[Malmédy, Belgium] Oct.

,  My Dearest Letty: Well, I hope I have time to finish this, but a guy never knows. Anyway, I just had a flock of letters from you and a few other people and it is high time I tried to answer some of them. Everyone except you and the family has about quit writing to me. They can’t remember to write if I don’t answer their letters, and that is not always possible. Say, you should have been with us a couple of days ago. It was Jim Modlin’s wedding anniversary, and we had to do a bit of celebrating. So we did it with a dinner. We are staying in an abandoned farmhouse just now, so we had a stove. One of the boys acquired three fryer chickens for the occasion, and we did them in grand Southern style. I must break down and modestly confess that I am not a bad cook when it comes to preparing fried chicken. (But I cannot compare with your mother, of course. You may tell her that truthfully.) Anyway, we fixed up quite a tasty meal. We had genuine milk gravy (we also have a cow, which we milk twice a day), salad, cheese, onion, French-fried potatoes, milk and coffee, toast and jam. It was very good. The best part of it was that some of the boys discovered a white tablecloth, so we ate from China plates on a nice clean table. And to add a bit of the feminine touch, some guy produced two big beautiful dolls (one blonde and one brunette) and set them up on either side of Jim’s plate. A party is a dull affair without girls, you know, and the dolls were the best we could do. There was only one hitch to the whole party. While we were lingering over our coffee and cigarettes, the jerries opened up with their artillery. One shell landed on a side room of the house and blew the roof away. It knocked soot into all our coffee and we had to pour out a gallon of good milk. They have very bad manners about such things. (Naughty boys!) We had a good house when we moved in, but the usable part of it is getting smaller by the day. The roof is gone from one room, and the artillery knocks out the windows from a new room almost every day. Very soon now, we shall have only the cellar. Luckily, that has no windows, and there seems to be no way for the shells to damage it.

The Siegfried Line



I was pleased to learn that you would probably go to work at Russellville before long. It is a pleasant little town, and you should enjoy working there more than at Kansas City or Fort Smith. Then, too, you will be easier to find when the war is over. Hope you don’t mind my starting this note with ink and finishing with pencil. My ink supply is exhausted and there is no drugstore on the corner. Love Always, Leland

[Belgian border, near Aachen, Germany] Oct. ,  My Dearest Letty: Since I have time to write a little today, I hope you won’t mind my using wrapping paper for stationery. It is all I have and they say the American Army is supposed to be good at improvising. That is, we do the best we can with what we have. Things are going pretty good here, but it is still as muddy as the Delta country. It rains regularly, but that is to be expected. Otherwise, conditions are good. Chow is plentiful, and we even get plenty of cigarettes. Writing paper is not so plentiful, but we get plenty of envelopes. My only complaint is that I cannot get a new pipe. I only have one now and, being a bit on the absent-minded side, I keep it lost half the time. Oh yes, they finally took the Fifth Armored Division off the “secret” list and admitted that we were in the war. Gave us quite a write-up in the paper, too. They told how we gained  miles in our first  days in action, and listed many of the towns we had captured. They also gave this division credit for being the first Allied troops to enter Germany. I intended to send you the story but lost the paper. I suppose you are working again, but I can only guess at that. Your letters have been scrambled as to the dates, and many of them have not arrived. It is like missing several installments in a serial story or movie. I simply have to guess at what transpired in the preceding chapters.


Dearest Letty


Guess mine are the same, but the saving feature is that nothing happens in my letters. The only point I don’t want you to forget is that I am still in love with you. Remember that and even if all my letters fail to arrive you have missed nothing. Love Always, Leland

[Heerlen, The Netherlands] Oct. ,  My Dearest Letty: Well, here it is almost the middle of October and Saturday, too, but I have not seen a single football game this year. Tragic, isn’t it? But if I were home we would see one today. That is not so bad. Football can wait. But for several days I don’t even get a letter. Can you imagine that? And all the time you complain that you cannot get mail. We both seem to be in the same boat. I just learned that Ardis shipped out for overseas some place. Don’t know where he is going, but his postoffice is New York so he might be on his way to Europe. I am investigating to see if it is possible to send you a box of souvenirs, etc., which I have collected. They are all utterly worthless, I suppose. I could get nothing of any special value, but you might want to take a look at some of them. I have a few coins from various countries, including England, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Luxembourg. Also have a couple of decorations of honor for Nazi soldiers and even an identification button for a Nazi underground worker from Miami. But I don’t think he will ever get back to Miami, so I am sure he won’t need the button again. Guess I might as well call this off. I have quite a cold (had a chill last night) so the thinking wheels in my head simply won’t go. Will try to be better when I write again. Love Always, Leland

The Siegfried Line



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