Creator

Robert D. Davis

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Creation Date

6-29-1946

Subject

World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army

Description

Envelope addressed: Mrs. R. L. Davis 1619 Boston Muskogee, Oklahoma Agent R. Davis 13 CID APO 170 c/o PM, N.Y. An additional note on the envelope reads "Prague Trip". Enclosed letter: Davis writes of his return trip from Munich to Ingolstadt with Berg. He describes in detail the loading up of the jeep and its trailer with equipment, fuel, oil etc. He describes stopping along the way to rest, as well as to change a flat tire on the 18th of June, en route to Karlsbad. He describes how, in Karlsbad, they found that Frank Stary, a Czech acquaintance of theirs, was not in his office when they stopped in to visit. After leaving a note, Davis and Berg dined at a hotel, with Davis describing the establishment's manner as full of "endless procrastination". Davis notes the meal was unsatisfactory. After eating, Davis writes, they went out again to attempt to visit Frank and Davis mentions his alarm at seeing two armed Russians: one wearing a side-holster, the other carrying a tommy gun. He mentions that he and Berg wore concealed pistols, even though Americans entering the region were enjoined not to carry weapons. Davis and Berg meet with Frank (a man Davis describes as "personified optimism and good fellowship") in his office. Davis writes that Frank reproached them for missing his party on the 29th.

Transcription:

Agent R Davis

13 CID APO 170

% PM NY

Prague trips

US ARMY POSTAL SERVICE APO

170 JUL 18 1946

VIA AIR MAIL

Mrs. R. L. Davis

1619 BOSTON

Muskogee, Oklahoma

Recond Trip to Czechoslovakia

On the morning of 17 June 194 , after very many delays (our original intention was to return to Karlsbod on the 29 May for a party), Berg and I entered into those last minute preparations for leaving. Spare time, on the come, jorks and pumps and tools were loaded onto my jeep and Sol’s Tatra; air ^tire pressure were checked and connected; gasoline and oil pached in needed quantities (We carried, besides full tanks, 65 gallons, most of it in the jeep trailer); and various other mechanical and auto maintenance items taken care of. My packing of the grips was completed, having spasmodically taken covered ^an 8 day period.

We left our headquarters at about 11 a.m., and after a trip to finance for money conversions, and a mediocre meal ^sandwich snack at the autobahn Munich city limits, left a headed up to the Autobahn toward Ingolstadt.

Our plan (or rather Berg’s plan, since he drove the Tatra ^luxury car) was that Berg should drive ahead with the Tatra an each stretch of the mod, and wait for me at the terminal^nus of that particular length of the journey. With this in mind, Berg tore off ahead of me in the RINGHOFFER, disappearing too quickly in the rolling distance of the autobahn. Lumbering after him ^(until the cumbersome jeep +trailer unravglment), I rolled into Ingolstadt in good time, bounced and slid over the execrable ^Ing-R. rood and get ^finally drove into Regensberg up to the CID office in Regensberg. After a short breather, toward WALDSASSEN. After arriving in Waldassen, the last American occupied town in Germany in the devteon>unclear/> of the Czech border near CHEB, we parked the trailer and the Tatra in company Hd. Of “A” Co, 779th Tank Bay, and returned to the C. O.’s billets for the evening and nite.

The evening Berg and I poured in company with Lt. Cook, the C.O. of “A” company, and 1st Lt. White, who was staying at W. during the time ^period of his working on a moment in Cheb. Berg and Lt. White spun ^bedtime stories to each (B. having introduced himself as “AAAJUU…” Berg, ^with a slurring intonation highly favoring the vowels of the word “Agent,” which introduction eager young ^junior officers invariably take for “Major”) After the other three retired, I listened to the radio and need Poe’s “Mystery of Maine Roget.” It was my first re-reading of Poe in several years, and I was unimpressed with the highly clear and rational writing. Poe was not only a ^the first inventor of the ^ story, he remains one of the few realists in that genre.

18 JUNE 1946

After changing a ^flat tire on my jeep, we left Waldassen at about 9 a.m. Crossed the border not long thereafter and left Cheb for Karlsbod. Sol proved the point of his insistence of ^(upon me) following him in one of trouble. He proved it by having trouble. About 20 km outside of K—I saw the familiarly colored, squat shape of an automobile at the of the rood. A flat. Naturally, he had no tools, and as my jeep tools didn’t fir, I drove into the next ^nearest village ^(with a garage, which) proved to be three down rood, and loaded a grimy lad with a jack onto the jeep. With that repaired, we raced into Karlsbod.

We found Franck Stary in the “Saw Mill,” the office of his lumber to Frank Stary, our best Czech acquaintance in Karlovy Vary, was not in his office as we stopped by. We left a note that we intended to return after lunch, and drove down town for a lunch. The lunch we had at the hotel Loib, in the traditional hotel Loib manner; endless procrastination, flutterings, attentions, all combined with a forgetting of essentials such as bread and salt. Altho’ they had no bread, they served us two pats of butter. The very unsatisfactory repost cost us 200 KYONUN ($4.00).

Because of the possibility that Frank would ^might invite us to his woodland sawmill for a “wonder-ful partee,” we deferred actually engaging hotel rooms at the moment. After lunch we drove back out to Frank’s. In my ^the first fifteen minutes in Karlovy Vary I saw ^(was alarmed to see) Russians who were actually armed. One had a pistol a side holster, the other strode the balustraded baths halls with a Tommy gun. . This had the effect of infuriating me, rather un-reasonably perhaps, since both Berg and I went armed carried concealed pistols. All Americans are enjoined not to carry weapons; and Lt. White, for example, had to surrender his .45 each day at the border as he crossed. A few days later, as I write this, I do not see the picture as so sinister as then. If the Russians have 2000 or 2500 troops in Karlovy Vary, it is obviously necessary to take certain armed precautions. Besides these two instances, and the sentries before the Russian billets, I never saw any of them with arms.

Frank Stary is the personified optimism and good fellowship. Thirty-one years of age, he has a well tanned face, a large enough share of blond hair, brown eyes, and an almost permanent grin. He served ^(as a Lt.) in the Czech Burgode in England, from which experience he gained a certain ^questionable mastery of the English language, and ^out of consideration of which experience he received a confiscated German lumber firm. Frank is clearly convinced that his six years of hardships were definitely and exclusively the prelude to the Gilded Age of his life. Now as the eligible young batchelor, with a business of his own, he is set for life and the enjoyment thereof.

We found him in his office, eating Slovok Moravian cherries and admiring his new set of office furniture. Naturally the welcome was effusive. Frank’s English, ^(which in) clearly deterior ^ating in grammar and vocabulary, is as fresh and entertaining as his grin. His first words after the greeting, were a reproach that we missed his May 29th party in ^at his his woods forest saw-mill. “Why you no come komm to my partee? It was wonderful! We had averything, averything; wine, food, music,

Letter 1 from Waldsassen, 1946 June 19 to 1946 June 29

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