The mail after liberation was quite brief but the message was clear FREEDOM! His May 3rd letter included Nicht Mere No More. The May 4th form only allowed Ex POWs to check off the boxes. Later a 15 word message intended to be sent via radiotelegraph was air mailed to Washington DC as the message system was overloaded.
German phrases continued in the letters as well as food, common and ordinary food is grand. Tastes a lot better than black bread and potatoes. He also noted his comrades from his original squad and the tough three-day saga to freedom.
An official telegram arrived in Woonsocket on May 28th.
The Ramps moved from camp to camp working toward Le Harve where they eventually would sail home. It took much longer than anticipated and rumors abounded that they would be headed for the South Pacific. The GIs collected and traded NAZI war souvenirs. Some items shown under German Equipment are items brought back by GIs.
Some of the events recorded during that time:
May 6th Left Luneburg for Sub-Transit Camp outside Solingen. 7:00pm a bumpy truck ride. Traded my pistol 7.65mm of a Luger (a pistol he admired and kept for 50 years).
May 7th At 3:30 Today we heard that Germany had surrendered unconditionally - Official
Tonight saw my first movie in 7 months Show Business with Eddie Cantor What a Show!
May 8th Left Solingen at noon arrived at Dicphols Airfield ready to board C-47s
May 9th still none came.
arrived at Emsdetten 60 miles away another transit camp.
Got on a B-17 Flying Fort named Pfc.s Limited at 5:15 and Landed 100 miles north of Paris
Yesterday I went to Roye with the boys and we had a good time.
Took my first two beers, it still tastes like hell.
I acted as interpreter. The folks wonder at the way I speak French.
May 13th Mothers Day we are again prepared to leave.
Left on C-47s at 10:00am and arrived at LeHarve at 10:45 Left LeHarve by truck and stayed at a camp housing 80,000 about 5 miles from Dieppe. Its dusty and just plain no good.
May 22nd Raining like hell been like that for days. Expected to be home by Memorial Day but all hopes are gone Well Ill be there before school lets out.
May 24th Getting processed and ought to be on the way home in a week Correction-
May 25th Am now in D block being processed.
May 30th Had ice cream tonite first time in a long time.
June 4th got paid a few days ago & lost all $50 in a crap game.
They boarded the Admiral Benson June 5th headed for New York. They came across a floating mine and fired on it with the 40mm gun. He noted it did not explode but sank. My father met many other X-POWs on he ship. On June 12th the Admiral Benson arrived at Pier 88. It was a grand welcome, bands and ships whistles. His only interest was home.
He reported to Camp Kilmer (NJ) then Fort Devens (MA). He arrived home on June 15th. After a 71-day furlough he headed for Lake Placid, NY (August 26th), where many X-POWs were recuperating. He went on to Fort Benning, Georgia on September 10th and was assigned to the 12th Infantry Training Company. November 13th he was promoted to Corporal. In early December he headed back to Fort Devens and was discharged December 10, 1945. He wrote Arrived home at 19:30 -a civilian once again. (end of diary) The diary lists the 1944, addresses of his squad and many others he met at Teterow. To date, only a handful have been found.
Ribbons shown: Good Conduct, ETO with two stars, American Campaign, and World War II Victory. Also, enlisted mans infantry collar discs and Combat Infantry Badge.
Lest We Forget by Dan McCullen
We Were Each Others Prisoners by Lewis Carlson
A Privates Diary by Don Edwards
The Men of Company K by Harold Leinbaugh and John Campbell
Fortune Favored The Brave by Perry Wolf
The Battle of Germany by Theodore Draper
Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose
Copyright © 1999 WW-II Heroes. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.