13 June, 2012

13 June 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 339 % Postmaster, N.Y.
13 June, 1945      0825

Dearest darling Wilma –

How do you like getting the news straight these days, without having to search for hints? Or without having to wait until it was no longer news? Let me tell you, darling, it’s a heck of a relief to me, too, because I used to hate to live up to the letter of the law – but I guess the Army knew best. Anyway – now you can get it right off the griddle.

We leave for Reims on Saturday – the 16th – early a.m. and we take 3 days to make the trip. We stop the first night at Giessen – Germany – and probably camp out. The next stop is at Mainz – and we go through Luxembourg – getting a crack at one more little country over here. The next day – we should hit our destination. There’s still no news whatsoever of what our job will be when we arrive, although the advance party takes off Thursday, and will get all the details. (Excuse the variety in paper, dear.)

Now – here’s the big piece of news for this morning: we heard – practically officially – that this outfit will be or is – in Category 4. At war’s end – all outfits were to be classified into 4 Categories. I’m not sure of the actual classification but one Cat. was for outfits going directly to the Pacific, two – for shipment to the States and then to the Pacific, three – I believe – for Occupational Troops, and 4 – relax, honey – for return to the States to be de-activated, disbanded, broken up – with most of the men ready for discharge – and the others – assigned to replacement pools. For the individual enlisted man in this outfit – that’s a great piece of news. For me – I don’t know. If I continue to stay with the outfit – I’m adding on good time – and the chances seem pretty darn good that when we’ve finally broken up – I’d be reassigned to a job in the States. That’s what the Col. seems to think – and so do I. If I don’t – I’ll write the Surgeon General if I have to. If they’re all out of M.C.’s – O.K. I’ll go to the Pacific willingly. But if a lot of guys are still hanging around in soft spots – I want a crack at that, too. Right now, though, my chances look pretty good – and needless to say, Sweetheart, I’m tickled silly.

Another outfit in our AA group was put to Cat. 2 – but they happen to be a self-propelled outfit – which means their guns are mounted right on trucks – like tanks, whereas our guns have to be drawn by truck – and from what we gather – there’s little use for our type of outfit in the Pacific. So that little fact alone may have well been good enough reason for staying with the old 438th through all this time. I hope so.

One drawback, darling, is that they probably won’t rush us home and give priority to outfits headed for the Pacific. But things are really on schedule over here – and outfits are moving out right and left. Anyway – a couple of months or so will help my case. As of the 16th – it will be 19 months; I’ll have a stronger argument if I’ve been overseas 20 months or more. So – please be patient, dear, because when I do get home – I should stay. What we ought to do is get married during my leave, and then just be ready to go anywhere in the U.S. they send me to. That’s gong to be a lot of fun, dear – and I only hope it works out as I visualize it.

I got a V-mail of 21 May yesterday, dear, from you – but I had already heard from you as of 1 June. But I do love to hear from you – of any date. Thanks for calling Mrs. Freeman. I wonder how he’s coming along. He never mentions a word about his condition.

I sent you another package yesterday, but I don’t think you’ll get much of a kick out of it. Oh – there’s a candlestick in it – that is nice – but I never was able to buy the pair. The rest of the package consists of maps – maps issued to me from all the way back in Normandy – for purposes of reconnaissance, where I had to visit the batteries, etc. It was very easy to get into enemy territory in those days if you didn’t have the enemy lines plotted in. They won’t mean much to you – but when I get home and we one day have plenty of time – I’ll be able to point out where we’ve been etc.

In case I forget to mention it – remember we’ll be on the road for 3 or 4 days – and that you can expect a gap after the letter of the 15th. But I’ll pick up where I left off – as soon as we arrive, sweetheart, because I sure do love to write you. I’ll have to run along now and do some work. Take care, darling, and be well. Love to the folks and remember –

I’m yours alone

[Click to Enlarge]

Approximate Route from Leipzig to Reims
A=Leipzig, B=Geissen, C=Mainz, D=Bingen, E=Trier,
F=Luxembourg, G=Stenay, H=Vouziers, I=Reims

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