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Letters from the Past

Letters from the Past

By Scott Ginther
In 1944 my grandfather crossed the Atlantic to join the European Campaign of World War 2. He rarely spoke of the war in any detail but upon the passing of both my grandfather and grandmother, his belongings were left to me. The following podcast consists of readings from two primary sources. The first is a battle journal of the 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in the Seventh Armored Division of the United States Army. The second source is the letters my grandfather, Jack Ginther sent to my grandmother, Betty Jane Ginther.
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Season 4: Episode 1: January 1 - January 15th, 1955
In this season of Letters from the Past, we’re returning to the 20th century.  Specifically, Myerstown, PA a small town about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.  Instead of using letters as the primary source for these episodes, I’m using the journal of one woman who’s name is never directly given.  Her husband’s name is John and her son’s name is Ronnie.  The entries are short and to the point but give a glimpse into living in rural America in 1955.
07:20
October 21, 2020
Season 3: Episode 3: Land Purchase in Northern Ohio 1885-1886 (Final Episode)
This episode focuses on the attempted purchase of land in the Sandusky, Ohio area by EJ Lockwood in the 1880s. A married woman cannot make a deed without her husband's sign either in New York or Ohio.   Had I not better send back to you the one I have and get another one.  I shall take your advice what is best to do. It is not worth while to spend any more time or money on it.  It will be sold for taxes in a short time and if I want it I can bid it.
08:05
October 19, 2020
Season 3: Episode 2: Land Purchase in Northern Ohio 1885-1886
This episode focuses on the attempted purchase of land in the Sandusky, Ohio area by EJ Lockwood in the 1880s. It has been a long litigation and a large bill of cost to be paid by parties owning in the premises.  I have Misses Mead’s letters wishing me to tend to it for her and we are all equally bound if we get any thing we have a large bill of cost to pay.  
05:44
October 16, 2020
Season 3: Episode 1: Land Purchase in Northern Ohio, May 1884
This episode focuses on the attempted purchase of land in the Sandusky, Ohio area by EJ Lockwood in the 1880s.  
04:44
October 14, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 8: May 1969 (Final Episode)
This is the final episode of the season focusing on correspondence between a Parkinson's Disease sufferer and different doctors around the world as they work towards a treatment for the disease.   
06:51
October 12, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 7: February - April 1967
This episode centers around the correspondence between a Parkinson's disease patient and his doctors as they push for a treatment of the disease.   While in England this past summer we consulted Lord Brain just prior to his untimely death.  He was able to pinpoint my Parkinson's as being a result of Asian flu which I contracted in New Zealand eight years ago. We went on to Romania to see Dr. Anna Aslan in Bucharest.  Her treatment is to slow down the progress of Parkinson's and has helped me considerably.  She injects 5 cc of her solution daily.  This has relieved the rigidity in my face and muscles as well as giving me strength to my muscles.  
07:54
October 9, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 6: December 1966 - February 1967
This episode focuses on the correspondence between a Parkinson's disease patient and his doctors as they search for a treatment.   We do hope you are continuing to make progress and that your booklet proves to be an inspiration to those reading it.   Dr. Aslan's serum continues to keep me mobile but without it for a few days I become very depressed and slowed down physically.  
06:57
October 7, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 5: March - December 1966
This episode focuses on the correspondence between a Parkinson's disease patient and multiple doctors as they search for a treatment for the disease.   Dr. Greer's failure to obtain with dopa any beneficial effect in parkinsonism stands to some extent in contrast to our own findings.   I now should like to ask you whether you could help me in solving a financial problem I am faced with.  I am referring to one of your previous letters in which you were kind enough to offer me, if needed, financial help for my research work.   Your excellent paper was read by all with great interest and Dr. Aslan took it back to Romania with her.  
10:14
October 5, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 4: February-March 1966
This episode focuses on the correspondence between a Parkinson's Disease patient and his doctors as they search for a treatment for the disease.   Can you advise us of the theory behind these ice baths?  It would certainly help me to endure the tortures if I knew more of the reasons why these baths are of aid to the Parkinson's patient.   I was distressed to learn that the medications had ceased to have any effect but regrettably this is an old story with your problem.  
10:16
October 3, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 3: January, February 1966
This episode focuses on the correspondence between a Parkinson's disease sufferer and multiple doctors as all parties push for a cure.  Some of the correspondence is from Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz whose research was essential in the creation of treatment still used to this day.   You are indeed right about the progressive character of Parkinson's Disease.  Two years ago I was able to walk any distance with a slight limp.  Now my range due to weakness is 200 yards.   I have asked the National Parkinson's Foundation to send you a copy of a book containing reports on the Symposium held at Miami Beach April 9, 1964.   
10:13
October 1, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 2: November - December 1965
In this episode we get a look at the patient's initial analysis after time at the Wellesley Hospital and hear about some exciting advancements in the research for a cure.   A few moments ago I dictated a note to the people in Sweden and to Dr. Barbau in Montreal, for reprints of their latest articles on this subject.  Your response to a concentrated therapeutic programme has encouraged me to explore the whole area in detail, and to think very seriously about the prospect of establishing a specific clinical and research unit at the Wellesley Hospital.  
11:18
September 29, 2020
Parkinson's Disease: Episode 1: January 3rd & October 12th, 1965
This episode focuses on the correspondence between a Parkinson's Disease patient and his Dr. in 1965 as they search for a treatment.   Your physiotherapy department might be interested to know that in walking on a patterned floor at the airport I could walk easily 300 yards without stopping as long as I had a target square tile to aim at with my left foot. 
09:24
September 25, 2020
World War 2: Episode 84: October 29-30, 1945 (Final Episode)
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan. This evening I’ve been playing cards with myself and baking potatoes to eat before I go to bed. The school kids had some books and out of curiosity I looked at them and saw there was quite a lot about Hitler’s regime.  These books were supposed to be destroyed some time ago. Letters are slowly getting posted to GintherScott.com.
07:30
September 24, 2020
World War 2: Episode 83: October 19-26, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Yesterday we went to Dachau and saw the concentration camp.  There is not much to see now.  Everything is all fixed up and it is now used to imprison S.S. troops. Well when I found that out I really blew up.  I never stopped until I told Major Brown, Battalion Commander what I thought.  He did everything to cool me off.  I told him that I wasn’t doing one more thing that I have quit and he could send someone else to take over S4. Letters are slowly getting posted to gintherscott.com
10:17
September 23, 2020
World War 2: Episode 82: October 8-17, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   I took time out to listen to the final three innings of that sixth game.  Betty I sure wish we could have been there.  That was a remarkable game.  Now I’m all set for the 7th and last game. About nine o’clock last night there was a little trouble in this town.  A young man of about 19 took a small boy about nine and gave him a terrific beating.  Well it made me so mad I arrested the man. Betty if our country does one more damn thing for England, I would be willing to go through this last year again, just to defeat her the way Germany is. I'm slowly posting these letters to Gintherscott.com.
10:53
September 22, 2020
World War 2: Episode 81: October 2-7, 1945
This episode centers around the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Betty today I was offered the job of Div. Quartermastor, it calls for a major, I turned it down.  I want to get out of this army.  If I got that type of a job I would be sure to have to stay for many months. You see there is an order that no men who held a Nazi Party job or Public job from 1933-1945 may remain in office.  Well all the rest of the men were in the army.  And no army man was allowed to belong to any Political party, so they are the only people now eligible to hold public jobs. Letters are slowly getting posted to Gintherscott.com.  
08:29
September 19, 2020
World War 2: Episode 80: September 23-30, 1945
This episode centers on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan. We had roast chicken for dinner today.  Sure was good.  Geo and I ate all we could.  Then at three this afternoon we ate baked potatoes.  Our stove in the living room has an oven, so it is no job to bake them at all.  Well by supper time neither of us could eat.  And it is about nine o’clock now, we still aren’t hungry. This afternoon I saw Major Brown about the provisional battery they are forming.  All the batteries except HQ are coming to my town and I’m to command this battery.  In it will be 28 jeeps, 28 6x6, and 9 ¾ ton trucks.  About ten times too much transportation.  Well that is my job for tomorrow.  So I’ll be quite busy again. Letter are slowly getting posted to GintherScott.com.
10:34
September 18, 2020
World War 2: Episode 79: September 14-22, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Nally the other day decided to drive a tank.  Well he came hell bent into the Service Battery area and started to skid.  Well when he stopped, he was in the living room of a house with everything on top of the tank. This is one reason I want to get home so badly.  I want to get our married life started again.  It isn’t any good to be away from each other so long.   Letters are slowly getting posted to Gintherscott.com.  
09:00
September 17, 2020
World War 2: Episode 78: September 6-11, 1945
This episode centers around the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   As the column of tanks went thru there, the number two tank ran up over the back of a jeep parked on the side of the road.  Well there is nothing left of the jeep but junk. Capt Shelton, White, Wallace and myself took the sedan and went to Nuremberg to see the final game of the baseball season.  Shelton did a little too much hollering, so wasn’t able to talk much the rest of the day. Letters are slowly getting posted to Gintherscott.com.
08:29
September 15, 2020
World War 2: Episode 77: September 1-6, 1945
This episode centers around the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Slept most of the afternoon and tonight the mess sgt had banana cream pie for me.  So you see I got this new man on the ball. Wednesday I start turning equipment in.  It will mean a ride of about 75 miles to turn in the m-7s, 105 hand guns. But every time I turn in something it is just that much closer home. Letters are gradually being posted on Gintherscott.com.
07:59
September 13, 2020
World War 2: Episode 76: August 26th-31st, 1945
This episode centers on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Everyone is getting terrible.  Today we have a pair of 10 ouce binoculars out watching the couples walk back to the woods.  It is so damn obvious what they are going into the woods for. I was surprised that you got the book “Forever Amber” In desperation to have something to do I read a little of that book.  I gave up where Bruce shipped out and Amber was in the prison for debt.  At that time I became so disgusted with the immorality of the book I gave it up. While a little behind, letters are being posted at Gintherscott.com
08:15
September 12, 2020
World War 2: Episode 75: August 17th - 24th, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   All morning we sat around talking about nothing in particular.  And this afternoon I slept until now.  It 4:00 P.M. with all this time on my hands. All day today we stayed in the house and just looked at each other.  We did play a fun game of hearts.  They are playing hearts right now, only I got out, and I’m going to bed. Janey I sure wish I could get home before Xmas.  There are rumors we may ship in either November or December. While I'm behind, letters are being posted to Gintherscott.com.
09:22
September 11, 2020
World War 2: Episode 74: August 10-16, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain stationed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Do you think the war with Japan is over.  I hope so.  Then I can come home to you.  Return to normal life. Well honey it is all over.  It really don’t seem possible.  Thank god I out lived this war, but Janey many of times I thought it was all over for me.  I really hope I never have to go thru anything like this again. I'm a little behind, but posting letters on my website, Gintherscott.com
08:07
September 10, 2020
World War 2: Episode 73: August 5-9, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Had very nice billets there and had a bath, a evening meal and breakfast.  Saturday morning left there and stopped in Heidelberg and went thru the castle.  It is completely destroyed. Betty I miss you terribly tonight.  I think I would do anything to be home in your arms.  I just don’t know what to do with myself.  Please write often cause I’m going to have to depend on you for plenty now. I’m writing this sitting in a soft chair and it makes my writing worse. Letters are being posted at Gintherscott.com
08:52
September 9, 2020
World War 2: Episode 72: July 16-26th, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Betty it is awful hard to do anything now.  You just feel like saying the hell with every thing and go about with some thing that will give you some enjoyment. The ride from the autobahn to Berchtesgaden, was beautiful.  Very steep hills and usually they had a stream of water coming down the side in water falls fashion. Letters at Gintherscott.com
08:07
September 8, 2020
World War 2: Episode 71: July 11-15th, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain deployed in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   I sure hope I get to come home with the division in September, but I’ll be surprised if I do. Today I’ve been on my bed ⅔ of the day.  It is too damn hot (86) to wear our wool uniforms.  Yet we have nothing else to wear.  Tonight I am sitting around in my pajamas. Letters at Gintherscott.com
06:33
September 5, 2020
World War 2: Episode 70: July 8-10, 1945
Letters from an U.S. Army Captain deployed to Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Janey I’m not sure what is in store for me but I surely wish that whatever it is, it happens soon.  I would rather get occupation than to go to the Pacific. Here are two pictures of a group of Germans.  In one you can see the dress of the German girl, not much different from American.  In the other notice the kids, women, and old men.  You never see any men from 18 to 40.  They just aren’t to be found.  Maybe that is why the soldiers are having such a good time. Letters at GintherScott.com
07:05
September 4, 2020
World War 2: Episode 69: July 1-7th, 1945
This episode centers around the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   I been so cold the last two days that you have to have a fire to keep warm.  Write now I’m in the kitchen writing and tending the fire. Honey this is a hell-of-a-way to spend the 4th of July.  I hope next year that all wars are over and that I’m home with you for good. I'm posting the letters to gintherscott.com.  
07:27
September 3, 2020
World War 2: Episode 68: June 25th - 30th, 1945
This episode centers around the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in the 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Armored Division, located in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan. The Battalion really found out about redeployment when it was alerted to transfer all men with the adjusted service rating score of 74 and below to medium artillery battalions of the XXI Corps. This afternoon 1st Sergeant Dykes and myself made a trip of the area trying to get eggs for breakfast.  No luck, maybe will be able to get some tomorrow. While a little behind I'm posting letters on gintherscott.com
06:15
September 1, 2020
World War 2: Episode 67: June 22-24th, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in the 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Armored Division, in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   The battalion won the afternoon softball and volleyball games from the 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion by scores of 6 to 1 and 2 to 0.    I’ve never seen so much carrying on as there is going on now.  Officers are worse than the men, I believe.  At least the men aren’t so open with it. We get a rubber issued each month for the men.  Well honey they have used up ½ of July's issue already.  Don’t mention this to people at home.  It's just as good they don’t know exactly what goes on.
06:29
August 31, 2020
World War 2: Episode 66: June 18-21st, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in the 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Armored Division, in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan. Lectures were given to Hq and "A" Batteries by Major Shirley, Chaplain Barth, and Capt Bryer, the new Medical Officer, on the "Control of Venereal Disease."   Put the halftrack in front of the Poles’ camp and fired about two bursts with the machine guns.  Then took my jeep in and fired about ten rounds with the 40 cal. Pistol.  And then the eight fellows that caused all the trouble came out, and that ended the trouble.
06:39
August 30, 2020
World War 2: Episode 65: June 13-17th, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in the 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Armored Division, located in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan. Organization of the area had to be continued and the Battery Commanders were called to discuss the rising rate of venereal disease in the battalion.   Well yesterday I was ordered mind you ordered, to fix a special dinner next Friday night for Col Martin & Div Artillery Exec Major Weber and himself.  And mind you to be served on a sun porch, not at the kitchen or officer mess.  He wants steaks, fresh peas, french fried potatoes and two deserts.  Honey that is the lowest form of Ass kiss I ever seen, Pardon me. Then last night I just laid about and thought over many of things, but as usual I never get any place thinking.
07:25
August 29, 2020
World War 2: Episode 64: June 10-12th, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in the 7th Armored Division, 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   The new week was started appropriately on Sunday, June 10th with Protestant and Catholic services held in the battalion area.   Betty there are ten Polish, German speaking girls here to one German, German speaking girl.  They have found out if they say they are Polish they can go with American soldiers.  And tell me honey how can you tell the difference between a Polish and German girl? Another officer party tonight.  It will be the same old stuff.  Sit around and drink. In our apartment we have a bath, kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom.  That isn’t bad is it honey?
08:35
August 28, 2020
World War 2: Episode 63: June 7th - 9th, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from a U.S. Captain in the 7th Armored Division, 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, located in Konnern Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.  A new entertainment facility was added by the reception of five record players from the division Signal officer.   Dykes has gone to find some wine and 3 officers are out looking for some German girls.  This non-fraternization policy is the worst farce of the Military government. Spent the morning in painting half tracks and then this afternoon it rained.  Now this evening it is very warm again, so will probably get rain again. Betty over here we are on parade or review every time we step out of the house.  Everyone watches every move we make.
07:01
August 27, 2020
World War 2: Episode 62: June 3-6, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Konnern, Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.  He is in the 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, Seventh Armored Division.   The battalion felt its first touch of redeployment as Captain Swanson, Battalion Medical Officer, was transferred to the 104th Division.   For once in their life they had too many girls.  Some became tired because nobody would dance with them and went home. The morals of the Germans are not very good.  A girl of seventeen or eighteen think of only one thing.  And each night they parade up and down in front of the battery area.  I know damn well this no fraternization policy is not effective.
08:09
August 26, 2020
World War 2: Episode 61: May 28th - June 1st, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Konnern, Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   A battalion movie theatre was set up in Konnern, and plans were made for battalion, battery and division volleyball, softball, and hardball teams.  I’m ashamed of myself for not writing in the last five days.  But Betty I had two meetings and two court martials so that took care of every night and with payday yesterday, I’ve been kept busy. 
06:13
August 25, 2020
World War 2: Episode 60: May 20th - 27th, 1945
This episode focuses on World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Intensive and complete maintenance of vehicles and all other equipment was begun in this area.  This was the most satisfactory maintenance opportunity accorded since we arrived on the continent in August 1944.   I heard about a brewer (a place to purchase beer) and I went there and made a deal for beer for the battalion.  I was astonished at the cost 5 cents a quart.  It really makes it a very cheap drink to serve. Betty I finally hired a housekeeper for my house.  She’s worse looking than “Gravel Gertie” but she does clean up after us.  Now all I need is a fireman to keep hot water.
09:57
August 24, 2020
World War 2: Episode 59: May 18th - 19th, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany and his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   In my area I have three towns all with normal populations of 500-700.  Well, I’ve got 1,600 in all of them now.  And fifty more people coming tomorrow.  Food is the big problem to handle.
05:43
August 23, 2020
World War 2: Episode 58: May 8th - 14th, 1945
This episode focuses on World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Hq Battery had two wineries in their area, and the contents of both were well depleted by official requisitions.   I have found approximately 16,000 gallons of wine.  And if you don’t think I’m having a time with it, you’re wrong.  Everyone wants 10 or 20 gallons of it and then they come back the next day drunk.
06:08
August 21, 2020
World War 2: Episode 57: May 2nd - 7th, 1945
This episode focuses on World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Berlin capitulated today.  Many refugees collected from roads.   Well honey as yet they haven’t announced the end of this war in Europe but it is almost a known fact that it is all over.  Janey, you can’t visualize what I seen for days.  Germans coming down the road in Germany vehicles, their women and everything, giving up to anyone who were to take them.
06:28
August 19, 2020
World War 2: Episode 56: April 30th - May 1st, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   All personnel were billeted in houses for the period of occupation with strong interior guard posted to control civilian or infiltration of hostile troops from surrounding woods.   Janey I have a wonderful set up in this town.  I have a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bath for myself and Lt. Blanchette.  If I stay here very long I believe I’ll get a housekeeper to keep the place clean, and wash my clothes.  What do you think?
05:59
August 17, 2020
World War 2: Episode 55: April 22nd - 27th, 1945
This episode focuses on the World War 2 correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   Alerted for movement on 24 April, but no move made.  USO shows and movies provided entertainment.   Do you remember one year from today?  I sure do.  If you don’t it was the day you and I broke up housekeeping and I started for the E.T.O.  Well thank goodness I’m the same now as I was then only a year older. Well not much to report.  Tonight I played football for about two hours and every bone in my body aches now. Received 3 lbs of candy from you yesterday.  And honey that really tastes good too.
05:47
August 16, 2020
World War 2: Episode 54: April 15th - 21st, 1945
This episode focuses on the correspondence between a U.S. Army Captain in Germany and his wife in Three Oaks, Michigan.   House which the command post occupied today belonged to German prisoner now in Camp Bowie, Texas, prisoner for about two years.   Every time we come out of the line you wonder just how lucky you are.  And if it will just hold out.  I wonder if we will ever go up again?  I sure hope not.
08:56
August 15, 2020
World War 2: Episode 53: April 7th - 14th, 1945
This episode focuses on correspondence from an U.S. Army Captain to his wife in Michigan.   About 27,000 allied prisoners, mostly Russians, liberated by our forces.  Some Mongolians in group.  President Roosevelt's death reported.   I’ve sure had enough of this.  People at home think this is over, well actually Janey it is harder now than ever, a reason I guess is they are using everything they know of except gas.  God knows that I hope nothing like that will ever be used.
20:30
August 14, 2020
World War 2: Episode 52: April 2nd - 6th, 1945
This episode centers on World War 2 correspondence from a U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan.   At 0615 on Thursday, 5 April, the battalion moved to Niedersfeld, where we closed at 0730.  This town proved to be a hot spot with B Battery suffering two casualties, one fatal due to heavy artillery shelling in their area about 0900.00 The reason why we get such a good set up is that civilians and soldiers can’t live in the same house.  Therefore we had all the civilians move out and take over completely.  How would you like to have an officer knock on your door and say I’m going to take over your house.  Then tell you, you have an hour to get out and stay out.  Well Janey that is what your husband does.  Man, woman or children all the same.
13:15
August 13, 2020
World War 2: Episode 51: March 23rd - April 1st, 1945
This episode focuses on World War 2 correspondence from a U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan.   Word was flashed back by radio that Lt Douglas, Lt Haas, and the 1/4 ton driver, Pfc Devine, had been seriously wounded by some as yet undetermined type of enemy weapon or grenade which had burst in the middle of the vehicle.   Honey this is just one of those days when I can’t seem to write.  All I can think about is you.  Not writing.  But how you look, how it would seem to hold you, kiss you, how you walk, talk and even what you would look like asleep.  I’d do anything to be with you.
16:01
August 12, 2020
World War 2: Episode 50: March 17th - 21st, 1945
This episode revolves around World War 2 correspondence from a U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan.  Lt. Col Milner went over the subject of non-fraternization, and looting, and explained the Div Commanders policy in this matter.   You remember me telling you I found a hotel basement with all kinds of liquor in it.  Well Milner gave me the okay to get some for the men.  I got one bottle per man and gave it out yesterday.  Well last night all hell broke loose. I’m still in my old spot.  The house with hot & cold running water and my very soft bed.  If I stay here very much longer I’m going to become a civilian.
07:46
August 11, 2020
World War 2: Episode 49: March 13th - 16th, 1945
This episode consists of World War 2 letters from an U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan.   During the next few days spring-like weather arrived, giving a lift to morale and an opportunity for personal and vehicular maintenance.   You know the size of your living room that you have.  Well that was about 1/15 the size of the basement.  In this basement there was nothing but bottled liquor.  Brandy, liquor, French, Italian and German, Champagne and etc… I never saw so much.  If I had $1.00 a bottle I would be rich for life.  Well a sergeant and I had a bottle of champagne and I brought home two quarts of brandy.  Stump is out tonight to get some.  He took three jeeps so lord knows how much he will get.  I sure hope the men don’t find it.  If they do, I’ll have nothing but trouble on my hands for some time.
07:57
August 10, 2020
World War 2: Episode 48: March 8th - 12th, 1945
This episode consists of World War 2 correspondence from a U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan.  During the night of 10-11 March, the Bn passed another important milestone in its career when the 100,000 round fired since the Battalion was committed to tacton on the continent was sent on its way over the Rhine River.   Betty what did I say to mom about her meeting me when I came home?  I don’t remember telling her anything.  I have already told you that we are going to meet each other and be with each other a while before we face the mob.  Please tell me what I have said that makes you feel different.
10:04
August 9, 2020
World War 2: Episode 47: March 3rd - 7th, 1945
This episode consists of details from the World War 2 correspondence of a U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan.  The battalion crossed the Roer River which had proved such a stubborn obstacle in the path of at least two allied armies in their push to the Rhine Valley although its size was not indicative of its will to resist. "This is the way I feel now.  Milner gives me orders.  I see these orders are executed to the best of my ability.  How I go about executing these orders is nobody’s business but my own.  If I am wrong - okay they can do what they want.  If I’m right - you know the army.  In other words what I say or tell anyone to do in execution of any order that is the way it is to be done - right or wrong - No honey I’m not tryin on getting tough.  I have to be that way so I know just what is being done.  If I step on someone's toes it's just too bad - I’m sorry but that is the way it has to be."
10:57
August 8, 2020
World War 2: Episode 46: February 24th - March 2nd, 1945
This episode of the podcast focuses on the World War 2 letters of a U.S. Army Captain in Germany, late spring 1945. "As the month ended, our vehicular and personal maintenance was nearly one hundred percent and we were ready for the next push."   "Now to tell you the story of my jeep.  We were in a small town named Steinbeck which is between Malmady and St Vith.  I was looking for a place to set up in.  What I wanted was a basement because of the artillery fire.  Well I just got in the house and the shell came in.  I didn’t think anything about it so continued to look around.  When I came out my jeep was burning.  I lost everything I had in the rear of the jeep."
07:37
August 7, 2020
Episode 45: February 19th - 23rd, 1945
World War 2 letters from a U.S. Army Captain in Europe to his wife in Michigan. The 23rd saw the opening of the large-scale 1st and 9th Army attack across the Roer in the sector to our north.  Our own immediate front remained quiet with only a limited number of harassing mission being fired.   I am here and with this much difference in space the only thing that can hold us together is our love and faith in one another.  This I should never doubt and surely by this time you know my love in you.  I surely hope & pray darling that I will never do anything to make you ever lose faith or love with me.  You are all that I really have.  What good would anything that I now have be without you?  Nothing.
09:44
August 6, 2020
Episode 44: February 12th - 18th, 1945
World War 2 Letters from U.S. Army Captain in Europe to his wife in Michigan.   The almost continuous rain and damp in combination with a spring thaw had played havoc with the little country roads and if we were to keep our supply lines open it was imperative that the heavy M-7's be kept off their rutted, boggy remnants. Everything is the same.  Shirley becomes almost unbearable at times.  He always talks about what he would do.  And he always wants something.  And he knows damn well you can’t get it for him. The weather has gone haywire again.  Wind & mud that is all you can see.  Sure wish it would freeze or dry up.  There isn’t a thing you can do in this kind of weather.
07:20
August 5, 2020
Episode 43: February 3rd - 11th, 1945
World War 2 letters from a U.S. Army Captain in Europe to his wife in Michigan. The night firing continued, 1961 rds being the total.  The week had accounted for a greater ammunition expenditure than at any time since the battalion had first landed in France.  There was no retaliatory fire from the enemy.   I sure hope this is the last drive.  The paper rumored peace terms today.  I hope the Germans accept them. Now I say something and expect to have it done without a single question asked.  I know they think I’m queer, but Janey you just can’t tell them why all the time so I just stop explaining anything I do.  This way I’m having my own way with the battery and it sure seems good.  The men also know who is boss around here.
09:39
August 4, 2020
Episode 42: January 28th - February 2nd, 1945
World War 2 letters from a U.S. Army Captain in Belgium to his wife in Michigan.   The battalion remained comfortable billeted in homes on the outskirts of Verviers.  The weather was warm and the snow that had covered all the countryside rapidly disappeared.   I could think of a dozen different ways to spend the afternoon if I was home.  I believe that best would be laying in the middle of the living room floor, keeping warm.  And for sure I bet you wouldn’t be there with me.  You would get yourself rolled up in a chair knitting or reading, and probably listening to the radio also.  Just the same I’ll be damn glad when all that can happen.
08:32
August 3, 2020
Episode 41: January 17th - 27th, 1945 (Culmination of the Battle of the Bulge)
World War 2 letters from U.S. Army Captain in Belgium to his wife in Michigan. 1157 rounds were fired and with this expenditure, the 489th moved past the 75,000 mark, total ammunition expenditure since debarkation on the continent.   I’m going to tell you about my jeep.  It got hit the other day by artillery and did I ever lose a lot of stuff. The whole place is in ruins.  So with the 12” of snow and cold weather it sure makes it miserable for everyone to sleep. The enclosed material covers an important part of my life & a very important battle in WWII.  Some day you may view this as I do my grandfather's part in the Civil War.
12:44
August 2, 2020
Episode 40: January 11th - 16th, 1945
Letters from U.S. Army Captain in Europe to his wife in Michigan. The trip was anything but an easy one -- the roads were in great part narrow one-way trails through thick fir woods and across swamps the shoulders were in deplorable condition, the snow concealing a multitude of pitfalls for the unwary, snow packed into ice-coated hills. This is going to be a short letter as I’m very tired.  I haven’t got much sleep in the last few nights. Today we heard the write up that the division got for Saint Vith.  At the end they said after five days the Division withdrew to a rest area.  Well honey the rest area was about ten miles back and we were in action just six hours after we left there.  Do you call that a rest area?
08:23
August 1, 2020
Episode 39: January 7th - January 9th, 1945
Letters from U.S. Army Captain in Europe to his wife in Michigan. On January 7th, an unusual incident took place when a buzz-bomb fell in the Service Battery area.   This has been a terrible day.  A typical Michigan snow storm.  There is about six inches of snow on the ground and the road is a sheet of ice. P.S. This time I’m requesting Sour pickles Soda crackers (salted) Candy (chocolate)
06:46
July 31, 2020
Episode 38: January 3rd - 6th, 1945
Letters from a World War 2 U.S. Army captain in Europe to his wife in Michigan.   The 4th dawned cold and gray and before the battalion had time to pull out the heavy snow started to blanket the ground.  The next few days were spent in very necessary programs of personal and vehicular maintenance.   Personally honey , the last four days I been as jumpy as one could be.  Everything seems to get on my nerves.  Even the slamming of doors gets on my nerves.  I’ll be okay as soon as I get some sleep. Received another box of candy from mom, she sent it 21 Sept. and it sure was in good shape and sure could stand for some more.  Schwartz says to mention sending some Boston Baked Beans.
07:38
July 30, 2020
Episode 37: December 28th, 1944 - January 2nd, 1945 (Battle of the Bulge)
Letters from U.S. Captain in Belgium to his wife in Michigan. On the last day of the old year, the sector was very quiet.  Exactly at midnight, as the old passed into the new, a special TOT was fire, the artiller's own way of sending New Year's Greeting to Jerry.   I’ll also be glad to tell you about many things.  You have got some wonderful stories but if you only knew the truth.  Your husband feels different.  We haven’t said because of censorship.  Things have been different.
08:18
July 29, 2020
Episode 36: December 25th - 27th, 1944 (Battle of the Bulge)
By 0600 of the 25th, the bn closed in at La Fourche, but circumstances made this Christmas a dismal one.   Xmas, what a day.  I had K-rations this time.  The only thing that turned out nice was I received five packages.  I made up a Xmas supper from these packages so at least I had a little Christmas with you.
07:07
July 28, 2020
Episode 35: December 20th - 24th, 1944 (Battle of the Bulge)
Details from the Battle of the Bulge from a battle journal of the 489th Armored Field Artillery Division, 7th Armored Division, U.S. Army.   The 20th saw continued heavy German attacks.  The battalion was extensively reorganized for defense.  There wer reoccurring rumors of help coming from both north and south.   They were surprised and scattered by an enemy column led by an American Sherman Tank.  
08:07
July 27, 2020
Episode 34: December 17th - December 19th, 1944 (The Battle of the Bulge)
The 489th Armored Field Artillery Division, 7th Armored Division, leaves Germany and enters Belgium to engage in the battle.   It was rumored -- more vaguely -- that there was some sort of trouble. Overhead there was a recurrent spluttering roar every fifteen minutes and through the clouds, the evil-looking plane-like buzz-bomb darted on its way west.   Our immediate situation did not look too promising.  
09:23
July 25, 2020
Episode 33: December 12th - December 16th, 1944 (The Battle of the Bulge begins.)
Letters from U.S. Army Captain in Germany to his wife in Michigan just as the Battle of the Bulge begins.   Well honey it finally happened.  Yes from now on you can address my letters Captain. Yesterday was my birthday and we had a little party in my tent.  I had a bottle of Vat 69 Scotch that I got in Holland.  And we drank all that.  Also played a little cards.  Really had fun and won about $17.00.  I’m sure to be a drinking rounder when I get home.
08:56
July 24, 2020
Episode 32: December 7th - 11th, 1944
World War 2 Letters from U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant in Germany to his wife in Michigan. There was a heavy round haze on the ninth, and intermittent rain and snow turned the roads into rutted, muddy traps. Sometimes this damn war gets so much on your nerves that you are willing to volunteer for any kind of a job.  Well all I have got to do is stop and think about home with you and that gets rid of all my crazy ideas. This new guy, Hayes, sits in the corner, with his wool net cap, which he never removes, he even sleeps in it.
10:08
July 23, 2020
Episode 31: December 2nd - December 6th, 1944
World War 2 letters from a 1st Lieutenant in Germany to his wife in Michigan. The 3rd was another cold wet day with a strong wind whipping across the treeless plain. Janey did I ever describe a German town to you.  Well I’ll try even though I am not much on description.  Well honey as you enter a town you will find tank traps and many mines.  Then you will notice that the buildings have all been bombed or blown up by artillery. Do you remember three years ago tomorrow?  That was some Sunday dinner after we heard that Japan had started the war.  Well darling maybe this will be over soon.  I sure hope so.
08:26
July 22, 2020
Episode 30: November 25th - December 1st, 1944
World War 2 detail through letters.   We could see the full impact of total war on Germany.  there was not a single house what was not partially or fully destroyed.   Everyone seems quite jolly which is really something new. Betty you should have or you will receive a letter from the war department.  Don’t be afraid it’s only a letter telling you that I have received the Bronze Star.
11:05
July 21, 2020
Episode 29: November 17th - 24th, 1944
Thanksgiving the 23rd turned out to be a day of cold, driving rain but this failed to dampen the celebration. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  So I have arranged for a big officers dinner.  We will have breakfast at 1000 and dinner at 3:00 P.M. there has been ten quarts of liquor consumed in this room in the last week,
08:04
July 20, 2020
Episode 28: November 13th - 15th, 1944
One had only to stand a few moments on the main route thru Rijkholt and see the masses of troops and supplies moving swiftly northwards to realize the scale of this attack.   Every night I change shoes and socks and try to figure a way to get at least one pair of them dry for tomorrow. Betty, what did you mean you were the lost woman as far as mail is concerned.  Honey I’ve tried to write you good letters ever since I’ve been gone.  Guess maybe I have failed.
07:23
July 19, 2020
Episode 27: November 4th - November 10th, 1944
The 9th dawned cold and bleak and during the morning, the first snow of the year lightly powdered the surrounding fields.   Well the election is now over, you and your mother should now be able to settle down and do a little work.  Bet your mother was disappointed in Dewey’s showing. Betty I received three Christmas packages.  I couldn’t wait until then so have now opened them.  The Heinze 57 sauce was wonderful.
11:44
July 18, 2020
Episode 26: October 30th - November 3rd, 1944
The country itself here clearly showed the imprint of war because in this land of small farms and peaceful orchards, there was hardly a house that was not partially or wholly wrecked by artillery and mortar shells and everywhere were blasted stripped trees.   About eight o’clock I was invited to a party.  So I decided I would go.  Well the querest thing about this group was that there was five languages spoke and only twelve people were there.  England, French, Holland, German and Polish was spoken.  It took a real man to get the jist of the conversation. Betty this family here is wonderful.  For the last three nights they have had cake and coffee in my section.  They usually call us in about eight each evening.
14:23
July 17, 2020
Episode 25: October 26th - 29th, 1944
On the night of the 27-28th, the enemy attempted a rubber-boat-crossing in force on the town of Nederweert.   Last night I went to a little beer tavern across the road from me and stayed two hours.  They had a sax and accordion player and it seemed real good to hear a little music if you call that music, for a change. This time I have set up my office on the back porch of a farmer’s house.  It seems pretty good too.
09:02
July 16, 2020
Episode 24: October 18th - 22nd, 1944
There was a small amount of patrol activity at night by Germans crossing the canal in rubber boats.   Nally made 1st Lt. yesterday.  And lord knows where he is today.  I’ve never in my life seen an officer get away with as much as he does. You asked me about that hole from the water on the rear of the farm.  It will spoil a lot of ground but if they won’t do it there’s nothing we can say about it. You asked for requests to send me things.  Well here is one you haven’t thought of.  How about some popcorn?
06:45
July 15, 2020
Episode 23: October 13th - 15th, 1944
German patrols entered the little Dutch town of El and a street fight with knives, grenades and rifles ensued.   The only thing that gets me is it gets so cold at night and I get so lonesome for you. I washed my field jacket this morning.  Sure am wondering how it will come out.  It was just terrible dirty.
06:19
July 14, 2020
Episode 22: October 3rd - 12th, 1944
He waited 'till the enemy was within 200 yds of our advance fox-holes and then laid down a concentration right on them.   I get so damn blue and discouraged I don’t know what to do. Now I have found a factory that has a hot shower.  So I’m living like a king again. Belgium was a big change from France.  Much cleaner and looks more prosperous.
11:05
July 13, 2020
Episode 21: September 18th - October 2nd, 1944
On 27 Sept, we reached our destination of Cothom near Hasselt, Belgium.  On Sept 28th, the battalion received orders to move north to a Division Assembly Area in the vicinity of Deurne, Holland.   There sure is a lot of air activity today.  Someone is sure catching hell and I’m glad it is not me. Betty you don’t know how lucky you are to be an American girl.  Women over here have no morals, and they work like dogs. I sure could go for a good meal and believe it or not a bath and a good sleepover with you.
12:42
July 10, 2020
Episode 20: September 16th and 17th, 1944
On the 16th of Sept, the battalion moved out towards the river at 0715.  The Moselle was crossed without incident in a heavy smoke screen. I sure don’t know what I’ll sleep in tonight because everything is wet.  Reminds me of Tennessee. A little French girl has been over a dozen times yesterday.  I gave her everything I got I didn’t want.  This morning they brought over a pie.  I gave her four packages of cigarettes for it for her papa.  She left all smiles.
05:53
July 9, 2020
Episode 19: September 10th - 15th, 1944
The night was exceptionally misty and the roads greasy with mud from a downpour in the late afternoon Honey I’ve been so darned busy all the time getting stuff or taking care of myself. I’m okay, and still doing fine.  Maybe losing a little weight, but that is all. Mr. Atkin sent me a form to fill out for a Chicago ballot.  I thru that in the basket.  I don’t want that much to do with Chicago.
09:06
July 8, 2020
Episode 18: September 6th - 9th, 1944
The battalion fires called for forced the enemy to keep under cover and resulted in the withdrawal to safety of the crew of nearly all the knocked-out tanks.   Yesterday some Germans got behind me and I took one tank and 30 men and started after them Betty if you remember how to play hide & seek well that is war without shooting. Everyone in the unit is ok.  It rains every day and we do get wet.  And the last five nights it has really been cold.  A little frost this morning on the ground.
08:47
July 7, 2020
Episode 17: September 2nd - September 4th, 1944
September 3 to 5th were spent in the open fields about Bras in much needed maintenance work on all equipment.   Well the tent and me were both picked up and dumped into the slit trench. The other day I got a German supply train.  I brought home 252 quarts of Cognac.  I also got a rabbit lined jacket, which is surely warm.
05:35
July 6, 2020
Episode 16: August 25th - September 1st 1944
In the early morning hours of the 27th, a German PX supply train of 23 vehicles blundered into our assembly area and was completely annihilated.   I’m lucky if I get two to three hours sleep per day. What I want you to do is keep a bank balance of at least $500.00.  Maybe a little more.  That is for use in case you get sick, etc. Borcherding just said we are moving again.  So I better close for now.
11:59
July 5, 2020
Episode 15: August 19th - August 24th, 1944
My grandfather engages the Germans south of Paris.   An unusual incident was the capturing of 12 snipers, a platoon of anti-tank guns, many bicycles, weapons and documents in a cache located in the battalion area.   Well to end it up, my tent lays in the ground and the bed-roll is completely soaked this morning. One day is just like any other day.  Last Sunday went by and I did not realize it was Sunday even though the Chaplin did his services.
11:26
July 4, 2020
Episode 14: August 9th - August 18th 1944
On August 9th the 489th Battalion arrived at Omaha Beach.   After a short stiff fight the town was cleared of all but rear-guard sniper action. I bet you have been worrying about me, especially as we were not allowed to write any letter for a period of a couple weeks. Betty the French people are a thousand times nicer to you then the English people.  Each and every town we go there we collect flowers, cider, wine and even bread.
10:11
July 3, 2020
Episode 13: August 1st - August 7th, 1944
Nally got a hold of some liquor last night and per usual was no good to anyone again today. Received your pictures honey.  Here is my impression.  I hope they don’t shock you. You will have to excuse the pencil again.  My pen is still dry.  I’m going to have to find some ink someplace tomorrow for sure. ... where we boarded LST's for the journey across the English Channel...
09:34
July 2, 2020
Episode 12: July 24th - July 30th 1944
"It has been cold here the last couple days.  If this keeps up I’m going to need a fire twenty four hours a day." You claim you never dream of me.  I’m usually so tired I never dream of anything" "There has been two little English children here in my office this afternoon.  They are such beggars."
09:14
July 1, 2020
Episode 11: July 17th - July 23rd 1944
Last night they had a lottery for 24 qt of whisky. I asked Fred if Lee got any kind of a commendation. Fred said “Hell no, none I know of”.  You figure the rest. Bill located his Scotch and had a fair shine on when he got home. This afternoon I brought a soft chair up to my room, and built a fire in the fireplace. Don’t let the Germans' news make you feel too good.  We still got to finish the job, and then police up the country.
09:03
June 30, 2020
July 12th - July 16th 1944
My grandfather visits London.   "Everything is the same.  Each day the same.  So goes life in the European Theatre." "Bill and I went to London.  Saw more of that city than I have seen of our own capital." "Now they got me here, I’m wanting to get in this war and get home."
08:08
June 29, 2020
July 4th 1944 - July 10th 1944
My grandfather continues to wait for deployment from England.  He finally receives correspondence from my grandmother.   "Honey I am still physically ok.  Mentally, I’m wondering." "Here it is July and you wear a field Jacket and a pair of gloves when you go outside." "Betty this writing letters isn’t what it’s cracked up to be."
07:43
June 27, 2020
June 25th - July 2nd 1944
My grandfather and his battalion remain in England waiting to cross the channel.   "Have finally found a place to get Coca-Cola by the glass." "Absolutely nothing happens, you can’t even get a good rumor started." "Let’s hope the combined English & American force go thru France fast and get this war over." "It has rained now for seven straight days.  And it just keeps on getting colder all the time."
09:02
June 25, 2020
June 21st - June 24th 1944
My grandfather continues to wait in England for their eventual deployment onto the continent.   "I guess the sooner I get in it the sooner I’ll be home." "I wish I could start out toward that sun and keep going until I was with you."
06:27
June 24, 2020
June 8th - June 18th 1944
My grandfather's battalion leaves the U.S. on the Queen Mary arriving in Scotland before heading to England.  
09:11
June 22, 2020
June 1st - June 5th 1944
My grandfather struggles with loneliness and makes some "interesting" comments about my grandmother's tendency to delay getting dressed for the day.  
06:15
June 21, 2020
May 28th through May 30th 1944
Memorial day 1944 comes and goes as my grandfather waits to head to Europe.  
04:53
June 19, 2020
May 22nd, 23rd and 27th - 1944
My grandfather gets a black eye playing basketball.  
05:30
June 7, 2020
May 7th - May 20th 1944
My grandparents make plans for their final visit before my grandfather goes to Europe.  
06:58
June 6, 2020
April 28th - May 6th 1944
The Battalion heads to the Northeast.  
08:12
June 4, 2020