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There is No End to It

Posted by on December 7, 2016

January 6, 16 and 25, 1945. Stanley writes a few letters to Dad from England. The letters are few and far between, with Stanley only having the chance to write when he has CQ duty or when he has some time off.

On the 6th he writes while he is on CQ “with a long night ahead and…a fire going in the stove.” As with most letters Stanley laments, “I don’t have much to write about.” He is “scheduled for another furlough pretty soon” and uncommonly doesn’t “know what to do, whether to take it or not.”

He reports that “work was caught up a couple of days ago but it is starting to stack up…in another few days will have to start another payroll and it seems as if there is no end to it.” On an even more personal note he writes, “Lately I’ve been having a pretty good eating appetite and I sure eat a lot. This morning we had fresh eggs for breakfast and I ate four of them myself. …our meals have been and are pretty good.”

The 16th brings another short one page letter. For the middle for January “It is sort of muggy outside and it makes the day seem long and dreary.” In other weather related news, he reports that “About a week or so ago we had a few days of snow but it was never over an inch. The snow came in waves. It would snow for a while and quit for a couple of hours and then start again. Then just overnight, almost, all the snow disappeared.”

Spare time seems to be spent listening to the radio (“…an English program” that “had a few comedians mixed in the program”) and going to the movies on base (Home in Indianawhich was “really a very good picture”). Since he can’t write about the mission of his Bomb Group, he gets into some pretty mundane things. “Sunday morning took a shower. The water was nice and hot… Once I got accustomed to the water I sure hated to get out from under it. When I got outside and had to wait in line for chow I almost froze. It was really cold outside.”  

Stanley writes another one page letter on the 25th as he has “been pretty busy lately”. As the final days of January descend upon Deenethorpe and the 401st Bomb Group, they “have had a few days of snow and with the cold brisk air outside the snow hasn’t melted, and the roads are still covered with snow the last few days. This is the most snow we’ve had since I’ve been here. Sometimes we have frost and fog at the same time. The frost sometimes is about half an inch thick and the trees look as if they were sprayed with white paint.”

He writes that a few renovations are happening on the base with the mail room being converted to a new day room “that will give more room to the orderly room personnel.” He also reports that they are remodeling the NCO club as well. He signs off, “I guess I’ll be closing for the time being till the near future. So long brother and God bless you.”

Once again, as is my custom when hitting the end of a month of letters from Deenethorpe, I run a list of the missions flown by the 401st Bomb Group to which Stanley was attached. Despite Stanley’s seemingly routine recitations, the fellows for whom he’s been doing payroll, and for whom he’s been tracking as they cycle in and out of the 401st are busy supporting Allied ground forces with strategic and tactical bombing missions. January 1945 is no exception:

  • January 1: Marshalling Yards at Kassel
  • January 3: Hermulheim Rail Yard
  • January 5: Marshalling Yards at Coblenz
  • January 6: Kampernich Communications Center
  • January 7: Transportation Center at Bitburg
  • January 10: Airfield at Euskirchen
  • January 13: Bridge over the Rhine at Maximilianeau
  • January 14: Bridge at Cologne
  • January 17: Paderborn Rail Yard
  • January 21: Marshalling Yard at Aschaffenburg
  • January 22:Synthetic Oil Plant at Sterkrade
  • January 28: Marshalling Yard at Cologne
    • (200th Mission)
  • January 29: Target of Opportunity at Bad Kreuznach
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