|Monastery, Kornelimunster, Germany; monastery built c. 1728; served as command post for XIX Corps Henry Jay MacMillan|
|Hall of Knights, Monastery,
Kornelimunster, Germany, used as XIX Corps war room. |
Men review photographs and maps along the walls.
Image rendered by Henry Jay MacMillan XIX Corps artist
|Images captured in Kornelimunster and sent to Gwen, who labeled them and maintained a scrapbook of the images Bill sent to her.|
S/Sgt. 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 Germany"
8 January 1945
Well I really made a good haul on the mails day before yesterday. I received eight letters and three Christmas cards. Three letters from you, including your letter of the 26th of December, written while in Baltimore. That one really made good time. Well I'll start with your letter of the 20th November.
You asked me questions such as: Does the fact that Gwen is married to a U.S. citizen make her one also? Will the baby be a citizen of the U.S. or a British subject? Gwen is not a citizen and will not be until she takes out her papers which will take five years after she makes formal application. About the child, it is a U.S. citizen because I am a citizen. Does that answer your questions OK? I hope so. If you can think of any more questions I may be able to answer for you, just sound off, kid.
You asked me for something for the baby. The conditions the mails are in these days, Gwen would probably be over in the States before the things arrived here. Save your trouble until they get home, then you can spoil her and the brat also, Auntie. By the way, stop that "itty bitty" stuff. You slay me with that stuff. I'm hoping that Gwen will be able to make the trip over about the middle of May. Of course there are a lot of ifs, ands and buts about it. We will have to wait until she is ready to leave and then act quickly.
Well now that I know the dope, (not meaning Henri) let me ease your mind and tell you that you did not send me a whole letter from you to Henri. All you did was start one on the back of one of the sheets of paper that you wrote my letter on.
Incidentally, remember the boy whose picture I sent you from England and you said that certainly is a husky bruiser, well he said to wish you a "Happy New Year". The other day he was washing and he pulled up his undershirt and what do you think he found? on his chest? Yes, he had three hairs on it. Then I said when are you going to grow up Junior. Then I pulled up my shirt. Of course, he is knocking me in the head because I just told him what I had written to you. Well all joking aside, we get along OK and just like one big happy family. You know what the doctor said one day at one of our routine inspections?
He said I would really be a louses paradise. Well sometimes I wish I didn’t have so much hair.
You asked about the name Wilbur Charles. Well I just checked with the Judge Advocate about the name and I found out that it must be Wilbur Cecil if we want it to be a JR. I've written Gwen and told her that if it had to be a JR., like she wished, if a boy, that she would have to name it Wilbur Cecil. So I guess it will be Wilbur Cecil if a boy and if a girl, Carol Ann. What do you think of that? Of course, it won't make much difference because by the time I get an answer from you, it will be too late. Gwen expects to go into hospital about the 8th of February. The last letter I had form Gwen, she said that she never felt better in her life and that she was going to go through with colors flying. She is a rather spunky girl. You'll like her very much when you meet her.
Well it has been rather cold here and we have had quite a bit of snow lately. In fact, it is snowing right now and in the last hour and a half there has been about three inches of fall. Well we are going to try and take some pictures of each other the next couple of days. If they are good, I'll send you some. Incidentally, how about some snapshots of yourself, Sis. You never did send Gwen any, did you? Bernard and Jane took some of themselves and Mother and Dad and sent to Gwen and they also sent me a set of them. They were rather good.
You asked me if I have received any of the packages marked "Xmas packages". Yes I think I have received about all that you have sent. I'm missing about two that Mother and Dad sent me though. That bracelet has never come through. Did you ever receive that little bottle of perfume I sent you from Paris? I also sent Mother a package with some things in it, (Dutch shoes, letter opener from Waterloo, Belgium, little knife pin from Waterloo, Belgium Etc.) I don't think I marked any of the packages in that box for you. I figured I had sent you several things already and had better get Bernard and Jane and Souil and Harriet something. I hope that perfume doesn't get lost. I know you'll like it. It was gardenia.
I guess this is just about the longest letter you have ever received from me since I've been in the Army, and don't expect every letter to be this long. I'm neglecting Gwen tonight.
I have written her almost every night since I returned from England. I think I have only missed about three nights and two of them were unavoidable, but tonight I just can't seem to think of anything in particular to say to her. She'll excuse me.
You asked me how the colonel is. He left us about a month ago for good ol' Washington, D.C. He accepted a job in the War Department. He already had about 36 months overseas so he really deserved to go home. He served in Alaska, Kiska, Attu, Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, and was last in on the Kwajalain Islands invasion then came over and picked us up in England.
Well, Sis I guess I'll close for tonight and hope to hear from you again real soon. Give me a nice long letter next time. I'll bet you can't beat this one. So long for now. Take it easy, kid.
Loads of Love from Gwen and me,