Dear Cass, I Love You

Chapter 2 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- Pre-Draft & Marraige

Cast of Characters
Introduction -- The Four Star German American Family
Chapter 1 -- Short History of Germany & the Hildenbrand Family Early Years
Chapter 2 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- Pre-Draft & Marraige
Chapter 3 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- June 1943 -- Basic Training
Chapter 4 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- July 1943
Chapter 5 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- August 1943
Chapter 6 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- September 1943
Chapter 7 -- Letter To Cass & Dutch -- October 1943
Chapter 8 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- November 1943 -- From U.S. to North Africa
Chapter 9 -- Letters To Cass & Dutch -- December 1943
Chapter 10 -- Letters to Cass & Dutch -- January 1944
Chapter 11 -- Letters to Cass & Dutch -- February & March 1944
Chapter 12 -- Prisoner of War Letters & Postcards -- April 1944 to January 1945
Battle of Casino
Going Home
Prisoner of War Book -- Part I
Prisoner of War Book -- Part II
Letters to Dutch & Cass From Friends/Family
Rudy's Room -- Rudy Hildenbrand -- U.S. Army Air Corps
Eric's Room -- Eric Hildenbrand -- Marines
Herbie's Room -- Herbert Hildenbrand -- Navy
Family Photos
Family Plot
Other Links of Interest

Note from WOLF: This chapter consists of pictures from when Cass & Dutch were dating and from the early years of their marraige, and letters they received before Dutch was drafted.  Cass & Dutch got married on July 3, 1941.  At that time, they temporarily moved in with Dutch's parents living at 7015 Saybrook Ave S.W., in  Philadelphia.  Cass seemed to have many friends, and enjoyed going to the Jersey shore.  Dutch appears to have many gambling  and drinking buddies from the old Neighborhood. Lol.    On December 7, 1941,  Japan invaded Pearl Harbor  which caused the United States to go to war with Germany and Japan. Dutch’s  brothers --  Eric and Rudy --  were at that time already in the service, as was his good friend Bodine.  (See the post card below dated, November 1942 from Eric when he arrived at Camp Elliot, San Diego, California. [Marine Training Base] with his buddy Bob Bodine. Cass's younger brother Jimmy [age 18 ] had also already enlisted in the Army a few months earlier. The next letters in this chapter are from Eric and Bodine congratulating Dutch & Cass on the birth of their first child Kathleen on November 28, 1942.  A few months after Kathleen was born, Dutch & Cass and the baby moved to 630 Andover Drive in Upper Darby.  Dutch was then drafted into the Army on May 5, 1943, reported for duty on the 4th of June, and completed Basic Training on Septmber 17, 1943. 






630 Andover Drive -- Hildenbrand Family Home in 1942


Jimmy Rush (left) -- June 4, 1940


Cass in front of Steele Pier Atlantic City - June 30, 1941


Cass & Dutch -  Summer of 1942


Jimmy Jenkins & Betty?







November 15, 1942

United States Marines

Hello People,

To Mr. & Mrs. Cass-Hildenbrand.

Subject.  How you love birds are making out.  By the way, if we are not to personal by asking, has the little one arrived yet, if not take good care of yourself and were hoping it’s a boy.

Eric and I are in my hut and batting the breeze about the good old days and the only reason we aren’t out drinking is that the (slops – what) isn’t open this evening.

Well, don’t answer this letter because we are moving to the West Coast and your letters would take a hell of a long time to reach us.  Then when we reach San Diego we’ll forward you our new address.

Maybe we would be happy to leave this Hell hole, nothing to do, no liberty, and what town there are you can find any women, they mustly kids, them down here.  Anyway Eric is so in love that he wouldn’t go any place any way.

When you see Betty ask her what has she done to Eric, he isn’t the same (some stuff).  Still the same old Bodine still nuts.

Eric & Bodine

P.S. $64.00 question, we hope it’s a girl!



November 16, 1942

United States Marines

Dear Dutch & Cass:

Well I am back in camp again.  I just got the scoop that we are going to the west coasts Friday.  We are not doing much here, we just drill for about 30 minutes then we do a little policing of the grounds mainly, wash some of our clothes, then have a little schooling on our new rifle M1.  I will be glad when we get out there for it will be something new for a while.  I hope to see as much as possible then hope to come back to tell you all about it.  When Betty gets the pictures we had made write and tell me what you think of them.  They ought to be good with Betty in them.  Don’t you think?  How is Herbie making out with his girl?  She is pretty cute.

Well I have nothing new to tell you except that I met Kobson and he told me how Dutch met him when he was home and told you that I would be home soon.

Well I will say good night, best of luck and I hope it’s a boy.



P.S.  I just wrote this in the spare of a moment so don’t mind what I wrote.  How is the car running.  What was wrong with it?


December 4, 1942

Camp Elliott

Hello People and Family:

I hope I’m not disappointed by writing this letter, but I have a feeling that the new arrival, has arrived and that it is a boy.

Well, here I’m not out here in sunny California, just a small three thousand miles away, but my body, heart, and soul are all in good old Philly.  I travel over the country and even though other states have beauty, they lack the friendship, made and bound in good old boy hood days.

Eric and me made a liberty to San Diego, quite a place and many of the surrounding have the Mexican atmosphere; therefore making them odd and beautiful.  It was in these surround town that the picture Ramona was made.

Things around camp are the same as ever with some changes, like the Lieut making us fall out and go for a swim in water so cold you damn near drown when first you dive into it.  I manage to swim the 100 yds, but I can’t begin to explain the trouble I had.

Many dove into the pool and if the guard hadn’t been there it was curtains for them.  There was a tall skinny Indian, whom everyone thought was going to be a wiz, but when he hit the water we were greatly surprised, because if the guard hadn’t been there he probably a dead duck now.

I am sorry but I’ll have to close now, because Eric and I are making a liberty to Diego in a half an hour.

I remain as ever,


P.S. This letter should have been mailed before the other one but you know the situation after a liberty.


December 5, 1942

Camp Elliott

Dear Dutches,

Subject: the new arrival.  Eric and I send our congratulations to you two love birds and mostly Cass, because they always claimed that it took a man to make a boy.  We suppose you can’t be choosey.

All kidding aside, we’re tickled pink that you people have a girl, because what would we men do without them.  (“God bless its little heart.”)

We were informed that she is a baby of 6 lbs and ounces.  I forgot just how many, and by the time we come home she ought to be quite some baby.

By the way, just yesterday I was wondering when the new arrival was to arrive and when we received the news it made us happy.

Say, that would call for a party times were normal and when this war is over we will have it.  I imagine you, Dutch, were busting your _______ _____ because in Betty’s letter you yanked them out of bed to spread the good news.

What do you say Dutch, if we were home, Oh Yes!  Cass, you wouldn’t mind if Dutch an I went out to do the town over or would you?  Hey, Dutch you gave out cigars didn’t you, well, we are going to smoke cigars and even though it is a week late we’ll make believe that the whole damn gang is all together anyway, though we are far apart.

I am writing this letter over in Eric’s barracks and he is ironing his


December 8, 1942

Dear Katherine:

I was surprised to hear from you but at first when I looked at the return address I wondered who could write me from Landsdown.  But then my mind cleared up and I knew that it was from you.  I should have known it before because of the writing that looked like a chicken wrote it.  Don’t mind this last sentence because I am only kidding.  As you know that it was no surprise for me about the baby because Betty wrote me the day before and told me.

But I was still glad to hear from you.  I am glad it was a girl for we always wanted a girl in our family.  I know my father and mother will go crazy over it.  Most likely your folks too.  Please send me a picture of the baby soon.

And most of all how are you?  Did everything come out all right?  I guess you will be taking it easy for a while now so maybe you can write me a line now and then and tell me all about my niece.  I am awfully proud to be an uncle.  I bet Dutch was plenty excited.

Well I have to close now for it is time to go to work again.  I told Bodine all about it, he was awfully delighted and laughed at the thought of Dutch now being a father.

Your Loving Brother-n-law


P.S.  Give my niece a kiss for me.  I made a mistake thru about the title which I should call her between niece or nephew.  I was mixed up between a boy or girl.

P.P.S.  I wrote this letter in a hurry, so don’t mind the writing and mistakes.  Also give my regards to Dutch.


Cass & Dutch - Kathleen's Christening


Baby Kathy


Cass & Kathy


Agnes & Jimmy Rush (left to right) -- June 16, 1943


Dutch's Induction Announcement


Dutch's Military Record


Enter supporting content here

Copyright James A. Hildenbrand 2009, 2010, 2011