Part of the Prisoner of War Interrogation team at Corps had been attached to the 113th Cavalry near Sittard when we were getting ready to hit for the Roer. The officer with them was on his way to his old home, with a good escort of the American Army: Lt. Ernest Kaufman had grown up just on the other side of the Roer, in a little town just south of Duren. Just before he had been forced to leave Germany in '38 all the countryside had known about the great new dams that were being built in the wooded area up the Roer. He came and talked about it to Colonel Washington Platt, the G-2, who sent him to First Army with the urgent advice to listen to him. The Army Engineer did, and it was news to him. Lt. Kaufman was among the first into Aachen, and made for where he knew the information would be: the offices of Water Administration. He had to blow a safe to get them, but there they were - the complete Wehrmacht plans for the flooding that would follow the destruction of the three great dams, with the delineation of the area to be flooded, the speed of water, the duration of the flooding and all. Now the Army was really interested, and we could see the results in the way the plans were laid. It was then, on the 16th of December, that the Ardennes offensive of von Rundstedt struck, and forced a postponement of three months in all our plans. The Corps moved south of Aachen and took over the divisions formerly under VII Corps: the 104th, the 78th, and the 8th. There with a Command Post in an old monastery in Kornelimunster, the Corps held the north shoulder of the "Bulge", rebuffed German patrols, and later pushed forward toward the big dams on the fronts of the 78th and 8th Divisions.
S/Sergent 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, 6, Minnesota
"Somewhere in Holland"
15 December 1944
Howdy, Sis! I received two letters from you yesterday dated 9th and 12th November. It's about time I was hearing from you once more. The mail has been lousy going and coming lately. Did you ever receive that small bottle of perfume from Paris that I sent you? I hope it hasn't gone astray.
So you think Gwen is a good luck charm for me. I wonder what makes you feel that way. Gwen is a wonderful girl and will really make a good mother & wife. Incidentally she hates smoking and drinking. I think maybe that is something else that made me like her so much.
Don't worry about not being able to send her anything more than you have. I hope to be able to get Gwen to the States about April or may of next year. Of course, a lot depends upon how strong the baby is and whether or not Gwen feels like she can make the trip. The sooner the better, I figure. She'll be much happier, too. If you have anything you want to send her, send it to me, I'll see that she gets it.
Hey you dummy, that insignia I sent you is mine (XIX CORPS). Here is a paper clipping you may be interested in. Ops! Excuse me. I sent the last one I had to Mother.
So you think I'm going to let you spoil my child, huh?
Not on your life. You probably won't pay any attention to mine if Jane has twins. I wouldn't like that. One at a time goes further. I guess they'll all be spoiled. I haven't seen any children around that home that didn't become spoiled. We'll see.
I had a letter from Gwen day before yesterday dated 5th December and she is still feeling fine. I feel certain everything will be OK with her.
I haven't heard from Souil & Harriet for sometime but I guess she is OK. Harriet was very fortunate to get a job right next door to where Souil works. I hope she'll decide to stay with him for the duration or as long as he remains in the States.
Well, Sis, there is not much more news now so I guess I'll be signing off. So long and take care of yourself I hope you had a nice Christmas at home "Lucky".
Lots of Love from Gwen and Me,
P.S. Can you get any cheese up that way?