Letters

The Letters From Snook To Gee

Dearest Gee

Dearest Gee. Every letter home starts the same way, all 340 or so I have collected in this old wooden shoe shine kit box. Snook loved Gee, from the moment they met in 1935 until his passing in 1989, with Gee by his side. The man I knew, my grandfather, was an exceptionally gentle man,…

Snook’s Army History (Introduction)

Snook titled his World War II memoir: My Army History of Service in the First Special Service Force and the 474 Infantry Regiment of the United States Army, From May 11, 1942 to October 31, 1945. Frank M. “Snook” Barber composed this memoir entirely on his loud old typewriter, completing it on April 4, 1988.…

Saturday, October 6, 1945

Dearest Gee. Been neglecting you here lately, kid. Don’t think I’ve written a letter for the last three days. I got three letters from you and one from Coe in that time. Also got a swell package from you, kid, of cheese crackers, candy bars, hair tonic, and some powder to make drinks out of…

Wednesday, October 3, 1945

Dearest Gee. Well, honey, the time is getting closer and closer. I got two nice long letters from you yesterday and one from Mom but didn’t get a chance to answer them. They were dated Sept. 19, and 21. We had to take four truck loads of British up to Heistadmoen yesterday and I got…

Sunday, September 23, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got your “birthday” number yesterday with the picture of the Oslo explosion in it. I told you already what I did on that day so I won’t have to go into that again. I thought I’d be able to write a lot of letters yesterday as I was supposed to be on C.Q.…

Friday, September 21, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got your nice letter of the 10th, honey, and one from Mom of the 11th. Also got four packs of cigarettes from Sis that come in handy. Your letter was the second one you wrote that day. Are you trying to set a record? I’m glad you go over to see the folks…

Wednesday, September 19, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got your nice long letter of Sept. 10 today, kid. Onliest one I got too. Sure hope you’re settled down now for awhile. Guess life has been kinda hectic for you these past couple of weeks. What decorations is Bob getting points on, did he say? I saw him a couple of days…

Sunday, September 16, 1945

Dearest Gee. Hit the jackpot today on the mail. Got three from you, but one was the Core Driller magazine. That sure has some good jobs in it. The guys all got a kick out of it. Then I got a letter from Mom and a six page typewritten job from Mildred. I hadn’t heard…

Saturday, September 15, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got your swell long letter of Sept. 4 yesterday and one from Mae + Erv of Sept 5. Hers was a v-mail but I was glad to get it. She said he had no idea of what he wanted to do yet but was anxious to do something. I know what I want…

Thursday, September 13, 1945

Dearest Gee. Thanks, honey, for that fancy birthday card. I got it today with the nice long letter inside. Didn’t get any mail yesterday so I didn’t do any writing. I wasn’t in much of a mood to do any writing anyway after that shindig at the club. One of the guys here in the…

Tuesday, September 11, 1945

Dearest Gee. I don’t feel a day over thirty-two kid. Gawd that sounds old. Let’s quit talking about it. Yesterday I got a nice card and letters from Mom along with four packs of cigarettes, also got a nice card from Coe yesterday. Today I got a card from Jack DeAtley and your long letter…

Sunday, September 9, 1945

Dearest Gee. Well, honey, I sure haven’t got a hell of a lot to write about. I did finally get a letter from your today dated Aug 28 and a nice card from Carrie + Rudy with a buck in it. I’ll save it towards a rainy day as I can’t spend it, only on…

Friday, September 7, 1945

Dearest Gee. First off I want to thank ye kindly for the six packs of butts I got yesterday from you and also the letter of August 24. Also got four packs from Mom so if I still figure right that makes a carton. While I wasn’t exactly hunting for smokes it’s always nice to…

Wednesday, September 5, 1945

Dearest Gee. I got your swell number of Aug 26 today, kid, and a card from Sis. Twas one of those moron cards and pretty cute. I’d just as soon forget the birthday as I’m not planning on having any this year. If you can’t read this letter it’s because I was “out” last night.…

Monday, September 3, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got your swell Aug 22 number today and two packages from you too. One was a package of wafers with funnies and the other, the package of birthday cards you got. Also got a letter and package from Mom of four packs of butts. Sure was glad to hear from you as it’s…

Friday, August 31, 1945

Pay Day at the Mine Dearest Gee. Got three nice long letters from you yesterday honey, and one from Coe. I’m waiting for mail call now to see if I have any today. Your letters were dated Aug 19, 20, 21, and were all about Chick and Erv. Was sorry to hear he’s so nervous…

Tuesday, August 28, 1945

Dearest Gee. No letters from you today, honey, but I did get two little packages of funnies and gum, and that swell lighter. Several of the fellows have lighters like that one and they work pretty good. My Ronson you gave me is just about kaput. I still have it tho and will try to…

Monday, August 27, 1945

Dearest Gee. Well, honey, that long awaited jackpot hit again today. I got five letters from you and a little package of Molle shaving cream with some funnies. Then I got a nice long letter from Sis and one from Mom. Your letters were all real long ones and were dated Aug. 13, 14, 15,…

Sunday, August 26, 1945

Dearest Gee. Well, honey, I sure am having a time tonight with this guard business. Things sure are rushing. One of the guys picked up two Norsky kids that stole a carton of cigs. Leastways he had the carton on him and cigs are too hard to get. Claimed he traded a bottle of Acquavit…

Saturday, August 25, 1945

Dearest Gee. So nuthin’ today, kid. Can’t understand this mail situation. Sure is ragged. Well, how’s everything between the home front and the returning veterans? Has things got anyways near back to normal in the Bruns’ and Barber’s households? Suppose Francy and my Dad are both still nursing a little hangover. Maybe it’s a good…

Thursday, August 23, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got your swell Aug 12 number yesterday after I had already wrote you, and today I got your Aug 2 one. So finally Chick hit the States! I’ll bet you all were excited. It’s a wonder Joannie hadn’t passed out. I don’t think Chick has changed in looks any only he looks older,…

Wednesday, August 22, 1945

Dearest Gee. Well, honey, I got two nice long letters from you yesterday dated Aug 9 + 10th. Sure got a kick out of your birthday number. You sure sounded worried because you hit thirty. Honey, I’ve been thirty for the last two years. Don’t worry about it because in the pictures enclosed you looked…

Tuesday, August 21, 1945

Dearest Gee. Haven’t heard from you in the last couple of days but guess I’d better dash one off to you any way. You seem to have more trouble getting letters than I do. Prosise and I decided to go to town last night and see a show. To keep from going nuts more than…

Saturday, August 18, 1945

Dearest Gee. Was going to write you yesterday but got to feeling so tough that I didn’t quite make it. I had started one to the folks yesterday morning and I barely got that one done. Had a tooth yanked out yesterday morning and it sure knocked me out. Guess I waited too long to…

Thursday, August 16, 1945

Dearest Gee. Might as well start writing while I’m sweating out a mail call. Should know in a few minutes whether I have any or not. When I do get some it generally is late mail. I think your letters are coming over airmail and mine are going by boat since it takes so long…

Wednesday, August 15, 1945

Dearest Gee. Gosh, honey, I sure have been neglecting you lately. But I think I had a good reason. Last Saturday I went into the P.X. bar to get a glass of beer and Lee and Close were there with a Merchant Marine officer. It was a guy from Lee’s hometown. Lee and Close had…

Friday, August 10, 1945

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY! Sure hope we spend that next one different from this. Have been thinking about you all day and wondering how and what you were doing. Are you going out and celebrate tonight? Hope you have a good time, kid, only take it easy on account your pappy may be coming to see…

Thursday, August 9, 1945

Dearest Gee. Well, honey, one more day and you’ll have another birthday. I won’t mention how young you are. Hope you have a swell day, honey, and I’ll be thinking special hard about you all day, if that’s possible. They have some fairly nice looking jewelry in town but it’s tabu to go in and…

Tuesday, August 7, 1945

Dearest Gee. Got three letters from you today, kid, and two packages. They sure hit the spot. They were nice long ones and had good news in them for a change. Sure am glad Chick is on his way — or should I say — home now? I’m looking forward to a letter from him…

Sunday, August 5, 1945

Dearest Gee. Honey, I got your swell lil’ ol’ number of July 24 (2nd edition) today. Was mighty sweet. Also got one from my momma. I don’t have a hell of a lot to talk about today. Nothing new seems to happen. I’m sending you another edition of the Spearhead I case you’re interested. It…

Saturday, August 4, 1945

Dearest Gee. Thought sure I had a letter and a half today but it turned out to be the anniversary cards you sent. They were all pretty swell weren’t they. And for some reason or other they all wanted me and you to be together for the next one. Little do they know that we…

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