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Robert Warren Wolfe Papers: Transcripts - MS 792

Robert Warren Wolfe Correspondence - November 1944

November 5, 1944

Sunday, 5 November 1944

Dear Folks,

It is after 10PM and I just finished making a semi-hot cup of nescafe that I took out of a K unit ration. Well, I did have a sip or two if it. My H & S Company clerk, Eldon, was going to have a little drink of it. Since my cup doesn't have a catch on the handle it spilled all over the table and my paper when he tried to pick it up. Eldon was going to write a note of apology on here but he thought he might mess this up worse than it is!

I am just about to set a small can of hash and eggs on to heat before I eat them. We shall see how they come out. We always manage to get a laugh or two out of ourselves sometime during the day.

Art, Tony, and Eldon are about to whisk off their beards. I got up around 9:30 this morning and took a shower and then shaved. I haven't had any clothes washed since we left Pickett and you know that has been quite some time ago. I have clothes hung on practically all the rafters over my top bunk.

If I drive my way in England I'll get run off the road. It certainly seems funny to drive on the left hand side of the road. A year of driving over here and then if I try driving in the States I will be in a fix. You seem to have a tendency to want to go to the right side why you see a car or truck coming toward you. More fun!

Say, these eggs are delicious! You should try it.

We have our headquarters organized now. If I dare say so my little section is set up very nice. I have my clerks situated at tables so I can look them in the eye. I have to keep my eye on them you know! I shall tell you more about this later.

Some of the boys want to sleep so I shall stop now, prepare to go to bed and turn the lights off after tucking everyone in.

This is early Monday morning and my fingers are a bit stiff yet from the brisk weather we have outside. We are just getting our little stove started in our end of the barracks.

Say, on the boat I had my watch in my fatigue shirt pocket as the pants have no watch pockets. I had it hung up one night and the next day I had a broken crystal! It must have swung against one of the iron bars. I haven't made up my mind fully but I do believe I am going to send it home. I can't say whether I'll be able to pick up a wrist watch or not but I'm going to try to. I'll let you know for sure later.

My second day in England I was eating supper when a few came in and sat down at the table that looked like a kid that had gone to South. Sure enough, he did live in Lima. You remember Bob Freshour don't you, Helen? Well, that is who it was.

And then one of the fellows said there was written on one of the latrine walls the name "Paul Haley" from Lima. I believe that you will remember him too from Harrison Ave and Garfield school. Quite a thing for being here such a short time don't you think?

If at any time any of these letters are censored I wish you would tell me.

Also I would like for you to check & see if these air mails come quicker than regular mail. I'm not sure if they are flown across or not. If only air mail from Ohio to New York it isn't any advantage to put air mail on because I believe it slows it up.

Please notice on the envelope that we have a new APO number.
A80 655 c/o Postmaster, New York, New York.

You should be getting a V-Mail change of address perhaps before or after this letter. Anyways it gives just this same information plus perhpas my cable code address.

We have a nice walk to do to get to chow & then to work. I am glad we do because it gives us some much needed exercise and walking in this autumn weather is good for us. We eat out of mess gear but for some reason I don't mind it. Perhaps I am getting used to it now!

How is everything coming along in Lima? I would appreciate a few of those servicemens new clippings from the paper every now and then. Yes, tomorrow is election day. No matter who gets it let's hope to hell that they don't try to pull any off-the-beam stuff once they are in office.

How are you feeling, Grandma? Have you heard from Miss Lydia lately? How is Mrs. Gsell? and Grandma Thompson? Was Rita home for her birthday? It doesn't seem like you folks have a grandchild six years old does it?

Did you get your garden cleaned up, Dad?

I have a blister on my hand, Mom, from washing. Not used to such violent work.

Have you heard from Don yet, Sis?

I don't want to start another page so I shall close. Be good, take good care of yourselves, and write.


Tuesday, 7 Nov 44

Somewhere in England

Dear Folks,

I'm not even sure what day of the month it is anymore! After twenty-four months over here I guess it won't make much difference! Oh, yeah!

I don't think this letter will be too long so don't expect too much. Perhaps as I go on I can find something to shoot the breeze about.

About this mail situations - it run's like this as for service:
#1 priority - Air mail V-Mail
#2 " - Plain V-Mail
#3 " - Ordinary Air mail
#4 " - Free mail

Do you want your mail fast in a picture or would you rather have first hand stuff? Personally I don't give a damn about V-Mail. It seems to be too impersonal. The plain air mail only goes air mail within the States and since we are so close to New York I don't think it would be much use for either of us to use it. What do you think? Please let me know which you prefer.

In case you should ever want to send me a cable just put this address on it - no more, no less:

Tech Sgt Robert W. Wolfe, 35342845 - AMINAR
The last is our cable code which only one office in the ETOUSA [caret mark] (perhaps I should say just England) knows who it means and where they are located. ETOUSA means European Theater of Operations, United States Army.

I had my US money ($3.00) changed into British currency. I received a ten shilling note, (equal to $2.00); one half crown ($0.50); one shilling ($0.20); two sixpence ($0.10 each); one three pence ($0.05); and one penny ($0.02) or actually a value of $2.97 in good old American currency. Something tells me I am going to have a little trouble with my money until I get used to it but the experience will be well worth it. We will get paid in this money when we get paid this month, too. That will be the pay off! The bills are very elaborate with much color and are larger than our American bills. We have to fold them up into quarters usually to get them to fit into our billfold.

I haven't received any mail as yet. Ralph went out to get the mail a little while ago and isn't back yet. It is the first time we have received mail this late - 8:50 P.M. We received the first mail this morning but it was all V-Mail and only a couple of the fellows received any. I don't expect any tonight but I sure would like to be pleasantly surprised. Some of the fellows are playing cards (Cassino) here in the barracks on the table I am writing on so I can blame part of this bad scribbling on that! Cassino has become quite a game with the boys around here. I will be interested in watching the boys play poker with English money! That should be very interesting.

We had hot cakes for breakfast and they certainly were good. Remember how I used to yell about them? I've got so I can eat almost anything. There are still a few exceptions. We also had some good chicken this noon. On the whole our food has been exceptionally good since we have been here.

I see the water I have on the stove that I am going to clean up with is just about hot. I may have to interrupt my little conversation any moment now to scrub the dirt off my face and hands.

Mom, would you please send me the following items?

Valet razor blades and a strop to fit the razor if you can get it. Some soap I can used to boil and wash my clothes to get the dirt and "tatle tail gray" out of them. Also some Rinso in any kind of a tin can if it is possible. I believe that is all of the cleaning materials that I need right now. You might also stick a few bars of lux or camay or any other kind of face soap in if you will.

It must be approximately three in the afternoon in Lima now. What do you have good for supper? I feel as if I could eat now.

We have a snack bar on the premises where Red Cross women sell donuts, coffee and cocoa. I shall have to get a snack one of these nights. Right?

Oh, yes, also if you would send me a can of something to make something or other to drink at night. It will have to have everything in it as we have no access to sugar or cream. We just set our canteen cups on the stove and heat our water to make our evening night cap. This might give you an idea of something to send to Don, Helen. Joe loand me his pocket watch to use. He has a wrist watch but carried the other as a spare. I told him that probably his wrist watch would go on the blinker now. I will probably send my watch home but I can't tell you just when.

I presume you all took part in that great American game - voting. Most of us are looking for a fourth term. History has to be made you know!

This is my seventh page of nonsense tonight so I had better start conserving on paper and pencil lead. I may drop Miss Lydia a line yet tonight. She probably would appreciate it.

All for now. Don't you conserve on paper or pencil. Be good and careful.

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