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Lest We Forget – Relive The Past

Cold K rations on Christmas Day – Battle of the Bulge

December 28, 2016 joedemadio 3 Comments

Today, December 28, it is exactly 72 years ago that 1st Lieutenant Orvin E. Nelson wrote a letter to his wife after his first days during the Battle of the Bulge. He was in M Company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division. The previous letter that I posted of him was written on December 17th 1944, but at the time of writing the 10th regiment of the 5th Infantry Division hadn’t participated in the Bulge, yet. On December 23rd the 1t0h regiment arrived in Luxembourg and went into action near the Michelshof farm. After five days of continuous fights near Michelshof, Hill 313 and Echternach, Nelson wrote a letter to his wife.

In these letters we see the same thing as in the previous ones: Love for his wife. Another thing that’s very interesting about his letters is the way he describes his meal he had on Christmas day: cold K Rations, which after being heated up, still tasted cold. You then clearly see that he’s struggling with memories of the things he has seen on the battlefields. I can imagine Nelson must’ve been through situations we can’t imagine ourselves. The rest of the letter continious with the love for his wife and memories of back home.

I will show you the full letter below. As you can see there’s one red word in there. I’ve tried my best to decipher the letters, but a lot of the writing is hard to read. Feel free to help me out by reading the scanned letters below.

Dec 28, 1944

To the one I love, my darling wife.
                Well dearest, after a few days of hard work, I can write to the sweetest girl in the world. Last night dear I received 4 of your letters, but they were of all different numbers as late as Dec 4. But dear, I think I’ve read them 3 or 4 times already. So right now my moral is up. Oh dearest, I’m so in love with you honey. You’ve made me so very happy, and now that I’m away our letters will just have to keep up going along with our happy memories. If this war could only up & get me with u I can be home again with you & Mitzi; Dear I had to laugh when your letter told me about her in bathtub & toilet. Dear remember the nite I put her in with me because she was watching me?
                Well honey, after being 3 days late we had our Xmas dinner. Turkey with all the trimmings. On xmas we had cold ‘K’ rations. I was on an O.P. so I heated my  pork loaf up in my hole & it tasted pretty cold. Honey, I’m not going to tell you what I’ve been doing since I last wrote you, because you’d worry & I would rather forget the past. All I can say is that your prayers were answered.
                Imagine that you & Thelma had a good old wind session. Let me know where Gary is.  I bet I got a better outfit than he did. How is Pops Carbunckles now? He had them start when I was there, didn’t he?
                Oh Jen honey you be sure let me know if you got all that money I sent you. I still have the receipt for them yet. Yes dear, when I get back,we’ll build our own little home just for us & our basketball team. Oh gee honey, well he is way happy then. Oh dearest, I’m so in love with you. You’re just the sweetest girl in the world darling + you’re all mine.
                Well honey, I’m carrying a tommy gun in my jeep & a Jerry pistol on my hip for more protection. Honey, I don’t want you to worry too much about me. Just remember that I love you with all my heart + & I’ll be home safe & sound. You just keep praying for me darling. And take good care of yourself & Mitzi.
                Oh yes dear, I request some cheese spread and olive spread & some crackers. Well honey, I must close now.  So darling, good bye for now & remember that I love you with all my heart.. Tell Pop hello & pet Mitzi for me.
P.S.  Loads of kisses honey.                                                                                        Your loving husband forever
                                                                                                                                              Jim

 

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I hope I’ve provided you another interesting point of view in the life of 1st Lieutenant O.E

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Comments

  1. Carl Christensen
    December 28, 2016 - 11:50 pm

    I believe I have deciphered the majority of the letter, here’s my take:
    To the one I love, My darling wife…
    Well dearest, after a few days of hard work, I can write to the sweetest girl in the world. Last nite dear I received 4 of your letters but they were of all different numbers as late as Dec. 4. But dear I think I’ve read them 3 or 4 times already. So right now my moral [sic] is up. Oh dearest I’m so in love with you. Honey, you have made me so very happy and now that I’m away and letters will just have to keep up going along with our happy memories. If this war would only hurry up & get over with, so I can be home again with you & Mitzi; Dear I had to laugh when your letter told me about her in the bathtub & toilet. Dear remember the nite I put her in with me because she was watching me?
    Well honey, after being 3 days late we had our Xmas dinner. Turkey with all the trimmings. On Xmas we had cold “K” rations. I was on an O.P. so I heated my ____ loaf up in my hole & it tasted pretty cold. Honey, I’m not going to tell you what I’ve been doing since I last wrote you, because you’d worry & I would rather forget the past. All I can say is that your prayers were answered.
    Imagine that you & Thelma had a good old wind session. Let me know where Gary is. I bet I got a better outfit than he did. How is Pops _____ now? He had them start when I was there didn’t he?
    Oh yes honey you be sure & let me know if you got all that money I sent you. I still have the receipts for them yet. Yes dear, when I get back, we’ll build our own little home just for us & our basketball team. Oh gee honey, we’ll be so very happy then. Oh dearest, I’m so in love with you. You’re just the sweetest girl in the world darling & you’re all mine.
    Well honey I’m carrying a Tommy Gun in my jeep & a Jerry pistol on my hip for more protection. Honey, I don’t want you to worry too much about me. Just remember that I love you with all my heart. & I’ll be home safe & sound. You just keep praying for me darling. And take good care of yourself & Mitzi.
    Oh yes dear, I request some cheese spread and olive spread & some crackers. Well honey, I must close now. So darling goodbye for now & remember that I love you with all my heart. Tell Pop hello & pet Mitzi for me.
    P.S. Loads of kisses honey.
    Your loving husband forever Jim

    • joedemadio
      December 29, 2016 - 12:04 am

      Hey Carl, thank you SO much for your help. This is definitely what the letters are saying. I wish I could shake your hands right now!

  2. Linda Watts
    January 7, 2017 - 8:32 pm

    I believe what the soldier was saying was carbuncle. A carbuncle is a cluster of boils, very painful condition.

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