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My Blog - Inspired By My Pictures

Years ago I heard the advice, "Don't take pictures while on vacation, just focus on the experience."  This turned out to be terrible guidance for me.  In my late 30s I started taking more pictures.  This activity helps to cement memories that would otherwise be lost whether on vacation or just going somewhere on the weekend.  In this blog I share the memories and stories inspired by my pictures.  

At 0630 on October 2d, the Bn fired the preparation that had been requested, coordinating its fires with the fire of six other bns, British and Americans, that were in the vicinity. 1500 rds were fired in 2 minutes. However, well-emplaced enemy tanks, AT guns, and machine guns prevented our supported unit from actually entering the town. At 1200, air support began marking targets with colored smoke. At 1900, a report came that the town was circled and the tanks and infantry were going into leaguer for the night. A defensive fire plan was prepared, and a check showed 1834 rds of ammo had been fired during the day.

Oct 2, 1944


My darling;

I’m very sorry honey that it has been so long since I wrote you. It seems I never get enough time to do anything any more. I sure wish I could write you daily, better yet I'd rather come home and have supper and sleep with you, like I should.

Bill Zahrisri got a bronze Star award the other day. He got caught in a mess with Milner and Milner got Silver Star. Everyone says nothing would have been said but West Pointer's must have their metals. I’m glad Bill got something however because he is in the same fix as me so far as the army is concerned.

There sure is a lot of air activity today. Someone is sure catching hell and I’m glad it is not me.

I wrote mom a couple days ago, I thought I would have time to write you also, but no luck. Mail has been very bad lately. Haven’t received a letter for two weeks from anyone. Sure should be getting Uncle Charlie’s letter he claimed he wrote.

Betty you don’t know how lucky you are to be an American girl. Women over here have no morals, and they work like dogs. The French homes are all in a small group. Their farms may even be in the same building. And for sure when the barn is shared everything is put by the front door. The smell in some towns is so bad it is even hard to drive through them. And would you like to go to bed and have the breeze flowing in your window in a village like that? Yes honey, the French peasant is very very dirty. Someday I’ll be able to lay in bed with you and tell you all about this country.

As yet I haven’t taken a single picture since I left the states. If I do take them I don’t know where I can get them developed. I have inquired about that a lot of times, but no one knows.

Honey, I’m still the same as I left the states. Do you remember that belt I had fixed at Benning. Well it’s causing me trouble now. I may have to loosen it yet. I sure hope not.

Betty, what am I going to do for Christmas for you. I sure can’t buy anything new here. Money over here isn’t worth a thing. If you got something they won’t okay sending you anything. I do have my German flag & arm band I could send but that is no present. Maybe I’ll be able to find something but please honey don’t expect too much, will you? Be sure and take care of my mother at Christmas also.

Well honey this is about all the time I’ve got now. I sure could go for a good meal and believe it or not a bath and a good sleepover with you. I bet you could not move me all night after I quilted down. Maybe the soft bed and the touch of you would keep me awake all night. Ill get my chance soon, that I know. Be good darling, give me your thoughts and prayers because I need them more now then you could ever in the world realize. I love you so very much. And would do anything to get back.


All my love

Jack


September 1st found the 489 Armd FA Bn remaining in their firing position at Clorieux west of Verdun and awaiting orders. The day passed without incident into the night, enemy air-craft bombed Verdun and several of the FO tanks, then out-posting the city, were sprayed by close misses.

Sept 1, 1944

France


My darling:

Honestly honey I feel terrible I don’t get a chance to write you oftener. But there are things happening over here which I can’t control and you know my job. I'm lucky if I get two to three hours sleep per day. Friday, it is raining. I got in about one am last night and I slept until eleven this morning. Now I’m writing you before I eat breakfast, which will be just another K ration. If I could tell you what we are doing I know you would understand. Maybe soon they will allow me to say. I hope so.

Betty I have one question I want to get off. Was Boseman married and did he have any children?

They had mail call yesterday. So I’ll let you know the mail I received from you. July 28, 31, Aug 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. That sure is a line up isn’t it honey. I read each one of them last night before I went to sleep. I sure like to receive mail from you too honey, even if it does have to come in batches. Now I’m going to try and answer all your questions. Should make a long letter. Well we will see.

Now that bond business. What I want you to do is keep a bank balance of at least $500.00. Maybe a little more. That is for use in case you get sick, etc., so we won’t have to worry about getting bonds cashed. And if you don’t need it, when I get home we can use that for a vacation which you and I am going to take. And in this vacation you better be careful because I figure your family will get a good start right then. Now with that money above $500.00 you can buy bonds if you want to. I think you can get bonds at $375.00 and at $750.00. I doubt if you will ever be able to get a $750.00 bond. But honey I always want you to get $100.00 each month then you can buy the extra one over that.

I received a letter from Reader’s Digest saying you had written them. They have combined our subscription to expire Dec 1946 so I guess that is all straight.

Your request for those silver spoons came a little late honey, I sure couldn’t find anything for anyone over in England. They just don’t have anything left.

I sure am wondering what you are knitting for me now. I’ve already got a sweater, what else could it possibly be. Well if I wait long enough I’ll know won’t I honey.

Honey don’t send any more air mail stationary. Most of our mail gets rained on somewhere along the way and the envelopes will be just stuck together. Send candy and more pictures of yourself. Honey I like those. The last one was some pin up girl picture I received.

Betty I’m enclosing one page of your letter. This is about the way your mail is received. What do you think about it.

Honey I got to get going again. Borcherding just said we are moving again. So I better close for now. You better hope for another rainy day so I can get a chance to write again.

Betty please don’t worry about me. I’m doing everything I know and learned to take care of myself. I sure wish this was over and when I do get home I’ll have plenty to say to you. For the last two nights I dreamed of you. They have both been just nice dreams. Be good darling and pray I come home to you soon. I do so much want to be with you. Good bye for now. All my love and more.

Jack


The 15th saw a definite increase in enemy activity. During the night, German patrols entered the position area of the small TF outposting the dairy at Steonweg and succeeded in destroying by bazooka fire several of the tanks and half-tracks of the supported unit. Our bn observers reported many signs of movement across the canal during the day and the number of missions fired were considerably more than for several days previous, 828 rounds being expended.

October 15, 1944

Sunday, Holland


My darling:

Betty I’m going to try and write you a little more often. I’ve sure been bad on the correspondence work.

To begin with, everything is the same. Everyone and everything. The only thing that gets me is it gets so cold at night and I get so lonesome for you. I sure would like to sneak home to you. Would you warm me up and put me to bed?

I sent a package to you the other day. I’ll tell you a little story about each item in the box.

First is a Nazi armband. This I got from a British intelligence officer stopping in the area for gas. He was going over the German lines that night for some papers. He said he would bring me something for the gas. The next morning he brought the arm bad which has a registration mark in the inside.

Next there is a dutch pennant. These were hung all over the country when we first entered. The colors are the dutch tricolors.

Next is a wrist watch. The watch has had a piece of shrapnel hit it. Please save this for me. You will notice the damage to the watch. This watch was found in the right shoe of a pair of wooden shoes a Hollander made for me. Those shoes I watched him made out of a log. They have many different types of boots they make, I didn’t do a thing to them. They are exactly the way they were when he gave them to me.

Now the next item is a silver locket made from two two shilling pieces and a dime. Captain Ilauis made this and gave it to me. Now honey I’m torn about giving you this locket. Let me know what you think of it. It is packed in toilet paper so don’t throw it away without looking.

There is a little wooden disk that was thrown in the vehicle in Belgium and also a huge lodge pin. No story however. Then there is one other item. When you receive the box I think you’ll be surprised at it.

I washed my field jacket this morning. Sure am wondering how it will come out. It was just terrible dirty.

Well honey I have to get back to work. I sure wish you were here with me. I need plenty of you now. But like every thing else I’ll just have to wait. Be good. I miss you terrible.


All my love

Jack


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