Letter by Lieutenant John “Jack” Gordon Kavanagh to his sister, three weeks before he was killed in action.
21st March 1945
How’s my big (and I do mean “big”) sister these days? I have chased half way over Germany looking for that husband of yours and I haven’t found him yet. It is too bad I was so near and yet so far on one occasion, but I guess he told you all about it. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to see him now but perhaps I shall before long.
You can piece the news together from this and mum’s letter and also to the one of Frank’s of a month or so ago.
Here it is, the first day of spring and the weather has been marvelous for a week. To-day the sun is shining brightly, the birds are singing, etc. (You can tell Germany is a hell of a place though, because even the trees are “leaving” – Haha)
My home is a hole in the ground with a straw floor, an earthen shelf for cigarettes, pack, etc. plus a roof of wood and lots of earth on top of it. I’m beginning to look like a “mole” now. However we are in a rest area and this is a lot more comfortable then they are up at the front.
If the weather is nice we are going to play soft ball tomorrow. My platoon is going to make the diamond today – It’s a three mile march to get there. I really have a small platoon though, and you’d like my batman. He’s only a little kid, 19 years old but looks 15. He is responsible for my personal protection in action, he has to dig my slit trenches and keep my free from unnecessary jobs so that I can give all my attention to fighting the platoon properly. It sounds like a big order for a kid but he can do it OK (I hope!!)
Frank Gaines is the CQMS of my company in fact I’m using his desk now. He looks very good and is doing a damn fine job. Our company eats better than the others and it is outfitted well. That’s his baby.
Have you seen or hear from Dorothy Bannon [?]. She is a swell girl and strictly on the up and up.
We sure are “bushed” here. We are resting right in the middle of Hitler’s invincible Seigfried Line. There are a few German civilians around bu the only thing I have had to do with them was to shoot eight of their chickens and then take one of their cows. I walked the old cow 3 miles to our lines with a big rope around its neck. It must have known it was going to the slaughter because it didn’t want to come. However, the steaks, and roasts, etc were very good, and the cow is a past thought now.
Give my love to all the gals at the big store and tell Louise [?] to drop me a line some time.
All the love in the world from your little brother,