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

September 9, 1945

Dear Mom,

At one time I thought I'd get out of the Army without being in an Army hospital but no such luck. It's my eye again.

When I came back from Paris a week ago today, my eye seemed almost well. But after I got back it got redder and redder. Finally on Friday I went to the hospital to get the eye specialist to look at it.

He said the solution 99 and ointment they gave me in Paris were too mild. He took them away and gave me some sulfathiazole to put in 4 times a day. I put it in as directed and then began to think it was too strong for by night my eye was terribly sore. In the morning the pain was so bad that I decided to go back to the hospital and get it check instead of waiting until Monday as planned. The lid was once more heavily swollen and all around the upper eye was very sore.

The eye doctor was away at Jewish services and another doctor looked at me. He put some stuff in my eye and some more ointment and put a patch over it.

Since he wasn't the eye doctor, he wanted me to be seen by the latter. Also since my eye was so sore he said I ought to sign in at the hospital where my eye could be better taken care of. I returned in late morning and was put in a room with a colonel from Corps whom I knew slightly.

The eye doctor stopped by after lunch and looked my eye over very carefully. He wasn't very happy about the patch and took it off. Nor was he satisfied with looking at my eye under the light with a magnifying lens on his eye. He took me in to one of those elaborate gadgets where you put your chin in a rest and he focuses various lights on your eyes while looking through some magnifying lenses,.

Afterward he said it was no wonder my eye was so sore. In addition to the acute conjunctivitis I had corneal ulcers which is what made my upper lid so sore and my every turn of the eyeball a pain.

He set up quite a routine for me which must be having its effect for much of the soreness is gone today. I get penicillin shots (40,000 units) every four hours and sulfa pills and some other kind of pills and I have to bathe my eye with boric acid packs from time to time. I also get some stuff (drops) in my eye which is dilating the pupil (I wear dark glasses) and the sulfathiazole ointment about four times a day.

The doctor looked at my eye today and said it was still aggravated but looked better. He certainly is very skillful at handling my eye which as you know always terrifies me. The orderlies who put in the ointment are less adept. The nurses are not so bad but they have their trouble too.

This is a very fine hospital on the outskirts of Regensburg. It was built in 1929-1931 by the Catholic Brothers of Charity and was operated by the sisters and brothers. Although the U S Army now has taken over the hospital, the sisters are still around to supervise the cleaning by the civilians and are very insistent that everything be immaculate. Each room and all the corridors has a large wooden crucifix. There are two sections to the hospital, one for men and one for women. The Army uses both for men. The few women patients have their own rooms in the officer's ward where I am.

The rooms are very pleasant. All trim and the ceiling are white of course but the walls are a very pale lavender with zig-zags of green, orange and yellow stripes. It's much more restful than it sounds. An interesting item which I have not seen before (perhaps from my limited acquaintance with hospitals!) is that the bed stand instead of a drawer has a steel pull tray which can be used for the old heave-ho. It looks like a very sensible idea.

The hospital is very full, mostly with people getting fixed up before they go home. The nurses are a little short handed and have their hands full.

Although ambulatory patients are supposed to walk down to the mess hall on the first floor (I am on the third) for some reason they serve my chow in the room along with the colonel's. It's not bad chow and I seem always hungry enough to eat it all.

Today we had a very tasty chicken or tuna fish salad (one never knows) with potato chips (very delish), tomatoes, cake, peas and coffee.

Things are really in a furor at Corps (to get away from the hospital for a spell) over people going home. A bunch of units have been alerted and some of the Corps people are being shipped out with them.

Were I not planning on going to school next month I probably would be one of them. But I have everything just about arranged to take the next quarter in painting at Beaux Arts in Paris starting in October. This means I won't be home until at least February, but I think it will be better. Things right now are very confused. By the time I go it should be more organized. We already have lost a good many top people from Corps including my boss. I understand the new G-3 is going also, so I don't know who will be there when I get back from here.

Had I foreseen these rapid changes I wouldn't have asked for the shirts for now. I am overloaded with stuff to move. I may have to send some right back when they arrive. They probably will get here the end of the month.

Your fears regarding my funds for Paris were quite correct. I had to sell my camera to finance my trip. Meantime, Marnie's film came, but I'll hang on to it for I may get a chance to buy another camera.

In this connection I am canceling my allotment effective this month so I will have enough money to live on in Paris. The September check should be the last one you get. Because this still leaves me short, I wish Marn would send me $100 by money order from my account.

The finance officer thought I ought to get a checkbook from the bank there, but cashing personal checks here is very uncertain without credit being established. I think the money order with what I get at the end of September will see me through all right until the end of October when I get my full pay.



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