14 September, 2011

14 September 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Belgium
14 September, 1944       1100
Dearest sweetheart –

First of all I answer your most recent letter 1st. I received a whole harvest of mail from you yesterday – the last dated 5 Sept. I think Drew Person will be wrong, darling, although the Lord knows – there’s no reason why the Germans should still be fighting. They are hopelessly licked. But Hitler will not quit unless I miss my guess. He will have to be destroyed 1st – either by himself or by someone else. Now – darling – “them’s” my news and mine alone. You know Army officers are not supposed to express military news unless they are entirely personal.

Secondly – and I should have put this first – Congratulations on your job. I knew you’d get it – if it were at all available. For I figured they must like you pretty well at R.C. – and why not? Anyway, dear, I am glad and I know it must be very satisfying to you to realize that you’re getting paid for your effort. And 37 bucks – to be common – is darn good salary. Hell – it’s about as much as I’m making! I really am happy for you, though, sweetheart – and proud, too!



By the way – the enclosed shots are the first I was able to get. I’ve got more – but I’ll send them out a few at a time. They ought to make a good scrapbook after the war. If my folks want any – you can give them the negatives – although most of them are just snaps of scenes in passing through. They were taken in all sorts of weather and conditions and a good many won’t come out – I know. Incidentally – if my hair seems worse than when you remember it, darling, it’s because I wear it practically clipped to the skin all the time. It’s much cleaner when you’re in the field. I don’t know how much of it will grow out – but that will really be something to look forward to!

The jeep “Wilma” – has as yet been unduplicated throughout France and Belgium. There just ain’t two like you, dear! The German car has not had a name painted on it. If we ever get some paint – its name will be “Wilma, Too.”

I got letters from Mary, Bea Caplan, Irv Fine, the Reverend Bill from Sherborne, a girl I met at his house, and a very sad one from Mrs. Kerr in Salem. Her daughter Arlene’s husband, died as a result of a fall. He was due to be inducted some time in Sept. It was a terrible blow to the family and I have to write a letter of condolence to them today. Gosh – sometimes you’re safer in a war zone!

I’m glad Labor Day week-end is over and my folks are back. My father’s last letter said that they hadn’t been in contact with you as much as before because of the lack of telephone. Now you can keep in closer contact with them again and they with you, dear.

Your dreams of our future together, darling, are wonderful – and jibe wonderfully with mine. There isn’t a thing I can find fault with in your plans – and I, too, hope we can get married as soon as I get back – in the Army or out. And then we’ll love, love and love!

I’ll stop now, darling – a couple of things to do and I’ll write again tomorrow. My love to the family and

All my everlasting love to you
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about Breaching the Siegfried Line

From Mission Accomplished - The Story of the Campaigns of the VII Corps (published in Leipzig, Germany by J.J. Weber in 1945), as found on the "VII Corps in WWII" web site:
Under orders to reconnoiter the defenses of the Siegfried Line, the 3d Armored and 1st Infantry Divisions crossed the border into Germany on September 12th, reached and probed the outer line of fortifications. On the following day, the entire VII Corps threw its weight northeast to crack the defenses of the world-famed West Wall in the area south of Aachen. Enemy delaying action was determined, but was soon overcome, and our tanks and infantry moved through the rows of tank traps into the pillbox defenses. Here the enemy fought stubbornly from as many pillboxes as he could find personnel to man, but many of the fortifications were found undefended, their machine guns still in place. This, then, was the decisive effect of our intercepting the German Seventh Army back at Mons. The German soldiers who were meant to man those guns and defend those bunkers were now on their way to Allied prisoner of war camps, their part in the fighting finished, their job left undone.

By the 15th, VII Corps units had penetrated the Siegfried Line in three places and were advancing inside the defenses south and east of Aachen. Resistance was scattered but determined. The enemy was doing his best to bolster his defenses, but he couldn't stop the VII Corps. In fact, it took a much more powerful factor to halt that drive, but halt it did.

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