30 Sep The waiting game, May 3 & 4, 1945
With all the exciting news going on in WWII at this point in time, my Dad’s life was consumed with winning a ping pong tournament! I can’t imagine a more bizarre contrast! I just googled May 1, 1945 and discovered a fascinating link which explores the announcement of Hitler’s death, and many theories about his escape to Argentina. It also includes a fascinating video clip detailing various theories on Hitler’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Dad and his buddies are obsessed with sports!
3 May 1945 V-Mail
Hello, Honey, Still no mail and still cold, but otherwise we’re doing all right. We are in the midst of a ping-pong tourney. We are now down to the semi-finals and the finals which will be settled tonight.There are five guys left, so it means that the guy who finally wins tonight must play three games (and being the cocky guy I am, I expect to be a bit bushed at the end!) I start off playing my pal Spalding in the 1st game. My toughest opponent came the very first one on the list. The special service officer (Lt. Roe) and I are conceded to be about the best in the outfit and we were drawn right off the bat. I beat him the first game, he won the 2nd and I won the 3rd dripping wet!! They were all 3 very tough games, both of us playing ultra-cautiously and driving only occasionally. Result was long volleys all over the table. Lots of fun but very sweat provoking. We will be having a horseshoe tourney any day now, but haven’t played much yet, so don’t know who is any good.
Our work has slacked off quite a bit and is now pretty routine. We do very little after supper anymore, and in addition to our Wed. afternoon of athletics, we each have a different morning off to sleep! The war MUST be damn near over! Personally, I’m pretty skeptical about Hitler’s reported death. Looks to me like a fine way to sneak away somewhere and be forgotten. Strangely, if they were to announce 5 minutes from now, that hostilities had ended – I would not think much about it. Except that it would mean one step closer to you, my darling – Pappy
4 May 1945 V-Mail
Hello, Cutie –Finally got a letter from you yesterday. April 10, and I got a big bang out of Karen’s “breaking the bathroom”. Golly, but she must be cute, and so honest! Or does Mercedes put her up to telling you the minute you come home? Anyway, pretty cute. I have just finished winning 4 out of 6 (seven, if necessary) games of ping-pong, to become the 79th Gp champion!! They were very tough games, as this kid has a terrific backhand — so I kept the ball to his forehand most of the time and came out all right. I understand I’m supposed to get a prize of some kind from Spec. Svc, but don’t know what it is yet. It is still cold, and raining off and on, and I go on guard again tonight from 9 until 1 AM, so I hope it clears off a bit. Did I tell you that we have a badminton set now? Yup, only two rackets, so far, but we’ll probably get more later. I’ve only played a couple of times, but it looks as tho the Col and the Spe Svc officers are going to be pretty tough. They’re really working on the athletic and recreation program now, and from what the boys tell me of the Col’s speech to the Bn officers, we have a guy up there who is really going to bat to see to it that we are kept busy with the kind of stuff we want while we’re waiting around to see what’s going to happen. They don’t want the men to go hog wild (like they did after the last war) when this is over, so they have a very elaborate program lined up to take care of us. Sounds fine to me, but personally, I’d rather just get on a boat and beat it right home to you, my darling — Rol