Grazian Archive:

Preface to The War Correspondence of Jill Oppenheim de Grazia and Alfred de Grazia (1942-1945)

World War II's largest collection of personal correspondence between a young woman and her equally young soldier man begins its first and original publication here exactly fifty-five years from the date of his joining the Army of the United States on February 19, 1942.

Click here to read the letters.




Preface to the War Correspondence

of Jill Oppenheim de Grazia and Alfred de Grazia

The correspondence of Jill Oppenheim de Grazia and Alfred de Grazia, first lovers and then married, conducted between February 1942 and September 1945, has been almost entirely preserved and constitutes some 1200 letters and 775,000 words. The Chief Archivist at Carlisle Barracks, Pa, where personal documents relating to the Army are stored, thinks that it may be the largest extant collection of correspondence between a soldier and a person on the home front: his opinion is shared by other persons at the Hoover Library at Stanford University, the Army Historical Section in Washington, and archivists elsewhere. It may be the last of its species, too, because the revolution in tele-communications that lets the front line talk to anyone in the world, because the great airplanes of today can carry troops everywhere including home, and because so long a war, and, hopefully, perhaps a great war itself, is not foreseeable.

Al was inducted into the Army as a private on February 19, 1942, a cloudy, freezing morning, as his autobiography, "The Taste of War" tells us. Jill's letters were addressed from Chicago, with a few exceptions mainly from San Francisco and New York City. A Smith College Graduate and University of Chicago Student in the years before the war and when she met Al, she was during the War a "swinging single," a housewife, a publicity writer for the Kelly-Nash Political Machine, a war worker, then a mother, and a habitue' of the University of Chicago circles of the time.

Al was a private, corporal, cadet, lieutenant and captain, in the artillery and then in intelligence and combat propaganda. His letters come from Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, the California-Arizona Mohave, Virginia, aboard ship, and further from dozens of locations in North Africa and Europe, representing seven military campaigns in Africa, Sicily, Italy, Rome, Southern France, and the Rhineland to Munich at War's end. His last post was as commander of combat propaganda operations of the American Seventh Army.

His experiences ranged from soldier's barracks to Washington OSS and on to all forms of uses and control of media (press, film, leaflet, loud-speakers, and infiltration over the front lines), prisoner interrogation, intelligence and counter-intelligence, and the command of troops. He was involved at critical turns of the campaigns, several early landings, the seizure of Bari, the Cassino fiascos, the liberation of Rome, the failure of the Montelimar trap, and the opening of the death camp at Dachau. He worked directly with British, French, Italian, and German troops, with civilians of several countries, with prisoners of war and displaced persons from the Soviet Union and other countries.

The collection of letters narrowly escaped loss on several occasions. It was enhanced by periods of separation during which telephone calls were impossible or too expensive; the longest separation endured for two and a half years, and the baby Kathy was two years old when she awakened howling at the first appearance of her father. The invention of V-mail permitted reliable, fast interchange, and what was important, the conservation of the packets of letters by the soldier.

The letters of Jill are more explicit and frank than those of her man, in good part because she is a superb writer with a biting wit and a knack for keen detailed observation. Too, an American officer writing to his wife from the war zone could not write freely. It must be borne in mind that the first person to read the letters of Al was his Army censor. His mail was censored by another officer of superior rank or by a special censor, often the same person for months on end. The writer must not mention any incident or attitude that would be of value were it to be known to the enemy. Poor morale, weapons functioning, casualties, specific locations, forthcoming operations, and even the numbers of facing enemy units were not to be told. The writer could not for other reasons describe hostile relations among officers and men, mistakes of judgement, embarrassing incidents of many kinds, and the heroism of the enemy when it might occur, nor could he criticize the leaders of the war effort.

The censor also keeps an eye peeled for material that might be exploited by an unfriendly newspaper back home, and thence, indirectly, lend aid and comfort to the enemy. If not the enemy, then one's generals and other officers, the Congress, the Department of War, the President. An everyday question of the marketplace, the workplace, the home, the telephones of friends, is "What do you hear from Al?" and the answer becomes fleet-footed gossip. Therefore, a "safe" letter would be devoid of larger interest, flattering to one's authorities and comrades, non-military, non-political, non-critical.

These encumbrances upon the soldier are legal and formal, and backed by recognized and vague sanctions both, beginning with the excision of material deemed "illegal," "offensive," or "irresponsible," proceeding through to the reporting to superior quarters a "dangerous" penchant of the writer, to reprimand, to removal from a position or even discharge from the service. But censorship also means that another person is reading one's mail, often a known person. Lovers' quarrels, gambling, confessions of fear, reflections upon one's timidities and fears, reflections upon life and death, expressions of intimate love, and financial difficulties are self-censored to avoid the anticipated invasion of privacy by the censor.

Nor was frankness of personal expression typically American; on the contrary, the soldier, like his censors and comrades, was more embarrassed, prudish, and restrained than his descendents fighting in the wars of Korea and Vietnam. There came later a remarkable opening of soldierly expression among themselves, in the press, and generally.

Besides, the soldier is often worried to express his feelings to a loved one, because he cannot control their effects. He cannot appear in person or via telephone or fax to make amends for his own failures in communicating fully and satisfactorily his feelings. (It is noteworthy how the immense correspondence at hand verily begins with a pathetic misunderstanding as the soldier enters the army.) He is afraid to picture conditions as bad as they are or to be pessimistic about the duration of his situation or of the campaign or war.

The faithfulness of a lover may be put to trial should the soldier estimate the duration of the war and his absence as long as he really thinks that it will be. Nor does he reveal much if any of the sexuality that may be occurring, whether homosexual or heterosexual or onanistic, whether of himself or of the people around him. The commission of illegal or embarrassing or immoral acts such as the killing or abuse of prisoners, cruelties to civilians, the useless destruction of property, and dereliction of duty, this so common, are hardly mentionable. Nor does the soldier typically describe how poor are his conditions of life or the danger he may be in, for he wishes to preserve his loved one from anguish or sorrow. Probably frankness is most evident in letters among peers, but these are least likely to be saved; and even these suffer from many of the described restraints.

With all of this, the personal letters of American soldiers of World War II hardly tell their story. Nor were their literary ability, powers of observation, and scope of experience sufficient to enhance the record. Additional peculiarities of war correspondence are frequently not understood. In the totalitarian condition of the Army in the field, and even with the best of morale, the soldier thinks of food and drink extensively. And when he writes from below the scissors of the censor he chatters excessively of food, drink, and of love if he has a love to address and in any event longing, interminably, so it seems, food and nostalgia. Nor is it true that such a soldier is a better soldier; rather, the censoring authority cannot very well call such feelings dangerous and strike them out. They may very well be dangerous, but bathos is the sweet pudding of the masses in war.

Perhaps the censorship of soldiers' mail should never have occurred. The nasty direct effects extend into remote effects such that the soldier becomes a reluctant character, remote from civics, who lacks belief in the war and ties at home. Then he may wish only to save himself, which is against the will of his generals. We are here in the realm of supposition, and had best retreat from it.

As author of half these letters, I should go through them to excise a few entries unnecessarily harmful to individuals and to correct errors arising from hearsay reports, mostly slanders passed along by others. These are quite rare, perhaps a score of lines in the total corpus of correspondence of the two authors. Strong opinions and hyperbole may be kept even when proven wrong by events or contradicted by a later change of mind. Indeed, it would be well to indicate the point wherever a word is changed or excised.

The author, more importantly, can go through the text to insert place-names wherever possible (in scores of cases), and in many places by a line or two can indicate the reason for vagueness of detail and what the detail was (as, for example, that he was waiting to invade Southern France, at a peculiar location that did not make sense in his letters). A phrase, a sentence, can often make a passage or letter jump out and become vibrant.

It will help, too, if the letters are published as his and hers in the order in which they hear from each other, even though the events of which they speak thereupon become disjointed in time. In fact, the psychology of temporality may find of interest this double and triple-faceted time, and other embedded facets of time as well, for they speak of old times, times to come, what has been reported in the press, what will be the verdict of history on events, and give the tenses of grammar every possible kind of exercise.

The alpha and omega of the letters is love. The challenge that the lovers set for themselves, imperiously and yet unconsciously, is to express their love in every last letter in a different special way, while, at the same time, according due attention to the vast storm of history through which they are driven, and to the exigencies of their daily lives.


Alfred de Grazia. Jill Oppenheim de Grazia



Al to Jill Feb. 1942
24 You were very inconsiderate
27 Your letter came a while

Al to Jill March 1942
2 I want you to get
8 Here is your regular
15 Have you noticed how
16 War is depressing
18 I've tried since
22 To quote from Miss

Al to Jill April 1942
1 Just a few words
9 Again a morning
28 I shouldn't complain

Al to Jill May 1942
1 It's hard to realize
? You have been very
3 Your new job is
4 How is every little
6 I should be used to
13 The last couple of
14 I'm on guard today
15 Still no letter from
16 You are a woman and
23 Your sweet little note

Al to Jill June 1942
9 Expert though I am
17 A ten-minute break
19 I'll write a note
20 Here goes for a
23 Just a note to say
23 Just a note before
25 The effects of your
28 I wake up thinking
29 No words for two days

Al to Jill July 1942
4 After I called you
5 Here goes for a fast
6 Your charming map
7 No letter from my
8 I was awaiting the
? Here is that letter
12 I successfully resisted
13 Night is falling
14 Your letter of today
15 Neither pen nor pencil
16 Your letter of yesterday
20 You spake words
22 From the morass of
23 No letter from you
25 Bored? No, just the
27 Two of your nougats
28 This day is about
29 I hope never in my
30 I'll at least start

Al to Jill Aug. 1942
1 Lookie, Lookie,
2 I got "home" only
3 What a miserable
4 There isn't much
5 Check another goofy
10 Tomorrow is Buzz's
11 What's happened since
12 Another day chalked
12 We are nigh to the
15 My letters are simply
17 Since I was routed
18 No more air mail
19 Today seemed mighty
19 The imminence of
21 There isn't much to
21 Study hall has come
24 Saturday dawned and
25 I'm the spoiled one
26 I've taken a bath!!
27 A big big kiss for you
27 I have a small dilemma
28? Today was easy enough
29 God willing, tomorrow
29? No words can
30 I'm seething with

Al to Jill Sept. 1942
10 Check this to see
17 A couple of letters
21 Last night was really
24 You get another
28 There is much to say
30 I'll telegraph you
? Cable

Al to Jill Oct. 1942
9 I'm waiting for your
11 My chief reason for
12 You may not believe
13 Here I am, all sound
14 My time is too much
16 At the risk of being
18 I miss you and the
21 Today was a rather
22 Your brief note
22 Three hard nights
30 You may think that
31 You're so right

Al to Jill Dec. 1942
6 Note the new address

Jill to Al Feb. 1942
21 This is the ski
25 I'm writing this
26 Am enclosing letter
27 I feel a little

Jill to Al Mar. 1942
3 Your ignoble assignment
6 I cannot write much
9 I had expected you
10 Enclosed are two forms
11 Your letter was just
16a I'm overjoyed that
16b I don't know exactly what
18a The palmier days
18b I just got your letter
? The end of a busy day
23 I'm afraid telephone
31 First, to relieve any
31 Letter from Gosnell

Jill to Al Apr. 1942
2 I just got in
6 These past four or
9 The precinct captain
17 I'm writing this
19 It seems like ages
20 I don't know how much
20b You are going to disown
25 Turmoil is slowly
28 Your little darling
30 This is a special

Jill to Al May 1942
2? [beginning missing]
6 You deserve some
8? I hope you'll forgive
18 I hope that starting
19 I love snakes.
22 Cheez, it's cold
25 I got your special
28 I guess I haven't
28 Mom to Al

Jill to Al June 1942
15 I have just finished
20 I've gotten three of
23 At least you can't say
24 I got your letter today
24 In continuation of the
26 My god, haven't you got
28 All my good intentions
29 I'm sitting outside

Jill to Al July 1942
1 For once the mailman
2 I bet I fooled you
3 This is one of those
3 I am so mad
4 Ward map of Chicago
6 I just woke up
6 Since this is Monday
6b I haven't gotten a
9 I'm up at your mother's
9 I'm at first aid class
10 I'm trying to duplicate
13 I'm up at the family's
12 Here it is Sunday night
15 This'll have to be
16 That pretty pin came
18a My god, it's hot
18b Our telephone conversation
19 I just finished a
21 That probably nauseates
23 You at last have sufficient
? I hope you didn't
25 If you knew how much
25b I am finally writing you
28 More pebbles!
28 No letter from you
29 Somebody borrowed
31 You are going to be
30 Postcard from Mir

Jill to Al Aug. 1942
1 My rear tire is flat
2 I haven't gotten
3 As an old sea chantey
4 I just finished a
5 Just a quickie before
6 I am getting reckless
8 I certainly feel
10 There just isn't time
12 I am writing this
12 Again I write you
13 At the end of a
15 Gosh, is your mother
17 It seems like a long
18 The dual greeting is
19 My machine is cluttered
20 This is just a dodge
21 Your devoted old
22 I'm really getting
25 Not one, not two, but
25 I just started to
26 This is the special
27 This is a long, hot
Letter to the Chicago Sun
28 Have a new ribbon

Jill to Al Sept. 1942
1 I am in a vile humor
2 I guess this is my
17 This may well have
18 Here are all your
20 Still no ink in my
22 First I checked
23 Enclosed is a form
24 The days pass and

Jill to Al Oct. 1942
2 It certainly was
8 Hee, hee. A dose
10 The films we took
12 You bad boy
14 Your first letter
letter from John Hess
15 I got your long
17 Just a few more
19 I feel like a heel
20 This is a blitz-
22 Wow, a long
23 Bosh. I've just
28 Home after a busy
28 I've decided not to
29 I don't know where

Jill to Al Nov. 1942
4 You fiend - going
5 By the time you

Jill to Al Dec. 1942
9 I've lost your


Al to Jill May 1943
6 I'm writing this note
8 This is a good chance
12-24 Avast and Aye Aye
25 Nous voici et tout est
26 It is blazing hot
30 It is the time of
31 How I missed you
? Today I shall direct

Al to Jill June 1943
4 We've moved again
6 It is Sunday morning
8 Today was a red-
10 So far just your
14 I am in approximately
18 Your second letter
18 Well, my love
21 Here is an Italian
21 Time and time again
23 I've had very little
24 Our lines of communication
27 New places, new people
30 I am a month behind

Al to Jill July 1943
2 I looked for the
6 Scarcely any time
8 There will be a
13 Finally your letter
15 Almost miraculously

22 I'm snatching this
25 I had a great
26 There is so much
26 My stock of letter
27 These Italian language

Al to Jill Aug. 1943
1 Life has its difficult
3 Here is three months
5 A great deluge
6 I must, devoted
8 Your next letter will
10 Bless our happy
12 I have just eaten
14 I meant to write you
17 I love you more
23 There's a moment's
28 I'm again in the field
31 Isn't there a delightful

Al to Jill Sept. 1943
2 Letters came from you
9 I'm really unhappy
10 I wonder how you are
14 No letters from you
15 We're moving this
21 I'm only writing you
22 I wrote you yesterday
28 I am annoyed an
29 Probably my greatest
30 Nothing particularly

Al to Jill Oct. 1943
7 Again I feel in the
12 My flying Dutchman
? From east to west
14 It's a little chilly
15 I am swamped
16 I'm not very busy
18 I moved from my
20 My program for the
21 Yesterday, two letters
21 I'm bored and restless
22 Telegram
23 This morning a great
25 While waiting for cousin
27 I'll write you
28 The arrival of a neat
30 Perhaps I'll finish
31 I find myself

Al to Jill Nov. 1943
1 This is the dinkiest
2 Another quiet after-
5 This evening by
7 Writing you is difficult
9 Evening before last
11 Today I'm feeling
12 I got off a letter
12? (14) As is unfortunately
15 I hope you get
16 With faint regard
19 Bump, bump went
21 It is not a red-
24 This morning is chilly
26 I admit to my shame
29 I have no time
30 The end of one more

Al to Jill Dec. 1943
2 With big news
5 I'm moved to a new
5 I wrote you a V-mail
7 I drove up to the
8 I have secured
11 A great big package
12 It's been a quiet
14 I can't promise
15 The strong brew of
17 Dear Santa: Please
18 If this goes very
19 Another bright day
22 It rained all last
23 I have no intention
23 You may be surprised
25 Practically nothing
26 There is nothing
27 It is a cold, cold
29 Happy Birthday to me
31 Still no news from

Jill to Al Jan. 1943
18 Surprise! Surprise!
26 I am writing you

Jill to Al May 1943
9? Jerry [Sterns] just
15 I arrived today at
24 I just wrote you a

Jill to Al June 1943
1 It's awfully hard
7 I'm still in New York
8 I've just written you
10 (2 pages missing)
13 Mom sent me your
18 I hope this won't
24 Another letter from
26 What a day! Seven
28 I'll bet you're envious

Jill to Al July 1943
3 Gosh, it's hot
7 I'm bushed as hell
9 I meant to tell you
10 Like all those other
13 I got your letter
14 Vive la Republique!
17 One of those unaccountable
22 After reading Vic's
24 Much excitement reigned
26 I just got a V-mail
29 Gosh - either we are

Jill to Al Aug. 1943
1 This is another one
2 It's been a week
3 It's quarter past four
[date and 2 pages missing]
6 I am writing this v-
9 I started this letter
10 I got your Air Mail
11 Not an awful lot
11 Besides you've never
14 It's Saturday night
16 Two whole letters
19 Here I am ensconced
20 I've changed my mind
20-1 I got your letter
21 Here are the pictures
23 It's a bright blue
24 I am enclosing a letter
25 I just purchased
27 I have been typing
26 Letter from M. P. Herz
30 I haven't written you
31 It's very discouraging

Jill to Al Sept. 1943
1 (or 1944) No mail from you
2 Gosh, the weather
3 After all my griping
5 I'm writing this
6 I just finished
8 The news today was the
10 Your welcome letter
12 This is one of those
14 Your letter, almost
15 I've just returned
17 No word from you
17 I'm writing this on the
18 Sunday night, and all
21 Boo! You pretty
22 I'm writing this as an
23 I haven't been able to
24 Another day gone
24 You got the enclosed
25 I'm finally going to
27 Well, I'm moved
29 At last a letter

Jill to Al Oct. 1943
3 I feel very badly
5? I'm afraid that
8 As ever, I've been
10? All is shambles again
12 I am pleased to find
13 You know how I've
14 As you can gather
17 This is the end
18 Here's the other of
20 Things are not
21 I haven't written
24 What a man of mystery
25 Your letter of
26 I am completely bushed
29 And you are my
31 I hope you don't mind

Jill to Al Nov. 1943
1 Still another letter
2 Burns and Allen
3 I just got your
5 I don't know how
6? Alone at last
7 Another lazy Sunday
8 This is one of those
9 A perfectly strong man
10 Just a line
11? I'm sending you
14 I bow my head
15 My gosh this is a
17 And you are a darling
18 As we were taught
20 I am writing on
21 I have finally
22 Another day gone by
24 My gosh, you must
26 Yesterday, i.e.
27 Another letter came
28 Jeepers what a day
29 I just got your letter
30 Not one but two

Jill to Al Dec. 1943
1 Your letter of Nov.
2 I have tucked away
4 As I threatened
5 Having just been exposed
6 I am becoming
7 No sooner had I
9 I found my fountain pen
10 A man just called
11 Your Christmas package
12 It's been a lovely
13 Gosh, I'm bushed
14 Your first letter in a
15 It is still very cold
16 This had certainly
17 A letter from you
19 The narcissus is
19a In lieu of my usual
21 Yesterday was the first
21a I've already written
23 As the day draws
25 Christmas is nearly
27 My nicest Christmas
29 You wondered in one
30 Yesterday, after I


Al to Jill Jan. 1944
1 The new year has started
2 Again I resort
3 I am flush tonight
1 Letter from Amer. Red Cross
4 With the news
5 Herz to Jill: first of all
7? Better a part of
8 I like this typewriter
9 Won't news of you
11 Won't I ever get
11 I'm beginning to have
13 Yesterday afternoon
14 I missed writing you
15 Your most remarkable
15 The mails are just
16 Since there has been
17 Here goes another
18? My love, if I ever
19 Three letters came
21 I am shocked to
22 Your Jan. 5th V-mail
22 I'm awfully sorry
24 The mail is coming in
26 I've completed
28 I'm presently engaged
29 I'm in a bored mood
31 I think your birthday

Al to Jill Feb. 1944
2 The mailman has stopped
3 No sooner do I send
6 The new speed-up
7 Nothing at all unusual
6 Ross to Al: Just spoke
8 Please forgive my
10 I'm sure no one
15 Nothing new and the same
15 A short note is better
16 I've been extremely
17 It's the day after
20 In response to your
20 It is practically impossible
21 I'm sure that
22 You don't deserve a scant
23 Perhaps these are
24 Today was periodical
28 Tomorrow is Leap Year

Al to Jill March 1944
1 Mark another month
2 For my most preferred
3 Already another dull
4 Your letter of Feb.
6 Your letter of the 21
7 The passing of another
8 It's hard to say
9 My yesterday's v-mail
10 I can hardly be
12 The morning is damp
13 Honestly, if you keep
14 I want to do nothing
15 I shouldn't be very
16 You should be deeply
18 I've had typewriter
20 Last night I got
21 Having become rather
23 I'm sorry for the
24 My last two letters
24 There isn't much
26 I want to say little
28 Now that I am returned
30 Your letter of the 16th
31 Cheers and Horrors

Al to Jill April 1944
2 I am living in
3 I have only a
3 Your letters of March
4 It would be hard
6 There was honestly
6 How I love you
7 It is morning
7 After receiving
10 Last night I did
12 I wish I had a
15 It was nicer to
17 I woke up this morning
18 Would that your title
19 It is already too
22 This is beautiful
25 A thousand apologies
26 However badly it is
28 I have an hour or so
29 I feel virtuous enough

Al to Jill May 1944
1 My mind and heart
3 Until the first page
5 A thousand vile
5 I'm not taking any
7 A fine hob you
8 It's about time
11 Much to my shame
11 It was clever
13 Here is another one
13 While I'm waiting
15 Today is noteworthy
17 I've had time
19 By dint of self
21 I am munching
21 After my badly
23 Do you recognize
25 I shouldn't let the
28 Your constant lover
30 Until last night
Postcard Having become

Al to Jill June 1944
1 I have my candle
1/2 Here it is June
6 No need to describe
11 Every day makes me
12 I was shocked out
15 I am getting worse
16 Again a poor excuse
19 I feel somewhat
20 After a good night's
21 This is probably
22 Now the shoe
23 I just saw two
25 The mail of the last
27 Your letters are
28 I'm in a hell

Al to Jill July 1944
2 The lack of mail
3 Our correspondence
7 I'm a desperate and
10 A day of surprises
12 Admittedly I'm in
13 You have a nerve
16 Ghastly paper
19 Why haven't I
20 Foolscap isn't
27 If you could see
28 I'm back to the
30 I think I ought
31 I think I can

Al to Jill Aug. 1944
2 I've spent much
5 I am enclosing in
5 I didn't write you
5c Here are a few old
6 Another very dull
7 This is my first
12 Everything is waiting
13 I have a fine
17 Here we are, as
19 I thought I would
21 It's a fine
21 I hope you realize
23 Aren't we doing
24 I've had a very
25 I've just finished
26 I just wrote you
31 I haven't written

Al to Jill Sept. 1944
2/3 Excuse the pencil
? On my last trip
5 I've found some ink
8 I must get off
8 Since I wrote you
12 I'll just write
13 It's a little late
17 I'm not sure what
18 Postcard
19 It is a cold
20 It is true that
21 I've just come
23 I'm about due
24 Another dull
25 It's a cold, damp
27 No one has been
29 I feel furious
30 Must something always

Al to Jill Oct. 1944
2 Today is the second
3 Out of the cold
5 I have a lot to say
9 Gone another dreary
9 I don't intend
10 I hadn't meant
12 I have time to
13 I sat down a few
15 An unusually bright
16 Eight-thirty of a
18 Another chill, damp
19 With all your trials
20 It is indeed a rare
23 I'm writing this
23b I wrote you a
25 Call me silly
26 I found this crumpled
27 The war continues
28 I might as well
30 It's a dull day
31 I am spending

Al to Jill Nov. 1944
1 Another night darkens
3 No inspiration from
5 What great strains
6 I have withdrawn
7 It's somewhat after
10 I have been selfishly
17 I am covered with
17 Postcard to Kathy
17b It is night and I
18 A half a letter
19 Two letters from
21 Nothing much to do
21 I shall write you
21 Things are picking
23 I don't know
24 It has been a filthy
25 Nothing but an
26 Everyone has ducked
27 I feel as if
28 Because I returned
29 I won't be writing

Al to Jill Dec. 1944
3 I received two
4 Everyone is running
4b I really don't know
6 I know that I
7 It's a hell of
8 No letters from
11 The rain keeps coming
14 There hasn't been
16 I'm sorry that I
18 The nicest Christmas
19 A letter you wrote
20 As you may notice
21 I might as well
22 I have only a
24 It's a nice sunny
26 Christmas passed
29 I didn't realize
30 I didn't write last
31 We're sweating the

Jill to Al Jan. 1944
1 The first of the year
2 My last sheet
3 I surely hope
3 (probably 1945, but dated 44)
I don't know
4 Today marks a week
5 Your letter of Dec. 18
5 Another days draws
7 Oh boy oh joy
8 Kathy's and my first
10 I am sick
11 'S funny
13 I'm back to
14 Here goes another
16 Some time ago
16a My choice of
17 What an achievement
18 I knew this would
20 Here are the
20a I really feel
21 Your letter of Jan.
22 I suppose it's
23 I'm sitting before
24 The morning mailman
25 Your letter of Jan. 13
26 I've just wrapped
27 I'm sending you
27a A V-mail of
28 Your two V-mails
29 I just got back
29 (probably July) Another
30 Comes the end
31 Kathy is yowling
31 (June?) Two letters

Jill to Al Feb. 1944
1 Brr. It's cold
2 No letter from you
3 The nurse just left
? Two letters from you
9 I'm writing this
10 Another busy day
11 Here is the other
13 I am writing this
15 Two nice V-mails
16 The second half
16 I wrote about this
18 Your nice tri-partite
20 Again I note sadly
21 I pick the
23 Regretfully I note
26 I'm still trying
27 Since I have vowed

Jill to Al Mar. 1944
1 You can figure
2 Gosh, I was all ready
3 Another letter
5? I bet you can
6 I just opened
9 I'm abashed
10 No letter from you
11? The three V-mails
12 I woke this morning
14 It's raining here
15 March 15 and all
16 Gosh, two whole days
20 I am in receipt
21 I started to re-read
23 What a silly life
24 I am writing this
25 Gosh, I still
27 I don't like
28 I just arose
29 Gosh, this is one
30 Honestly, this

Jill to Al Apr. 1944
2 Again I note
3 I am trying
4 Kathy is at the
5 I'm writing this
6 The second half of your
7 I think, in a fit
8 A great pile of
10 I've dispatched Kathy
11 Goodie Goodie
12 I am slightly
14 Ring the welkin
15 This has been
17 Your pictures came
18 I just got a card
18b What a silly
21 I'm so sorry
22 Two letters from you
24 More V-mails
25 I've just spent
26 Another day
28 I didn't get to
29 This is the beginning
30 Oh dear, another

Jill to Al May 1944
1 Three great lovely
2 Honestly, the worst
5 This cold unreasonable
6 Gosh I haven't even
11 A big kiss
12 I've just put Kathy
13? I got your letter
14 Kathy and I
16 I am lying on the Midway
17 Once again I'm
18 Just finished two
? I really should be
21 This has been
23 More pictures,
26 And I do mean you
27 I've been meaning
29 I still have the letter
29 Honestly, you're
30 Today being Decoration

Jill to Al June 1944
1 I feel very virtuous
1 (5/31?) Two letters from you
2 Oh what a day
4? I'm writing this
5 What a rogue you are
6 I guess I ought
6 The news continue
7 You must wonder
8 The biggest military
10 The weather has been
11 I've written you
12 A great day so far
13 It is only 8:30
13 I don't know why
15 You old stinker
16 I am fraught
17 Even if I didn't
15 (20?) A red-letter day
23 I am absolutely
26 I too have horrible
27 I've just been reading
28 You know what
29 The temperature dropped
30 How I wish you

Jill to Al July 1944
3 Two small girls
5 I'm ashamed to tell you
6 I just took a
7 I've just finished
8? Now I know how
10 A big day this
12 Kathy is crouched
13 I have a headache
16? Loathsome girl
17 (page missing) with Kathy
18 I'm so damned sleepy
19 (June?) I spent a busy
20 The girl across the
22 Your little wife,
24 I have just concluded
25 You dog. If
27 I've just had the
28 Another dull day
29 (June?) For once I've remembered

Jill to Al Aug. 1944
2 To vary the old
3 I'm really bushed
6 You know I'm a dog
7 (8?) I've just finished
9 Two very fine V-
13 A veritable landslide
15 Today brings good
16 I know there's a war
17 The Affair of the Shoe
18 My life hasn't
20 I'm getting so
21 Still no letter
22 The German cap
23 The news continue
26 I didn't write you
28 I was so glad
29 More mail from you
31 Today brought your

Jill to Al Sept. 1944
2 Thus has started
5 I have three fine
6 Taking advantage
8 It's odd, but
9 I'm half dead
11 I was up North
13 It seems like I am
15 Something happened
16 I got to thinking
17 Two wonderful long
20 I approach this letter
21 After a day
23 Having just bedded
? Kathy and I
26 I have a big evening
28 The great battle
30 For some reason

Jill to Al Oct. 1944
1 After yesterday's
3 Another letter
5 Three fine long
7 I started to lie down
? I am fit to bust
10 I started to type
15 In the great outpouring
16 I'm cleaning out
18 I started a letter
19? Two fine long letters
20 This is your manic-
23 Two fine letters
25 Guess what!
26 Honestly, darling,
27 For so I refer
? Tonight I sit down
29 I just got back
31 Guess who came

Jill to Al Nov. 1944
2 I love you
4 I guess my luck
5 Two whole days
6 I was lying down
7 Here is the big night
9 Isn't that cute
11 I feel like
14 Two letters from you
15 Just a bright morning
16 Here I am on
18? Egad, here is New York
20 The mad whirl
23-4 Your 2nd train
25-6 I don't know why
27 I'm in the midst
30 It's a cold snowy

Jill to Al Dec. 1944
1 A great raft
4 A miracle!
6 I'm just rereading
7 Will you please
7 Whew! Mom just
8 I was sitting around
9 I'm writing this prone
12 Oh joy, a whole
13 No letter for
14 Oh joy, two letters
16 I just got back
17 You'll never know
21 I really should
21 I'm afraid my
24 It's the day before
25 I didn't write you
28 No sooner is the spit
28 I guess you can't avoid
29 I keep forgetting to buy
30 I feel just awful


Al to Jill Jan 1945
3 I'm sorry
3 It seems that
5 Connie Wilson
7 I received a
7 I got your letter
10 I would exchange
12 The mail is coming
13 This should be
13 To Kathy: I have
14 The news is as
16 I've just poured
17 I'm in low
18 I thought I had
19 It's pathetic
22 Your latest arrived
26 I'm sorry I
26b I've just poured
26 Perhaps I can
31 Everyday is a

Al to Jill Feb 1945
2 No time, no time
2 You have already
4 It's a very
8 It is a sad
9 I just got back
10 The best sympathy
11 My latest Christmas
12 Your latest words
13 What a typewriter
15 I ought to be
16 This is the kind
17 If I finish
19 I don't know
20 I wish I could
22 I feel fine
25 Life is one
27 Dear sweet girl

Al to Jill Mar 1945
1 I feel even
2 Your letters of
3 I thought I
5 I'm going to
7 I seem to imitate
11 I'm afraid
12 You needn't say
13 Stretch out
15 I certainly
17 I'm still
21 from Liz to Jill
19 Things seem to
26 Am not quite
26 Only a few
28 As if I didn't
29 I sent off to
30 This is a German

Al to Jill Apr 1945
1 This is Easter
2 As the stereotyped
6 I might not have
9 Just to make a
10 Although the day
12 Here are some
13 There is an ancient
15 I'm sorry I
17 The evening is
18 After a concerted
20 Associations
23 It might as well

Al to Jill May 1945
2 I hope you won't
3 And why not this
9 This is V-E day
9 I might begin
10 I was most sorry
11 It seems that I
13 They say that a
15 I wish I had
15 If I haven't done
18 I arrived back
18 Here you are
19 While waiting for
20 I don't know which
21 It started out
23 Isn't my new
25 One trouble in
27 Yesterday's mail
29 This morning

Al to Jill June 1945
2 You oughtn't to
? Informal routing
4 With two aspirins
5 I've already
5 I received three
7 It's either bed
10 How intolerable
11 Here are some
14 The disgusting
16 I made up my mind
18 One is told that
19 I'm sure that
22 My most momentous
25 This is Sunday
25 The mail poured
27 The wind is kicking
30 I've just finished

Al to Jill July 1945
3 I have about three
4 Leaving this place
6 I am dizzied
7 I promised last
12 I am hopelessly
13 I am a veritable
15 It's a hot dead
16 I think this
19 It's a beautiful
20 It's been a hot
21 It's so beautiful
22 Blimey if it
25 Time now to
27 I hope this will
27 I'm back in one
27 You can't say
29 My head is
30 I certainly could
? The fickle postman

Al to Jill Aug 1945
2 I mailed your bond
3 I've just come
6 I got up bright
7 It's been quite
8 As our very clever
9 It is so cold
12 Go ahead and cut
13 Here are several
15 Much as it hurts
15 I wrote you
16 Here are several
17 Today is a
20 Day after tomorrow
22 I don't know if
22 We left Wiesbaden
23 God, when will
25 I've escaped
28 Still in Buchenwald
30 We were supposed

Al to Jill Sept 1945
5 I am now at
8 I thought I would
9 I guess I can
9 Telegram
11 You must be
14 We shall most
17 Tomorrow I will

Cable from Uncle Charles
to Al dated Oct. 5

Jill to Al Jan. 1945
1 New Year's day
5 I just finished the
6-7 Another day skipped without
9 I just finished a sizable
11 I didn't get to write you
15 I'm afraid that my
15 I'm writing this under
16 I cleaned out
17 Speak to me, dear
19 This is one of those
21 A large black cat
23 Three luscious letters
25? I haven't written you since
28 I'm clear-eyed
29 It's absolutely freezing
31 You know what, it's

Jill to Al Feb. 1945
3 I am about to embark
4 Your darling musical
4 I'm bending myself
6 Another dank February
10 I feel like a dog
11 Alone at last
12 A day finally
14 Boy am I tired
17 I always end up
18 I know by now you
19 Kathy is in receipt
20 Here are some pictures
21 Two whole letters
23 Three, even four
25 There were a few minutes
26? I don't know how
27 Four letters from you
28 I still haven't

Jill to Al Mar. 1945
1 I am in the throes
1 I don't know what
3 Kathy has some
4 The great conflict
7 Two days have passed
9 Every time I hear
10 Today I got a
12 I just preceded this
13 If leisure is a
14 Here are some pictures
15 Well, as I remarked
18? If you haven't heard
19 I have haven't
20 Whew! I just got
21 Not much of a letter
23 I got two letters from
25 I am getting as bad
27 I am positively
28 I'm awfully sorry
29 I just finished a huge
31 I have a whole Saturday

Jill to Al Apr. 1945
2 Here is Monday
4 I just wrote a long
6? I just wrote a raft
8 How frustrating it is
12 For some mysterious
13 Along with the rest of
15 Not much mail has
17 Yesterday answered
19 I've had a great haul
25 Two letters came
29 I haven't written you
29 Liz to Jill

Jill to Al May 1945
1 This is the great
3 As usual I seem
6 Today is, for the
6 No sooner do I finish
7 Today again came news
9 Yesterday was V-E day
10 Life is full of
11 This is my first attempt
12 You're probably in
12 Radiogram
15 My mild anxieties
? Some sweet photographs
10? Here are the pictures
22 I feel like a dog
23 Oh, this is the paper
24? As you can see
25 Letter from Army Service
27A All the mail that I
27B I just spent an
28 This evening I feel
30 More of the mail
? authoress by the name

Jill to Al June 1945
2 I'll start this letter
4 That was followed by
6 Today is the anniversary
7 Today brought your fine
10 The postman brought
12 I feel very badly
17 I don't know what got me
18 I am deviating from
20 I didn't write you
23 I got three quarters
24 (14?) My life can hardly be
24 This is the end of a long
25 Still no letter from
26 My busy dream
27 Two more letters
29 I am torn

Jill to Al July 1945
2 Today was considerably
3 I should say angel
4 Today is the fourth
7 After all the augurs
8 I'm starting to write
10 You know, I just
11 Here is some more
14 I have [not] written
15 Today is Sunday
15b Even though I wrote
16 After a week of waiting
17 I got two more letters
19 You're blessed by
20-1 I'm writing this
25 I'm afraid I haven't
26 Today certainly started
28 Darling Adjunct
29 I am yawning mightily
29b? I got your letter
30 Your V-mail of June 22
31 I'm fresh out of V-mail

Jill to Al Aug. 1945
2 Two more letters
3 Today I am a three-
4 There are a sheaf
5 I've just finished
7 I've just finished the most
8 It's late, ten,
11 Since I last wrote
14 The war's been over
15? I feel like a cur
17 It's been so long
18 Still no mail from you
20 You've just ruined
21 I'm still in the dizzy
22 I don't know if there


Towns, localities, where letters were written or referred to in Letters, listed in order of encounter (names often inferred and recalled after war)
Chicago, Washington, New York, Paris (Tennessee), Los Angeles, Hollywood, Minneapolis, El Paso, Wilmington, N.C., Oran, Algiers, Tunis, Bizerte, Syracuse, Licodia-Eubea, Palermo, Messina, Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro, Bari, Brindisi, Naples, Salerno, Capua, Foggia, Caserta, Cassino, Anzio, Gaeta, Rome, Orvieto, Bolzano, Verona, Saint Tropez, Toulon, Marseilles, Apt, Grenoble, Montelimar, Gap, Lyon
, Dijon, Belfort, Colmar, Strasbourg, Herimenil, Besancon, Paris, Saarbrucken, Kaiserslautern, Oppenheim, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Lauterbach, Strassberg, Munich, Brenner Pass, Dachau, Darmstadt, Ludwigshafen, Bad Homburg, Wiesbaden

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