1906 heritage— is a reference to René’s father, who was a doctor in San Francisco at the time of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Despite being only 24-years-old, he was soon put in charge of the tent hospital set up in the Presidio to care for the injured and ill.
A certain 24 year old young man in 1906 — is a reference to René’s father. On the morning of the 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco, René Bine Sr., M.D. commandeered a horse at gunpoint with the declaration, “I’m a doctor, I have things to do!” Or, at least, that has always been the family lore.
AMGOT – “Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories” was the form of military rule administered by Allied forces during and after World War II within European territories they occupied.
Cohn’s Commandos – the group (under the leadership of Roy Cohn, MD) that was the “advance party” for the 59th in North Africa and on D-Day in Southern France. In the South of France, the “commandos” included René, Chuck Schwartz and Paul Stratte.
Kaiser production plant – a reference to the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, which, employing assembly-line techniques, built 747 ships during World War II, a rate never equaled. Compared to the average ship built elsewhere, Richmond ships were completed in two-thirds the time and at a quarter of the cost.
LST – Landing Ship, Tank or tank landing ship, is the naval designation for ships built during World War II to support amphibious operations by carrying tanks, vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto shore with no docks or piers.
Maudlin – Bill Maudlin was an American editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters Willie and Joe, two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field.
M.C. – Abbreviation for Medical Corps of the U.S. Army is a staff corps (non-combat specialty branch) of the U.S. Army Medical Department consisting of commissioned medical officers – physicians with either an M.D. or D.O. degree, at least one year of post-graduate clinical training and a state medical license.
Numbers on René’s letters – Starting with the first letter he wrote after leaving the US, René numbered each letter to his parents (as did his parents on the letters they sent to him). They started again at No. 1 at the beginning of 1944 and 1945.