January 20, 1944 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

No letter from René today, but here’s the letter René Sr. wrote on January 20, 1944 in response to his son’s letter dated January 10.


Dear Jr.,

            My heart bleeds for you, knowing what it has and must mean for you. It has gone on for so long, it does not seem possible that there could be any other way. You must have felt as if the tide had suddenly come in and then gone out, washing everything you loved and possessed right out from under your feet.

           With everybody in the 59th who watched the whole affair from its inception, it was all the more difficult to make the necessary announcements & explanations. Too bad Lois waited that long to tell you how she felt about the whole thing. Unfortunately, many a girl falls in love with love itself, but thinks that she loves the man who was nearby when she fell. At least until she wakes up.

             Sometimes it is only long after. Sometimes after marriage. Sometimes after they have children. So you are in one way fortunate indeed. I need not stress that. You no doubt have had plenty of time now to appreciate that fact and it may well be that some of your pals have expressed themselves accordingly.

            There are so many who fall because they think it is love that it is better not to kid one’s self. Lois may in the course of time look over the field for a few years before she discovers it was not “acting.” But do not lay too much stress on that.

            She may have had a swell time at Ord, a still better time chasing up to New York, but when she got overseas, she might have found it sort of tiresome being obliged to forego what parties the other goils may have enjoyed, if you were on duty and unable to go, and eventually she may have discovered that it was the good times she loved more than the chap who took her to so many. It is a not uncommon thing.

            But I know you are big enough to buck up and take it like a big man always does. I’m sure we will always feel that Lois is a swell person; that it was swell for those of the family to have met her, though did not really know her. Regardless of present and future, it was a chapter in your life that must have been a pleasant one and provided many months of great happiness. Do not feel that it need be an unpleasant memory. On the contrary. It was swell while it lasted.

             Too bad it was not for many, many years. But we now turn a new page and start a new chapter, and however often one may go back in time to come, and thumb through the old pages and old photographs, one should do it with fond remembrances; it’s just one chapter. Chapter 1 for the girl maybe, but they usually have a string of Chaps. I know full well how you feel. Time heals all wounds. But don’t on the rebound take any shoulder that is offered upon which to weep or to use as a resting spot from which to pour forth your sad experience. God, the instances I’ve seen of that would fill an entire drawer of my files.

            I’ve got to go out right now. Mother is not in and tonight I will show her your letter.

            But I shall tell nobody yet for a while. Premature statements here of your disengagements might produce a serious epidemic of paroxysmal tachycardia in young females who had the ailment before but whose permanent bradycardia has existed since you left Ord and has persisted to-date. I do not want to cause such epidemics.




Watch for René’s next letter on
January 21

Barbara, René Jr,, René Sr. and Marie-Louise

August 14, 1945 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

Today we have a portion of the letter that René Bine, Sr. sent to his son on August 14, 1945 – VJ Day, the end of the war in Japan and, therefore, the end of World War II.

Anthony’s date with Cleopatra was some event, but at this moment,     6 P.M., it would appear that

                        AUGUST Fourteenth 1945

will be remembered as long, if not longer.

We have heard so many false rumors these last few days, that it was only when I saw the torn telephone books going past my windows, to the tune of sirens, mobs milling around Union Square, a large group of WAVES marching in formation up Powell from Geary, with a lone sailor on their right acting as captain, another WAVE being almost torn to shreds by a bunch of sailors celebrating, traffic practically stopped, Post St. entrance door of Garage down, closed, that I suspected that the deafening din meant that the President had probably spoken.

It was hectic getting my car out of the garage, as the whole mass was trying to get out. Geary was the only exit. Powell, Stockton doors also closed. I was not sure the fumes would not put us out of business, hors de combat. At Geary & Powell a lady asked for a lift. Her goil is in the Navy; grad from Stanford in 1938, then R.N. from same. Had a dozen eggs & many packages – trying for hours to go home to Pacific & Fillmore. This lady said she had seen windows busted on Market Street. Grace Cathedral chimes as well as other churches may be sending forth their calls to prayer, but certainly the downtown noises drown them out except right near their origin.

At the same time, 3 young girls asked for lift. These were going to a guest house Lake & 5th Ave. Well, I took the gray haired lady to her door, but even though just a few minutes before she had been so anxious to get home with her bundles, eggs, etc., now she wanted to go right back down town again!! She asked me what I was going to do, whereupon the 3 girls accused her of trying to date me & wondered how my wife would like this.

This eve, mother tells me that Gram went to the Fairmont. She of course, has to be in the thick of the celebration, but I have a hunch the dowager will not stage as wild a demonstration as will be seen at the Mark, the St. Francis, etc. I imagine that in Moscow, the biggest of all the parties will be seen. Maybe even, Jr., your gang will be figuring out just when you will get into your bus and all start for Paris.

Right now, having finished dinner, Dave is in the living room with the two sisters [Alma and Sara]. I shall have to quit now, as it is hard to concentrate.




Watch for René’s letter about V.J. Day on
August 15, 1945

San Francisco’s Market Street on August 14, 1945 – V.J. Day