On May 7, 1945, Germany learned that Raymond Jones of Seaboard, North Carolina, would turn 18 the next day and enlist in the U.S. Army. Rather than face THAT, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Reims, France, to take effect the following day, ending the European conflict of World War II – and sparing my father from having to open a big old can of U.S. whoop &*^# on’em.
While Dad’s brother Milton served under Patton and saw heavy fighting, Dad arrived after the conflict and enjoyed riding through the streets of France and Germany with liberated ladies tossing kisses at him. It was during his tour that my father fell in love with Gedie, a name we were forbidden to speak of when Mom was around.
Much, much later, after Dad passed and finally Mom, too, we uncovered this letter from Gedie.
My darling Raymond!
Today is the 7th of the year 1949 and I (a word we cannot translate) you in the states, now. The time goes on. I am still on the the same place. You don’t know Darling how I feel today. I’m so alone in my room. No radio, no nothing.
I don’t see and hear nothing. Did you have a happy Christmas and a happy New Year? I lit a candle and was thinking a lot of you, my Darling. I wish that you were with me this night. Darling, I will ask you a big question. Do you still love me or not? Maybe you don’t love me any more and your mother are lying. If you do not come back Darling, so I will come to see you because I love you and always will.
I will close for today and hope you write to me sometime. Forever and always your Gedie. Please, please write to me! I love you my Darling with all my heart.
As far as we we know Dad never replied to this last letter from Gedie. It’s possible he never saw it. He and Mom were engaged at this point, maybe married. Anyway, while in Germany Dad stole a woman’s heart.
And he got to ride in an Army jeep. There are worse ways to spend your youth.