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WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.

Article about: This letter was written by a Corporal Richard W. Smith. He served in the Headquarters Battery, Divisional Artillery, 100th Infantry Division. The letter reads: “Tuesday May 8th 1945 Southe

  1. #1

    Default WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.

    WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.
    This letter was written by a Corporal Richard W. Smith. He served in the Headquarters Battery, Divisional Artillery, 100th Infantry Division. The letter reads:

    “Tuesday May 8th 1945
    Southern Germany

    Dear Dad and All-

    Now you can celebrate! It inkes me to think of how many times they have had the war over with, in the states. Today has been more or less a holiday with us- have done nothing exceptional to celebrate VE, but it’s sort of a relief. And it seems unfair to have the people at home more happy that this is over with (here), than the men who have been thru it all.

    Four or five of us Metro and chaplains assistant went as far as to take a long walk thru town and up on the hill overlooking town, opposite here, today. Took some snapshots etc. It’s really hot out now. We’ve had some nasty wet and cold weather since we’ve been here. But now it’s like June days. Leaves are out and the gardens are filled with flowers - front and back yards.

    Tomorrow is another holiday I just heard. The Chaplin is having a thanksgiving service in the morning for us and at each of the battalions.

    Wed PM May 9th

    Left this letter last eve. to go celebrate - choc milk and cookies at the chaplain’s. We’ve all sworn off champagne and cognac and schnapps .—— until the next time. No more black out! It looked so strange to look down town and see the bright lights shining from the windows.

    This P.M. we had to march down thru town and had a memorial service and division officers said a few words and the band played. Reminded me somewhat of Memorial Day at home. The weather is about the same - lilacs and all. But we really aren’t so elated. This “garrison stuff” doesn’t go so well now, but neither does the CBI sound so good. If we should stay here for occupation, I’m going to do some schooling. There is much planning on education for the occupation troops and it would make good use of their time.

    The meals should be improving now, more chance to concentrate on feeding us, tho the steaks and beef and chicken we already have can’t be improved upon very much. We don’t have to pull K.P. now. Three Russian soldiers are working in the kitchen for us. My turn at it was coming pretty close - and two weeks at that job is too much. Now it’s chow time. I’ve been interrupted to load up our truck. I just never seem to get around to write.

    I’ve been sleeping on sort of a day bed or living room seat, good spring cushions and I used two parts of a mattress. You know all the mattresses here, come in three sections. So I found clean sheets and pillows and it’s been the softest - most comfortable bed so far. A room all for myself - bed light- oil painting on the wall etc.

    Yesterday I finally got around to wrapping up the souvenirs I’ve been picking up for the kids. One Pkg. for Dara and Louis- the Luftwaffe helmet (air corps) I found behind a big wine barrel in a wine cellar. Someone had that we’d never find it. And the Hitler Youth Knife was found among some German Youth and Infantry packs, uniforms stored in a back room. The big Nazi banner was rolled on a staff, in the cellar of the last mansion we lived in. It was our best and largest home - winding stairway, running water, baths, lights, a beautiful house.

    And the other Pkg. for Burt and Martha - The jacket is part of a girls Hitler Youth uniform with the youth insignia, and section of the country. I think the bayonet is just a dress bayonet and a regular soldiers belt. Some of the buckles are different - this one says - Blood and Honor. I believe the black and white armband is Hitler Youth - the others are some kind of Nazi party arm bands. I’m going to send Phoebe a bunch of Nazi pins and buttons etc.

    I hardly used the brushes now, have found quite a few - Have you received the $50 I sent on payday? - Saw a movie or two - “Wilson” wasn’t as good as I expected. Hope Ma gets along OK at the Hosp. I never dread it anymore. It’s the place to be when you need medical care. The size I told you was wrong. I have another small 620 Kodac here/ and a 620 Zeiss Icon box camera. Have been using a 120 box camera. Some fellows have real good folding cameras. Must write Walter. He’s in Italy now. Have had a letter from him. Aunt Min writes often. I enjoyed the photos. Sandy is growing. I’ll send the ones we took later. Will try to write again soon.

    With love to all,
    Richard.

    P.S. I’m sporting my Good Conduct and ETO Ribbons today. (Fruit Salad). “

    WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.
    WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.
    WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.
    WW2 Era Letter Written by U.S. Serviceman on VE-Day. He writes about VE Celebrations, sending home Nazi souvenirs, and many other things.

  2. #2

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    Another great letter, wonder where his souvenirs ended up. He had a good haul of pieces by the sounds of it.

  3. #3

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    I was wondering the same thing. Most likely ended up in someone else’s collection overtime.

  4. #4

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    Hi JB.

    Another great letter, thank you for posting.

    Richard writing about sending home souvenirs reminds me of this -

    Ernie Pyle, the famous WW2 war correspondent, wrote that the British fight for their homes, the Germans fight for glory and the Americans fight for souvenirs.

    Kind regards,

    Will.

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