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        Dec. 15, 44

Dear Mom and Family,
Well here at long last I again sit down and write you a line. I rec'd Gretchen's and Ernest's letter the other day and your package with the dates and pecans in it. Also the one from Viola's with the apples. Bettie and Beany sent me a package, Gum, candy and this writing paper and couple of hankies. Bettie has written me some swell letters. I think it is darn nice of her to do so especially when I'm such a poor writer. (Jerry just slung a big one over but it was either a dud or it went way over, there goes another, I guess they are going on over. I couldn't hear them bust and it wasn't likely they were both duds.) The third one has just gone over and I heard it bust up the line a ways, there goes number four, it's ten after nine in the evening. Just now I am two or three miles back from the front, I am driving jeep now and we mostly stay back at the kitchen as long as there are no runs to be made. (No. five just went over, that has been in the last fifteen minutes.         Dec. 17
Well I'll try to finish this now. I'm up in another town and things are rather quiet right now. Things got too hot the other night and I went to the ground floor and went to bed. I was trying to write upstairs.
        Dec. 19
Well here goes again, if I keep at this I may have it done by Xmas. The last time I tried to finish it I had to take the captain on a recon up to the next town. The other day I was up in that town and got a ball of heavy chicken wire wrapped around the rear drive shaft of my jeep and couldn't go ahead so I backed it up against a house, that was in the evening. Sometime that night then a tank comes along and runs over it and that poor little jeep didn't have a chance, it just got flattened. Well we got a new jeep and last night the other driver ran into another jeep in the dark so it's out of commission again.
Fixing a flat back home was nothing, over here you change then in the mud, under shellfire or just where ever they take a notion to go flat. If you don't have two or three a day you're lucky. Tires are darned scarce too. When you don't have a tire back home it's tough but over here it's just too bad. And this is still a long war, but most folks back there don't know what the score is anyhow.
If dad can get that old Ford truck at Franks buy it and leave it on the place for Dad and Fred to use. Pay for it out of my $25 allotment, I don't imagine it's worth more $50 more or less, but Dad and Fred can decide that. It ought to come in pretty handy for hauling hay & poles & such.
I met Bob Dale the other day again and he was doing ok. We see each other quite often on the fly. Well if things don't liven up too much in the next couple days I'll try and write again.
       I remain
P.S. I have never yet thought you were letting me down on this writing deal.
P.P.S. Here's a 1000 (?) Marks, if it was any good it would be worth $100.