I must admit that there’s not too much of interest in these letters – one guy has gone off to France, so Dad’s work load has increased and he’s really tired. He warns Mary that he hopes she’s rested when he gets home “because I’ve been storing up a lot of energy in the past year!!” These three letters have a “day to day” quality – he’s clocking time till he can come home!
But it’s amazing to realize despite the lack of excitement in my Dad’s unit, amazing things were happening in Germany. On May 27, 1945 Buchenwald Concentration Camp was finally liberated. I’m attaching a very moving radio broadcast by Edward R. Morrow, detailing his experience of visiting the camp in April. And here is the lead copy to the broadcast:
On April 11, 1945 the Third U.S. Army reached the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. There were still 21,000 inmates still within the camp after the SS had fled in front of the advancing Allied front. The next day, Edward R. Murrow along with other reporters arrived at the camp. Their horror is reflected in the various reports that came from that encounter. Murrow was not able to get his broadcast on the air until April 15th, and in one of his most eloquent reports he tells listeners the story of his visit to Buchenwald.
24 May 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, Cutie, a very good day for mail!!! Three ltrs from my sweetie and one from my old pal of Basic days, Bob Sammon (Junior, remember? He is now at a POE to be shipped someplace overseas, which means that they are evidently taking a lot of the boys who were formerly considered “limited” and making them into “Occupational” — only a guess, but good news for us “Vets”!) Your Apr 6 ltr arr with May 14 and 18!!! Six days from you to me!!! Unheard of, and wonderful. The lock of Karen’s hair is like a little bit of heaven to me (not meant to be as trite and mushy as it sounds) brings me very close to you guys. Thanks, honey. I’m so glad she likes the “Cubes” game, and she still goes for the music box, hum? Just like her Ma. I’m very intrigued and happy about your blisters and enthusiasm for the garden — and also your avoirdupois! (?) Right or wrong places, what the hell’s the difference—just that much more of you to love, baby —keep putting it on. You had best be pretty rested up when I get home because I’ve been storing up a lot of energy in the past year!! The past week has been like old times for me. My boy Spalding went to Paris on a deal, so besides my work I’m doing the filing as well, and as we’re expecting an inspection from Army soon, I’m doing a lot of cleaning up of the stuff as I go along —and there is plenty. Remind me to chew his fanny (as we say in the army) when he gets back, for letting so many things go. I’ve been going 15 and 16 hours a day again and AHM tarred. But I love you like anything, my darling
27 May 1945 V-Mail
Oh me, ohmeohmy, am I ever the pooped character! Mail has been coming in fine, got a couple of letters from you last night, and one from Grimes (did I tell you that I had a nice letter from Vee with pictures of Don and the kids? a few days ago?) tonight, but simply haven’t the energy left to get them out and see what you said. Our boy Spalding should be back in a couple of days now (thank gosh) so maybe we will be able to relax a bit. Besides being short a man, we have also had about three times the ordinary stuff coming in, what with all of the readjustment and redeployment business, and besides that we have twice the number of units to handle than we had most of the time. So, like I say, I’m going slowly crazy again. One very good thing is that we have a new adjutant now who is really on the ball. He has given me the job completely, and although it places a hell of a lot of responsibility on me to know where every gosh darn thing is and what is being done about it, I like it fine and have developed several new ways of doing things that are working out much better than formerly, so we are all happy—-but AHM POOPED. Tomorrow being Sunday, we can sleep until 8:30, and although I should get up and work, I figure to hell with it, I’m going to sleep in. Cripes, this whole letter is nothing but how tired I am! ‘Snuff to make you tired, aint’ it?
Sorry baby, the ol’ bean is just dull—gotta hit the sack.
But golly, I love you, and think about you and Karen more every day.
31 May 1945 V-Mail
Good Evening, My Darling, This morning I sent you a box of stuff that I think you will like. Eight brandy (whoopy–brandy) goblets!! And crystal yet!! Our pal Spalding brought back the eight from Vise, Belg. Unfortunately, we only get four of them and our friends, the Trombly’s get the other four. They were already packed in the box that you will get them in, so we decided that it would be better to send them the way the manufacturer packed them, and you may send the four on to Mrs. T if you will be so kindly. I don’t have their home address right now, and Trom isn’t around, but I will get it and send it on to you. I hope you like them. Spalding says that they are really quite nice. I have not seen them myself; as I say, we thought it better to just leave them as they were. Be sure to let me know about all of the packages. So far all that I’ve heard about is the first box from Nice. You should have another box of perfume, and a third box with the wooden pictures in it. From here you should g the shotguns, and now the crystal. I haven’t received a box from you for a hell of a long time, and only one of the four or five that Mom has mentioned, but I imagine that they will be along, all beat to hell pretty soon. Mail has been a little slack, of late, but I really can’t complain about it yet. Got a letter from Dad, and I’m much relieved to see that it looks much better, but still have not heard from Mom on same yet. Harold is somewhere in the western Pacific now, but if they keep on with lowering the age limit, maybe we will both have a chance. All of my love, Pappy