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Odd Looking Things

Posted by on April 20, 2016

July 18 and 20, 1944: Two letters from Stanley in Deenethorpe to Dad at Topeka.  Stanley decided to go into the office on his day off to catch up on his correspondence.  They have had some “nice hot weather for a change…two days of warmth was just like heaven. …I felt like lying on the grass on a blanket…”

Stanley writes that he has another helper in the office, although he does not give a name he mentions that the fellow is from Albany. “Yesterday almost all day we were reminiscing [about] good old days back home. He was home on furlough the early part of May of this year and said the city was almost dead. Hardly any men running around. It seems good to have someone with you from your own home town.”

Apparently the prospect of the German V-1 rockets attacking air bases in England has been weighing on Stanley’s mind. The Germans began launching V-1s into southeast England from Peenemunde shortly after D-Day with the attacks continuing into the fall of 1944. Stanley relays his concerns, “You probably heard on the radio and read the big headlines…about the German robot planes or I should call them pilotless planes. I haven’t seen any of them and I hope I don’t see any of them. I heard they were odd looking things and have seen pictures of them.”

The topic of the V-1 (also known as buzz bombs) also appears in the Stars and Stripes as Stanley relays a limerick that was in the military newspaper’s Hash Marks section.

“GI Joe was laying in bed

As a buzz bomb cut out overhead.

He held his breath tight,

For two days and a night,

Then, “I guess it passed over” he said.”

As far as entertainment, Stanley is planning to see Higher and Higher starring Frank Sinatra to “…see why the women swoon when Franky sings.”   He also writes about a USO show that he went to. He writes that “It was sort of different…this one was a musical USO show all the way through.” Stanley details “The master of ceremonies was a baritone singer and sang On the Road to Mandalay, Old Man River and one or two others.” The show also included “…a mezzo-soprano”, “a girl playing the piano”, “a ballet dancer”, and a violinist from Brazil who closed her set by playing Ave Maria. As Stanley relays, “…it was really beautiful. Every one was so quiet that if a pin dropped you could hear it.”

As the 20th comes around, Stanley finds himself on CG duty with plenty of time to catch upon his correspondence. “I’ve typed six letters already and yours makes seven. It would otherwise take me about four or five to write that many in longhand. …I think I will have one more letter to write after this one and then I will hit the sack.”

He writes about “a funny incident” that happened. “One of the fellows caught the crabs.  He said he did not know where in the world he got them from. Well, he got rid of them. Now anytime something crawls over him he jumps off his chair and runs and looks into the mirror to see if it is a crab. Sometimes it looks so comical to see him hop in the air. We sure have a lot of fun with him. I told him to go down to the nearest fish market.”

As he wraps up his letter he writes, “Well, I guess I will be closing as I don’t seem to have any more new for you from here.”

Below is a short video about the V-1 “flying bomb”.

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