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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Sends A Christmas Card to his Sweetheart

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dec. 17, 1944: Our WWII Soldier Sends A Birthday Telegram To His Sweetheart


1944 DEC 2 PM 3 36

1606 WEST 39=


Friday, December 14, 2012

Oct. 20, 1944: Our WWII Soldier Is Still Recovering In Bed

Oct. 20, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I got your letter of Oct. 3 today & was very glad to hear from you. Feeling pretty good today – but still in bed. I guess it’s a good place to be – it rains 6 out of 7 days here.
         It takes about 3 or 4 days for a cablegram to get here honey – I’m not sure.
         We had a show in the ward here last night.  “Larceny & Music”. It was pretty good – at least I hadn’t seen it before & after all I laid right in bed & seen it.
         After they sew my leg up again, I should be out of bed a couple of days thereafter.
         Well, honey here comes chow so I’d better sign off for the present.
         Well, honey – I have to close – I just can’t think of a damn thing to write about.
         The Red Cross is supposed to be here tonite & have a songfest. Here she is now.
         I’m missing you more every day honey, & thinking of you always. Bye for now – Write Soon.
         I love you!
         All My Love -      Johnny

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oct. 19, 1944: Our WWII Soldier Is Recovering and Got Partial Pay

Oct. 19, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
Was very glad to hear from you today. I got two letters – Sept.28 & Oct. 2.
         I’m feeling a lot better today – but still have this cold & am still in bed. Which I don’t like. I finally got a partial pay – 4 pounds, $16. That’s about all I need here anyway now. I still haven’t caught up on all my back mail yet. I should write 3 or 4 yet tonite if I feel like it. There isn’t anything else to do but write or read. They haven’t said anything about coming home – I really don’t think I will myself. But nothing better could happen than to be home for Christmas & you.
         I get to miss & love you more every day – honey – I hope it isn’t too long.
         How’s everything with you honey? Okay I hope. Getting cold there yet. Hardly a day goes by here that it doesn’t rain.
         Well, honey I’ll close for now – hope I hear from you tomorrow. Bye for now – honey. Write soon.
I love you – I miss you.
All My Love Always             Johnny

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oct. 17, 1944: Our WWII Soldier Has Been Too Sick To Write

Oct. 17, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I haven’t written for several days – mainly because I was too sick. I sure felt rough. I’m feeling better today – but could feel a lot better yet. I’m taking penicillin shots every 4 hours. My [arm?] gut so sore. I started taking it in my cheeks!
         I got a letter from you a couple of days ago – that was a couple months old.
         It’s been raining for 5 days straight now – doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop. I got a letter from Cec. that he wrote in July yesterday. I guess by the time this war is over – I’ll get all my back mail.
         There isn’t much to write about honey – so I guess I’ll close & sleep till chow time. I love you & miss you more every day. How is Lu & the baby coming along? Tell Dee Dee Uncle Johnny said Hello!
Bye for now honey. Write Soon.
         All My Love                         Johnny

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Is Getting A Skin Graft In the Morning

Oct. 12, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I got 3 letters from you today – 16-17-18th. Mighty glad to get them. All the mail I’ve received here so far except one was from you. Just as long as I hear from you – that’s all I care.
         I’m feeling okay – but I just got rid of a cold & already getting another one. Damn nuisance is what they are!
         Well, I get operated on in the morning. They’re going to graft & sew my leg up. I’ll heal faster then. If I don’t write tomorrow – I’ll either be too sick or asleep all day. Probably be dreaming of you honey. I’ll close for tonite now honey. This is a short one – huh? I’m sure lonely for you honey! Write Soon. I love you!
All My Love Always             Johnny

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Gets Word from the Doc

Oct. 11, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I got a letter from you today – Aug. 17. A little late. The clipping about me was in it.
         There was a Joe from the medics in our ward just now - & was playing the violin. He was really good.
         The Doc. said my chest would be allright & he wasn’t going to take the shrapnel out of my lung – but they are going to graft a little skin on my leg wound. I’ll be here a couple of [weeks? – sic] yet then – I guess & then go to reconditioning for a couple of weeks & then probably back to the front – if this damn war isn’t over yet! Doesn’t seem to be any hope of me getting home for Christmas does it?? We can still hope anyway honey!
         It’s rained all day here & cold as hell. Sure hate this miserable weather. Kind of weather to be home with your girl-friend!
         My mail sure is coming slow here. I hope it picks up.
         I got a v-mail from Frank today of Aug. 18. – but it had been sent to C.P. Directory
         Well honey I’d better close now & get this in the mail before lights go out. Time now I hope I can make it. Seen Cec & Lu lately? Honey – I love & miss you more every day. I hope you don’t get tired of waiting for me so long.
         Tell everyone hello honey. Goodnite Darling – I love you!!

All My Love Always             Johnny

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Doesn't Know Whether They'll Operate on His Chest or Not

Oct. 10, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
How’s my honey. I got your letter of Sept. 6 today – kinda late – but it was a letter from you. First letter I’ve received since I’ve been here. I should be getting more in a couple of days.
         They haven’t said much about my chest yet. The colonel was around this afternoon & looked at my x-rays. I don’t know whether he’s going to operate or not. I’m feeling pretty good – but I’m lonesome as hell for you honey!
I was just wondering if I should stay sober the first couple of days when I get back. I know what you think about that – but –I was just debating with myself. Most likely I won’t.
         How’s Lu & Cec. & the baby? Have you seen them lately – or are you still working 7 days?
         Well, honey, I’ll close for now & get ready to go for chow. I’ll try & write a longer letter next time. Bye for now – Sweetheart! I love you!
All My Love Always,            Johnny

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our WWII Soldier's Chest Injury Leads To A Transfer To A Different British Hospital

Oct. 8, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I got your letter of the 28th yesterday, but didn’t answer – because I knew I was being transferred. I’m in a different hospital now – about a mile from the one I was in.
         They had me transferred here – to look into my chest injury. I don’t know what they’ll do about it yet.
         I got a letter from Babe yesterday. I’ll have to answer. I guess my mail will take a little longer to catch up with me now. I was to get paid Tues. I don’t know how long it’ll take to get paid now. I hope not to (sic) long.
         I suppose by the time my mail starts to get here & I’m about to get paid – I’ll be transferred again.
         Well honey, I’ll close for now & write tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have some thing to tell you then. I sure miss you honey & love you more every day. I wish I was with you now. But I guess that’s out till this is over. Bye for now honey. Write soon.
All My Love Ever         Johnny

Author's Note:  Johnny's chest and neck were riddled with shrapnel when his tank was blown up in France.  Some pieces couldn't be removed, including one that was lodged next to his heart, that remained there throughout his life.

Some pieces pierced his lungs.  When he was a prisoner of war in Paris, an infection set into his lungs and they started filling up with pus.  The German doctors used a syringe with a huge needle, inserted it between his ribs, and extracted the pus with the syringe.  Later that when he told the British doctors about it, they said they never would have thought of that, and he would have died (remember that antibiotics had just been discovered and weren't in common use yet).  So, although the Germans almost killed him initially, they ended up saving his life.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Years Post-War, Johnny Suffers From PTSD

Some 30 years later, Johnny was stricken with PTSD due to memories from the mortar attack on his tank.

One evening in the mid-70's, he was driving home, and when he glanced in the rear-view mirror he saw the orange, glowing setting sun and flashed back to the fireball from the German A.T. gun that blew up his tank.  He panicked and had to pull over and spend a few minutes to regain his composure.

After that, the flashbacks of that attack kept recurring, as well as other memories from the war:  the shooting, the men falling dead, the days as a prisoner of war and the men next to him,  dying.

After suffering with the memories for several months, he went to the Veterans Administration and they provided counseling and support. He continued the counseling for several years to help him cope with the horrific memories from the war.  He eventually volunteered to take calls from a suicide support hotline.  He didn't find out until later, but one of the calls that he successfully encouraged to seek medical help was one of his relatives!

What an amazing man, that he turned his own crisis suffering PTSD to a life-saving _____.

Happy Veterans Day, to all who served!

We appreciate you!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Describes How He Was Wounded And Taken Prisoner Of War

Oct. 5, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!
Hows my honey! I got 14 letters today – 7 from you. From July 4-5, Aug 14, Sept. 22-23-24-25. Nice going honey! I also got 2 of the snapshots you sent. I got some mail from June yet!
         I guess if I wait long enough – it’ll finally all catch up with me. Mom said she had 3 packages on the way – but I haven’t received any of those yet.
         How are you getting my mail now, honey? Oftener I hope. I’m writing pretty often. There isn’t much more to do. I sure have a mess to answer tonite – but I don’t think I’ll try & answer them all tonite!
         Honey – I wouldn’t want to say one way or the other whether or not there’s a chance I’ll be home by Xmas. I wouldn’t even want to say maybe! I know you would be disappointed if I didn’t come home – if I gave you any encouragement that I might. Honey – I honestly don’t know – when or where I’ll go from here. I have no reasons to believe I’ll go back to the states tho. But how I hope so. We’ll just have to wait & see honey – how things turn out.
         I’m feeling pretty good & I’m hardly a lump now. There’s still a couple of open wounds in my leg yet – but shouldn’t be much longer in healing. My chest gives me a little trouble – not much tho.
         I thought I told you how I was wounded honey.
         Well, it happened so quick – it was hard to realize. I remember seeing the flash from this Jerry A.T. gun & the next thing I knew our tank was on fire. I don’t remember how I got out but I came to beside it. I knew I had to get away – because it was burning & the ammo exploding. I couldn’t get up so I rolled about 15 ft. & passed out. My platoon Sargeant was blown out & he got as far as I did. Both his legs were pretty well beat up. I woke up 2 days later – a prisoner – what a hell of a shock. The driver & the other Sargeant must have been killed. The Jerries gave us they’re billfolds & a dog tag. There’s a lot of details that would take pages honey – so I hadn’t better go to sleep.
         I'll close for tonite and answer a few more & hit dreamland. Bye for now honey. I love you and miss you.
All My Love Always             Johnny

German A.T. (Anti-Tank) Gun

 (for more information about German anti-tank weapons, go to:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Johnny Gets More Letters Later That Same Day

Oct. 4, 1944
8:00 P.M.

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
How’s my honey today? I got 3 letters from you today – 11th 12th & 15th. You’re really on the ball honey. I wrote you a letter this morning – but after getting 3 this evening I’d better write again.
         I got a letter from Frank today & one from Bobby.
         If you want to know honey – I was hit in the left leg & left lung. It’s nothing serious now.
         I’m feeling pretty good – but could feel a lot better if I was near you.
         It’s getting pretty cold here now. I hate to think of spending another winter here. I was in France the day they had summer here in England. I’ll bet if I was in the states I could stand any kind of weather. I’d sure like to spend this winter with you. We wouldn’t have to worry about a fuel shortage. Right now were listening to the World Series between the Browns & Cards. I guess its about 3:00 back home.
         Well, honey I close for now & write Bob & Frank.
         What I want for Xmas?  You honey & I would be gloriously happy!
         Bye for now. Write Soon.
All My Love Always             Johnny

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Stares At The Snapshot of His Sweetheart And Loves Her All The More

Oct. 4, 1944
10 a.m.

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I got your letter of the 18th yesterday - the one you wrote at work. I got another letter from Cec. yesterday. He seems pretty proud of his baby girl.
         I just came back from Physio & there isn’t a thing to do but write or sleep.
         I was just staring at that snapshot of you I got in your last letter before I was hit. Remember the one of you in shorts & striped jersey? Makes me miss you all the more! Honey I got to love you more every day. I hope to hell I get to see you this year yet – bit it doesn’t look very promising – does it?
         Anyway – I pray & hope so.
         I think I’ve got most of the mail you sent to my old address now honey. Once in a while I get one about 2 months old – that’s been beat up pretty bad.
         Well, honey I guess I’ll close for now. The nurse is coming to change dressings. Bye for now Darling. I love you. I miss you so much!!
Write Soon.
All My Love Always     Johnny

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Soldier Says He Had A Very Satisfying Dream About His Sweetheart!

Oct. 1, 1944
A.P.O. 314

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
I got two letters from you today – of Sept. 2 and 7th. Was really happy to hear from you honey. I’m getting your letters quite often now. I hope they keep coming. By your letters I guess you’re not getting mine very often – I don’t know why tho honey – I do write pretty often.
         I got a letter from Cec. today & a card announcing their baby. He told me I was god-father by proxy.
         I’m feeling okay honey except a cold – the first one since I’ve been over here.
         There was a Navy band here today – that was formed by Artie Shaw a couple of years ago. A few were from his original band. They’ve been playing all over the So. Pacific & are now over here. I mean they were really sharp! We had a movie in our ward today – “Tap Man”. I’d seen it twice before- but since I could lay on my bed & see it, I layed thru it again – since there was nothing else to do.
         I got a letter from the folks today & some pictures. It sure is good to see home again even if it is only in a picture.
         You sure have a time with me in your dreams, don’t you, honey! Have you ever had a dream of me that satisfied you! I had one last week of you – in which I was pretty well satisfied! I went back to sleep & dreamed up a sequel!
         Honey- you can send me some of those cookies you bake every so often. Can you get any Milky Way candy bars?
You can say the best-loving honey – it should be the best after waiting so long.
Well, honey I guess I’ll write to the folks & Cec. & call it a night. I’m getting lazier every day. Don’t even get up for breakfast in the mornings anymore.
I love you honey - & Lord only knows how much I miss you.
Goodnite Sweetheart!
Write Soon.
All My Love Always             Johnny

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Soldier Is Still In the Hospital In England

Sept 26, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
         How’s my honey holding out?  I got your letter of the 19th today. Haven’t you heard from me yet? I wrote you the same day I wrote home & they have got the letter.
         No doubt at the time I’m writing this you should have heard honey. This is some of the stationery you sent – the envelopes were all stuck & had to throw them away.
         I don’t know whether I can have any pictures taken or not honey. I know I can’t until I get out of this hospital. You can send me one of you as often as you want tho – honey & I’d love it. The large one of you * had burned up in the tank & a lot of other pictures I had.
         I had a lot of souvenirs in it too that I lost.
         To me honey – the war news don’t sound so good – but it doesn’t sound bad either. This war going to last longer than most people think at home tho.
         You mentioned your “baby” was cute – you meant Lu’s didn’t you??? Sometimes you worry me - no end – honey.
         How are you & what’s doing around K.C.? Does it seem any different these days?
         Mercy – how I’d like to be back there! I guess I’ll have to keep “sweating it out” tho.
         I’m coming along pretty good & feeling alright, except for a cold.
         I heard from Ralph today – he’s back at Lakeland, Fla. Dode is in Miss. Frank is still in Nevada – desertion probably.
         Well honey I guess I’ll write home & to Ralph – so will say goodnite. Bye for now Sweetheart. Write soon.
All My Love Love Love Johnny

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Soldier Has Gotten Letters From His Old Outfit and a Couple of His High School Teachers

Sept 26, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart! !
         I got your letter of Sept. 11 today. Also the birthday card! As you said – better late than never!
         Went to a show today & seen “Anthony Adverse”. I thought it was really good!
         These dogs of mine sure do get sore when I walk any distance. Probably from not being on them for so long.
         There isn’t much to do around here except read, eat & sleep. But I guess I shouldn’t complain. I got a letter from my outfit today. They’re in Holland now – for curiosity sake I’d like to be with them. But there isn’t much chance of getting back with them – so I don’t think I’d like to go back over. But that’s not for me to decide.
         I got a couple of letters from a couple of my H.S. teachers. A couple of old maids yet!

         Well, honey, what have you been doing lately? Staying out of trouble aren’t you?  I know you are. How is Lu coming along & the baby. I guess I’m going to be god-father by proxy, huh?
         Honey – I don’t want to ask for anything for you to send because I don’t know how long I’ll be here yet. After I get a more stable address – then it will be alright.
         You can wrap yourself up tho honey - & come on over. I sure wouldn’t stay in this hospital long!!
         Well, honey I guess I’d better close for now & write home & a few more letters before I turn in for tonite. I went to Mass Sunday – first time since July. Not my fault tho. Bye for now Sweetheart. I love you honey!!  Write soon.     All My Love        Johnny

Monday, October 1, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Is Walking With a Cane And Wants His Sweetheart To Keep On Serving Up Love!

Sept 21, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!
I got your letter of the 30th today & was very glad to hear from you again. I got a v-mail from Mary – she said she heard from me from this hospital so I guess you have too. I got a cablegram from Mom & Dad yesterday.
         I guess you were wondering why I didn’t write for so long a time – but you know now – don’t you honey? Did you ever get the letters I wrote, while I was prisoner in Paris? Let me know if you get them.
         Well, I’m finally getting around again. I’ve been up the last couple of days & walking around with a cane!  Soon as these pins get a little steadier – I’ll throw it away.
         I’m feeling good – I’m fine I mean - & am eating like a horse – must be the vitamin pills. I’ve still got 30 lbs to go yet.
         Went to a U.S.O. show today (British) – pretty good.
         The sweater sounds nice honey – do you think it will fit?
         I’d like to be wearing that style by Xmas!
         Did Lu. have a boy or girl? What did it weigh & all the rest that’s of any interest?
         Honey – you just keep serving up that love & when I get home again – we’ll have a little war by ourselves!!
         Honey – I guess I’ve run out of things to write about – for the present.
         I miss you & love you more every day – honey. Maybe it won’t be too long before we’ll be together again – I hope.
         I’d better write home now & to Mary & call it a day.
         Bye for now Darling & write soon.

All My Love        Johnny

Friday, September 21, 2012

Johnny Gets Three Letters From His Sweetheart

Sept 18, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!
                 I got 3 letters from you today from June 27 – July 8 - & Aug. 16th. Some are pretty old but that doesn’t make much difference – as long as they are from you!

         How are you – honey & whats doing around K.C.?  I’m okay & feeling fine. I can get out of bed now & hobble around a little. It feels good to get up & around a little – after being in bed for 2 months.

         I got a letter from Mom today & one from Mary. She’s going to have another in Jan.

         How is Lu. coming along now. Tell her & Cec. I said hello. I’ll have to drop them another line soon.

         Honey – there isn’t much to write about. I don’t do anything around here except read & eat & sleep. What’s wrong with that! Only one thing – I’m not in K.C. with the girl I love most!  That’s whats wrong with it.

         There I go – asking questions & answering them. Its about time I quit or I’m apt to ask something I can’t answer.

         Honey – I love you & miss you more every day. This old heart will probably fail me – when I see you again.

         Well, honey I’d better close for now & write home. If I don’t get paid soon – I’ll be forced to use v-mail. 4 months since I’ve been paid. Bye for now Sweetheart!  Write soon.

All My Love                 Johnny

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Is Finally Getting Mail After Returning From Being A POW


Sept 15, 1944
Friday Eve.

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!
I guess I hit the jackpot today. I got 2 letters & two parcels from you today. One letter from June 22, & Aug. 10. They had sure been around. The envelopes of the stationery were all stuck together & I couldn’t use them. The box got wet somehow. I think I can use the paper tho. The gum & candy was okay tho – honey & the cigarettes .

I got an old letter from Mom today too. I’m getting mostly back mail now – but its mail!

It sure gets dull laying around here day after day tho! I shouldn’t complain tho – it beats France a hell of a lot!

Gosh, honey I don’t know what to write about. I don’t do anything but lay around all day. Thinking mostly of you - & wondering when I’ll get to see you again! I hope its not too long.

How is Lu getting along? They have a boy or girl? Or twins?

Well honey its about time for lights out – just had my hot chocolate!

They go to sleep pretty early around here.

Write soon honey – I sure look forward to your letters. I’ll try & do better myself – if I can get this stagnant brain on the beam. Bye for now.

All my Love always,   Johnny

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our WWII Soldier is Glad To Be Back Where He Can Get Real Treatment

Sept 11, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!  !
I got your letter of the 14th today – the first in about two months!
Today I got 7 letters dated from July 3 to Aug. 18th. I was still a prisoner in Paris when they were all written. Evidently you & the Army didn’t know I was a prisoner. I’ve just been here about 2 weeks. It sure feels good to get back where a guy can get some real treatment. The Jerries didn’t [have] any medical equipment at all to speak of. When they left Paris they just took the patients that could walk. That was one time I was lucky I couldn’t walk or I’d probably be with them yet. I lost a hell of a lot of weight there – they didn’t have much food - & what they did have was hardly edible!
I’m feeling fine now & eating like a horse! Breakfast, dinner & supper in bed – not bad huh? Does get kinda tiresome laying here day after day tho – but I should gripe?
Did you receive any letters yet – that I wrote while I was a prisoner in Paris? Let me know honey! I guess I told you the Jerries took the pen you gave me while I was out (2 days) also my watch & money & tank boots. My clothes weren’t any good after they cut them off me. I had that large colored picture of you in the tank & it burnt with the tank too! That made me mad! Those damn Jerries!!  I’d better cool off before I get too mad to write!
I got a letter from the folks today – but it was written before I was wounded – I also got one from Cec & Lu!
I hope your dream comes true – honey!!
I still feel the same way about you honey – I love you more than I can hope to & miss you like hell. How about writing me long letters now -  huh? I’d better write home now & to Cec & Lu! Bye for now – honey. Write soon. I love you, I love you!
All My Love        Johnny

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Is Awarded the Purple Heart While Recovering in England


Sunday Sept.2 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!  How you was? I’m sorry I haven’t written oftener – but I’ve been sleeping my fool head off! Have you seen Cec. & Lu lately.  Tell them hello for me.  I think I’ll write them this afternoon too.
         I’m coming along okay honey – I have a lot of time to think about you laying here day after day!  Brother I wish I was back there! I sure miss you honey!  Was awarded the Purple Heart a couple of days ago. Well sweetheart I guess I’d better close. Will write soon. Bye for now Darling I love you!
Write soon.                                          All My Love        Johnny

The V-Mail Johnny sent to Mark from the hospital in England
  (click on the letter and it will open in a larger image, then click on the "BACK" arrow to return to this page)