July 3rd, 5th and 13th, 1944: Three letters from Stanley to his brother. Stanley is with the 401st Bomb Group in Deenethorpe, England. He writes that he has been “slipping up on my correspondence. I guess it is because I type and write all day and I don’t feel like writing in the evening.” Even so, all three of the letters are handwritten on a full sized sheet of paper, as opposed to a V-mail form.
He seems to spend a great deal of his spare time hanging out at the AERO Club, going to see movies, relaxing in the barracks writing letters or simply listening to the radio. Early July is no different as he writes, “Last night I went to the movies and saw ‘Shine on Harvest Moon’ and it was pretty good.” He also mentions seeing The Fleet Is In which starred Betty Hutton
Although Stanley wishes that he could be back home in the States for the Fourth of July, it seems that the men of the 401st make the best of the holiday, even though it is not one that is routinely celebrated in England. He reports that “There sure was plenty of celebration everywhere here in the ETO. We had a dance at the AERO Club. We had our own fireworks; shooting off a couple of colored flares to bring back memories of the good old Fourth of July when everyone went out to see firework exhibitions and…having of a good time. …I’m sure you really celebrated yesterday.”
As far as anything out of the ordinary, “A horse just came around into our area so one of the fellows decided to ride him for a while. We sure had some excitement while it lasted. The horse would not turn around so the fellow had to get off him and turn the horse around and then get back on him.”
By the time Stanley writes again on the 13th he apologizes for not writing sooner, noting, “This is the fourth time I’ve started this letter.” It is a typical day at Deenethrope weather-wise “it poured cats and dogs. …it hailed with hail the size of peas. It also thundered for a while.” As far as the temperature, “It’s always cool. You almost always wear a field jacket. The weather was much warmer about January and February”
As far as entertainment, he is looking forward to “a USO show coming up in the near future” and “the movie ‘Higher and Higher’ with Frankie Sinatra is coming up also.” He also writes about a concert that was held at the AERO Club featuring “a woman violinist, a baritone and a pianist.”
Towards the end of the letter he turns a bit reflective as he writes, “On October 1 of this year it will be two years for me in this Army of ours. Sure have learned a lot of things in the Army. I don’t regret any moment of my Army career.”