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p35

     July 23, 1944
Dearest Mother and Family,     England
Well you no doubt have rec'd your little notice from the war dept. that your son has been wounded in action if not you will soon. I'm back in England in a hospital doing just fine. I was hit about a week ago and could have written sooner but I guess you know me by this time. A machine gun bullet #########, it next went in my watch pocket and came out below my left hand corner of my right hip pocket. It made about #### inch hole in me but it is just a flesh wound and nothing serious so do not be worried about it. It felt like someone hit me in the rear end with a brick. I am a very lucky guy.
It certainly is nice to get back to England away from the racket and able to sleep in a nice bed. I hope, and look for this mess to be just about over by the time I'll be back and able to get around. I am writing this with a german Inkagraph fountain pen. I found a good pen & pencil set the day before I was hit. I never lost my appetite so you might guess how bad off I am. Also went to a movie with my crutches this afternoon. I'll write again soon.
      As ever I remain,      Dean

        July 26, 44      England
Dear Dad,
Well it's been quite a long time since we shook hands that cold Friday morning in Clearfield and I've covered a lot of ground, none of which I regret, but a feller's always ready to go home. I've seen dead Jerries and my own dead buddies and you don't come out of that the same guy you went in. I hope this mess is over with before I get back. France is a pretty place, hedgerows and trees, most of the houses are of stone, hundreds of years old with walls two and sometimes three feet thick. I haven't seen a tractor over there yet. They use big old heavy two wheeled carts that is a load for a big horse when it is empty. The houses mostly have the old fire place no stove, that's in the country I don't know what it's like in the towns. I noticed one thing, that they seem to have a good rural electric system. The French people are mostly quite friendly and have wine or cider, maybe milk. One morning we were moving along and they came running out with a plate piled high with pancakes and lots of butter. When you stop at a place for a while you can go out and get butter and eggs, milk vegetables even fresh beef. I've had a lot of fun kicking around France but I wasn't sorry to leave it. That's one good thing they surely have good medical aid up on the front. I was back to the Aid station ten minutes after they picked me up and at the hospital two hours later.
Did you have new rings put in the truck when you had it overhauled? And does it seem to haul any better since the job was done? I still don't know what I'll do when I get back but there's one thing certain I'm going to have me a nice home in the country somewhere. I'd like to raise a couple husky boys the same place you did and you and mother could live right there with me you know! We could build a nice big white house right the old one is standing now. I don't know of a better location. Well I'd better sign off here or I won't have anything to say the next time. The name of this Jerrie pen is
Orthos the pencil Artus (?) maybe you know what they mean.
       I remain as ever,
     With Love       Dean
P.S. Note new address.