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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Letter #59 from Wilbur C Garner 15-16 January 1945

January 16, 1945 U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies link up after a month long separation during the Battle of the Bulge.

S/Sgt Wilbur C. Garner
G-1 Section, Hq XIX Corps
APO 270, c/o Postmaster, N.Y. 

Mary W. Garner, Sk2c
Supply Department
U.S. Naval Air Station
Minneapolis, 6, Minnesota

"Somewhere in Germany"
15 January 1945

Dear Mary,

Howdy Sis! What's new? Anything particular? I received the package you mailed for Gwen in October. The two slips. They were very pretty. Thanks a lot I know Gwen will love them. What am I thanking you for, they aren't for me but for mine. She is such a sweet and loveable person.

Well it won't be much longer now. Gwen is anxiously looking forward to 8th of Feb. I haven't heard from Gwen for sometime now so I can't give you much news from her. The mail is all tied up someplace but it should break soon.

16 January 1945

Good evening! I didn't get around to finishing that letter so thought I'd scratch you off my list first.

Well, today I finally received a letter from Gwen. In fact, two letters. One dated the 4th & one the 5th of January. Land knows where the rest of them are. The one before that I received was 17th of December.
Gwen is still feeling fine. She has been one lucky girl. I guess you are an Auntie by this time. How does it feel?

Well things were a little busier in the office today. I hope they pick up once more. Say, it looks like the Russians are doing a rather good job now days. More power to them. I'd like to see them go straight to Berlin.

Gwen is getting all her papers straightened out once more so that she`ll be able to leave whenever the time presents itself. I know she'll like the U.S. much better than England. 

Well, Sis, I guess I'll close for now and hope to hear from you again soon. Take it easy and good luck on those exams. So long for now.
Loads of Love from
Gwen and myself


P.S. I finally got Mothers package with the bracelet in it. It is very nice.

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