02 December, 2011

02 December 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
2 December, 1944       1030

Good morning, darling –

Well – I ought to have a bit more time today and maybe this will end up as a letter. We’re almost through our week’s work and we’re just catching the loose ends today. It’s a nice crisp Saturday here – a perfect day for the Army-Navy Game. I’m hoping it rains at Annapolis, though – because on a wet field, Navy could win. I’m a mean guy, huh? Well I have a bet on with the Colonel – he being a West Pointer I thought I’d have some fun and pick Navy. The bet is very complicated. It starts our as an even money, big stakes (5 marks) bet. However – if Army wins by 20 points or more, I pay off double; if Navy wins – I get paid double. One of the boys said the game was being broadcast this evening – so we ought to have some fun this evening playing a little Bridge, having a couple of drinks and enjoying the game.

The Colonel, incidentally, has been very nice to me and gave me a very nice recommendation the other day. All MC’s in this theater received a form to fill out concerning past experience, College and Med. School attended, years of internship etc. The form also asked for a preference in assignment, how long with present outfit – and on the last line it asked for the CO’s estimate of the MC’s ability. I naturally said I’d like to do a little surgery after being a battalion surgeon for 29 months. The Colonel wrote a note saying that I have done a “superior” job as battalion surgeon but he believed that it would be for the best of the Service etc. if I could do some hospital work somewhere. Well – it won’t lead to anything, I’m sure, but it was a nice gesture on his part – for it could conceivably mean that he would end up with another M.C. – and it’s much better having one who knows the men of the battalion. He was being very fair about it and generous in his use of the word ‘superior’ – especially as a Regular Army man. They usually don’t go above the word “excellent”.


I really don’t care much any more about the possibility of getting into a hospital. For awhile – a few months ago I thought I would like to get out of here but one hears so much – it’s difficult to know what to believe. For example – if I thought I would be demobilized the same time this outfit was I’d surely rather remain here; but if when that time comes they take all MC’s and put them into hospitals then, I might just as well get into one right now. Anyway, darling, I’m keeping you as up to date as possible.

I found your discussion of love, constancy etc. – which you brought up in one of your letters – very interesting and enlightening. I never did take you for a flighty person. You just didn’t strike me that way – although I’m fully aware that you can be emotional. I know some girls can take their ‘loving’ – regardless of the source and as often as possible. I’m glad you’re not like that, sweetheart, but then – I couldn’t love you if you were. As for me – I am a man, and I have “been around” – to use a very old expression – but I guess you know, that was before I met you. Even if you wondered – you know very well about my activities ever since I met you and left you. I’m much too sensible to become involved in anything – as so many of our soldiers have done since leaving the States. And even if I were at home – if you don’t know, darling, I, too, am a pretty constant, one-woman sort of fellow. I want only you, dear, and will always feel like that. I need only one attraction to keep me interested and sweetheart, that interest is you and you alone.

One more thing before I close, dear. You mentioned in a P.S. that I don’t answer a good many of your questions. Gosh – I read every one of your letters over and over and when I write you, I try to answer everything chronologically. The only explanation I can imagine is that I haven’t received all your letters. I have no file – so I can’t be sure. But anyway – I’ll answer everything I’m asked darling. O.K.?

I’ll stop now, dear. No mail yesterday – but maybe today. Hope all is well at home, darling. My love to the folks and

All my everlasting love,
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

about Eisenhower and the Rubber Shortage

Greg received the following letter in his role as Battalion Surgeon:


HEADQUARTERS EUROPEAN THEATER
United States Army
Office of the Commanding General

2 December, 1944

TO ALL OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN, EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS:

Today, as our armies exert ever-increasing pressure against the last defensive walls around the German Reich, the importance of bending every effort to hasten the day of victory in Europe is of personal concern to us all. From the top to the bottom of our military structure there is room for but one thought: to win the war.

This is a war of supply quite as much as it is a war of tactics. Furthermore it is a war which consumes supplies at a terrific rate. While our factories at home produce these supplies it is up to us to use them wisely and conserve them where possible.

One item of surpassing importance is tires. Tire wear in this Theater has exceed all pre-combat estimates. As a result we now are faced with a tire shortage which will, unless drastic conservation steps are taken, deadline ten percent of our vehicles by the first week of February.

Care and conservation of tires is based on a few simple rules. Observance of these rules is a clear-cut function of command. In addition there must be a keen awareness and eagerness on the part of every officer and soldier who rides in or operates a motor vehicle to protect that vehicle's tires for future trips.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the war will be needlessly extended unless we extract every possible mile from our tires and use them only as we find it necessary to do so.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
General, U. S. Army

Although the following article from The Pittsburgh Press was not published until 21 March 1945, it does address a bit about the rubber situation in 1944:

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