(left panel)We have just arrived here after a most fatiguing March from East Cester.
"... We take increased devotion to that cause
for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ...
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom ..."
February 6, 6th 1945
Hello John, Ann and all the Little Ones:
Greetings and salutations.
I received your most welcomed letter of Jan. 11th today and it was good hearing from you. When I read your letter I re-read it again and again for I really couldn't believe so many changes have taken place since our last meeting. Just as you said John, it has been difficult for me to know where to start. So light up a Camel, be calm, cool and collected and I shall try to give you a bird's eye view of what yours truly has been doing these past 34 months, which I have spent overseas. Hold you hat here we go...
...Well what can I talk about now. As a last resort we can talk about the weather. The weather has been very cold over here with plenty of snow, snow, and more snow. As I look at the kids sledding, throwing snow balls, etc., it brings back many memories of the good times I had when I was a kid. All us lads from the Northern states remember it well.
As kids we loved it. Took out our Flexible Flyers and went belly
whopping down the hills. Made snow men with it. Packed it into hard, round, balls that caught other kids in the head and melted down the backs of their necks. When our hands got red and our feet god cold we would call it a day. We would go indoors to a hot fire and a good scolding for getting our feet wet. We would put on dry socks and shoes and eat hot chow to take off the chill. When we were kids snow sure was fun.
There's a lot of snow on the Western Front these days and the country looks like a Christmas card. The trees are like old queen stooping from under the weight of their ermine robes. The wires loop from pole to pole like tinsel on a Christmas tree, except where the weight of the ice and snow has pulled them down and the signal repairmen are patching them. Snow lies smooth on the hill sides—it's beautiful.
But the Flexible Flyers have turned into tanks. the snow men are Schutzstaffel. The snowballs are grenades. The wet stuff trickling down the back of necks is often blood. And when you're wet and numb with cold there's no place to go. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing but snow, Cold wet, beautiful snow.
Well folks, this is all for now so I'll say so-long for awhile. Hoping this letter finds you all in the best of health,
Written during World War II, the snow covered Ardennes Forest,
where most of the Battle of the Bulge took place, inspired Warrant Officer Frank Conwell to reminisce on his childhood.
I got your letter at York Island telling me I was a saucy fellow to kiss you before all the folks.
Ah My Darling-I wish the World knew you are to marry me.
The Enemy are very near us & we are only waiting for the dawn to begin for Battle.
Do not be uneasy about me-
Please God, I hope to come out all safe tomorrow-
The thoughts of your dear promise has nerved my arm so far & will again-
The officers say I bear a Charmed life-
They do not Know the talisman I wear next to my heart-
My loved one-
I am writing this on the head of a Drum & would you believe it with a pointed Stick...
Private John Eggleston, writing to his fiancée on October 27, 1776, while he and thousands of other American soldiers awaited the imminent invasion of White Plains, New York by the British. Eggleston would survive the battle and the war.
...The woods here are full of wild flowers, violets and other pretty varieties. One could pick a bouquet for the table in a very few minutes but the only bouquet that we picked for the table is one of dandelions and those we cooked and ate. Yum! Yum! some bouquet.
do you like the picture of you of your dad, dug out and the little accelerator behind him. One thing over here the more rank one has the better dug out, sometimes that makes me wish I were president.
Now I must close but I want you both to do something for me. Go to mother, put both your arms around her neck and give her a kiss for dad and tell her that all though dad scolds her sometimes in his letters and is pretty much of an old grouch, sailing over sea is very beautiful and she was darling to send it.
Now boys be good and take care of the only girl in our family.
Written during WWI, this letter from Major Edward B. Cole to his children was sent to Cole's wife, Mary. On June 13, one week after the Marines launched their attack at Belleau Wood, Mary Cole received a letter from her brother-in-law Brig. Gen. Charles H. Cole, stating that her husband Edward had been wounded. Major Cole would later die from infection related to his wounds. The United States Navy would christen a ship in his honor - the USS Cole
2-9-44 Somewhere in Italy
It has been a hellish bit of night duty. Admitting critically wounded patients on the double, getting them cleanede up, starting I.V.s, changing dressings, getting them something to eat (if they could), and giving medications. You have to keep involved records of everything for the Army; that's as it should be.
To compound the misery, it started to pour and the tents leak. They are filled to over capacity and there is no place to put the poor soldiers to keep them dry. We're high up in the mountains and it gets bitter cold, noisy too. The big guns boom all night long and shake the ground. My fingers are so cold I have to warm them over a candle so that I can hold the pen to write...
Incidentally, we, too, were scheduled to go in on the beachhead but our orders were canceled at the very last minute. Mother I feel your prayers for me are getting top priority. We are also scheduled for the Salerno landing and they were also cancelled at the last minute.
I wish you could see me tonight. For a change I swore that I was going to be WARM. Over the first layer, (my long woolen underwear, a wool sweater; a wool olive drab shirt) I wear a pair of men's fatigues. My GI shoes, which are two sizes too big for me, are also men's. They are covered with mud to the tops.
Combat Nurse Juen Wandrey served in a field hospital in Italy during World War II.
Camp near Vicksburg Miss
June 6th 1863
Dearly loved Lind...
From the precincts of my sometimes sanctorum which by the way is a small tent o'er which the whistling bullet often flies that carries death to so many, I sit down to write to you my dear friend with the same feelings of security that I would were I comfortably situated in Old Stephenson of ILls. However let me say were I there with you present I should be happy, happy indeed in the realization of the bright hopes of which I so often namely (to be with her I love).
O how often I think of you even in the hour of the battle when I see my fellow soldiers and officers falling around me pierced by the rebels bullet or torn and mangled by their bursting shells, but of this I must not write, and I turn from such soul sickening sights to thoughts of her I love or to the bright and happy hours passed at my pleasant home and those who are yet in the enjoyment of its peace and quiet. To say I am in the least disturbed by the din of battle, the roar of cannon or the bursting of infernal shells I can not, for they have become such familiar sounds that I doubt whether I shall enjoy the first peaceful quiet silence which must soon reign supreme after the fall of Vicksburg.
Written during the siege of Vicksburg, Union Captain William T. Houswe writes to his fiancée, reflecting on the conditions of the battle.
I am very sorry that I could not be home for your seventh birthday, but I will soon be finished with my time here in Bosnia and will return to be with you again. You know how much I love you, and that's what counts the most. I think that all I will think about on your birthday is how proud I am to be your dad and what a great kid you are...
There aren't any stores here in Bosnia, so I couldn't buy you any new toys or souvenirs for your birthday.
What I am sending you is something very special, though. It is a flag. This flag represents American and makes me proud each time I see it. When the people here in Bosnia see it on our uniforms, on our vehicles, or flying above our camps, they know that it represents freedom, and, for them, peace after many ears of war.
Sometimes, this flag is even more important to them than it is to people who live in American because Americans don't know much about the sacrifices it represents or the peace it has brought to places to Bosnia.
This flag was flown on the flagpole over the headquarters of the Task Force 4-67 Armor, Camp colt in the Posavina Corridor of the northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, on 16 September 1996. It was flown in honor of you on your seventh birthday. Keep it and honor it always.
Major Tom O'Sullivan served in Bosnia as the officer in charge of the First Armed Division Assault Command Post. On September 16, 1996 he wrote this letter to his son Conor, on the event of his son's seventh birthday.
Dear Mom & Jim
...Jet after jet screamed off into a pitch black night loaded to the hilt with bombs bound for Iraq. The ground trembled for nearly half an hour until the last jet lifted off. And then it was quiet. Almost six months wondering which would prevail. Peace or war. Now I knew. It had been a long wait, much too long. I stood there and felt sorry it had come to this, but I felt what we were doing was right. If not, God forgive us.
It was another 6 hours until the jets were due back. A tense time, just hoping for all of them to return safely.
Sometime during that morning, we all gathered around a radio and were able to hear President Bush's speech of his decision to go to war. He announced that the "Liberation of Kuwait had begun." No one clapped or cheered but the pride and determination showed. I'm sure I will never forget those words.
S. Sgt. Frank Evans describes to his mother and stepfather the anxious first hours of the air campaign against Iraq, during the first Gulf War.
I hope the Ester Bunny doesn't for get me this year because the last 21 years it has been real good to me and will always be so dear to my heart, "Right Mom" Remember when we were kids on Ester. The girls would be all dress up in new hats, pretty dresses and new gloves and us boys with new shoes and shirts and off to church we would go and after come home to look for our Ester basket. What good times. I hope God will bring be back home so, that I may marry the girl I love, "Wich will be in March if things go OK." Then I can watch my kids all dress up and head for church and live them day over again.
Today we went out on patrol today and it wasn't to good for a Easter Sunday. One man tripped off a boo bee trap 105 Round and killed himself and wounded one other. Holidays are know different then any other day. Every day is Monday in Viet Nam. Just about every day we walk between 3 to 12 miles through rice paddy up to our knees in mud. Up and down hills. Through jungles What a drag.
Must go now, "God Be With You All"
Your fighting son & Brother
The care packages the family prepared for Prc. Timothy Robinson were returned several weeks later. On April 19, 1968, Robinson caught his foot on a trip wire to a booby-trapped mine and he was killed in action in Vietnam.
June 21 - 1943
Sunday was Father's Day and by the time you get this letter the day itself will have come and gone. But the day isn't important. Dad when there are so many things I want too thank you for—the little things and the big things you have done for me.
I remember when you used to give me a dime or more too go to the movies. At the time I appreciated the sum but now that I look back on the past, I am even more appreciative of the things you have done for me.
I remember my first year at college when you practically paid all the expenses hoping that I would be able to receive a better education than you have. You always wanted too see that Lloyd and me had more advantages than most fellows, so that we could start where you left off.
For all these things and many more, which you have done for me, I am deeply appreciative.
For sometimes it was a sacrifice too do some things for me....
...But this is for you on Father's Day.
Waverly B. Woodson Jr. was an African-American Army medic who served on the first wave of D-Day. He treated hundreds of men and saved numerous lives. He would earn the Bronze Star for his actions.
I'm writing this on top of a c-ration box so if it's difficult to read you'll know why. The Air Force is making a hell of a racket outside and me trying to write. They are not very considerate. Neither is the weatherman—it must be 90° outside. My shelter-halve is ten degrees hotter. You are either soaking wet from the rain or broiling in the sun. I'm laying on my bullet-proof vest and wondering how to break the news to you. I wrote a note on the way down here that explains a lot of the way I feel but it comes out morbid television my battalion was moved some. I'm at Da Nang Airfield in South Vietnam. Ha! It makes me laugh. Everything I told you wouldn't happen has happened. It makes me look like a liar.
Funny, I used to watch movies, see television and read books about combat in war zones and get excited. The excitement just isn't there.
One thing I've found is that all the days, months and years that went before the last two days like a dream unreal. Here my senses of sound, sight and touch have sharpened. And my awareness of reality. Every second—every minute I breathe I'm very aware of it. I'm enjoying life like I had never lived before. Maybe it is the purpose—feeling that you're doing something besides marking time. Doing what you've trained for. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
...Let me know how the family is. Remember I'm always happy as a lark. Keep me informed about Tim. I like to hear how he's doing. I have to get this done. They only pick up mail once a day. At night we can't move around too much and I want to make one trip. There and back. I'm too lazy to make more than one, that's why.
See you soon—
Col. Mike Jefford shares his first impressions of war in Vietnam with his parents.
United States Army · United States Marine Corps · United States Navy · United States Air Force
April 17, 1945
My darling Mary:
I'm going to take a day or so to finish this letter to you. It probably will be the last letter I'll ever write to Mary Parkman although she will never cease to be my sweetheart, the next time I write, I'll address it to Mary Colman, my wife. Goodbye, Mary Parkman. You were the truest, sweetest girl who ever waited out the long, lonely, uncertain hours and weeks and years for a soldier who left you trying to hold back the tears-one of the thousands of brave women who have done the same thing in these last four, terrible years who, unless the people of the world change their nature overnight, will continue to send their men off to fight against one another. But I was lucky and I had your prayers to bring me back to you.
I could spend the remainder of my life telling you how much you meant to me during those long nights of waiting, and still I'd never be able to give you the entire picture. The nights and days that I had only you to live for and you to come back to... but for the fact that when I did return, I found you waiting. For that alone repays me a thousandfold for anything I might have given.
For all my heart and all my love is yours, has been and shall continue to be for as long as we both may live. God grant me the power and strength to make you happy...
Captured in the Pacific during World War II, James Coleman was a POW for three years. Recuperating at the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in Washington, D.C. (Coleman had lost nearly half of his body weight as a POW), he sent this letter reaffirming his love and devotion to his fiancée, Mary.
June 5, 1944
... . Everything is going along fine with me. Nothing now that exciting, just taking it easy waiting for things to happen the same as everyone in the states. Sure will be a great day, won't it? Many a sorrowful home will be brought into the world, but it just can't be helped, it has to happen. My mail is coming through just swell, had quite a few letters this week. I sure hope I am able to answer them all.
It is so early this Monday morning that I hardly have a word to say, so I will close with regards to all the friends around the town and love to Mother and all the others, write soon always glad to hear from you. Be good and take it easy, lots of love,
Captain Jack Hewitt form Silver Spring, Maryland served in General Eisenhower's office when he wrote this letter home to his sister. The letter was written just a day before D-Day and alludes to what he was waiting for.
Officers and non-commissioned officers, K. Company
1st Regiment MD. National Guard Preparatory Mobilization
Today we are resting in an orchard and things are fairly quiet, but snipers are 100 yards south of us & I have treated 6 gunshot wounds this morning. Bullets zing night & day but fortunately the Luftwaffe have been prevented from coming over us except on the nights of D-Day and D2....
...Sweetheart I haven't been able to dream about you since being here. It seems that when I fall asleep that it is so sound I don't dream at all & I miss that connection with you. When I do waken I am all alert at once to the environment & I miss those twilight states of thinking of home.
Excuse this writing cause I am in a fox hole with the letter on a water-can. I have collected a few souvenirs so far from the German dead. They are really well equipped. Their dead outnumber ours. But it is a very sad and distressing thing to see (& smell) so many mangled men. It seems to be so useless for nations to do such things to each other.
The French here in Normandy haven't been as badly treated by the Germans as the newspapers led me to believe. The country looks pretty good. The livestock are beautiful—nicer cows & horses here than in England. Will write as soon as possible.
Dr. Norval Carter served as a surgeon in the 29th Division and was tragically killed by sniper fire, while he was giving aid to a soldier in a field near St.-Lo, just days after D-Day.
It was 6:30 in the morning and just about to land between Point-du-Hot and Serville-de-Mer on the beaches of Normandie, Omaha Beach, the Allies called it. In the far away distance I could hear the rumble of the artillery and the brrrp-brrrp of machine gun fire...
...Finally the word came—Let's go—and there we were in combat, something new in my life. Butch, what an experience...
...With a stream of lead coming towards us, we were at the mercy of the Germans...
...and we had all to do to reach shore and recuperate. I floated around in water for about one hour and was more dead than alive...
...Pulled myself together and sought a rifle and around I went trying to locate my outfit...
...It didn't take long to spot them and I was glad. But gracious Lord, what was left of them, just a handful, about 25 out of 160. The battalion was about wiped out, 800 casualties out of 1000 men.
Our position was desperate, but with sheer will, fear and luck we overcame all obstacles and pushed inland to capture Vierville-sur-Mer, our first town. The price was high but covered ourselves with glory and for that we received the Presidential Citation. Later on we received another at Vire, France.
Yes darling, our outfit can be proud for the part it has played in helping to win this war. Whenever there was a tough nut to crack, the 1st BN., 116th Infantry, 29th Division was called on and always came through with flying covers. I'm very proud of it...
Bye sweet, until tomorrow.
Love and kisses,
Pfc. Dom Bart of the 29th Infantry Division provides his wife with a moment-by-moment account of going ashore at Normandy on the morning of June 6, 1944 (D-Day).
...I am very proud of you that despite yoru tragic loss you have chosen to continue with your life in the Army. Simply stated, that is the epitome of selfless service to your country. Your country should be proud of you also. I am also proud of your efforts to see to it that our country does not forget that when we send our service men and women abroad that they face many dangers in addition to the enemy. Those who lost their lives in Desert Shield deserve to be recognized by their countrymen just as much as those who lost their lives during Desert Storm. It is because of people like you that their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
I pray that your grief will soon pass and I know that your memory of Jeff will never fail. I hope that eventually you will draw strength from the fact that your husband though enough of his country to give his life for it and that this strength will cause you and all you meet to rededicate themselves to the values and ideas for which our great country stands.
God bless you.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf
General, U.S. Army
General Norman Schwarzkopf writes a letter consoling a widow, Karen Snoski, following the loss of her husband, Jeff. An Army nurse who was also serving in the Gulf, Karen had decided to continue her service in the Army.
Company K Armory, Built in 1914.
June 29, 1944
Just a short note to say hello, and also to say that I'm more than sorry that I didn't get to see you when I was home last, but the time was very short, and I wasn't feeling any to hot, fact is, I didn't want to take the leave, but you know how it is , when they give you some time off, you just have to take it and not ask questions.
...All of the news sounds good, Europe the Pacific and everywhere... So with "D" day passed, the bookies stopped the betting on the invasion, there isn't much we can do now but hope for the best. With all we have I don't think victory should be hard...
Dan J. Lee Y2c USNR, wrote this letter to Nellie V. Hewitt in Silver Spring, Maryland. Nellie nicknamed Sis was friends and a correspondent to many men in service and saved all the letters they wrote home during WWII.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrating Commissioned Corps
Good God, what brave fellows I must this day lose.
General George Washington
Witnessing the Maryland Line repeatedly charge and hold back British forces at the Battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776. The nickname, Old Line State, is attributed to Washington. He later reflected on their courage, "as an hour more precious to American liberty than any other!"
...Tell Clinton to be a good boy—be kind to his ma-ma and his sister. You must let him go up to his grandfather and his grandmother—and Uncle Hazens. Keep him well clothed this fall and winter—and Kate—kiss her for me. Tell her pa-pa has not forgotten his "daughter." O what I would not give to see you all. Well we will patiently wait. Time will soon pass away and we shall meet again and I hope to be able to live in our own happy home. I only hope to be able to obtain enough to live comfortable and improve our house and farm. For several days I have been in my own mind making plans of what I would do when I get home if I am able. But we will live in remembrance of our full duty to ourselves our children and our Maker. I too often forget it I know.
Good night. Kiss the babes for me.
Write soon and often and tell others to do so....
Tell me all the news you can about everybody that you think I would know. In the year since I left Bath and two years since I heard from them, but again good night—good night—God preserve us all.
As ever, Will
Written in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Union Army Surgeon Major William Child appealed to his wife for comfort and support.
Camp Mead, Md.
Dear Mother and Father,
Well Mother, this is the proudest day of my life. We leave for "over there" tonight, and I am thankful that I can take a place among men who will bring freedom to them. I do not want you to worry about me at all, for I am coming back and will be coming back and will be 100 percent, better having gone, for in the army one gains knowledge of life, that is impossible to gain elsewhere. All I want of you all is to "Keep the home fires burning" and happy to have suffered the hardships of war....
...When you speak of me in France, do not do so with a heavy heart, do it in a proud way, for it is indeed a thing any parent should be proud of...
...Well I will say goodbye to all and "don't worry."
Love and best wishes
Your loving son Lester
Pvt. Lester Hensler wrote this letter to his parents before heading overseas to fight in World War I.
...Sleep weary one, Sleep and rest for the sorrows toil. Oh, Sleep and visit in dreams once more the loved ones nestling at home. They may yet live to dream of you, cold lifeless and bloody, but this dream soldier is thy last, paint it brightly, dream well.
Oh northern mothers, wives and sisters, all unconscious of the hour, would to Heaven that I could bear for you the concentrated woe which is so soon to follow, would that Christ would teach my soul a prayer that would plead to the Father for grace, sufficient for you, God pity and strengthen you every one...
...Already the foll of the moving artillery is sounding in my ears. The battle draws near and I must catch one hour's sleep for tomorrow's labor.
Good night, dear cousin, and Heaven grant you strength for your more peaceful and less terrible but not weary days than mine.
Yours in love,
Nurse Clara Barton wrote this letter to her cousin Vira on the eve of the Battle of Fredericksburg. After the Civil War, Barton would go on to found the American Red Cross.
It got so dark I had to stop last night it got to dark and rained for twelve hours straight. Writing like that doesn't really do that much good because you aren't here to answer me or discuss something. I guess it helps a little though because you're the only one I would say these things to. Maybe sometime I'll even try to tell you how scared I have been or am now. There is nothing I can do about it but wait for another day to start & finish. If I had prayed before or was religious enough to feel like I should — or had the right to pray now I probably would say one every night that I will see the sun again the next morning & will get back home to you. Sometimes I really wonder how I will make it. My luck is running way to good right know. I hope it lasts.
I have already written things I had never planned to write, because I don't want you to worry about me anyway. Don't worry about what I have said these are just things I think about sometimes. I am so healthy I can't get a day out of the field and you know I'm to damn mean to die. Hon, I better close & try to catch a few z's. It will be another long night.
Sorry I haven't written more but the weather is against me. You can't write out here when it rains hour after hour. I love you with all of my heart.
All my love always
Serving in Vietnam, Lt. Dean Allen writes home to his wife confiding in her the feelings and insecurities he could not express to anyone else.
Dear wife i have enlisted in the army i am now in the state of Massachusetts but before this letter reaches you i will be in North Carolina and thought great is the present national difficulties yet I look forward to a brighter day when i shall have the opportunity of seeing you in the enjoyment of freedom i would like to no if you are still in slavery if you are it will be not for long before we shall have crushed the system that now oppresses you for in the course of three months you shall be at liberty. great is the outpouring of the colored people that is now rallying with the hearts of lions against that very curse that has separate you and me yet we shall meet again and oh what happy time that will be when this ungodly rebellion shall be put down and the curse of our land is trampled under our feet.
i am a soldier endeavoring to strike at the rebellion that so long has kept us in chains. write to me just as soon as you get this letter tell me if you are in the same cabin where you use to live. tell eliza i send her my best respects and love ike and sully likewise i would send you some money but i no it is impossible for you to get it i would like to see little Jenkins now but it is impossible at present so no more but remain your own afectionate husband until death
Samuel Cabble, an African-American Private in the Union Army primises his wife that slavery, the "Curse of This Land," will be crushed.
My dear Kiddie...
...I have often promised in my various letters that you should come to France while I am still here and I am going to keep this promise and you may count upon it. I do not know just when it will be nor how I shall arrange it but we can work that out a little bit later.
I want you to know while you are sitll a boy something of the fine patriotism that inspires the Americans who are fighting over here for the cause of liberty.....
...Give my lvoe to your Aunties, and beleive me, as always,
Writing to his nin-year-old son, Warren, General John Pershing explains why he and his troops are fighting in France.
Dec 21 1943
My Dear Daughter, Anna Mary,
Some day I shall be able to tell you the conditions under which I write this letter to you. You arrived in this world while I was several thousand miles from your mother's life. There wer eso many anxious moments then since.
This message comes to you from somewhere in England. I pray God it will be given to you on or about your birthday. I hope also to be present when that is done. It shall be held in this by your mother or someone equally concerned until that time.
Also I pray that the efforts of your daddy and his buddies will not have been in vain. Taht you will always be permitted to enjoy the great freedoms for which this war is being fought. It is not pleasant, but knowing that our effort are to be for the good of our children makes it worth the hardships.
....You will never know the joy I knew when I received word that you had arrived. Suddenly the sun shone through the fog. The mud paths seemed paved with gold.
It is time that I close this short message to you. Should God decree that you never know your father I want you to have this sample of my handwriting. I want you to know and understand that with the help of God, He will spend his lyife trying to make you and your precious mother happy, and to provide for your needs and wants...
Your loving dad
On hearing that his wife had just given birth to his daughter, Lt. Walter Schuette wrote a letter to his newborn child to be read to her in the event that he did not live to make it back home. Written during WWII, Walter did survive to read the letter in person to his daughter.
June 12, 1779
This is the first chance I have had to write you. I am, by cause of Providence in the field in defence of my country.
When I reflect on the matter, I feel distracted on both hands by this thought, that in my old age I should be obliged to take the field in defence of my rights and the liberties and that of my children.
God only know knows that it is not of choice, but of necessity, and in the consideration that I had rather suffer anything than lose a birthright, and that of my children...
...I am, dear son, with great respect your affectionate father,
An American officer fighting in the American Revolution, James Williams writes his first letter home and explains to his son why he is fightin in the war, Williams would be killed a year later in the Battle of King's Mountain.
December 5, 1944
I hope this will find everyone well. I wrote to you on the third of December but as I am thinking so much about home to-night, I might as well write agian. I would like to be there very much. I miss everything that goes along when I am there. Such as talking about the old days, the good cooking, and all the love and little things that goes wit ha home. I miss all that very much.
I know you miss having all your children around too. Maybe it won't be long until we can all be together again. We can only keep praying for that.
I read in the paper about good soldiers but seldom read about the best soldiers. Those that are Mothers and Fathers of sons in the service. For my part, you are the best soldier I know. You fight a bigger problem than we do. You fight it with better courage too. With that courage in mind I will be able to fight my battle a lot easier.
I hope you won't worry too much about me. I am getting along just fine. I must close before I get too homesick. Tell everyone Hello for me.
Love & best wishes,
William Smith's mother had four sons serving during WWII, and three of the four sons would return home safely. William died during the Battle of the Bulge. He wrote this letter four weeks prior to battle.
When you said, "If you answer this letter I will send you another," did you mean another picture or another letter, I hope you mean both for I would enjoy looking at my pin-up girl in two different moods.
Your wish to become a nurse is a worthy goal to shoot and I wish you success in realizing your aspirations. Might I hope to enjoy the priviledge of your services in the event I should ever need them? or even though I didn't really need them? But since you are so proficient in chemistry you will probably be a laboratory technician who does not personally attend patients. I knew there was a reason for my dislike of chemistry other than that I was too slwo on the uptake to understand the elusive movement of the molecule...
...I too enjoy movies and like to write letters. In that we are on common ground but I must admit that sewing holds very little fascination for me, that is if I am the one doing it. I do find pleaseure in watching a good housewife sew. Perhaps you believe taht I deliberately delayed answering your lettle (sorry) letter but that isn't the case. You see I am in a very remote corner of the world. Your letter arrived just yesterday. I hope that soon there shall be another (with a picture in it) and more to follow.
Goodnight sweets, won't you write again soon.
Capt. H.B. Kipp, U.S.M.C.
Captain Kipp and Norma, the recipient of this letter never met prior to this correspondence. They fell in love through their letters and would meet for the first time face to face when the arrived home. Within a week of their meeting, the two were married. The remained married for twenty years until Captain Kipp died of cancer.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps