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Three Years Since I Saw You Last

Posted by on January 3, 2017

March 10 and 14, 1945: Stanley writes two letters to dad from Deenethorpe where he is stationed with the 401st Bomb Group. The letter on the 10th is written in ink on a v-mail form but was sent regular mail, While it is clear from the address on the form that Stanley had Dads new address, it is not until Stanley writes the letter of the 14th that the news that Dad was home on furlough has made it to England.

Header from the letter that Stanley sent to Dad on March 10, 1945

Header from the letter that Stanley sent to Dad on March 10, 1945

On the tenth he writes, “Today was quite a busy day for me. Have been typing the payroll for almost eight hours straight and when it was time for supper I was really tired. I haven’t finished yet. When it is time to type the payroll, that is when the work seems to pile up and it takes some time to clear the work up.”

As he is writing his letter, he is “listening to [the] ‘Combat Diary’ program. It sums up reports from reporters at the front line of what happened the night before, and day before. It is very interesting. Today they gave reports on crossing the Rhine River.” The crossing of the Rhine by the Allied forces signaled the initial invasion of Germany.  Stanley also mentions having seen My Reputation which starred Barbara Stanwyck, which he writes, “is a very good picture”.

As he is writing on the fourteenth, it seems that signs of spring are coming to Deenethorpe. “The weather today was perfect. Couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was nicer than some of the days in June or July. It was warm throughout the day. There was a slight cool breeze gently blowing. It was one of those days you don’t feel like working, just relaxing in the warm sun on the grass.”

Stanley writes about a new friend that he made in his group “…who at one time lived somewhere near Lvow, Poland. He has been living in the States for quite a few years. He seems to be a pretty nice fellow. We get together sometimes and talk in Polish. That is one way I can keep practicing the Polish language so I won’t forget it. I did notice that my Polish vocabulary is slipping.”

The news has also reached him that Dad was home on furlough. Stanley expresses, “I wish I could have been there with you. We could then have had a good rowdy time. …this coming October it will be approximately three years since I saw you last. The years seem to have dragged along. Well, I hope it won’t be long before we can see each other again for good.”

Stanley also got word that their friend Eddie Falkowski was home. “He wrote me and told me that he was expecting to go home and then probably get married. …here’s wishing him the best of luck. I did get your letter with the item about Ed shooting some of the Jap planes down. Well, if the boys keep shooting them all down pretty soon there won’t be a Jap air force. I hope they would all commit hara-kari. It would benefit the world.”

Clipping from  the January 23, 1945 Knickerbocker News reporting on Eddie Falkowski's shooting down of a Japanese fighter.

Clipping from the January 23, 1945 Knickerbocker News reporting on Eddie Falkowski’s shooting down of a Japanese fighter.

He also writes about a purchase that the made. “I got myself a Bulova wrist watch with luminous hands and numbers. The wrist watch is handier than the pocket watch. If you don’t have one and you figure you are coming overseas, buy yourself a good watch so it will last a long time. It is a brand new watch. I paid about eighteen dollars for it. …I like it a great deal.”

He signs off with “Well, I guess I’ll be closing for a while till the near future. God bless you brother and keep you.”

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