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 26, 2014

Letter #61 from Henri C Romieux 20 January 1945

January 11, 1945 Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. carrier-based planes. 

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

C/o Supply Office

20 January 1945

Mary dear,

Guess what? I just today received that nice Christmas present. Really it pleased me very much and is a good picture of you I think. You know now I have it before me on my desk here as I am writing to you and you have no idea how it has hiked up my morale. Thanks a lot, you sure had me curious as to what it could be, and not a thing could have given me more pleasure. Now that makes two Christmas presents I have received so far, the other was a book from a Chum of mine in Minneapolis, "Barbary Coast". Not a new title but I found it quite interesting especially after spending the time I did in Frisco.

Is it not strange that I have not received the letter you intended for your brother, wonder where it could have gotten to.
You know I'll let you know if I get it. Had I his address I would send it direct to him upon receipt. I bet he got a big kick out of that mix up.

Sorry to hear you don't think you made out so good in your exam for SK1c but take it from me, the SK2c is much better off the best rate in the Navy. You know I would not give a damn if sometime soon I was busted to that because at least it would give me something to look forward to again in rates as CSK aboard this ship seems to be absolutely out for me, and besides I'm not too anxious to get it. Very few advantages and many draw backs. 

Well dear the censor says that now it can be told that we visited the Japs at Lingayen Gulf, so yours truly has another star in his campaign bar. The way I figure it that makes five stars so far we are entitled to. Not bad eh, for such a short time out? Well dear that's enough egotism for a long time, so will say good nite and thanks for the present.

Please excuse the scribble of a signature but my pen just went dry I guess or something.

Love- Henri

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