01 May, 2012

01 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
1 May, 1945       0800

Dearest darling Wilma –

It just doesn’t seem possible that another May is here and I’m still not with you. ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow’ is really creeping at a ‘petty pace’. I guess our only solace can come from relativity; we’re a heck of a lot better off than we were a year ago. We were really sweating it out in England and there were some mighty big things ahead of us. Thank God that is now behind us. We’ve come a long way since then and all in all we’ve got a great deal for which to be thankful.

And you and I, sweetheart, have been engaged for 13 months. It is a long time at that, but your good spirit and refreshing ability to be patient have made the months so much shorter, darling. You’ll never really know how much you’ve helped and are still helping. Love at long range is so much less tangible than love at best can be – and yet it has been stimulating and satisfying – considering the necessary conditions. That is what makes me certain that close-up love will truly be what we want and expect it to be. I haven’t got the slightest doubt about it.

Yesterday, dear, was a mighty busy day. I had wanted to get up to battalion – but I just didn’t get the chance. Before the day was over, we had seen 339 patients – and that’s a lot – even if you’re just saying ‘hello’.

Two Russian Officers at Ex-P.W. Camp
Halle, Germany - May 1945

But sometime today I’ve just got to get up – if nothing more than to pick up the men’s pay. I should have done that yesterday. Battalion is now ahead of us; just what kind of set-up we have this time, I don’t know yet. We’re in a very large city, though – that I know – one of Germany’s large ones – and the site of many a world expedition and I believe at one time – the World’s Fair, also. I think enough of the city is standing to have allowed us a fairly decent C.P. but I’ll find out later. Anyway – as far as I know – I’m still remaining here – and it’s all right with me because it’s very comfortable.

They sent my mail down – and it included a letter from you, still from New York. You had spent your second full day there and had been shopping all day. It sounded as if you had had a lot of fun – and I’m happy, dear.

There was also a letter from Charlie Wright. He’s still at Daytona Beach – working in a convalescent hospital. The tone of his letter was a bit sad. He certainly would like to be over here – which just goes to show how strange the world is; I’d like to be over there. But I understand his feeling – and I’m sorry for him.

By the way, darling, you once wrote you didn’t want a husband that cusses. I don’t recall what made you bring that up – but did you think I cussed very much when I was in the States and went out with you? If you didn’t mind that amount, I guess you’ll be able to stand me, dear. The Army hasn’t taught me any cuss words I didn’t already know, although I did learn to use some of them with more feeling and intensity, I think. I’ll probably un-learn quickly, though – so don’t worry dear.

I was so pleased at the news of Irv’s 5-year appointment to the Harvard Faculty. Verna had also written me about it. That means of course that they’ll be around and I know we’ll see a lot of them. Your statement about Verna not wanting children was interesting. I just can’t understand people not feeling the lack of children. And how about Irv? Doesn’t he have anything to say about it? That’s one of the things a couple should have discussed before marriage, anyway, it seems to me. I’m glad, darling, that we both feel the way we do.

This is a good place to stop, I think. I want to let my mind wander a bit on the last subject. Mind, dear? Really – I’ve got to get started – because I want to leave the infirmary early. For now, sweetheart, so long – and love to the folks.
All my love is yours, darling

P.S. These are some old one I’ve had hanging around. Might as well add them to others. This makes 44 in series –
Love, G


about First Army's New Assignment

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.388-389.

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