This post was sent via Victory-Mail (or V-Mail as it was commonly known).
Pvt. H.J. Lederman 16121216
INF. Co. I A.P.O. 15486
c/o Postmaster N.Y.-N.Y.
Mr. & Mrs. Ben Lederman
923 N. Leavitt St.
October 3, 1944
Dear Mother & Father,
I arrived safely in England after my first ocean crossing, but not my last. I've been in England just a couple of days. But in these few days I've gotten a very definite opinion of English weather. It is absolutely unpredictable. The only certain statement one can make is that its going to rain. The countries dampness mixes with the chill of early morning make arising every morning almost unbearable.
I hope to get a pass soon so that I can see and speak to the English people. We've been told that their fairly friendly to the American solder. Im' glad I took those two English courses at school. I think I may derive somewhat more pleasure from some of the historic sights then most soldier. Another letter will follow soon. Love, Harold.
(Written on armed forces of the United States stationary)
September 13, 1944
Dear Mother & Father,
Yesterday I arrived at a camp along the Atlantic coast. I've never been in a muddier camp - its rained since I arrived. I'll be here at least 2 days and probably more. Everything is indefinite - we may get passes to go to surrounding cities - one of which is New York. I hope I get one of those passes.
Mother, see if you can contact Russell Baruch's mother and his address. I'd like to correspond with him.
Editor's note: There is no envelope for this letter
Dear Mother & Father,
I haven't written earlier because I was waiting for some information on my shipment. However, I have heard nothing more than I told you. I'm going to Ft. Meade, Maryland. I'm scheduled to leave Sept. 2.
All shipments from Meade go to the European Theater of Operations. Fifty men from my company are going. There are 1500 from the entire division.
I sincerely believe I am getting a better break than the men remaining in the division.. Sept. 15 the division is going to California where it will take 6 weeks of amphibious training. The will be shipped to the south west Pacific within 60 days.
I may have a chance of getting out of the Infantry - but it is very slim. There is very little transfering done over seas. It, however, will be months before I see any combat. By then the war in Europe will probably be over.
If there is any possibility of my getting a pass from Ft. Meade to go to N.Y. I will let you know and maybe Pa could come and see me. I doubt very much that I will be able to get a furlog. Your supposed to have six months from your last furlog...to get one from Meade.
Today is Sunday, one week since we began maneuvers. Surprising enough, the major provided transportation for us to go into town Saturday night. We went to Alexandria, 75 miles away. Living out in the field this way is rough, dirty conditions, but there is not as much work and we get more time to sleep. Back in camp I never get more than six hours of sleep a night.
We ran problems out here-tactical maneuvers-a problem lasts 2 or 3 days. Upon its completion we get 2 or 3 days off. During this time a few of us get opportunities to go into town.
I received a letter from Russel Baruch yesterday. He is completing his basic training at Camp Wheeler Ga.
I hope you received the money order for $25. Is Leo still working? How is every one feeling? Write soon.
P.S. Forgive the writing, I haven't a hard surface to write on.
We rode in trucks out to our manuver area which is just a couple miles from Texas. The ride out here was very tedious. It must have been about 100 that day and the sun just baked down upon us.
There's nothing unusual about the manuvers. They are just repititous of what we've been doing the last few months. However now we must live out in the field for about a month.
I received your $25 Saturday afternoon. I thereon proceeded to make merry. About five of us fellows got together- we had a very colorful evening. Last Saturday night was the second time in my youthful live that I became intoxicated. If you'll remember the first was back in college. (I hope you don't find this writing illegible-it is very difficult to write without a hard surface.)
I hope this letter finds everyone at home in good health. Inclosed you will find a money order for $25. I was paid last Monday. Love, Harold.
From: Pvt. H.J. Lederman 16121216 Co K-342st Inf A.P.O. 450Camp Livingston, LA
To: Mr & Mrs. Ben Lederman 923 N. Leavitt St. Chicago Ill.
July 19, 1944
Dear Mother & Father,
We're beginning to prepare our equiptment for going out in the field August 1. I'll be out there for nearly a month, and I will be unable to write letters regularly.
Yesterday had a change in our present training. We ran several problems using mechanical tanks for support. I rode on these tanks.
It seems that we're definitely going to change camps when we come back to camp Livingston. All rumors point north. They say that were going to camp Adelberry in Indiana. This is about 100 miles from Chicago. I won't be getting my fourloge teh middle of August because all foulog has been cancelled starting Aug. 17. This is os that all the men will be together when we transfer.
How's ever thing at home. How's Gerties Leo & Harold? How is Dina & Wilbur? Have you heard anything about Ray, Billy, Johnny, Roma or Sammy? Have any of them been home on furlough?
This is the day after the day that I've come in from the field. In the last week I've walked over 100 miles. My arches seemed to have fallen two inches, but I guess its my imagination. We were neer able t ger mor than 3 hours sleep a night. During the day we were supposed to dig fox holes and stand gaurd. I was able to get out of digging foxholes and standing gaurd by volunteering for cooking. There were 3 of us cooks and, you can imagine, we had plenty of food.
July 31 I leave Camp Livingston for divisional services. This is a preliminary step before maneuvers. It will last till Aug. 28. It will take place in Louisiana. I'll probably return to Livingston,but I don't know what will do after that.
The temperature around here is always 100. Sometimes it goes as high as 110. I guess when I get back home I'll really look tan. Around here no one notices our tan's because everyone is very brown. We have to take salt tablets all the time because of the heat.
Please send me my two sun tan caps. I only have one and it is very dirty. Will write again, very soon.
I don't think it was necessary to write to the Chaplain. I've met with him several times already. He hasn't sent for me yet, but I expect him to momentarily.
Last Sunday I was out on a picnic sponsored by a Jewish Temple in Alexandria-the town close to my camp. It wasn't much as picnics go, but they served us as much ice cold watermelon as we could eat. Boy! You should of seen me dig in.
I'm glad to hear that Leo is making money. However, I should think, that because of the labor shortage he should make more money. But I suppose you're grateful for him first to work. I don't know whether Leo intends to work all summer. If he does, I would discourage it if I were you. He's still youn and has an entire lifetime to work.
Beginning Friday after noon I'll be out in the field for 6 days, if possible I'll write. Lately we've been having a lot of field work. I dislike it because we get so dirty and always are bitten by mosquitos and the insects.
Days in the army are long, but the weeks go swiftly by. I recieved your letter and had intended to answer each, but some little thing was always coming up. Just today I began to think how long it had been, and it startled me. Never again (this may sound trite) shall I postpone writting for so long.
...The infantry may not be an ideal outfit, but it has some advantages. I have neveer been in better physical condition. It has made me more self reliant, but also more conscious of my fellow soldiers. I'm securing a greater understanding of men. this will be an asset when I get out of the army.
Our training schdule has not been very rough, but we have spent a lot of time in the field. Assistant Secretary of the Army Patterson is giong to review us tomorrow. All the brass (officers) in the division are amking plans on entertaining him.
I recieved a letter from Elo. He is now in North Africa. He's a member of the armed guard in the merchant marine. I sent Ruass a ltter several weeks ago, but I never received an answer. I'm going to write him again. I recived the package from teh cousins club, sent by Aunt Dena. I realize my obligations and will fulfill them.
I'm glad to read that Leo's finished his first year of high school and that he is working... So Lennie's in California again! I'm sure he'll be back in Chicago soon.
How is every at home? How is the store getting along and your (oil) property in California? --also the bulding. I hope everyone's health is good. Mom, tell Pa to go the beaches or to the parks on Sunday and not work so hard. Money is not everything.--and millions of men in the army will testify to that quotation.
From: OFFICE OF THE CHAPLAIN, STATION HOSPITAL, FORT BENNING GEORGIA
To: Mrs. G. Lederman, 923 N. Leavett Street, Chicago, Illinois
Dear Mrs. Lederman:
I have had the pleasure of meeting your son at the Jewish religious services which are conducted under my direction here at Fort Benning, Georgia.
We strive at these services to enable all Jewish soldiers to get to know one another and to strengthen their Jewish ties.
I want to be of whatever service I can to your son and would welcome any suggestions yuo may want to offer in this regard or any request you may want to make of me on your son's behalf. Please, therefore, be free to write me at any time, and I shall be happy to do whatever I can.