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July 29, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

ww2 fighter plane attacking a truck with soldiers on a road

Ted's sketch, titled "Air attack," 2/24/1944

July 29, 1944

Dear Helen,

Received your letter today telling of receiving the sketches – strangely enough, this news comes before I’ve even heard that you’d received the letter saying that I was sending them. By the same token I suppose the watch has arrived safe and sound and well-rested.

After some thought, I find that your interpretation of the sketches is quite true. Funny, but it’s something I hadn’t thought of – and your all-perceiving eye seems to have read between the pen and pencil strokes, so to speak. Thus far, there has been no opportunity to add to the collection from France.

Right now, I’m writing in the cramped quarters of my tiny tent evading the rain. It’s rained intermittently all day – except when the sun has literally blasted a hot path through the clouds to catch me with my raincoat on and sweltering. But, no sooner do I take it off, then it starts to rain again. Very exasperating.

Perhaps, if it rains tonight we’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep. Last night was clear and the Nazi planes buzzed overhead like bees – but my complaint is not with them – but rather with our anti-aircraft fire. It’s like trying to sleep in a boiler factory when they open up. However, it’s quite a sight to see – the 4th of July celebrations will seem very tame after witnessing these spectacles. But after seeing it a few times it becomes quite dull and taken for granted – just like the French farmers who go right on living in the midst of the war – seemingly unconcerned. I’ve spoken to a few of them in my rusty French – most of their tales being unhappy ones; Sgt Glucken is also becoming a linguist specializing in teaching the young French lads dirty English words.

A letter from home today assures me that all is fine and again makes flattering references to your letters. I’m afraid I’m going to have competition from my father, who has been especially taken in by your correspondence. What’s been going on behind my back?

Things look brighter these days – and the end, though not at hand, is definitely in sight, and the whole thing will become merely subject matter for stories to tell you and the team.

And now, the rain having stopped, I must shave and wash while it is still light, a procedure which consists of utilizing my helmet as a container for water and squatting down in front of a broken bit of mirror propped on a box – most uncomfortable.


P.S. I’ll write to your folks very soon.

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