Charles F. Bruns lived in the East Central Illinois town of Champaign. A local athlete, ‘Chick’ joined the Army in 1941. In October of 1942 he was sent to the European Theater. During his tour he was able to keep is daily thoughts in a journal that is presented here. Additionally, photos, letters written to home, news paper articles, and historic references will be shared.
We moved today bright and early. We were to move over to a new sector or next to the 1st army but plans were changed, and we only went about 30 miles. This is about the craziest move we ever made. The front is only about 100 yards away from us. The infantry mortars are only about 50 yards from us. They are sniping at us from the hills. Shells are coming in and let me tell you it’s big stuff. They finally chased us out of the area. They could only get a few fellows to drive the trucks out so I volunteered and drove a couple of trucks out. We move back about three miles to a new area. Set up the tent and went to bed.
It has been raining all day and not much to do. We are moving to a new sector so Slattum and I went down to the water point to wash some of the mud off the truck. We went into the town of Lure, about 18 miles east of Belfort. Played some more cards and went to bed.
Just a line to let you know I’m Okea. I had a letter from Eddie Hort the other day so maybe I’ll get to see him soon. Things are about the same except things are getting harder to get now as the Germans are taking everything. There is still plenty of potatoes though, so we are having potatoes cooked every way we can think of. These “C” rations & 10 in 1 rations just don’t agree with us, so most of us do our own cooking. We get bread once in awhile also meat, milk and eggs. You should taste some of my vegetable soup. It would just about compare with yours. We bought a piece of meat the other day about the size of a bowl or about 2 1/2 pounds and it cost us $4.00. But money is no good to us here anyway. Sorry that I have so little to say. Joe Waters is on his way back to the company from the hospital. He should be here in a few days. Goodbye & say hello to everyone as I have little time to write.
A few shells came in last night, but it was enough to keep me awake. Three fellows have been hit. One fellow had his little finger cut off by a piece of shrapnel. We played cards for a while until the shells started coming in too fast so we moved to another place. It has been raining all day.
Did a little bit of cooking, played cards and packed up to get ready to move. We moved about six miles and a little too far again. They are shelling us and everyone is looking for a hole. Wow, they sure make a fellow nervous. I’ll sleep combat tonight.
Four fellows caught six more Germans this morning about a 100 yards from us. I walked into town this morning and got four loaves of bread. We are moving tonight. We moved about 10 miles and no further as the infantry was in the next town. Set up our tent and went to sleep.