April 21, 1945 Soviets reach Berlin.
|"Franklin D. Roosevelt Bridge The
treadway bridge over the Elbe River. |
Built for 83rd Div. by 234th Engr. Bn. 1115 Engr. group-XIX Corps..."
Bridge crosses Elbe River, Barby, Germany
by H.J. MacMillan;
The task of the XIX Corps was over then.......
Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945.
XIX Corps was the first into Belgium, the first into Holland, the first to reach the Wurm River, the first to breach the Siegfried Line against serious opposition, first to reach the Roer River, and the first American troops to reach the lower Rhine. After a delayed crossing of the Rhine, troops of the corps were the first to reach the Weser, first to reach and cross the Elbe, and would have been first in Berlin, had it fallen to American troops in the Grand Strategy of the war to take Berlin. From the beaches of Normandy to in early June to east of the Elbe - over 800 miles - the Corps has been out of line only two days. XIX Corps had demonstrated itself, from Normandy to the Elbe, to be one of the outstanding fighting teams of this war.
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"
19 April 1945
Well I received your letter of the 8th of April last night about 9:30pm and surely was glad to hear from you once more. In fact I had a letter from everyone in the family including two from Gwen. Yours was the latest in date by 5 days.
You mentioned Joe being at Camp Edwards, Mass, yes, Mother wrote and told me about him. She didn't mention a courts martial though. What type is it? General, Special, or Summary? I hope he does get a discharge. That boy is just not all there at times. The Army can't do him any good. I know. I've told Gwen to steer clear of him unless Mother & Dad are around if he does come around. I'd feel much more satisfied at her safety. I feel very peculiar towards him. I can't exactly express myself.
Well, how are you making out with that job that was dumped into your lap? I guess by this time you have either dug yourself out of it or you are buried 5 ft under it. Don't let it get you down, Sis.
Incidentally, thanks for getting those slips for Mother for Gwen and me. Mother wrote me saying that they were very nice. I'm glad she liked them.
So you are still in practice taking care of peoples children, well wait until you get back home as a civilian, Bernard and I will make sure you never spend a lonely evening. Ha! ha!
Say, have you heard any more form Henri? I hope he gets home as you stated he had hopes of. Boy I've got almost 1 1/2 years over here now! 2nd July. I never thought I'd make it and now I feel I'll be lucky to be home for Christmas of `46. It will seem like a nightmare to get back to the States once more. Well give Henri my regards when you write next.
Well, how has the weather been lately? We've been having really swell weather. The sun has shone every day for almost 3 weeks now and it has been quite warm. All the fruit trees are in bloom. Over here in Germany they plant their cherry and apple trees all alongside the roads. They are very pretty. This is really beautiful country. Those Harz Mountains we came through were beautiful. The hills are heavily wooded; most of them with pine trees. They remind me of Louisiana but the country is not like people say the Germans are the cleanest people on earth.
These towns are positively filthy. When we were in Blomberg I got bit up by a bunch of fleas. All the buildings are lousy. I don't know how these people stand the smell of them. The Dutch are by far the cleanest and neatest people.
Well, Sis, there is not much more news here right now so I guess I'll close for now. That little daughter of ours is fine. I'll tell you more later. So long for now and don't work to hard.
Lots of Love from Gwen
Carol and myself'