08 July, 2011

08 July, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 403 % Postmaster, N.Y.
France
8 July, 1944          0950

Dearest darling Wilma –

This is Saturday morning and as always, I have to submit my weekly report. That having been done I’m now ready to write you. Yesterday was the banner day for us since arriving in France. I got two letters from you – June 21 and 22 – and one each from my father and yours. The latter thanked me for remembering him on Father’s day – and his letter in general was very well expressed. I was glad to hear from him. My father’s letter was written on June 21st and he hadn’t received his gift yet. He told me about being in Winthrop and that my mother missed my not coming home week-ends. Well – I do, too, darling – although as I remember it, once I met you last summer, I spent precious little time at home anyway. Boy – last summer seems like a dream from where I’m sitting now – but I know it was and is reality. Both you and my dad express satisfaction at my being in England as late as June 8th – as my father wrote. I hope you didn’t worry too much, dear, shortly after that. By now of course – you’ve heard from me in France. I’ve tried to give you as accurate a picture as possible – but I can’t go into tactics, sweetheart, for obvious reasons. And the fact is – that outside of a discussion of tactical changes from day to day – there’s really nothing to report. There’s such a world of difference between training or living in garrison as we did in England – and the real thing.

I liked your letter written on Red Cross stationery – particularly the telegram work sheet part which I believe I would have filled out in just about the same manner. I’m indeed glad you’re not bored – and I believe you when you write it; I also believe that you really like my folks and that, darling, is a very comforting thought – because I’ve seen so much of the opposite. This I know – they’ll never interfere in anything you or I want to do. I don’t mean active interference – but passive interference – which is the aggravating kind. What they want most is for us to be happy and we won’t let them down I know.


Yesterday p.m. I visited some of the gun sections of one of the batteries. In so doing I had to pass through a small town. I got the urge to eat some potatoes and meat – so I had my driver scout around the town. In reality – the town was off limits to the troops – but with a large Red Cross painted on the hood – and waving a R.C. flag – the M.P.’s don’t bother us much. Well after a little questioning here and there I found a source of potatoes and was able to buy 40 kilograms for 100 francs. A kilo – in case you don’t remember dear – is 2.2 lbs. Everything here is in kilograms for wt. and kilometers for distance. I then found a butcher’s which hadn’t been entirely destroyed by shelling and bought something that looked like steak (it tasted like leather) and bought 14 pieces – one for each officer in Headquarters – and I paid 100 francs for that also. (1 fr = 2 cents). To finish it off – I got some onions – brought it all back and we had steak, french fried potatoes and fr. Onions. What a treat! It was the first potatoes and fresh, uncanned meat we had had since arrival. The pay off is this: some of the liquor we had been given – remember I told you about it – still remained – and it consisted of 5 bottles of champagne! Well we killed that too. Now how’s that for living in the field?

What else? Well I must remind you again darling that I love you most sincerely, constantly and deeply – and – to put it awkwardly, the farther away I get from you, the more I love you! Boy! That’s grounds for a break in relationship – but I’m a sucker for a “bon mot” – as the French would put it. At any rate, sweetheart – no matter how far away I get – my love for you grows stronger and I’ve been away long enough now – to know what I’m writing.

Postcards of Carentan from Greg
City Hall
City Hall Today

Notre Dame Church
Mass is Celebrated in Notre Dame Church in Carentan
for 101st Airborne and other Allied Soldiers

Photo Owned by PhotosNormandie's Photostream
Notre Dame Church Today

Rue de L'Isle
Rue de L'Isle Today
I’ll have to close now, dearest. Don’t work too hard, don’t worry too much, don’t stop loving me – and – don’t you think that’s enough for now?

Love to the folks and

All my love is yours, dear
Greg

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