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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Letter #60 from Henri C Romieux 16 January 1945

January 3, 1945 General MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Admiral Nimitz in command of all naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan.
January 9, 1945 U.S. Sixth Army invades Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Phillipines.

Henri C. Romieux, SK1c V-6 USNR
c/o Fleet P.O.
San Francisco, Calif.


16 January, 1945

Mary Dear,

Again just a few lines in a hurry just to let you know all is fine by me. Have received no mail for quite a while now so that makes it difficult to write - because I can't even have your questions to answer. So far I have received one Christmas package - a good book - "Barbary Coast" from a chum of mine in Minneapolis - But then I have something to look forward to - just think of all the mail I'll have all at one time- maybe.

Well, dear I suppose by now you have been home and are back to the old grind again. I sure am anxious to hear all about the vacation.
Did I tell you that our Supply Officer was finally relieved- ha had had his orders a long long time ago. Believe we are lucky because the new one seems to be a swell fellow too and quite easy to get on with.
I have lots to say but I guess it will have to keep for a while anyway.
Please excuse the pencil- but I am down in one of the storerooms writing this and the movie is going on just a deck above- so I can't go thru and get my pen. Oh yes we have movies most every nite in the hero's mess hall, but I seldom go- You know I never was a movie hound anyway.

Mary I think of you a lot and hope we can see each other again soon. keep your chin up and write often-please-

Love Henri

No I did not get that letter you intended for your brother, but I am looking forward to it.

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