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A Military Crease

Posted by on October 30, 2015

January 21, 26, 28 & 30, 1944: four V-mails from Stanley to Dad. Stanley is in Deenethorpe, England with the 613th Bombardment Squadron of the 401st Bomb Group while dad is in Topeka with the 21st Bomb Wing. Stanley reports that “life is going on as usual.”

He mentions that he is enjoying some music on Armed Forces Network while writing his letter. In addition to music he mentions listening to the news and “…the Charlie McCarty Program”. He tells about seeing “…the most beautiful sunset which I’ve seen here in England. Just looking at it made me almost homesick. Some of the clouds were silver lined with blue background. It sure was pretty.”

Renowned ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy in the movie Stage Door Canteen.

Renowned ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy in the movie Stage Door Canteen.

In the V-mail of the 26th he goes into some detail about “…life in the European Theater…” which amounts to a detailed description of washing his OD pants and shirt. “…I got ambitious and ironed them with an old broken electric iron. What we did was to put the iron on the hot stove and it sure worked fine. It took me about two hours to iron the two pieces. I even put a military crease on the shirt.”

By the time Stanley writes his letter of the 30th, the news has gotten to him about Dad’s promotion, so he conveys his congratulations, noting, “…now we’re on even par. [I] Was really happy to hear of all which has taken place.” He also notes that the 30th is a Sunday and that they “today for supper we had roast chicken “, raving, “it sure tasted good”. They also had oranges which is “something rare around here.”

Stanley also mentions getting a letter from Dad dated January 19th.  Referencing something that Dad wrote in that letter, Stanley writes “You sure said the truth when you stated that you gained experience along the lines of work in the Army.  I know I’ve learned a lot of new things in all lines of work.”

As far as routine things

  • When Stanely bought his rations he got “…some American made Watermans blue-black ink. Now maybe you can read my letters easier.”
  • They had a barracks inspection and prepared by cleaning and mopping the night before.
  • On the 21st he mentions seeing the movie Girl Crazy which stared Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.  On the 30th another Rooney/Garland movie is showing; Andy Hardy’s Double Life.

Girl Crazy

As we are wrapping up another month of letters from Stanley, it’s time to run down the missions flown by the 613th Squadron of the 401st in January of 1944.

  • Jan. 4: The port city of Kiel in northern Germany
  • Jan. 7: Planned attack on the I.G. Farben Industrie site in Ludwigshaven which was aborted due to dense cloud cover.
  • Jan. 11: Aircraft plant at Oscherslaben, 120 miles west of Berlin. The crew led by 2nd Lt. S.C. Nason failed to return from this mission.
  • Jan. 14: Rocket Installations at Gorenflos, France.
  • Jan. 21: Rocket Installations at Notre Dame de Ferme, France
  • Jan. 29: Frankfurt, Germany
  • Jan. 30: Aircraft production and assembly plant in Brunswick, Germany. The crew led by 2nd Lt. R.R. Rohner failed to return from this mission.


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