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

November 17, 1945

Dear Mom,

Today is still cold but we've had our first sun for several days. It's been around 50 degrees for some time. They've finally turned on the heat at Cite Universitaire, so it's not so bad indoors here.

The public places are still cold, however. Recently I went to Casino de Paris, a kind of Ziegfeld stage show. The girls had little or nothing on and it beats me how they keep from catching cold. I was shivering in my suit. And last night I went to a little French cinema that was really an icebox. No one made any effort to take off his overcoat at all. You'd have been a block of ice if you had done so.

I've been painting quite steadily now, but it's not going the way I want. I can get a good start but when I try to work on it the painting goes "dead." Aside from getting very tired from the concentrated work, my eyes have given me no trouble. I've dug out my glasses for the times I am painting and it seems to ease the strain.

Your letters seem to come through regularly on Tuesday. The latest I have from you is your regular letter from the 8th and a brief one from the 9th Nov. Today two more Christmas packages came - one from "J.M." and one from Mrs. H. Vandenberg. This makes five so far. I think I'll open one up next week. I don't want this place to fold up at the end of Dec as is likely and find me with a bunch of boxes to lug around.

Incidentally, for anyone who feels "in the mood," I bought a Christmas present for me from them. It's a collapsible easel (I should say "folding" easel for it's quite sturdy) and cost me $22.00. That's not bad for here.

The other day I wanted to buy some flowers to paint. In one shop I saw a simple arrangement with a little fern in a reed basket. I thought it might do until I asked the price - $60! Needless to say I am sans flowers for painting.

Oh yes, neither the brushes nor the coffee has come yet. However, I want you to send me some more coffee - a rather large size, if possible. I want to present it to some French friends. After drinking French coffee or "Cafe Nationale" as it is known, I can understand why they prefer American coffee. Their stuff tastes like the grounds you threw out several days ago.

I finally have some photos developed and I'll send you a batch separately.

Like everyone else here, I only got partial pay this month. However it was within $20 of what was due me so it's OK. The Finance Office here claims to have lost so many people they can't keep up with the work.

Love,

Bob

P.S. Decided to put two pictures in here both taken by another man, Major Dozier. We were using his camera. The big smile on the Danube River one is because we just fooled a couple of smart German kids who thought they'd nose in and spoil the picture. I acted as though Dozier had taken the shot and they ran off laughing at having spoiled that picture - not knowing they weren't in it. After they left we made this one.

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