August 27, 1944

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August 27, 1944

Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,

               I have been wanting to write you all week, but have been kept so busy in the field that I just didn’t have a chance.

               I have been getting all your letters and packages right along. If I get much more, I’m afraid I’ll have to move out of the tent and sleep in a foxhole. It’s a good thing my partner doesn’t sleep there at night.

               No kidding though, it was really swell to get the radio. It plays just as well as it did at home. I’ll never bother with the real small ones anymore. They just aren’t practical. If they would perfect them, they would be awfully handy, though. When I get the chance, I will send the small radio home to you. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in your tent and hear the morning news.

               It looked like I received everything in the postoffice [sic] yesterday. The box of food is marvelous. I have eaten some of the cookies and they are delicious. The rest looks wonderful,

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but I haven’t touched it as yet. But don’t worry –just give me time!

               I knew that a bed-roll was coming, so I didn’t open the big box. I must open it tonight though. From your description it sounds like just the right thing.

               Was glad to get “Time,” “Newsweek,” and the “Post.” I’ll bet you thought you were sending Stanley’s article, but you sent the Aug. 26th issue. But I have read it, so don’t bother sending it – just be sure to keep a copy at home.

               Friday night I came in for a shower and bought the usual—“Time,” Newsweek,” and “Life” – so I will give the extra copies away. I have a waiting list already. I always do whenever I get a magazine.

               Yesterday morning we came in camp and spent the morning cleaning our equipment – radios, etc. In the afternoon we dug a garbage pit.

               I came in camp last night – took a shower, then hung around the library and the Service Club. The movies were no good last night, so I didn’t go.

               I didn’t get in camp in time for breakfast this morning, so I went to the coffee shop and had a root beer soda. Quite an unorthodox breakfast, don’t you think?

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August 27, 1944

               It was swell talking to both of you this morning. Only had to wait about 1 ½ hrs. on a 1-2 hrs. delay. Five minutes is so short though.

               Yes, the war certainly does look wonderful. All of France will be over in no time. And what is more important, they are destroying the German armies. I suppose you read that Eisenhower told the people of Alsace-Lorrain and Luxembourg that fighting might soon be on their soil. And German soil isn’t far off. What a turnabout Romania has done. And Bulgaria also.[1] The Russians are really packing a terrific punch again.

               What you told me about the confidential report you heard from Max Koknp [sp?] is indeed very encouraging. I was just reading in the paper last night that Rep. Woodrum[2] said the Army expects it to be over by Oct! How wonderful that would be! No one can pick an exact date of course, but they all seem to feel that it won’t be long. The “Atlantic Wall”[3] and German strength in France was certainly


[1] In August of 1944, King Michael I of Romania, previously seen largely as a figurehead, lead a coup that overthrew the Fascist dictatorship of Antonescu and moved Romania from the Axis powers into the Allied camp. Bulgaria would also switch sides to the Allies in early September as Soviet armies crossed into their territory.

[2] Probably Clifton A. Woodrum, a democratic congressman from Virginia.

[3] Term referring to German defenses along the Atlantic coast of Europe.

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a myth. I just wonder what kind of defense they can put up on the German border? I was reading an article which stated that the German Army will break up inside Germany just as is happening in France. Hope Henry Wallace[1] is right about Japan falling soon after Germany. Also hope I’m not getting too optimistic so that I’ll be in for a letdown. But I do think there is reason for optimism at this stage of the game, don’t you?

               Write me, Dad, about your meeting Bartron [sp?]. Is he still a Brig. Gen.? He must hold a pretty important post. I’m waiting to get the newspaper article about him. But you were really surprised to hear of his return to Dayton.

               Saw Wm. Bendix, Dennis O’Keefe, in “Abroad with the Yanks” this afternoon. It’s a good comedy. I may go to see Spencer Tracy in “The Seventh Cross” tonight. It’s about the persecution in Germany.

               It’s still very, very hot here. At night though I go to sleep with no blankets I wake up early in the morning freezing.

               I rather imagine I’ll have K.P. tomorrow. Haven’t had it since last Wednesday at which time I had officer’s mess. The officers eat out of plates


[1] Probably Henry A. Wallace, Vice President under Roosevelt during his third term (1941-1945).

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August 27, 1944

and sit at a table under a tent. (No cover charge, plenty of good food, excellent floor show, and girls galore!) Well, at least you would think they were at the Waldorf the way they demand attention! However, waiting on them and cleaning up after them is easier than the rest of the K.P. jobs, so I hope I get it again tomorrow. Boy, will some of them be taken down a notch after the war.

               Last Tuesday, I had to fire the rifle transition course. Some of the boys volunteered to fire the bazooka today. It wasn’t compulsory.

               In the mornings we have been taking code and having lectures on this secret code machine and in the afternoons we have field problems during which I have been operating a direction finder.

               I hear that maneuvers have definitely been postponed for 30 days. I believe they were to have started the 17th of Sept. One reason for the postponement that I have heard is that they there are not

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enough troops here at present to hold a maneuvers. I think some outfits that were to have been here might be sent over. Another reason is that they are everything depends on how well the European war goes in the next 30 days.

               RI is to be broken up soon, I hear and the members sent to a regular RI battalion starting during maneuvers. When I hear something else about it, I’ll let you know.

               I had brunch here at the Service Club this noon, and I am going down now for dinner.

               Our address has been changed and is now as follows:

               Name, serial no.

               Hq and Hq. Co.

               68th Signal Bn

               A.P.O. 20 LAMA

               Shreveport, La

The LAMA is for La. Army Maneuver Area. And don’t get alarmed over the A.P.O. number[1]. It doesn’t mean a thing. Our mail goes to Shreveport and is sent out from there, I guess.

               Hope you are [undecipherable] in tip-top shape again, Grandpa.

               Again I repeat it was swell getting everything from you and talking to you this morning. Let me hear from you as usual.


                                                  Jerome, Jr.


[1] Army Post Office Number. An A.P.O. is used to allow troops overseas to send and receive mail at domestic rates.

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August 27, 1944

P.S. I nearly forgot to tell you I received the peaches and the orgo oranges, cookies, and toilet articles, etc. earlier in the week. All the food kept exceptionally well, and didn’t spoil at all. The chocolate cookies were excellent. I was as glad to get the foot powder, etc.

               Also I got the “Times,” etc.

               How long a furlough did Bob Prugh have? What does he expect to be doing in the near future? The same thing I suppose. I [undecipherable] read in the paper that his brother was promoted to a Captain.

               Well, I must eat now, so that is all for the present. I’ll write more tomorrow if at all possible.


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