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

Le Havre, France

January 21, 1946

Dear Mom,

We left Namur on Saturday morning on a direct train to Paris. It was not a particularly fast train. We left at 10 AM and reached Paris about 8 PM. However, it was a civilian train and stopped one hour at the Belgium border for customs inspection and a second hour across the border in France for French inspection.

We reached Paris too late to go on that night so we booked the next train at 1:30 PM Sunday. This gave me a chance to see the Lequiens again where I had a fine dinner of oysters and chicken. I don't know yet how Paulette cooked the chicken so fast. It was not much more than 30 minutes as her mother only found one in mid-morning. But it was really delicious.

The trip to Le Havre (Camp Herbert Tareyton) was somewhat worse than the others. We rode in English coaches 3rd class with stiff straight backs on a narrow, hard seat. There were 8 officers in a compartment. A good dog probably could have outdistanced the train at any point. We were supposed to arrive at 8:30 PM. We pulled in about 10 PM and reached camp an hour later. Ironically the civilian train which left Paris at five o'clock, passed us en route, and arrived ahead of us - about 9 PM! Fortunately, Paulette had fixed me some more sandwiches or I'd have had nothing to eat. Only three of us had anything, which we shared with the others so everyone had a little. Except at a halt, you couldn't move from the compartment. On the Belgian train you could go from car to car and there was a diner with a fair meal for about a dollar.

I had some enlisted men along, most of whom hadn't had anything to eat. After I pressed the camp people, they produced some hot coffee, hot canned chicken and hot potatoes with bread shortly before midnight. We were lucky to get in as we did, for we completed one packet which has only one other ahead of it for shipment. Some officers have been here 4 or 5 days and are in this same group. However, the most optimistic opinions give us about 5 days here. We began processing today. Now once more we just wait.

I will go to the Separation Center at Camp Grant. I thought possibly I might get to Ft. Sheridan since it's closer, but that's only going to Wisc. or Mich.

This is no place to linger long. It's a tent camp with some stoves but not too much fuel. Everyone is around scavenging boxes, etc. to burn. We managed to dig up a stove today after changing areas and had a fire all laid ready to light. But while everyone was out getting processed someone walked off with the stove intact!

I had four blankets last night and was none too warm. Although we have canvas cots and the tent is floored it is rather damp from melting snow. I have another blanket for tonight. Tomorrow I'm to get a flu shot which I'll probably need if I'm here five days.

The camp seems well supplied with theatres and Red Cross Clubs. I am writing from one of these now. It is just for officers and is packed tight. I imagine the enlisted clubs are the same. It is very warm here, which is why everyone comes here.

Love,

Bob

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