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World War, 1939-1945; United States--Army; Combat rations
Envelope addressed to: "Mrs. R.L. Davis 1619 Boston Muskogee, Oklahoma" From: Pf. Robt D. Davis. 1810714 Co.E., Det. I7E3 ECAR APO 658 Post master, N.Y., N.Y."
Pfc Robert D Davis 18107121
Co. E., Det. I7E3, 3rd ECAR
c/o Postmaster, N.Y., N.Y.
MRS. R.L. Davis
#1 moving families
10 Feb 1945
I am going to ask the Captain’s advice on these allotments. He’ll know what to do, and you should have them since September. $25 a month.
It isn’t bad now, tho’ there was a time when we had to watch things pretty closely. We still have the routine precautions of going fully armed and with steel helmut at all times, and we lock the doors of the house and the doors of each room. There was a time when German patrols were roaming the streets outside our houses, but that’s long gone. Even so, we’ll have to take precautions all thru’ Germany on such items as snipers, booby traps. We have to have screens on all the windows, so that grenades can’t be lobbed thru’ them into the room. There have been time when we have to have guards, and stand it, but now our only duty is the CQ, to sleep by the telephone, about once a week. This isn’t an assignment to speak of, since the office is supplied with the best radio of the group, and is generally the Captain’s sitting room in the evening. I generally catch up on my correspondence.
Today we had to move some civilians out of a group of houses. We gave them definite time to move in, but something interrupted our timetable. One of the women must have weighted over 300 pounds (I don’t know why, with the rationing,) and could only take a few steps before becoming exhausted. Consequently, we extended her time to move by an hour or so, and she labored on, taking little steps, and lugging off little loads of this and that. You can imagine the work which I’m most familiar, by putting yourself in the position of these people. Suppose someone came and told you and Dad you had two hours to leave the house, and all the furniture, and move into another house with five other families. Think what a mess you’d be in, how many decisions you’d have to make, and how much actual work. The collections of a lifetime you’d have to leave, and that wouldn’t be as immediate a problem as collecting enough stuff to live with. And all the time a stern faced fellow telling you that you just have 20 or 30 men. more (That’s me.) Whew, it really got me down the first few times. But now it’s routine, even tho’ I always am tormented by the picture that it might be you getting such an order.
11 February 1945
The weather is continued gray and cloudy. Last night it even snowed a little, about two or three, so that it was white when we got up. It has all melted off by now tho’. The mud is absolutely awful. The roads are in a rotten conditions, and if you get off the road you’re stuch. Fortunately we’ve never had any incidents like that, tho’ there have been times when I was worried. That blackout drive that we took when we hit the tank, was really an affair. We had some prisoners in the back of the truck, and they were worried stiff. But it is amusing to watch the German resign themselves to the America vehicles, and (to them) scandalously rapid driving. They are accustomed to taking it easy on the car, and as a matter of fact, very few Germans drive. I have had them comment to me how remarkable it was that all Americans drive. One of our drivers, the best one, is a “cowboy”; when he drives, hang on to your hat. Its really a nightmare to be the in the back of the truck when he’s driving; he bounces you around like a bag of wheat. But in the jeep, the things he does are fantastic to me, even tho’ they typify American driving here on the continent. For instance, when he sees Germans walking ahead of us in the road, he races the motor loud and plows right into them. I always hold my breath, but they always scramble out of the way. Another favorite trick of his is to take the sidewalk, when the street is momentarily blocked. The poor Germans can’t get over that. Most amusing are the civil officials who at times ride with us. Tho’ delighted with the saving of time, they are patently miserable as long as Bill is driving, as they sit in unhappy grandeur in the back seat of a car that is playing ned with their neighbors. It is not the place to give your friends greeting, when they have just tripped trying to get out of the road. The best solution to the problem is to stare grimly straight ahead, and they do, with studied inattention to the human consequences of the ride.