Letter from Jerome Epstein, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Epstein and Mr. Louis Green, dated March 3rd, 1945





Letter from Jerome Epstein, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Epstein and Mr. Louis Green, dated March 3rd, 1945


Jerome Epstein, Jr.


Letter written by Jerome Epstein, Jr. while serving in the Italian theater during World War II, discussing the experience of combat, hometown gossip, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the American Red Cross Club.



8 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:
Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,
It is a beautiful afternoon here in the mountains of Italy. It’s one of those days that really want to make you forget there is a war going on, even though it is going on all around you. Remember how eager I used to be to hear the latest war news on the radio or read the latest newspaper? Well, I am still that way as evidenced by my rush for the “Stars and Stripes” or the “Blizzard,” a mimeographed paper put out daily for the division. However, if I don’t feel like reading, all I have to do is to keep my eyes and ears wide open and I can see and hear all the war news that I could possibly want only this news I really don’t care for – nor does anyone else, for that matter. You see, it is very real and very vivid to us – no longer is it just a matter of

Image 2:
(2) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
reading about it in the evening newspaper.
I don’t think it possible for most writers to express in words the living hell the boys in the infantry go through. It’s without a doubt the roughest toughest branch of service. The other branches go through plenty – make no mistake about that – but it is the infantryman who pushes the enemy back, who slogs ahead inch by inch and foot by foot.
I was quite surprised to learn of the 68th ‘s presence in the Pacific. Here they were all trained for German intercept, etc., and then sent to fight the Japs. I wonder if they were retrained for Japanese work or whether the personnel was changed? I received your letter, Dad, telling me about it, but am waiting to learn from your letter, Mother, where

Image 3:
(3) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
you found it out.
Please send me some food whenever you care to.
The other day I rec’d 3 small packages from you – 2 of them containing candles which are indeed welcome, and the 3rd containing the miniature tubes of shaving cream, etc. which will come in very handy.
Had a nice letter from Saul and Claire and a Valentine from Harry and Leonora.
Yesterday Aunt Fannie’s box which was mailed Jan. 17th came. I surely appreciated it. She sent some delicious things – candy, cookies, figs, and a can of orange juice. It all came in perfect condition. Also had a letter from her dated Feb. 10th – rec’d that a while back.

Image 4:
(4) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
Send some food whenever you feel like doing so ( a stock phrase with me by now).
So Ann and Joy are out in California chasing after Dick again. He should indeed be ashamed of himself. Seymour is right – he should see some of the things that go on over here—it would sober him up plenty darn fast. A few shells over his head and I believe he would be a different person.
I visited several places that I can now tell you about. The most interesting by far was Pisa where I went on a pass one day. I saw the famed Leaning Tower and climbed to the very top. It is a magnificent sight and we all got a big thrill out of it. Four of us went that day, and one of the boys, Gene Christian, had a camera, so he took our pictures

Image 5:
(5) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
in front of the tower. He now has the negatives, and I will get it from him when I see him later since we are not now at the same locale. He and I have been very friendly – having been together on the boat most of the time. He is from Cleveland, by the way, and his step father, E.P. Freed is a federal judge there. I thought he might be related to Ralph, but he doesn’t know him, however.
I bought that powder box in the Leaning Tower as well as the bird bath. The other cig. Case and ash trays came from a shop across the street. I hope you will get them in good condition.
The Cathedral in Pisa is gorgeous. We visited the American Red Cross Enlisted Men’s Club there, where one can get coffee, cake, cookies, etc. They had there for entertainment, of all things, an Italian swing band that played all the latest American jive.
Please send some food whenever you care to do so.

Image 6:
(6) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
I’m sure you will have enough requests for food from me. It’s getting to be funny – I write so many – but you say to do so, so I will gladly oblige.
I bought some postcards in Pisa which I will send out. I also saw the neighboring city of Leghorn (by the hat of the same name). It’s not as nice as Pisa, however being terribly wrought by devastation. Pisa has not suffered as much destruction.
Another interesting place I toured was the city of Lucca where I saw “Panama Hattie.” All these places are nice to look at and take a picture of, etc., but that is about all I can say for them. Just give me any place in the U.S. These towns over here are at least 50 yrs. Behind those in the U.S.
Don’t forget to send some good things to eat.

Image 7:
(7) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
The war continues to look very encouraging, doesn’t it? I can’t understand why the Germans fight on. By prolonging the war they have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
Yesterday a bunch of magazines came – ones you had sent on [undecipherable] the 20th of Feb. They are really a welcome sight. [Undecipherable]There is a picture of an American super market in one of the ads – what a dream! Here you go into some dingy old store and buy a few nuts or dirty figs, if you care to. And that is all.
Also your box with the sweaters, scarf, socks, etc. came yesterday. Every thing is wonderful. Those almondolas are delicious.
I interrupted this letter for a while to go in and take a marvelous hot shower – first one in several weeks. They have showers set up in tents. You go in and take your shower and get a complete

Image 8:
(8) Somewhere in Italy
March 3, 1945
change of clean clothes. It’s marvelous! Indeed a luxury! We have so much in the States that we take for granted – so many, many wonderful things.
I bought some stamped air-mail envelopes. Dad, you wrote you couldn’t get any at home.
Well, I must close. Let me hear from you as usual. Love to all of you.
Jerome, Jr.
P.S. Don’t forget to send anything you want to that is edible.

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