Captain Harold F. Kleindienst
February 24, 1944


February 24, 1944
Anzio Beachhead, Italy


At this time there has been a seizable gap between letters and for that I,m sorry. But, as you can see above, Uncle Sam has done a little shifting again and I know you realize that this isn't one of those well planned Cook itineraries. We've been plenty busy, and I do mean that. On this I don't believe any additional emphasis on my part necessary. The papers have probably given the landings fairly complete coverage so that's that. Were here at any rate and intend staying despite any complications Jerry intends throwing our way.

Am sitting on a box in rather a snug dugout - knee deep in flea-infested straw and hay. Vile thought huh? Well that's war and - hell - at this point we're hardly conscious of many of the accompanying annoyances. Dugouts are all well built - dug in deep with sturdy coverings. These are prime requisites for the well-being of the occupants. Live and learn and, in many cases, learn to continue that muchly coveted life through those who no longer live. I've lost some mighty close buddies just because, in many instances, the learning was difficult.

Well, let's see, this is by no means a pleasant tack - let's swing 'er around and tray another subject.

Have been one of the "regulars" at every one of our mail calls - many letters still pouring my way from 595. Since my last batch of scribble, have received letters from Mary Cryan, Julie Wright, Toby and Ted Lemcke. Oh yes, both Betty Forrest and Carol (Hess) Weil, continue to be regular corespondents.

Was terribly sorry to hear of Ev Thiele's sickness - do surely hope that by now he has completely recovered. Do please extend my very best to my old buddy and also to the family.

Say, many thanks to the Club for the membership card. Though I'll soon boast three years of army service, never once have I felt completely detached - ever the "factory" member and, believe me, it's a mighty nice feeling.

Read a mighty interesting article in the Mediterranean issue of "Stars and Stripes" which I'm now trying to locate and pass along. It concerned itself with activity at our Beachhead Bakery. Won't dwell on that subject any longer 'cause I'm hopeful for the prompt apprehension of the so and so who swiped my only copy of this daily combat newspaper.

Am now - at least temporarily - free of my duties as forward observer and am now a Liaison Officer on the Battalion Staff. My predecessor was wounded and might not be back in which case, I might continue in this capacity. Interesting work and I like it - too, sort of a welcome change. Forward Observers don't have the most pleasant racket - close shaves being part of the daily routine.

Have a crew of six men working with me and we get around quite a bit - maintaining personal contact with other units. The boys are great at slicing grub and ----. For instance, last night they made a deal with some British boys coming back with 6 bottles of beer (brewed in Glasgow) and 1 quart of Gilbey's Dry Gin. A nice haul and was it good! It's been a really long time between drinks. They've built up a grand supply of coffee, sugar and cream - also manage for an occasional loaf of that good old white G.I. bread. It is good too. How much some of the things we've always taken for granted now means to us.

Have not received any issues of "Stan Bits" since the December issue. Have surely missed receiving them and so hope that there will be at least one in today's mail. Really look forward to news on the Company front so please keep 'em coming.

Haven't as yet received Baking powder but am anxiously awaiting it. Many thanks for such prompt service in sending it off - we'll sure be glad to get it.

When flour runs out, we've found a new way of preparing hot cakes. Just accumulate a batch of "K" & "C" ration biscuits, crush them up and cook them into a paste - adding eggs (if available) and some evaporated milk. Thicken or thin, as desired, and then cook 'em up. It works and helps supplement the monotonous eating of the K & C diet.

So the company has now taken Shefford's Cheese on as one of it's many many products. Swell! We are issued a small tin of American cheese (Kraft - hissssss!) in our K dinner rations. Some of these G.I.'s will be mighty hard to sell on cheese, hash, stew and pork luncheon meat, (poor Spam is really taking it on the chin. Such repercussions - tch, tch repeated issues of this prepared meat have caused the Hormel Packing Co. much verbal and written abuse from Uncle Sam's G.I.'s , when in reality Hormel has none of the business. Roth packing has had all of the business as far as I know.) for awhile after the fracas. Would sure like to be back there helping to sell it though.

So you've got that picture of mine up on the wall huh? Hear I'm in good company too - good looking companion. Say many thanks for sending some of the enlargements over to my wife. She was very much pleased and , I'm sure, has since written you all.

My sergeant just came running in to inform me that a package awaits my arrival; at our sleeping dugout - from S.B. Inc. too. More about it in my next letter. Meanwhile, thanks ever so much.

It's raining pretty hard and I fear it means another sloshy bed roll tonight.

Our artillery is roaring overhead now - off to give Jerry just a little more hell. From all we've heard, those shells of ours do just that too!

Don't know where I'll be writing from next, but rest assured if I can do anything to make it closer to Berlin, I will, not as a P.W. either.

For a while then, many thanks for all the wonderful letters and please - do keep them coming. Too, congratulations on grand work you're all doing on War bonds. We, over here, most certainly appreciate all this effort.

With all best wishes to everyone, I remain as ever, your old buddy.






For more background information: Anzio


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