17 September, 2012

17 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
17 September, 1945
Nancy      1630

My dearest darling Wilma –

This will be a shortie – but I do want to wish you and your folks – a happy and healthy New Year and I hope I’m going to be around soon to help you make it happy. I prayed for us today, sweetheart, and spent a good part of the day in the Synagogue. Services were very good and the Chaplain gave an excellent sermon. Last nite I went to Kol Nidre services, too, and I enjoyed that too. I’m not much of a Jew, I suppose, but when I do go to Synagogue I really enjoy it and I always feel definitely uplifted spiritually.

The weather has been Spring-like today and it hasn’t helped make this infernal waiting any easier. The only consolation lies in the fact that the quotas seem to be going out very regularly now. And the latest in our outfit is that 5 more officers leave Friday next, i.e. the 21st of September – and that cleans up all officers down to 94. That’s really something, dear, because I’m only 12 points away right now. Gee this place is going to be like a morgue when this next batch goes. They include some of the original 438’ers and I hate to see them go. It’s a shame the Army has to rip outfits apart – the way they’re doing it to this one. There ought to have been some plan to move an outfit, en masse, back to the States for demobilization. It means that each of us goes out alone – or with one other. The only other officer with 82 is Jim Copleston – a swell fellow, by the way – but he lives in New York – and the latest dope is that they separate you right here at the repple depples before you sail – that is – New Yorkers sail for Dix, for example, while I would sail for Standish or Devens. That’s not official – but it’s what we’ve been hearing. Fundamentally, darling, I don’t give a damn. I merely want to get on board a boat headed for the U.S.A. and home and everything I left behind. It seems slow, of course, but it’s coming closer and closer – and boy how I love that thought!

And boy how I love you and everything you mean to me! I’m so sure that everything is going to work out all right, sweetheart, and that we’re going to be happily married et al. I know I love you and that you love me; we’ve waited for each other with sincerity and hope and we just can’t miss. Darn it – I grow so impatient when I write like that. I want to be with you, hold you and kiss you and really feel you’re mine. Again – I can only say soon.

And that’s all for now, darling. I’ve got lots to do right now. Hope to hear from you in the morning. Meanwhile – be well and send my love to the folks –

All my dearest and sincerest love,


about What's in a Word

From TIME magazine, Volume XLVI, Number 12, published on 17 September 1945 come these articles:

"RUSSIA: Eh, Tovarish?"

What should you call people who live in Russia? The New York Herald Tribune last week found that the answer was a little complicated. A "Trib man" went to see Secretary Pavel I. Fedosimov of the Soviet Consulate, and asked: Should his people be called Russians? Not collectively, said Mr. Fedosimov, for they include 149 other nationalities.

Pavel I. Fedosimov
(Later determined to be a spy)

What about Reds? No good for civilians, said Mr. Fedosimov. That applies only to members of the Red Army and the Red Navy — or to pretty girls who are called "reds" when they are apple-cheeked. Comrade, tovarish? Perfectly all right for friends or acquaintances, explained Mr. Fedosimov, but no good for strangers. Then you say grazhdanin (citizen). Soviets, perhaps? No good. That means council.

Mr. Fedosimov thought the best collective phrase was "Soviet peoples." Then he confessed sadly that the Soviet peoples have the same trouble — and persist in calling themselves Russians, even though they know it's wrong. As wrong, he added, as for the citizens of the U.S. to call themselves Americans.

FOREIGN NEWS: Cutlery Please"

By Japanese account, the two-handed swords of their fighting men are sharp enough to cut through cherry blossoms floating toward the earth. On less poetic occasions, they have been known to cut through three bodies in a single sweep. Last week the Japs set out in their own manner to make the world forget the practical uses of their snickersnee.

In a new "interpretation of weapons" under the surrender terms, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that swords, Japan's holiest symbols of power, were no longer to be regarded as weapons. Henceforth, said the Ministry hopefully, they would be "objects of ancient art and cutlery."

Douglas MacArthur paid no noticeable attention. He announced that the 700-year-old blade once sported by General Tomoyuki Yamashita was being sent out to West Point. Annapolis will get the sword once carried by Vice Admiral Denshichi Okochi.

Yamashita's Sword
on Display at West Point

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