First of all, I love you more than you can possibly imagine, because no matter how much I try, I believe I must fall short in expressing it! But you are the only girl in the world for me, darling, and I mean that – and no matter what I write or don’t write, that should sum up everything. I suppose I haven’t been the most ardent of fiancés – probably because sweet things don’t come easily from my lips, dear – but if you want one that’s sincere and honest and interested in only one girl, I’m that type. And that goes forever, sweetheart, not for just now, because I’m away from you, sentimental and lonesome. It’s because I am that way that I appreciate you all the more and my only regret is that I don’t tell you often enough.
My Birthday yesterday turned out wonderfully and for surprises – you take the cake, darling (literally). It was shaping up as a pretty drab one – and I believe I wrote you that nothing unusual happened. Well I was busy most of the p.m. and got back late. We eat at 1700 and I appeared about 1715. Everyone was at the table and when I came in the Colonel led the singing of “Happy Birthday – dear doctor”. I still didn’t notice anything until I sat down and there – in the center of the table, was this big gorgeous cake – with the words “Happy Birthday – from Wilma”. My first reaction was that someone of the boys had arranged for our kitchen to bake it – but I realized immediately that they couldn’t possibly have made so lovely a cake. The boys kept me guessing awhile and then I heard how the special service office had been contacted by Special Services of Corps who had in turn been contacted by Red Cross in Paris. It was a wonderful idea, darling, a complete surprise – and I can only say “Thanks!!” Later in the evening several of the boys who could get off came up to the Dispensary and I opened a bottle of cognac and guess what – the box of cookies you had sent me a long time ago in one of your Christmas packages. I had saved it – I didn’t know for what – but it just came in right last nite. So darling – I had a pretty swell Birthday – considering you weren’t around – and there’s still a bit of a war on.
And I got some mail, too! Three letters were from you – the last part of December and the 3rd of January; also one from my Dad and a birthday card from Eleanor – the only Card I’ve received to date, by the way. In Dad A’s letter was an enclosed photo of my folks and Lawrence – and it really was good taking a look at them. They looked fine too.
One of your letters, darling, was in answer to one I wrote explaining why I didn’t tell you all about the war, dear. Apparently I’ve been a better liar than I’ve thought I’ve been; often I felt I was telling you more than I ought to for your morale. My restraint must be good – and I’m not going to change at this stage of the game. I wasn’t anyway, darling, but I had no idea at all that you felt we were rear troops. We weren’t. But you go on and imagine the nice things, darling, because it isn’t always rough – by any manner of means. Time for lunch – excuse me dear.
Well, well, well – I got the whole story about the cake from Ted [Frederick C.] Aber – our S.S. officer. I didn’t see him yesterday. The way it went – was this: he heard from R.C. when we were in this same town – the very end of Dec. They told him to get it (the cake) baked anywhere and submit the bill to them. Then we started our trek all over the country until we came back here several days ago. Then Ted started looking for a baker, couldn’t find one and asked one of the inhabitants about it. It turned out to be a woman whom I had treated when we were last here and when she heard what was wanted – she insisted on baking the cake herself – and she did! She did a wonderful job and I must go down and thank her for it later on. Incidentally – every one of the officers knew about it – but they kept the surprise intact.
And now – darling – I must leave you for awhile. I’m still trying to get myself showered and I’m trying another spot this p.m. So – so long for now, sweetheart, be well – send my love to the folks – and
Hq. VII Corps, APO 307, U.S. Army
American Red Cross
161 Mass. Avenue
Dear Mrs. Day, RE: Capt. A.
Reference to your letter of December 13, 1944, requesting that we get a birthday cake for the above captioned officer.
The cake was baked by a Belgian woman who wouldn't take any money. It had in chocolate letters on the white-frosted top: "Happy Birthday from Wilma." Captain A. was duely surprised and pleased.
We are happy to have been able to be of service.
Very truly yours,
Charles C. Broaddus, Jr.
Field Director, ARC