15 November, 2011

15 November 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
15 November, 1944      1300

My darling,

I got a letter from a friend of mine in Italy yesterday. When I was through reading it, I felt better. They’ve had everything we’ve had – but for two years – instead of one. So how can I complain? I hereby resolve not to complain i.e. not until the next time, darling.

There was no letter from you, dear, but one from my father in Ohio and one from Ruth. I was surprised at the latter, for I hadn’t heard from her in some time. She thanked me for the bracelet – or whatever you call that coin arrangement. I think she should have waited until she saw how much they would tarnish. It was good hearing from her though. I later in the evening wrote a joint letter to Ruth and Irv.

In the meantime – things are still rather quiet here and I think we’ll have to take out citizenship papers if we stay in this town much longer. Fortunately for us – it has been a comfortable spot and we’ve taken things right in stride. Naturally – there are plenty of poor fellows still outside – and it is for them that I feel most sorry. For instance dear, we awoke two days ago – to find about two inches of snow on the ground. Boy – it sure did seem like winter –


1500

Well, darling. I didn’t get very far. I’ve been interrupted all afternoon and perhaps I can go a little farther this time. My last interruption was by a little German boy who brought over a ‘gift’ for me from his mother – with an enclosed card. The ‘gift’ was a little book of Handel’s music – for flute and I presume for clarinet. The card thanked me for taking care of her son and apologized for not having been able to repay me in better fashion. In the course of visiting her house for 3 days, I found the woman to be very intelligent, having a good knowledge of French, English and Latin as well as of the fine arts. Her grandfather is Professor of German at the U. of North Carolina. She was telling me about her children and the instruments they played and I told her I once played the clarinet, thus the music. I don’t know if I told you or not – but another patient of mine gave me a book as a gift – also with an inscription of thanks. The book is a famous recent German novel “Die Barrings” – by Wm. von Simpson. It’s about 800 pages and I don’t know whether I’ll attempt it or not.

Cover and inside cover of the Handel music book

1600

Sweetheart – I’m getting nowhere at all today – as you can see. People have been going in and out and I don’t know what I’ve already written or what I’m writing now even. Usually our afternoons are comparatively quiet – but today everything is all mixed up. One of my drivers has just come in. He had taken a patient into a hospital. I had him inquire as to the whereabouts of the hospital where Frank Morse is and I think I may be able to locate him in Liege. I may take a run over there in a couple of days; it’s not too far off. I’d like to see him and some of the others I know at his place.

76th General Hospital in Liege, Belgium
Entrance and Surgical Tents

I’m going to stop writing now, dear, because I can’t concentrate one bit. I’ve just heard that there was no mail for the battalion this p.m. – so I don’t have that to look forward to this evening. I haven’t played any bridge for several nights now – but I might this evening.

So – so long for now, dearest, regards to the folks – and

All my everlasting love,
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about More from General Hodges

The snapshots that follow were taken from Normandy to Victory: The War Diary of General Courtney H. Hodges & the First U.S. Army, maintained by his aides Major William C. Sylvan and Captain Francis G. Smith Jr.; edited by John T. Greenwood, copyright 2008 by the Association of the United States Army, pp. 174-175.

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