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p37

       Mon, Aug. 7, 44
       ENGLAND
Dearest Mother,
Well (paper cutout of letter) this morning I got up from a miserable half nights rest after a hard days attack on Sun. I ate a cold can of meat & beans and a can of biscuits, stuck another can of biscuits in my left hip pocket. (It might be quite a while until we get rations up again.) I sat on the edge of my hole and talked with a kid next to me he was a nervous type and I always tried to ease him a little when I could. About fifteen minutes later word comes to get ready to move out, we're making a frontal attack at 7:30 it's now about 7:15. I strap on my pistol belt, rifle ammo. Belt and an extra bandoleer of ammo. Second Squad! Moving out! I grab my rifle and fall in behind my sqd. Checking to see if my boys were all here. I'd been second in command off and on and am again since thrs. We move up about three hundred yds and form for the attack. Over on my right is Captain ("Hardtack") waving his hand, shouting and then we're moving out across the fields and hedges cutting loose with everything we've got. I get across two hedges and to the middle of the next field and all of a sudden my butt end hurts like hell so I drop my rifle and fall back in the grass and make a lot of pretty faces. My sqd leader comes by and looks at me in question, I yell at him to go on, that I'm hit. Well here I am out in the middle of a field with the lead thicker than hair on a horse's back. Things quiet down a little and the pain eases up some but it hurts enough to make you dammed uncomfortable, then Jerrie starts throwing everything from hand grenades and mortar to 88s and screaming meamies, so I crawl into a nearby shell hole. A little chunk of shrapnel goes through my pants leg, it just stings thou. The sun comes out, it feels good, then it starts to get too warm. I stay there until the tanks move past and take out the machine gun nests and things quiet down a little so I decide to get out of there. I crawl over to the hedge and up along to where the tanks came through about a hundred yards in all I suppose then the medics pick me up and within ten minutes I'm back at the aid station. I ask what time it is (11:40). I pull the can of biscuits out of my pocket and chew away at them not that I wasn't very hungry, just something to do more or less. In a couple hours I was back at the field hosp. And under went my first operation and a good cheap drunk, it was the funniest feeling when I came to. I called the nurse sweetheart and I wasn't mad at nobody. There's a first hand account of my little mishap.
        Tues. 8, 44
I suppose everything is running along in the same old groove. That corn ought to be about fifteen feet high by now. I wouldn't care if I were back there putting up hay and grain and the such. Well I've run out of gab so maybe I'll be able to give you another big line the next time. I'm doing just fine, I'll be out of here in another couple weeks. Dammit!

       I remain as ever
        Love
         Dean