August 23, 1944
Southern France

No. 44

Dear Folksies,

            Am sitting on a little rise in ground slightly above the new location for the hospital. As yet, no business, though our team was complimented by being the only outside team to be in the forward echelon.

             Had a nice ride through the countryside in the late afternoon and evening, and it certainly was a pleasure to be touring this country instead of Africa, Italy, etc.  It’s amazing how nice it is here, how peaceful the countryside appears and how clean and typically French the small towns are. Towns further from the coast apparently were not cleared like those right along the coast, and the people sit around the town square, doing their knitting, etc.

            Stopped in one town and everything seemed normal except for the scattered armed partisans and an occasional French girl with the American Invasion arm-band flag adorning her dress sleeve.

            Another sight for sore eyes has been the fields of true grass — lawns that have even better grass than the Merced Golf Club.  Which reminds me, one of the very first spots we saw was a very nice golf course.  If only we had clubs, and, of course, the time!

                                                                                        Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for my next letter
August 24, 1944

Various types of “invasion arm-band flags” were worn by paratroopers during World War II to identify them as American forces. Because paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines they risked being mistaken for enemy soldiers by the main U.S. assault forces approaching over land. René says that while he was in a French town near where he was stationed, he saw “an occasional French girl with the American Invasion arm-band flag adorning her dress sleeve.” So, evidently some of the paratroopers gave their armbands to French girls.

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