DMH Spotlight - Warrant Officer Carl Henry's letters from World War II - Feb. 1-7, 1945 Back
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Exactly one year earlier: 2/1/44: Carl and Edith in Yuma, Arizona 


Carl Henry mentions the CTP program - that is the Contract Termination Program that was created by the Contract Settlement Act of 1944, "One of the most carefully considered pieces of legislation ever to have been enacted by the Congress." according to Senator James E. Murray, Montana, Chairman of the Senate Special Small Business Comittee and of war Contracts Subcommittee of Senate Military Affairs committee.

These are copies that are punched!

The originals are in the Carl Henry special collection at the Du Bois Library, U Mass Amherst.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Somewhere in Luxemburg- Saturday, February 3, 1945 - 10 p.m.

"....Here's the latest angle" all messes are now being furnished with vitamin pills - what won't the army think of next! ....After supper this evening, I visited a Captain in the Dicision Surgeon's office. He has a fascinating devvice known as Autobridge....I've got to make a determined effort in the next few days to get a shower or bath- it's been about three weeks now since my last. Yesterday before I turned in, I heated some water, poured it in my helmet, and scrubbed and soaked my feet. But more drastic measures must soon be taken....From one who watches, with you, the whole night through - Carl."


Somewhere in Luxemburg, February 4, 1945: people mentioned by name in this letter: "Chaplain Comer, the Catholic Chaplain, assistant division chaplain;Captain Carney, a real swell egg, who is adjutant and personnel officer of division special troops, which consist of all the miscellaneous division organizations besides the infantry, artillery, medics, and us. Another was Captain Rice, assistant finance officer, and Captain Bailey, chief medical administrative officer for the division, all members of the rear echelon";  Lt. E; dentist "from the Bronx and is now our mess officer in addition to his other duties: Captain Charles Insler, DC.His principal duty is dentist for the rear echelon." [Merriam Webster: rear echelon: an element of a military headquarters or unit located at a considerable distance from the front and concerned especially with administrative and supply duties.]

 

"..this peasant family we are living with ...must have mixed two gallons - no- probably five gallons of batter. They had a huge tin of sugar which they sprinkled generously over each completed specimen. Real eggs and butter went into the preparation, The first batch off the iron they brought into us in our office- a huge plate stacked high with hot, crisp, delicious specimens. This is the first 'warm' contact we have had with these people. They made approximately half a dozen waffles for each of the seven of us, and they were tickled pink when we gobbled them up...These people are really rich, although appearances seem to belie the fact. Their farm and numerous cattle make possible a high standard of (farm) living. The farmers of Luxemburg, anyway, are a prosperous group, and their farm products are amongst the best in Europe. I was quite surprised to see the huge tin of sugar they have. Where they go it I can't figure out...."


A cable "sansorigine" (no origin) to EFM (help me out here?) Edith Henry on 2/5/1945. Her sister-in-law Dorothy (Mrs. Jack Entratter) must have sent the telegrams (including 1/28 received 2/4)to her in Florida, and Artie, might be her older brother Arthur, is going to get her train tickets."Love from Mom + us all." (Mom was Anna Trotter, residing at 43 25 43rd St, Long Island City.

"Somewhere in Luxemburg Monday February 5, 1945...I did receive a package today from my doll babee: nuts, fruit cake in a Longchamps box) chicken, large can of pineapple...January ESQUIRE. TIME keeps coming through regularly but...by the time I plow through the ENQUIRER, PM, letters going and coming, S&S, Yank, I've had just about enough...Murray cut my hair this afternoon- first time in six weeks. Tonight we had the opportunity of a movie once again...'Follow the Boys'...with practically everyone in Hollywood...Dinah Shore, Orson Welles, George Raft, Sophie Tucker, Arthur Rubenstein, Jeannette MacDonald, Carmen Miranda, W.C. Fields, and a few others.The best musical I've seen this side of the water.

 

Follow the Boys (1944) Poster

During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were meant as morale-boosters to both the troops overseas and the civilians at home. This was Universal Pictures' effort. It features everyone from Donald O'Connor to the Andrews Sisters to Orson Welles to W.C. Fields to George Raft to Marlene Dietrich, and dozens of other Universal players.

- Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036832/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

 

"Heard at breakfast that the first man in the Division to be accepted for the CTP [Contract Termination Program] is about to leave. His acceptance came through yesterday, and he is to proceed immediately to the States by the shortest and fastest route. He is an enlisted man in one of the field artillery battalions, over 35, and was a lawyer in civilian life ...I'm just a little bit afraid that my age may be against me: 32 is not exactly over 35...

 

"Boy, does this town we're in now stink! with a capital K. We've had a spring thaw in the last few days....They've got manure piled in front of every door step in town plus all the debris of war and the elements  littering the streets. .... Here we have cattle, horses, chickens, dog, cat, ducks, and everything else under the same roof, and yet I have yet to see a sign of creeping or crawling insect life. ..these people lead the humblest of lives. They have no illumination after dark, and so about seven in the evening they seem to disappear, not to reappear again till about 12 hours later. That's an awful lot of sleep to get, night after night, and year after year...."


Somewhere in Luxemburg- Tuesday February 6, 1945 " ....and now, to turn to your letters: Here is yours of January 11. In this letter you start out by looking into the future, to our travelling together [and this they did, much] and then you reminisce about our motor trip in '43 through the west - the 'tumble weeds' cactus and desert flowers - pudgy mountain hills - that looked as if God couldn't make up his mind just what to do with them'- a true, poetic image, well-phrased....

"It was just a year ago that I received word I passed my exam. Seems like two years. I've now held my WOJG [warrant officer junior grade] longer than any other rank I've had (Cpl: 8 mos, 7 days; WOJG: 8mos, 13 days) , and I suppose this will remain my rank unitil this is all over

[Eventually, Carl Henry made Warrant Officer and Chief Warrant Officer before discharge.]

"...Is it possible, dare we dream that by our 50th [Anniversary of marriage, which Carl counted by the months from their wedding on 12/25/41] this unhappy sequence of not so happy anniversaries will have passed forever into limbo, I hope so. Well, as always, honeybunch, your hubbie will be thinking of you more than ever on the 25th, treasuring with you the memories of all that's good and sweet in our lives - and there has been plenty - scheming, dreaming of how to multiply these moments in the future....Ok, let's jump in bed, and curl up inside of each other..."

 

Somehere in Luxemburg- February 7, 1945

 

Letters for February 8-14, 1945: click here


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The originals are in the Carl Henry special collection at the Du Bois Library, U Mass Amherst

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