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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.

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