July 24, 1944
Battapaglia, Italy

No. 36

Dear Folksies,

          Things continue to hum along pretty much the same, but we all have become accustomed to listening to the radio news several times a day lately. Things seems to be happening so fast and furiously up in Prussia and now internally in Germany, that there are many bets flying around that this thing will be over in a matter of days, rather than a matter of months.  I had not felt in the past that the end over here was going to come with any dramatic suddenness, but I may be wrong.  The advance that the Russians have been making, and making steadily, is almost unbelievable!  Who knows, we may be set up here actually for the last time?

          There seems to be some undercurrent of internal combustion going on in the outfit right now, but just what the score is I know not. I know that there are to be some transfers, but who or when, I know not – some nurses, apparently, and likely a couple of officers. Don’t know what the dope is??

          Our set-up here is pretty nice in many ways – the principal one being that there is little or no sand or dust, as the ground that is not trampled continually under foot is somewhat on the grassy side – at least weedy! Our quarters are in pyramidical tents and I am living with Eddie Welles, Serge Bryner and Bob Jones. We have our super-fine shower unit with us and it was with this same shower unit that for the last time, a month and a half ago, we got the best shower that we had had since leaving the U.S. – plenty of force, plenty of water, and consistently hot – not alternately scalding, luke-warm and cool, as we have had to have most of the time.

          Had beer and coca-colas issued to us (10 cents per bottle) for the very first time since the U.S.  Shoooor tasted good, too!  We haven’t gotten it all yet — they started with 2 bottles of beer last night and we’re supposed to get 4 more apiece tomorrow.  Not bad, but we’ve waited a long time for this. Yes, ‘tis American beer, not just the stuff they have been bottling here in Italy under U.S. supervision.

                                                                                        Loads of love,

rene-transparent

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Watch for my next letter
July 30, 1944

René tells his parents that he is sharing a tent with Eddie Welles (above), Serge Bryner (below) and Bob Jones.

René tells his parents that he “had beer and coca-colas…for the very first time since the U.S.”

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