Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Sun. Aug 20 the Red Army enters Romania after crossing the Danube River. Tues. Aug 22 Allies start an attack on Marseilles, France.

Below letter written by Edward J. Thomas

22 Aug 1944 Tuesday

Dear Mom., Harry & Izzy:

I am afraid I am making all of you wonder why I am not writing any more.
A copy of the letter I am attaching which I just wrote to Stanley explains
the reason. It wasn't just the writing of it, but the days I brooded over it
before I made up my mind to start. I knew it would be a long one and for that reason dreaded to begin. The feeling of dread was about the same as the one I always have when I am stark naked and about to plunge into the swimming pool at the Catholic Club. I know before hard that the water will be very cold and the more I look at it the longer I want to stay away from it. But once I do plunge in, I splash around like an egg beater until I warm up and then stay in for a long time.

As I have mentioned in my letter, to Stanley, I moved from my temporary
quarters in the garage building into a huge exhibit building much nearer to
the office where I work. It is now a great deal more convenient for me. The
mess hall, which I try to avoid as much as possible, is just across the road
and my office only about 100 yards away and the State Fair Grounds exit much less than that. All these places previously were about a half a mile away. My mail, I suppose, will be delayed now because it will first go to Headquarters Company and then be forwarded to Headquarter where I am at present. When sending any more mail to me address it as follews: (see previous letter)

I'll have to notify the Reader's Digest and all the fur magazines of my new
location. I haven't done anything about it since I left Camp Shelby.

Harry, I received your letter and learned that you and Mom revisted that
property at Long Lake. Is the place still for sale? Anyway I don't think it
should matter a great deal because our final inspection convinced me that the place as a whole isn't worth having. I can imagine the sweat that would have to be shed in developing the place.

Isabell, your letter arrived while I was almost ready to send this one .
out. I read it just in time to add this paragraph. Those childrm across the
alley who come on our property in spite of our fences don't urderstand what
trespassing means. If their parents won't teach them, then we'll have to do it. They'll have to know the seriousness of their offense, especially when we'll have our mink back in their pens. I feel like signing these words "By command of General THOMAS, but it's bad for my health to feel that way while I'm only a Pfc. I must wait until I'm a civilian.

Mom, it seems as if the war will be over in Europe sooner than I expected.
The Allies are sweeping through France against opposition much faster than the Germans in 1940 who had no opposition. It is quite possible that when Germany is defeated, the army will begin to discharge soldiers. They may release those with dependents first. That sounds tough for me. My only hope hangs on the probability of an early discharge for men who have been overseas. I am wishing I'll be able to know whether I'll be discharged soon enough for us to keep all of our present mink and move than to Detroit for the next breeding season so that in 1945 we'll have a big crop. Maybe a couple more months will tell.

As ever,


Wed. Aug 23 The French resistance takes over Paris, but the Allies are blocked advancing toward Versailles. Fri. Aug 25 U.S. and Frenc forces free Paris. Romania is now at war with Germany. The next day, Aug. 26 German soldiers fire at Charles de Gaulle missing him but injuring others. On Mon. aug 28 the French and Americans now have entered Marseille, France.

Letter to Jerry

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