31 December, 2010

31 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Thursday, Dec 31, 1943 2335
England

Dearest darling –

In a letter of yours which was written December 2, you end up in a dead heat as to whether or not it would have been wise to be engaged. As I look at it now, dear, I too sometimes wish I hadn’t been so sensible – and yet if I had tried to rush things, dear, your folks wouldn’t have liked it too much and would undoubtedly have thought less of me. I left nothing tangible to you, sweetheart, as a token of an engagement – and yet I consider myself engaged to you. All that is needed is a consummation of it the moment I return. I don’t want you to feel that you just know me very well, or are attached to me – or anything else like that, darling. You have me like no one you’ve ever had before and that’s the way I want it to be.

I got another letter from my father today, an earlier one than the one I mentioned yesterday. In it he mentioned that when my cablegram arrived at your house, your mother called to tell my folks. That was an awfully thoughtful and sweet gesture, sweetheart, and will you please thank your mother for it?

Last night we went to the club and saw “Mrs. Miniver” which I had missed in the States. It was really a well done movie and I’m glad I saw it. A few of the boys had seen it before and they said that somehow it seemed to ring more true – now that they were in England and had seen and met some of its people. Certain it is that I was really impressed with it, and it isn’t hard to look anywhere and not find evidence of all the hell these people took 3 or so years ago.

Today I had to run around a bit and finally ended up getting the month’s pay for the men. This evening I was blue, darling; the evening dragged, everyone felt just a trifle down. Three of us decided to go to the neighboring town. So we did, dear. We left at 2015 and returned at 2230 – which gives you an idea of what a night it was. We walked the streets looking for a place to get a drink. These towns are so damned dark – you just can’t find your way around. We never did find a pub. Everything was closed – so we got into the truck and came back. At our own Officers’ mess we have beer and I’m in the mess hall or 438th Officers’ Club now. There are 8 of us here – some playing cards, others writing. In 4 minutes, darling (Mido time) it is going to be 1944 and we’re going to get up and drink a toast – but right before that, my sweetheart – I want to wish you a Happy New Year, one which will bring you what you want in life and one which will bring us together, safe and sound and with our families to share in our happiness. I wish all this with everything that is in my power to wish, sweetheart. It is now exactly midnight, dearest, and in my mind and heart I am now holding you tightly and kissing you. --------------------------- We have just stood up, toasted each other, sipped some beer and sung Auld Lang Syne. Big Ben is beating out its chimes on the radio – and darling I miss you more than I can possibly describe to you at this moment. I feel cheated at not being with you now – but still – last year, sweetheart – I didn’t know you – and so last year when I wished for a Happy New Year – God was kind, He gave me you ----------------------

I’ll close darling – in the early minutes of 1944. I’ll be going to bed soon – with thoughts of you. I’ll write tomorrow – and until then – Good luck, dear, Happy New Year – and

All my love
Greg

P.S. The wishes are for your folks, too.
Love, G.

* TIDBIT *

about "Mrs. Miniver"

First, here's the trailer:



Some Background "Mrs. Miniver" was produced by MGM and directed by William Wyler in 1942. The winner of 6 Academy awards, "Mrs. Miniver" was a war-time propaganda tear-jerker that Winston Churchill declared more influential in getting America involved in WWII than a fleet of destroyers. Director William Wyler, born in Germany, strongly believed that the US should enter the war and acknowledged that his concern about American isolationism was a primary motive for making the film. There was not a single battle scene in this war film, yet through its portrayal of the hardships suffered and overcome by a middle-class English family during the Blitz, Americans came to sympathize with what their British equivalents were undergoing at the time. Support for American involvement in the European war rose dramatically. When the movie was completed, Wyler joined the US Army. He was posted to the Signal Corps and was overseas on the night he won his first Oscar.   

Short Summary This story of an English middle class family during the early years of World War II is about Clem Miniver, (Walter Pigdeon), a successful architect, and his beautiful wife Kay, (Greer Garson), who is the glue that holds the family together. Kay is busy with two young children at home in a quaint English village. She is well-liked by all she meets, even having had a new rose named after her by the station master. When their son, Vin, comes home from Oxford for the summer he falls quickly for the upper-class Carol Beldon (Theresa Wright), granddaughter of Lady Beldon (Dame May Whitty). In September of 1939, England is forced to declare war on Germany, shattering their idyllic life. Vin joins the RAF and everyone has to put up with the hardship of war including blackouts and air raids. Mrs. Miniver deals with a downed German pilot, (Richard Ney), who makes his way to her home while Clem is helping to evacuate the trapped British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. Vin and Carol get married in spite of differences in social strata, but their time together is to be short. Throughout it all, everyone displays strength of character in the face of tragedy and destruction.  

Major Plot Factual Error In the movie, Mrs. Miniver finds a downed German pilot in her garden while her husband is away helping to evacuate British soldiers at Dunkirk. In fact, the action at Dunkirk occurred in late May and early June, 1940. The Germans did not begin flying bombing raids over Britain until July, 1940, so no German pilot could possibly have been shot down over England at the time of the Dunkirk operation.

Rousing Speech This clip of the speech made by the vicar, (Henry Wilcoxin), was worked and re-worked by the director and actor well into the night before the shooting, so they could impart as much impact as possible. The result was believed to be so inspiring that it was subsequently translated into various languages and air-dropped into German-occupied territory. By request of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the speech was broadcast over the Voice of America. It was also reprinted in both "Time" and "Look" magazines. 
 



30 December, 2010

30 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Thursday, Dec 30, 1943  1830
England

Dearest sweetheart –

Great day in the morning! Today – a little while ago as a matter of fact I hit the jackpot with 5 letters from you, dear, one from my brother, one from my father, two from my nephew – and a $6.00 check from an insurance company. Boy oh boy! Talk about your pick ups – that certainly made a new man out of me. Your latest one was dated Dec. 6th and you’re still way behind my father’s letter which was dated December 20th! That is very unusual – even for air-mail. I read that one first dear in which my father told me you were going to be at our house the following week – I hope you made it dear and had a good time.

My nephew wrote me two cute letters and informed me that he and Barbara prayed for me every night.

I’ve been writing my folks V-mail because I usually write only a few lines to tell them everything is O.K. My brother seems to think that Airmail would come quicker. From what I can gather, darling, it’s hard to say. Sometimes an Airmail letter gets on a plane and the service is good; other times it goes by boat and becomes airmail only in the States. Even V-mail doesn’t always get flown over. All we can do, Sweetheart, is write and hope for the best service. I’m sure that by now, dear, you must be hearing from me – and I’m sorry you were worried. It must have been much worse for you, darling, and in that connection I know what you must have meant when you wrote in an earlier letter that you hadn’t wanted to get involved with anyone during the war. That, sweetheart – is a hard thing to control, isn’t it?

You answered a question in your letter post-marked Dec. 1 – that I didn’t want to ask you – namely your plans about New Year’s Eve. You know what I wished you would do – but I had no right to ask that of you, I know. When you wrote that you were going to a “hen” party and tabulated the score – I laughed and was very pleased. But in what class did you put yourself, darling?

I understand from my father’s letter that Mrs. T. and Barbara were over my house one Sunday. I think it was swell of them to drop over and see my folks. I’m sorry you never quite got to meet them – but I’m sure when you do you’ll like them, dear. I also got a Christmas card from Virginia L. You remember she was the girl we did meet when we dropped into my former office?

I can think of nothing better, Sweetheart, than to spend evenings together with you, listening to the radio, talking, kissing and – well you know. I think of it so often and live it in mind so much that I know it will come true. It can’t miss. It’s surprising how sure I feel about you and me. After all – we have known other people for longer periods of time; I have, I know, but believe me, darling, I never felt about anyone the way I do about you. We just got along so well, had so many things in common, and so many other things that go to make compatibility in married life.

I’m sorry I can’t emulate your short-hand style, but better watch out, sweetheart, or I’ll have you taking dictation when I first get started. I shall insist on having you sit on my lap – or vice versa, of course!

At any rate, dearest, I love you too, anyway you look at it and always keep in mind that I’m thinking of you all the time I’m away from you. Good night for now, Sweetheart and you have

All my love,
Greg

29 December, 2010

29 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Wednesday, Dec 29, 1943 2105
England

My dearest sweetheart –

I have just left the Club, having walked out of the picture that was being shown. I had seen it a long time ago.

Today I had the pleasure, darling, of reading the letter you wrote me on November 29, exactly one month ago and I notice, dear, that you too were beginning to start you letters with “Still no word from you!” I know just how you were feeling and I hope your next several letters show you managed to keep your spirits up. I know when you got my cablegram and I believe that by the 14th-15th of December you first got some of my letters. From then on dear I think you must have received a good many of my letters.

You too notice the songs on the radio – I see. Some of them really hit home, don’t they dear? Yes I’ve heard “It Must Be Real” and I like it. One they play a great deal here is Noel Coward’s “I’ll See You Again” which I believe I mentioned the other day. The words are very nice and particularly the part that says “time may hang heavy in dreams, but what has been is past forgetting etc.” I like that a great deal, darling.

I dream too of being married to you and living in Salem. I have never dreamed about your cooking, though, dear – and so I can’t tell you how I like it – although I have no doubt I will. In my dreams we fit into Salem very well together and we’re very happy. I don’t seem to dream about where we’re living, darling and all in all I’m afraid I’m not a very practical dreamer. Are you sure sweetheart that the one room you dreamed about wasn’t the bedroom?

Today – and for the first time in a long spell I heard from my brother. It was a nice long letter and was very welcome. Incidentally the post-mark was the 13th of December – so I can’t understand why your letters come so much slower. The latest letter from you is post-marked Nov. 30, written the 29th.

Lawrence told me he had received my cablegram and implied you had too. He said you were planning to go over to my house and I do hope you did by now dear, several times. I want you to know my family well, sweetheart – so we can all be on equal terms, because I’m going to get to know you and love you more and more – despite the damned war.

I also learned my car was sold for $835. Which I suppose isn’t bad considering my father took my tires, and considering it needed some fixing. I felt kind of funny reading that it was no longer mine. It was a lucky car for me in many ways dear and certainly got me started on the right road – up to and including meeting you, dear. But we now have $835. more in the bank. Before I left I told my father to deposit whatever money he got for the car in a separate account. After the war that ought to make a good start for another car, darling; only this time you’ll go with me when I buy it – so you can express your wishes too; all right?

Lawrence and I have always been close, dear, but I’ve never been able to actually find out why he won’t go out and be more social. You did write me back in the States that you had heard he was going to a dance. I was amazed. He intimated in his letter that he was changing a little, but not very much. I wish he would a lot, because he leads a rather lonely life and it makes my parents sad. I don’t know just what it is dear – and I suppose he wouldn’t like the idea of my discussing it but I feel so close to you and consider you a member of the family anyway. If on occasion, Sweetheart, when you might have an opportunity to talk with him alone – maybe you can in an offhand sort of way get his ideas. Nothing would please me better than to hear that he’s going out with some nice girls and enjoying himself.

My folks would be tickled, and yet it’s not the sort of subject you can just bring up in front of everybody. Let me know what you think, will you dear?

Darling you are very sweet and lovable when you write me that you love me and that you will be waiting for me when I come back. You can’t really imagine what it is to read that in your letters, and all I can say sweetheart is that I love you very much and that you’ve made me truly and realistically happier than I’ve been ever before. Yes dear, that’s true and for it in return you will always have my deepest and greatest
Love
Greg

Sincerest regards to your folks
G.


* TIDBIT *

Here's a rendition of "I'll See You Again" composed by Noel Coward and performed by Lily Pons as it was recorded live in 1943 and played on Armed Forces Radio around the time that Greg was listening. The lyrics follow, and may be helpful to read as you listen to Lily sing. 





"I'll See you Again" composed by Noel Coward
LYRICS

I'll see you again
When ever spring breaks through again
Time may lie heavy---between
But what has been is past forgetting
This sweet memory
Across the years will come to me
Though my world may go awry
In my heart will ever lie
Just an echo of a sigh
Goodbye

All my life I shall remember knowing you
All the pleasure I have found in showing you
The different ways that one may phrase
The changing light and changing shade
Happiness that must die
Melodies that must fly
Memories that must fade
Dusty and forgotten by and by

I'll see you again
When ever spring breaks through again
Time may lie heavy---between
But what has been is past forgetting
This sweet memory
Across the years will come to me
Though my world may go awry
In my heart will ever lie
Just an echo of a sigh
 Goodbye

28 December, 2010

28 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1943  1500
England
Dearest Wilma –

Is it all right for you to write me freely, frank and revealingly? I’ll say it is! That’s the way I write and I therefore enjoy it in you. I’m referring to the 2nd of 3 letters I received from you two days ago. I read this one today. It was dated Nov. 28 and you said you were a little blue and didn’t have much to write.

And yet I enjoyed that letter as much as any you’ve written me, for it’s frankness and sincerity. You promised to tell me in the letter of the next day why you believed you loved me. Whatever the reason, darling, I’m very happy over it. As for your being fickle, dear – you never were with me. Whenever I referred to your age, sweetheart, it was not because you seemed young to me at all. I believe we got along wonderfully well from point of view of age. It was merely that I couldn’t help but think that after all your chronological age was about 20, and how was a girl that age qualified to say whether or not she really loved a man and wanted to marry him? I know, darling, that that is happening all the time all around us – but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee it – the mere fact that it is being done. Just as often as not it ends unhappily, and that too is seen all around us, with the young husband chasing around and getting mature with other women, and the young wife unhappy or not caring. I’ve seen such cases – and maybe it’s because I wanted to be sure, that I waited so long, myself. I wanted to be certain I was stable and could take care of a wife – before I married, and I wanted to be sure I was loved by the one I loved. Your age worried me, a little dear – when I first realized I was enjoying your company so much and later when I knew how much I cared. You can make me no happier than when you write as you do that despite my being away you feel you love me even stronger because that shows maturity. I love to have you say we ought not have any secrets from one another and that you can write things to me with the assurance that I’ll understand. When you write like that, I know you hold me closer to yourself than anyone but your folks – and Sweetheart, that’s the way I feel about you. The question of secrets etc. – has never entered my mind – in relationship to you. When I think of you and myself – it is always as one person. When I write to you – I write my thoughts, ideas, activities everything just as I experience them. Anything else would lead to suspiciousness, distrust and loss of love.

It’s strange, dearest, that what you wrote on the 29th of November – is so very close to what I wrote somewhere around the same date – as you’ve probably found by now. I can’t help feeling that when I write you, dear, you’re somewhere listening to me. It helps me tremendously to feel like that and I hope you can use your imagination or telepathic powers to the same extent.

I love the way you asked me whether or not I was writing whenever I got the chance. You probably have the answer by now, sweetheart. I’m sure the mail-man has the answer, anyway. I’m so anxious to get my first letter from you telling me you’ve heard from me. Frankly I can hardly remember what I wrote because I put it mildly when I say life was a whirl on the boat, as were the first several days after landing. It was all so strange and we were all so keyed up emotionally. I’m sure I must have repeated many many times that I loved you – because I recall writing you that from the 1st or 2nd day out. I wonder if you got the letter or letters written on the boat. I probably wrote a lot that wasn’t allowed and it’s possible they never let it go through. Anyway, I started writing then dear and I shall continue – as you shall see, darling. Your own letters have come thru, and from the dates I can gather that none were lost, dear.

Again, sweetheart, thanks for a very lifting letter which has left me very happy. Don’t change your mind about me darling and I’ll stay happy. For now –

All my love
Greg.

27 December, 2010

27 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Monday, Dec. 27, 1943 2100
England

Dearest sweetheart –

One of the things that makes me happy when I think of you is the fact that I have your love. And when I read your letters, you tell me that and the lift you give me is tremendous. This morning, my darling, I received three letters from you and if you’ve waited the way I have, you’ll know what a feeling that creates. I looked them over carefully from the outside, showed them to everyone around me, noted the post-mark for the date and then proceeded to open one of them. Two were stamped Nov. 29 and the other Nov. 30. I wanted to read the earlier of the two dated the 29th – so I opened each carefully took a quick look and found one was written on the 27th, the other the 28th. I put the latter aside and must I say I read your letter, slowly, carefully, happily? The other 2 letters I put into my pocket. I don’t know where I get the power of restraint but I shall read one tomorrow and the other the day after. Don’t think it strange, darling. I just feel so horribly blue when the days go by and I don’t get a letter – that this is less painful. In the morning I’ll give my driver, Corp. S., the ‘letter of the day’. I’ll tell him to wait for 30 minutes to an hour, then knock on the door of my office and say “Capt. A., I have a letter for you!” Do you think I’m crazy, dear? Yes or no – that’s what I do and that day becomes for me a full one, sweetheart. Perhaps you can understand now why I have the will-power to wait. Regardless of what Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday have to offer – for me they are already assuredly complete.

In that connection, darling, you are the sweet girl I know you are to write me so constantly. Perhaps I don’t thank you for it dear – but when the time comes, and I’m in a position to – I will never let a day go by without remembering to be thoughtful to you too – sweetheart. It won’t be a re-pay, it will be delightful to do, anyway.

Your mention of the Roger Smith brings fond memories to me too, dear. I have in my folder a post-card which I took from the hotel that week-end and I look at it often – and do I feel frustrated! It must be worse for you because there are so many couples around where you are. That’s one thing I’m spared. For example the only time I saw a female in the past 10 days was when I went to a neighboring town a few miles from here to try to get some Christmas decorations. Don’t get me wrong, dear. I don’t miss them. It’s only you I miss and if I can’t be with you, I don’t care if I don’t see a couple or a female until I get back to see you.

I enjoyed your clipping from the New Yorker. It was quite apropos and I could see us ordering our drinks and hearing myself say “must be dry or will be returned”. They tell me it may be possible to get a martini in London and if I get around to going there – I’ll have four in a row.


I saw ‘Claudia’ when I was at Edwards and enjoyed it very much, including the sentimental parts, too. There were a couple of parts when the dialogue had a very significant meaning and I think that’s probably the part that you liked too.

From one of the other Officers who received mail today also, I learned that his family had received his cablegram on the 7th of December. I was delayed a day, as was he, and we didn’t send ours out until the day after Thanksgiving – so you can see it took about 11 days – which isn’t remarkably speedy. However I’m glad you heard from me, anyway, and I know you must be hearing from me now – if not regularly, at least spasmodically. I haven’t heard from my family since the letter I received with your first batch – but I ought to hear soon. I’ve written them, dear, just as constantly as I have you.

I am eagerly awaiting the receipt of your picture darling. I had a glimpse of the proofs – you remember – and I liked the one you picked – very much. I shall not keep it in my wallet, however – but somewhere where I can see it all the time. Meanwhile, darling, I suppose I ought to stop writing and go to bed. I’m at the hospital now – O.D. and sleeping here. We’re on every sixth night.

In your letter you say that you wished we had spoken to your folks “at this point”. I don’t exactly get the significance of “at this point” – but I too wish I had spoken to your folks. However – if they don’t know how I feel about you – it’s not because I haven’t tried to show them, darling. I think they do, as a matter of fact. I love you, want to marry you – and shall so inform them when I ask their permission. I used to be a good salesman, darling, and I know I can convince them that I can make you a decent husband, provide for you and keep you happy. I believe that will satisfy them, don’t you, dear?

I’ll stop now – but again thanks, darling, for your letters which I love, and keep your spirits up because this war just can’t go on too long, you’ll see. Good night, for now – and you have

All my love
Greg

* TIDBIT *

Here's the back of that comic from The New Yorker with part of an interesting discussion...


26 December, 2010

26 December, 1943 (2nd Letter)

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Sunday, Dec. 26, 1943 2100
England

Dearest one –

What does a fellow do when he’s in love, feels sentimental, lonely – and his sweetheart is a long long distance away? He sits down and writes to her, because that is all he can do, and he tells her about it. I wrote to you earlier today, darling – and I’ve just returned to my room again. I haven’t stopped thinking about you for a moment – and this is the only way I can show you. The radio is playing and every song or number, new or old, seems to have a particular significance. A little while ago someone sang “I’ll See You Again”. I have always liked the words to that song and now that I’m so far away from you they seem especially poignant.

Dearest – why did a war have to intervene before I met you and once I did, why did I have to leave you? Why must found happiness be measured and limited and will we be better off for it? I hope and pray that the Lord, having tried us, does not find us wanting and never lets us forget to be appreciative of ourselves, our families and our happiness once He allows us again to experience such pleasures. I think about that a great deal, darling, and I wonder how people who haven’t had things difficult for them at the start of life manage when they run into problems later on. I’ve seen such instances, dear, and very often they lead to an unhappy life. We must never let that happen in our case, sweetheart. We’ll have problems; that’s normal, but we should always be able to cope with them and look back to the days when we were apart and had to depend on our imaginations.

I’m not trying to write a sermon, dear. I haven’t been trained to do that. I’m just sitting here alone and putting myself – and therefore you – far ahead into the future. I’m not only putting us into the future, but I’m trying to see into it also. We’re not allowed a true picture – but I see no harm in imagining one. My one goal and ambition, darling, is to put both of us into a happy future and I’m willing to go thru any kind of hell and back so long as at the end of the road I have you. Humans are queer in estimation of their predicaments. I used to be unhappy when I couldn’t get you on the phone without waiting 15 minutes; then I dreaded the thought that perhaps I couldn’t get off on a week-end because we might be on the firing range; now I’m in England worrying because I’m so far away from you – and yet I’m so safe and sound. If I ever go into a more dangerous area – I’ll wonder why I complained so much when I was in England. But I’m not complaining, sweetheart, just longing. Just to be able to talk with you for a few minutes would be so gratifying. I miss you, dear – all the time; when I left Edwards I knew how much I loved you because I was aware of something I had never experienced before. The feeling has never left me – and it isn’t just a question of being lonesome. I’ve studied some of the other fellows around me. Some of them have fiancĂ©es; some are married. They are either better actors than I am – or more callous or less in love. I don’t know which, dear, but they never seem to talk as much about home, or their girl friends or wives – as I do about you, sweetheart. If their mail doesn’t get out at a certain time, they don’t seem to care. I don’t mean to imply by any means that I’m the only one overseas who is in love with someone at home. But I do know this, darling, I am very much in love with you – and all these words add up to that thought. I want you to know it and feel it as if I were near you telling you all the time. Only if I can make you as aware of it as I am, will I feel satisfied.

Dearest – whatever you do, please remember that I love you with all the emotion and understanding that I am capable of, and that I shall continue to feel that way forever, as God is my witness. Goodnight, darling and be well. I’ll write again tomorrow and excuse me for being so serious.

All my love, dear
Greg

26 December, 1943 (Route of the "?")

The Route of the Question Mark
Page 19 from The Route of the Question Mark is transcribed below, describing life at Honington. After that is a *TIDBIT* about Honington Air Base.

page 19
Honington Air Base... The planes that used to take off on bombing missions... Our "Winterized" pyramdial tents... Building a home (but with our bare hands) in the wilderness... Our drainage system... The brick latrine... The bathtub... The concrete greasepit... The Officers' Rec Hall, so splendid in all that mud it looked like Aladdin's Cave, sparkling with luxury... Movies in the mess hall... The inexhaustible supply of beer... Honey-buckets... 1st Sgt WATERS departs and T/Sgt KOWALSKI takes over as 1st Sgt... Painting the kitchen weekly with white paint... Building sidewalks... Our Battalion crest, prominently hung near the CP... Audacia Vincit... The furloughs and passes to London... The air-raids that always seemed to take place when we were in that city...

From the cover
"Audacia Vincit"
Crest of the
Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion
438th Antiaircraft Artillery
Automatic Weapons Battalion  (Mobile)
"438th AAA AW BN"


* TIDBIT *

about Honington, Army Air Force Station 595
B-17's from the 3rd Bomb Division lined up at Honington
American airpower based in England in World War II involved the 8th Air Force, providing strategic airpower with bombers and fighters, and the 9th Air Force, performing tactical ground-attack and support missions. Both organizations required many bases. Honington had been built as a permanent English Royal Air Force (RAF) station and housed transport and bomber squadrons for its first five years. The United States Army Air Force began using Honington in 1942 as the 1st Strategic Air Depot for major aircraft overhauls, later specializing in the B-17 Flying Fortresses. Some badly damaged B-17's would be re-routed straight to Honington on return from action, instead of landing at their home bases.
These three photos are from:
D. Sheley's Flickr Photostream. 
 The B-24 crash, above, was at an English airfield like Honington. The others are P-38 Lightnings that crash-landed at Honington.


The three photos below are also crash-landings at Honington.
Members of the 2017th Engineer AviationFire Fighter Platoon work on a wreck


All original RAF buildings were of yellow brick with excellent facilities. Officers were assigned to one of the many two-story houses. These houses were completely carpeted, with fireplaces in most rooms, both upstairs and down, and with a complete kitchen. American officers moved into the two-story houses. The main building housed the officers' dining room, club and bar, and the lounges.
In a remote area of the Air Field, a small American compound was constructed of more or less temporary structures called “Nissen” huts, named after a Canadian engineer who designed them in World War I. Simply made of brick and tin, they were muddy, leaky and cold. They were also cheap, quickly built and versatile. The green-brown Nissen huts, also known as "quonset huts" made homes, recreation spots and offices for thousands of soldiers and airmen.  It took more than a thousand people to put 48 single-seat fighters in the air consistently. Honington base was essentially a small town of its own, with maintenance, engineering, weather, firefighting, administration, food service, police, quartermasters, ordnance, medical, photographic, intelligence and many other functions.
Along with the 1st Strategic Air Depot, Honington was home to the 364th Fighter Group.and the First Scouting Force. Although the 364th left in November 1945, Honington remained as HQ for the VIII Air Force Fighter Command until 26 February 1946. In March of 1946, RAF Transport Command moved in and the base became crucial to the Berlin Airlift of 1948 to 1949. RAF Honington is now home to the RAF Regiment.
B-17 at Honington

26 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Sunday, Dec. 26, 1943 1630
England
My darling –

Sunday afternoon – and how I used to love Sundays this past summer! Ever since that first Sunday when I waited until Sunday morning to make a date with you, our dates became natural for the entire week-end, remember? And they were all so pleasant and real. There was a young American civilian around here the other day, a representative of Boeing, wearing civilian clothes and boy did I wince. But in 19 mos. in the Army, I did manage to get a suit on once, anyway.

There’s a lot of good tweed around here by the way. We’re using British blankets, and any one of them could be used to make a very fine suit. But I’ll stick to Harvard Square, I guess – and when I get my first suit after the war, darling, you come along and see if you like it, because you’ll be seeing me in it all the time and you might as well like what I get. English shoes are available to us thru the Quartermaster – but I don’t need any.

Today was very quiet – and shortly after dinner it became almost intolerable – the rest of the officers had to work – we’re on a 7 day week here – but there wasn’t anything for the medical corps. Finally we managed to get a bridge game going at the Club and I’ve just returned from there. I had never played with my partner before. He was good and we won by about 1700 points. It helped kill a couple of hours, dear.

Last night we had a very nice Turkey dinner with the ‘works’. I’m enclosing a menu and sweetheart we actually had everything printed on it. I could hardly move when I got through. We were supposed to have a game of squash, but by mutual agreement my partner and I agreed to call it off. It was just as well because I was still getting over a game of the day before. In lunging for a low ball at one time, I left my right thigh in one part of the court and the rest of my body traveled over the rest of the court, the net result being that I walked like a kangaroo for about two hours afterward and could hardly get my shoes off. But I heal quickly darling and today I’m fit as a fiddle and twice as agile.

So we sat around and waited for the movie and hurrah – I finally hit one I hadn’t seen before – although it was definitely Class C – “Murder in Times Square” with Edmund Lowe et alia. After the movie – it was back to quarters again and bed.

I hope, dearest, that you don’t mind my repeating almost hour for hour – what I’ve done for a particular day. Honestly, darling, there’s nothing else to write about – and yet I don’t want to bore you. You once said you found my letters interesting and I would like them to remain so – until I can be interesting to you in person.

By the way, dear, are you keeping the little pieces of nothing which we started to collect? I’ve managed to “pick” up a thing or two since which we’ll be able to add to our collection. I’d like to send them to you – but they’re breakable and I guess I’ll hang onto them.

Darling, it would be nice to hear from you soon. I’m reading the print off the letters I already have – and the parts which you say you love me are wearing off. Gosh, I ought to have a lot coming to me very soon. I know that you must now have my APO 515 number because they’re coming through regularly now – and I’m just sitting by and waiting for mine. They say doctors are good waiters. If I ever was wanting in that quality before, I’m certainly getting good practice now dear. If you’re late from Bridge Club – I’ll just sit and wait for you without batting an eyelash. Now it’s hard to get husbands like that.

That’s all for now, Sweetheart, except to remind you I’m very much in love with you and that you’re always in my thoughts – always. Be well, dear, and wait for me. So long, darling, and

All my love
Greg


On this Christmas Dinner Menu, 1943, 
Greg indicates that  "Station  AAF 595
Somewhere in England" is Honington.

25 December, 2010

25 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Saturday, Dec. 25, 1943 1630
England

Dearest darling –

Somehow it isn’t much like Christmas today here. Perhaps it’s because we didn’t have any Turkey for dinner. For one reason or another we’re having our Turkey dinner this evening. It really makes little difference – because it seems that every one here is rather blue, not only the officers in our outfit – but the other officers as well. A few of them last night at the club tried to tie one on with liquor and forget, but it didn’t materialize, from what I could notice. The rest sat around, no one did much singing, most waited around for the movie – and it was just another night.

The movie was “The Moon is Down” – Steinbeck’s picture – which again I had seen before. It was a poor choice for Christmas Eve – but they put on what they get. I stayed around until the end because some of our officers were seeing the picture and I wanted to talk with them after the show. Pete was there and we had a little get together and reminisced for awhile. Then I came back here to my room and listened to the radio – and that made me even more lonesome. I tuned in on a program being broadcast from Cambridge. It was a dance run for American soldiers by the City and they were hooked up with the Mutual Broadcasting System Co. and the boys were allowed to say “hello” etc. on the mike. Well – it would have been very easy for me to have been at the dance, had I known they were going to have that there – but it was now about 2200 and much too late to go. You might not have been listening anyway at that time of day, anyway, dear.

I once promised my mother that if I ever got to London I would try to broadcast on the Eagle Club program. Did you ever hear it, dear? It’s a re-broadcast program on Saturday evening about 1900 and is just a series of ‘hellos’ etc. But I think the program is done on a Thursday p.m. and I would have to be in London at that time. I may give it a try, though.

This p.m. – the radio is filled with propaganda from both sides. First I heard the Archbishop of Canterbury, then a German re-broadcast of Dr. Goebbels's speech, then Roosevelt’s message to the soldiers, and so on and on. It’s all a lot of bunk, no matter how you look at it, darling, and the unmitigated fact is that all the good wishes put together don’t help one bit in making you feel much better.

A little while ago I tuned in on the American Forces program and heard the short wave broadcast from Hollywood with Bob Hope as Master of Ceremonies, J. Durante, F. Langford, Duffy’s Tavern, Ginny Sims, Kay Keyser, Nelson Eddy and a couple of more. Next to a letter, sweetheart, so far that has turned out to be the best thing to cheer up a guy – not necessarily because of the humor but because they remind you so much of home.

In a little while, dear, I’m going up to the Club, eat, and try to kill another evening. I thought so hard of you today, darling, and wondered what you were doing and whether you were missing me as much as I miss you.

I’ll stop now, darling. Still no mail from you or home. Some of the boys got some today and maybe I’ll hear soon. I sure hope so, dear. I love you, darling, and always remember that – no matter how blue I may sound in my letters, if I’m blue dear – it’s because I have to be away from you – but I’ll get over it as soon as I get back. So long for now, sweetheart – and all my deepest love for now.

Greg

P.S. Regards to your folks, dear. Excuse my blue letter, darling. That’s one thing I hate to do – but I try not to do it often. As a matter of fact – just having written you makes me feel better, darling – and by the way – you now owe me 3014 kisses. Don’t ask me what system I use – but I’m keeping score
Love,
G.

24 December, 2010

24 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Friday, Dec. 24, 1943    1100
England
Wilma darling –

Good morning to you – or are you still sleeping, dear? Let’s see – it’s about 0600 at home – and working or no, you must be in bed – so I won’t disturb you and just go on writing quietly.

This is the earliest I’ve written you for a long time, Sweetheart, and it’s because there happens to be a lull in activities just at this moment. I can remember writing you at 0700 when I was back at Edwards – Now the mail doesn’t go out until about 1300 – so I usually have plenty of time. I’ve been writing on one day and the letters have gone out the next so you can actually deduct one day’s time in transit.

In one of your letters you mention that you re-read my letters. If you get many more – it seems to me you’ll have to divide them into volumes, dear – because I’ve sent you a whole lot of them.

Last night I got a fake thrill, two of them as a matter of fact. First – someone came into our quarters and said there were 7 bags of mail for the battalion. That was what we’d been waiting for. A short time later someone else came in and said that the mail turned out to be all packages, newspapers and periodicals – but that there was a letter for me. Well Hallelujah! I tore down to battalion headquarters and after looking all over the place – they found my letter – but darling – it wasn’t from you. It was from a friend of mine who is stationed in England and who found my APO number. Well, dear, I was pretty disappointed because I sure was expecting to spend a pleasant evening reading your letters – but as I’ve said before, sic transit gloria mundi, c’est la guere, a whippoorwill’s warble in apple blossom time, and anything else you can think of.

Well – I went up to the Club with nothing to do. I had seen the picture they were going to show, and I was feeling pretty blue. But thanks to the telephone service in England, I managed to kill a couple of hours’ time before the evening was over. The letter I had received contained a telephone number for me to call this fellow. The number was [cut out by censor]. That sounded all right to me and after procuring what I thought would be enough shillings, sixpences and pences – I started to make the call. I have never run into a more stupid bunch of people in my life than the English operators. I finally ended up talking to someone I believe must have been the President of the company, if they have a President – and still no luck. All insisted they didn’t know the exchange. Well that seemed possible, but what about looking it up? They said they didn’t know how to go about it; did I have any idea? I was flabbergasted but determined to get my call through. That’s as far as I got, Sweetheart. I never did get it through – even though at one time I had the Central Red Cross working for my side, too.

When I gave up, it was after 2100 and time for me to go to my quarters, and bed. But I was satisfied, dear, because I had managed to kill an evening – and that’s the thing most desired around here.

This morning was not too busy, although I had a couple of accident cases, one of whom needed a few sutures in two fingers. When I finish this letter, I’m going upstairs to the laboratory and get my ultra-violet treatment. What a way to fight a war!

I had an interesting case yesterday of a soldier with a normal temperature, but with a cough. He looked sick to me, although a couple of other doctors were willing to let him go. I kept listening to his chest and finally convinced myself he had some pathology, probably early pneumonia. I had him admitted and ordered an x-ray. I’ll be damned if the plate didn’t show an early pneumonia on the field and I was pleased that my ears were still acute enough to hear some early signs. Have to stop now, dear – will continue later.

1700
Sweetheart –

I’m sorry I took so long in getting back. You must be having your lunch now. I remember well the occasions when I had lunch or dinner at your home. It was becoming more and more informal and natural for me – and I suppose for you too, dear. I never did get the opportunity of having your folks out with us as our guests, did I? Time ran out so fast once it got going. Things kept being postponed and I remember being a bit impatient. What a fool a man can be! The only thing I’m sorry was postponed was our engagement. That would have been a nice thing to have with me as a memory and token. Sometimes, darling, I become so afraid about us; I know we love each other and yet I realize that my hold on you is so tenuous. Not that an engagement is necessarily binding, but it might make a difference. I don’t want it to in our case, dear. I just keep wondering if you got to know me enough to continue to love me while I’m away. I know I could have held your love if I were around. I’m not being doubtful or suspicious, dearest – just speculative and real.

For my own part – as I’ve written you before many times, I suspect, I love you and want to marry you and intend to marry you – as soon as I get back. Whether I’m still in the Army or not. No one else in my life exists for me in that connection, darling, except you and I can’t impress that upon you too much.

Absence does make me grow even fonder for you and even if I tried I can’t conceive of caring for anyone as much as I do for you. I have never been able to visualize or dream about any girls as my wife, as someone with whom to spend the rest of my life, someone to confide in, worry with, have a family with and live life with – as I have with you, dear. The reason? No – not part of a plan that you fit into; you once suspected that, I remember – but I think you must give me credit for more sense than that. No, darling; it’s just that after I had been out with you a few times I learned to love your spontaneity, your love for life, your manner and bearing, you’re freedom. I soon realized that you embodied the things in a woman that I had been looking for and had never quite found. So despite the brevity of the courtship – if you want to call it that – I’m convinced we were meant for each other darling and I want you to keep feeling the same way.

Well, I did get serious, dear – didn’t I? The minutes have slipped by and the boys are now yelling – yes, yelling for me to get going to mess – so I’ll be stopping again. It will be a quiet Christmas Eve here, dear – but I don’t mind – as long as I have my thoughts of you. A Merry Christmas, Sweetheart – and a New Year that gives us the happiness we both want so much. I wonder if you got my Cablegram.

My best wishes also to your folks and Mary and tell them had I been in the States I would have liked nothing better than to have spent the evening with all of you. Regards from Pete and Charlie who both send their love.

So long for now, darling – and all my love to you.

Greg.

23 December, 2010

23 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Thursday, Dec 23, 1943 1400
England

Dearest sweetheart –

This makes ten days since I last heard from you and believe me, dear – it gets hard to take about this time. Yesterday for the whole of Headquarters there was only one letter and that’s the way it has been all week. But then, darling, it seems to me that I’ve mentioned the mail before – so excuse it, please?

Well, where was I then? I guess I wrote you last on yesterday – early afternoon. It was a cold, but bright day and everyone stayed indoors as much as possible. I remained at the hospital until it was time to eat. My squash date didn’t materialize. While waiting for supper – which is at 1745, we played a little Snooker which is a famous English game of billiards. I’ve never had much to do with billiards or pool – but this game is very good for passing an hour’s time way. I met a Scottish chaplain who showed me a few twists to the game. It’s almost as complicated as Bridge, dear. After supper some of the boys had some beer. I didn’t feel like having any. As a matter of fact I’ve done practically no drinking at all in England and I can’t say I miss it. It’s easy to become a hard drinker in this country because everything you have is straight and I don’t like alcoholic beverages that way at all, thank goodness. I’d pay a Crown for a good Martini or a reasonable facsimile. Right now, dearest, my only vice is smoking, and that’s rationed too – so I’m getting purer and purer each day! My health really is improving though – because we get plenty of sleep, food, rest and relaxation. My weight is going up, too, dear and I’m now crowding 170 lbs which is as much as I want to weigh.

Well – the movie last night at the Club was another oldie – “Ship Ahoy”, with Red Skelton and Eleanor Powell. I had seen it at least a year ago, I’m sure – but I sat around and saw it again. There were a few laughs in it. Tonight they’re putting on ‘Bombardier’ which I saw last summer at Edwards and which wasn’t very good. I know I won’t be able to see that over again. I’ll either play squash or go to bed earlier than usual, dear.

I’m listening to my radio now. The program has changed. I thought I had an English station on, but I found it’s another one of those blasted German stations. This one is broadcasting from Bremen and is now giving the news – in English. It’s amazing how they distort the details so that one would think the Germans were attacking on all fronts. Their broadcasts in German are just as false and you wonder just how long they can keep up their lies. Take it from me, dear, the Germans are taking an awful pounding from the air.

I can’t seem to believe, darling, that it’s only two days before Christmas or a little over a week to New Year’s Eve. I’m going to be blue as all hell on New Year’s Eve, I know. If I had some liquor I’d get tight and try to forget for a couple of hours – but that wouldn’t help very much.

Pete and I have put in our applications for a 48 hour pass starting Monday Jan 3 at noon and ending Wed. the 5th at noon. I just want to get a look at the city that used to be the world’s largest. By the way, I’ve inquired about calling by phone to the States and it’s no soap. It is not open to soldiers – so that settles that, dear. It used to cost about £8 or about $32.00 and would easily have been worth it to be able to hear your voice for 3 minutes. If I arrive in N.Y. on my return, Sweetheart, I’ll call you from there – just to make sure you’re around when I hit Boston. My mind’s running away with me, I guess – so I’d better cut out that line of thought for awhile. I’ll stop writing for now, darling, but I won’t stop thinking of that day that we’re both dreaming of.

So long, dearest, until tomorrow and I do miss you terribly, sweetheart. For now, as for always

All my love
Greg
Regards to the folks


* TIDBIT *

about "Ship Ahoy"

First, from YouTube, this wonderful trailer...


"Ship Ahoy" Trailer

And here is an interesting note about "Ship Ahoy" at the
Turner Classic Movie site:


 
Ship Ahoy was originally called I'll Take Manila, but by the time the film was released in May 1942, the Japanese had taken the Philippines. The result was a new title, a new setting (Puerto Rico), and a new song: the number "I'll Take Manila" became "I'll Take Tallulah"! That would be Tallulah Winters, the name of the character played by Eleanor Powell. She's a dancer with Dorsey's band on a passenger ship to Puerto Rico. On board, she gets involved in a spy plot involving stolen plans for a new weapon. Red Skelton, Bert Lahr and specialty performer Virginia O'Brien (with her trademark deadpan style) provide much of the comedy, but really it's the music and dancing that are the show here. Variety thought so, too, calling the picture "grandiose silliness" and praising the music above all else. The reviewer also declared Lahr to be "the comic mainstay of the film," outshining even Skelton, who had only recently become a star thanks to his turn in Whistling in the Dark (1941).

22 December, 2010

22 December, 1943

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Wed.  Dec 22, 1943       1500
England

Dearest Wilma –

I wonder sometimes how my letters must sound, separately or in a bunch. I know I repeat myself often and I hope, dear,  you bear with me. I like to write about everything that happens, within censorship regulations, that is, and writing from one day to the other I often find myself wondering if I mentioned a certain thing or other. Not being certain, I tell you about it anyway and consequently you must read the same thing a few times over, dear.

Telling you I love you doesn’t come under that category, however, sweetheart; it’s a pleasure to do that, just as being able to love you in person would be an even greater enjoyment, no matter how much. I think I would be tireless on the subject – how about you, darling?

Last night when I got through writing to you and my folks, I climbed into bed and read some more of that little book I mentioned to you yesterday or the day before. It’s so light and easy and most enjoyable. They no doubt have it in the States – but I’ll mail this out to you anyway, dear. Read it and save it for our library, although it really isn’t much of a start. I used to have a rather decent collection in college and Med. School. When I started moving from hospital to hospital, I lost track of them one by one – but I probably have a few kicking around here and there. Anyway we can start from scratch and build up one of our own. Say, we’ll have so many things to do – it will be wonderful living together, darling.

At 0700 – someone tapped at my door to awaken me. I was already awake, dear, but just lying in bed thinking of you – I always start and end the day that way, and it isn’t bad at all. Well, I got out of bed, started shaving, washing. About 20 minutes later, someone knocked again. I asked him in and there was a soldier with a breakfast tray for me. Now I won’t get spoiled, darling, but it certainly was nice. So I didn’t even have to go over to the Officers’ mess. After breakfast, I started sick call. Besides our own men – I help with sick call for the other troops here. It ends up as a fairly long morning – but I do get a chance to see more cases and of a more diverse nature too.

Later in the morning, four or five of us read and interpreted the x-rays that were taken the day before and then we made rounds of the hospital patients. The morning, therefore, dear, is fairly full. The afternoons, though, are quite dull and long. I was supposed to play squash late this p.m. – but my opponent has had to take a short trip and may not be back in time before supper.

Yesterday p.m. I went to a nearby town to look for Christmas decorations for the men’s mess halls. I didn’t realize how bare and cold this country really is. Not a store in town, and it’s good sized, had anything resembling Christmas ornaments and the clerks looked surprised when I asked about it. Even Woolworth’s – and they have them all over England – had nothing. They call Woolworth the 3 and 6 stores – 3 pence and 6 pence or a nickel and dime. I also tried to get a pair of sneakers for the squash court and the storekeepers thought I was crazy. Anyway – I couldn’t buy any if they had them because I needed one of those infernal coupons. I ended up by making one purchase – a ribbon which I’m supposed to wear over my left blouse pocket – European Theater of Operations Ribbon.

So there you are sweetheart – all my activities are now up to date. As yet I haven’t been to town of an evening and I don’t think I’ll be going much. I’m entitled to a 48 hour pass one of these days and Pete and I are planning to go to London and perhaps Cambridge. London, they say, is very dead – with nothing to do after 1200 – but we’ll just want to look around.

Darling I wish I’d hear from you again – but nothing doing so far since over a week ago; Maybe soon. I’ll stop now, dear, wishing that I were able to say ‘so long’ with a hard kiss or 12, but what’s the use? I’ll just save them up. Really, dear, you owe me 2864 kisses and don’t you dare tell me your lips won’t be tired. So long for now, dearest and

All my love
Greg

* TIDBIT *


about the European Theater of Operations Ribbon


This campaign medal was created, by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 6 November 1942, to recognize those who served in the European Theater, including North Africa and the Middle East, during WWII. The green-white-red band to the right of the first brown field represents Italy. The blue-white-red band in the middle represents the United States. The white-black-white band represents Germany. The brown and green bands represent the battlefields, across the sands of Africa and the fields and mountains of Europe.

21 December, 2010

18 December, 1943 (2nd Letter)

[Note from FOURTHCHILD:  Apologies for posting this letter, the second written on the 18th of December, 1943, three days late.]

438th AAA AW BN
APO 527 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Sat. Night, Dec 18, 1943 1930
England
My dearest sweetheart –

It’s the Eve of your graduation and instead of being with you and wishing you luck I'm way off here in England using my imagination. Needless to say darling, I wish you the best fortune and future a girl can have and I not only wish it dear but I’ll devote my life to helping it to materialize. You know Sweetheart that it was futile for me to attempt to send you a Graduation card or gift. I did want you to know though that I did think of it. I hope you got a little note from me anyway. I arranged for that myself a long time ago and I hope it wasn’t forgotten.

I wrote you a short V mail letter earlier today, thinking I might miss the p.m. mail. Right now I’m in my room, alone – and I must tell you of our conveniences. Honestly, to date I’ve fought the war much harder in the United States than I am here. In the first place dear I now share a separate house – yes house – not an ordinary gov’t building – with several other fellows from headquarters. The house would make a group of fraternity boys envious. It has 7 rooms – all separate, two bathrooms with tubs, individual sink, closet, mirrors and chest of drawers in each room and yes, dear – a fireplace in each room – which by the way is typically English. Of course it’s fully electrified. Oh yes – steam heat.

About 200 yards down the road from us and still in the camp proper is an officers’ club that rivals a good sized hotel. It has a main lobby with plush carpets, a large reading room (about the size of your mess-hall at Wilder), with leather chairs, etc., two billiard rooms, dining hall, radios, piano and I don’t know what else. Just behind this building is a small gym with squash and handball courts and there are shower rooms too. I tell you this, darling ,not in an attempt to exaggerate – for it’s the truth. I didn’t believe they had set-ups like this, but I’m actually experiencing it. At the Officers’ Club by the way, they have a movie every night, gratis. One other thing they make available for every officer – a bicycle for his personal use. Now Sweetheart – I have not been drinking. It’s the truth. There’s no reason in the world why anyone should want to leave this spot to go to town for an evening. On Mondays they run Art Classes, Tuesday – Photography, Wednesdays – Open forum, Thursday and Fridays – visiting speakers and Sunday late p.m. – 2 hours of Symphonic recordings with a commentator. Tomorrow they’re playing Beethoven’s 5th.

I hope I’m not boring you, darling – but there’s more. I have the use of a hospital set-up, with laboratory and x-ray equipment, an office for myself and one for my clerk. I can really see and do a great deal of medicine; certainly more than I’ve been able to do since I’ve been in the Army. It’s really an Utopia and I can’t get over it. When I get through writing you, dear, I’m going to write my folks the same. If my mother will only believe it – it may make her feel a little happier. No one says it, but I suppose my mother is taking my absence hard. The Lord knows I try to paint as pretty a picture as possible to them – for her sake. If they sometimes tell you I’m having a good time here – it’s merely because I always write that everything is fine and that I’m enjoying myself. The truth is darling that I’m terribly lonesome for all of you and if I wax enthusiastic as I did above – it’s because I’m searching for an outlet. I don’t intend to find it in anyone else while I’m gone and haven’t. The only satisfaction I can get, therefore, is in something inanimate, as in convenience. I hope I make myself clear, dear.

This past week I’ve thought especially hard about us. It’s probably due to the fact that you’re graduating and I’m wondering what you’re going to do now. I just hope, Sweetheart, that you don’t get too bored or tired of waiting for me. I so want you to be there when I come back and I shudder at any other possibility. Darling I love you so deeply, I’ll never be able to tell you in words. You will just have to see for yourself. I’ll stop now. The boys are starting a Bridge game in a few minutes. The best and truest of luck Sweetheart and you have –

All my love
Greg