06 Jul Living quarters – July 14 & 18, 1944 – letters
I’ve been wondering why there was so little substantive detail in these letters about what my Dad was actually doing IN the war! and finally I’ve realized that he couldn’t talk about it. But in this next series of letters, he’s included several newspaper clippings and alluded to them. So I’m including this map and in the next letter a newspaper article, which confirm that he is indeed in Normandy! I began to wonder with all the talk of rain!!
14 July 1944 V-Mail
Hello, Cutie – Well, it looks as though I’ll just have to wait until the war is over & I get home to find out anything about my family. Still not a drop of mail!
I had a good bit of luck today. A fellow moved out of the Co. and left his straw mattress (just a bunch of burlap around straw – but it’s fine) so I promptly glommed onto it. The nice thing about being in a mechanized unit like this is that you can carry along a lot of extra junk like that when you move. What with my cardboard walls & roof and mattress now I have a very cozy little hole. Of course it takes me about five minutes to squeeze into the maze of my envelope roll at night, but once in it’s quite warm. Today we had NO rain, and sun most all day, so I took off the roof and up the floor to thoroughly dry & air out the foxhole – and what do you think I found? My little friend, Mr. Frog, is back! With the tunnel dug all the way under me again. Feeling like an interloper I was tempted to move out – but decided to share the hole with him. After all, he has to put up with my squirming around at night too, and he was here first. Personally, I’d prefer your squirming, but I can’t have everything.
I love you, baby, Pappy
18 July 1944 V-Mail
Hi, Cutie – Golly, but I’m a busy character!! Two of the guys working here have been transferred – leaving me a busy char. But it’s fine with me. Time goes faster – I’ll get home sooner – and that’s all I’m working for. Another nice thing. One of the guys vacated a truck, so I moved out on my frog friend and now sleep in the back of a truck. Of course, if they use it during the day my stuff goes on the ground but that’s minor. It’s drier & handier in many ways. I’ve sent you a copy of YANK, by the way, and hope you enjoy it, particularly the art on page ten which gives a fuller descrip. of some of the things I’ve written about. Last couple of days have been really hot. I’m now in summer underwear – and much more comfortable. We were issued some extra rations free today. 9 pks asst cigs, 6 choc. bars, 1 pkge gum and some matches. My lighter & knife have both been most handy,by the way.
Oh me. Letter writing can get damn dull when you never get any in return. I’ve tried everything I know – but no one seems terribly interested. Well – maybe tomorrow. Give lil’ ol’ Karen a hung & a kiss for me, and here’s a bone crusher for you, my darling, Pappy