Page 4 7/1/45
Dan, still in Maastricht, writes: (A) I go on my first two-day pass since more than a year ago – to Brussels – day after tomorrow. (B) Company commander informs me that my marriage papers are finally all set. Inasmuch as these news items have not yet reached fruition, I bring this letter to a close with request that you sent me immediately $100 Don’t be alarmed – – it’s a deal that seems pretty good, and I can always send the money back if it’s too late. I’m still sweating out the final “critical score” on points – – maybe I’ll make it yet. (With Dan’s letter was enclosed an official VE day report from the Major in charge giving an historical account of the formation of the Battalion and its progress to that date.) An excerpt from this report says: “Through all the days of battle on this continent our work went on. Through victories and reverses, from the beach landings to the breakthrough, our sweep through France to the battle of the Bulge and at last to the ultimate surrender of the German armies, Navy and Air Force, we continued to send maps to the front. We can now look back along the course and know that wherever American soldiers have fought on the continent, some of the maps they used have been produced by this Battalion. From the beaches to the hedgerows, from the plains of northern France to the hills of Belgium, from the forts of the Siegfried line to the heart of Germany, our maps have helped guide the tanks and infantry, have aided the artillery to pour fire on unseen targets. Each of us knows that we have arrived at a waystation on our path but not at our final goal. There is much to be done. 4 million soldiers of the U.S. Army in this theater must be sent to their posts, whether those posts lie in occupied Germany, in the far east, or at home. Germany must be occupied for a long time to come. And, most important of all, in the far east our savage and brutal enemy, Japan, remains unsubdued. The full might of our Armed Forces must be brought to bear against Japan to subdue her as soon as possible and to keep our losses in that war as low as possible. Whatever our next assignment may be, and where ever our post of duty may lie, I know that you will continue to produce in the same superior manner that you have in the past.”
Lad, old son, it’s quite natural you should feel a bit low, considering all of the circumstances, but you know it is frequently darkest before dawn. If you are sent to the far east, it will be at least an interesting experience, and it does begin to look as though cleaning up Japan won’t take too long. Meantime, I know your patient nature will overcome the natural disappointment we share with you at your not even having a 30-day furlough in the U.S. It’s always the waiting that is hardest and once you’re on the move it will be better.
Dave, I’ll write to Bill Stevens. Your suggestion about a round the world trip for me deserves a much lengthier discussion than can be accorded here. I’ll discuss it in a later letter. I’m asking Jean to cover Dick’s staff matter with you in detail as she knows more about it than I. Dan, your $100 will be on its way tomorrow. You say “money order” which means airmail. I shall try to find whether this is the quickest way. If rumors are true that they will lower point deadline, you certainly ought to qualify.
Just one other item of interest. Aunt Betty had her hair cut short and then had a permanent which is not only much more comfortable this weather but is much easier to care for. Of course it changes her appearance and it is a bit hard to get used to it but it makes her look more modern and we all agree quite an improvement. Last week Stacy Kircher stopped in the office with Bob who is studying to be an Army medic and seems to be doing O.K. In fact, the whole family seems to be quite delighted with the fact that he will be given about $11,000 worth of education free. Adios until next week.