22 July, 2012

22 July 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
22 July, 1945      1030
My dearest sweetheart –

It’s Sunday morning and three of us are sitting around the table in our living room writing letters. I’ve already been down to the Dispensary and seen several patients. It’s starting out to be another very hot day. Yesterday was a piperoo and although I had planned to play tennis, I cancelled my plans and just sat around. Boy – I’d have given a lot to have been able to take a dip in the ocean somewhere.

In the evening I decided to stay in and read. I started Somerset Maugham’s “Razor’s Edge” and it’s shaping up as an excellent story. Have you read it, dear? Well I read about 100 pages and then a couple of the fellows dropped in and suggested a walk down town. So we did and visited at the Red Cross. This club by the way is one of the finest I’ve seen since leaving the States and I’ve seen a good many of them. It occupies a lovely building in Place Stanislaus which is reputedly one of the loveliest squares in all Europe. The building was the site of the Art Museum in town and is really comfortable. They have a string ensemble which plays p.m.’s and evenings. You can get cokes with ice or coffee and donuts.

Stanislaus Square, Nancy, France - July 1945
and City Hall today (below)

This afternoon I may play tennis and there’s supposed to be a good movie in town tonight and we may go. There’s been no mail for a couple of days now – but when it comes – it’s quite recent. We’re being told daily not to write Airmail for a while because it’s going by ship and will not be flown. I don’t know how it’s affecting my mail to you, dear, but I’ll make sure you hear from me fairly recently by writing a few V-mails. They definitely are continuing to be flown.

I was sorry to read about Granny B. and hope she continues to improve. Hypertension is such a darned thing to control. After weeks of rest and getting the pressure down – one bit of aggravation or excitement is enough to make it go sky high. I guess a whole lot of people are waiting for our wedding, darling, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to be able to accommodate them. Starting with Barbara and running thru to you Grandmothers – I guess we run the whole gamut of ages, friends and relatives.

And I’m so glad to read that my sister Ruth is doing better. Frankly I was pretty worried. I’m still not sure what she had – but anything around that part of the anatomy is serious, malignant or benign. I haven’t received Lawrence’s new APO yet – and that’s another thing I’m sweating out. I’d rather see him go to Hawaii than to the Philippines – because the latter spot is an advanced replacement and staging area. Well – I can only hope.

Now, darling, I’m becoming confused by the interruptions and noise that’s passing into this room. The boys are drifting back from down town – waiting for lunch. I sure wish you could join me, darling. I’ll stop now for today, dear. Remember – I love you, dearly, sweetheart – and I always will. Love to the folks.
All my sincerest love,


about Scientists Needed

Andrew Russell (Drew) Pearson (1897-1969) was one of the most successful newspaper and radio journalists of his day. His syndicated Washington Merry-Go-Round column was published between 1932 and 1969. American University Library Special Collections Unit holds the typescript copies for the column that the syndicate sent to Pearson's office at the same time the typescripts were distributed to newspapers around the country.

The following is part of a transcript that was released on 22 July 1945 by The Bell Syndicate, Inc.



Washington – What may prove to be one of the most important pieces of legislation in this Congress was quietly introduced in the Senate this week by progressive Warren Magnuson, Democrat, of Washington State. It was a bill to set up a sort of scientist ROTC, or Reserve Corps for Scientists. They would be trained for civilian life, but could be called back to serve their country in time of war. Behind Magnuson's proposal is the tremendous part science played in this war and the fact that scientifically, we were woefully unprepared. Had it not been for the hurriedly organized group of patriotic scientists gathered together under Dr. Vannevar Bush, the country would have been much worse off than it is.

What most people don't realize is that if the war had not ended when it did, German science was ready to give us some severe if not disastrous set-backs. New Nazi weapons might have been able to blow England out of the water. While the Nazi buzz-bomb and the V-2 rocket did ample damage, the Germans had even more dreadful weapons in the works. Allied troops discovered, half concealed underground, a series of giant artillery guns capable of firing over 100 miles.

In the last war, Big Bertha which the Germans fired on Paris did not do much damage because it became overheated and had to be re-bored. But the new German long-range guns fired smaller projectiles, did not heat up so fast, and were arranged in rows, so that taken together they could dump several hundred tons an hour on London – and keep it up day and night. These big guns were ready to go into action when the Allies found them.


In addition, the Nazis had been making more and more progress with their long-range rockets, and there was no doubt that they planned to bomb Boston and New York, given more time. Military observers believe that it was partly the hope that these weapons would be developed in time to disrupt the U.S.A. that kept the Nazis fighting so long.

British experts who have examined the new German weapons more carefully than Americans say that without any doubt the time is not far off when rockets can reach the moon; when they can be built capable of carrying a man and provisions inside. Some military men have already begun studying rocket bases hidden in Alaska, Siberia and Canada which could fire at the great metropolitan cities of New York, London, Berlin, and Moscow.

Another German weapon which the Allies found almost completed inside Germany was a high-speed torpedo boat capable of making around 150 miles an hour. The Nazis planned to man them with one suicide helmsman, load them with explosives, and ram them against battleships. The British say they would have been more deadly than the Jap suicide planes.

All of this convinces scientists that talk of universal conscription and big ground armies is just as out of date as old-fashioned cavalry. The war of tomorrow – if the United Nations is not able to stop it – will be a war of science.


Unfortunately, college men have been set back in scientific studies during the last three years, while in the Army. But Senator Magnuson proposed that the Federal Government now establish educational funds to subsidize special studies for men who later would form a scientific reserve corps in case of war.

Note - as a member then of the House Naval Affairs Committee, Magnuson recalls that in 1938 the House appropriated $15,000,000 for the Navy to use for scientific research, including anti-submarine devices. The bill actually passed the House, but when it reached the Senate, the admirals testified that this scientific research was unnecessary. They didn't like the fact that it was to be civilian scientists rather than Annapolis men. As a result, the $15,000,000 was killed by the Senate and when we first entered the war, U.S. shipping was crucified by submarines.

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