cutie-pants, got your 29 May and 2 June ltrs last night and very glad to hear about our fine financial situation! If I can only make a little gravy on the side now we shouldn’t do too badly, hum?
I see by Stars and Stripes tonight where Ninth Army is possibly going to the CBI. Sounds very interesting — or something…
We saw the Pathe short on the German atrocities last night. Pretty grim…reminds me of the time on Normandy when I stopped at Cemetery No. 1. I never wrote you about it because it was something I don’t care to think about too much, but sometime when I’m a little drunk, and there is no one around who has lost anyone in the war, remind me to tell you about it. Not pleasant.
I am wringing wet from playing several games of badminton. Boy but that is some game. I think that I might give Stephan a pretty good game now.
Spalding and I have been put in charge of the Rathskeller, and have been doing a very good business. We have paid off all of our debts now and from here on in all beer and drinks are free. We used to charge 1/2 mark for beer and 2 marks (5 cents and twenty cents) for cognac, but since we may not be here too much longer we figure that we had better finish off what we have (and what we have is considerable—I would guess about 20 barrels of beer and around 30 GALLONS of cognac. Strangely enough, none of us drink very much! You would think that with free liquor a lot of guys would be drunk all of the time, but it goes back to the fact that we are after all, a picked group of men, and a guy doesn’t have to get much off of the ball until he finds himself in another outfit. I worked yesterday (Sunday) so took the day off today, and spend a small part of it in arranging my various boxes of junk and disposing of a lot of excess stuff that won’t do me any good anymore. Am getting ready to travel light again just in case. by the way, have you ever looked at my golf clubs lately? All my love, darling,