27 May, 2012

27 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
27 May, 1945      1125
Leipzig

My dearest darling Wilma –

I’m a little late in writing this morning – for 2 or 3 reasons – but I’ve just returned to my room and I should be undisturbed until lunchtime, anyway.

When I got back from visiting Dog battery yesterday p.m. I found the swellest bunch of mail in a long while. There were 3 from you – the 8th, 13, 14 of May. One was a sort of sad one – but I liked it just the same. You apologized for having missed writing me a day or two before. Hell, girl – I understand and you don’t have to mention it, dear. I’ve often wondered how you’ve managed to do so well. And that’s fiddle-sticks about my letters being more interesting. If they are for you – that’s good, but don’t forget, your letters are that way for me. Remember also that where a married woman, Nin for example, can’t find enough to write to her husband – the circumstances are vastly different. Not only are we not married, (yet) we didn’t even have a long courtship. So every letter I get from you, sweetheart, helps me explore you, know you better – regardless of what you think about the letter. I hope my letters do the same for you.

I also heard from Mom B. – a sweet letter thanking me for the flowers. I’ll write her soon and please make sure that she understands she doesn’t have to answer every time I write. There were letters from Sgt. Freeman, Dad A, Steve and Barb Tucker. The letter acknowledged the receipt of a check I sent her for flowers for Mrs. Tucker. I was going to do the ordering myself – thru Salem – and when the time came – I couldn’t for the life of me remember the florist – So Barbara handled it for me – thru Schenectady, no less.

I was glad to read you had had a nice evening out at my house – the night the Rabbi was over. Dad A had written about it and said he thought everyone had a nice evening. The Rabbi is an interesting man. I really don’t know him too well. I met him in Salem, belonged to the Synagogue – but I wasn’t very active. Then he ran into Dad A. in Dorchester and got my address and wrote me. I’ve always answered. I think Salem lost a good man.

In your letter of 14 May, darling, you still hadn’t heard from me in May and you were so anxious to receive a VE day letter. It’s not very long ago – but honestly I don’t remember just what I wrote – but I think you’ll agree I write a bit differently now. I somehow was afraid to wish for too much while the war was on; I was afraid of the consequences in case I got hit. It affected all of us – and I was no exception. If I never let you or the family suspect that, I’m very happy. But with war’s end – I felt free, I felt I could tell you and ask you more. I want to marry you, darling, and the sooner the better. It’s a damned important thing – marriage – and in our case – there’s a lot of room for discussion. Grammy B. was cute in her suggestion, too. I wonder how the consensus of opinion at home runs – anyway. Give me an idea, will you darling, so I can begin sharpening up on the arguments.

Well, honey, I’ve got to go eat or I won’t get anything. I’m enclosing some more photos. Some of them that I’ll be sending the next few days will be rather old. I came across a couple of rolls that I didn’t know I had – one from Paris, the other along the Rhine. Say – how’s that Scrapbook – and am I sending you too many pictures?

All for now, dear. Love to the folks. I love you, sweetheart, and never, never forget that.
All my deepest and sweetest love –
Greg


* TIDBIT *

about News of the Japanese-Chinese Conflict

On 27 May 1945 Nationalist Chinese troops won an important victory in southern China by capturing the city of Nanning, the capital city of the Kwangsi Province. The loss meant that the 200,000 Japanese troops in Burma, Thailand, Indochina, and Malaya were cut off from the Japanese Army in China. The following article, titled "Chihkiang Loss is Blow to Japanese Hopes", headlined the Hump Express (Vol. 1, No. 21), published by the India China Division, Air Transport Command on 7 June 1945.

Hq., United States Chinese Combat Command, China - Ragged, war-weary troops of the Chinese armies have successfully overcome the Japanese threat to the forward airbase and town of Chihkiang.

For the first time the Japanese have been denied an important objective. They had been willing to commit a large force to the taking of this area, and they failed. Many military observers believe this may mark a turning point of Jap conquest in China. Not only did the Allied soldiers hold the enemy at Chihkiang, stopping them and turning the attack into a rout; Chinese troops have also entered Nanning, important point on that vital Japanese routes of supply and scene of a former 14th AAF airbase.

Troops Flown In

Although credit for the victory must go to the hard-pressed local Chinese troops, the defensive action (and the resultant offense) would not have been possible without the reserve support of the 14th and 22nd Divisions of the Chinese New Sixth Army. This complete army, including military supplies, rations, ammunition, mules, horses and other equipment, was transported to the combat zone by planes of ICD (Intercontinental Division) under the direction of the China wing, marking the first airborne transport of an entire army in world history.

Seasoned troops of the Chinese New Sixth Army
wait at Chanyi Airfield to be airlifted to Chihchiang.

Operating into Chihkiang when the Japanese snipers were at the very edge of the airstrip, (one fighter pilot was shot while he sat in front of the alert shack) flight crews seldom left the planes. Upon landing the planes were met by servicing units for refueling while the troops and equipment were off-loaded and then deployed immediately to strategic points. While the planes roared in and out, American advisors, liaison personnel and technical units (including hospitals) were working in the forward lines, assisting the Chinese in the operations.

Nanning is Vital

The Chihkiang campaign is one of the best examples of Chinese-American coordinated operation since the Stilwell Road action by the same Chinese 6th Army that was flown to reserve positions in this recent battle. (Composed of General Chiang Kai-shek's prize troops, the 6th Army is advised, led and tutored by units of the Chinese Combat Command which teach the troops the usage of American equipment in the field.)

The recapture of the vital city of Nanning, approximately 330 miles west of Canton and 80 miles north of the Gulf of Tonkin, is regarded as important for three reasons. It is a terminal point for traffic westward of the West (Yu) River from Canton and Hong Kong; it is a junction point on the main road connecting Jap-held French Indo-China and Japanese forces in central China, and before its capture by the Nips, it was an important 14th AAF base.

Nanning, in south central Kwangsi province, was entered on Saturday by a strong Chinese force, attacking from the north, and by eight o'clock Sunday morning was completely in Chinese hands. The Japanese withdrew in two columns, one moving northward, the other to the southwest.

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