Dear Mother & Dad,
Well there’s not much happening around here now so there is little to write about. I did go two Messina the other day and bought a few postcards and things. I’m sending a couple of wine sets home and most of the other glasses I picked up during the campaign there is also a bunch of souvenirs and they’re like fascist pins, German belt buckle, Italian stars that they wear on their blouses and a few other things. O yes there is a locket and some other things that you can use it if you want to. The face powder in the package is for yourself, and Gee, Mrs. Fleshner and Mrs. Grierson, and send one to Ess. I don’t know much about powder but it’s supposed to be pretty good stuff. Let me know what you think of it. Gee can use the wine set it if she wants too otherwise put it away until I get home. I heard that they invaded Italy this morning so maybe this old war won’t last much longer. I couldn’t say much about it before but I have been staying Messina, and you can notice that from the ash trays & beer glass I picked up. We couldn’t stay long in Messina as they were shelling the coast from Italy. Oh, yes mom I have seen Italy, it is only a couple of miles across the straight there and it could be seen plain as can be. Dad I bet you would have liked to have been there with me as we found a brewery that had been bombed and there were two great big tanks of cold beer in the basement. We got about a hundred gallons for the company. The British were using one tank and we the other. You should have seen me. There I was knee deep in beer, some one was working a faucet above my head and when they would get a Can filled it would run down all over me, So there I was all ring and went with beer. I have seen a lot of beer but this is the first time I ever went swimming in it. Boy you see all kinds of sights here. Messina is about the size of Danville but when the Allies got through with it I wouldn’t give you 2¢ for the whole city. I thought Bizerte was bad but Messina is nothing compared to Bizerte. Bizerte was a smaller town and at had a few buildings left but Messina was completely finished. It is even hard to explain in a letter now how it looked. We had quite a few commendations from the Generals and when they let us I will send the letters home for you to read. Well now I will try and catch up on your letters
June 16, 1943, 7
This letter was not photographed because you wrote out of bounds. Well mother I have all ready sent the pictures home, but first they have to be developed by the sensor
July 20 1943, 7
Glad you receive my package I have sent so much junk home I have forgot what all I have sent
July 22, 1943, 8
They probably held our mail up, that’s the reason why you haven’t received my mail yet. And any way it has to go back to Africa so it will take longer. We’ll Beth might just as well quit trying to get Charlie out as he is and for the duration. She should be happy that he is in the states.
July 25, 1943, 9
You wanted to know who our General was. Well mom the paper are told you that we can’t say anything about it so you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. But you guessed right.
July 28, 1943, 10
Did you ever get that your dress made? I bet it is sure pretty. Now mom you can’t compare Paul’s mail in coming with mine. He is much closer to home. As far as writing to Rita, I am giving her some of her own medicine. I will not write to her until she writes to me. If she never writes, well the wolf will be on the loose when he gets home. There are plenty of girls in the good old USA.
July 30, 1943, 11
Bud saying that a poor little when blew his tent away but also he had nice barracks to go back to. Ask him how he would like to sleep in a small slit trench or a hole foxhole. At least they don’t have to sweat out bombings and artillery shells bursting in their backyard. If he ever get his chance someday he will know what I mean, but the boys who work in the personnel sections are so far behind the lines they don’t even get to make a gunshot. Some day I will get fed up and write home and let those guys out on maneuvers know what it’s like here. All I have to say is that they had better have a good time while they can. I probably shouldn’t have said this but you get so tired of what the fellows are doing back in the states that the U.S.O. and how tough a time they’re having. I think it’s about time they sent some of them over here and send the fellows that have been carrying the blunt of this war home. Some day I will be able to tell you everything, and it won’t have to be censored either.
August 5, 1943, 5
Gee what I wouldn’t give to go to one of those church chicken dinners again. Sew Dale Trees and Margaret Madigan got married. Boy that something**WOW! So Snook is in the Solomon’s, well I was hoping that he would get over here but these damn Jerries play for keeps. Well he can tell about the Japs and me about the Jerries. So Charlie is going to be a papa. Ha, ha, I didn’t think he was man enough.
August 5, 1943, 2
Glad that dad just about has the house finished. I’ll be home soon and give it the OK.
August 9, 1943, 4
I checked up on my allotment so don’t worry about it. You tell Mr. Artman that they do make the best pipes in the world here but there is a war on or didn’t he know that. They don’t make anything here, and what they did have the Germans took.
August 17, 1943, 6
Well mom your v-mail letters come the fastest. Glad you received the other package.
August 19 1943, 8
I’m glad you sent me a pipe as the one I have is about shot, also I only have one roll of film left. I bought that large pipe in Africa for a souvenir. Well mom and Dad, I guess this is all I can think of for the present. I am receiving your mail fine and don’t worry if you are a little behind in your writing, because I get way behind myself. Goodbye and I will always be thinking and loving you both from the bottom of my heart. Say hello to everyone for me and I will write to them one of these days.
Your loving son
Letter Home – September 3, 1943
Dear Mother & Dad,