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

Regensburg, Germany

August 14, 1945

Dear Mom,

Grace's letters and your own have been coming through quite regularly. Being fairly close to my old outfit, there hasn't been too much trouble in the forwarding. I even received the other day the large box of mixed hard candies and butterscotch which Grace sent. It came through in excellent shape and is now well toward the vanishing point. Of course, you're not doing my resolutions to reduce any good.

Haven't any idea how much I weigh for there are no scales around but I dare say it's in the 160's.

Your letter of 25 July was most recent and came the other day. Earlier I had Grace's from 26 and 27 July.

In answer to your question, I have not mailed you the Bronze Star Medal. It, together with a miscellany of other items, waits for me to remember to send them to you. One of these days I hope to.

The school goes well and I am enjoying my job very much. We've lost some students because of unit changes but next week are opening some more classes, so it should pick up.

If the war ends soon, as seems likely, I don't know exactly what effect it will have on our program. I rather look for an increase after the first turmoil does down.

Today I had good news that I am to have another leave starting next week. As yet I don't know just where this will be. It came sooner than I anticipated, but it's made the rounds of the section and is now my turn.

The other day I had an interesting trip down to Army Hq at Bad Tolz. It's a fatiguing journey and the meeting I attended was a waste of time but I enjoyed the trip because of the country.

The town lies in South Germany in rolling country which climbs to the Alps in the distance on whose peaks you can still see snow. It is astride a rapid and beautiful stream whose name I do not know. The town was a former health resort as you may guess from the name. The work "BAD" means BATH.

The hotels and sanitarium are all on one side of the river while the business district for the most part is across the stream. This separation makes for a quite and stately surrounding even though the village is not too large at the start.

The transient's mess is housed in one of the small hotels. It is a charming place with something of an oriental motif in the interior decor. Most of the ceilings are quite low, which pleases me. Apparently, I do not suffer from claustrophobia! I like the sense of snugness that a low ceiling gives, particularly if the furniture is well proportioned and not over crowded. (There is a great tendency over her to fill a room full of stuff until you can scarcely move through all the lumber.)

Withal, this was rather well done, although my cohorts, being tall men preferred more space.

Its dining hall itself had beam ceilings like our homes in the Southwest U.S.

All through this section of the country you find the type of building you think about when you think of Bavaria. I had not seen much of it until I made this trip.

All of the buildings are large, partly because they are built on a large scale but also because they incorporate the barn, not underneath or alongside as in French farms, but in rear. Even though attached, the house section is quite distinct from the barn. For one thing the lower floor, and in some instances the upper as well, is of white plaster. The barn is usually of wood all the way through.

All of the buildings have a balcony which runs the full width of the front making an overhang. On this, numerous doors open, apparently one from each room. I counted sometimes as many as six doors across the upper face. Surmounting the building is the roof which slopes and also has a wide overhang. All the windows are fitted with wooden shutters, which are normally painted a dull green or red or brown. Quite pretty against the white of the house. These buildings fit well into the landscape, which is frequently heavily wooded. Though built closely together in a settlement, the houses remain independent for the most part unlike France where they cling hand-to-hand with each other.

How was your vacation? Marn seems to have enjoyed hers. Guess I'll have to go down to Mexico after I get through traipsing around Europe.

I'm still unable to send you any photographs for we're having trouble getting photo supplies both chemicals and paper.

In one letter I wrote once I asked for some Eastman Fine Grain developer DK-20 and a small can of hypo but you mustn't have received that for I've never heard you mention it. However, I'd still like those two items plus a can of D-72 developer and some printing paper, glossy finish, No. 2 or normal. 5 x 7 would probably be easiest enlarging paper to send. Some paper 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 for contact prints would be welcome too.

Love,

Bob

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