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Minnesota's Greatest Generation

Letter from John S. Sonnen, stationed with U.S. occupation troops in Germany, to his wife Georgiana, in St. Paul, dated August 14, 1945.

page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | envelope | transcription

Tuesday, August 14, 1945
Number 165

My Sweetheart:

It is 11:30 A.M. I have had a legal morning holiday because of my being on guard last night. It is a grand feeling - so different, you know, from my other "hectic-busy" days!

Bill Cook stormed in on me at 9 AM while I was trying to recuperate some of my last night's lost sleep. "The war's over!" he shouted "Come on, Sarge - get the hell out of the sack!" Everyone is called 'Sarg' by Bill and I) Well, there was no sleeping from then on so I got dressed while we discussed the possibilities of getting our hands, and tongues, on some licquoer by hook or crook.

While Bill and I were shouting out the window to Jerry Beaver to pile out of his jeep and let the gawdarn brass drive themselves or hire a horse, Tall-in-the-Saddle lazied into the room. Bill and I continued our brain wracking, grumbles, and mumbles about the liquid situation. After Tall Boy had unwound himself on one of the cots, flicked his toes a couple of flicks, and settle his head into his big ham hands locked on the pillow he offered: "We-l-l — Ah got a mighty hunch that a 'sartain fah-mah' has oodles of schnaps just a twitchin' to trade for coffee!" We jumped at him with both feet so now things are developing for a little 'errand' to this farmer's front door. We shall see what we shall see!

It is now 7:15 P.M. In the interim we accomplished nothing. Bob Mahan's "fah-mah" was not home, but then it is probably for the best because nothing too official has been announced regarding the Rising Sun's fall. Perhaps on the official day some fairy god-mother will have a basketful of bourbon under my cot - what am I saying!!???!!

We even were disappointed in getting a shower today. After Tall Boy drove us 28 miles to D Battery's DP camp and horseshoe plant we were not allowed in the showers because it was DP day. The boys would have just as soon gone in and had some plump Polski lass scrub their backs but the women and men are none too clean smelling nor appearing. Things are tough all over!

The weather was wet again today. Rain seems to be the common thing in these parts. What I am worried about is when does it turn into snow?

I have had no letters from you now for four days. I suppose the mail coming our way is now messed up too.

I miss you more than I can ever hope to tell you. It is impossible for a human being to live long enough for him to say everything that is necessary to say.

I simply love you more than you'll ever know.

John