11 April, 2012

11 April 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
11 April, 1945      2130

My dearest Sweetheart –

If ever a girl was neglected this past week – I guess it was you, dear. It seems as if I’ve written you less this week than any since we really started writing each other – and by the way, that’s a long, long time ago. I can’t remember the content of that first letter (I wonder if you have it) but I can remember most everything else about it. I knew I wanted to write you – figuring that I would lose no time then – in the interim between weekends; and besides, I’d be hearing from you, and that’s what I wanted. We were down on the Cape on firing practice of one sort or another – and although you’ve never said so yourself, sweetheart, I feel we began to know each other well – from that time on.

All that is a little beside the point although I like to dwell on it. What I started to say was that my trip to Paris was over. I’ve just now got through washing up and putting things back where they belong etc. I’m a tired guy tonite, darling, and it is not from dissipation. It’s from traveling. Figure it out for yourself – a 3 day pass – and I was away from battalion a total of 7 days. If it weren’t for the fact that after all – it was Paris – it wouldn’t be worth it, for the ride up and back was murder.

I can’t seem to remember what I told you about what I did and saw; probably very little – because the 3 of us were tearing around every minute of the 3 days – and there’s lots to see. In the first place – it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen – the buildings, sqares, places – etc are colorful and attractive – as are the women and the clothes they wear. Actually I don’t think I saw a half dozen beautiful women – but practically every woman is dressed stylishly, is made up well, has an individualistic hair-do – and if she wears a hat – well, enough said about that. There are clubs and cabarets – indoors and out, all over the place – and for Paris, the war is not only over, but forgotten. Sweaters are 2800 francs or $56.00, stockings 800 francs, handkerchiefs 300 francs – etc. It’s worse than London – by far. In the clubs – they pin the word ‘Sucker’ on you and they let you in; Usual charge is 100 francs admission and then drinks; in 90% of the places there is no choice – you must buy champagne at 790 francs. Oh – there’s a floor show, of course, and rank, too. We saw one good show – a place called the Taborin; we also went to the Folies Bergere – as all Americans do. As a matter of fact – everywhere we went – the audience, the crowd – was 75% American soldiers – and the performance is put on to suit the soldiers. The Folies – by the way, dear, is not as risqué as everyone makes it out to be.

We also took a tour around the city with a guide. I tried to get tickets to the opera – Damnation of Faust – but they were sold out.

The following are photos Greg collected in Paris in April of 1945

Paris - Arc de Triomphe - April 1945

Paris - City Hall - April 1945

Paris - Notre Dame - April 1945

Paris - Place Vendome - April 1945

Paris - Palace of the Louvre - April 1945

Paris - The Seine - April 1945

Paris - The Senate - April 1945
Former home of the dowager queens

Paris - Winged Victory - April 1945

Paris - Les Invalides - April 1945
(The Hospital)

Paris - Pantheon - April 1945

I ran into one fellow I knew – perhaps you do – Sunny Rodman – a 1st lieutenant. He’s the tennis player from Dorchester and has a brother Bob Rodman – a lawyer and now in the Navy. Sunny is with SHAEF in Paris doing Press Censorship – a rather soft job I guess. He seemed a bit sheepish about it, too, as do most of the men we meet in the rear areas. They have to be dressed up always – blouse, etc – while we come to Paris in our O.D. shirts, trousers and Field jackets – what we wear everyday. In that regard, by the way, I can’t say too much about ARC in Paris. We were treated royally at our club – the Washington. Everything arranged for – is to suit Combat officers desires and they really do a fine job. Eating hours are late and convenient – and we had the run of the place.

Well – I’d better stop dribbling about Paris and tell you that you never left my mind or heart once, darling, in all the novelty and excitement. Honestly, dear, we could have had such a swell time here together. Someday – maybe – I can bring you back.

It seems as if I’ve been out of contact with you for ages. And when I got back – it was too late to get my mail – so I have to sweat it out until morning, dammit. But on the move – or not, dear – know always that I love you constantly and faithfully and that I always will. You’re the girl for me and I never forget that for one moment.

And now I’d better close – because tomorrow is another day – and when I got back – they said it was to be one of those days, dear – so I’ll try my best to write you Meanwhile, so long and love to the folks.

All my deepest love –

The following are Postcards that Greg sent home from Paris in 1945

Paris Postcard - Le Carrousel et le Louvre - 1945

Paris Postcard - La Tour Eiffel - 1945

Paris Postcard - La Grand Palais - 1945

Paris Postcard - Place de la Bastille - 1945

Paris Postcard - Porte Saint-Martin - 1945

Paris Postcard - Rue de Rivoli - 1945

Paris Postcard - The Pantheon - 1945


about The American Red Cross Map of Paris

American Red Cross Map of Paris
Printed in February, 1945

Following are portions of an American Red Cross Map of Paris. The full map is 5 panels wide and 4 panels high, where folds indicate panels. The folded-up size (shown above) is 5-1/4 inches x 2-7/8 inches. Due to a shortage of paper in the European Theater of Operations, the maps were printed by the French on the backs of captured and recycled German maps.


Main map. Red Crosses are Clubs.
The table below the map gives: Club Number, Name, Address and Phone

Bottom Half of Map includes
Metro Map, Buildings, Places to See and "How to Ask Your Way"

German map upon which this Map of Paris was printed

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