They Really Do Drive On The Left

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Dear folks,

I’ll start you a letter now and write until I’m able to mail it sometime. I think its O.K. to say our trip is nearing its end. [section cut out by censor]…we left the states. I got a fair night’s sleep last night. There isn’t very much I can say right now. This will probably be cut a lot as it is. Food is a wonderful subject, I’ll start with it. Breakfast – oatmeal, milk, bread, jam and a boiled egg. Supper – potatoes, beans, bread, butter, cold meat and an apple which I saved for the rainy day. I got one of those big Hershey almond bars from the canteen today along with a bunch of life-savers. I’m storing up a little for the day I’ll need it. I never ate life-savers until now but I find that they are sort of good to have to eat from time to time. We were issued “K” rations today and I guess their content is no secret. They come in 3 boxes, one for each meal. Breakfast has coffee & eggs, dinner – cheese & a fruit drink, supper – meat loaf & bouillon. In addition each has biscuits, gum, candy & cigarettes. It isn’t bad stuff to eat, its compact but really fills you up. The cheese is best.

It’s a beautiful starry night outside. A light is occasionally visible in the distance. To me that light is beautiful but I don’t suppose many people see anything in it. What happens each day from now in becomes more & more and uncertainty. One thing sure, if I never knew there was a war on before I do now. A [cut by censor] flying overhead is a beautiful sight. Well it’s nearly bed time so I’ll sign off for today and continue this when I can again. I think I’ll go see what I can and then get to bed. Good night or I should say good afternoon as it’s only about 4:30 p.m. for you.

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I’m back for a few more words. I’m taking the chance of saying that I’m somewhere near England I think. I couldn’t prove it but the fog is thicker than any I’ve seen even at San Francisco so I take that as an indication. Not much to write as we’re sort of just waiting. It’s a little colder but otherwise, except for the fog blanket it’s O.K. Naturally we don’t know for sure where we are and we have no idea where we are going. Time will tell that. We missed our little candy snack this afternoon. Breakfast was fair – oatmeal, milk, prunes, bread & jam. I’m waiting for supper now. Old mopping detail comes up again tomorrow. Well its chow time so I’ll sign off and see what delicacies are in store for us tonight. Back at 9:30 after supper. Naturally – spuds, bread, butter, sauerkraut, & rice. I almost feel like a civilian on a cruise tonight. No blackout. Instead of stumbling around in the pitch dark, its’ light enough for me to write this out on deck. I can see as far as the rail and then fog. It’s really swell to see the lights and I’m not kiddin’. The fog lifted this afternoon but she’s back now. Right now I’m listening to Harry James play “Two O’clock Jump” as I write. Well its’ bed time so I’ll sign off and head for my hammock pretty quick. Good afternoon to ye.

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Hiya. Well here I go again. I may make our friend the censor unhappy but I can’t see anything wrong with what I’m about to say. First of all I’m here. “Here” for the time being I’ll call “somewhere in England.” Last night I stayed out until 10:00 but it was so foggy you couldn’t see anything. I dug into breakfast pretty heavy as these meals are kind of far apart with no extra candy & stuff in the middle. Let’s see, it was oatmeal, bread, butter, jam & potatoes. I got up on top as soon as I could this morning.

Back again at about 7:15 p.m. Now to begin where I left off. I was on deck from breakfast until mid-afternoon except for a time when I did my mopping. I had a very interesting time and saw a lot [of] things I’d like to talk about but guess maybe I shouldn’t. Anyway I never saw so many or so many different kinds & sizes of boats in my life as I did on the way in. Now let’s see what else can I say without giving any info. Trees & green grass surely looked good again to me. The first thing I noticed on the skyline were several church spires. They are very numerous. Two things impressed me – the tall steeples and so many domes on buildings. The jockeying into position at the dock was quite a thing. Naturally all of us were at the rail to see what we could of these strange new people. They gave us quite a welcome but why shouldn’t they? You already know my attitude toward the British in this war and I haven’t changed any. They had a pretty sharp looking band out to greet us. They played several marches & slow tunes & then reorganized & dug a little “American” jive or tried to. That made a much better hit with the G.I.’s naturally. I stayed up and took in all I could before coming down to shave & clean up a bit before chow tonight. I was just up on top again but there’s no one around this area now naturally. I was surprised to see that there is no blackout. Evidently the Luftwaffe doesn’t come around anymore. I think its O.K. to say I saw no evidences whatever of any bombing which also surprised me. Now let’s see what else I can say. The people ah yes the people. One word could describe them – “tired.” They look like they could use a good long rest & vacation. They are a bit smaller than Americans – are slim faced & a bit longer nosed. Their clothing is what we’d call a little worn & old fashioned – what I saw. Still they seem to have quite a bit of spirit. The bicycle seems to be the chief means of individual transportation. I couldn’t be sure but I guess they really do drive on the left side of the road here. Naturally I couldn’t see too much as I’m still on the boat but I saw a couple right-hand drive vehicles. That’s about all I can safely say I guess about what I saw. To me the place looks very interesting and I’m hoping I can get a pass pretty soon to see the most I can of what’s to be seen. I want to hit a post office or whatever they have at the first chance & buy one of every stamp they have. I’ve way too much cash with me any way so I’ll advance my hobby.

Well that’s about all I can say. We are pouring over maps to get the situation in mind and see where it is we’re headed. Anyway I believe I’ve covered it & this is getting long enough so I’ll sign off from Southern England “somewhere” and write again next time. I’ve still written every day as usual. Good night & good afternoon (its 2:50 your time).

Love to all of ye’


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