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

Germany

February 26, 1945

Dear Mom,

We are getting a little respite finally and it seem odd to have so little to do. Today has seemed very long since we made short shrift of our usual reports.

Tonight I have just come from my first movie in Germany. We have had pictures before elsewhere, but I have seldom been able to attend.

You would like our theater! A hay loft in a barn back of our Command Post. After walking through several inches of mud you reach a crude ladder of logs which you climb to the loft. There you duck under a bar and enter the main part of the space, a large rectangle about 20 x 40 feet.

You emerge from behind the screen which is nailed to the supports and rails separating the drop-off below and sit on the few low benches that have been provided. After the usual mishaps which seem prerequisite to the showing of all Army films, the blur settles down to a normal double focus and the picture begins. This one is call "Summer Storm" and features Linda Darnell and George Sanders. It is fair entertainment and the acting holds up well until the end, when Sanders falls off badly.

About half way through, the cold flows from your feet, up your legs and sets your body shivering, making you probably more critical at the show's end than you would be in a warm theater. You notice the openings around the joists and the hole in the roof until complete darkness, as twilight fades, masks everything but the screen. Then suddenly the show ends and flashlights flicker as you grope with the crowd toward the ladder. Here you drop into mysterious darkness and stumble past a queue waiting for the second show.

You emerge into the cold night and the reality of mud and debris and torn houses. Gone are the warm Russian sun, the gypsy music and the lazy warmth of summer. Now remains only the noise of wet clay sucking at your boots to break the strange silence that marks this town from which all civilization has fled.

I had little success in getting the insignia. Only one pair was available, which I bought, but it means changing from jacket to coat, etc. Although insignia is rationed like everything else, you are allowed to buy five pair upon promotion. But, of course, this is dependent upon supply - of which there appears to be none.

There is to be an article on the Division in the May Cosmopolitan on our Moselle River crossing for which we have a citation pending.

I am now entitled to wear another decoration, for the 3rd Battalion with which I was has just received a Presidential Unit Citation for its action in the Foret de Mont Castre. You may have seen some of these ribbons - a plain blue with a gold metal border all around. It is worn on the right breast instead of the left where all other decorations are placed.

Love,

Bob

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