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

April 20, 1944 – Thursday

SONY DSCThere is just nothing to do but lay around. Nothing to write about. Funniest damn war. Everyone just seems to be waiting for something to happen. We played Head Quarter Company tonight and won 5 to 4. We were licked 4 to 0 and I went into pitch in the fourth inning. Lucky we got some runs and won. Mel and I went to the show tonight. Came home, wrote mom & dad & went to bed.

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April 19, 1944 – Wednesday

SONY DSCWe have been in Combat four days now. The 29th I will have 18 months over seas and 6 months of actual combat. Our Division has the most days of any division. Not much to do today. Worked a little on the diamond. Went to the Battalion a couple of times and played a ball game after chow. We lost 5 to 4 to the 3rd

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Letter Home – April 18, 1944

19440418a-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad;

What’s cooking at home. Gee, but I would like to see the inside of a clean house for a change. But we do have a pretty good shack to live in here or I should say dugout. Mel and I dug into the side of a hill, put a board top on it and covered it with dirt. We have it well on the inside two. We have enough room for two cots and a ledge to put our things. We have the side lined with burlap and pin up’s all around the walls. Believe it or not we even have electricity. The company got hold of a German generator in Sicily so we carry our light plant with us. Very seldom we ever get to use it in combat though but this is an exception. We even put a 19440418b-Lscan-600cardboard floor in it and sweep it out every day just like our mother used to make us sweep the house when we were kids. We call our house Melgard & Bruns “Flack Shack” Some house eh!

Sorry I am not able to send you a mother’s day card but maybe this one will take its place. Guess this is all for now. I hope you both are feeling well. By By and I love you both very much

Your Son,
“Chick”

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April 18, 1944 – Tuesday

SONY DSCNot much to do today. It rained most of the morning so in the afternoon I got out a truck and packed the diamond down. We played the 81st Recon tonight and we won 5 to 2. They had a good pitcher too. We were just lucky. Came home to a bath (boy I was dirty). Wrote some letters and went to bed.

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April 17, 1944 – Monday

SONY DSCWe made us a ball diamond today. The ground was awful hard and we had a job on our hands. In the evening we went to a show. Saw the same picture we were supposed to see last week. “Standing Room Only.” Pretty good. Came home, played a little catch, the Pyrz, Mel, Gray and myself made some tea in our flackshack. Lights out – to bed I go.

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April 16, 1944 – Sunday

A3P37-8-600Mel and I worked on our flack shack. Boy it’s really a honey. We have our cots dug in and it’s large enough for three fellows, so us two have plenty of room. Even put electric lights in it. It’s really swell. Right now I am in it writing some letters home. Hq. Pl. played the 3rd Pl. and won tonight 4 to 3. Pretty good game. Guess this is all for today.

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April 15, 1944 – Saturday

SONY DSCThe Company went out to work today. They had a large air raid last night and the personnel bombs threw shrapnel pretty close so Melgard and I decided to dig in. We have been sleeping out in the open and any day we expect to move, but we dug in any way. We got the hole dug and got some boards for a roof. Wrote a few letters and went to bed.

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Letter Home – April 14, 1944

19440414-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad;

Just about the time I think I am caught up with answering my mail I get another bundle of letters. I’m glad to hear that Betty and Pat was over to the house. They said that they were going over one of these days. I hear from both quite often. More from Betty than Pat. I’m afraid Rita is in for a surprise when I get home. Say mom about that camera, if you can’t get it, it’s Okea. My old camera may last. It didn’t work for a while but I slammed it around a couple of times and now it works again. But if you find one in a store, Okea. Went to a show last night saw Joe E brown. It was pretty comical show. It helps take you your mind off of things in general. Good bye for now and I’ll write again soon as I find time.

Your Son,
“Chick”

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0113873/

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April 14, 1944 – Friday

SONY DSCThe Company was working up at the Division C.P. today. Little to do here and very little to write about. Went over to the Battalion five times today. Boy what a ride. Received a few letters and answered a few tonight.

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April 13, 1944 – Thursday

SONY DSCWow! Jerry was over last night and it was worse than a few nights ago. He dropped personnel bombs everywhere. I just layed there and shook, waiting any minute for one to come through the tent. The raid lasted about an hour. Not much to do around the supply room. All of the Infantry Regiments are on the lines now but so far there is not much to do. Just repair roads. That’s about all. Went to a show tonight saw Joe E Brown in “Casanova of Burlesque”. Wrote a couple of letters and went to bed early.

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