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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Has Been Evacuated From Paris and Is Back in England

August 31, 1944

My Darling Mark
Hello Sweetheart!  I write again after that long delay. Those Jerries can be very amazing at times! I’m finally out of their hands out of Paris! Its sure good to be back in England & in a Am. hospital. We were evacuated from France by plane – a – 47 S. This is all the stationery I have at present honey – so this letter will be quite short! Tell Cec & Lu. hello & will write them soon. How are you honey & what’s the news! I’m coming along okay now – Still bed-bound tho – dammit!! Bye for now honey!
Address.                                      I miss you like hell!
Detachment of Patients             Write Soon.
#4116 U.S. Army Hosp Pl.           All My Love Always -
A.P.O. 207                                                             Johnny
c/o P.M.    N.Y.  N.Y.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our WWII Soldier Is Liberated From The Germans!

37234941                                 Cpl. John F. Jambrosic
Hopital de la Pitie
Boulevard de hospital
Paris, France

August 26, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!
How is everything in K.C.? I’m still in a Gay Paree hospital – but no more a prisoner of the Jerries. The Yanks are in now. There’s some pretty cute French nurses around here & I can’t speak French! We’ve been having champagne since the Jerries left. They couldn’t evacuate all of us and I was lucky enough to be left behind.
I can get around now with crutches or a chair!
The French people are really treating us royally. They can’t seem to do enough for us. They’re really grateful.
I wrote the folks a letter – I got to write two letters this time. I guess it won’t be long before we’ll be able to write regularly!
How is your Mother & Sisters & Dee Dee? Tell them all I said hello!
How are you honey?  Well I hope.
I miss you like hell honey & still love you more every day!! Maybe it won’t be too long before we’re together again honey! Then we can make up for what we’ve missed. Looks as if I’ll have to close for now. Write Soon.
All my Love Always,   Johnny
Hope you can read this!!


In a way, Johnny was very lucky. First, that he wasn't killed and that he was taken to Paris for medical treatment after he was injured; and second, that he was there only 4-5 weeks before Paris was liberated; and third, that his injuries were just severe enough that the Germans couldn't take him with them when they fled Paris to escape the Allies.  If things had been any different, I would not be here today!

Sometimes at family get-togethers (and after a few drinks), Johnny would tell the story of when he was liberated from the Germans at the hospital in Paris. 

While he was a prisoner of the Germans, the cute French nurse he referred to in the letter would make a bee-line straight to his bunk, walking right past all the other soldiers till she got to him.   

He claimed he never noticed until one of the other soldiers said “Just look!  She’s gonna go right back to Jambrosic!”  And she sure did!  She apparently had a crush on the handsome American soldier. 

When the Allies were liberating Paris, the French nurse was going to take Johnny home with her, if he could walk.  He said if he could have walked and gone home with her, he probably would have stayed in France (despite his declarations of undying love for Mark in the letters). When his tank was hit, his left thigh was split wide open, and even with crutches there was no way he could walk across the hospital, let alone walk to the nurse’s home.  So, she had to leave him there.  In the end, it turned out to be a good thing, because the Germans didn’t take him either.  He was rescued by the Allies and shipped back to England.  

Otherwise, I’d be writing this in French! Non?

I found this article on the internet.  The liberation of Paris took place on August 25, the day before Johnny wrote this jubilant letter!

25 August 1944

On Aug. 25, 1944, Allied and French Resistance forces entered Paris and drove out the last significant Nazi opposition, liberating the city after four years of Nazi occupation. “On all sides the liberating French and Americans were greeted by hungry Parisians, mad with joy, who had fought alone against the German oppressors since they were called to arms last Saturday,” reported The Associated Press in an article printed in The New York Times.

Read the full article here:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our WWII Soldier's First Letter from the POW Hospital in Paris

37234941                                 Corporal John F. Jambrosic
Boulevard de hospital

August 11, 1944

My Darling Mark
         Hello Sweetheart!      How goes everything honey? Sorry I haven’t written sooner – but it was impossible to write this time. I got hit on the 19th of July – I had just received a letter from you with the picture of you in shorts & a striped sweater. I still got it. Hope you can read this – but it’s kinda hard to write laying flat on your back. I’m in a hospital right in Paris. Honey – Paris is really a grand city! I’d rather be in K.C. tho. How is everything back there?
         I’m okay and coming along fine honey – I don’t know how long I’ll have to stay in bed. We’re getting good treatment and enough to eat. We got American Red Cross food parcels yesterday & they were really alright. The Red Cross deserves a lot of credit honey!  After we’re well enough – we’ll go to a Prisoner of War camp from here. Tell Cec. & Lu. hello for me honey – I won’t be able to write them. I can only write one 1 page letter about every 8 or 9 days. I alternate between the folks & you honey. I love you & miss you honey.
Darling keep your chin up!
Tell everyone there hello for me huh? How’s Dee Dee?
I’d better close for now darling. I love you. Write soon.
All My Love Always,    Johnny

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our WWII Soldier is Seriously Wounded

Weeks go by without a letter. 

While patrolling in the tank through the fields outside of St. Lo, France, Johnny looked up to see a bright orange ball, like a setting sun, heading straight for his tank. A German mortar shell hit the tank and blew it to bits and set it ablaze.  Two of the men in the tank were killed, and Johnny and the fourth man were blown completely out of the tank and critically injured.  The two soldiers who died were both married with children.  Johnny always felt guilty that he survived, when he was single, and those men with families died.

Johnny landed yards away from the tank, riddled with shrapnel through the neck and chest, and his left thigh split open from hip to knee.

He felt his spirit leaving his body, rising up and leaving it behind. He said he could look down and see his body lying there in the green field in France, wounded, bleeding, dying.

Then the German soldiers came, looking for survivors.  Two of them picked up Johnny to carry him away, and the toe of his injured leg caught in the dirt.  The pain snapped him back into his body, to endure the pain of his injuries.  He was taken to a German-run hospital in Paris and became a German Prisoner of War.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Telegram

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