12 May, 2012

12 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
12 May, 1945      0830
Leipzig, Germany

My dearest sweetheart –

We’re really having some ‘tough’ weather – i.e. tough to take without your being around to take care of the mood, darling. It’s much like what we had in Sherborne – last year this time – but there are many differences. The most important one is that when I long for you now, dear, I’m so much nearer the opportunity of having it filled. Boy – am I glad this past year is behind us!

All the fellows who are engaged – and there are 5 or 6 of us here at Hq. – are discussing the pros and cons of getting married as soon as they get home – and it’s a riot just to listen to the conversation – most of it not becoming repetition. The language is very expressive – is what I mean dear. Up until the other day, darling, when the war ended – I didn’t feel so strongly about marriage as I do now. I believe it was because I tried to fortify myself because the war was dragging out so. When I say I didn’t feel strongly about marriage, darling, don’t get me wrong. I feel strongly about that – the question when? was the thing I wouldn’t pin down in my own mind. I’ve changed and although I don’t know exactly how you feel about it dear – I know I’ll try my best to make you see my side. As I see it – the Army has a definite policy now – and regardless where one is – when he reaches a certain period of time put in – he gets sent back to the U.S., and is reassigned. Whether I’m ready or not – I don’t know. My one argument is that I’m almost 3 yrs. with the same outfit and entitled to a change. However – with my overseas time to my credit – it won’t take long for me to be reassigned from any category whatsoever.

The whole point being that regardless of how much time I have back in the States on this trip back – I know that I should get back soon after. If that is so – I don’t see why we should waste time in getting married – because – all this time we’ve been apart, sweetheart, we might just as well have been married. Too bad I didn’t meet you soon enough to marry you; too bad we didn’t have a child, too – because then – I’d really have a chance to be rotated – because the fact is darling – my one big handicap now is that I’m single and have no dependents.

Well – I’ll be interested in what you have to say, dear. Got two swell letters from you yesterday – 30 Apr, 1 May. I was glad to read about the packages you got – 1 from me and 1 from Dad A. I’m really surprised when I read what I’ve sent you, darling – because once it’s sent – I forget about it. That particular one was sent when we were in the Chateau on the Rhine – across from Bad Godesburg.

And now I’ve got to do some more physicals. Are you interested? – Oh excuse me, darling – but you can see where my mind is. Well – stop blushing, honey! Oh hell – I’ve got to go, dear.

Love to the folks – and
All my everlasting love to you –

P.S. Just found these pictures – taken by one of the boys. I waited for some enlargements – but they never came thru. Will you give one to Mother A please dear?
Love, G


about the "Point System"

The Adjusted Service Rating (ASR), also known as the “Point System” was initially proposed by General George C. Marshall and was amended by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. Details of the point system were announced to troops and to the public at noon on 10 May 1945 and governed the discharge of more than 1,300,000 soldiers over the following 12 months.

The point values were:
    1. One credit for each month of Army service since 16 Sep 1940.
    2. One credit for each month served overseas since the same date.
    3. Five credits for each bronze service star and for each decoration.
    4. Twelve credits for each child under 18 years, up to three children.

The service stars were awarded for participation in each battle or campaign. The list of decorations included:

Army – Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Purple Heart and Bronze Service Star.

Navy – Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Silver Star Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal and Purple Heart Medal. (The mention of Navy decorations does not mean that Navy personnel were included in the plan. They were not. It refers only to Navy and Marine Corps decorations which may have been awarded to Army men.)

Foreign – Awards and decorations of foreign countries accepted and worn under War Department regulations.

Since a Purple Heart decoration was awarded for each wound, five credits were earned for each wound suffered. The Army had announced earlier that any holder of the Medal of Honor was eligible for immediate release.

Enlisted men of the Army ground, air and service forces became eligible for discharge immediately if their total credit score was 85 or more. WACs with total credit scores of 44 points were eligible for immediate discharge. The total credit scores were designated as “interim scores.” Immediately after the scores of all soldiers were compiled, the number of soldiers with each point total in every theater was reported to the War Department and revisions were possible.

Scores were compiled on the basis of points earned as of Saturday, 12 May 1945. Decorations and battle credits awarded after that date, but earned prior thereto, were counted. Children born on or before May 12, whose births were not known to their fathers at the time the scores first were compiled, were counted in revised scores. Service in the Army was computed from the date the soldier reported to his reception center and took his oath. Odd portions of the month of 15 days or more counted as a whole month. The point system for discharges covered men in all parts of the world – not merely those who served in Europe.

"Immediate eligibility for discharge" did not mean "immediate discharge". It was expected to take nearly a year to bring the 1,300,000 eligible men home, although they would be coming home by hundreds of thousands in ensuing months. And any given man – even though he had more than the necessary number of credits for discharge – could be kept in the service if his work was deemed vital to the war against Japan.

Re-deployment regulations, issued on 12 May 1945 had theater commanders assign each of his units to one of the following categories:

(I) units to occupy areas of Europe;

(II) units to be used in the war against Japan;

(III) units to be inactivated within the theater;

(IV) units to be returned to the United States for inactivation.
Category II was broken down into
(A) units to be shipped to the Pacific direct;
(B) units to be shipped to the Pacific by way of the U.S.;
(C) units to be shipped to the U.S. and placed in strategic reserve.

Critical Scores for Medical Officers, received by the end of May 1945, varied with the Corps – for Hygienists and Dietitians the figure was 62 Points, for Physical Therapists, 65, for Nurses, 71, for Medical Administrative Corps Officers, 88, and for Medical Corps Officers, 85 and more (according to Specialty). As a preliminary to redeployment, high score men were to be transferred to Category III and IV units, while units placed in Category II were to be staffed with officers and men whose points were below the critical level. High-score men in Category III units were to be returned to the United States as casuals after disbandment of their organizations. High-score personnel deemed nonessential were to be withdrawn on a continuing basis from all units and returned to the United States as casuals. Where enough low-score officers were not available to staff outgoing units, "essentiality" became the overriding consideration.

Although many difficulties arose owing to the disproportionately large number of high-score men in medical units, the program laid down in May was carried out faithfully until the end of July. By that date, however, the demands for shipping to move men and equipment to the Pacific were so great as to preclude the movement of medical units to the United States for disbandment. Early in August, therefore, it was decided to inactivate Category IV units in the theater. All transfers to the Pacific were abruptly halted with announcement of the Japanese surrender on 14 August, and personnel thereafter were shipped to the United States as rapidly as possible on the basis of point scores alone.

None of this was easy to understand. Lloyd Wagner wrote in "And There Shall Be Wars", printed in 2000:
I tried to explain to the folks at home how the point system worked, since they, as farmers, just thought that since I'd been gone so long, I should be among the first to come home. The point system was a little more complicated , though, as it had been devised by Army intelligence rather than farmer intelligence. The point system ran this way: any outfit which had men with at least 85 points< got to send the same amount of men home as outfits who had men with more than 85 points. Though I had 104 points, Army intelligence did not consider that to be any more than 85 points, or to put it another way, they considered 104 to be equal to 85. It was hard to explain that to the folks back home, as I could hardly figure it out myself.

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