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Archive for the ‘Germany Jan 1945’ Category

Yet another new job for Dad – creating maps for orientation meetings for the troops! Now this is a job he’s very excited about! A few interesting lines about how he’s happy that Mary is giving up smoking, and how they only get 7 packs a week!

27 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Hello, sweetie – received your 14 Jan ltr today, but am still missing those from 6 Jan on. Also Xmas cards from Ruth W., Mercedes & Dolores (whom I’ll write) and ltr from Jerry Brookman = my playwright friend of basic days (Remember “Beachead” at Crowder?) Glad your folks like the house. but I’ve never worried about your judgment. Look who you married! I’m a very happy character! Last night I was put in charge of the Orientation meetings. The Capt at Hq evidently told the Sgt over here that I was interested in such stuff – so last night I started off with a short talk on Russia, and by the time I had to leave (to go on guard) things were really going hot! But the Lt said it was fine, so I’m very pleased. And today he took me to Group Hq for a meeting on Army policy of making U.S. soldier not only best equipped, etc, in the World, but also the best informed. So my job now will be setting up maps with lines marking fronts (& keeping it current – daily) and etc which I will explain next ltr. They’ve made me feel important and I’m going to do a job! I feel a great!! And I LOVE you
you-know-who

29 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Good evening, my darling – So you’re giving up smoking? I must admit that I’m pleased. Nothing wrong with it, and no sensible reason, but it will be nice. My cripes – “nice”! Sounds awfully silly of me when put in words – but I’m just a little glad for the shortage. We’re getting 7 packs a week now which will leave me about 1 pack to spare. My “map corner” is coming along fine. Found two huge (about 5 ft by 7 ft) drawing boards, with lights on top, and counter balanced so that the whole business raises from floor level to about five feet up! Took a 2 1/2 ton truck and five other guys to get ’em here, but it’s a swell set up! Have the maps up, and partially marked, but I’m going to add little bits of info, such as; Landed Guadal Canal such & such date, etc. Using bright colors for contrast. And to drag ’em in (the old “shill” come-on) have some luscious pin-ups. Plan to change regularly. Have had wonderful co-operation from everybody. The 1st Sgt wired up the lights for me! I should be a well read guy, too, because I peruse all the mags & papers for pertinent points of interest. Can’t help missing you & Karen – terribly. All my love
Rollie

31 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Hello, Baby – Gosh darn the mail situation! No mail yesterday, and only a TIMES and EQUITY today. Can’t understand what’s happened to it all in the past six weeks. I’m at least a couple dozen ltrs short! Two good reasons for it being bad at Xmas time, but that’s all straightened out now. Well – can only hope, I guess. Map corner is coming along fine. Am getting the best co-operation from everyone. Beginning to look right snappy, and more guys drift over to see what’s going on every day. Main problem right now is getting the right kind of maps – but am working on the angles. Yesterday afternoon it was getting a good start on a blizzard, with fine, loose snow. But by 12:30 last night (when I was finishing my 2 1/2 hour guard) it was raining. And today most of our five inches of snow disappeared.

As in last Aug, the rumors & betting of “when it’ll be over” are going around. Keep thinking about “the day I walk in”! Can’t think of anything to compare with it right now. But will settle for a ltr from you – my very own darling
Pappy

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Dad’s been moved to the 3513th Ordinance MAM (medium automotive maintenance) Company, but has no idea why! He talks a little bit about what he’s learning, but mainly says it’s nice working with “regular” guys! When I put this info into a search engine, what comes up is info pertaining to the 9th U.S. Army. So once again, this shows that Dad was part of this very large group. This link http://www.xixcorps.nl/Ninth_U.S._Army_January_1945.htm gives a detailed description of what was going on at this point in the war for the 9th Army division. For someone like myself, who is just feeling my way along through my Dad’s letters, it’s daunting how complex the whole coordination of the troops was.

Letter to Mary
25 Jan 1945
Germany

Good evening, darling – This darn mail situation gets worse as we go along. No mail – again – for last two days. That makes about two weeks now, doesn’t it? Rumor has it that a ship with 50 million ltrs has arrived, but we wouldn’t know. Thank gosh the Russians are still going like crazy – at least we get some good news.     I think I’m going to like it fine here. Right now I’m learning my way around in the “parts supply section”. There are thousands of articles from nuts & bolts to whole engines – each with a number such as AE-17-B-2420 etc! It’ll take me a few days to get ’em all straight! I’m working with a T/5 by the name of Benjamin Franklin Borger. I asked him his first name today, and he said “Frank. everybody calls me ‘Ben’ – but my name is B.F.B. Frank!” I call him Frank – and like him fine. The CO & 1st sgt seem like regular guys & the chow is OK. So what more could I ask? Well – maybe you & Karen – but I don’t think you’d like it. But I love YOU
Pappy

Letter to Frank
1402 East Fir Street, Seattle, Wash
25 Jan 1945

Dear Dad – Haven’t heard from you in about a month. Can understand it very well, however, as have had no mail in past two weeks! Expect a big bundle any day. You’ll notice that I have a new address. 3513th Ordinance MAM (medium automotive maintenance) Company – and you know as much about why I’m here as I do! Day before yesterday the Bu. sgt called me in and said “Neibauer, I don’t know what the hell this is all about, but here are orders transferring you to one of our Co’s”. So here I am about a block away from Hq!  I’m working in the “part supply” section right now. You know what a parts sect. in a garage is like? Same thing, practically, here – except we can pick up & move in an hours time. Haven’t seen enough yet to know, but if 1st impressions are any good, I think I’m going to like it here. The CO and 1st Sgt and guys I’ve worked with seem like regulars – chow is good, & I’ve brought my bed with me, so what more could I ask? Except to be home! Love to you, Aunt Ag & kids
Your son, Rollin

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21 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Hello, Sweetie – Finally got Moris & your folks Xmas pkgs – and a V mail from Rene. First mail in five days. Haven’t had a chance to open the pkgs yet. Will before I finish this ltr. Certainly wish there’d been ltrs from  you, but they’ll be along, I guess. (2 hr lapse of time for work, supper & opening pkgs). Both pkgs were really swell! Mom sent one of those heavy silver “name” bracelets, shave lotion, jigsaw puzzle ltr, candy, sox, soap (extra fancy F&N) and handkerchiefs. You probably know what your folks sent (the tip off is the size 13 socks – keerect – my Dad invariably flatters me, with, for instance the size 9 bedroom slippers) and the photo case, books et al are mighty fine. As for the cookies – excellent! You gotta git agoin’ if you want to keep up to your mother (now I’m going to write your mother & tell her the same – if I can just get you  two fighting to send me the best cookies – I’ll do all right!!) Both boxes were beautifully done up & not the least bit smashed. A great pleasure.

but I’ll be more happy when your mail comes more regularly. And how about pictures? I miss you guys. Be a good girl – write often – here’s all my love
Rollie

 

22 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Hello, Mary darling – Here it is a very good day (even tho I didn’t get any mail) – look at the date! And I’ve just come from seeing “Rhapsody in Blue” – a 3 hour movie – and I’d go back to see it again tomorrow if I had a chance! A fine production, really – all the way through. Only lightly sentimental where it could have been maudlin. Carnovsky does a darn good job as Gershwins father – and Herbert Rudley does all right as his brother. Whoever the kid is who plays G.G is very good. You should see it when it comes around, honey – if only for Oscar Levant! Never saw him play himself better! What a production! Should run at the Rivoli for a year!

Not a darn thing new here, baby – except I’m extremely disappointed not to have been able to see Catherine Cornell who wasn’t too far away in “Barretts of Wimpole St”. Tried every way I could to get there, but they wouldn’t let me go. Wrote your folks last night, thanking them for the Xmas box. That was very nice of them. Hope you’re all having a grand time right now. How I’d love to be there – with you & Karen – Honey
Love, Rollie

23 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Hello, Sweetie – Please note the new address! It’s a big mystery to me. This afternoon the sgt called me in and said “Neibauer, I don’t know what this is all about, but here are the orders transferring you to one of our companies!” And here I am at the 3513th Ord MAM (medium automotive maintenance) Co! Bu is only about a block away at the time being, so moving was no problem – half hour later I am here. Have no idea what I’ll do here. Will find out in the morning. A very funny business.     This is one of the best co’s in the business, however, and the fellow around me in the barracks have been very nice, and I’m sure I’ll like it once I get straightened around. My whole Army career seems to be concerned with getting acquainted with one new bunch of guys after another! Start addressing me here, now, darling – meantime I’ll pick up my mail at Bu. Got a Xmas card from Al Bloomingdale today, but that was all. Hey – I love ya, don’t I? Pappy

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This last group of letters from Dad have had very little substance, most of his conversation is focused on whether or not he’s received mail and wishing he was home. He made one reference to not having anything to say because he can’t discuss what they’re doing militarily. Here’s what wikipedia has to say about what was happening in January 1945 on the Western Front in Germany:

Winter counter-offensives

Main article: Battle of the Bulge

“American soldiers taking up defensive positions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.

The Germans had been preparing a massive counter-attack in the West since the Allied breakout from Normandy. The plan called Wacht am Rhein (“Watch on the Rhine”) was to attack through the Ardennes and swing North to Antwerp, splitting the American and British armies. The attack started on December 16 in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Defending the Ardennes were troops of the U.S. First Army. Initial successes in bad weather, which gave them cover from the Allied air forces, resulted in German penetration of over 50 miles (80 km) to within less than 10 miles (16 km) of the Meuse river. However, having been taken by surprise, the Allies regrouped and the Germans were stopped by a combined air and land counterattack which eventually pushed them back to their starting points by January 25, 1945.

The Germans launched a second, smaller offensive (Nordwind) into Alsace on New Year’s Day, 1945. Aiming to recapture Strasbourg, the Germans attacked the 6th Army Group at multiple points. Because Allied lines had become severely stretched in response to the crisis in the Ardennes, holding and throwing back the Nordwind offensive was a costly affair that lasted almost four weeks. The culmination of Allied counter-attacks restored the front line to the area of the German border and collapsed the Colmar Pocket.”

13 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Hot ziggity – 3 ltrs from you & one from Mom today! Two of yours Dec 28th (that’s really fine – 2 a day!) and Jan 1st. I’m so glad that you finally got my box from Eng (only 7 mo. for that pkg!!) with my good old hair brushes – but can understand your feelings at that time. I’m sorry, darling, but you stop worrying. You know me. Rough & tough. Poor li’l kid. Things kinda piled up on you there for a while, didn’t they?   Speaking of Bill & Ellen’s spare bedroom – oh me – I can hardly stand it! Your top coat sounds like a honey. Wish I could see you in it. Or out of it!    Haven’t you read a ltr about the bracelets yet? Strange. Yes, send one to Mom. She’d like it. You should have lots more of those Dutch kerns by the time you get this. Dispose of as you wish.   Karen sounds more wonderful all the time. I love to hear about how she feeds the cat and puts on own shoes, etc. Stick in all you can about her, darling. Gee, but it’s good to get ltrs like these. Brings back fine memories. I particularly remember Bill & Ellens. And do you remember the Avery Hotel? and the Marseilles? Oh me oh me ohhh
Pappy

15 Jan 1945 V-Mail
Germany

Dearest Mary – read your Dec 7 letter today. Ain’t mail mixed up, though? So Bar is still kidding everybody along? but who is she kidding? How long can that sex of hers last? And then where is she? Poor darn ol’ Bar! Do you suppose she’ll ever grow up? I hope so. She could be a swell gal if she only had 1/2 as much “upstairs” as in the front hall – with “welcome” on the doormat!        You & your folks must be having a grand time about now. I wish I was there – maybe with a good part in a big hit that we could take them to. Maybe even a night club afterward? I think they’d enjoy it! Also like to see your dad bouncing Karen on his knee. Kinda like to bounce her on my knee, for that matter! Gosh darn it –

We go to the 6:30 movie every night now. Some good, most fair – many we’ve seen before – but they’e also getting short subjects now which we enjoy immensely. Besides, it kills a lot of time. It’s now ten of ten PM, and time for me to be climbing into my sleeping bag. No news at all baby – except that I love you so much that sometimes I can hardly stand it. Be a good girl –
All my love – Rollie

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