DMH Spotlight - Warrant Officer Carl Henry's letters, March 1-7, 1945 Back

 Could the sketch artist for this portrait of Carl Henry be the celebrated political philosopher István Bibó?


"Somewhere in Luxembourg- Thursday, March 1, 1945 - 6 P.M.

Getting an early start tonight, as there is much to write you, and Idid not write yesterday. Will explain below- and it wasn't because I
don't love you, for I am still your lover....

...I received 35 letters from YOU during February, for a yearly total of 68 during only 59 days. ...
By the way, honeybunch, don't write me any more V-nails. There is ashortage of envelopes in this theater for V-mails. As a result, they
don't deliver the v-nails in envelopes any more, just glue the twofolds lightly together. More often than not, by the time the letters
reach here, the glue has come off, so privacy has completelydisappeared...

[CTP application denied]...The whole correspondence was there returned to me, starting with my original application and including the
endorsement by Eisenhower's office forwarding my application to Washington. So ends 3 months of speculation over that. I was bitterly
disappointed. I pinned the greatest hopes on this as an opportunity to get home in the near future. For the moment, now, there seems to be
nothing to look forward to except many more months...consolation is that there seems to have been nothing personal about the rejection-
there were so many of us involved....It may be that the Army has manyover-age officers in the States and that these officers are being
placed in the program rather than in the field.

.....Before I forget it...send that fountain pen that the Yeagers gave me.Mine is getting a little worn and needs cleaning reconditioning..
When the new one arrives, I'll send this one home for that reason.Second, send me two tops (heels) for my GI shoes. These are
impossible to secure through civilian channels. I could have the shoesrepaired by the Quartermaster, but that takes a long time, and
deprives me of one of the pairs of shoes while they are gone......

As I wrote...we are now located in a chateau built in 1728. In this war,the building has taken a terrible shellacking, but it still serves our
purposes well. We are located on the second floor, have two rooms,one for our office and one for sleeping quarters. The boys sleep on
the floor in the second room, while I sleep on the floor of theoffice. There are three other personnel sections in this building plus
the post office. We had one window in our office, with most of thepanes gone....

...There are no civilians in this little town, which look like one ofthe towns in the Normandy peninsula - completely devastated.The rest of
our echelon is located...about five minutes walk away. That building was a huge flour mill in peacetime....I seems as though we are never located
in the same type of building twice. This building has the advantage over our previous quarters in that there is no lovestock in the
immediate vicinity and no manure piles outside our front door. To-day,there were German prisoners in the grounds cleaning them up, looking
anything but like the Master Race in their large, flapping grey coats,several sizes too large for the wearer. They would pick up cigarette
butts hungrily in their anything but assiduous devotion to the job athand. Yesterday a got a bridge game organized for last evening...I
played with the same three officers as before: Captain Rice (assistant finance officer) Captain Carney (adjutant of Special
Troops) , Captain Bailey (Medical administrative officer for the division.) It was a very enjoyable game for all.....After the game, I
offered refreshments...Captain Bailey brough out some hard liquor. A good time was had. Turned in about 11:15, too tired to think of
writing an interesting letter to you. This morning I went in to the city of Luxmebourg with the company commander of Headquarters and
Service Company. He dropped us at the building with the swimming pool.First, I had a haircut and a shave, then a good , long hot shower and
change into clean clothers. Now I'm good for another three weeks or so.

S&S....nightclub curfew.....Here is the staement for income....What I can'tfigure out is that, allowing for the $15 for Mom, I should have $36
left over for the month, and I don't have a cent. Where did it go?...cables...air mail stamps....correspondence course $2 - which leaves $24
unaccounted for. I bothers me mightily...I must be getting amnesia. For instance, I have a money order receipt for $44 in my wallet dated
February 12th - what's that for???? Can you figure it out darling? Have I been robbed? I think I better send my surplus cash home to you
about the middle of each month to avoid this. Oh, now I remember. Iowed it to Dieckmann - no, that wasn't it either. Write me what you
think - I'm worried. ...

Darling, Cap's reaction to the offer of a commission was that I should turn it down-thought I had nothing to gain by accepting- reasoned
pretty much as I did....Think you were too humble toward Mrs. Treadwell [ nursing supervisor?] ...

.....it's five weeks since I've been with the Farbers. We're not likely to meet people like that again in this theater of operations.....Did not
have time to stop in and see them to-day. ...The weather has been springlike here....Fanny's scarf I gave to one of the boys in the section.
He has none and I have about three and have worn none of mine all winter. I'll write and thank Fanny in a few days. ...

Thank Dot for her V-mail letter. Still no mail from the folks. Don't know the Wilbur Levy you mention in your V-mail.....So you don't want me
to be too gentle with you?.....I want to spend the rest of my life making love to you.....I'm living, like you, babee, only for our
future, for this is no life apart from you..."

   

"Somewhere in Luxembourg- Friday, March 2, 1945 - 9 P.M.

...I can't understand why the mail going back to the States is being delayed as it is. ...All the boys in my section tell me that their
families are not hearing from them either. Darling, I'm enclosing tonight in your NY envelope one of the two money orders which you sent
me. ...what with the uniform you had to purchase, the trip to Florida, presents, and so forth, ...you most certainly need this money. ...I note
that it is an order onn the Rockefeller Center Statuion, NY, Serial Number 695604office number 20088, dated Jan 2, 1945, I include these
details in case you should happen to mislay the order before cashing it in. [ No photocopy technology yet existant ]...hope you won't scold
too much about my doing this...I don't want my babee to stint herself for one moment....

Fresh oranges for breakfast. - and I managed to snare two of them.....Traffice through our office is rather heavy these days. The
army over here is trying hard to help the morale of the boys. For instance, in our division the following possibilities are open every
few days for a very small number - some go on a four-day rest in a rest camp near here, some for a three-day pass to PAries, come on a
three-day pass to London, some on a 30-day furlough back to the States (I give the times that they can actually spend at their desitnation -
does not include travel time which is extra). These men come through our offices when they leave and when they come back, and so sometimes
it seems like Grand Central terminal here. In two or three month I figure I will be eligible for one of these - but not the trip back to
the States. That assumes that the war will last another two to three months. If it does, I'll need it...."

"


"Somewhere in Luxembourg Saturday, March 3, 1945
....Darling, Mom keeps asking about the Torah which I picked up at Dad's birthplace. Please tell her that, at present, I am unable to send same
but, as soon as I can, I shall do so. [After the war, he told his famiyl that he had 'become separated from it' during the Battle of the
Bulge.]
...Tonight after supper I continued my work on my Bridge for several hours- I really enjoy studying it. And now I'm writing my
loved one- the best part of the day for me. ...I haven't received any income tax blanks yet from you, honeybunch...you should be able to use
the power of attorney I gave you...or get an extension or enclose a note explaining why the return was not signed.....
....The Valentine's card arrived a little late but I can't say that mybabee forgot me on that day. How many did you send in all? Three?
Five?. I hope you got my cable and also my jingle V-mail.....Lee's [Edith's Sister] vmail....makes a passing reference to a letter Lud [her husband Luwig Engler who was in the Signal Corps and later made a career as a top RCA executive] must have written me which I have not yet received....Your family is certainly keeping me well-supplied w letters lately.The letter from Mom must have been
written by Dot [Edith's brother Jack's wife].Thank her for her kindness. I've sort of been worrying about Jack these last few days...The S&S mentioned the Copa's positionin about three of their articles on this aubject and the Stork [ where
Jack Entratter had worked before the Copacabana]
I carelessly let the issues [...] way from me instead of sending them
."

 

"Somewhere in Luxembourg - Sunday evening, March 4, 1945 - 9 P.M.

Sweetheart mine:
No mail today, but word from the battalion has it that there are twoletters down there for me, and so I have something to look forward to
for tomorrow. ....After writing to you last night, O'Toole and I had a bull session for
about an hour, then we turned in....Spent the day to-day working on records of men going back to the States, with the usual inspection
this afternoon. This afternoon, as is the custom on Sunday, we had PX rations issued to us and, also. Were able to purchase a certain amount
at the PX, open for two hours a week o Sunday afternoon. For sale at the PX were all the large bars of ivory soap one wished to buy, large
boxes of gum drops, cigars, and so forth. The issue consisted of many bars of chocolate, cigarettes, gum, razor blades, soap and so forth.
We have more than enough of all that we need now of the simpler items of civilized life. ...
.....Yes, you are right, babee, the last year has certainly restored my confidence. It was at a pretty low ebb at one time, but that's all
over and passed now. You've been a tremendouse, help, darling, in restoring it. You never lost faith - even when I did - and worked
patiently and lovingly to restore the light that failed. I owe very, very much to my honeybunch.

Regarding your suggestion that I start corresponding with Dad now with particular reference to the business after the war, I know my father
well enough to know that his only answer would be : "well, let's wait and see." I don't think I could bring him to any decision at the
moment. I am sure that he would be happy to have me in the business....I am not yet certain that I desire to return, even as a partner. The
shoe business never fascinated me, and I 'm not certain that it would hold my interest after the war. [He went into his own shoe manufacturing business with Edith in 1948 and retired 12 years later, at age 48.] Over here, in the thick of things, it is only with the greatest effort that we can bring ourselves to think about things after the war, because the war weighs so heavily on our thoughts and perspectives. When I came out of college I thought I
could afford to make a mistake about what I wanted to do with my life, but this time I simply cannot afford to do so, for the years are
rurnning on. Give me a little time, honeybunch, to think over your suggestion. Right now I'm so darn pessimistic about the war that I
just can't think about the years beyond. I know we'll win and I'm more confident than ever about the peace, after the recent developments
[Yalta?] But it still looks like an awful long, hard, rough road to travel. Maybe it's just the mood I 'm in tonight. I'n going to spend
the day tomorrow in the city of Luxembourg, in charge of a pass groupfrom our battalion. I'll probably fee beter when I get home and find
the two letters here from you.

Ok, Babee, I will hold you and kiss you the way you like to be kissed, and I'll be tough and rough when I do it, and you'll laugh and cry and
tell me to stop and I won't stop, because it's been years since we'vehad fun like that, and so I'll just go on loving and hugging and
kissing you until - v e r e e , v e r e e t I r e d w e ju s t
F a l l a s l e e p..."


[March 5]

"...After breakfast left for the city. I was in charge of a truck from
the battalion with enlisted men going on pass there. On the way, I
stopped at the house of the lady with whom I had spent the first night
in the Duchy (Christmas eve.) She was delighted to see me, being a
very swell woman. Ileft with her my accumulation of wash for the past
several weeks, but told her that I didn't know when I would return
again, that she should hold it for me. She will do a beautiful job, I
know. Then on to the city proper. Went into the Officers'
Quartermaster Store just to see what they had to sell. My combat
jacket has been looking pretty dirty lately. The old style field
jacket will no longer be sold nor issued. The combat jacket will be
sold and issued again. They have resumed production on same, but it
will be several months before they arrive over here. They have a
new-style field jacket and , also, an 'arctic jacket' which is much
longer than the ordinary field jacket and almost the weight of the
combat jacket.

http://www.usww2uniforms.com/370E.html

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/95245-ww2-arctic-field-jacketparka/

U.S. Army Uniforms of World War II
By Shelby L. Stanton

Not having the experience for many months now of spending some money and itching for the experience, I plunked down 397 francs or $9
...Officers have ration cards over here covering all the clothing items they might wish to purchase, and this ate up my field jacket ration
for the year.....Leaving the city, I stopped back at Mrs. Bosch's house, left her a cake of Ivory which I had forgotten to leave before for the
laundry and also my combat jacket. I'll wear the arctic jacket for a few weeks until my combat jacket is recovered. ...

From there I went to the American Red Cross Officers' Club and there ran in to the Supply Officer from the battalion and his assistant.
They have a rather nice club in town for the officers, the lower floor being a coffee and doughnut restaurant, and the upper floor a
comfortable reading and writing lounge, with dance floor for the dances which they hold from time to time. The other two officers were
having coffee, and so I joined them at the table but did not drink or eat anything except my lunch which I had brought along...They helped me
destroy the tuna fish, but, even so, I had more than enough. We sat and talked for awhile, then they went out on business. I left and got
a good shave, then browsed around the town looking for something to buy for my sweetheart but no luck. The merchandise shown me was
practically an insult, but one cannot expect to see anything in these stores. After that I went back to the Red Cross club and spent the
rest of the afternoon reading. I found some recent issues of the European edition of the Herald-tribune there, including Roosevelt's
report to congress on the Yalta conference and de Gaulle's speech recently to the French Council on his program. I also brought along
Davenport's poem....This was a good day for me to go on pass, for it seemed that absolutely nothing happened while I was gone, one of the
quietest days in many weeks.....I read your letters in the truck driving to town. ....Darling, are you sure that your individual income for last
year was not more than $1200? Offhand, I would say that it was. You might check this some time just to be sure. Strange that Dad wouldn't
realize that I would give you power of attorney before I went overseas. He does not realize that I consider you as fit to run our
financial affairs as myself...I'm really glad that you won't have to go through the trouble of trying to figure our tax return out. That is
the sort of thing you may always leave to me, little one. Tomorrow your usual 7th of the month cable goes out. You've not mentioned in
any of your letters from Florida receivivng any of the cables I sent there nor any forwarded from New York. I do not understand. I'm sorry
to see, babee, that, at the date of writing this letter, you were still spending a lot of time writing letters [ to others] much to my
chagrin. I just know that you didn't gain any weight while you were South because of that. I think I'm a little angry with you darling,
for that reason. Why, babee, why??? In your letter of the 23 Feb you enclose a letter from Mrs. Thomas Hurley. I don't know who she is,
sweetheart. ....In this letter you mention finally having received news of my decoration. I did repeat the news several times in my letters
after January 23, but apparently you did not have those letters on Feb. 23. As I told you in one of those letters, so far I am the only
personnel officer in the division to receive the award. Lt. Col Trone and Captain Carney are the only other two officers in this echelon who
have it at present. Correction: and Mr. Gottschalk, Col. Trone's assistant.....I don't want anything in the papers. Nothing to be gained
by that, and, considering all the jealousy and the events of recent years, I think it would be better just to let it ride. Don't forget
all the boys who win these decorations the hard way- under shell-fire and hell. Let them have the glory, and we'll just take the
satisfaction of a job well-done.
[The following note by hand] Sudden orders to move early in A.M. Must
pack everything tongith. More tomorrow night. All my tenderest, babee,
I deeply love you Carl ( out of ink)"

 


The first of Carl Henry's letters to read: Somewhere in Germany! March 7, 1945. [RITTERSDORF, Rhineland, Germany]

"Somewhere in Germany, Wednesday, March 7, 1945

Your mail is now in the best shape since I landed in Europe- only 6letters missing. I've received 10 letters already this month. One
could hardly ask for more. The Christmas rush is definitely over...Consider, too, that weather conditions are rapidly improving, and
soon again practically all air mail will travel by air, as it has notdone since last early fall. As you can imagine, I was tickled pink to
hear from Mother [who had not written to him in 6 months] and so the
first thing I did tonight ws to write the folks a nice long letter. I can't tell you how happy their letter made me....I am also enclosing a
letter received by one of the soldiers in this echelon from a friendof his in Dieulouard. This friend is the little 12 year old girl whose
picture I sent you. You can see that she still thinks of me. I senther a postcard to-day.....

I want to give you a final sequel to the rejection of my CTP appication. I have a good friend I this echelon who is, in turn, a
good friend of Jesse Jones. This fellow applied for the CTP, also, and learned through his Washington friends that his application will
be returned as no officers overseas are being accepted for thisprogram....And so, ffor the last time, finis to all that. Am really
feeling very well today, knock on wood, the very best I've felt since being over here....

After writing to you last night, I turned in, for the day's physical exertions - involved in moving- had tired us all. The kitchen is
located directly across the street in this mudhole of a town, and their breakfast preparations woke me at five, but I quickly fell
asleep once more.. Up at seven. Was issued a new bedroll to-day which I will explore tonight. It is extremely compact, rolling up into no
more than four square feet. It is supposed to be a "honey." I may use it in conjunction with my other, which is getting plenty dusty, dirty,
and worn. Roast chicken for supper tonight, but I was only able to get about three pieces. I have the boys who do the serving on my side, I
remember them from time to time with cigars, cigarettes, and candy, and they take care of me. 2 more batthlefield appointments came
through tonight, and so that means a plenty busy day tomorrow- but the boys are working tonight on the 70-odd forms to be prepared, and so
there should not be too much trouble. Cap returned my Lin Yutang bookto-day...He also returned, finally, BETWEEN TEARS AND LAUGHTER, borrowed
three months ago this ..

 


 


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