06 July, 2012

06 July 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
6 July, 1945      0900
Nancy
My dearest sweetheart –

Well – another work day in Nancy to get rid of, dear – so that I can be one day nearer you. We’ve been pushing them by us for a long time now. I think I started when I left New York. It seems like such a waste of time – but what can one guy do when he’s bucking a few million others? I’ll just have to take my turn, I guess. But don’t fail to yell out at me, sweetheart, as I finally get by the turnstile.

I ran all over this damned town yesterday looking for a new spot for our Dispensary – and it was impossible to get a thing. I found an available vacant house – but hell, it was high up on a hill in the outskirts of town. It was very nice – but not for us. So I’m going to sit tight for now and see what happens. We’re bound to end up in the right spot, and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

Last night was interesting. You remember of course that we’re here on an M.P. mission. Well we have a lot of Airborne troops in town – and they’re as tough and rotten as they come. They’re fed a lot of rough stuff in combat and the trouble is they carry it on right now. Well there have been so many “incidents” – that it has caused a lot of discussion among the French. There have been several brawls between French soldiers and these paratroopers and there’s no doubt that the American Army is losing face every day in the eyes of the French. At any rate – every officer in battalion has to patrol the streets each evening to check on the M.P.’s to see if they’re carrying out their assignments – i.e. – every officer except the chaplain and myself. We went out together just to look around – unofficially. They were picking up G.I.’s by the dozens, and we were surprised to find that the Commanding General of the Airborne division – a two-starrer – was also on patrol.

I got two old letters from you, darling – the 3rd and 8th of June. The latter contained the clipping about the smell in Salem and Joe Harrington’s tirade. I know him – and he’s just like that; but he does get results. So you wonder about living in such a place! Maybe it will all be cleaned up by then. Anyway – I don’t even remember smelling anything at all and I lived only a stone’s throw away from the North River.

Say I found your note about this Bob Herfort interesting – not that I knew him but because he was with the 3rd Armored. They landed after we did – by a few weeks as I remember it, and they joined the 7th Corps. We were closely associated with them from that time on until the end of the war; an excellent outfit. I’m glad he’s doing all right and he’s lucky to have landed himself a decent job. I guess with everything I did get out of the war – I lost out on one of the important things – my profession, but it’s much too late to worry about it now. I’ll do something about it at a later date. Hell, I’m still an MD – with a license to practice – and that’s something, isn’t it?

And I have a sweetheart waiting for me – whom I love dearly. How about that? Well, I’ll tell you – that fact is enough to compensate for anything and don’t think I’ll ever forget it sweetheart – I love you, you love me and that’s a swell combination.

Have to stop now, darling. By the way – Pete keeps sending his regards and I’ve been forgetting to mention it. For now – so long, dear, love to the folks –
And all my deepest love,
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about the WWII Victory Medal
The World War II Victory Medal was established by an Act of Congress on 6 July 1945. The medal commemorates military service during World War II and was awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of the Government of the Philippine Islands, who served on active duty, or as a reservist, between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.

The World War II Victory Medal was first issued as a ribbon, and was referred to simply as the “Victory Ribbon.” By 1946, a full medal had been established which was referred to as the World War II Victory Medal. The medal's front depicts Nike standing victorious, holding a broken sword, representing the broken power of the Axis, with one foot upon the helmet of Mars, the Roman god of war, representing the end of the conflict. Behind Nike is a sunburst, representing the dawn of peace. The reverse recalls the "Four Freedoms" speech by President Roosevelt, with a laurel sprig, surrounded by the words "United States of America", and the dates of the conflict, "1941-1945". The edges of the ribbon revisit the multi-colored rainbow ribbon of the Allied World War I Victory Medal. This again honors all the allied nations. The wide red center represents the new sacrifice of blood by World War II combatants. The thin white lines separating the central red band from the outer multi-colored bands represent the rays of new hope, two of them signifying that this was the second global conflict. The twin rainbow stripes, suggested by the World War I Victory Medal, allude to the peace following a storm.

No attachments were authorized although some veterans received the medal with an affixed bronze star which, according to rumors at the time, was to distinguish those who served in combat from those who did not. However, no official documentation has ever been found to support this supposition. Although eligible for its award, many World War II veterans never actually received the medal since many were discharged prior to the medal's institution.

On the other end of the spectrum, there was no minimum service time limit for the issuance of the World War II Victory Medal, and the National Personnel Records Center has reported some cases of service members receiving the award for simply a few days of service. As the Second World War ended on 2 September 1945, there are also cases of service members, who had enlisted in 1946, receiving the decoration without having been a veteran of World War II. The reason for this late date is that President Harry S. Truman did not declare an official end of hostilities until the last day of 1946.

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