Letter from Jerome Epstein, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Epstein and Mr. Louis Green, dated September 3rd, 1944





Letter from Jerome Epstein, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Epstein and Mr. Louis Green, dated September 3rd, 1944


Epstein, Jerome, Jr.


Letter written by Jerome Epstein, Jr. while undergoing training at Camp Polk, LA discussing Army of Occupation (Germany), movies, the Siegfried Line, war news, his preference for serving in Europe vs. the Pacific, Rosh Hashanah plans, Shreveport, and food.



11 pages


World War, 1939-1945



Jerome Epstein Papers #C0262, Box 1 Folder 3


George Mason University Libraries


Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.


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Sept. 3, 1944
Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,
It is now nearly one o’clock in the afternoon and I am waiting on my telephone call to you. There is a 3-4 hr. delay and it has been 3 hrs. already, so it should come through soon. I hope that you will still be home when it comes through, Dad, for I do want to talk to you.
I just finished lunch in the cafeteria where the Conrads came and sat down with me. The both want to be remembered to you. They always ask about you. He is usually willing to talk very freely about what is going on, but today he wouldn’t say a word, so I imagine things are getting pretty hot for his outfit. I did write you a few weeks ago that he told me they were scheduled to go over in Sept. It seems to be a well-established

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fact around camp that they are going over.
Maneuvers are now supposed to start Oct. 17, 30 days later than originally planned.
I have heard dozens of the wildest rumors in the past week. But you know how rumors are. None of them are worth repeating. The best way to start a conversation is to say “What’s the latest rumor?” or “I heard a good one today.”
I have no knowledge of what is going to happen, but I would not be surprised to hear that the 68th will be part of the Army of Occupation. To be frank about it, I’d much rather be in the Army of Occupation in Germany than somewhere in the Pacific fighting, if I even have to go over. But don’t get excited over all this, for I really don’t know anything.
Gee, it was swell talking to you. I was afraid you wouldn’t be there, Dad. It took 5 hours today. That the longest delay I’ve had in a

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(3) Sept, 3m 1944
long time. After talking to you, I walked up to the theatre, but they wouldn’t let me in because the feature had already started. So I had to walk back, and boy, am I perspired from all this heat. It’s awfully hot today. I wanted to see “Dragon Seed.” Tonight I will see Joel McCrea and Betty Field in “Great Moment.”
I am now in the Guest House. The Conrads went swimming, but another couple is here. This fellow used to be in “Hq.” Co. and was transferred to “A” Co. His wife is here and works here in the Guest House.
I stayed in here to write and to listen to the radio. Wm. L. Shirer is speaking. He says the “N.Y. Times” today calls the Siegfried Line the strongest line in the world but that he doubts it. He says it may be troublesome

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but not formidable. And he is usually very pessimistic about everything.
Hitler, the paper said, was supposed to speak today, but I have heard nothing about it. German diplomats in Lisbon described the speech as “sensational” but evidently he did not speak.
Everyone is so tense just waiting for the end. Hasn’t the news been exciting this past week? I wonder what Dad’s friend thinks about the war? I just don’t know what to tell you, Dad, about speaking to him. If I knew what would be in store for me by staying with the 68th, it would be a different matter. But I don’t know a thing, that’s just it. All I know is what I hear from rumor and speculation like the stuff I have written above, and I can’t make a decision on that basis. I feel I was lucky to be taken out of the Infantry. If you could work something through him, would I be sent to Dayton? The thing is, I don’t want to make a move that would place me in the Pacific War.

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Sept. 3, 1944
I doubt if even he could stop my going overseas when the time came. Do you think I am wrong? I am afraid to say “no,” for I may be all wrong. I just don’t know. I am funny, I suppose. Others would jump at the opportunity, I know. But I don’t want to rush into anything. And supposing he refused? It would be terribly humiliating. The 68th has been trained for the European war. The fellows in the intercept section in R.I. were sent to Camp Crowder to study German intercepts. Most of them had been there before I came into the outfit. We have one new fellow who has been trained in Japanese intercepts. And yet, I don’t know. I could stay in this country for the duration, or be sent as a replacement to the Pacific or to Europe, or the whole 68th could be sent over to either the Pacific or Europe for

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either fighting or occupation. So you see, It’s so hard for me to say “Yes” or “No.”
I would like to talk this over with you in person. It’s much easier that way than just a few words over the phone or in a letter. Are you going to meet me in Shreveport? It would be swell if you could. I want to spend Rosh Hashana week end there. I feel pretty sure that I can get a 3-day pass for that. 2 boys got one this week=end and they went to one of the fellows’ home in Mississippi. So I should get it for a holiday. I haven’t had a 3-day pass or a week-end pass since I have been in the Army. Incidentally, it’s 8 months today. I think I would want it from Sat. noon to Tuesday noon. I could catch the 2:50 bus to Shreveport and get in Shreveport around 7 o’clock Sat. evening. There is a 12 o’clock bus but I doubt if they would let me go a few hours earlier. I could get 2 busses back Tuesday morning—one at 1:30 in the morning and the other at 7:30. But if I had to be back at 12 noon Tuesday, the 7:30 bus would be too late, for although, it is only 4 hrs. from Shreveport to Leesville, I would have to allow for [sic] time to get

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(7) Sept. 3, 1944
from Leesville to South Camp, then to North Camp, and then to the bivouac area. Maybe I could have a pass from 10 o’clock Sat. morning to 10 o’clock Tuesday morning. Then I could take the noon box on Sat. and would have to take the 1:30 A.M. bus Tues. morning. Anyways, please reserve a room for me at the Washington-Youree and if at all possible, come down yourselves.
I had a haircut this morning. I didn’t get up in time to make it to the South Camp for breakfast this morning since they stop serving at 9, so I caught a bust to North Camp in front of the bivouac area, and had breakfast at North Camp Service Club—toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, doughnuts, cold cereal, grapefruit juice, and milk. They serve until 10 you see. And it was all very good. Then I took the bus to South Camp and placed my call at 9:50. I usually place it

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around 9 on Sundays, so that is probably why it took so long today.
I had a fried chicken dinner this noon, and it was also very good. I am going over in a little while for supper.
I just haven’t been able to write you all week. I have all your letters, and I received the papers, Dad. I was again able to but “Time,” “Life,” and Newsweek” this week.
The radio has certainly been wonderful. I have really been able to keep up on the news. Can’t get much at all [undecipherable] during the day, but at night I get everything – from about 8 P.M. to 8 A.M. reception is very good. I got off a few minutes minutes earlier 2 days this week so I heard Kate Smith , although it was not very loud.
I was glad I was able to call you Friday, Mother. I was on guard 5 from 5 P.M. Thursday to 5 P.M. Friday. For 24 hrs. I walked 2 and was off 4.

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(9) Sept. 3, 1944
We must wear ties after 6 P.M. now, and I can’t go into the PX in fatigues.
I also came into camp last night.
I was afraid I would get K.P. today. Now that I think I will have to go to the driver’s school in order to get a G.I. license, I may be excused from K.P. this week. If I am then I may get it for sure next Sunday. If not, I’ll probably get it tomorrow and then next Sunday anyway. I had it last on last Tuesday. I’ll get guard this week in the bivouac area, I’ll bet.
Our supply Sergeant was telling me that a Major at Division Headquarters was going around telling everyone that they should not buy any much more property (clothing, equipment) since the European war would be over in 2 weeks.

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Did you hear Drew Pearson? He is on now and just predicted Germany’s fall by Sept. 15th or a few days later. Isn’t it all wonderful! He says the Maginot Line has been cracked, the Siegfried line broken at several points, and that the An Americans are in Germany. He says that Hitler called off his speech today because his generals again want him to throw in the sponge.
Well I am going wait until Drew Pearson is over, and then I will have supper. You should have seen the faces of everyone in this room when he made those predictions.
It was good to talk to Harry and Sylvia. Write me what they had to say? Did they drive over?
Tomorrow is Labor Day – I nearly forgot. Well, it will be a day of labor as usual in the 68th Sig. Bn.
I received Aunt Fannies delicious cookies, and am looking forward to getting the peaches you sent, Mother. When is Aunt Fannie going to [undecipherable]?
I cracked my watch crystal this week, and was soaked

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$2 at the Main PX for a new one—a green one which is very ugly and which I didn’t want but had to take since it is the only one they had.
I am glad you sent my cap. I am going to send my other 2 to the cleaners this week. Maybe they can get the ink out of the one cap.
An unofficial report right after Drew Pearson said the Americans were in Aachen, Germany and 30 miles from Holland.
I just came from the show, saw “The Great Moment” – it was excellent.
Well, I must get back to the bivouac area, so I must close now. Let me hear your opinions on these different matters and also let me know if you are coming down here. Love to all of you.
Jerome, Jr.

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