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.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Letter #18 from Henri Romieux 30 May 1944

Assigned to Task Force 52 for Operation Forager, John Land got underway for the liberation of the Marianas on 29 May 1944.

H. Romieux, SK1c, USNR USS John Land
c/o Fleet P.O.
San Francisco, Calif.

Mary Garner, SK2c, USNR
U.S. Naval Air Station
Wold-Chamberlain Field
Minneapolis, Minn. U.S.A. 

30 May 1944

Dear Mary, 

Thanks a lot for the letters which I received mostly at once, also the snaps. The one of you and your brother is the best of you I believe. Send some more if you get any please.
Glad you had a nice leave at home. Yes, I should have made your reservation this term too.

Well I'll really have plenty to tell you when I get back to good old Mnpls. There fellows like Hammon, can have their shore duty, I still say I'll take this preference. Yes - plenty of work, but at least one feels he is at least a small cog in a large wheel in getting at this damn war. At the University as I told you before - I felt absolutely useless Gals like you can carry that part on and better than we could at that. 

Had some nice swimming at a famous beach a couple times- but liquor and gals were seen scarce.
Glad to hear you like your apartment- Yes I can just see you with that religious fanatic.
Well Mary- that's about all for today- Thanks a lot for your letters and really I appreciate them. Send them V-Mail and I think they will get to me a little faster- thanks- say hello to Edwards please. 

Love Henri

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