Major Robert F. Burns

90th Division, U.S. Army

 

War Letters from Europe

Normandy to Germany

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Letters from France

June 22, 1944
June 29, 1944
June 29, 1944 (2nd)
July 6, 1944
July 17, 1944
August 10, 1944
August 14, 1944
August 25, 1944
September 1, 1944
September 2, 1944
September 3, 1944
September 3, 1944 (2nd)
September 14, 1944
September 16, 1944
September 16, 1944 (2nd)
September 17, 1944
September 28, 1944
October 2, 1944
October 14, 1944
October 22, 1944
November 2, 1944
November 12, 1944
November 24, 1944
December 2, 1944
December 27, 1944

Letters from Luxembourg

January 9, 1945
January 16, 1945
January 20, 1945

Letter from Belgium

February 7, 1945

Letters from Germany

February 9, 1945
February 21, 1945
February 23, 1945
February 26, 1945
April 5, 1945
May 5, 1945

Letters from Czechoslovakia

May 10, 1945
May 16, 1945

Letters from Germany

May 19, 1945
May 20, 1945
May 24, 1945
June 3, 1945
June 22, 1945

Letters from France

June 30, 1945
July 3, 1945

Letters from Germany

July 14, 1945
July 27, 1945
July 30, 1945
August 3, 1945
August 14, 1945

Letters from France

August 26, 1945
August 28, 1945
August 29, 1945

Letters from Germany

September 9, 1945
September 11, 1945
September 13, 1945
September 15, 1945
September 17, 1945
September 23, 1945
September 27, 1945
October 1, 1945
October 9, 1945

Letters from France

October 13, 1945
October 15, 1945
October 22, 1945
November 5, 1945
November 17, 1945
November 17, 1945 (2nd)
November 23, 1945
November 30, 1945
December 17, 1945
December 17, 1945 (2nd)
December 18, 1945
December 26, 1945
January 2, 1946

Letters from Belgium

January 14, 1946
January 15, 1946
January 17, 1946
January 17, 1946 (2nd)

Letters from France

January 21, 1946
January 24, 1946

France

September 16, 1944

Dear Mom,

This morning we had a fine breakfast of hot K ration, chopped ham and egg, one fresh egg, three pancakes and honey and jelly. The latter two items were captured stuff - but good. The honey is not clear like ours, but has a milky white appearance. It is tasty, nonetheless. Grease and baking powder are scarce items so we don't often have pancakes even when our chow truck is with us, which it usually isn't. The colonel's orderly managed to sponge enough from a neighboring unit to make pancakes for five of us. Our kitchen is not with us but the orderly managed to do a fine job on the wood stove where we are. We find many kitchen stoves now, most of them are wood burners. The fireplace cooker is less frequent.

Our men do about as well, buying and bartering fresh eggs, meat and vegetables. In towns that are friendly the natives still hand out fresh fruit but most of it is not ripe, neither pears, nor apples, nor grapes. There are some small plums, however, which are both ripe and delicious.

There are plenty of tomatoes and they look and taste about like our own. The cabbage is slightly different, but good. We had some onions the other day that were the strongest I've encountered. They were the large ones, not the little green kind. I'd take a bite and then would have to stop eating for about two minutes to wipe away the tears. We captured some home made pickles that Gracie would like. They really are fine.

I had opportunity to sleep late this morning and it was most enjoyable. We are not engaged at the moment and I lost all but two hours night before last while working on some orders.

A goatherd has just come down the side street leading his flock and blowing a clear and powerful horn. One dun colored ewe is scurrying back to the flock from down the main street and the goatherd is shouting angrily in French at it. Now a large brown dog has popped out of somewhere to harry the rear of the flock. The old man shakes his stick and starts threateningly toward the tormenter, driving him away.

The populace of these various places is gradually becoming more unfriendly. We receive many dark looks and sullen stares now instead of flag waving and flowers and cheers. We find Nazi propaganda everywhere in more abundance and evidently it has done its work. The forced laborers from Russia and Poland and Italy are becoming a matter of concern to us as they are being left behind by the retreaters. They are without work, without food, without homes. Many are living out in the woods until they are brought out carrying their worldly possessions in bundles which they bear for miles on their back without complaint. Old and young, men, women and children - all are here, wandering and wondering.

Love,

Bob

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