Flea Market Love Letters
November 27, 1918.
Dear Mother --
It’s been quite a long time since I’ve heard from you but my mail has to be forwarded from my old address so its quite a while in coming.
Then too, we just got notice that a large amount of mail had been sunk recently and probably I had some mail on that!
Well Ma, the war is over. It’s hard to realize isn’t it? I’m not a bit sorry either I can tell you. They sure did try to get me it seemed, before they quit. On the night of the 9th we were sitting in our little dug out when we heard the sound of planes in the distance as they came closer we could distinguish the peculiar rolling sound of the German motor. So then we knew what we were in for. So they circled around for a while and when it seemed they were directly over us they “let em loose”!!
Well I can’t describe to you my feelings as I heard the whine of the bomb as it came through the air. It sounded as though it were coming right through the top of my dugout. But it didn’t. It didn’t do any more harm than throw a little dirt over it.
So after dropping a few more in the nearby vicinity they flew off. I can’t describe the sensation of being bombed, one has to be in it to know what it's like. It's a feeling of utter helplessness. One can but just sit and wait. Well the next day, the 10th was in a little town up between the artillery and the infantry when the Germans decided to send some “G.I. Cons” over. We had just pulled up into town among a bunch of other trucks when a German plane which was flying overhead watching us gave them the range. There they opened up with their ten inch guns. The first shell hit just about fifty feet ahead of us and the next one just about that for lack of us. Well amid the flying shrapnel and the falling buildings it wasn’t a very healthy phase. But luckily we found a dugout. Well Fritz kept us in there about three hours while he was dropping them around us at the rate of about five or six a minute, when our guns got the range and silenced him. The next day the armistice was signed, as you know.
Well its all over now and none the worse for it, though am wiser in experience.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We’re going to have a real Thanksgiving dinner too. Turkey and pumpkin pies and all the things that go with them.O.K. it’s a great life. I wish you could see our billets here. We are living in a chateau. A real chateau, imagine it! In the living room we have a big grand piano, mahogany and furniture and a big open fireplace. The room across the hall from that we have our kitchen and next to that our dining room.
On the second and third floor we have our sleeping quarters. We have about eight or ten rooms that we use for sleeping. Each room has a fireplace and furniture. The place has just until a few days ago been occupied by German officers. It’s beginning to get pretty cold over here now. But the worst part of it is the rain.
It never rains hard but it rains steadily and continually. It’s just mud, mud, and more mud. I have been hearing an awful lot over here about the influenza in the States. From the reports I hear I am beginning to believe I was safer over here at the front than I would have been in the States. Hope that none of them at home have had it.
I don’t know how long I will be in the country but I hope it will not be for long. You can follow us pretty well by reading the papers now. You can tell in them what divisions are moving into Germany. Well when they once start shipping them back I don’t think I will take very long.
How is everything is Pismo? Except Charlie. Has Charlie got back yet? Where is Alice and Sarah. I would like to write to them but I don’t know their address. I have written to Beth a few times. Has she received any of the letters?
Well Mother, there isn’t much to write about so will close. Now write soon and tell me all the news.
5th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop