26 April, 2012

26 April 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
26 April, 1945      1645

My dearest sweetheart –

We got back here – and by chance – we’re still in the same place – about an hour ago. I’m dusty and tired, but if I don’t stay here right now, darling, I know I’ll not get another moment this evening. So darn many things have happened this past week – it’ll take me a couple of days to catch up with events.

None the least of the changes, dear, is one involving Lane. He is no longer with us, having been transferred suddenly. As a matter of fact – it isn’t too much of a surprise because for some time we suspected that – as a Regular Army man, he was due for a promotion; he couldn’t get it in this battalion – because the job doesn’t call for it. So the way it works – the man is transferred to the right job. Were I Regular Army, much the same would have happened to me, no doubt. Anyway, the new fellow, whom I haven’t seen yet today but whom I have met before – is supposed to be O.K. He is not Regular Army and that makes him one of us. He served in the last war – but was very young and is quite active now. His name is McWilliams and I think he’ll get along well here.

Lieutenant Colonel William A. McWilliams
October 1899 - July 1997
Made Brigadier General upon his retirement

The battalion is doing just about everything except AA work, for the fact is, there isn’t any to do. And the chief subject of conversation is what will become of us. I’ve intimated some of the possibilities already, dear – but no one knows for sure. I’m between the devil and deep sea, myself. I don’t know whether to string along with them or whether to make a concerted effort to get out. Of course – attempting the latter doesn’t mean necessarily that I would succeed. Hell – I don’t know what to do, sweetheart, but I can’t help but feel that this outfit will someday go for a long ride, although it certainly would hit the States first. Again, dear, I’m only guessing and have no way whatsoever of knowing for sure.

Enough of this rambling. I haven’t as yet gone over to the Dispensary so I don’t know what mail I have – but I’m certainly looking forward to a bunch of it. I guess my writing to you this past week has been spotty, but darling, you just can’t write on the road. The reason I’m in so early today is because we made the trip back in 2 days this time. In all – we covered 900 miles – roundtrip – and that’s quite a bit. For the time being, anyway, I’ve done all the seeing of Germany’s highways that I want. I’ve really covered this country. Last nite – we stayed in a small city on the edge of the Ruhr. I saw a house – undamaged – which looked clean. It was about 1900. We drove up – I asked for the owner, told him we needed a couple of beds for the night – and that’s all there was to it. Heck – it’s better than the tourist cabins back home. You have to pay a buck there!

I had all available films developed – in Brussels – and I’ll start enclosing them dear. There’s a couple I’ll leave out I think – picture of the dead slave laborers we found in Nordhausen. It’s a bit gruesome – unless the papers in the States have shown it already.

And now, darling, please excuse me – but I’ve got to go report to the new C.O. – etc etc. I’ll write tomorrow – of course. Meanwhile, love to the family – and

All my sincerest love and affection

Here are some photos taken by Greg
while in Halle, Germany in April of 1945

U.S. and British Ex-POWs getting set to leave camp we were running.
Halle, Germany - 1945

An FH-204 - Strafed on the ground
Halle Airfield, Germany - 1945

A Stuka Dive-Bomber that didn't get off
Halle Airfield, Germany - 1945

Plane Factory - HQ for Baker Battery
Note "WILMA TOO" on the front of Greg's jeep
Halle, Germany - 1944

1 comment:

  1. nice to see those photo's, my granddad was a forced labourer at the siebel flugzeug werke & the camp where he was kept was called annaburg