WAR LETTERS: COMBAT - 1944 Germany


Letters about combat situations make up the largest section of the project.

1944 Germany

Pauline Spence of Beatrice, Nebraska received this letter from her husband, Captain Lillard E. Pratt, who was serving in the 343rd Field Artillery, 90th Division. She tells us that Captain Pratt "was a 1938 graduate of Nebraska University and outstanding in ROTC." She says he was killed by an 88-millimeter shell on February 22, 1945 while serving as volunteer liaison officer for Colonial William Dupuy, Third Army, under General Patton, at the battle for Lichtenberg, Germany.

December 13, 1944, 343rd Field Artillery, 90th Division
Captain Lillard E. Pratt

December 13, 1944

My Lovers Pauline, Dave, and John:

Your old fat Daddy sends his love again. Not again, but forever.

We are having a plenty tough time just now. The battle for Germany is much more savage than Normandy ever thought of being. Here we have a more dangerous enemy in the weather than actual bullets. Some soldiers have trench foot so bad they can barely get their bare feet into overshoes. These men will all lose their feet. War is terrible at its best, but at its worst it is a living and dying hell. Someday, however, the guns will stop booming, and we can clear the battlefield, and go home.

Don't think my spirits are low, because I know such a condition is like death itself, so I force myself to keep my chin up. And it is possible to search hard enough to find a bright ray of hope. I know we are going to win, and that itself must keep us going.

Lover, it is time for chow, so I will close with love for all.

All my Love,

P.S. Did you ever get my surprise? It was a picture of myself. Will enclose another just in case the first got lost.



WWII, North Africa          1944 Orland to Naples
1950 Korea          1944 Germany
1944 Normandy          1945 England
Vietnam War,  Okinawa          1970 Vietnam