Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Dear Mom & Harry, Sunday, Dec. 12, 1943 On this day Erwin Rommel is made commander for German forces that are stationed on France's coast. Germany expects an Allied invasion will occur in the near future.

Both of your airmail letters came a couple of days ago. It takes six to eight days by airmail. Regular mail takes about twice as long. Sunday, my day off and I went to the theater this afternoon dressed like a mummy. The hood of my parka covered up my head, mouth and nose. Goggles covered up the remaining part of my face. I forced myself ahead at a 45° angle.

Have you heard of a williwaw?

See if you can look it up and tell me what it is. The picture I saw was, “The Fallen Sparrow” (or something like that craziest picture.)

I saw “Holy Matrimony” with Monty Wooly and Gracie Fields a couple days ago. This is from Arnold Bennet’s novel and one of the best I’ve seen in the army. See this movie. Pictures this week are “Hostages”, “Winter Time”, “Claudia”, and “Girl Crazy”.

I am writing this on my double-decker bunk. Fortunately I have the top bunk and can expose myself to the free space up above me. I like the top bunk because it’s low and if you were on the lower bed you’d feel like a piece of ham between two slices of bread.

Before I could finish this letter I had the wind carry me to dinner. On the wayback, the wind charged me for that lift to mess hall.

Back I settle don bunk to read, Sinclair Lewis, “Prodigal Parents”.Then I played Chinese checkers and lost. I always lose. Then I washed and shaved. Quite a different process. First I need a pan of hot water which I fetch from the stove. Than I make sure no one else takes it before I’m ready to use it. Then I place the pan on a chair or table if one one is using it and proceed with ablution. This reminds me of Free Soil in the good old days.

After shaving I settled in my bunk again. Some hut mates are sleeping, some reading, others talking and still others listening to the radio which is on the bunk next to mine and which I can hear very clearly. The fellows here represent quite a few of the big cities in the ‘old country’. Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Albuquerque, and New York City. I’m the only one from Detroit.

If you could look at the walls of my hut, you'd find 'them plastered with pictures of pin-up girls, most of them taken from Esquire and movie magazines. These pictures make the hut look like an art gallery. On the wall across the aisle from me are pictures of Paulette Goddard. They were the pictures which were transferred from the wall above my bunk by the boy who had the bunk under me but who moved across the aisle because he had the chance to claim an upper bunk. When he moved, he took his Paulette Goddards with him. I didn't mind it so very much because I was getting to a point where I began to wonder how Paulette felt when she saw me going to bed with my long Johns on. I felt more at ease when she was taken away by her ardent admirer.

I sent you eight photos, but you only got six, because two were returned by the censor because the backgrounds revealed too much of what is on this island.

 I’m glad you made arrangements with Gladfelter to take 10 platinum females. What happens to those not kept?

I was surprised that Richard Barrigan is in the hospital. Copies of Reader’ Digest came. They were very late, due to no APO number in the address. I hope letter gets to you before Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. If Wayne can't understand, just tickle him under the chin and say 'hoochy coochy'.

With Love, Eddie
P.S. This letter was written in shorthand Dec. 12, but didn’t have chance to type it till tonight, Thursday, Dec. 16

In one of the Sunday Detroit papers I noticed book stores are selling “Rogues Gallery” by Frank Scully. Could you buy a copy for me and place it in with the other books in my bedroom?

On Saturday, Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1943 U.S. Marines enter New Britain, and on Thursday, Dec. 30 the allies have control of western New Britain.

Christmas 1943 & FDR

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