Letters from Clarence F. Miller: Btry C 535th AAA Bn 1943 - 1945 - Page 9




 
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December 10th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Cpl. Clarence F.Miller
Btry C 535th AAA (AW) Bn
APO 562 c/o P.M.
New York, NY
Postmark: US Army Postal Service 895 Oct 22, 1945
LeHarve France
Oct 21 1945
Dear Friends
Received your welcome letter & sure was glad to hear from you again.
Well I am still in LeHarve & am leaving in a few days so if you write again write to my home address. If you write to my army address I may not get it. It may be some time before I receive it but I will have it when I get there if every thing goes OK we should be in the states by the middle of Nov. I sure been waiting for this for a long time & it is very close now.
Well I suppose you have most of your farm work done all but husking & some plowing haven’t you? Maybe next year I’ll have plowing to do for my self if every thing is OK when I get there. I haven’t made up my mind yet what I want to do when I get there. I may buy a truck & haul milk like I done before I came in the Army. I suppose I will have a big surprise when I get back. They say that there are a lot of changes. I sure am glad I don’t have to stay over here any longer. Well I have to get some of my clothes ready to pack so I better close for this time. The home address is or will be
Mr. Clarence F. Miller
Neillsville,
R1 Wisconsin
c/o Frank Miller
Best of Luck to you & all
a Friend
Clarence

[Paul's comment: what a beautiful way to end. He's going home, and thinking about the future again. Thinking about crops and driving the milk truck. Back to the Clarence that we have gotten to know, before the ravages of war took its toll. He leaves us with his home address, and signs off as "a Friend." Thank you, Clarence. You are a friend to us now.]
December 10th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
I have found them really fascinating insights of the period, it would be interesting to know what he got up to after the war to complete the story.

How many of the family will you meet when you hand over the letters?

Also have you worked out the relationship between your grandmother and the writer, ie. is he a relation or family friend?
December 10th, 2014  
crazytanker
 
 
Yes now you have to tell us about the family. Surely you won't allow this to end here. Have you got it organized so that you know who is who? They may ask.
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December 10th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I have found them really fascinating insights of the period, it would be interesting to know what he got up to after the war to complete the story.

How many of the family will you meet when you hand over the letters?

Also have you worked out the relationship between your grandmother and the writer, ie. is he a relation or family friend?
His mother is my grandma's first cousin.

We know that he was married in 48. I am curious as to what his wife will be able to tell us. Did he talk about any of this stuff ever?
December 10th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazytanker
Yes now you have to tell us about the family. Surely you won't allow this to end here. Have you got it organized so that you know who is who? They may ask.
I know who everyone is that he mentions in the letters, except for Ed Huinker, who I only have a vague idea. It's a different family, but I know he had moved up to Wisconsin and lived in the same area.

The other people he mentions are in his family in some fashion, brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins.

I know he ended up with something like 8 children. I have the list from his daughter.
December 12th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwenthold
[no envelope]
LeHarve
Sept 20 1945
Dear Friends
Received your welcome letter & was pleased to hear from your again.
So you donít think the boys are coming home very fast well I donít think so either. They sure take there time getting us out but it didnít take long to get us into it. Jeanette wrote me & said her husband landed in New York so I guess she is one happy girl & I glad she is you know I think a lot of her. I know she is the best sister I have. Her & I use to go to dances & have a swell time. I would rather take her then a lot of other girls I know. Yes you guessed it right about the invasion. We were the first Anti Air Craft guns on the Utah Beach on Normandy France & we were also surrounded on the German brake through Dec. We were surrounded for 2 days & that is one time life looks very short to all of us, but the good Lord was with us.
The Germans came out with there air power & we had good shooting. Shot down 13 in those two days & half of the fliers never got out of there burning plance. It was an awful way to die but they shot a lot of our planes down. People will never know how much we lost. It was plenty in men & supplies but thank god it is all over with now. It seems funny to travel with no one shooting at you but it OK. Our Battalian is giving us a map of our traveles & where we were on dates throughout the war. Well it will be some thing that people can look at but it donít interest me any. There are a lot of things I want to forget & never will talk about.
Well it is time for lights out so I will close for now. Best of Luck to you & all.
As ever a friend
Update: the family still has the map. I'm going to get a copy.

Also, the thought within the family is that he got a Dear John letter from Marie, and so that was the source of the break-up. He says it's not her fault, and I think it's more of "I don't blame her."
December 12th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwenthold
Update: the family still has the map. I'm going to get a copy.

Also, the thought within the family is that he got a Dear John letter from Marie, and so that was the source of the break-up. He says it's not her fault, and I think it's more of "I don't blame her."
One thing that letter tells me is that it wasn't true when he said the map did not interest him as the fact that he kept it says other wise.

As for the break up I get the impression that they were not as close as is thought as he rarely speaks about her at any stage during letters other the times she was actually with him, the only evidence I can see that would lead me to believe other wise is the rather dark letter he sent late in the piece which I assume was about the time of the break up.
December 12th, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
One thing that letter tells me is that it wasn't true when he said the map did not interest him as the fact that he kept it says other wise.
I wonder the same thing. Although he may have just saved it for posterity or for others. He does say that maybe some will be interested in it. But I was very excited when I heard that they still had the map. Not because we need a map - I'm sure I could find one somewhere, and I'm sure the travels of the 535th in WW2 is written somewhere, but just because of the fact that he still had it.

Actually, speaking of that - the family is concerned about trying to copy the map because it is oddly shaped and rolled up (and presumably brittle). Challenge - can anyone find an electronic copy of the map? I could really use a copy, and it doesn't have to be his.

Quote:
As for the break up I get the impression that they were not as close as is thought as he rarely speaks about her at any stage during letters other the times she was actually with him, the only evidence I can see that would lead me to believe other wise is the rather dark letter he sent late in the piece which I assume was about the time of the break up.
Not sure. He does refer to her on occasion, and it is clear that he is corresponding with her. Early on, he does say explicitly that he wishes he could get back to see his girlfriend and his parents.

And I know that the engagement was a real engagement and not just a "we agreed to get married." She had an engagement ring, and apparently sent it back. Note that he said they had planned to get married in the fall (would have been the fall of 42, I think), and the Army mess up the plans.

What I see is that he got 3 days leave to be home in almost 3 years. That's not easy on any relationship, of course. This is why he says that there is no future for unmarried guys, I suspect. He is figuring that all their girls will have moved on.

My wife's first response was to ask about Marie's children. When was the first born? It's presumptuous, I realize, but was she pregnant when they got married?

Unfortunately, finding anything about Marie has been even harder. To the best I can tell, after getting married in Neillsville, they moved to Milwaukee. There were a lot of people in Milwaukee. But hey, if anyone can find anything about Joseph and Marie Vetrano, we might be able to figure out more.
December 12th, 2014  
dadsgirl
 
 
I was wondering about Marie's children also... there were I think nine months, then she got married.....hmmmmmmmm. I wondered that ever since I read it. That'd be interesting!

Dadsgirl

Look Vetrano up on your PC in the White Pages in that area.
December 23rd, 2014  
pgwenthold
 
My dad and I drove up to Neillsville yesterday to meet with Clarence's family and to bring them the letters. His wife and three of his children were there.



We had a wonderful time talking about their family, and I learned a lot more about Clarence. They did farm for a while after he and Anita got married, but ultimately he ended up working for the county doing highway maintenance. However, he always kept a large vegetable garden.

There will be an article about us in the Clark County Press soon. I'll send you the link when it comes out.
 


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