21 May, 2012

21 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
21 May, 1945      0840
Leipzig, Germany
My dearest sweetheart –

It is now 1230. I got as far as the “My” and was called away. I was busy until lunch-time and I’ve just returned to my room. Before I go any farther, darling, I want to remind you that I love you so strongly that it hurts, dear, and knowing you love me too – enhances my feelings ten-fold. So, we’ll get married, darling, and live a happy life. That’s certainly putting everything on a simple basis, isn’t it. Oh, I know there’ll be more to it than that, but the fundamental thing is that we do love each other and can you think of a better way to start?

I enjoyed so much your letter of 11 May which I got yesterday – particularly about the plans various people are making for a wedding – our wedding. I get a little scared at the thought of a bunch of people etc – but there’s time enough to think of that. Barbara does sound cute. Gosh – she must have grown since I saw her last. She never was a beautiful child – but I’ll bet it’s hard finding a more lovable one. That’s the kind I want, darling. How about you?

I was sorry to read about Granny Br. You had mentioned her illness before and I had neglected to remark about it. I hope she is better – and when you see her next, send her my regards. And tell Granny Be. it’s perfectly all right if she doesn’t write; I understand. I just like to jot her a note from time to time. And that reminds me – I haven’t written Mother B. in some time. She was ill and I didn’t want her to feel that she had to be answering my letters. I’ll drop her a line one of these days soon.

I sure am proud of your Bridge-playing ability – and I hope you take it easy on me. I haven’t – we haven’t played in some while – what with the battalion spread out as it was. And even when we were playing, remember, dear, that I’m a novice. Guess I’ll have to start reading up on the stuff if the Alexanders are going to hold their own.

And boy – would I ever like to spend a week-end with you down on the Cape! Sweetheart – we’d just have to get married first, that’s all. It looks as if I won’t quite be able to make it this summer – although one never knows for sure. I’m willing of course – although every month I’m here gives me more overseas time, progresses the Jap war and gives me a respectable talking point once I get home and try to stay in the States. Gosh we’ll have busy days, darling – because don’t forget – I owe you something like 154,000 kisses – and that ain’t hay – and don’t think either – that you won’t get paid off, with interest. And that’s compounded interest, too. It’s going to be wonderful, sweetheart, getting back and being with you; and we’re going to make up – in full measure – for all we’ve missed because of our separation.

And now, dear, so long for awhile. Give my love to the folks – and

All my deepest love to you –
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about What Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz Said

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

In an article published in the TIME magazine issue on 21 May 1945, (Vol. XLV, No. 21), titled "World Battlefronts, THE WAR: No. 1 Priority", Chester Nimitz set the tone for what was to come in the war with Japan. Here is the article:
Cover of TIME magazine, 21 May 1945

"The Japs are going to get plenty," said Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, in a press interview last week. "The tempo of the air war will be stepped up very, very much. They will be hit by carrier as well as land-based aircraft. We will give them everything we've got."

This week the Jap radio underscored the Admiral's words by announcing that a tremendous force of 900 carrier planes was attacking airfields and other installations on Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu, making 14 strikes between dawn and 2 p.m. Right along with it, Japan was catching the heaviest punches ever thrown by the B-29 Superforts.

Japan was now the No.1 priority in the Allied war effort, and she was bitterly tasting what that meant even before the full overwhelming weight of the U.S. and Britain could be marshaled against her.

Worse than Germany. Lieutenant General Barney Giles, new Army Air Force commander in the Pacific, predicted more bombs for Japan's 148,000 square miles than had fallen on Germany's 215,000.

In England, Jimmy Doolittle gave up his command of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, and confidently forecast the happy day when as many as 2,000 U.S. planes would hit Japan in a single attack. Doolittle's big air force had wound up its war with 2,400 Fortresses and Liberators (the new "mediums") plus a considerable number of others in repair depots and reserve pools, and 1,200 fighters. Asked just what he expected to do in the Pacific, he answered, "I wish I knew." But it would be surprising if Bomber Doolittle and his crack operations officer, Major General Orvil Anderson, did not have plenty to do there.

The main, time-consuming Allied problem in the Pacific is building up bases and supply. It takes three cargo ships to do in the Pacific what one could do in the Atlantic. Air forces and service troops are being moved first.

Within three months there should be enough bases to accommodate all the air units that can be sent from Europe. Okinawa, four times the size of Guam, promises to be a fine base, even better than preliminary U.S. appraisals indicated. Within six months the Philippines should be in shape to take all the ground forces which can be redeployed in that time for the invasion of the Jap heartland.

How Much Can the Japs Take? By the time the invasion is ready, Allied air power should have smashed Japan's industry and transport, and she should be thoroughly shriveled by combined air and naval blockade. She might not be able or willing to keep on fighting. When a reporter asked Admiral Nimitz last week whether he believed that invasion would, in the end, be necessary, Nimitz replied: "I don't know. I don't know how much the Japs can take. They have seen what has happened in Europe, the wreckage of Germany. They know what is in store for them. ... All I do know is that it is necessary to go through with the planning of the invasion of Japan."

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