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, February 5, 2014

Letter #40 from Henri Romieux 29 October 1944

After anchoring in the transport area, the radio truck went ashore in an LCM while an LCVP embarked General MacArthur's party from Nashville (CL-43). At 1320, the LCVP, with Gen. MacArthur on board, came alongside for President OsmeƱa and his party, carrying them to the beaches for their historic radio broadcast to the Philippine people. At 1840 that evening, John Land departed for Hollandia, where she arrived 25 October. 

H.C. Romieux, SK1c, USNR
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.


Mary Garner, SK2c, USNR.
C/o Supply Department
U.S. Naval Air Station,
Minneapolis, 6, Minnesota.

29 October 1944

Mary Dear,

Just received two of your letters. I can't understand why mine are so long in reaching you.
Sorry to hear you have been worrying about me-cause I am fine and there just is not anything to worry about. That Gabriel Hester always was sensational in his broadcasts-you surely know that by this time. If my Mother has been listening to him she sure must be in a fine state of worry. Poor thing, she gets excited so easily too.

Glad you enjoyed yourself at the football game and yes I remember- but wish I had been there so we could go together-believe it or not! For real sun-burn tho' you should get some of this sun here - it really is hot.

Your lucky to have your leave approved and able to get home for Christmas, and I know you will have a nice trip. By the way better make your reservations if you have not already. You no doubt know the Penna. railway man there - he is really quite accommodating - can't think of his name just now.

Well dear, don't you for a second ever think I don't enjoy those letters and keep looking forward for the next. 

Bye till later-

Love, Henri

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