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May 18

Dear Mom & All–WWII Letters from Herb (part 21)

Memorial Day is about a week away and a good time to post a few more transcriptions of my dad’s WWII letters and photos. Today’s letters are from May and June, 1945, 73 years ago. [1]

My dad, Herbert Miller, was trained as a replacement troop during the fall of 1944. After he arrived in Europe he was assigned to Company L, 333rd Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, known as the Railsplitters. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and later in parts of Luxembourg and Germany.

My dad wrote quite a few letters home during the time he served our country in Europe during WWII and his family saved most of them. I have most of the letters he wrote to his parents, Carl and Gertrude (Brewster) Miller, and to his sister Em and her husband Norval “Jack”.

Below is a letter to my dad’s sister Em and her husband Norval “Jack.” He wrote the letter on 28 May 1945, but the inner postmark shows Rockford, 25 Aug 1945. The war in Europe was over by that time and my dad was part of the Occupation Forces.

Road signs in Germany, WWII.

28 May 1945
Germany

Dear Em & Jack,

I have a picture to send so decided to write a couple of lines. From what I hear youins have been having pretty bad weather. Do you have any corn out yet? Wait a minute. Speaking of corn, about a week ago our squad was detailed to guard a distillery which contained about three thousand gallons of corn liquor. We had the guard for about two weeks. Some fun!

These pictures I’m sending home I developed myself. The pictures were taken by a couple of other guys and Portor and I developed the smaller prints.

Must close for now. Am feeling fine and hope you are thee same.

Love,
Herbie

P.S. Please send a package.

These may have been a couple of the photos he talked about in this letter. These photos were labeled, taken in Schriesheim, 1945:

Sgt. Fenn, Cpt. McGee, Sgt. Mueller, Cpl Thornton, Herb Miller; Schriesheim, Germany 1945.

Sgt. Mueller, Cpl. Meyer, Cpl. Thornton, Herbert Miller; Strahlenburg Castle, Schriesheim, Germany, 1945.

Sgt. George Mueller, Strahlenburg Castle, Schriesheim, Germany, 1945.

Taken from Strahlenburg Castle, Schriesheim, Germany, 1945.

The next letter was written on the same Railsplitter stationery, written to his parents. He wrote the letter 30 May 1945 and the inner post stamp is Berne, 25 Jun 1945.

30 May 1945
Germany

Dear Mom & All,

Just came in from retreat and rifle inspection. They showed another show today, something about Blondie and Dagwood.

I now have five more points. Tonight at retreat the company commander called seven of us guys up to the front of the formation and presented the Purple Heart to us. I imagine it is for the time when the shrapnel busted my wrist watch. It did cut a gash in my thumb.

I now have 36 points. That is just about ½ enough. But I’ve been in the Army only eleven months and most of the guys that have over 85 points have been in the Army three or four years.

How is everything coming along on the farm? Do you have any corn out yet? They last I heard it was still pretty wet around there.

You asked if I received the Celina Standard and The Willshire Herald. Yes I receive both of them and have been for quite a while. I thought that I mentioned it.

I received the fountain pen. Thanks a lot. It really writes good. I am using it now.

Must close for now. Will try ad write often.

Love,
Herbie

P.S. Please send a box of cookies and home-baked fruit cake. That real good kind that you have been sending.

P.S. #2 The picture enclosed is of my platoon guide S/Sgt. Lawrence Broderick. He used to be my squad leader. (20 years old)

Unfortunately, I do not have that photo of Lawrence Broderick, but the photos shown below were labeled: Germany, 84th Division Award Ceremony.

84th Division Award Ceremony, Germany, post-war.

84th Division Award Ceremony, Germany, post-war.

The next photo is also an 84th Division Award Ceremony, but was taken earlier, during the war, in Belgium.

84th Division Award Ceremony, Belgium, during the war.

Although the war was technically over, my dad had to accumulate a certain number of points before he could be discharged. During that time, after the end of the war, he was a member of the Occupation Forces in Germany. He spent part of that time working in the post office.

1 June 1945
Germany

Dear Em & Jack

This letter won’t be so awful long but a few words are better than none. I imagine by the time you have mom and them will have received the Purple Heart I sent home. You didn’t know I had one, but I’m almost as good as women when it comes to keeping secrets.

How is farming coming along? Do you have all of the corn out yet?

I’ve written quite a few letters tonight. I wrote one to Don Hoblet and I’m getting so I don’t know what to say, so I’d better sign off.

Am feeling fine and hope you are the same.

Love,
Herbie

P.S. Please send a package.

Herbert Miller, US Army, 84th Division, 333rd Company, Infantry. WWII, Battle of the Bulge.

Like so many of the WWII veterans, my dad did not talk a lot about his service and did not talk about his Purple Heart. He did like to read books and accounts of the Battle of the Bulge and of WWII.

You can tell that the women in his family were very good cooks because he kept asking them to send packages of their home-made goodies. He seemed to especially like their fruitcake. I should try to find the Miller fruitcake recipe.

 

[1] These letters are from Pfc. Herbert Miller (35845400), Co. L, 333rd Infantry, A.P.O. 84, c/o Postmaster, New York, NY, to Mr & Mrs. Carl Miller, RR1, Willshire, Ohio, or to Mr. & Mrs. Norval Weitz, RR1, Rockford, Ohio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Marian Wood

    Enjoying these WWII letters and photos. A wonderful way to honor the family and pay tribute to those who served in the war!

    1. Karen

      Thank you!

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