Tues 12 Sept 1944
Somewhere in France
Dear Mom: -
It’s some time since I’ve written isn’t it, I hope you’ll understand why when you reach the end of this letter. First of all though I want to apologize for using pencil, I still have my pen but without ink its not much good is it.
I had intended withholding the news that I was in France, but I guess Henry Carter wrote his folks that he was here so I figured you’d find out sooner or later. Take it from me though its nothing like the papers or returned men have pictured it to us: so far for us its been a swell adventure; for instance one night our [trumpet?] broke down in the middle of Normandy and we spent about four hrs in the wee [e___?] hours walking the streets of what once was a city twice the side of Halifax but we were the only living souls to be seen or hears unless the [page cut off] to be considered. Such [page cut off].
In a life time. I had a letter from Cliff just before I left England in which he told me he was in France too: at that time I thought that I might be able to contact him as soon as I got here but it looks as though we will have to wait till after the war for that. I don’t think that will be long either as the news is sure good this morning: the Yanks have advanced into Germany five miles and all other fronts are down the same.
Conditions in France are pretty terrible for the civilian population, lack of soap and water for washing seems to be the felt the most, but they tell us that they are better off now than when the Jerries were here. Speaking of Jerries I guess since coming here were seen about [word or number blacked out] of them (all prisoners). I had seen one in England in 42 but he was quite a bit different than these fellows; more spirit – these fellows are definitely beaten although the off one is still a bit stubborn; we talked with a few and they have Nazis attitudes [page cut off] [frown?] Hitler and his argument but others say “Heil Hitler! Mein! Mein!”
I landed in France on the anniversary of my fifth year in the army and as you know celebrated my thirty second birthday here the next day. I’ve been in many places since and will be in many more. Censorships is a bit uncertain! I’m not sure when I over-step the bounds but I am sure I can’t tell you where I am now or what date I was at any-other place however I shall list as many names as I can and leave the rest till after the war when I hope I can tell you personally they are [four names blacked out by the censor] and several others which I forget now. The money is easier to get along with than the English money although we had a considerable lot more experience with eh latter. We speak a few phrases of French now, enough to get along with, maybe before I leave here I will have a longer vocabulary and Lennie and I can hold a conversation. Cliff should be good at it now, eh?
I owe a lot of letters back there Heaven only knows when I’ll get em written, we move a lot and usually only squat for a night or two at the most, tell Ada – to have patience and I’ll try to get a line to her soon, [Milly the some say me to the whole darn family,?] and don’t anyone worry about me. This is what I’ve wanted for five years and I’m happy at last, as for being in danger Mom I’m just as safe here as I would be home so don’t you worry well so lone and all the best
(13th Btn. 2 C.B.R.G., CAO)