27 December, 2011

27 December 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
27 December, 1944        1330

My dearest darling –

It’s another clear, cold crisp day with not a cloud in the sky. Certainly the Air Corps can’t complain. It’s the nicest stretch of weather we’ve had since we first arrived in Normandy and it comes at an opportune time.

I’ve been here at battalion all day so far and I think I’ll be sticking around for the rest of the day, anyway. We were busy this a.m. – here at the Dispensary and took care of quite a few civilians, too. We had a B.C.’s meeting the latter part of the morning – the meeting being chiefly devoted to Orientation. Later this afternoon I have several house calls to make – a sick kid, a woman with phlebitis, a boy with a bad Rheumatic heart etc. Our evenings here are uncertain; last night we sat around and waited; tonite we’ll try to play some cards, I guess. The mail continues to be elusive – but we expect that. The only letters I want are those from you and my folks, darling. I still have about a dozen letters to answer but I haven’t the time or the desire, for that matter.

I still have a couple of your letters as yet unanswered, sweetheart – and that reminds me, I want to take exception to a statement you once made in reference to my failure to answer some of your questions. Darling – I answer every one of them, sometimes vaguely, I know, due to necessity, but I always mention the subject. I never destroy one of your letters before re-reading it and making certain that I’ve covered every subject. And that reminds me – your mention of dog-tags and changing them with others – seems to affect the infantry more than any other branch of the service. Don’t worry, mine are around my neck at all times, dear. And another thing – give one of my T3 Sergeants credit for packing the clock; all I did was to watch and advise. I wonder how that clock is going now and whether you’ve grown to like it or not.

Say – your cigarette shortage must really be something. If nothing more – I hope it makes you smoke less – and your mother, too. I have a sneaking suspicion, darling, that you must be smoking more than is good for you. We get a pretty good supply here – with our rations and therefore, gratis. I had quite a supply at one time – Camels and Chesterfields – but I couldn’t send them home to you, Sweetheart, because they’re tax free and not mailable. I don’t smoke a pack a month but I have used them for getting my laundry done etc. Incidentally – I had quite a bunch of dirty laundry, O.D.’s, field jackets etc and I’m getting them washed in this town. The women come to the Aid Station and ask if we want our laundry done. Imagine that! After they talk us into it – we say “Yes!”

You wrote (28 Nov) that you sat around one evening, all dressed up, smoking cigarette after cigarette, listening to the radio, perfume and all (what perfume?) and you ended your sentence thus “ – and I was ready”; ready for what, darling –– and you shouldn’t write like that – because you make me feel like jumping out of my boots and heading straight for home – which, of course, I feel like doing anyway. But – boy – oh boy! When you write “I’m ready” – you don’t know what you’re in for – so beware! I’m ready too, darling, and – well what’s the use. I’ll tell you when I see you. For now – I’ll say only that I love you, darling – and that I’ve been ready for a long long time. Love to the folks, dearest –

And my sincerest love –


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.238-241.

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