Major Robert F. Burns

90th Division, U.S. Army

 

War Letters from Europe

Normandy to Germany

Home  |  Military Career  |  Letters  |  Photos  |  Battles  |  References

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

October 22, 1945

Dear Mom,

Marn's letter with the two money orders came today. Many thanks. It came just at the right time for I am about out of funds and don't know how much I'll get paid this month. This area is short of finance people and way behind on payments. They've announced only partial pay for enlisted men this month. As for officers I haven't been able to find out yet. It would certainly cost a small fortune to live here as a civilian. It's bad enough being in the Army.

We got a few free paints, brushes and some canvas this morning which the men who went to Germany and Marseilles brought back. It's not too much but enough to keep us going for awhile. Unfortunately the canvas, though excellent, is unsized. No one seems to know where to get sizing. So no painting for awhile.

I've been working outdoors trying to make sketches while the weather is good. I think I told you we go to school in the morning and work where we wish in the afternoon. Since we had no materials, I've stayed away from that mad house of French students and worked outside all day. The results are disappointing. I'm badly out of practice and terribly bothered by onlookers. So far I haven't much to show.

Materials certainly cost plenty here and paper is rationed - even notebooks. The same drawing pencils I pay 15 cents for in the U.S. cost 35 cents here in the town where they are made! Everything else is in proportion or even more extravagantly priced.

How the poor people in this town live is beyond me. Ordinary wine of which the average French family drinks at least a bottle a day is now 100 francs more or less the French tell me. It used to be 10-20 francs. There is virtually no milk, no meat, no eggs, although these latter were plentiful when I was here before recently.

In the less expensive French cafes, a meal consisting of mashed potatoes, two small pork chops, bread and ordinary wine (no butter, no salad, no coffee, tea or milk, no dessert) costs from $4-6 per person. You'd pay probably 35-50 cents in the States. This is not a case of sticking the foreigner. This is what the French people pay for I am only in these places with French civilians and it is the same for all.

Fortunately, oysters are in season and plentiful and not too expensive. They cost about $1.00 a dozen (raw) for good ones and with bread and white wine make a reasonable meal.

A very ordinary sandwich consisting of bread, butter (sometimes) and some small pieces of sausage costs .50-$1.00. With any better meat - if you can find it - the cost is $2.00.

Shoes are $100.00. Dresses $500. Nothing very extraordinary about either. Stockings cost $16 a pair. How much shopping would the girls like to do? I don't know what men's stuff costs. I haven't seen any. I think anything of theirs is black market, which is terrific.

Withal, the town is jammed. Every place is full. Theaters and all places of entertainment are packed to the bursting point, and they are not cheap. The small show houses cost .30-.50 while the larger ones run $1.00-$1.50.

But more of this later.

Love,

Bob

P.S. I understand the 90th goes home next month and XII Corps folds up in about a month. There is indication that this school may close the end of Dec. although they are trying to get an extension.

  Home  |  Military Career  |  Letters  |  Photos  |  Battles  |  References
Copyright © 2013 The Family of Robert F. Burns