09 June, 2011

08 June, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 654 % Postmaster, N.Y.
8 June, 1944      0735

Wilma darling –

Another day passed and the tension goes on. The news reports are good, however, and everyone is confident.

I didn’t hear from you yesterday, dear, and I don’t suppose I will for a while yet. I do hope that you are hearing from me with more regularity.

Yesterday I spent the whole day supervising the servicing of a jeep. I don’t believe I mentioned this before to you – but by some arrangement or other – I have a jeep of my own now – for how long, I don’t know. But it needed a lot of work done on it – so yesterday I had half of my Medical detachment working on it, and the same goes today. No, sweetheart, I am not having it simonzied! But they are doing about everything else to it, including repainting. Today I hope to get “WILMA” painted on the front if it. You know, dear, I asked your permission to use your name a long time ago – and never got it – but I’m using it anyway.

I’m really anxious to know how you’re making out with the Red Cross, darling. I hope you are continuing to find it interesting and I hope it occupies your time and mind enough to make you forget other things – temporarily. Say – and I am glad we’re engaged! Don’t forget to flash that ring, sweetheart, at any GI or other person that happens to get any ideas!

I got the first good laugh in quite awhile last week when I read your account of traffic trouble etc. in Wellesley. I’d like to have been there to see it – horns blowing, people looking – and all. But they say you’re not considered an experienced driver unless you’ve had at least one such episode – so don’t feel too badly, darling. I’m glad you’re concentrating on getting you license That’s almost a necessity these days. Are you old enough to get one, dear? (ahem)

I read with surprise your mention of Charlotte Hackerman being 7 months along and traveling down to Virginia. That is not the wisest thing to do, and I’m certain her physician must have told her so. And on top of that to attempt housekeeping for the first time – is really foolish I think – but I suppose love will find a way – which reminds me, darling, that I love you so very much, and although I haven’t spoken of it much, it makes me very jealous too to read about all these young couples being together in the States – while we have to be separated. But I know I couldn’t have been fundamentally happy had I remained at home – while all this was going on. Our outfit has a role to play in all this – and when it does I know I shall feel that my being in the Army was not in vain. Remember always sweetheart – that you will always have my love and devotion. Keep thinking about that and don’t worry!

Love to all.

All my love for now


about Medical Battalions, D-Day plus 2

Greg was part of a medical detachment, assigned to an anti-aircraft battalion. But there were also primary Medical Battalions consisting of Collecting Companies and Clearing Companies.. From the WWII U.S. Medical Research center comes this:
8 June 1944: during the night between D+1 and D+2, Headquarters and Clearing Company of the 4th Medical Battalion and Collecting Company “B”, of the 261st Medical Battalion landed complete with transportation. By 0630, Collecting Company “B” (261st Medical Battalion) was established adjacent to Collecting Company “C”, and received its first casualties. At the same time, the Clearing Company of the 4th Medical Battalion set up approximately three miles inland, in support of its parent unit, the 4th Infantry Division. During the afternoon, the 307th Airborne Medical Company, was contacted near Fauville and its Clearing Station found to be flooded with casualties, both American and enemy. Arrangements were made with the 4th Medical Battalion to furnish trucks to assist in the evacuation of these casualties part of whom were moved to the 4th Medical Battalion Clearing Station and the remainder evacuated to the 261st in the beach area. The 492d Collecting Company (50th Medical Battalion), and the 315th Medical Battalion (90th Infantry Division) landed, as did the 2d Section, Advance Platoon, 1st Medical Depot Company. The 4th Medical Battalion Clearing Station was receiving patients by midnight. Elements of both the 42d and the 45th Field Hospitals were able to land on 8 June 1944 as well.
The picture above shows the 42d Field Hospital in early June 1944. 261st Medical Battalion medics are checking litter patients. Note the discarded life belts.  Admissions were heavy throughout the day, running over 200, but were now better spaced than on the previous days, with the greatest difficulty occurring in the shock tents, which were insufficient for the number of patients in shock.

Above, patients are treated for shock and wounds on Utah Beach by 4th Infantry Division and Engineer Special Brigade Medical Personnel on June 7, 1944. 

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