03 August, 2011

03 August, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 403 % Postmaster, N.Y.
France
3 August, 1944        0910
Good morning, darling –

Well two days in a row now an air-mail letter – is unusual for me – I know – but at the moment I have the opportunity and I’m making use of it. I know you’d rather have these than the V-mail, dear – but the latter are really convenient.

Before I forget it I want to mention something you referred to in one of your letters, dear – namely my reaction to Stan and the other fellows like him. The one thing it has been difficult to hold on to since we’ve been in France is our perspective – or at least – mine. And it becomes very easy to generalize upon the mood of the moment. What I’m trying to say, sweetheart, is that after I write anything like I did about Stan or anyone else, I feel sorry. It’s the result usually of feeling mentally low and lonely and resenting anything that someone else has and you haven’t. Fortunately it’s transitory and I get over it. I know I’ve written like that before that letter and since then – but please interpret that as a temporary thing, dear. The greatest part of the time my spirits are actually very good and if anything – I feel sorry for anyone who can’t be a witness to all that is going on around us.

We are getting into a very pretty part of France and yesterday I passed thru some lovely hills and valleys and thought how wonderful it would be if you were here to enjoy these sights with me. Maybe we can come back some day, darling. The scenery was very much like that of New England except that there are no stone walls separating the farms – but still those infernal hedges.


One of the things I’ll always remember about France is the way the French people – women and children – run thru the streets of a newly liberated town – throwing flowers into the passing trucks and jeeps. Some of these towns are absolutely leveled, – dirty, dusty and still smoking. Where the civilians come from and where they get their fresh flowers is beyond me – but there they are – smiling, raising their hands – with their fingers making a V, tossing flowers all over the place and shouting “Vive les Americains, vives les Yanks, les Bosches kaput!” It’s just like I used to see in the movies of the last war – but this time it’s real. How they – the French – can feel so friendly after we shell the stuffings out of their towns and homes – I can’t understand. I guess they just hate the Germans so much.

You mentioned a Dr. Dalrymple of Tufts. I remember he was on the staff – but we never had him. I don’t know what subject he taught. Mrs. Dalrymple seems nice and I know all the women you’re associating with must be nice to work with. I hope for your effort, darling, you get a paid job – but if not – keep up the work anyway. You’re with a pretty good outfit and I guess they can use all the help they can get. Are you in uniform yet, dear? If so – I hope you get a picture taken – and send one along – huh?

I was pleased to read about Mother B. and I hope she stays well. Remember what I told you, dear – 99% of the time – the burden of proof rests on you. You may get on your mother’s nerves – but you shouldn’t allow the opposite to occur at all.

I read with interest your single sentence item about Nancy and Abbot returning from Clifton because they hated it. I wonder why. I never liked that place or places like it, dear. For some reason or other I can’t stand too much superficiality and places like the Clifton reek with it and all the fake impressions which superficiality breeds. I like to think about you and me on vacation somewhere – wondering where we’ll go. It really won’t make much difference to me darling as long as we’re together as man and wife. I think of that so often that by now it’s an accepted fact in my thoughts – and it sure is wonderful. We’ll have lots of places to go, I know, – your friends and mine. In the early years – I guess we’ll tour New England and later – maybe we’ll branch out – although New England is still as nice vacation country as anywhere in the country. But one thing I insist on – we will not go on any camping trips!! I’m having enough of that now, dear.

Sweetheart – I do love to dream and think about us together and what we’ll do and where we’ll go. The hours I spend thinking about those things are the most pleasant of the war for me – and when I return – actually living with you will make all those dreams and plans come true. I’ll have to stop now, darling. Send my best regards to all the family – and how’s Grammy – by the way?

My deepest and sincerest love, dear
Greg.






   
   "Near Villedieu
         July, 1944

        Captured German
    Volkswagen.

        Stars just put on. Two
    of the aidmen. "





Somewhere in France

7 Bomb craters - probably 500 lbs - dropped by Luftwaffe in attempt to get small bridge on our supply route. String of vehicles can be seen. We were in this convoy - but bombing attack was night before. 
August 1944

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