06.05.1944 Letter

(the day before the invasion of Normandy – written from Winchester Cathedral)

Dear Willard, Grace and all;

I answered a letter I received from you around a week ago. This morning I received 3 more which you wrote at about the same time, one when you went for groceries. On reading them over, I find that that letter just about answered everything in all of them. The V-Mail was damaged in the machine and could not be photographed so it was sent as a regular letter. I don’t know where they were but don’t forget to leave off “Advance Echelon” in the address.

I have a V-Mail here which I have written to Jack. I’ll mail it today. By the way, I know of boys who have received something like Aqua Velva etc., and if it is packed well, it will get through OK. On the mail, V-Mail is probably your best bet — most consistent — 8 or ten days. Mine is probably Air Mail.

I’ll give you a little thumbnail story of what I did yesterday. I had an opportunity to go on a tour to a town which has quite a historic background. Where it is or its name I am not permitted to mention at this time. But some of this particular cathedral was perhaps more than a thousand years old. Construction of which may have begun somewhere around 900 A.D. You walk around inside the place and walk on top of old tombstones. The date on one being 1680. There may be some older, but I couldn’t find any older that that. They were all worn out from walking over them. But the stone work inside was beautifully carved and the Norman and Early English architecture really stand out. It is a massive building and church services are still held in it. They have some sort of preservative on the stone for protection from crumbling.

But getting back to the mail — I like the V-Mail because I can keep a little file of it, and where the circle is I used that to note when I answer it.

Mildred sent a package out to me so she said in the letter I got from her today.

With that I’ll close.

Russell

England

This letter was written, the day before D-Day.

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