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World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army
Davis writes that the governor is going on furlough and the "people are planning things for while he is away." Davis describes Runte needed his help with a situation from a few weeks ago. A cook hired for the 60th Regiment was arrested for stealing from the G.I.s rooms. Davis needed to find a pistol that was stolen from a G.I.'s room. The G.I. and the company commander did not press charges against the cook so he was released. He talks about the M.P.s getting drunk with the cook, dressing him in an American uniform and bringing him to a G.I. nightclub. Davis says the Runte and Sonner promptly arrested the German wearing the American uniform, which made the M.P.s angry. Davis had to go to the major and then he and Brady arrested the man. An argument began between them and the M.P.s. At M.P. HQ Davis explains to the M.P.s why they are arresting the man. Davis also arrested a female interpreter who is a Nazi party member. Davis says that the poor, bored occupational troops are ruining the peace.
Sgt. Robert D. Davis, 18107121
G237, Co. F, 3rd MGR
% Pm. N. Y.
U.S. ARMY POSTAL SERVICE 9 FEB 1 1946
Via Air Mail
Mrs. R. L. Davis
29 JANUARY ’46
Today has been a wonderful, eventful day. Brady and I have been busy as bees. Some of the events were not nice, some of them were very ugly in fact, but after a few weeks of inactivity any kind of stirrings are welcome. There were a few nice things.
The Governor goes on furlough tomorrow morning. All of Ingolstadt knows it, and it has come to my attention thru’ different channels that the people are planning to do a few things while he’s gone. In other words, make hay while the clouds are gone. Sonner, who reported this fact to me, snickered, “But I didn’t mention that even if the Governor was away, his Segate stays Davis.” Things like a big Nazi businessman (furniture store) who plans to defer his petition for exemption from pick and shovel work until the Governor is gone. He thinks that it might fall on more sympathetic ears. His plans however, fell on my own sympathetic ears some days ago. You can imagine how loving a reception the poor old hypocritical son-of-a-bitch will get from me as he comes in. (I have to hear and approve each person who comes in the Military Government building. 19 out of 20 are given the boot before they can present their petitions formally.)
The story(^ies) today are about a rogue and a letter. I will relate them in that order.
This afternoon Runte called up and said he needed help, and that he needed it in the following affair. A few weeks ago, in December, there was a German who was employed as cook in some GI unit of the 60th Regiment. He was a thorough-bastard, and improved on his position by stealing from the GI’s rooms when they were out to work. In a few days time he had taken 14 packs of cigarettes, 12 watches, different items of clothing, soap and candy and he topped it off by taking an American .45 caliber pistol. The items he hid in his attic, but the pistol he hid ^CLEVERLY under the porch of the local troop commander, Col. Westmoreland. Well, the began missing the things, and turned it over to the MP’s. This is of course, worse than useless. The MP’s are incurably stupid, and in a couple of days had not gotten anything accomplished. Since the GI from whom the pistol was stolen was guilty of flagrant carelessness, and therefore punishable, and since his company was expecting an inspecting from the Regiment the next day, in desperation they turned to us. “Please, find us the pistol.” Well, Sonner and I found the pistol (which was cleverly buried in the yard of the 60th Regt. Commanding Officer, Col. Westmoreland.) Well, they knew that if the thing got known, that the GI and his Company Commander would be in for trouble. So they didn’t press charges, and begged us that we let the guy go, just get him out of town, anything so it didn’t come before a court. Against our better judgment we did that, and Runte issued an order that the guy leave town (called a “Stadtverbot,” in German, literally, “city-forbiddance”.) He goes to the MP’s and But the guy doesn’t leave town. He goes to the MP’s and promptly gets hired as a cook. Last night, after 3 week, the MP’s get drunk with him (they are great buddies with any lousy Kraut.), dress him in an American uniform, and take him to a GI nightclub for Americans. A Kraut in GI uniform! How’s that for fraternizing? One of our tip-offs reports to Sonner, that the guy not only had not left the town, that he was in this club last night, 28th Jan. in an American uniform. Runte and Sonner prompt-ly drive out to arrest him. But no, the fellow is quite comfortable with the MP’s, thank you. He is living in a room with an MP, hangs his things in a closet with the MP! The MP’s get angry and threw Runte and Sonner out, the fellow worked for them, it was none of their damn business, and as far as the guy went, he couldn’t be arrested by Krauts as long as he was with the MP’s!
Runte and Sonner come to me. I tell the Major, whose furlough time really began yesterday and who was gracious enough to take a few minutes of his cocktail party to work up to the high-point rage in several weeks. The guy was to be immediately arrested by Brady and me, charged with everything he had done, and brought immediately before a court where everything would be proved, and let the heads in that God-damned *@!? 60th Regiment and the MP’s roll as they would. He was f— sick and tired of these blanket-blank troops thinking they were running the and not he, etc. It was a wonderful afternoon.
Brady and I raced to the MP Hquarters, walked in and asked for the guy. “Oh yea?” leered an MP, when I said the fellow was under arrest. “Go run and git the Lootenint,” he a buddy. The Lt. came over, plenty hot, and wanted to know what was going on here. He found out quick. There were 8 angry MP’s there, standing in a circle around Brady and I. “What are you arresting him for?” asked the Lt. I repeated the charge in my rapid-fire long-syllabled English: “On order of the Military Governor, for (1) Theft of U.S. army property, (2) disobedience of a legal order of the Oberburgermeister, (3) Theft and possession of a U.S. Army Pistol (4) Dressing in an American Uniform and Consequent impersonation of an American soldier.”
As I said in the latter there was a dead silence, since they knew what an airing of that circumstance before an Army Court meant: and they knew I knew who was involved, tho’ I didn’t say it. “And furthermore,” I further contributed to their gaity, “There’s a female interpreter here who is Nazi Party member, and an automatic mandatory removal. She is coming, too.” They were licked, and they knew it. Both of those Krauts came with us, and on the double-time. An MP helped the man on with his coat; An American helped the bastard on with his coat! It was the last help he’ll ever get from an American. Now he’s in jail. “You peeked heem up, and poot heem in jail,” exulted Runte, with exotic and loving emphasis on the word jail, who ^is ^always was thoroughly enchanted when we bring some discomfort to the MP’s.
Moral: The GI’s over here, the poor bored, puzzled and unoriented occupational troops, are ruining the peace. Undermining the responsible administrations we set up, insulting them, giving support to every anti-social element that roguishly serves their stupid ^GI ends. As an interpreter, their contact point with the German population, (and they have a lot with civilians to do—they enforce curfew regulations for example) they had a 23 yr. old blond; ^her mother leader in German ^NAZI Frauenschaft, ^her father an SA +SS leader, herself a leader in 3 different NAZI clubs in town, a denunciant to the GESTAPO who had stoned foreign slave workers and sent one to DACHAU! The troops are making what Runte described as a “DANCE ON A VOLCANO”
Too long a letter. Finish in the morning.