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April 17, 1945

Letters from Harold J. Dahl

Letters from Harold J Dahl April 17 1945

April 17 [1945]

Dear Mom & Lou,
If this letter should get a little incoherent you can ascribe it to nothing but the champagne which is flowing like so much water around here.  I know when I went to Paris that things would be different when I got back, but I never supposed it would be like this.  The boys found a huge wineceller & we’re all reaping the harvest.

You can never know how excited and happy I was when Bill German told me I was the winner of a Paris pass - “April in Paris” - just my meat.

soldiers standing before the arc de triumph in paris


I had all sorts of plans - to visit Monique, which I did the last day - to visit Sarita’s friend, which I did not do & various other high resolves. But when I called Hovel upon arrival he said he had just the girl for me at the hospital so out I went.  Not too many hours later I was doing exceptionally well with the most wonderful of God’s most wonderful people - U.S. Army nurses.  Nancy is everything that I’ve almost but never quite found all of in a girl.  We saw each other almost constantly for the next few days - Of course she had duty hours but in between them we rushed together like too poles of a magnet.  It was wonderful to talk to an American girl - especially when she was one of the very best.  No matter if I can get along in French, it isn’t nearly the same & as you know, my tongue is my fortune.

One day Nancy had free so we walked around beautiful springtime Paris together, holding hands like a couple of silly children & happy as a lark.  We just plain wandered - went to Notre Dame & shopped at the bookstalls along the Seine - had vin blanc [white wine] at a sidewalk cafe & walked thru the classic Tuileries gardens.  Also went to the Arch de Triomphe.  Part of our bliss must certainly have been the exquisite and immortal charm of Paris, part, the joy of being with an American, but a great deal the out-of-this-world feeling of two people who have found in one another an answer to many a question.  I was the happiest G.I. in Paris.

That night Nan had a date for dinner with some out-of-town Captain, so she got back to paris as soon as she could - & met me for what time was left.

The next day I was to meet Hovel at noon, so in the morning I went to see Norman’s friend Vicomtess de Maublanc [unclear spelling] - she is perfectly lovely, one of the finest ladies.  Was sentenced to death by the Nazi’s - instead spent 9 months in a prison compound doing manual labor.  She hopes to come to New York soon where she will see Norman [Dahl].

In the afternoon we talked for awhile with a Norwegian, Major Kregberg, also a friend of Norman’s [Dahl] & now stationed at Nancy & Hovel’s hospital. He is quite a guy - also we went to the Latin Quarter to browse around.  In the evening I had a date with Nancy again. The next day I went to St. Germain-en-Laye & had a lovely visit with the Vuilhorgues.  All in all, it was a grand time.

When I rejoined the outfit I found the pies, the slippers & chessmen and a box from you plus several letters.

Bertha did send me a snap of her now - also got a letter from Walt Smith.  Everything you sent is fine - thanks ever so much.  The pies went very well with champagne.

Nancy saved me a good bit of money in paris, but instead of sending money home for awhile I am buying a grand painting of Luxembourg from George Van der Sluis. I bought our Nancy [Dahl] at home some lovely little leather buttons that cost a fabulous price but are awfully nice.

In addition to saving me dough, my Nancy got me a G.I. Jacket of a type I had coveted for a long time plus a pair of paratrooper boots & a musette bag so I’m really primped-up something swell.  I’ll try to send home a picture of just how I look in them all.


The bill shows how the French fix them up - the photo is Monique.

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