Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Letters From The Front - Part II

     The second letter in the collection from Lt. John B. Armstrong to his sister Dorothy Armstrong Naylor is dated Sept 7, 1943. By this time the third division had fought their way across Sicily and was preparing to invade Salerno.  The invasion occurred two days later.  
     My father had not seen his family for over a year.  His second child and oldest son, John, had been born the previous November.  He would not see them for another year. He knew that Dorothy was expecting her first child.  Her son, Charles, was born a week after this letter was written although Charles was probably born before this letter arrived.
     He mentions that his brother, Jim, is in love.  Jim and Marie were married on Oct 24, 1943, about six weeks later.  This meant that he missed the wedding of both of his younger siblings while he was overseas.
     The return address shows that he was at headquarters.  For a period of time he had been transferred to headquarters because he had a gift for military tactics.  He was there when his company was ambushed in a field laced with mines.  His captain and a large number of his fellow soldiers were killed.  He was spared because of the time he had spent at headquarters.  

     Below is an image of the letter followed by a transcription.

7 Sep 1943
Dear Dorothy & Everett,
     Hope everyone is fine.  I suppose by now your baby is here or will be by the time you get this.  I will be waiting to hear about it.
     I hear Adele, the children, Jim & Marie were all up to see you.  I guess Jim is pretty much in love.  I haven't heard from him for some time now.
     How did you like my family by now?  I guess they've really grown.  Its been over a year now since I was home.  I hope it won't be that much more.  Things are looking good now.
     Be sure to write to me & tell me the news.  I'll be waiting for it. 

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