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.

Chick Bruns

Letter Home – October 22, 1944

19441022-2-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad

Just a few lines to let you know I’m okea. I’m still at a loss for words & something to write about. The weather is still bad, & if we could only think of some way to rig up a stove it might not be so bad. The trouble is always having to tear the stove down when we move.

You keep wanting me to look Bud up. I’m afraid at the present time that’s impossible. You see he is in and another army all together different that I’m in. I couldn’t even look a fellow up in our own division, & Bud isn’t in a division so that makes it worse.

I know my mail is slow in getting home, but it can’t be helped. Mail service here is terrible. Even your mail to me, takes a month to get here. When we were in Italy it only took about 10 days. That’s because we are so far from any naval ports. By By & I’ll write again Soon.

Your Son,
“Chick”

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Letter Home – October 22, 1944

19441022-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad

I suppose you’re still worrying about your son Charles and wondering why he doesn’t write. Well if you knew how hard it is to write a letter with nothing in it you wouldn’t write either. Things are pretty slow now as the winter rains have set in, so consequently there is little to write about. We do get two go two a small town to a show once in awhile and the sides playing cards is all the recreation we have. One of these days soon I’m going to take time out an answer all of the questions in your letters.

You have been wanting me to ask for something in a letter so I will. Send me all kinds of soups, remember the kind Mrs. Fleshner used to get me. Popcorn, I can always use. Sandwich spread. A jar of mustard, ketchup, candy and anything else that you think I would like. You couldn’t get all of these things in one package so maybe you can use this letter for a couple or three packages. This is all I have time for now so goodbye. I love you both very much.

Say hello to everyone for me.

Your Son,
“Chick”

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October 22, 1944 – Sunday

SONY DSCHere we are still in the woods. The company has been out all night and day clearing roads. I took a run into the town of Bruyeres to take food to the dozer operators. Sure is a bunch of women with their heads shaved. The fighting that’s going on is really rough. Plenty of artillery and tanks firing all the time. This gives me a little time to catch up on my letter writing.

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October 21, 1944 – Saturday

SONY DSCBoy, they have been throwing everything at the “krouts” today and they in turn have been throwing a little themselves. These “Screaming Mimi’s” make you shiver a little. Not much to do. Got rid of some clothes, played a little cards and went to bed.

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October 20, 1944 – Friday

SONY DSCWe packed every thing up and got ready to move at 7 am. We moved about 30 miles over into the 45th sector. I saw an awful sight to day. A jeep about 50 yards ahead of us was blown up by a mine. The jeep took a complete flip in the air and threw the two riders about a 100 feet from the jeep. One boy was blown practically in two and both were mangled up pretty badly. One of the boys died instantly but when I left one of the boys was still alive. Their mines strewed all over so we have to be pretty careful. They are going to make a drive and you should see the equipment that’s moving up. They are having quite a battle not far from us. You can hear the machine gun and rifle fine quite plainly. I’m on guard tonight.

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October 19, 1944 – Thursday

SONY DSCTried to get the company fixed up on overcoats today. Worked on my property books and wrote a letter home. It seems I never have time to write to anyone but there’s nothing to say anyway. We were told that we are moving out at 7 am tomorrow.

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October 18, 1944 – Wednesday

SONY DSCWe all received a booster shot today. Boy, it’s really miserable around here. It’s been raining all the time. We are to move one of these days but we don’t know when. Played some cards and went to bed.

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October 17, 1944 – Tuesday

SONY DSCKept pretty busy today. Had to do a lot of running around and get some new equipment. Played some cards and went to the show.

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October 16, 1944 – Monday

SONY DSCWorked on the clothes some more. We get a few things in each day so we try and get rid of them. We got a new company commander, Lt. Cook. He’s a good man.

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October 15, 1944 – Sunday

SONY DSCThe company rested today. But we kept right on working, trying to get rid of a few more clothes and fix them up with the winter issue. Went to the show.

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