Dear Cass, I Love You

Chapter 11 -- Letters to Cass & Dutch -- February & March 1944

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



February 10, 1944

Dearest Cass,


I hope this card doesn’t take too long in reaching you, as I know that you are worrying about me very much.  You needn’t worry about me, as I’m in very good health and feeling fine.  I love and miss you and the babies terribly.  Regards to all.








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Note from WOLF:  The post card above to Cass  was received March 1, 1944, two weeks before the war department notified her that Dutch was taken prisoner of war.  The  post card was sent from Stalag IV B before His Transfer to II B    Information about Stalag IV B can be found at 


The letters below were written by Cass to Dutch,at a time when she did not yet know that Dutch was missing in action.


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February 13, 1944


Dearest Sweetheart,


Today is the day before Valentine day, I sent your mother and mine a valentine and I sent one to Joe, Carrie Walshes baby and Ediths baby from Carol and Kathy.  Honey I really and truly miss you more than you’ll ever know.  Tonight I went out to Ediths.  Kathy is at your mothers until tomorrow and mom watched Carol.  Tonight I was looking at the little card you sent me with the compact.  Honey I think so much of that card I carry it in my wallet so that I can look at it often.  I wish I could send you my heart for Valentine day, but since I can’t you know that every beat is for you and always will be.  Honey, the babies if they could write would say the same because I know they’ll love the best daddy in the world.  There isn’t one that could ever fill your shoes.  I’ll be so glad when I get a letter from you saying you got mail.  It must be terrible for you.  Goodnight Honey and God Bless you.  I love you more than anything in the world.


Love and kisses,





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Note from WOLF:  This below letter from Rudy to Cass was written in February, two months after the death of Eric and a month after Dutch's capture.  All Rudy knew was that Eric was declared missing in action and Eric's fianc´┐Że's brother had been killed on a air mission [see Eric's room].  Ruthie, mentioned in the letter, a relative, was only 13 years old when she died of a unknown disease.  Also, Rudy mentions that he had flown three missions, and had twenty three to go.  I  believe twenty-five was the maximum allowed [see Rudy's room].

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Monday, February 14, 1944

Somewhere in England


Dear Cass,


Have just received your two letters and it sure was nice hearing from you again.  I was very sorry to hear that Dutch is now in Italy for I had very high hopes that he might be here in England and we could get together a few times, but as long as he likes it where he is at that is all that counts.  It sure was a shock to me hearing about Eric and I sure hope he is all right.  I wish that somebody would write and tell me all the details about it for the way things stand now, I don’t know what to think.  It sure was too bad that Ruthie had to die so young and I know how Anna and Walter must feel for they thought the world of that kid, but that just goes to show you that one never knows what is going to happen next.  I received a letter from Betty some time back, in fact it was the first letter that I received since arriving in England and I sure feel sorry for her, first losing her brother and now Eric, she sure has had a lot of tough breaks since this damn war started, for all of our sakes I sure hope that everything turns out all right.  I was glad to hear that Mom and Pop took the news of Eric pretty good and that they are in good health.  Was glad to hear that the kids had a very nice Christmas and you’re not kidding when you said that you hope we are all home for Christmas this year, the way things are going with me now it looks like I’ll be there before Christmas, I now have three in and that means only 22 more to go.  Afraid I will have to close for now for I want to drop Dutch a letter now that you have sent me his address.  Say hellos to your Mom and Dad for me and give the two kids a big hug and kiss for me.



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Sunday, February 20, 1944


Dearest Sweetheart,


Its Sunday and was a hectic day.  Honey, just about an hour ago I was looking over a couple of letters from you.  Honey I read one you wrote from Marsha and you said you hope you wouldn’t be sent as far as Georgia and just look were you were sent.  Gee honey, that letter made me just very bad.  I do miss you terribly, today Herbie, Grace and your mother stopped in after they came from mass.  Your mother is going every Sunday and so is Herbie.  I sure hope you are too Sweetheart.  I write you every day and think of you every second.  I hope you are getting mail by now and I hope you have the picture by now.  The babies are fine and Darling I love you more than anything in the world.


Love and Kiss


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Monday, February 21, 1944


Dearest Sweetheart,


Here I am again on the second mail.  You can’t put much in them and I really don’t have much to say but I know how it is when you don’t get a letter for a long time and then get a short one.  The babies and I are fine except for that ache in our hearts for you Sweetheart.  And that will always be there until you are with us again.  You know Dutch I really can’t begin to tell you how much I love and miss you.  I never thought anyone could ever make me feel like this, but honey you just swept me off my feet.  My heart has been skipping beats since the first time I met you.  I can remember it honey, can you?  You came in the restaurant with one of the Lorrells and asked me what was good to eat and I told you steak.  You came in another night after that and look at us now.  Honey, I can remember Lorrell saying to me why don’t I pay him some attention, instead all of you I must have known then that you were the one I would always love.


Love & kisses,



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March 1


Dearest Daddy,


Just a few lines to let you know that we think you are the grandest Daddy in the world and we love you so very much.  Daddy dear we are waiting for the day when you come marching home to us and we can show you off to all the other kids.  Mommie told us she picked you for our daddy because you’re the grandest Dad in the world and she just knew we couldn’t help loving you too.  Mommie told us we are good little girls and you will be an are very proud of your little daughters.  We are being good for you and we prey every night that God will bring you home safe to me and Carol and Mommie.  Well Daddy Mommie said I must take a nap so good bye for now and God Bless you.  We love you.


Love and kisses,

Carol & Kathy

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Sunday, March 12th


Hello Cass,


How is everything going with you.  Did you hear from Dutch yet.  If you did let me know will you I am quit lonesome here and am looking forward for my nine days leave.  I will be here for four weeks.  It only takes me an hour and ten minutes train ride so that aint far is it.  I wrote Dutch  a card today and I hope he will answer it soon.  How are the babies doing, are they alright, as yet I have received no mail, only the one that Grace sent to Tom, and boy it really felt good to hear from home.  How is my pop and mom doing.  I miss them very much.  Does Stinky and Buck miss me.  How was the week you spent out moms house.  Did they get any news about Eric yet, if so let me know right away will you.


Boy you ought to see the hair cut they gave me, they nearly cut all my hair, but an inch on top off.  I hardly knew myself when I looked in the mirror.  (Don’t mind my spelling because I am in a hurry).  You ought to see Tom, I hardly knew him he really looks like a fairy, but don’t tell nobody I said that.  Tom told me that Ann phoned him from my house.  Tell Grace I’ll phone her the first chance I get and mom and pop to.  It only cost fifty cents.  I haven’t spent a cent yet because I was quarantine because of the needles they gave me, I got three and I will get four more.  The eats here are pretty good, but not as good as moms.  Boy do I wish I was home.  It is better now since I located Tom.  I spend all the time I have off with him.  You won’t be able to come and see me until three weeks.  So by that time I’ll be home.  Boy am I going to have a good time when I get home.


Well Cass that will be all I have to say until now but I’ll write soon again the first chance I have.


Your brother-n-law,



P.S.  Tell Stinky and Buck I was asking for them and also your father and mother and Joe and write real soon.

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March 17, 1944


Dear Cass:


I really don’t know how to start this letter.  I never was very good at letter writing.  I received a letter from Ruth today with a clipping about Dutch.  There really isn’t much I can say Cass, you know that all us fellows liked Dutch very much and we do hope that he is located.


After all we don’t want to give up hope, do we?  You can never tell about thing like that.  He may be in a hospital or with the underground somewhere.  Did you have another baby?  No one ever tells me anything.


I think I’ll be going over myself in two or three more weeks.  I am now getting some advanced and very secret training down here.  Ths is the closest I’ve been to home since my induction into this damn army.  To top it all off, they won’t give us any kind of a pass so we can get home.


I had a thirty hour pass lost Saturday and I went home and stayed 24 hours over my pass.  Fortunately, I wasn’t caught.  I am an armor gunner on a B-17 and I sure like that part of it.  That is about all I do like about the army.


This isn’t such a bad place to be but there isn’t a thing to do.  I go to the movies every time there is a different picture.  There isn’t any use of going into town, there are so many service men around and maybe they don’t charge the soldiers for anything they might want to keep or do.  I am satisfied to stay in camp.


I guess your baby is getting to be quite a girl now.  Ronnie is running around like mad and he seems to get into everything.  I guess you are having the same trouble.  I’ve been home a couple of times but I never did get much time to do my visiting.


I stopped at the Marble Grill a couple of times, but the only ones I met was Bill Brennen and Merritt.  How is everything with you and your family.  Alright, I hope.  Give my best regards to your Mom and Dad on this St. Patrick’s Day.  Take good care of the babies and yourself Cass.  Let me hear from you sometime, Hah!


Keep your chin up and don’t give up hope.  I remain as always,


Your friend

“Red” Brooks

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March 24th 1944


Dear Cass,


I received your most welcomed letter yesterday but I couldn’t get around to answering it until this evening.  I just finished writing a very long letter to Ruth.  (I write her every night) so if you can’t read my hand, you will know it is because of the  writer cramps.  I don’t have much news to tell you about, so I will concentrate on answering some of your questions.


It was really swell that you could find time to answer my letter so promptly and I want you to know I appreciate it.  I only hope it helps you to take your mind off of other matters.


I’m sorry that I didn’t mention Dutch’s mother and father in my last letter, but the next time you see them, give them my best regards and my deepest (sorry Cass) sympathy.  I’m glad that my letter brought a little comfort to you and you know that I am still your friend, if you will consider me as one and I know you do.  It makes me feel proud when you explained to me how much you cared for Dutch and I know your prayers will be answered.


Gee Cass, Carol must be quite a girl, I know you must be proud of them both.  I don’t know how much Ronnie weights now, but he is really quite a boy.  I didn’t know Merritt and Herby were married.  I wish I could have been around to see it and wish them luck.  Since I was not around and didn’t see it, wish them both all the luck in the world for me and may all their troubles be “little one.”


Yes, I knew Reds got married and I feel sure that it isn’t his fault that he hasn’t been around.  Perhaps he hasn’t heard.  I’m sure if he had, he would have been over to see you.  He is a good kid Cass so please don’t act to harshly just yet.  Remember when you first got married?  I know it isn’t his fault.


I think I’ll be over there with Rudy in another month or even less.  The off load of our crew leaves tomorrow morning by boat.  They are leaving Langly anyway, I don’t know how soon they will leave the states.


It is pretty hard on Ruth but I am sure she is taking it as something that can’t be helped.  I know she is waiting for the day when we are together again, and who isn’t?  I guess that was just a rumor you heard about me, I haven’t been out of the states except on a flight to Cuba and then we didn’t land.


I can easily understand your feelings toward Dutch, I feel the same toward Ruth and Ronnie.  He is a little over 15 months old now and really a fine boy.  I don’t think I’d be a very good father if I didn’t brag about him to others.  Take good care of yourself Cass and keep that chin up.  Write again if you can find time, don’t rush yourself tho.


Your Friend Always,

“Red” Brooks

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March 30, 1944


Dear Cass,


This is my first letter to you and I really am sorry that it should be on such a subject.  My mother wrote and told me about Dutch being missing in action.  It really made me feel low, at first, but then I got a better mood.  But when I got to thinking that Dutch is “Missing in Action,” and that could mean so many things, it made me feel a little better.


You know Cass that there still is hope and plenty of hope.  There are plenty of boys missing in action now and when this war is over, they’ll be home the same as those who never will see actions.  You can believe this as much as you believe there is a God.


This hope that I mentioned is beautiful because when you stop to think all life is based on hope in some form or another.  You live in hope that tomorrow will bring better things than you have today.  You hope that an unborn baby will be a Boy and it gives you a wonderful feeling.  You hope that when you leave this world you’ll got to Heave.  And I’m sure Cass that this same hope will bring your Dutch back to you.


I will pray for his safe return every day and night.  If there is anything that I can do for you in the position I am in, I will be very glad to do it.


I’ll close now nice going into the field now.  Just remember Pray hard, Hope hard and keep hope that wish chin up high.  So long.  God Bless you and yours memory.


Love & kisses,



Copyright James A. Hildenbrand 2009, 2010, 2011