|From the archives of Wilbur C Garner|
(Colonel Charles M. Wells was Adjutant General, and that section everybody thought of as Rear Echelon stuff, but he was up reconnoitering for a new cemetery with Col. Louis L. Martin, G-1, one day when a German mortar dropped in and got him, and he was evacuated to a hospital. That somehow pointed up the fact that there were a lot of people helping to win the war who had to do it by being patient, and sitting in a chair and paying attention to small things. And they knew what St. Lo was costing, when they processed the casualty reports of over a thousand men a day about that time.)
Those last days before the breakthrough, the stuff really began to pile up. Not one of those orchards along those little roads was empty. You'd have a battery of 105's south of the road and just the other side a battery of 8 inch howitzers or 155 guns. The 105's said the big boys were a nuisance kept'em awake nights, but they were glad to have them there. the ditches were a mass of wire and cables now, and farther back toward the beach there were miles and miles of dumps: rations, ammunition, clothing, trucks, jeeps, parts, tanks, tires, and the road from Isigny south was always jammed with convoys.)
The great breakthrough attack tore a hole in the German lines on the 25th of July, and drove for Avranches and Coutances. XIX Corps's job was to guard the east flank of the breakthrough and prevent the enemy from sending reinforcements from the east. The German 2nd Panzer and 116th Panzer tried just this maneuver, and met XIX Corps troops just north and west of Tessy sur Vire. These two crack outfits were fought to a standstill and forced to retreat, and the gap remained in the German lines for the First and Third Armies to pour through. Again the Corps fulfilled a vital task when it took Vire, which in General Eisenhower's plan was the pivot for the First and Third in their swing east, north and northwest, to bottle up the German Seventh Army.
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
"Somewhere In France"
27 July 1944
I received your letter of the 16th July on the 25th. Boy that was really good time and I don't mean maybe. I received the handbag you sent and forwarded it to Gwen day before yesterday. Thanks a lot, Sis.
Say, I'm sorry to hear that you probably won't get you SK1c rating. That's tough kid. Maybe something will break for you. Why don't you try to get a transfer? maybe that would be possible.
I'll thank you for the package of meats you sent even though I haven't received it. Say, Sis, if you can find some cheese I'd be glad to get some. say, that news about Lt. General McNairs death was rather a shock wasn't it? That just goes to show that war is no respect of persons. From the news, the boys seem to be doing OK.
I got a letter from Mother yesterday and she said that Souil may get out of the service sometime this fall. Well I hope he is not disappointed.
28 July 1944
Well I didn't get a chance to finish this letter last night as a lot of work came up. Well, Sis I didn't get any mail today. I got a package of clothes I had asked for in May. Of course, it will come in handy and I don't mean maybe.
There hasn't been much news lately so I'll close this letter and get it off to you. I think I told you that I received Gwen's purse and mailed it to her. Thanks.
Goodnight for now.
Lots of Love