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I May Get Into a Bomb Group

Posted by on September 25, 2016

December 8, 15 and 19, 1944. Dad writes home from Topeka. Christmas is on its way. Dad mentions that he has received quite a few cards including one from Anna and Eddie and another from his mother and father. He writes that “I am going to keep all of your Christmas Cards so’s I can look them over on Christmas and New Year’s Day and sort of be with you spiritually.”  He also writes that he received a box of “pretty good candy” from the choir.

Front cover of the Christmas card that Dad received from his sister Anna in 1944 while stationed at Topeka Army Air Field

Front cover of the Christmas card that Dad received from his sister Anna in 1944 while stationed at Topeka Army Air Field

As far as plans for a holiday celebration, Dad details “This Thursday the Hdqs. Sq. is going to have a party at the Jayhawk Hotel. The officers got together and are furnishing the liquor and other such beverages for making punch. There won’t be any beer, however. I’ll probably go…and will try to run off before I get stuck with a drunk to carry back to the Camp on my back.”

As is often the case, on the 8th we get a weather report from Topeka as Dad notes, “Today the ground froze just right and we had a beautiful snowfall. It stayed on the ground and tonight it is still falling” However, by the time the 15th comes, the prospect of a white Christmas in Topeka has faded as, “the last few days have been nice and the snow we had for several days has melted away. Glad to see it because if everything works out alright I might be vacationing around the Pacific someplace. It’ll be a better deal than sweating out the infantry deal.”

He elaborates, providing news about an assignment that may come his way. “Soon I may wind up in a Bomb Group if everything turns out alright. They’re getting quite a few sgts. for the infantry and I doubt whether they’ll hold their rating. I know I’m doing the right thing since I like to be near airplanes and my boss, the Major, is making arrangement so’s I may get into a Bomb Gp.”

Dad writes a little about recent war news, “…in Europe on the Western front it appears the Germans are doing pretty good for themselves, but sooner or later I think they will fall back and possibly try another attack, The Germans are like an animal who are kicking their last before going down. How soon the situation will be taken care of nobody can guess, and I guess it will have to be left to History.”

In an interesting turn, Dad writes about a “two letters that were picked up by an American Soldier on an abandoned Nazi Air Filed in France.” Somehow, the letters came into the possession of Sgt. Whitman, who works with Dad. One of the fellows in the transportation office was able to translate them. The letters were written by a wife named Ilse “to her husband or a very close relative …who was called Fred.” She writes about “how at the beginning of the war and during the war it was unpleasant and as for the end of the war, she doesn’t dare think about it. One of the letters offered the soldier, Fred, best wishes on his 25th birthday… The soldier apparently must have been in Italy as the woman had received a picture from him that which showed Italian people.  She also commented about how nice it would be to live there after the war.”

He wraps up his letter by writing, “That’s about all from here for the present. God bless you and the best of wishes to you.”

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