Looking for someone? Check Who’s Who for nicknames.

June 5, 1944

June 5, 1944No. 27 Somewhere in Italy Dear Folksies,             Today is your birthday, Dad, and my thoughts are with you. Wish I could be there to celebrate with all the rest. I didn’t realize until today, when I got ahold of my carbons, that it had been a full two weeks since my #26. […]

May 21, 1944

May 21, 1944No. 26 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Sorry to hear, Dad, that you have again had teeth trouble. How many does that leave you, anyhoo? Yes, our food is O.K. though there are forever grumbles that one has gotten to take as routine. But then, maybe I’m not so particular as some of […]

May 18, 1944

May 18, 1944Conclusion of No. 25 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,          I’m Medical O.D. today so have to stick around and it has been most boring. Have caught up on all my reading and nothing else is handy.          The baseball game the other afternoon was really a good one. Wy played his first game […]

May 16, 1944

May 16, 1944No. 25 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,          Saturday afternoon we had a good baseball game with the same Headquarters outfit that beat us the first day that we played. This time we did better, coming from behind to whip them in the last inning. They’ve challenged us to another game, and we will […]

May 15, 1944

May 15, 1944No. 24 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Had a nice letter from George Wood and also from George Davis.             Thursday nite had good dinner with Fran & Hal and Serge & Ann. Had some good raviolis with good sauce and cheese, and also had some small mackerel that were very good. We […]

May 12, 1944

May 12, 1944Continuation of No. 23 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,          Tuesday evening I went walking with Chappie before the show and we walked for a little over two hours, before wending our way back toward the theater. ‘Twas a swell walk. Show only fair, but we stuck it out and then walked home after […]

May 11, 1944

May 11, 1944No. 23 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Well, the so-called Sirroco wind has gone, thank goodness. We are now back on a Spring basis once again – late Spring, however. At least we are once again to sleep at nite, and, in fact, can find adequate use for one blanket. We continue to […]

May 9, 1944

May 9, 1944End of No. 22 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Yesterday morning we all awakened alright, but it was torture to climb out of bed. Every one of us was stiff as the dickens. Particularly behind the knees and thighs. We finally managed to live through the calisthenics, however. Whether the knee-bending in calisthenics […]

May 8, 1944

May 8, 1944No. 22 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Here I am again and it’s hotter than Hades on a Sunday morn in May. My typer is cached away at the moment and the only free typer I could find was over here in Don’s Detachment Headquarters Tent. He used to have an office in […]

May 5, 1944

May 5, 1944No. 21 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             I agree with your feelings regarding the Jap situation. One cannot help but have a certain reservation in one’s mind when thinking of them as a whole group, for there are plenty of Japanese-Americans fighting just as hard as the rest of the Americans. There have […]

May 3, 1944

May 3, 1944No. 20 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Father Clark is leaving us to go to George Wood’s outfit. He and George always got along together well. The Col. was not the least bit sorry to give him the transfer. In fact, when Clark’s request came in, the Col. was put in a fine […]

April 28, 1944

As reported earlier, unbeknownst to René, on January 28, 1944, Yvette Baumann Bernard(his second cousin) and her husband Jean-Guy Bernard were arrested by the Gestapo in their apartment in Paris. Both held senior positions in the Resistance, and Yvette, who was 25 years old, was 8 months pregnant. Alone in her cell, three weeks later, […]

April 27, 1944

April 27, 1944No. 19 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             It’s really a wonderful feeling to be absolutely up-to-date with letter writing for the first time, I think, since being overseas. I don’t owe a bloomin’ person a thing right now – or at least I won’t after I answer Henriette and Spiro’s sweet letter that […]

April 25, 1944

April 25, 1944No. 18 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,            Nothing new except the deluge of V-mail pages that I received from you this A.M., so, while I still have time I figured that I better answer them pronto.             I was interested in Lois’ letter to you, Bobsy. I haven’t heard from her in a few […]

April 24, 1944

April 24, 1944End of No. 17 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             We had a feast the other night. My pal, Eddie Accomando really dished up a swell one! We had real live, honest-to-goodness steaks, fresh off the fire, cooked to the taste of each individual concerned, as we went through the mess line.             It […]

April 22, 1944

April 22, 1944No. 17 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           We had an excellent U.S.O. Show out here the other night and it certainly went over with a bang. Act I: Blond songstress who hails from Whittier, California by the name of Rose Marie Meyers. Her most popular song was “Take Me Back To the San […]

April 18, 1944

April 18, 1944No. 16 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Things are really beginning to be “Springy” around here now — the blossoms are coming out, the flowers are beginning to bloom “tra-la, tra-la,” and some of the men have even taken up Victory Garden planting. One of the boys, the fellow who runs our showers, […]

April 14, 1944

April 14, 1944Un-numbered Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Our Officers Club and Bar is still a popular hangout and Pete Joseph keeps the varied liquor supply always plentifully on hand. Besides the usual local drinks of cognac, vermouth, brandy, etc. we even go in for such funny things as Planter’s Punch, Crème de Menthe frappe, […]

April 9, 1944

April 9, 1944End of No. 15 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,               Last night we had a big party in celebration — or really in mourning — for our beginning our third year as a unit. The committee that arranged the party did an excellent job, but the credit has to go mostly to Wally Greene. […]

April 8, 1944

April 8, 1944Continuation of No. 15 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,               Surprise!! Last night I attended Passover Services. There were services in one of the local churches and then a Seder dinner conducted at the Red Cross. Went with Liz Liss and Martha Morris and two non-Jewish officers who just went because they were interested. […]

April 7, 1944

April 7, 1944Continuation of No. 15 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                     This seems to be turning into a continued story and I do not seem to be able to get it done in one sitting. This week, you see, has been one of more activity than most of the previous ones. To continue with the […]

April 6, 1944

April 6, 1944No. 15 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                       Well, here it is our Second Anniversary – just two years since the 59th was activated!! Day after tomorrow there is to be the big celebration. The recently appointed Majors are giving a cocktail party late this afternoon, however. The reason the big party is to […]

March 30, 1944

March 30, 1944No. 14 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                       I intended to write long ago to warn you of the arrival of my “foot-locker”. I think I told you way back in July that we were no longer allowed to pack them around with us and as a consequence some sold theirs and others of […]

March 29, 1944

March 29, 1944No. 13 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                       Yesterday I took a walk with Jack as ‘twas a beautiful day – wandered down around the water and though it was warm enough, the water did not look very inviting.              The boys have been petitioning me to take another trip around the island with […]

March 27, 1944

March 27, 1944 Palermo, Sicily Dear Therese,             Yes, my dear, I agree, women are strange creatures! The whole thing was a complete surprise to me, and that, I guess is what made it worse for me. I hadn’t had the slightest inkling of what was coming, until that 21st of December. The whole thing […]

March 20, 1944

March 20, 1944No. 11 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                       On St. Patrick’s Day night I was roped into a bridge game by Collie. Usually those games are rather dull – Collie is good, but the Col. not so hot at bridge, particularly the bidding. Well, the other night turned out to be a very interesting […]

March 19, 1944

March 19, 1944No. 10 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                       Hal Williams & Pete Joseph finally arrived home after being almost 1 week AWOL. They had an even tougher time getting home than had Gil Bishop and Bob Treadwell. They got to Cairo alright, but it was just about then that things clamped down and one […]

March 14, 1944

March 14, 1944No. 9 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                        George is still here, but we haven’t done anything very exciting at all during the week. In fact, we have spent most of our time just relaxing, reading and talking.             The last two days, however, have been busy, for I have had to make rounds […]

March 10, 1944

March 10, 1944Conclusion of No. 8 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                     Some of the gals have gotten their first Lts. In the last week. Those that have arrived to date are: Danielson, French, Myren, Dottie Merrell and Ann Schleisman. There are several more to come yet, however. Incidentally, had Lois remained, she would have been […]

March 7, 1944

March 7, 1944No. 8 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,                       Last Thursday night, being rather tired, I went to bed early — somewhere around 9 P.M. Then it seemed only a matter of minutes when I suddenly was wide awake again, with a familiar voice in my ear telling me to get up and have something […]

March 3, 1944

March 3, 1944Continuation of No. 7 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Remember a few months ago I was going to send my watch home to be fixed, well, I waited and waited and finally the other day when the stem on the watch Lois had her mother send me for my birthday last year came […]

March 1, 1944

March 1, 1944 No. 7 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Don’t be surprised at what might come out of this typer today, for it is the Chaplain’s typer, Wy being busy on some sort of requisitions on his typer – so I am not only using Daib’s typer but am closeted in his study while […]

February 27, 1944

February 27, 1944 Continuation of No. 6 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Our boys finally had their baseball game with our friends the rival hospital. The latter expected us to be easy pickings, and, after our pitcher walked the first three men purposely, they were even more convinced that it would be a cinch. Imagine […]

February 26, 1944

February 26, 1944 No. 6 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,          Everything has been purty slow during this last week. Bill Kuzell and I had a rushing business for some days there, everything in that line has calmed down and we could consolidate our three wards into one if we so desired.          Have felt fine, […]

February 19, 1944

February 19, 1944 No. 5 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             When it rains it pours – and it has been doing just that of late, (i.e. on and off with occasional startling snow) – I wrote that we had finally gotten an ENT man – yes, but that isn’t all. We got another new Capt. […]

February 17, 1944

February 17, 1944 No. 4 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,            The weather here has been rather invigorating of late, that is, if one has guts enough to stay out in it – it’s nice and crisp and the wind that comes down off the snow on the mountains kind of freezes your exposed parts. But, personally, […]

February 12, 1944

February 12, 1944 No. 3 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             This week our basketball team didn’t do so badly. They won a game for a change and then proceeded to give the M.P.’s a good fight, only to lose by a few points. However, that M.P. game was really not much of a basketball game, […]

February 8, 1944

February 8, 1944 Conclusion of No. 2 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             You should have seen me the other night. Not having slept well, and having been up rather late for several nights in a row, I decided that I would take some sodium amytal and go to bed early and get a good sleep, […]

February 5, 1944

February 5, 1944 No. 2 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Gee, I didn’t realize that so much time had elapsed since my last epistle to you, but I have really been kept plenty busy. Tho’ most of the hospital has been going along pretty much on an even keel, I, for some reason or other […]

January 28, 1944

Unbeknownst to René, on January 28, 1944, Yvette Baumann Bernard (his second cousin) and her husband Jean-Guy Bernard were arrested by the Gestapo in their apartment in Paris. Both held senior positions in the Resistance, and Yvette, who was 25 years old, was 8 months pregnant. In an interview in 1980, Yvette recounted what happened […]

January 26, 1944

January 26, 1944 Palermo, SicilyConclusion of No. 1 Dear Folksies,         You’ll be interested to know that we have had weekly medical conferences here, the job of presenting the conferences being alternated between hospitals. Our last one was a really good one, given by Mattie, Bret, Wally and Frank. Heard one at another place […]

January 21, 1944

January 21, 1944 Palermo, Sicily No. 1 Dear Folksies,        Things here continue pretty much the same except that once again we have some boarders. How long they will be with us, we know not. They are just female and I had to move three of my wards-full of patients down from the second to the […]

January 18, 1944

No letter from René today, but here is the letter that Lois wrote to René’s parents on January 18, 1944.{Click on the letter to enlarge.} The notation in the upper left corner indicates that it was received in San Francisco on January 27 – a week after René’s father penned his response to René’s January […]

January 10, 1944

January 10, 1944 Not numbered Palermo, Sicily Dear Dad,         Knowing you as I do I sort of imagine that you have been doing a bit of thinking about the underlying reasons for my admittedly rotten correspondence in the last three and a half weeks. I’ve not only written so little in quantity but I […]

January 9, 1944

January 9, 1944No. 71 (conclusion) Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             We spent a full day and two nights in Catania and had fun wandering around the town during the daytime. I had figured that the boys would enjoy themselves and do better by going off in groups of twos or threes, but strangely enough we […]

January 8, 1944

January 8, 1944No. 71 (continued) Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             The trip with the boys was quite a success. We took just one truck and there were 14 boys and myself. Left here at 6:30 A.M. on Monday and returned at 2 A.M. on Thursday, all rather tired but having had a fine time. We […]

December 31, 1943

December 31, 1943No. 71 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Yes, I’ve really been awfully bad again about not writing, but unfortunately I just haven’t felt in the writing mood. And despite the fact that I know you like to get letters whether they are worthwhile or not, I just somehow couldn’t sit down and get […]

December 23, 1943

December 23, 1943Continuation of No. 71 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Had a surprise awaiting Jim Hamilton the other day when he returned from his leave. He and Gus Stola went to Oran for their leave and had a devil of a time getting back. In fact, they were two days over due because they […]

December 18, 1943

December 18, 1943No. 70 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Here it is Saturday night, just one week till Xmas! I’m certainly hoping that at this time next year we will all be back home together anticipating a Xmas at 15-26th Ave. in the old style. Right now, despite the fact that we have been bad […]

December 12, 1943

December 12, 1943No. 69 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Things here haven’t been too rushing of late and yet we manage to have something to keep us busy most of the time. My medical ward has been rather interesting what with a boy with some kind of purpura and another with a nice big kidney […]

December 7, 1943

December 7, 1943No. 68 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Today I received the swell Roos Bros. shirt you sent me, Dad, Mom and Bobsy – likewise the tie from Sal that went along with it. Am deeply grateful as my others are plenty worn around the neck. I am a bit puzzled, however, I know […]

December 5, 1943

December 5, 1943 Palermo, Sicily Dear Sal & Dave,            Lois and I feel as if we are certainly the most fortunate kids in the world getting all the things you people have been sending us. Yes, there are none better than Blum’s Almondettes & Coffeeteens. Thanks just oodles. Thanks, too, for the wonderful alligator […]

December 4, 1943

December 4, 1943No. 67 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Despite the fact that last Sunday night I fully intended to write this letter regarding all the wonderful presents we received, we both got awfully tired and didn’t get around to going through the long list. So, now, if you notice different words or typing when […]

November 30, 1943

November 30, 1943End of No. 66 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Some leaves are being dished out now, for the first time since we’ve been overseas, and, as a matter of fact, we are one of the last hospitals to receive leaves over here. Collie went first and had a nice trip, going to Cairo, […]

November 28, 1943

November 28, 1943 Continuation of No. 66 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,           Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. And what did we have as a Thanksgiving feast? Had chicken instead of turkey, but the chick was mighty good, and along with it went stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, cranberry jelly, apple pie, cheese, nuts and hard candy. ‘Twas […]

November 27, 1943

November 27, 1943 No. 66 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Here is your very bad son again, being most repentant for not having written. Please forgive me!! Have no particular excuse except that we have been admitting some every day instead of every-other day and as a consequence it has seemed that every time I […]

November 21, 1943

November 21, 1943 Continuation of No. 65 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,              I must thank you, Dad, ever ever so much for the wonderful pair of glasses you sent me. They are really marvelous, but I feel guilty when I think of how much you must have paid for them. And then again, I shudder […]

November 14, 1943

November 14, 1943 No. 65 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Here it is Sunday night and Lois and I are down in Supply again pounding away at the typers. Things have slowed down considerably as far as my business is concerned, but Lois is still going pretty much full blast. Somehow she manages to tear […]

November 10, 1943

November 10, 1943 Continuation of No. 64 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Numerous packages arrived the other day – packages that apparently were mailed after the glasses you got me. These, of course, were Xmas packages and I’m amazed that they arrived so quickly. Have not as yet opened them, but wonder if they will […]

November 5, 1943

November 5, 1943 No. 64 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             I have been kept busy for the last couple of weeks and never did manage to sit down at a typer long enough to do much good. When I have had some few minutes time then all our typers have been busy. Mine, at the […]

October 27, 1943

October 27, 1943 Continuation of No 63 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Have a new innovation in the hospital now. Have instituted a broadcasting system so that now the place almost sounds like the San Francisco Hospital with its system of calling “Doctor so and so,” but instead it is now “Captain so and so, […]

October 20, 1943

October 20, 1943 No 63 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             We are now having ice-cream twice a week. It’s made out of powdered milk and eggs, but it has been swell. They started us off with vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce and there was plenty for all. That is, all except Lois. She sneaked back […]

October 16, 1943

October 16, 1943 Palermo, Sicily Dear Gram,             We are still working steadily, running quite a big joint all the time, but at least we have all the conveniences we could really wish for. In fact, one day someone got the idea that it would be better if the patients on the second floor of […]

October 15, 1943

October 15, 1943 No 62 Palermo, Sicily Dear Folksies,             Yesterday we had quite a nice experience. We had little joy ride around the island — a plane ride that took us to such places as Sciacca, Agrigento, Castelvetrano, and a couple of other places. We were taken to lunch at Agrigento by the pilot […]