The following text in blue, is found in the XIX Corps Publication " Normandy to the Elbe," a copy of which, is in my archives. An excerpt of the content is reproduced here to provide the blog reader a sense of what was taking place in the XIX Corps up to the time the "Letter to Mary" in this blog entry was written.
Day by day the Corps units came in, got their assignments and dug into their jobs. The Corps Artillery began its work, and its effectiveness was apparent at once. Many of us carried on our jobs shuttling between the Command Post and the Front, learning by hard experience which roads were under fire, how a burp-gun and an 88 sounded, and what the fighting was like down where efficiency or inefficiency in our jobs meant lives.
Almost at once however there was the supply problem. Artillery ammunition was rationed, and when the terrific four-day storm blew in we sat with our fingers crossed, only a few rounds to a gun, and hoped nothing would happen. The slow tempo of peasant life in Normandy seemed little affected by our presence. A double row of men and officers crouched in some ditch down near Airel or St. Clair would look up in surprise as a peasant wandered unconcernedly down the road under the fire of German mortars, going after his cows. But in Isigny we found the individuals who had waited for us as Liberators, the FFI of the area. And they were glad to see us, even in the powdered ruins of their homes.
When the French Major with Civil Affairs came into Isigny he had the first French uniform they had seen for all that time, and they crowded around him, with all the news at once. And soon every town you went to had the office of XIX Corps "Affaires Civiles", and a captain and a couple of sergeants in the mayor's office, with an interpreter; and the patient farmers sat in the ante-room waiting to go in and see the officer and ask their questions. There was that creamery Civil Affairs fixed up at St. Marguerite where the refugees were taken and fed, and sat around gossiping, waiting for a chance to go back to their homes. Text: Captain Fredric E. Pamp Jr (Public Relations Officer XIX Corps 1945)
S/Sergeant Wilbur C. Garner 33377578
G-1 Section, Hq XIX Corps
APO 270, c/o Postmaster, N.Y.
Mary W. Garner, SK2c
U.S. Naval Air Station
Minneapolis, Minnesota (6)
29 June 1944
"Somewhere in France"
I received your letter of the 10th of June today. It seems to have taken considerably longer for it to reach it's destination. I guess this thing will soon begin to run smoothly once more and it will be regular.
Yes, Mary, it's very interesting to compare the news you are receiving with the actual stuff. Of course, I cannot mention it so you derive no benefit form it.
I received two letters from Mother one from Gwen and one from Jane today. Jane verified the suspicion that you and Mother have had and said they expect it about 1st of January.
You asked what you could send me. Well now you've got me because I don't know what you can get. If you can get hold of any soup or canned or bottled meat spreads (or are they rationed?) you can send me some of those.
I'm sorry to hear about Souil not feeling so well. I surely hope he can get home for the 4th. Maybe that will help him some. Well Sis, I guess I'll close for now and hope to hear from you real soon again. Take it easy and don't study too long on those exams.Lots of luck, Sis
Lots of Love
P.S. That hard candy is really good. You can send some more if you find some. Thanks to you.