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

Paris, France

December 26, 1945

Dear Mom,

It must be that I am just a "Sunday painter" after all for I seem to do my best work on Sundays and holidays and at night. Oddly enough, the stuff I work on during the week seems to fizzle while that which I do at night or on Sunday invariably comes out better.

Yesterday was no exception. In the afternoon I began a half-length portrait of Mme Lequien (who has been my patient model for many sadder ventures) with which I am most enthusiastic and last night I batted out a small head portrait also of Mme Lequien. This was nothing extraordinary but represented a decided improvement over my earlier work. Paulette wasn't very happy with the red background I put in which I liked, so I compromised by scraping it off this afternoon and not painting it again at all. This leaves a kind of pink color which pleases both of us.

We had chicken for dinner yesterday (for supper, too, as a matter of fact). Both Paulette and her mother are excellent cooks. I don't know which one fixed this but it certainly was good.

You remember that I wrote I was saving one of the packages for Xmas, and so I did. But I was a little embarrassed and chagrined on opening it at the Lequien's (somewhat prematurely, to be sure, but I thought it might have something we could incorporate in the dinner) to find the shaving stuff. However, the red box of cookies saved the day. (They stayed very fresh and only a few were broken.) I gave the soap to Paulettte, since French soap is miserable. Fortunately I had saved the marshmallows from an earlier packet and I gave one box of these along with two Tootsie rolls, a packet of licorice to Ginette, the little girl. She was quite delighted.

Nothing would do but that we try out the new shampoo. I washed my hair and it cleaned fine but curled in all directions for some time. Now it has settled down to going just one way. Paulette washed hers too and apparently used more of the stuff than I did for it took out some of the color from her hair. She was rather upset for which I can scarcely blame her.

Your letter of the 6th and 13th both came last week, one with the money order as present for the easel. I was a little taken aback at this for I was really joking earlier when I said the easel was a present from all of you. I didn't dream you'd take me literally. Anyway many thanks to everyone for it. I haven't cashed it yet and good thing for today the rate of exchange on the franc changed so that I'll get better than twice as many when I do change it. At least I think so. I don't have all the dope on how this new exchange affects us, but I think we are considerably better off than before for the new rate is 119 francs to the dollar instead of 50 francs as before.

I'm afraid I've been misleading you on the weather. Actually, it has turned into a very mild winter. No snow at all, though considerable rain and most of the days have a few hours of sunshine around noon. It's not cold at all for moving around outside and indoors it's cold only if you stay long without heat. Indeed it's not very good for people who have no coal or wood, but it could be much worse.

Hope my big pictures arrived all right. I'll send the others when I can find some cardboard stiffener.

This week is officially a holiday, but as I have so little time left, I am continuing to work. I don't have any info on leaving yet.



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