Sunday September 5,
Camp Wheeler, Georgia.
Well today is Sunday
and I am glad. I hope we don’t have any more weeks like the last one. Last night while I was playing cards, I didn’t do so good and I’m now what you call broke, except for a quarter that I didn’t
know I had. My mother wrote and told me that she and Reds were sending some money as soon as Reds gets some time, so when
you see Reds, you tell him to get on the ball and send it (o.k.) See honey every time I play cards or anything I seem to be
the losing all the time and I’m the and that needs it the most. I get SO DISGUSTED at this army life that I want
to go some place and hide so that they can never find me again but the only thing
that is stopping me is you and the baby, for I love you too much for not to be able to see you again. I only have to stay
at this camp for another 5 weeks and then I will be able to get a furlough to come home to hold you in my arms again. Won’t
that be swell honey? I got your letter today saying how Kathy beat up Mary. I sure wish I was home to see her. I am
missing her every word. This war has taught me one lesson and that is that I wouldn’t ever go away from you and the
baby again. I also got a letter from your aunt Emma saying that Richard was back in training and that Dick got a crack on
the head that required a few stitches. Boy, I’m telling you, the soldier has to worry more about the folks at home than
about himself. So honey, you be careful of yourself and the baby and write to your grandmother. I’ll be very glad when
these last two weeks of training are over, as I would like to work for some stripes as soon as I go to some other camp. Any
insignia, until our basic is over, and when you do get these, we will sure have earned it. Well honey, how does it feel for
your husband to be coming home pretty soon? Boy, every time I think of it, I get happy all over. I can’t explain the
feeling I get when I think that I will once again hold you in my arms and I will always wonder what I will do when I walk
in the door What will you do honey? I also want to see the baby, as I am wondering what she looks like now. I don’t
think she can be any prettier since she is the prettiest baby in the whole world. You better watch that I don’t hug
and kiss her to death once I hold her in my arms once again. Honey, I really miss the two of you something terrible and I
would give anything to be back home for always and always. It’s something that I look forward to and it helps keep me
going. If I didn’t have you or the baby I would give a damn about anything. Take good care of yourself and the baby
as you are my whole life and future. I love you honey so don’t forget that. Tomorrow I think I can get two letters in
as we will be in the barracks most of the day preparing for Thursday. So good night honey, I love you.
Love and Kisses
Ps Kiss the baby for
me and tell her that her daddy loves her.
Monday, Sept. 6, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
We just came in for
lunch and I thought I would write you a short letter. Right now I am waiting for the afternoon’s mail and hope to have
some. This morning we went to the movies and saw some pictures on battler formations. After that, we had a talk on battle
formations for two hours. It was a very easy morning and I wish that it was all like that. I just came back from eating lunch
and I mailed two letters off to you saying that you got your check. I just heard that instead of having 14 days of bivouac,
it will be 20days. Boy they sure give us the dirty end of everything here. At first it was 14 weeks of training, then they
made it 17 weeks and now instead of 14 days of camping, it will be 20 days. Boy it sure makes me mad. Well honey, I sure miss
you and the baby and I’m counting the days until my training is over, I will be able to see you soon. I am now on the
13th week and we only have 4 more weeks to go. Boy will I be glad when I’m on my way home to see you. I am
going to hug and kiss you to death as I love you more than anything on earth as no one will ever be able to take your place
in my heart.
Love you something awful,
Ps I love everything
about you sweetheart
Monday Sept 6, 1943
Well it’s now 7:30 and I just finished cleaning my rifle. This afternoon we marched for about three
miles and then the demonstration crew was called out to practice some new formations. There was a mix-up somewhere and all
we did all afternoon was sit around waiting for the time to come to pull out for the barracks. That’s one time that
we got a break, for the rest of the battalion had to go through some of the old battle formations the whole afternoon. As
we were about to go back, it started to rain and we got soaked. We sure enjoyed the rain as it was very cool and soothing.
On payday, we all chipped in 50 cents to have a beer party in the mess hall. I think we will have our rifle medals awarded
to us then. The beer party will be held this Saturday so you don’t mind if I get drunk do you? I’ll be lucky if
I get 2 bottles. I got one letter off to you tonight. You said that you didn’t take the baby to my mother’s for
the weekend, as you would be too lonely without her. Well honey, why don’t you stay with them, as you know they would
be glad to have you there too? You say that everybody said the baby looks like a doll. Well honey, I think she is the prettiest
baby in the world and I am the proudest father that ever walked on two feet, of my family. If you only knew how much I love
and miss you and the baby. Boy, if I could only be back home with you again, I would be the happiest man in the world. Honey,
I forgot to ask you, but what is the exact date that you will have the baby? I think it’s November 1st? I
just want to be sure so I can put in for furlough at the right time. Don’t forget to ask the doctor for an o.k. slip
saying that you need me home and then you give it to the Red Cross. Well, goodnight honey and god bless you and the baby.
Love you always,
Tuesday Sept 7, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Well today we hiked
for about 5 miles and then we had review work for the rest of the morning. I the afternoon, the demonstration squad had to
go out and practice some new formations and Friday we have to demonstrate to the rest of the Company. At 3:30 we came back
to the barracks to get ready for the parade at 5 o’clock. After the parade, we will be done for the day. I am glad for
that because it is very hot here today. Tomorrow we are going to camp out for the night but I was lucky enough to have to
stay in camp to take care of the barracks tomorrow (aren’t you glad?). I got one letter off to you today. You told me
that the baby got out of her playpen? Boy she sure is smart just like her mother). Boy I wish I was home to see her do these
things. It would make me the happiest man alive. When I come home on furlough, I am going to spend every second of the time
I am home with you and the baby. Believe me honey, I love you more than life itself and I would die if anything ever happened
to you or the baby. Please be careful and take care of yourself and the baby. In your letter today, you said that you wish
we had a boy for my sake, Well honey, I would like to have a boy, same as you, but if it’s a girl, don’t worry
about it for it wouldn’t make a difference to me. A long as everything is all right with you and the baby. Get it out
of your head that I just want a boy and nothing else. All I want is for you and my family to be safe, for I love you more
than anything. Good night sweetheart and God bless you and the babies.
Love you forever,
Ps I miss you terribly
Tuesday Sept. 7, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Last night I was told
that I had a phone call. I was at the movies at the time. Boy, that’s just my luck. Right now I am waiting for you to
call me back and I sure hope you do. I came back from the movies about 11 o’clock and you just called a � hour earlier
and they didn’t tell me to ask for the operator until the next morning. I went to the movies at 8:45 so you must have
called right after that. Is that right? Tonight I will get the money order from my parents and I don’t think I will
be able to use it. Here is why. Tonight everybody was called to assemble and it was pretty bad news. They called out a list
of names and I wasn’t on it. But when you hear this, you will be glad. Guess what? Everybody is going to California
instead of Fort Meade. Boy, oh, Boy! I’m glad I wasn’t on it. I don’t know what is going to happen to me
but I won’t be going on furlough until a couple of weeks. Things look pretty good. I’m not telling you what I’m
hoping for but if everything turns out alright, I will have very, very good news for you (I hope). Go to my mothers and tell
her I won’t be home for a couple of weeks as my orders have been changed tonight. I will keep the money in case I get
out sooner (o.k.?).
Well honey, our meeting
may be postponed for a spell but I think I was pretty lucky not going to California and getting my furlough now (don’t
you think so?).Would you rather of had I come home now and then sent to California? I don’t know what they are going
to do with me, but I’m sure hoping what I think is right. Well honey, how do you feel now? At first I was very disappointed
in my name not being called out but when I found out where they were going, I was pretty happy. Well darling, I’m going
to get a haircut now and I’m hoping that you call me back tonight. So until tomorrow afternoon, I’ll say, I love
you and hope to hold you in my arms very soon and telling you face to face, I love you and you are in my heart at all times.
Tell the baby that her daddy loves her and he hopes to see her and mommy very soon. Good night sweetheart and may God bless
you and the baby.
Love and Kisses,
Ps I love you and hope
you call me tonight.
Wednesday Sept 8, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Well today is Wednesday
and the rest of the platoon is out until Thursday. This morning I made the hot water and cleaned up the barracks. All I have
to do is keep the barracks clean and always have hot water on hand for the rest of the day. Isn’t that swell!
I wouldn’t have
been able to write to you until tomorrow if I wasn’t given this job. Aren’t you glad?
Right now it’s
11:30 and I am waiting for chow call, and maybe I’ll get mail. (if there is any)/ I forgot to tell you, but I am getting
my own citizenship papers, for the officers think it is best that I do. So I guess I’ll get it in about a month. Well
there goes chow call, so I’ll be back in 11 minutes (o.k.?)
Well I just got back
from dinner and I got a letter. Guess who it is from? Well I don’t think you can guess, so I’ll tell you. It was
from Bayard Smith. I’ll give it to you to read (o.k.?). Over the radio just now, we got some good news. I guess you
already heard that Italy has surrendered. Boy isn’t that swell. Looks like I’ll be home pretty soon honey, and
I sure hope so (don’t you?). There was a pretty bad train wreck up in Frankford wasn’t there? Boy its things like
that that makes me worry about you and the baby, so be very, very careful honey. Well I have to get back to work, so until
tonight sweetheart, I love you and miss you terribly. Tell the baby I love her too.
Love you forever,
Ps I love you
Wednesday Sept 8, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
I have to write a very
fast letter, as I am going out with the rest of the company tonight. They just came and told us to get our stuff and be ready
to pull out around 5 o’clock. All I did this afternoon was sit around and read. It is now 4:45 and I am ready to go.
I don’t have anything to tell you except that I love you and very much want to see you. Honey, I hope you don’t
think that I run around with the girls as it would make me feel very bad. All I want is you so that when I come home, again,
we can live a very happy, married life with no more arguments. Well, I have to go, so don’t forget that I love you and
the baby and when I come home, I am going to hug you to death.
Ps I love you!
Friday Sept. 9, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Boy it’s good
to be back in camp and being able to write you. For the past few days, we have been going through battle courses with more
to come. Tomorrow morning I have to get up at 5:30 and get ready to pull out at 7 o’clock, for the demonstration crew
needs to demonstrate “The Platoon in Defense”. It’s going to be our last demonstration so we have to make
it a very good one. After supper last night, we had to fall back in to listen to a lecture called “How to hate”.
It was all about what the Japs and Germans did to all the people of the world. It is now 9 o’clock and I still didn’t
start to clean my stuff for inspection tomorrow. I’ll get on it as soon as I finish this letter.
I got your letter telling
me about the fight between you and my parents. Well all I can say honey is forget about it as I don’t think my father
really meant what he said. If you understand him like I do, you wouldn’t pay any attention to what he or my mother said.
After all, I had quite a few fights with your mother and I never stopped going to her house. I too, get mad at moments and
blow my head off, but I really never meant a word I said. I hope you take my advice and go out to my father and mothers and
forget about everything that happened for my sake. I wouldn’t want it that way (please). Well honey, I better close
now or I won’t be able to finish my work. Know that I love you and miss you terribly. Take care of yourself and the
baby so that when I come back, we can live happily ever after.
German troops occupy Rome. Mussolini soon declares himsel head of a new fascist Italian
government in German-occupied northern Italy.
September 11, 1943
How are you, I sure hope this letter finds
you o.k. as it leaves everybody at home in the best of health and your family is doing ok. Catherine was up the other
night with the baby and they are both doing all right. Bobby and Eugene go to school now and believe me it sure is some
job. Well Dutch how are you making out with the Army or how is the army making out with you which way is it?
We sure had a surprise last Thursday.
Rich called me up, it was just great to hear him. I will never forget it. There was Dick’s grandmother Ruth
that is his girl and myself and the two kids and we all talked on reversed charges. I won’t know until the end
of the month how much it will be, he called on Thursday night because he knows that Ruth comes up for dinner then he could
check on her. And also talked to her on my call.
That Boy of mines gets smarter every day ok.
Well what the diff. all we want is the whole thing to be over with and then you all will come marching home for good.
Your Catherine will go made the day you come marching home, she sure is nuts over you and I do mean that. Everything
is about the same in Phila. We can’t get butter and not much candy. But that is too bad, who cares,
I don’t. Grandmother has not been so good. I think she is all worked up over Ray. But he will be alright,
it will do him good. I hope I guess Catherine told you he was going in the sea bus. Well Dutch, I guess I had
better bring this letter to a close as I got to get the two boys off to bed and they have to get washed. They were asking
for you and send you good luck. Will close now with all our love and good wishes to a fine soldier.
Aunt Emma, Uncle Dick
Sept. 11, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
This morning we had the demonstration which took us 2 hours to do and after that, we came back and ate lunch.
After lunch, we had inspection which lasted about 2 hours and then a � hour of wrestling. After that, we had a � hour of fire
drill, talk on guarding military information and then another � hour of wrestling. At the end of the day we had a party and
that was a lot of fun. We had all the beer we could hold and plenty to eat. We also had a floor show with all the fellas that
had talent, entertaining us. The party broke up around 10 o’clock and we sure enjoyed ourselves (only wished you were
here). I got your letter saying that you are laid up in bed for a week. Gee honey, I told you to be careful and watch yourself.
Right now you have me worried as hell.
You do what the doctors
tell you to do, ok honey? In your letters you are always questioning me whether I go out with any girls or not. Well honey,
if you don’t believe what I tell you in my letters, what can do to make you believe me? When I say “I love you”
don’t you believe me? What would I being doing with any other girl if I always have you on my mind and wanting to be
home with you. KEEP THIS IN MIND, “I LOVE YOU AND ONLY YOU, FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE THERE IS NO ONE ELSE EVER, TO TAKE
YOUR PLACE IN MY HEART. Don’t forget and go out to my parent’s house and don’t be angry with them. Please
I love you,
Ps Take good care of
Sunday Sept 12,
I forgot to tell
you that I am on guard duty from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Tonight, when we went to an inspections before guard duty
started, we were all gigged for dirty rifles and unshined shoes. We will not be able to leave the barracks until we improve.
All I did today was lay around and read the papers and wash my cloths. That goes to prove that I will be a very good husband,
being able to do my own wash now, doesn’t it? Are you feeling better sweetheart? I hope so! When I come home, I will
make you feel better.
letters, I want you to tell me what the baby
does every day. I would like to know what she is doing. I bet she is a lovable little devil and I sure wish that o was home
to see her break things. It won’t be long before I am holding her in my arms and kissing both of you (I hope). I will
probably be home before you have the baby so we should have sometime for ourselves. Won’t that be swell? Don’t
forget to stay in bed until you are sure you are ok. I love you honey, and want to be with you something awful. Don’t
be disappointed if you don’t receive any mail on Monday and Tuesday for when I wrote you, we are camping for 2 days.
So until then, honey, I’ll be loving you every second of the day.
Loving you always,
Ps I’m missing you something terrible.
Sunday Sept. 12, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Well today is a day of rest and I’m glad. Monday we will start our 14th
week of training and honey, I won’t be able to write to you again until Wednesday. We are going out to camp until then.
Boy how I hate these bivouacs. The following Wednesday we are going out on our 14 day bivouac. After that, our training is
over. Won’t that be swell? From Monday until Wednesday, we have the problem of firing movements. We have to be very
careful because we are using live ammunition; It is a very dangerous problem as many fellows have been hurt over it. Don’t
worry about me honey, as old Dutchy can take care of himself. Honey, if you could send me a couple of dollars next week before
we go on our 14 day bivouac, I would appreciate because I have a lot of things I need for it. I never did get the money Reds
was supposed to send me, but I guess he forgot about it. After I finish this letter, I’m going to write my parents and
ask them about it as I am flat broke. I got 2 letters off to you this morning and you asked me a lot of questions. I
will answer them.
I forgot to tell you that I lost the medal that you gave me before I went
away 2 months ago. I took it off one day as I was taking a shower and when I came back to my bunk to put it on, it was gone.
I asked everyone if they had seen it but no one had or someone was a liar. Boy was I mad. I told them if I ever saw one of
them with it, I will break their neck. I got the picture you sent me of you and it was very good. I only wish it were you
here instead of the picture. I say that I love you not only at ten, but every second of the day. Honey, I love you so much
that if I’m lying, may god strike me dead. I got the medal and the holy picture and put the medal on my dog tag chain
and the holy picture in my wallet. Right now I am praying that you will be alright and that God takes care of you and the
baby for me until I get home. You say in your letter that you are getting up and coming downstairs already because you feel
better. Why don’t you do what the doctors say and stay in bed for the whole week? After all, it’s your pelvic
bone and when you get up, it puts a strain on it. Don’t you think the doctor knows what’s best? So stay in bed
or I’ll come home and spank you myself. After you get better, I want you to go out to my father’s house with the
baby and see for yourself that they didn’t mean what they said, ok? Well honey, I’ll write you later tonight,
o.k.? I love you!
Loving you always,
PS Kiss the baby for me
September 12, 1943
Camp Livingston, La
Hi ya Carl,
Received your letter and was glad to hear from you. That
basic training is sure hell as I minded that more than anything since I was in the Army. Am sure you will be happy when
it is over with. Maybe you will be put in a Mechanized Infantry outfit. This you won’t have to do so much
As far as getting into a good outfit as yours,
I am satisfied to stay just where I am as we don’t do much walking and think I’m in the best in the Army.
At the camp, I was in in Texas there was a Mecz. Infantry outfit
and we used to work out against them. Had a lot of problems against them. They were a darned good outfit, but
not near as good as ours. You will have a lot of fun on these problems when you start to go on them. Also, will
learn a lot.
It is pretty tough to be so far away from home
but think of all the fellows like Eric and the rest of the boy’s. They will never be able to get home until the
war is over.
Just finished writing to “Doc” Munyon. You
should know him he used to work at the Navy Yard and spent a lot of time in the Marble Grille. He is going to get moved
from Richmond, Va to either the Phila. Airport or Camp Dix, New Jersey. He is in the Air Corp. That would be a
good set up for you and I wouldn’t it. Some guys get all the breaks.
Am moving out of this cramp in the morning. We are going
on two months of maneuvers. It sure is a hell of a job packing all the stuff and have just about get it all done.
These maneuvers are a lot of work and sometimes a lot of fun. One outfit has been on 2 of these already, but it is the
first for me. Expect to learn a lot from these. Will let you know how I’m making out from time to time.
Was glad to hear that Reds got home safe again.
Bet he will sure have some fun for a while until he goes back. He’s got a good set up.
Haven’t heard from Rudy as yet, but expect to soon.
I wrote him the night I first wrote you. Sent it to his mother address. Let me know if you hear from him and what
his new address is. Haven’t heard from Eric at all.
Tell Cass and your Mother and Father I was asking for them when
you write them.
Well Dutch, take good care of yourself and I’ll do the
same. Write me soon again and send it to this address.
Pvt. Bayard Smith
Troop D. 113 Cov. (Mecz)
Lots of luck in the crap and card games as I can’t do
a dammed bit of good at either since I came back from furlough
Monday Sept. 13, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Right now it’s
about 8:30 am and I am waiting to be called out. I just got off guard duty and ate my breakfast, got my things together for
a 2 day bivouac. I am rushing this letter because I may be called out at any second. I wrote my mother and father yesterday
and told them you were coming out. I also told them about you being in bed for a week. I just got called so until Wednesday,
I love you, Dutch
Monday Sept. 13, 1943
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
I just borrowed this paper and envelope to write you tonight. All I did today, after I wrote you that quick
letter, was to hike out to our camping ground which is about 6 miles from camp. For the rest of the day, all I did was lay
around. It is now getting dark so you have to excuse the bad writing. I got 2 letters off to you this afternoon and one from
your Aunt Emma. For the past week they have been bringing the mail out to us with the chow truck. It’s going to be too
dark to write any longer so I will send the letter your Aunt Erma sent to me in this letter, ok? Good night sweetheart. I
love you more than anything in the world.
Love you always,
Ps tell the baby I love
now 9:30 and I just got through cleaning my rifle, bayonet, mess kit, making my laundry up for tomorrow, and taking a much
needed shove and shower. I’m sending you a letter I wrote while camping, but I couldn’t get an envelope to put
it in or else I would have or else I would have sent it in wit the cook so that he could mail it. Boy honey, these last three
days sure have been easy. All I have been doing is laying around, sleeping until today. Today we went through the problem
of firing movement. The firing range was about 800 yards long and very rough and steep. We were attacking the enemy in 3 squads.
I was in the third squad and we were the flanking squad. We had the easiest job as we rushed about 200 yards and then we hit
the dirt and covered the rest of the squad’s as they were advancing. When they got to a point when they could charge,
we stopped firing so as not to hit any of our man. Then they would rush the supposed enemy and bayonet them. During all that
time, they had machine guns firing over our heads. That’s what made it a little more realistic. There were so many bullets
flying around that it started quite a few fires in the woods so we had to get our trenching tools and put it out. So that
was the end of our problem and here I am honey. What did you think of it? Well
honey, today is Wednesday and the following Wednesday we will be out on our 14 day bivouac. After that is over, our basic
training is over. Won’t that be swell? Just think, in a month from now, I will be home on furlough. Will you be glad
to see me? I know that it will be one o f the happiest moments of my life when I see you and the baby again. In your letter
today, you said that you didn’t think it was your place to go out to my mother and father’s again. Well honey,
as I told you before, I know my mother and father, and if they meant it, I wouldn’t ask you to go there again. But as
it is, I know that they don’t mean it. From the bottom of my heart. Please drop out there someday, and I’ll bet
that they will say they are sorry. If not, I will join you in the argument (ok) (please)?...and pretty please. How did Rudy
look? I bet he was crazy over Kathy. The letters I got the last few days telling me what my baby does while I’m away,
sure make me happy. That’s what I want you to write about, just yourself and the baby. Well honey, I guess you went
to the doctors since I wrote you this letter, so you better do what they say and keep in touch on what he tells you (ok)?
Well honey, I guess I’ll hit the hay as I am very tired, so take very good care of yourself so that I can take you out
on my furlough (o.k.)? I’ll sure be happy when the day comes, wont you? I love you honey and want to be with you more
than anything in the world. I never realized that I would miss you so much but as the book says “live and learn”.
I guess this will teach me a good lesson and I hope to make every second that I have been away from you. Good night honey
and god bless you and the babies.
Love you always,
Take care of you as I love you beyond words.
Sept. 16 1943
I only got one letter from you and I was pretty disappointed but I carried pretty good news about you being at my parents
again. I f you only knew how much better I feel about it. How come you and my parents are on speaking terms again? You didn’t
explain in your letter how it came about so write and tell me. I bet Rudy felt
real good about seeing all the folks again? Gee, how I wish it was me but it won’t be long honey, so keep your chin
up. Every day that passes makes me happier and closer to you. When I come home, you better have a very warm greeting and kisses
for me, and I’ll hug you to death.
honey, today we didn’t do anything until 1 o’clock. All I did was dig a three man fox hole or part of one. A three
man fox hole is three fox holes dug right next to each other and a bare spot in the middle so a machine gun can be placed
there. But all we dug was about two feet in 2 hours so you can see how much we loafed. Well honey, that’s all we did
today. It’s so much easier now that we are at the end of our training. Don’t forget to send me a couple of dollars
because I need to buy a few things for the 14 day bivouac that is only five days away. It won’t be long now so you better
be prepared for a wonderful time. It will be our second honeymoon, and a very loving one. Just you, the baby and I. I dream
about you and the baby every night. So until then, I’ll see you both, in the flesh. I love until my dying day.
Friday, September 17,
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
Today we went out in
the woods, and set up mortar positions. We marched all morning, and then we ate lunch. After lunch, we had to
dig our mortar positions. Boy it sure was easy, all I did was sleep for the rest of the afternoon, as the other five
fellows dug. There were 6 fellows to each mortar position, so that made it too many to dig the same position at
one time, so that is why I didn’t have to do anything. Boy this army life is getting easier each day. We
have just about 5 more days before we go out on our 14 day birance[sic] and will I be glad when its over. I hope that
when we are done our training, that they ship me closer to home. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, so you better
do the same, (o.k.). I got 3 letters today and two were from you, and one was from Bayard Smith. I’ll
put it in this letter so that you will be able to read it (o.k.). In your letter you asked me to answer all of your
questions, so here are the answers. There were no girls at the party we held as it was strictly G.I., if there would
have been, I wouldn’t of went as I only want you sweetheart. In your letter you say that you would rather have
me take my furlough after you have the baby, as you wouldn’t be able to go to the places that I would want to go.
Your all wrong there honey, as the only place that I would want to go is right some place where we could be alone. All
I want to be with is you and only you (and the baby of course). I love you honey and I want to see you as soon as possible,
no matter how much you are out of shape. After all what you are carrying is my whole life and our future family life,
so you ought not of be ashamed of it, as I am very proud, and I love you all the more for it. (If possible I could love
you more). So does that settle that question? It ought to, as I wouldn’t think of not being near you when
the time comes for [page missing]
WOLF'S Note: Dutch completed Basic Training on September 17, 1943 and then went on
to Field Training.
Today we went out and did some battle
formations till lunch. After lunch, we had to dig more fox holes. So you see, we are just killing time. Boy, but in a few
days we will leave this hole/ I hear this army is a lot easier after basic. I sure hope so! I got two letters from you and
one from my mother and father. I received a very nice letter from my parents and guess what? They sent me five dollars! Boy
it sure came at the right time as I had to get a GI haircut before we went on our bivouac. They also said everything was good
between all of you as it was only a misunderstanding. Is that right? In your letters, you are telling me what the baby does,
sure make me feel better, and a lot happier. Don’t forget to tell me everything she does (o.k.)? I hope Joe is up and
around this time, as I hate to see him laid up in bed. I wish that I could hit a crap game so that I could send all of you
some sort of gift, Especially you and the baby. Boy it sure makes me feel bad not being able to send you anything. But I hope
to get lucky one of these times, so keep your fingers crossed. The weather down here sure is funny. The past few weeks have
been very cool. During the past three nights I have put three blankets over me. Is it cold in Philly yet? Well, I better save
some news until tomorrow, so good night sweetheart and god bless you and the baby. I love you beyond words.
I sure miss you and in about three more weeks, I hope to see you as I can’t stand it much longer without you. I love you and remember that always.
I last wrote you all I did was lay around the barracks and getting my things together for Monday. I played cards for a while
but didn’t have any luck. Right now I feel very much in the dumps and I wish that I could be home with you. I’m
glad I don’t have much further to go before I see you. My mother said she was sending me a picture of the baby as soon
s she gets an envelope for it. Did you get it? You didn’t get any pictures taken of the baby lately. If not, I wish
that you would so I could see what she looks like now. The last bunch that left camp went to Fort Meade, Maryland with a 5
day extension of travel time so they could stop at home. After the 5 days are up, they would go straight to Fort Meade and
the government would pay the travel expenses. Wouldn’t that be swell if I had the same break. Keep your fingers crossed
honey, so that I may be just as lucky as they are. Well in just 17 days I will be through my training and I’ll be home.
Doesn’t that make you feel good? It makes me feel happy to see you and Kathy again, as I love you both beyond words.
I hope you are taking it easy as I don’t want you laid up in bed when I get home. You better have a big kiss for me
when I walk in the door as I am looking forward to it very much. Well good night honey! I will write you a letter when I come
back to camp on Tuesday (ok)?
I love you
is Sunday and a day of rest I got one letter from you today and that was kind of short. I don’t have very much to write
about. Tomorrow night we are camping out so I guess I won’t be able to write until Tuesday. But I’ll write a letter
on Monday when I get back to camp. Tuesday we are going to have a shakedown inspection. That is an inspection of every piece
of equipment that the government gives to us. If anything is missing, we have to pay for it. I hope that I’m not missing
anything or I have to pay for it. After we come back from a 14 day bivouac, we have to the same thing in case we lose anything
then. In Wednesday bulletin, there was a piece of paper about an officer’s son who was strangled in his crib. So you
better keep an eye on Kathleen. I would die if anything like that would happen to her. Did you read it? I’ll put the
piece in this letter in case you didn’t read it honey, I am waiting for the dinner gong for I am very hungry.. I wish
I was home to have one of my mother’s home cooked Sunday dinner. By the way, you better know how to make some of my
mother’s German dishes as I would rather have you make them always. When I come back home we are going to eat at home
always and no more restaurants, o.k.? Just you, the babies and I (right)? Well honey, I better sign off as I have to wash
for chow. After I come back, I am going to write you, Aunt Emma, Grandmother and my mother. I’ll be pretty busy for
the rest of the afternoon. I love you and hope to make you the happiest woman in the world when I come back home.
I am wearing my winter underwear as it is cold
Sgt. R. Hildenbrand
7965th Bomb. Sqd.
469th Bomb Group
Army Air Base
Sunary, Sept. 19, 1943
Just came back from home and thought I would
drop you a few lines. I seen your baby for the first time and I just say that she is very sweet and I really hope that
the next one will be a boy for they sure would make a cute pair. Kassy looked pretty good and I sure hope that you will
be able to get home pretty soon to her and your kid. Red’s is still the same old guy just as screwy as ever and
we sure had a good time together. I sure hope that I will be able to be home when you get your leave for I expect to
be home again in about two months, they told us that we might get another leave before going overseas and that will be in
about two or three months. I am now in my second phase of combat training and have one more phase to go before going
over. I am in a heavy bombardment squadron and am assigned to a B-17 and I sure like it. The way we run it here
is that we go to ground school one day and we fly the next, we put about 6 to 8 hrs in the air every time we fly and it sure
is nice up there. Kassy showed me the letter that Bayard Smith wrote to you but I did not get his address and I think
that he is stationed somewhere around here, so if you can send me his address right away and I will look him up.
From what I have been hearing at home it seems
that you don’t like the army, what’s the matter Dutch don’t you like the infantry, the only advice that
I can give you is to keep your nose clean and try to do everything they tell you to do, that way you won’t have it too
I seen Joe Leary when I was home and he looks
pretty good, he did lose a little weight though but it makes him look much better. I just finished writing a letter
to Eric and I hope he gets it. Well Dutch I am going to close for now so let me hear from you soon.
Rudy - Top row, second from left. Taken October 1942, Alexandria La. in front of B-17 Training plane
didn’t go out this morning because it was raining. It is now 12:30 and I just got through lunch. It has stopped raining
so I think we will be heading out so I am writing this in a hurry. I got two letters from you and one from my grandmother
this afternoon. The reason my postcards are sometimes marked ‘Macon” is because sometimes I am not dressed when
I write to you and I need to give the letter to one of the fellows to mail. It’s just like you. I sometimes get letters
from Phoenixville and Conshohocken. I know that your father mails from there. Well honey, I have to get ready to pull out
so remember that I love you and I miss you terribly. I write tomorrow to tell you what I did today.
Rosa (on porch), Baby Kathleen and unknown woman
Wednesday Sept 22
Camp Wheeler GA
It is now 10:30 a.m.
and we just got through our inspection. All we will do today is have a few lectures and then get ready for our 14 day bivouac.
We didn’t get the mail yet so I won’t be able to write a long letter. After I wrote your letter last night, I
started to write your grandmother but I never got to finish. Because I was tired. As of today, I didn’t get the money
from you and I still have a lot of things to get. If it doesn’t come in today’s mail, I will not be able to get
the things I need for camp. If you couldn’t get the money than I guess it won’t matter so I will have to do without.
I will need the money to get home for furlough. I can’t get it from the Red Cross because they only give money in emergencies.
Please go out and ask my mother to lend it to me and I’ll get it back to her as soon as I can. I’ll need about
$25.00 but if you can get $30.00, that would be better so I can get something to eat. I’ll write to ask for it myself
but if you can go up and ask her now, that would help. I really want to get home something awful.. I’ll get home even
if I have to hitch hike.
Well honey, I have to
get going so I’ll write you more tonight. I love you and the baby very much and can hardly wait until I see you again.,
Thursday September 23
Well we got up this
morning at 3 am and ate breakfast. After breakfast, we got all the things together and put it in the truck to be carried to
our bivouac area. We rested for about a half hour and then we went out on training until 3:45 pm. Since then, me and the other
fellas have been fixing our tents and digging an air raid shelter. It’s around 8’ o’clock now and I’m
still not finished with my stuff. Boy will I be glad when these 14 days are over.
We have to wash in our steel helmet and shave every day (sorry but the fountain pen just ran out of ink so I switched to pencil).
I still have my rifle to clean but I don’t think I’ll get it done since it’s getting dark. So until I get
settled, I hope you won’t mind if I cut this letter short will you? I’ll get these letters off to you today. I’m
glad I get your letters every day, so keep writing! I try to write to you as much as I can but you know the Army takes up
most of my time. I hope I have more time to write to you in the other camps than I do at this one.. It’s getting pretty
dark now so I’ll have to say good night. I love you and can’t wait
until we are together again. Kiss the baby for and know that I will be looking
at the stars tonight thinking of you.
Love you always,
Saturday Sept, 25
I’m sorry that
I couldn’t write to you on Friday but after we ate supper, we had to fall in and hike for about 3 miles to a place where
there was a lake We hooked up an water pump to the lake and then connected a whole lot of pipes for Showers. Boy the water
sure was cold but it felt really good to get clean. We have to get up at about 7:30 am for breakfast and then hike to get
another shower tomorrow. When we get back from our hike, we need to attend church service. What do you think of that?
Everyone from all faiths
needs to attend. Well honey, all day yesterday we had to do different formations and shoot the shit. And guess what? We did
the same thing today plus dig foxholes. I only dug about a foot and then went to sleep. I got 2 letters off to you tonight.
In the letter from you tonight, you asked me to try and get a furlough after you have the baby. Well honey, all I have to
say is that if they give it to me before then, I’ll have to take it. You shouldn’t worry about yourself being
out of shape because I love you know matter what you look like and what sort of shape you’re in. All I want to do is
see you and hold you close to me again. Also in the letter, you asked if the army puts anything in our food to make us calm
down. I don’t think they do, but even if they did, I wouldn’t need it as the one I love isn’t here to make
me need it. You wait until I come home, I’ll show you what I mean. It’s getting dark now so I better sign off.
I love you and will be with you very soon. Save me a great big hug and kiss for me.
Good night sweetheart.
Sunday September 26,
Camp Wheeler, GA
Well, today is Sunday
and not a very resting one at that. Since I wrote you last night, I walked guard duty until 10’oclcok and after that
I hit the hay. It gets dark here around 7:30 so we can’t do very much. I just have enough time to write you a letter.
Last night I woke up about 5 times, shivering, from the cold. We were supposed to take another shower this morning but it
was called off until tomorrow afternoon due to the cold. Boy, I wish I had a couple of extra blankets, or you to cuddle with.
If I had that, I wouldn’t mind the cold so much. Well honey, In about an hour we will be heading off to church. I will
write you as soon as I get back.
I love you honey and
wish I could hold you in my arms.
Sunday Sept, 26
Since I wrote you this
morning, I went to church. All during the mass, I was thinking of you and how you use to make me go with you once in awhile.
When I get back home, I don’t think you will have to force me to go as I want to be with you always. We have been pretty
busy all day today because we are leaving this camp to move to a new one. We are going to leave at 11 p.m. and hike all night
until around 4 am. Once we are there, they are going to make us solve a problem which will take until 8 am. I guess they are
going to give us the “works” these last few days. Well honey, I have a lot of work to do so I will have to sign off now. I love you something terrible and want to be with you more than anything
in the world. Please pray that this war will be over soon so that I will be with you and the baby forever and ever.
I love you always,
Monday September 27,
Camp Wheeler, GA
It’s about 11:30
am and I have just finished putting up my tent and getting things in order. We left the other camp around 11’oclock
last night and reached our new area around 4 am. We than ate breakfast and rested for about a half hour. Did you ever eat
breakfast in the dark? Well, you ought to try it because it isn’t very enjoyable. After we rested, we walked about a
half hour more and the officers gave us another problem to solve. The problem was to take the enemy out from the top of the
hill. Well, there was nothing to it because our orders are to win, so we had to win. Well, this brings me to now. I had just
come back from dinner and boy did I eat! It won’t be long now before I
finish training. I didn’t write to ask my mother for the money yet but I will soon. Please ask her about it and tell
me what she says, ok? I might get to writing you tonight so always remember that I’m always thinking of you every minute
of the day and I love you beyond words. Love lots!
Ps I am putting Sunday’s
letter in this one because I wasn’t able to mail it . The mail doesn’t come as often as I like.
Wednesday Sept 28
Camp Wheeler, GA
Today we went out and
set up a defensive firing line. We had a lecture about it in the morning and then dug our foxholes in the afternoon. I set up in my position and just laid around the rest of the day. As you can see,
I have learned the way of the army. Well I just heard that we head back to camp on Tuesday so it won’t be long before
I get to see you. The last three days we will go on filed rations and on the last day we will hike for 20 miles back to camp.
Every 2 days we take a shower and boy the water sure is cold. I just got back from getting a shower and it sure does feel
good. Payday is tomorrow and I don’t know whether or not they will pay us out here or wait until we get back to camp.
It’s now around 7:30 am and I just came back from breakfast. It got to dark to finish the letter last night so I am
finishing this morning, ok? Since we have been out here, we haven’t had a minute to ourselves and I hardly have time
to write. After I finish this I still need to shave and I don’t think I will have time. I wrote my mother about the
money last night so go out there and see if she is going to send it. I want to come home more than anything in the world.
I’ll always love you honey and can’t hardly wait until I hold you in my arms again.
Ps Tell the baby I love
Thursday Sept 29
Camp Wheeler, GA
Well honey, today is
Thursday and another day gone by so that leaves 8 more to go. Boy will I be glad when it’s over. Today we had the company
in attack formation with supporting weapons and tanks. There wasn’t much to it, as all we did this morning was lay around
and hike once in awhile. The reason for it was that the officers had a mix-up on the map so we couldn’t find the enemy.
This afternoon, everything was straightened out and we worked through it. First the planes went in to dive bomb the position
and then the tanks rolled up to run over the enemy foxholes so they wouldn’t show their heads. The infantry follow the
tanks and mopped up the enemy. I was with the support platoon as the platoon sergeant. We didn’t see any action because
we were in the low terrain. The reason is because the mortars we have had to be concealed as the enemy is always trying to
knock us out. We didn’t get to set up the machine guns because the problem was solved before we could get into position.
Well honey, that’s all we did for the day. I better sign off now as we are going to rifle inspection. I’ll probably
get hell because I haven’t cleaned my rifle because it was getting dark and I wanted to finish my letters. Good night
honey and as always, remember that I love you and I am always thinking about you every second of the day. There is a pretty
clear moon here tonight. I sit outside and look up thinking what I would do only if you were here. Gee honey, I sure do miss
you and don’t think any different.
Love and Kisses,
ps I LOVE YOU!
LETTER TO DAUGHTER
Your mommy just told
me how you broke through your play-pen. Well you better be good until I get home and then we will break through together,
ok? I love and miss both of you very much, I hope you say your prayers every night.
Your loving Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx