Captain Harold F. Kleindienst
December 14, 1943


Dear Gang -


 December 14, 1943
"Somewhere In Italy"

Since the last writing many pleasant surprises have come my way. No, the Jerries had nothing to do with all this,though pleasantly enough, they are continuing this so-called tactical withdrawl not, however, to our suprise. What I'm speaking of now is the onslaught of Christmas packages aimed in my direction toward which the bunch at S.B. Inc. {Editors note: In June 1929, the Fleishmann's Yeast Company absorbed four smaller corporations: Royal Baking Powder Company, E.W. Gillette Company Ltd of Canada, Widlar Food Products Company, and Chase Sandborn Inc.. Together these Companies formed Standard Brands Inc.}, played no small part. The Club package, the Office package, the Adv.Dept. package and one from Betty Forrest were all recieved in good shape and many, many thanks to you all for your thoughtfulness. The chain of goodies and toilet articles, plus the handy knick knacks was most certainly an excellent one and though the atmosphere here is far removed from the holiday seasons, my buddies and I have had.

Then, too, "Stan Bits" made it's regular monthly appearance and with it's very interesting news of the Company and chatter about guys and gals at the factory - makes for much interesting reading. It sure does bring me awfully close to home, reading about the people I used to chin and rub elbows with, at desk and bar. Please keep 'em coming - they're great for morale. As I write this - by candle light mind you in an abandoned, shell-shattered Italian House,- I have at my elbow: "Stan Bits", 2 lively letters recently recieved from Mary Cryan (keep it up Mary), one from Carol Hesse, the S.B. Army and Navy letters, and the grand letter from President Adams. As I go along with this unintelligible scribble, I glance over at one, then another of the above trying to include comments on just about everything.

Oh yes, among the many fine gifts, let me thank the Club here and now for the subscription to Reader's Digest. My buddies, who will share the good reading with me, join in sincere appreciation of this fine gift.

Jerry might lob over one or two of his evening salutes - a shell or two - but, upon evacuation of my fox hole, I'll be back with some rambling. It sometimes proves awfully annoying - overdoing his salutations, but then, who are we to complain when we return with gestures of our own, 6 or 7 to 1.

The awards given the Company for its many production achievements are just great news for we "overseas employees" - keep it up. We're as proud as you are!

In your news letter, you speak of requests - well here is one: How about a can of good old Royal Baking Powder? We have one helluva job getting some for our hot cakes which we manage for once in awhile. We could do better with B.P., but here's what we've tried in recent attempts: A can of Fleischmann's dehydrated Yeast which one of our hospitalized personnel picked up on his way back to the front, some baking soda we found but unfortunately, quickly ran out of, and, some issue tooth powder (soda and salt) which did the trick but not quite the way we like 'em. So there it is - I throw the problem right smack in your lap.


I had a few days leave at a place - far to the rear - which, due to censorship, I cannot name. Had a good rest both phisically and mentally - no bombing, strafing, shelling or "screaming mimies" to contend with and, what a welcome relief! Had some Cognac, wine and a few shots of Schenley (this only after much phenagling), wonderful meals, room service, clean room and bed with snowy white sheets. Oh, Lordy, what a thrill! Saw a few movies, heard a few musicals but you know me when a bar is handy. (Surprise, it was too!) Still doctoring a pair of sore elbows.

"screaming mimies"
Nebelwerfer, 6 barrel
German Mortar

As for the war news, to quote Archbishop Spellman in a recent "Time" article covering his front line visits:"The interesting news, I cannot tell and the uninteresting news, I don't want to tell" - or something to that effect. Well, that's just about the way it is here. We're moving onward, perhaps slowly, but never the less steadily. The food continues to be good and our rations now include a daily issue of good white bread. Have never seen the bakeries but were I to, I'm sure I'd find a good supply of "Fleischmann's" aiding in this good tasting, nourishing output. Golly, do the natives go for it too. Have had some of their coarse, tasteless brown bread and can readily appreciate thier enthusiasm over this important part of the "American Way"


As we progress, we find examples of German ruthlessness very much in evidence everywhere. The natives are destitute, helpless and many, hopeless. Granted, the American occupation is injecting new life and some semblance of hope in their "bloodless bloodstreams", but it will take quite the time for these people to recover from succession of body blows they've recieved. Could write down so many observations, so many experiences, but many, censorship would probably prohibit and many - well, maybe I just don't want to write about them after all. The papers and Radio do a thorough job on the war news, though I can't say that I concur with their enthusiastic optimism on the successful completion of this conflict. Oh well - so what?

Weather here in "sunny" Italy (what a misnomer) has been miserable - rain, cold and mud anywhere from ankle to knee deep. It's not too annoying except, of course, when a dive for a fox hole half full of mud and water becomes necessary. Cussing helps, - poor old Schickelgruber we sure do pour the adjectives in on that old boy.

Was pleasantly surprised to read of Jerry Nowacki's recent marriage. Good luck Jerry, but remember I knew you when.

WWII Pin-up Deck
Used the snazzy new S.B. Club playing cards the other evening here in our unoccupied chateau. Had a cut-throat game of Hearts going - my Captain, First Sergeant, Staff Sergeant and this looey - when Jerry started sticking his nose in with a few shell bursts. He didn't stay too long and we were able to resume our game. The First sergeant got a helluva bang out of passing the "old man" the queen of spades.

Had quite the nice Thanksgiving - turkey, plus all the fixings, even much of the Holiday spirit was present despite the proximity of the front lines. Uncle Sam did all right by us as does he usually. Here's to Turkey at home next year.

Well, I've just gone on and on not saying much of anything. I do have you all very much in mind, not only now but much of the time. You'd be surprised how, even when directing fire on enemy instalations from some observation post or dodging shells in a fox hole or, just moving up in my "jeep" to some military objective - how some incident concerning the pleasant days at the factory pops into mind. Of course, on that fox hole deal, most of the thought is headed for loftier heights - express heaven bound. But, even then, as I say, an occasional thought of the office and the old hands crops up. So, see - you're very much unforgotten.

Well, a fire's going and, yes, the Captain recieved a package of C & S Drip in the mail today. Along with my Adv. package of Schraffts Specialties - big night tonight.

Again, thanks to all of you for everything. Good luck and the very best of everything to you all.

Kindest reguards and do, please write again soon.




1st Lt. H.F. Kleindienst
0-1165025, U.S.Army
Btry. A, 189th F.A. Bn.
APO #45, c/o P.M.
New York, N.Y.
  For background information click: Winterline Italy

Back To Top
View My Web Statistics