Letter from Jerome Epstein, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Epstein and Mr. Louis Green, dated June 15th, 1945





Letter from Jerome Epstein, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Epstein and Mr. Louis Green, dated June 15th, 1945


Epstein, Jerome, Jr.


Letter written by Jerome Epstein, Jr. while serving in the Italy during the post-war occupation, discussing hometown news, rumors, Austria, the possibility of being reclassified to limited duty (pros and cons), transfers to the Pacific, and Bill Mauldin.



6 pages


World War, 1939-1945



Jerome Epstein Papers #C0262, Box 1 Folder 4


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.


Image 1:
Ziracco, Italy
June 15, 1945
Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,
I was surprised to hear about the cold weather at home. It is very, very hot here in the daytime, and very cool at night. I like summertime so much though—especially when I’m living in the open. For if it is hot, once can always adjust himself and make things more comfortable, but in cold weather you freeze no matter what you do.
Has Alan Barran left the States yet? You wrote that he was at Fort Ord. IS he still in the Signal Corps?
Yesterday the box you mailed May 22 came. That’s about the fastest so far. All the cookies are delicious, and of course you know how I go for apricot nectar.
Is Seymour still in the 1st Army? If so, I imagine he will be coming home shortly. I’m surprised that his letters are still censored.
I’m awfully glad I’m in Italy instead of Germany. At least the people are friendly, and there is no tension. Then too, of course, the non-fraternization rule does not apply here. I believe it is in effect in Austria, though. I’m not sure.
Several of the fellows have hitch-hiked up to Austria for a day, and they said it is the most beautiful territory they have seen. They visited Klagenfurt and Villach, two cities that Tito wanted. I would like to get up there myself. Perhaps I will go some day soon, that is, if I can get up enough ambition.
Please send some food whenever you care to do so.

Image 2:
(2) Ziracco, Italy
June 15, 1945
We can get a pass to go there or to Udine or Cividale at any time to spend the day. It has been so hot though that I haven’t felt like dressing up to go. The 10th rear CP is at Cividale. The forward CP is here. I believe I wrote you about it before.
I slept all afternoon. One thing about being overseas – you can relax and things aren’t very G.I.
I wouldn’t mind sweating out occupation duty over here. I would rather do that than go home for 30 days plus a few months training and then be shipped to the Pacific. I’d rather get home a little later and be sure that I will get home, although there is no one who wants to return more than I do. Of course if it were between going to the Pacific direct or via the U.S. I would certainly want the latter.
All kinds of rumors are floating around, and they all sound good. Like Mr. Harmon told us today, there are no longer just rumors—there are no facts, but the facts cannot be divulged. He told us to take our pick of the rumors, and said that the ones that make us happiest are likely the ones to come true. Of course, one never knows. In the Army things change very rapidly, so I refuse to get to optimistic.
I think we will make a move next week to a new area—a better place. I heard that it is Gorizia. They say we will be in buildings.
The 86th Regimental CP is in a large Alpine resort hotel. They have separate rooms, beds, mattresses, baths, etc. everything very modern. Several to a room of course.
The 10th held a ski meet in Austria a couple of weeks ago. I could have gone but didn’t.
Please send me some food whenever you care to do so.

Image 3:
(3) Ziracco, Italy
June 15, 1945
Two weeks ago tomorrow I was sent over to the 56th Evacuation Hospital to have a routine eye refraction. It has been about a year since I had one. Well, the medic started to examine me when the doctor, a captain, came over to look at my eyes and told me there was no point in my having a refraction since there was nothing they could do for me. He said I was unfit for combat duty, of all things. He wanted to know what outfit I was in, what my job was, and how close I had been to the front lines. When I told him, he said I shouldn’t have been in combat duty. He wanted me to stay there and then have me sent back to the base hospital to appear before a board for a reclassification to limited service. Well, it took me by surprise, and I didn’t know what to do. So he wrote out a note for me to take back diagnosing my condition and saying I was unfit for combat duty. He said I could think it over and then decide. The next day Major Dempsey of the 10th Medics called to Captain Crouch, my CO and told him about it, and said they were working on it. I haven’t heard anything more about it since neither has Capt. Crouch. I could buck for it very easily, but think I will wait and see, for I want to stick with the 10th as long as possible because I think the 10th will get a good deal out of it all. If I were reclassified limited service, I don’t know where I would be sent. You see there are plenty of rear areas for limited service troops in the Pacific, and it might be my luck to get into a service outfit going there. On the other hand, it might mean the first step back to the U.S. But I have no desire to go to the Pacific, whether it be a forward or rear, rear, rear area. Then again they might take a notion to ship me out anyway, but somehow I don’t think they will unless I buck for it. So I am going to let it ride.

Image 4:
(4) Ziracco, Italy
June 15, 1945
If I felt the 10th was combat-bound, or if it ever is, I will buck like mad for it, for I was told I don’t belong in combat duty. Fine time to be told that—after all I have gone through the past few months.
Then too, some men in the Signal Co. are being sent out to other outfits. If that should happen to me, I would certainly take action. One is never sure of anything in the Army.
Do you think I am right in going about it this way?
Our Lieutenant here in radio left us today. He volunteered for Pacific duty. He’s in the regular army and is glory happy. Everyone thinks he is crazy.
Some boys are leaving tomorrow to be stationed with an outfit in Florence. They will be part of the cadre at a redeployment center there, I guess. For how long they don’t know. I guess it will be a good deal for a while.
Some others left last week for a signal battalion Pacific-bound. They were all below 85-points and replaced men rating for rating and spec. number for spec. number with 85 points and above. These high-point men then came into our company. Our 1st Sgt. had to leave – he was a swell guy and had been with the 110th all but 4 days of his Army career. In that group 17 men left 17 came in. Out of those coming in all were declared essential except the 1st Sgt. and another man. They are still hoping to go home, however.
To replace the boys going out tomorrow they brought in a bunch of infantry replacements. No one is going from radio tomorrow.
Please send some food whenever you care to do so.

Image 5:
(5) Ziracco, Italy
June 15, 1945
Don’t try to read between the lines regarding all this stuff I am writing. It will only confuse you more. I really shouldn’t write all this, because we are all confused—the generals are all confused—everybody is confused! It’s like all that stuff I used to write back in the states.
A couple of fellows with enough points left last week for home and discharge. Yesterday, another man, 42 years old, left for home with his discharge in his hands, although it won’t become effective til he reaches the U.S. He is going to fly home.
I received the Chicago Sun with the pictures of Mark Clark. He is a fine-looking man, isn’t he? I noticed in the upper left hand corner of the big picture just the arm of a soldier with the 10th Division shoulder patch on it. He took some men from the Chicago area back with him, you know. They are all eligible for discharge.
When the 10th was written up in “Stars and Stripes so much censorship was in effect, and we couldn’t send the paper home. I should have saved them.
I see that Bill Mauldin arrived in the States. His cartoons are the favorites of every G.I. over here. Good old, “Joe and Willie.” Could you send me his new book? I don’t know if I can get it over here.
Surprised you didn’t like “Without Love.” I thought it would be good. Katie Hepburn brought the stage play to Cincinnati a couple of years ago.
It would be funny, wouldn’t it, if I studied under Prf. Jones from Miami. Later on they are going to send G.I.’s to the Army University in Rome. I am going to try to go if possible.
Please send some food at any time.

Image 6:
(6) Ziracco, Italy
June 15, 1945
Today they announced the 3rd Army will be the army of occupation with the 9th leaving for the U.S. in July and the 15th being withdrawn from Europe in December. They are switching all the division around in those armies, aren’t they?
Ray Tischer certainly was unlucky? Where is he now?
I am sending today in another envelope the pictures and negatives of the films I took in Venice and Riva. I took some pictures of the boys I was with and they wanted them but we can’t get any more prints made here. So would you have two prints made of each picture and send them to me? Just the ones they are in and also the scenic pictures. After looking over the pictures, though, I just discovered that includes all but one in which I am standing alone.
Yes, I intend to write Lenore and the others. I should have done so long ago.
Dad, I received both Harper’s magazines. I really enjoy them so much. Lots of excellent material in them.
I saw a U.S.O. show in Cividale tonight. It wasn’t bad.
Well, that’s about all for now. Love to all of you.
Jerome, Jr.
P.S. Don’t forget to send some food.

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