Prelude: Here is another letter from Young Hank to Frank & Esther Fairfield of Hornell. The letter says it was written on November 7, 1943, but the envelope is post-dated December 12, 1944… I’m going with the date on the letter and thinking that it was put in the envelope on a later date. (Just a reminder, I leave spelling mistakes and such intact.)
I received your letter today and was really glad to get it. It’s nice hearing from you. Thanks’ loads for writing.
I can see what you mean by a wide difference in opinion at home there. I would like to hear them some time. We feel the same way about this war. If it would end tomorrow, it would be ok by us to.
I’m sorry to hear that you lost your dog. That’s the trouble when you get a nice do you miss him when you loose him.
Don’t mind the spots on this sheet. I’m writing by candle light and the candle tipped over. I don’t have the ambition to write it over, so I’ll leave it messed up.
How is everything with you these days? I hope good. I’m getting so I want to see Hornell pretty bad, but I guess it will have to wait. Some day if things turn out right I’ll see it though. I really miss it. You don’t realize how much home means to a fellow until he gets away from it for a while. That’s one thing you can say this war is making us appreciate what we had.
You ask if there is anyone in in my outfit from home. There was one but mom sent me a clipping that he had been missing in action since September 11th. You may have known him, he was Salvatore Ladato. He was in a company and I didn’t get to see him very often. He was the only one though.
You ask how we live over here. It all depends on where we are. When were on the front and not in direct view of the enemy we sleep in pup tents. Of course, there are some times it can’t be done. You know we spend some time in fox holes to. That’s only natural saving that this is war. It’s not as bad as some people think? When were on the front we eat C and K rations. C rations come in cans and K’s in cardboard boxes. You have probably seen them both in magazines. The Kitchens we used when your back in rest. It’s pretty hard to explain by writing. We make out alright though.
Things are going along good for me. I can’t kick a bit. Of course, I’ll be glad to get home and start a home and family.
That’s about all for now. Tell Mr. Fairfield I said hello and not to get too many deer. I guess that’s all over now though. Good luck and take good care of yourselves. Thanks again for writing.
I sigh every time I read one of these letters from Young Hank. He just seems so nice, and normal and he says things exactly how I would think someone in his situation and in the 1940’s would say them. The war was taking its toll on everyone and Young Hank was in the middle of it. This letter is earlier than some of the others I have from him and later than some of the others too. He does not know that the war will end in 1945 and he doesn’t know he will be there two more years and eventually be sent to Germany… He is in the middle and missing home. I’m sad for him and proud of him too. He is always so positive. I can’t help be wonder if he made it back ok. I hope he did, because I really like Young Hank. I hope you do too!