|Bills image captured crossing the Roer River|
|Bills image captured entering the City of Julich in rubble.|
|Bills images captured entering Julich after crossing the Roer|
Once across the Roer, there was no pause in the attack. The Germans had been surprised by our ability to cross at all, with the river at such a state of flood, and the 29th and 30th gave them no chance to recover. The thousands of mines, the miles of anti-tank ditches and defensive works prepared as a result of "community digging", were rapidly overrun and the ground consolidated. The enemy was also thrown off balance by the direction taken by the Ninth Army's main effort, as made by XIX Corps, once across the Roer. He had expected us to head for Cologne, and when the attack angled east and then north, all his preparations were thrown off balance. The German divisions wheeling to meet the threat, and those coming down from the north as reinforcements, were caught in mid-maneuver by the speed of the XIX Corps' advance. Once on the run, they got no breathing space to stop and organize. The Corps stepped up its speed day by day The rush never stopped until the Rhine was reached.
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"
4 March 1945
Well, I guess I've neglected you lately, but I couldn't help it the way things have been popping over here lately. I haven't even been able to write to Gwen for 3 nights. We have really been going like a house of fire.
It seems just like it was August and September. Well we are just one step closer now to getting back home.
Here's the news you are probably waiting for. The baby was born on the 17th of February at 7:40 pm. It's name is Carol Ann and she weighed exactly 8lb 8oz. Quite a large baby I'd say, wouldn't you Aunty? Ha!Ha! You are twice as old as I am. You were twice an Aunt and I've only been a Uncle once. If you don't get it sit down and figure it out.
I received another package of nuts from you in the last week that was mailed on 8th of January. Thanks a lot Boy! They were surely good. Well the weather here has been pretty lousy lately. We've had rain, sleet, snow and very little sunshine. It has also gotten pretty cold again, too. I guess it is still rather cold where you are also.
Mary, this is a short letter tonight but I'll do better next time. I've got to get off another one before I go to bed and it is now 9:00P.M. Both Gwen and Carol are doing fine. So long for now.
Lots of Love,
P.S. I'm enclosing a money order for $8.00. I don't know exactly when Easter is but would you send Mother some flowers or some wearing apparel(gloves, purse, etc.) for Easter? Thanks a million, Sis. I surely hope I'll be able to repay you some day for all the favors you've done for me. Lots of Luck.