| "Franklin D. Roosevelt
Bridge/ over the Elbe river--/Built by 234th Eng."; soldier stands at
one end of bridge over Elbe River, Barby, Germany. |
by Henry J. MacMillan
After the sealing-off of the Ruhr, the Corps had two fronts, moving rapidly away from each other. To the northeast the 2nd Armored flanked by the 83rd and the 30th rolled toward Weser, the Elbe and Berlin; to the southwest the 8th Armored, the recently attached 95th, and the Regimental Combat Team of the 17th Airborne were reducing the Ruhr pocket. At one time these two fronts were 125 miles apart; but during the entire operation the units of the Corps were completely under its control, and the Divisions in good battle formation. It is doubtful if any Corps was ever faced with as many varied situations in such a limited time. The good order that obtained all through the operation, often under strong and sometimes unexpected resistance, speaks highly for the fine leadership, superior discipline, staff work and communications.
The 2nd Armored Division, attacking east in two columns, came up against the Teutoburger Forest on a long, high ridge running north and south all across the sector. In the early years of the Christian Era, the German tribes had inflicted a decisive defeat on the Roman general Varus and his legions on this dark and bloody ground. Here the Germans of this day tried to stand and fight . The 30th and 83rd Divisions came up rapidly to where the 2nd Armored was engaged in the passes of this forest, and together these three veteran organizations broke through after several days of heavy fighting.
By the 4th of April the 2nd Armored had reached the Weser River near Hameln, of Pied Piper fame.
S/Sgt. Wilbur C. Garner, 33377578
G-1 Section, HQ XIX Corps
APO 270, c/o Postmaster, N.Y.
Mary W. Garner, Sk1c
U.S. Naval Air Station
Minneapolis, 6, Minnesota
"Somewhere in Germany"
4 April 1945
Good evening, Sis. How are things with you these days? In all the excitement with Carol and my 7-day furlough, I think I've forgotten to congratulate you on your promotion. I think it is really swell.
I got the pictures of Carol that I took while in England tonight and I've done nothing but look at it. She is really one pretty little girl and she surely has a couple of proud parents and I'm not kidding. I know she'll be spoiled a plenty.
Did I thank you for that picture you sent me of yourself. Boy you look like some debutante to me. It is really a very good picture of you. Thanks a lot. Gwen liked her picture also.
Well it has certainly been a very lovely day today the sun has shone brilliantly and it has been fairly warm. I'm certainly glad to see summer just around the corner.
We only let these German civilians out on the streets between the hours of 0900 and 1200 noon and then only one from a family. You should see them just hanging in the doorways waiting for 0900 to roll around.
You should see my bed. I have set up a canvas cot and used a large double down comfort as a mattress. I have a large down pillow. Boy can I saw wood on that! And how! I don't think I have stirred the last two nights I slept there. I'm glad we have stayed here a couple days so we can all get rested and get some much needed sleep.
I hope you received my money order in time to send Mother some thing for Easter from Gwen and me. I know Mother received another one I sent her so I guess you got the one I sent you also. Would you do me a great favor. I had forgotten about Dad's birthday. I have just sent my spare cash to Mother. If you have any spare cash would you send Dad something for his birthday from Gwen and I. I'll send you $8.00 for it when I get paid the end of April. Thanks, Sis. I didn't get paid last month because I wasn't here to sign it so I'll get 2 months pay next month.
Well, Mary there's not much news here now so I'll say so long for now.
Lots of Love from
Gwen, Carol and me,