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Christmas Day, 1944.

February 16, 2012

Each post entry on this blog builds chronologically on the ones before. Journal entries are written in italics. Comments are written in bold print. I gratefully acknowledge the sources I used to follow and understand Al’s journal and have listed them on the page, “Where to Learn More”.

Dec. 25.

Christmas Day.  Cold, and sad.  Much artillery fire both sides.  Heard Mass in a foxhole near No. 8 Gun.

Had turkey, beer, cigs, candy but still homesick.  50 Cal. slug landed within ten feet of me and the boys.

My step-father, Al, was one of  about 16 million Americans who served in World War II.  Like so many, he came home from the war and went to work,never dwelling on or talking about his experiences with family and friends.  It wasn’t until my children started asking questions for school projects that he started talking about it but never more than asked.  But then he brought out the journal he kept throughout his tour of duty, his list of cities he saw during the war, photographs of friends and friendlies and more, and an autograph book with names and addresses of those he met along the way.  There were letters from people he met after the liberation of Europe and other memorabilia.  There, in front of us, lay Al’s war, one man’s journey through World War II. 

My goal is to follow along on Al’s journey, using his material and outside sources for a unique perspective of World War II.

From → World War II

  1. My dad was at the Battle of the Bulge and just reading “Christmas Day. Cold, and sad. Much artillery fire both sides. Heard Mass in a foxhole near No. 8 Gun”…allowed me to see my dad there on Christmas Day….I often wondered what he thought – it broke my heart to think of both my dad and your step dad as young men, away from home, lonely, cold and sad. Thank you – it allowed me a glimpse of the young man he was before he became my dad. Blessings – Patty

  2. My father actually lost a buddy who was sharing a foxhole with him in Korea. Amazing how these fine men came home and just picked up their lives. Before every big battle, Al’s journal mentions services and the chaplain..guess its true that there are no atheists in a foxhole. I appreciate your comment.

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