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

September 22, 1944 – Friday

SONY DSCNot much going on. Played a little cards and wrote some letters. Played cards again in the evening and I have been loosing my fanny.

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September 21, 1944 – Thursday

SONY DSCWe cleaned up the truck and moved to a new area. We are going to flank the Germans in a pocket on our right. We moved right after dinner. Germany seems to be dug in and the going is tough.

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September 20, 1944 – Wednesday

SONY DSCWe 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.

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September 19, 1944 – Tuesday

SONY DSCIt 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.

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Letter Home – September 18, 1944

19440918-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad

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.

Your Son,
“Chick”

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September 18, 1944 – Monday

SONY DSCWell, no shells last night for a change. I wrote a few letters and straightened up the truck. Cooked some beef and made some good soup. Played cards and went to bed.

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September 17, 1944 – Sunday

SONY DSCA 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.

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September 16, 1944 – Saturday

SONY DSCDid 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.

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September 15, 1944 – Friday

SONY DSCPlayed cards all day. The infantry still hasn’t pushed ahead as yet. They are to attack today. We played cards all afternoon. Didn’t move.

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September 14, 1944 – Thursday

German Prisoners

German Prisoners

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.

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