About this blog

As the author of this blog, Karen L Garner Martin Messick, I am the daughter of an American soldier, Wilbur (Bill) C. Garner, Sr. and Women's Royal English Navy service woman (British Wren) Gwendoline Rosa Wilkins, who met and married during World War II. They lived and loved for over 50 years before Mother passed in 2000. When she did I helped Dad with every day chores when I could. One day I was helping him clear things out and I lifted a plastic bag out of the seat of Mom's piano stool, asking Dad, "Whats in this bag?" to which he replied, "Just some of Mary's old letters." Mary, his older sister, was still alive at the time, residing in an assisted living facility, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I put the letters back in the piano seat thinking he did not want me to open the letters.
When Dad passed two years later, I inherited Mary's letters.
When I began to read them, I found they were mostly letters from Dad to Mary while he was in World War II ("The War"). I could not put them down. I wished I had opened them the day I first saw them so that Dad and I could have had conversations about them, but that was not to be...so as I read through these "Letters to Mary" I began to get a glimpse into Dad's young years when he met Mom and his time as a soldier. I have researched events during World War II to enhance my understanding of what was happening in the war as each letter came to broaden my understanding of what he might have been experiencing. I knew he landed on the beaches of Normandy, France D-Day plus 1 as he recounted his memory of that day to me when he was dying from Leukemia. It was horrifying. There were also letters from a companion Mary had met while in Minneapolis, he had been deployed overseas. I have entwined them chronologically with Dad's letters as it gives a greater dimension to the war itself. I intend to editorialize as necessary to explain personal relationships and situations as the story unfolds through the "Letters to Mary." I welcome any questions, comments and feedback. As the "Greatest Generation" fades away, I felt compelled to share these letters and story in hopes of continuing the legacy they left for the world. Let us never forget the untold years and lives that were sacrificed for freedom!
If you have stumbled upon this blog I have added a blog archive at the bottom of the blog page. Continue to scroll down to access the Blog Archive. The posts are chronologically listed and to follow the story it is best to start with the first post in December 2013.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Letter #13 from Henri Romieux 2 April 1944

H. Romieux, SKc1, USNR
USS John Land (AP-167)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco

Mary Garner SK2c, USNR
c/o Naval Air Sta.
Minneapolis, Minn. San Francisco
2 April

Dear Mary,

Just a line in great haste- Thanks for your letter received this morning. Hope you finally found a suitable place to live at, and don't have to freeze.
Oh that Hammon- did you ever see any one so curious? Well as far as I am concerned- he won't ever get any information out of me, and I don't believe he will ever ask me either.

Had to work all day Sunday, yesterday- because we go aboard Friday at 0600. Thank God- at last. Expect we will be someplace on the California coast for about ten days- then shove off for a last minute change of outfitting us all in Marine Clothes plus cold weather gear and Prestone Anti-freeze for the Alp's has got us all wondering where in hell we are going.

Well Mary, write often please and I'll try to do like wise and take good care of yourself up there- don't let those Ens. waves get you down and please excuse me for addressing the last letter SK3c-

Congratulations- you sure deserve it- and I know When are you going to make first? 

Your pal Henri
P.S. New address
U.S.S. John Land, (AP-167)
c/o Fleet Post office
San Francisco, Calif. 



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