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Sep 28

Dear Mom & All–WWII Letters from Herb (part 27)

Today, more transcriptions of the letters my dad, Herbert Miller, wrote home while serving his country during WWII. Today’s letters begin in January 1946. The war was over and my dad was serving in the Occupation Force in Germany, serving until he had enough time and points to be honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. He had been stationed at an Army post office in Weinheim, Germany, but wrote these letters from Heidelberg, where he apparently had been transferred. [1]

These letters were written to my dad’s sister Em, her husband Norval “Jack,” and their little son Ron. There is not a lot in these letters, but still a few bits of interesting information here and there.

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

Jan 8 [1946]

Dear Em, Jack, and All,

It’s about a quarter after nine and am going to get my laundry together tonight and then go to bed. It’s pretty early but I’m sort of sleepy and anyway there weren’t any good shows on tonight. Have you received the large box of perfume I sent you, or I should say 2 bottles in one box?

 How’s the little fellow coming along? I sure would like to see him. Maybe it won’t be too long. At least I hope not. It shouldn’t be too long. I have 38 points. The discharge no. is 50 points. I have 18 months of service now, 13 overseas and 5 of that combat time.

I’ve got one row of ribbons now and might have two by the time I get discharged–E.T.O., Good Conduct, Purple Heart, Occupation Ribbons, Victory Ribbon, maybe the America Theatre Ribbon, and the Combat Infantry Badge.

 Things are about the same here as usual. Not much going on. Must close.

 Love,
Herbie

My dad displayed some of his WWII ribbons and patches in a shadow box, shown below. He had additional campaign ribbons that were not displayed here.

Some of Herb’s WWII ribbons and patches.

19 Jan 1946
Heidelberg, Germany

Dear Em, Jack & Ronnie,

I guess it’s time for me to write you a few lines. Things are so dead around here and there just isn’t anything to write about.

I’ve been trying to get Special Service to set up a roller rink and the answer I got was “Sure, we’ve got 300 pair on hand, but what do you want us to do—work?

I’ve almost got me a movie camera, so if I do get it I’ll wire home for film and take a movie of “Heineland.”

I wrote mom a letter tonight and forgot to tell her, so you tell her. By the way the radio says I’ll be eligible for discharge June 30, maybe a little before, maybe a little after.

What’s cookin’ around on the farm this time of year? A lot of work. I’ve got the Hillbilly program on the radio that comes on every Saturday evening. Lulu Belle and Scotty are singing now. It isn’t very late, about the time we usually got into Celina.

How’s Ronnie coming along? I sure would like to see him and also Ruth’s family. I haven’t seen Roger since he was in the crib and always crying.

I really had a good meal Friday night. A couple of the Red Cross girls from the 84th Division (the girls are still in Weinheim) came in the post office. I knew them and we got to talking and they invited me and another guy out to supper. A couple pretty nice girls.

Can’t think of much more to write so I’d better close.

Love,
Herbie

Herbert M. Miller, WWII.

26 Jan 1946
Heidelberg, Germany

Dear Em, Jack & Ronnie,

It’s Saturday evening and about time I answer a few letters. There isn’t much doing tonight, went to take a shower and then a show. Saw, by golly I can’t think of the name of the snow now.

I work at the C.P. most of the time and the Wacs live there and have their mess hall there. (place to eat)

We finally worked a deal where we could eat dinner there and then later supper, so I’m getting two good meals a day. The closest to home cooked meals I ever ate in the Army.

I’m going to get some pictures taken pretty soon. I’ll send some home if they are any good.

How is Ronnie coming along? Good, I hope. I’ll bet he is really getting big. He’ll probably be able to walk by the time I get home and out of the Army. See what they did by not having compulsory military training.

Must close.

Love,
Herbie

Herb on furlough, at Zion Chatt with Fred Betzel and Donald Hoblet, November 1944.

11 Feb 1946
Heidelberg, Germany

Dear Em, Jack & Family,

How is the family getting along? I received the photo Helen sent. He sure is a cut little thing.

Do you think he’ll be walking by the time I get home Golly, I hope it isn’t that long until I get home.

There is another guy going home Tuesday. Out of 12 men in the outfit (172 A.P.V.) one has already gone home, three left for furlough to Switzerland yesterday and one going Tuesday. That leaves only 7 men and there will be two more leave before long. It looks like the outfit is really breaking up. The Col. Sent a Jeep to Mosberg (25 Base Post Office) to pick up 5 pouches of first-class mail that just came in. Everyone in the 72 got five or six letters. I’ve received two letters (I think) since New Year’s. Maybe a couple more.

I’ve been trying to get a letter through to Don Hoblet ever since I’ve been in E.T.O. but every one has come back to me. I wrote three the other night and sent one to his folks, one to the hospital, etc. He surely should get one.

I imagine everyone is getting ready for the spring plowing. I sure wish I could be home to help. But is looks like I won’t get home until mid-summer.

How is Chatt? Has it changed much in any way? Do they still have “Hank’s Place” and “Sarah’s?” I’ll bet I’ll hardly know my way around Mercer County when I get home.

It sort of looks like Dorothy isn’t interested in me anymore. The last letter I received from [her] was 29 October and one from the latter part of November and that was the first she wrote me for about two months.

I’m on C.Q. tonight and it’s still early tonight so I’ll have to get a couple more letters off today.

Youins haven’t heard any from Dorothy have you?

I’ve been overseas 14 months today and have got about 5 more months to wait.

Guess I’d better close for now. Am feeling fine and hope you are all the same.

Love,
Herbie

My uncle has told me that Dorothy dumped by dad when he stationed was overseas. What a terrible thing for her to do, but things worked out for the best. They way they should have. Otherwise I would not be here today!

I am nearly finished with the transcriptions of my dad’s WWII letters and will finish posting them in the near future.

 

[1] My dad, Herbert Miller, trained as a replacement troop during the fall of 1944, arrived in Europe in December of that same year, and was assigned to Company L, 333rd Regiment, 84th Infantry Division. The 84th was known as the Railsplitters. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and later in parts of Luxembourg, Germany, and France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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