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.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Letter #71 from Henri C Romieux 3 March 1945

March 2, 1945 U.S. airborne troops recapture Corregidor in the Phillipines.
John Land loaded cargo and supplies in the anchorage at Ulithi until 5 March 1945, when she got underway with Task Unit 12.6.1.

Henri C. Romieux, Sk1c V-6 USNR
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California

Mary Garner, SK2c USNR
Supply Office
U.S. Naval Air Station
Wold Chamberlain Field
Minneapolis, Minnesota

3 March 1945

Mary Dear,

I do hope you will excuse the long lapse in my correspondence. But I assure you it was not caused by my lack of thinking about you but was just impossible for me to write and I hope you will understand.

Now to begin with- thanks lots - for the nice Valentine and sentiment that went with it. Have just finished reading your letters of February 11 and 14 for about the fifth time at least. Yes dream on about the spring time but for me I would gladly take of that good old Minnesota sub-zero winter as against this heat out here. 

The jungles were never meant for me-(my pen just went dry so please excuse me while I fill it) Yes indeed it sure would be nice to be at home now- you and Mother and me at a good old "dinner at home" and listening to the radio and arguing over the various usual happenings at home. Sounds almost too good to ever be true.
You know I am surprised you don't keep all those awful letters all tied up in pink ribbons (not really tho- I no doubt would be if you did)- no kidding did you really dig out the old ones and read them over? 

You dear old sentimentalist. You know I guess I am just too matter of fact. No if some sound lonesome it is no fault of yours- just the general atmosphere out here being so far from those you like the most. (Yes at that its your fault that way) Your guess is almost correct if you remember what you said in your letter of the 14th. But the guess about going home I guess is a long way off. Could happen maybe next fall or late summer. Yes that party was the first of April I believe. Yes I am laughing anyway- only fifteen times wrong - OK well you no doubt will be right nice before I get there.
Well dear, I guess this is enough of this foolishness and I had better start saying good nite. Thanks heaps for your letters- really I don't know what I would do if they were not to continue. Not much in the way of news I can talk about today. 

All is well and I am really in a good mood lately.

Good nite - dear and love- Henri

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