08 May, 2011

08 May, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 578 % Postmaster, N.Y.
8 May, 1944

My dearest sweetheart –

Well, another day and I feel a little better than I did yesterday. You may or may not have received my V-mail I wrote yesterday. If not I’ll explain again that Charlie is no longer with us. Darling – it was a tough thing and even more difficult to write about. I can’t tell you exactly what was wrong – but some of Freud’s theories were certainly involved. I’ve known about it for about 18 months, and a few others also – but it was one of those things that you don’t like to bring up, and nothing was done about it. But since our arrival in England – matters became worse and worse and things finally came to a head this week-end. You’re probably very surprised at all this, dear, because I never mentioned it before – but I saw no point in bringing it up before.

Well – enough of that. We’ve got a requisition in for another man to take his place. I hope we get someone nice. Yesterday evening I cleaned my room and stayed in it all night. I just didn’t feel like going downstairs – although they were putting on a movie. But everything’s O.K. today, darling.

I re-read you letter about your trip to Salem – this morning. I’m glad you went along and met Barbara and Mrs. T. You can’t really imagine how swell they were to me, in the early days of my practice, particularly. They were both so darned helpful and helped chase away many a lonesome spell I had. Just thinking about Salem, sweetheart, makes my mouth water. It was so stimulating to start a practice alone, dear – imagine what fun we’ll have together. Oh – there’ll be worries and problems no doubt. You know – there’s no fun for a doctor – sitting around waiting for someone to call him and you never know how long the wait can be. But somehow I can’t seem to let that worry me one bit – and with you around me all the time – it will be easy to wait.

I can’t understand, sweetheart, what Mrs. Tucker meant when she said I liked the ladies and liked to have lots of them around. I think more likely than not she was trying to tease you. I did have a good many women patients, but honey – that wasn’t my fault, was it? As long as I could help them – I didn’t care who my patients were. Anyway – it will be so wonderful to have you as a wife – to tell you about things that come up during a day. I never had anyone like that and the fact is I missed it. Gosh I get so nostalgic when I start writing like that – I’d better stop – but not before I remind you again that it’s you and only you that I love, darling. Always remember that! When I get home, dear, you won’t have to be reminded – you’ll know!

That’s all for now, dear. Love to the folks and darling, you have

All my love –


about the Countdown to D-Day

On 8 May General Eisenhower set D-Day for Y plus 4, or 5 June. The plans were made (though changes would be introduced up to the last minute), the troops were trained, the preparatory softening up of the enemy was well under way. What remained was to get the men on ships and give the order to go. The vastly complicated process of organizing and equipping the assault units for embarkation began in April. It followed, in general, the pattern worked out in British exercises in the fall of 1943 which broke down the mounting into a series of movements bringing the troops successively nearer embarkation and at the same time providing for their equipment and assault organization.

Unless the troops were already stationed near the south coast of England, they were moved first to concentration areas where they received special equipment, waterproofed their vehicles, and lost certain administrative overhead considered unessential during the assault. The second move would bring the troops to marshaling areas located close to the embarkation points. There, final supplies were to be issued for the voyage, maps distributed, briefing for the operation accomplished, and the units broken down into boatloads to await the final move down to the ships.

The 438th AAA AW BN was already stationed near the south coast of England, and therefore did not participate in the first move to concentration areas.
Location of Sherborne, Dorset, UK
Near the South Coast

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