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All My Work is Finished

Posted by on March 18, 2017

June 1, 8, and 11, 1945. We have three relatively short letters from Stanley to Dad.  With VE Day having come and gone, the 401st has long since wound down their bombing operations in Europe. At this point, they have completed their post-engagement missions of flying POWs to processing bases in Western Europe as well.

On the first, Stanley mentions that he has not received any mail from Dad in “about two months now.” He surmises that the reason may be one of two possibilities, the first being that Dad may not have settled into his new location yet, and the other being that, “They must be keeping it back in the states and waiting for us.”  This is the first indication we get that Stanley may be homeward bound soon.

He also tells about going to a wedding of “one of our fellows…in our squadron” who married “an English girl.”  The wedding took place in Peterborough on May 28th and featured “mild and bitters, that is beer.” He reports that, “It was pretty nice and we all had a lot of fun…”

On the eighth he writes that he received a letter from their cousin Vincent Morawski. At the time, Vincent was currently in Westheim, Germany. Stanley reports that Vincent was “in the hospital for about a week… It was on account of his stomach. He was not wounded as someone told me. I imagine the reason he was in the hospital was on account of eating K or C rations all the time.”

Stanley goes on to relay other news from Vincent. “He said that he was up in the Alps in Austria one time when they were pinned down by mortar and 88 fire, he had to lay in the snow for about eight hours one day and he said that he was almost frozen stiff. He said…his squad lives in a two family house that has two bathtubs in it. He said that the day they got there after moving day and night for about two months he got into the bathtub and soaked in it for about two hours trying to loosen up the dirt.”

Before wrapping up on the eighth, Stanley comments, “Well brother, maybe in the not too far future I will be over there where you are. I hope the war with Japan is over by the time we get ready to go where you are.”

On the eleventh, Stanley writes, “Just a few words to let you know that I am well.” It is almost 10:30 in the evening as Stanley has CQ duty. Apparently many of the soldiers that were at Deenethorpe have moved on to other assignments or have been sent home, and Stanley is among the group left behind to tie up a few of the loose ends. As Stanley relays, “All my work is finished and …all we are doing at present is sitting around and waiting and twiddling our thumbs and getting in some extra sack time which will come in handy in the near future. The place is just about deserted. It sure will feel good to walk through the streets of home again. I hope we are in the states.”

He closes on a hopeful note, “…I don’t know what to write about anymore. I’ll close for now till the near future. So long for a while. God bless you and keep you and maybe in the not too far future I’ll probably see you.”

Next up: More from the Marianas

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