07 June, 2011

07 June, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 654 % Postmaster, N.Y.
England
7 June, 1944       0740

Dearest sweetheart –

I don’t suppose you’ll get this letter or some of the preceding ones for some time – because apparently the mail has been delayed all along the line. It’s tough, too, I know – for those at home, because it’s usually when you want to know most of all – that they cut down on it.

By the time you get this – Invasion will be old stuff to you, dear. How did you react to it, and were you worried? For us here, it was just another day. How long it will stay that way is now past the stage of conjecture, darling, but only by mail – or the sequence of my letters, that is, will you be able to surmise – if not how or where – at least when.

The general feeling here in England seems to have been one of relief that it finally got started. Everyone – soldiers and civilians alike had been very tense for some time – because the signs all around us were so unmistakable. Now I think everyone is ready and eager to give the Heines Hell.


So much then for the war, sweetheart, which I do not like to discuss with you or anyone at home. I hope only that by now you are receiving mail more regularly. There’s not been too much mail from your direction, either, for that matter – but the reasons are obvious.

Yesterday on the whole – was a quiet day. I got a call from Rev. Bell – whom I hadn’t seen or contacted for some time. He invited me over for coffee and a drink at 2000 – and I accepted. We spent a pleasant hour and a half talking and exchanging ideas. Oh – incidentally – I showed them your picture – the one I carry in my wallet and they thought you were very pretty – which of course I already knew, dear. I’ve told them about you, us – our engagement etc. – and they found it all very interesting, I know.

You mention a new song by Cole Porter – “I Love You”. We haven’t heard it here and I don’t suppose we will for some time. You know that “People Will Say We’re in Love" has not hit England as yet and it won’t until it’s released by the Producers of “Oklahoma”.

I’d love to see you in a “terrific” dress, sweetheart, – or in an apron for that matter. It sure would be wonderful to get a glimpse of you, darling. I hardly dare think of it – honestly – because it’s not healthy. I miss you so, dear, and love you and that fact never leaves me for a moment. If I can only transmit some of that feeling to you, I’ll be happy.

I’ll have to run along now, dear, and do some work. My love to the folks and so long for now –

All my love, darling
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

D-Day plus 1
for a bit of VII Corps

On the day after D-day, firm contact was established with elements of the 82d Airborne Division at the first town liberated in France, Ste. Mére-Eglise.


Enemy guns located north and south of the beachhead fired intermittently to harass operations on the beach. In spite of a heavy counterattack by the enemy, troops of VII Corps continued to expand and consolidate their holdings, and by the end of their second day on the continent they had securely established their beachhead, thus completing the first step in the liberation of France and Europe. Reinforcements continued to flow ashore, and soon the 90th and 9th Infantry Divisions joined the battle.

2nd Infantry moving from Omaha Beach
toward Saint Laurent sur Mer on 7 June, 1944

The enemy had retired west of the Merderet River, but not without making VII Corps gains as costly as possible. He persistently launched small counterattacks late every evening in a series of attempts to regain ground lost during the day, but every one was decisively beaten off. He still held Carentan, preventing the juncture of VII Corps with V Corps. His defense in the fixed fortifications along the coast was tenacious, and our advance was slow.

The wounded were being evacuated by ships, the most seriously wounded were evacuated by planes which took off from a small airport built on 7 June by American engineers at Colleville-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer.
Wounded being loaded aboard ships
Air strips being built in Saint Laurent sur Mer
Plane landed at Saint Laurent sur Mer, taken 14 June, 1944

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