02 July, 2012

02 July 1945


438th AAA AW BN

APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
2 July, 1945      1045
Nancy

My dearest sweetheart –

I’m sitting in front of a fireplace right now – and there’s a swell fire going. Yes – it’s cold enough now to have a fire. The weather has been rotten the past few days – and the more I’m away from New England, the more I realize that New England’s weather isn’t any worse to take than that of England, France, Belgium or Germany. They all have weather just as inconsistent as ours.

Today, darling, completes three years of active service in the Army. It hardly seems possible it has been so long. I can remember very vividly the morning I said “goodbye” to the folks at Winthrop, got into my car and headed for Camp Edwards. I was already homesick that afternoon – it was a Friday – and I got that week-end off and headed right back to Winthrop. And was I green! I’ve learned and seen a heck of a lot since then, dear – but I’m glad that the greatest part of my Army career is behind and not ahead of me. Starting tomorrow – I actually receive a 5% increase in my pay. Just think – $10.00 more per month! In the old days – that used to mean a stripe on the left arm for every 3 year period in the Army, a so-called “hash-mark”. They don’t do it now.

Talking about wearing things on the arm – reminds me that all combat troops that are returning to rear areas for duty – as we did – don’t like the regulation which says we have to wear the shoulder patch of the Zone of Communication. We have been wearing the A – of First Army and proud of it – just as are the men who wear their Division patches. I understand that we’ll be allowed to wear our old patches on the right shoulder. It’s just that having been combat all the way – we hate to have our uniforms show us as rear echelon soldiers. It’s impossible to tell by campaign stars – because we were amazed when we came to Reims and found that the Com.2 soldiers had a campaign star for the Battle of the Rhineland – and they never left Reims. It makes you kind of mad. And so you can tell a combat soldier these days only by the patch he wears.

Yesterday was a long long day. I was kind of blue, sweetheart – but hell – what can you do about it? All in all – I’ve got so much to be thankful for – I’m not going to let myself start complaining. Most important of all is the fact that I have your love, sweetheart, and that’s enough to compensate for anything. And loving you is a wonderful feeling, too dear. It’s so satisfying – the realization of it. I love you so strongly and sincerely; I just want to come home and show you. So when I’m blue – I tell myself all that – and I feel a little better.

We managed to break up some of the monotony by playing some Bridge in the p.m. I read a little, looked through a G.I. French grammar –and then in the evening we finally went to a movie – “Keep Your Powder Dry” – with Turner, Laraine Day etc. – the same old thing, but it helped pass a couple of hours. We got back early and went to bed.

I’ve got a little work this p.m. One of our civilian help at officers’ quarters has Syphilis. I thought I’d do a routine Wasserman the other day – just for the heck of it – and sure enough – I got one positive. We’ll get rid of him, of course, but I’ll have to contact the French medical authorities and see that he gets treated.

So – so long for now, sweetheart. Be well – and patient – and send my love to the folks. And for you, dear –
All my deepest love and devotion –
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about "Keep Your Powder Dry"


Here is the review written by Bosley Crowther and published in The New York Times on 12 March 1945.
If they do anything to people for maligning the Women's Army Corps they will certainly do whatever it is to Metro for "Keep Your Powder Dry." For this manifest little indignity, which came to Loew's Criterion on Saturday, makes the distaff members of our Army look like cats in a Hollywood boarding school. Or rather, you might say it makes them look like well-advertised movie stars performing in a thoroughly foolish fiction, only dressed up in Wac uniforms.

The three girls most prominently in evidence are Lana Turner as a former night club hound, Laraine Day as a wised-up general's daughter and Susan Peters as an humble soldier's wife. And the idea is that Miss Turner and Miss Day feud throughout their training stage, while Miss Peters sits sweetly on the sidelines and acts very noble now and then. Of course, in the end, the feuding trainees make up in a burst of gallantry, receive their officer commissions and march bravely off to war.

Mary McCall Jr. (obviously "junior") and George Bruce are the authors of the script, which they must have dashed off on the doorsteps of the studio beauty shop. The situations and dialogue are of that general atmosphere. And Edward Buzzell directed in a studiously beauty-shop style. Miss Turner looks very come-onish in her "perfect 12" uniforms and handles her neatly stacked torso in a plainly unmilitary way. Miss Day plays with ramrod severity and Miss Peters is the soft and wistful type. Some real WACs appear in the background — on a meekly-remote process screen.
And now, the trailer:


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