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Those who Served
Anne Geddes . Land Army
AC1 George Warne Geddes . Royal Air Force 37 Squadron from Leicester)
(d.19th Dec 1939)
Pte. James Geddes . British Army 1st Btn. Cameron Highlanders from Glasgow )
My father James Geddes served with the 1st Battalion from 1927 until 1944 was part of the BEF. He was also with the rear-guard at St Valéry-en-Caux. He and some others got away by stealing a French fishing boat and then got picked up in the Channel and returned to the UK.
CQMS. John Wilson "Jocky" Geddes . British Army 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders from Aberlour, Scotland)
My late father John Geddes was captured at St Valery 12th June 1940. He spent some time in Stalag 383 although I'm not sure just how long. He was a prisoner with others from his home village of Aberlour in Banffshire, Scotland who have all now sadly passed on. This photo which was taken on repatriation and I believe all were in the same camp. On the back row extreme right is George McConnachie and in the front row from left is Jock McConnachie (his brother) who gained the MM, next are twin brothers Leslie & Thomas Gray, not sure which is which, then my father John Geddes and Charles Morrison. I would be pleased to get any info on anyone who can make connections with any of the men in the photo.
P/O Roy Hamilton Geddes . RAAF 10th Squadron (d.1943-06-29)
Sgt. William Dean Geddes . Royal Artillery 4 Lt Bde. 31 Fd Regt from Glasgow)
My grandfather, William Dean Geddes enlisted at Glasgow into the Royal Artillery on 30th of January 1935. he did his basic training at Woolwich (three months) posted to 4th Light Brigade at Deepcut, moving to Brighton 1937. In 1939 he was posted to Egypt as a L/Bdr sailing from Southampton in HMT Lancashire landing Port Said 4th July 1939 to 31 Field Regiment Royal Arillery at Helmeia, Cairo. The Regt moved with 4 Indian div to Mersa Matruh remaining during the desert campaigns of the next 2 years & firing their 25 pdrs almost daily. After Sidi Berani fell, they sailed from Alexandria to the Sudan to move into Eritrea for that 4 month campaign before returning to Cairo. The biggest action in Eritrea was the capture of the heights above Keren after a two monthsiege.
In April 1942 the Regiment having suffered many casualties & losing their guns in a GE Tank attack at Sidi Omar, went to form a composite Regiment on Cyprus. In Dec 1942 he was posted to Egypt to join the SAS at Kabrit Trg for under cover ops, which they carried out on the north coast of Africa, in the Aegean Sea & Cretan area of Greece. He was promoted to Bombardier & after the Syrian & Palestine campaigns of 1943 & 1944, he returned to the UK in August 1944 & rejoined SAS Regt at Chelmsford after detached SB duties & later went to Norway in 1945.
After disbandment of the SAS just post war he returned to 24 HAA Regt RA as a sgt at Sheerness staying until 1949 when he was posted to school of AA Gunnery for a year as an instructor & then went to Gravesend to join 46 Regt RA until his discharge on 29th of January 1957. After 22 years with the colours.
My grandfather died on 11th April 1989 at Royal Hospital Chelsea & is buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey (old plot). Sadly my father never got to meet his father. We just have a few photos & his wonderful service history.
Ldg Seaman. A. W. Gee . Royal Navy HMS Forfar
Ldg Seaman Gee was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was sunk in 1940.
Flying Officer D J R Gee . RAF VR 59 Squadron
Harold Gee . British Army 2nd/3rd East Lancashire Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps
My great grand father, Harold Gee, served with the 2nd/3rd East Lancashire Field Ambulance. I have a dated photo of him sitting eating with comrades at Peas Pottage in Sussex on the 19th of Sept 1915.
Cpl. Harold Gee . British Army No. 2 Commandos Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) from England)
(d.10th Oct 1944)
Cpl. Harold Gee was 24 when he died and is buried in the TIRANA PARK MEMORIAL CEMETERY in Albania.
Pilot Officer R A Gee . RAF VR 59 Squadron
Pte. H. C. Geelan . British Army 1st Btn. East Surrey Rgt
My father, Private H C Geelan, 1st Btn East Surrey Regiment, was wounded and taken prisoner near the village of Kerkhove on the Escault Canal in Belgium in May 1940. He spent time in a military hospital in Aachen before being transferred to a Stalag in Poland from which he was repatriated in a POW exchange in May(?)1943. I would be interested to hear from anyone who can provide any information on the actions in which his unit took part between 14th and 20th May 1940 or for any information on which POW camp he was in.
Warrant Officer George W Geering . RCAF 59 Squadron
Mil/Sld Eduard Geertsema . Dutch Army
Eduard Geertsema was held in Fukuoka #17.
Matr. Gerrit Van Geffen . Dutch Navy
Pte. Clifford Cecil Geier . Australian Army
Clifford Cecil Geier was held in Fukuoka #17 from the 18th of June 1944.
Sgt. Jerome W. Geissler . US Army G Company 7th Infantry Regiment from Elba, New York)
Letters sent home whilst serving with 3rd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Regiment G Company
March 1, 1942
Hello Mom & Dad, Happy birthday Mom. I wish you the best of luck + all the happiness in the world. Did you get that pillow case cover I send you? I hope you like it.
I'm feeling fine + I hope you all feel the same. You say you had alot of snow up there. Well we had a snow storm down here Fri. It snowed most of the day. But it didn't stay on the ground Sat. It was a swell day. It was real warm. Today Sun. is a nice day to. The sun is shining like in June up in New York. Last Monday and Tuesday it rained both days. We had to march a lot in the rain. Some of the time we were marching in water over our shoes but we still had to go on. We were marching most of the week with full field packs on over backs which weigh 70 lbs. I'm writing today because I don't ever get any time during the week. Bob sent me some things to eat but I would like it better if he would send me some cigarettes instead. Because the other guys in the tent are all the time asking for something to eat. But it was nice of him just the same. Next week I got to get up 4:30 every morning for one week. Because we are going out on the rifle range to practice shooting. It's a four mile walk in the morning before we get there. We have to practise all day shooting then walk back home a night + again. I imagine it will be a hard week I don't know. Last week we went on three or four short hikes. I got another blood test Tuesday I also got my teeth examined. I expect to get them fixed in a week or two. Grace wrote to me last week + told me how things were around the country. I got to write six or seven letters today so I guess I'll be busy most of the day.
I was made acting corporal last week. Maybe it will get me some where later. Last week my appendix bothered me out in the field. I didn't let anyone know anything about it. It bothered me for about one half hour. A day later one of the guys in our group was sent to the hospital for an operation on his appendix he's getting a 90 day furlough home after he's able to be moved so if I'm bothered any more I think I'll look into it.
I'm sending a picture of me home. It isn't a very good one but I guess it's about the best one out of the three I got. I got some more to be developed so I'll send you a better one later on. We've been having a lot out in the woods lately on how to sneak up on the enemy. You have to crawl for 50 or 60 feet on your stomach carrying your rifle and full field pack on your back through bushes water, ditches or anything that might be in your way. If you're running you have to dive for the ground right flat on your stomach. You can't get slow easy you just have to dive for the ground, it's a wonder there isn't more hurt here then there is. Oh, well there's a lot of things you have to do here that we never did home or thought of. One thing the build a person up for these things you get plenty of exercise + other things to build a person up. One thing you can't seem to get rid of a cold down here. Say hello to Richard and the rest of the family for me + give them must best of luck. Well I guess I'll close now as there isn't any more I can think to say now.
So Long Love Jerome.
I just a little over a month I've been in now but it seem like two weeks. I guess I'm so busy the time goes pretty fast. I don't mind it at all though if I can come home after it's all over. Well here's hoping. Pvt. Jerome Geissler Co. C 18th Bn. 6th Regt. Ft. McClellan Alabama
Saturday, March 28 1942
Hello Mom + Dad, Well how is everyone at home? I'm feeling better all the time. Got your letter today Saturday. Glad to hear you got some warm weather up home. This afternoon I'm just sitting around resting up from last night. We started out on a short hike 7:00 the evening. We got back to camp 11:30 at night. I got to bed 12:30 and had to get up at 5:30 this morning. They're giving us 3 hours off this afternoon to rest up. Last Tuesday we had to go on a night hike too. Boy it was dark last night marching. There wasn't any moon or stars out. We had to march through fields and woods. We could not talk or smoke at anytime on the hike. About 9:30 we had to set up our tents in the middle of the woods. It was so dark you couldn't hardly see anything. We just set the tents up for practise. We had to get them hid so they couldn't be seen from the air by aeroplanes. Just like you would if we were fighting and had to camp for the night. Sunday night we start out on our 3 day hike. We get to march from 7:00 in the evening until 3:30 in the morning. Then we set up our tents and go to bed. We got 3 nights to sleep outside. Next Sat. we have to parade for the Major then we probably will be shipped out to another camp the following week. I was made from acting Corporal to acting Sergeant this week. Eleven out of twenty seven of us are going to stay here and train other soldiers that come in this camp. I might be one I don't know yet. OH! well If I'm not I guess it won't make much difference anyway. Last week we were studying the mortar. It's a gun that shoots a bullet about 10 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. It weighs about 4 lbs (the bullet). We won't get to shoot one here but will later. It's been nice weather down here lately. Except or rain every few days. After it rains down here it turn cold. You asked me once quite a while ago if the leaves were green on the trees. Well they are not on the maple trees and others. The only tree you see down here very much is the pine tree and they are green all the time. I am sending you a couple of pictures of me. I had them taken about a week ago. You can keep them for remembrance of when I was in the U.S. Army. One of them I am saluting in and the other I'm just setting there with my pea shooter. You also can see what the tents look like that we have to sleep in. Bob told me you were sending some more cigarettes. I'll let you know when I get them. Thanks a lot. Once in a while we get to march with a band. I like to march that way it's a lot easier to march with one then without. We had full field inspection today. We had to lay all our equipment out on the beds in place and clean up the tent. If the captain sees one little broom splinter on the you get a job working in the kitchen on Sundays. We have been lucky in our tent so far. We ought to I was made charge of the tent and it got to be clean or else. While we were marching last night they hollered gas and we had to put our gas masks on. Of all the things that had to happen I happen to be chewing tobacco when we had to put the masks on. It covers your whole face as you probably know. Well we had them on for an hour and I couldn't spit the tobacco juice out. I had to swallow it. After a little while I began to feel dizzy but I came out of it all right. Richard if you ever get in the army don't chew tobacco or you might get caught like I did with the gas mask on and that isn't any fun. But here's hoping they will never get you or any of my and your brothers in the Army. Well I guess I'll be closing for now as I got to take a shower and shave, clean my teeth, clean my rifle and try to get some sleep. You'll all be hearing from me before long until then.
Goodbye and the best of luck to you Mom and Dad and all the rest. Love Son Jerome.
ps. I hope you have good luck getting all your crops in on the muck. I guess you will as long as you have Richard to run the Bolen. Well so long Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler Co. C 18th Bn. 6th Regt. Ft. McClellan Alabama
Friday, April 2 1942
Hello Mom and Dad, Well I am feeling pretty good except for being a little bit lame and sore feet. Sunday night we started out on our hike at 8:00 in the evening. We marched until 3:00 in the morning before we put up our tents. The first hour of marching we got a 15 minute rest. After the first hour we got a 10 minute rest every hour. We had to carry our full field packs, rifles, and gas masks. All together it weighed about 75 lbs. After carrying all that on your back for 19 miles you get sort of tired. If you don't believe me just try it sometime. I got my tent up about 3:30 in the morning and then went to bed. We had to sleep on the ground and had one blanket to cover with. I only got about half an hour of sleep because I was froze to death. Had to get up 5:30 two hours later and tear our tents down and move out. We had two and one half miles to walk yet before we got to our camp. When we got there it was about 8:30 in the morning. We then put our tents up. There was the whole 18th Battalion out there about 800 men.
After we got our tents up we ate breakfast. We had until noon to sleep but I didn't get any. Afternoon we went on a maneuver. We walked through swamps where water would come up to our knees. Through creeks and woods over big hills. Got back our tents at 5:00. After supper we had to listen to a talk by the Major. I got to bed about 9:30 that night. Had to get up 5:30 the next morning. Boy did I freeze that night. The ground and our tents was all covered with frost. We started out on another maneuver about 7:00 Tuesday morning. Had to crawl on our stomachs. I got scratches all over my arms and legs from crawling around through raspberry bushes. Got back about 5:30 that night. After pluging around all day we had to go out that night on a night maneuver. Left camp at 7:00 and got back at 10:00. I got to bed about 11:00 that night. We got up at 5:30 Wed. morning. In the morning we had to dig fox holes. They are holes you stand in and shoot from if your defending a hill or any other thing. In case if a tank comes along you drop and they go right over you. We walked about 10 miles that day. Boy was I tired along with the rest. After supper we had to tear down our tents and get ready to move out. We left there 8:00 that night. Had to walk back about 17 miles to our camp or or you might say home after staying out where we did. Sleeping out on the ground. It only took us 4:15 hours to walk those 17 miles so you can see how we had to walk. In one company 7 men had to fall out. They couldn't take it. I see one guy fall to the road. He got up again and took 3 steps and fell down again. We just walked on and let him there. Got back to camp at 12:15. I took a shower and shave just after I got back. Boy it felt good to take a bath in hot water after not even washing your face only once in three days + that was in cold water. We had to shave in cold water to + that wasn't very nice. I got to bed at 1:30 that night. Boy it sure felt good to get in a bed again. I only got about 4 hours sleep that night but it seemed like about 10 after sleeping on the ground.
I got the cigarettes Tuesday. Thanks a lot for them they sure come in handy. Don't think I'll be here very long now. Had to turn in all of our equipment we got while in this camp so I guess it won't be long now. I can be proud of my Company. We had to parade today with the band. We were the best Company in the Battalion and the best Company in the Regiment. We got a white banner and a blue banner. One for each to carry on our flag. Everybody is feeling good tonight to thing we beat the rest of the Companies out and that a lot of them. Well I guess I'll close now let you know when and where I go next. Well so long for now with the best of luck I can wish you. Say hello to everyone at home. Happy Easter everybody.
Goodbye for now with love your son Jerome
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Co. C 18th Bn. 6th Regt. Ft. McClellan Alabama
Thursday, April 9 1942
Hello Mom & Dad,
Well I hope you all are feeling as well as can be expected. I just arrived in my new camp and though I would write and let you know. I left Ft. McClellan a 4:30 Tuesday afternoon and got in Camp Edwards, Mass. at 7:50 Thursday morning. It was a nice trip except for me being dizzy from the coal gas from the train. We went through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Conn. and Mass. Down south the people got crops in now. All the flowers and fruit bearing trees are in blossom. The people do their work with mules. I didn't see a horse any time. We went through Wash. and I saw the Capitol building and some other buildings of importance. In Richmond Virginia the train tracks are about 45 feet in the air over the city and a street car track about 50 feet in the air over the train track. There sure is a lot of construction work in it. Well, in this camp we got barracks to sleep in instead of tents. Its quite a bit cooler than Alabama. We're about 1,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. You can see the ocean from my barracks. Everybody has to carry gas mask with them in case the camp is gassed because it's being so close to the coast. So far up here I like it pretty good but it's nothing like home. We stay here for 5 weeks and then we get put into our permanent division. Well I'm a little closer to home then I was but it's still quite a ways. I guess its about 450 miles. I might be able to get a leave after another month or two. I sure do hope so because I would like to see you all again and the crops on the muckland. All the land up here is mostly swamps. When I leave this camp I afraid the next one won't be in the U.S. but a lot can happen in that time. We get better meals up here then we did in Ala. Three out of four of us that slept in my tent in Ala. came up here. I don't know where the other guy went yet. The other two are in a different barracks then I am up here but I can still see them whenever I want to. Well you must be getting along pretty good with you muck work now I sure do wish I could be there to help you. It would be a relief to work there again. In the army you got too much to do on your legs. Well I guess we got to do our part for the country but if you can keep any of the others out dad you better do it. The last division that left this camp left for Australia just a few days before we came in. Maybe I'll go somewhere else who knows and again maybe it will be all over with by then. We can only hope for the best. Well I guess I'll be closing now as I'm sort of tired after riding on the train. I'll let you know how things are as we go on. Say hello to all the rest at home for me.
Well goodbye for now. Love your son Jerome
My address PVT. Jerome Geissler 181st Inf. A.P.O. #26 Camp Edwards Mass.
Friday, April 10 1942
Hello Mom and Dad,
Just a line to let you know that we had a little snow today. It is sill raining now 7:30 in the evening. We haven't been doing anything yet only a march around the block this morning. Then we had to lay all of clothing out on our beds so they could check them and see if we lost anything. We won't do anything much until the first of the week. I guess I'm in the infantry for good. Being drafted a person has to go where they send you. Some say we may stay here to guard the coast because they need guards here seeing the camp runs right up along the ocean. That would be a nice job if I could get it. This would probably be the first place they would attack if they came across but I guess there isn't much chance of that happening. The first place they would try to bomb is New York City + and this camp is almost straight east from N.Y. City. This will be a nice place this summer. We will get a breeze off the ocean. We can spend our time Sundays walking around the beach. The food is a lot better here then it was in Ft. McClellan Ala. Down there sometimes you didn't get enough to eat but it's been good here. When we get up in the morning here it's nice and warm and a person feels more like getting up. We have to get up 5:30 in the morning just like down south but we get through a little earlier nights.
We all got changed today to a different barracks. We were here only one day. Just time to get things settled, then they had to move us again. There is about 30 sleeping downstairs and about 30 upstairs. I got a bed upstairs. You can see quit a bit of the camp out the window. Well I guess I'll be closing now wishing you all the best a luck in the world.
Love your son Jerome This is my new address It's been changed three times since I've been here. PVT Jerome Geissler 32212123 181st Infantry Replacement Training Company Camp Edwards, Mass Barracks T-750
Post Card dated April 26, 1942
Hello Mom & Dad, Having a swell time. They took us to Boston in trucks. Went to a ball game, dance & movie. Today we eat in prvt. homes. Going back tonight . Thanks for everything. Son Jerome
June 16, 1942 Hello Mom & Dad:
Just a few lines to let you know that I got back and everything is O.K. I stopped into Uncle Frank's and had two ales. He wasn't there yet so I didn't see him before I left. I left Rochester at 11:00 in the morning and got into Framingham at 8:30 that night. I am setting in the boiler room now writing this letter. 1:30 in the morning. Boy am I tired. Tomorrow I am going to sleep all day to make up for the sleep I missed. Don't know how I'm going to stay awake all night. OH! Well it won't make to much difference if I do fall asleep for awhile. It took about 9 hours to get back here. One half hour less then it took to come home. It sure did seem good to get home again to see you all even if it was for such a short time. I'll probably be home when I get my next pass if everything goes all right. Hope I get a furlough before too long than I'll be done for quite for a while. It seems to be a long trip back here. There was no one to talk to all the way back to camp. I glad to see that all the crops are coming along fine on the muck and you are handling the work as good as you are. It sure must be tough with all the rain we have had lately. Some people around here got some hay cut but don't know it will ever dry out. There's water setting on the ground all over. Well there isn't much to talk about now so I'll be closing for now. You have to excuse such a short letter I don't feel much like writing and I can't hardly keep my eyes open. Well so long for now and Good Luck.
Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Musterfield, Framingham Mass.
July 4, 1942
Just a few lines to let you know I'm feeling fine + hope you all are the same. We haven't been doing much training yet. We go on a hike every morning. After the hike we usually get schooled on our guns. I've been doing a lot of carpenter work lately. I've got to build an obstacle course yet. That will take me quite awhile. I don't know how long we are going to be here yet. Our Captain left us last Thursday. We had a party for him Wednesday night celebrating his leaving. I happen to be on guard duty and was not able to attend the party. We ate supper at 8:00. We had everything and plenty of it. We also had about 25 cases of Beer and Ale. I had two bottles and then had to go on guard duty. Everybody was plastered that night. I would have to be on guard and miss it all. It's just as well anyway. Everyone had a big head the next morning and they had to go on a hike. I didn't have to go as the guards stay here. When the guys got back from the hike they had an alert. It lasted for three hours. After the alert we had school on the machine gun. I only went on one hike so far. We will probably have a hike tomorrow morning. Today we didn't do anything. Another kid and I laid out in the grass all afternoon with our shirts off getting a sun tan. Quite a racket huh! I started to write a letter to you when I was out there but fell asleep while I was writing so I am finishing it tonight. It is now 10:00 so I guess I'll be closing because I'm going to bed. It's pretty cool here tonight. I imagine it's due to rain tomorrow. Say hello to Richard and the rest for me. They have started new furloughs over. I imagine I will get mine in about 6 or 7 months from now. Well so long for this time.
Your Son Jerome.
Monday Evening 7:30 (August 10/17, 1942)
Hello Mom & Dad,
Well I got back all right. I was only 5 minutes late. They didn't say anything about that at all. This morning I went out to drill. This afternoon I went to Ft. Bank after some ammunition. I didn't get back until 5:45. They drew the names for furlough's. I am supposed to get mine the 18th of this month. Being so close to the time I was coming home so I saw the 1st Sargent about getting it later. I'm figuring on getting it the first part of September. I think that will be better. It will be on onion harvest time + I figure I can help you out for awhile on the muck. I will get 10 days. It rained all the way back here. It rained here all day Sunday and some this afternoon. Well I'll be closing for now because I'm tired and want to get to bed. Well good bye for now and good.
Love Your son Jerome. Say hello to Richard & the rest for me. I see you all again soon.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Camp Framingham Mass.
Undated (in with letter post marked August, 26 1942)
Hello Mom & Dad, Just a few lines to let you know I got back all right. I got in camp 8:45 Monday evening. Boy it was cold last night and all day today. I did do much today. I just went up town with 5 other guys I got a sofa a piano and quit a few chairs. I want you to know I had a swell time when I was home. I want to thank you for everything. I glad you didn't mind me getting married. At least I tried to make it look half way decent. I think a person should get married in a church if he believes in his religion at all. Anyway everything went along swell and I can thank you for that. I'll be home on furlough before long and then I can help you out on the muck all I can. I only wish I could come home for a couple of months to help you with all the work on the muck. Well I guess I'll be closing for this time wishing you lots of luck and thanking you for everything.
Your Loving son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Camp Framingham Mass.
September 11, 1942
Hello Folks, Just a few lines to let you know I am feeling as usual. It's been raining here just about every day last week. I was on guard last Wednesday. It rained all day and night and part of Thursday. I had to stand out in the rain for six hours that night. I was on Regimental Detail today. I didn't mind that because I got out of inspection this morning. Sunday I'm going to Boston for rations. Guess what. We changed 1st Sargent last week. I had my furlough spoken for, for the 18th of this month. When we changed Sargents the one that was our 1st Sargent didn't tell the new one about my furlough. So I don't get one yet. They made out the list and I wasn't on it. I went to see the 1st Sargent about it. He said I won't be able to give it to you until the 1st part of next month. If that wouldn't get a guy mad. If I wasn't married I'd take it myself. So I guess I won't be home until next month. I was hoping I could come home and help you did potatoes but I guess I can't. Maybe you will still be at them when I do get home. I got my other uniform at Davis and they're going to change uniforms this week. I don't know what I'll do. Well I'll be closing for now. Lots of luck.
Love Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Camp Framingham Mass.
Saturday Oct. 11, 1942
Hello Mom & Dad, Just a few lines to let you all know I'm feeling fine & hope you are all the same. I wish I could have gotten my furlough so I could be home to help you but guess I won't get it for awhile yet. I was supposed to get a four day pass to come home last Friday but don't get a pass now until a week from this coming Saturday (25) but won't be able to come home then as I got $20 last month. Between laundry, dry cleaning + cigarettes + soap + other thing I had to buy out here I won't get home for probably another month or more. It's quit away from home here. It cost about $14. Some guys went home already. I sure would like to get home especially for hunting season. I miss it this year. I am supposed to leave on a Saturday. I would get home Sunday morning + would have to leave 10:30 Tuesday night. Well we got our winterized tents just about all done now. There the same as we had in Alabama. We sleep on canvas cots. We just got mattresses for them. Thats a little better. It's kind of lonesome here especially nights while on guard. You have to set out in the woods along the shore for 6 hours at a time. All you can hear is the waves splashing against the shore. A lot of times we can hear big guns being fired out in the ocean. It shakes you right when your in bed. There are some animals on this Island. Some nights on guard you hear something walking through the bushes. You just sat there and wonder what the hell it is. We got some search lights here that spot an airplane from 8 to 12 miles away at night. There is a big net running from our Island to another Island about 1,000 ft. away. We have to sat there and see that no one cuts the chain where it is fastened on the shore. Also that no submarines try to cut through the net. Its a great life out here in the woods but I would much rather be home safe in bed. Some times I go for 4 to 5 days without shaving here. No one ever hardly comes around here. We got to start building a road soon. That will take about one month alone. It gets pretty gold out here nights I guess its because of being water all around us. There is a bell out by our tents, Its about 100 feet out in the water. It's there to direct ships. It sounds like a church bell. The bigger the waves the harder it rings. It was kind a hard to get to sleep but I'm getting used to it now. I haven't got over 5 hours of sleep at night for over a week now. Most of the time around 3 hours. That's because of guard duty. They took two of our men away. You have to work all day evem though you don't get much sleep. It's been pretty tough but after we get this road built it will be a little easier. During the day you can see seals swimming around in the water quit often. Well how is everything coming on the muck. Wish I could be there to help you. If it wasn't for me here they would be working on the tents for 2 weeks yet. I did just about all the carpenter work on them. I built a centry post too. 4 feet wide and 6 feet long. I'll be a carpenter by the time I get out of the Army I guess. Well I'll be closing for now wishing you all lots of luck and happiness.
Hope to see you all soon. Say hello to Richard and the rest. Love Your Son Jerome.
My address is Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Great Chebeague Island Portland, Maine. Deer Point.
November 28, 1942
Hello Mom & Dad,
Just a few lines to let you all know I'm getting along fine and hope you are all the same. It rained here all last week. Its just like a duck pond here. Its getting colder today though. I haven't been doing as much as the rest have since I got back. They seem to think more of you if you do things wrong once in awhile. I guess the figure if a mans got guts enough to do thing wrong he's a man. Well I'm going back to the Islands again Monday. I don't think I'll be in the same place. I guess I'm going back as a carpenter with 3 other guys. We got about 6 barracks to built. 20 by 36 feet. We are starting furloughs over again. We are supposed to get 30 days a year + we only got 10 so far. It will probably be two or 3 months before I get one again. I don't know how long I'll be on the Island. Probably for 1 or 2 Months. I am fireman now in the guard house until six o'clock tonight. I slep all night and most of today (Saturday). Well I'll be closing for now wishing you all lots of luck. Tell Richard happy birthday. I was on guard on my birthday. We got to parade tomorrow for a football game. Well so long for now. I'll write later.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Camp Framingham Mass.
November 30, 1942
Just a few lines to let you know I am in Maine now. I am on Little Johns Island now. Got here about 12:30 today (Monday). We are living in a house here upstairs. Its almost like home here. We are a little bit crowded but is pretty good just the same. We have to keep a report on all boats that pass by telling the type and direction their going. We have to learn the International Code so we can read the flags on the boats. Guess we'll be here about two months. We got a little snow here today but it's not so bad yet. My address will be Peaks Island because the mail will get hear quicker. I'll probably be home sometime next month. I'll be closing for now wishing you all lots of luck.
Love Your Son Jerome.
My Add. now. Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Peaks Island Portland, Maine A.P.O. 26th Div. Say Hello to Richard and the rest of the Boys.
December 2, 1942
Hello Folks, Well here I am again. Hope you are all feeling fine as I am feeling the best. We get good eats here. There is no one living on this Island besides us. We got a hell of a storm here today. It is raining plenty hard. The old waves are just pouring in. We got a row boat here. Yesterday we took the garbage out in the boat and dumped it. Boy it's lots of fun in a boat. This one is bigger then the other one was. Last night the water washed our oars away and one of the seats out of the boat. I was expecting on being home on the 16th of December but won't be able to make it for a month or two now. We get 4 day passes. I am on special detail now. I am leaving here Thursday or Friday for Peaks Island. I got to help put up barracks. We got about 6 of them to build. I don't know just how long it will take to finish them. I won't be able to get a pass until their finished. I will be moving from one Island to another. The only bad thing about this place is a place to wash up. Especially to take a bath. We got a bath tub in a shed. It might just as well be outside. It colder than hell. We have lanterns for lights. The house isn't finished off on the inside and is a little cold. I don't think we will get a barracks built here. We got a couple of stoves for heating but they don't give off an awful lot of heat. We got soft coal to burn and you know how that is. It's a hell of a lot better than the place I was in before anyway. We got dishes to eat out of + that means a lot. We have our own cook. We draw ration money every month while we're here. We got a 30 caliber and a 50 caliber machine gun here. All set for any trouble that may come up. Well I'll be closing for now wishing you all lots of luck and happiness.
Your Son Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Peaks Island Portland, Maine A.P.O. 26th Div.
December 18, 1942
Hello Mom & Dad, Well I finally got back alright. Boy is it cold here. I didn't get back until Thursday afternoon 2:30. I met a couple of guys in Boston from Chebeague. They wanted me to go to Long Island with them and row across from Chebeague and then back to Little John's. There was a strong wind and colder than hell. We started across three in the boat about 5:30 Wednesday. We got out from shore about 200 feet and I decided we better go back. Lucky we did cause we never would had made it across. The boat had about four inches of water in it. Every time we hit a wave the water would come over the edge of the boat. Every time the oars splashed the water it would be ice before it hit us. It was awful cold out. I never was so glad to see land as I was then. It was almost dark + we couldn't hardly see where we were going. We stayed there that night. It got about 20° below zero. The three of us left for across 8:00 the next morning. I got over to Chebeague and came back here at 2:30 in the afternoon by and Army boat. Nothing was said about being late. I don't think I will be home after all because we're figuring on going back the first of the month and everyone is got to be back from pass by the 29th. If we were staying here I would be home. They may change their mind if so I'll let you know. Well so Long for now.
Love Your Son Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Peaks Island Portland, Maine A.P.O. 26th Div.
Post Card sent December 22, 1942 of Boston's North Station Postmarked in Battle Creek, Michgan
Hello Folks, Just a few lines to let you know I'm feeling fine and hope you are all the same. It was about 15° below here last night. Some of the water is frozen over. Hope to see you soon & best of luck. Love Jerome
December 25, 1942
Hello Folks, Just a few lines to let you know I'm feeling the best and hope you are all the same. Wish I could be home this X mas with you all. We are going to have two 22 lb. turkeys but it won't make any difference what we have it won't be nothing like home. We have been having pretty cold weather here lately but has been pretty warm for the past three or four days. The channel here has been all frozen over but is beginning to thaw out now. The ice was from 6 to 8 inches thick. I didn't think salt water would freeze over that much. Most of the boats that try to get through would get stuck in the ice. They can get through pretty good now. I happen to be on guard all day. Of all the days to get it, it would have to be Christmas. I'll have tonight off anyway. I'm sorry to day but I won't be home for New Year's like I planned. We are going back to camp the 31st of this month so I won't get a pass like I figured on. I thought we would be here for two months but no we're going back. OH well I guess I can't kick lucky I'm not spending Christmas in Africa or somewhere else. There going to start up the Cannon Co. again. I was in it before but don't know yet if I'll be in it this time or not. I probably will. Me and another kid went hunting yesterday with our rifles. We were shooting at some ducks about 400 yards out in the water. Didn't get anything but had a lot of fun just the same. I just finished writing to Loretta. Well I'll be closing for now as I want to get this letter on the boat and it comes in pretty soon. Wishing you all the best of luck and a Merry Christmas and a Very happy New Year. Sorry I can't be with you but thats the way things go here you never know what the hell is going to happen.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Peaks Island Portland, Maine A.P.O. 26th Div.
Tuesday (January, 5/12) 1943
Hello Folks, It is now 9:00 Tuesday evening. I just came out of a show in camp. Guess I'll go to bed pretty soon as I'm pretty tired. I was greasing trucks all day and I got to do it tomorrow to. We are moving out soon and we got to get the trucks all in good shape. There is no going to be any Cannon Co. All that work was for nothing. Our whole Co. was called off the Islands today. We got about 210 here now. Something happened up in Maine and the want our whole Co. up there. It will be about 300 or 350 miles further from home. We are going up on the Canadian border on patrol. Good thing I got home because it will be too far to come home now. See how things happen. We never know just when we will go. Some say Friday and again it may not be for a week or two. It sure will be cold up there. We are getting different clothing for the weather. As far as I know it will be patrolling a road by trucks. It ought to be pretty good except for the cold weather. Well I don't know too much about it so I can't say any more. I sure was glad to see you before leaving. Well I'll write you later I'm pretty tired now. Hope it won't be to long before I see you again. Well I'll be closing for this time. Good Luck & lots of Happiness. Say Hello to Richard and the rest.
Love Your Son Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Camp Framingham Mass.
April 7, 1943
Hi Dick, Received your letter and was glad to hear from you. Glad to hear you are all feeling fine. Well Dick I guess I won't come home next week on pass but I should be home before long. The want to get all the furlough finish by the first week in May. I got a feeling we are due to shove off for somewhere. Where it will be I don't know. They are making a big check up on our equipment to see that it's in the best of condition. I hope we get to hell out of this place. We been around here over a year now and it's about time were taking off. It may be alot of talk as it usual is but it looks funny when they make a check up on our equipment. Well I haven't been doing much as usual. I'm still on fires but I don't know for how long. I think I'll go driving if we should stay here. Tonight we had a black out at 9:00 o'clock. I rode around in a peep telling people to get their lights out in houses. After the black out we had an alert. Loaded all the truck with ammunition + guns + took off. We got back about 10:30. We had a little trouble the other night with someone shooting at the guys out on patrol. Haven't got no one yet. They took a bunch of us out with rifles looking for them but didn't see anything. What a life you run around for nothing. I'd give alot to be back running the old bolen again. I wouldn't stagger around the field like you did when you sewed those onions either. You must have been drinking. Don't take that to heart you didn't do bad for not running one before. If it was me you probably would have to look in the next lot for some of the rows. Wish I could be there to see if I still could run one yet. Maybe when I get a furlough I'll have the chance to find out if you happen to be running the bolen at the time. We had a guy here tonight at the time of the alert reminded me of Bob that time digging potatoes. When he was drunk. The guy was hurrying around to get dressed. He was plastered. He fell out through a window on the roof. The glass fell off the roof. A Lieutenant was standing under the roof. Boy did he raise hell. The weather up here is pretty cold. The snow is just about gone now. Hope it warms up soon. It is one o'clock in the morning now. I am on fires. Dad got a pretty good price for his onions. Hope he gets more for the rest. Well I guess I'll be closing for this time. Best of luck to you all. Say Hello to Mom & Dad for me. Hope to see you all soon.
Your Brother Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler New Eastern Hotel Machias, Maine
May 5, 1943 (postmark)
Hello Dick, Received your letter yesterday and just found time to Answer. Glad to hear you have some of the onions in. We had pretty cold weather up here since I got back. When it isn't snowing it's raining. It's pretty cold out now. Wish I could have gotten home a little earlier so I could run the bolen. By the time I get home you will be all through. I'll get my furlough by the 18th and maybe a little before. We haven't been doing much here lately. We go on a hike once in awhile. It's kind of hard when you have not been doing much walking lately. We did an inspection of all of our clothes the other day.Tomorrow so big shots are coming up to inspect all of our equipment to see that it's all in perfect condition. I put in a porch today. That's the first time I have mixed cement since I was home. Make's a guy think of home when he is on a job like that. There isn't much to talk about this time so I'll have to close. It is now 2:30 in the morning. I am pretty tired but can't go to bed in the morning on account of inspection. I'll be closing for this time and try to think of more to say the next time I write. Say hello to Mom and Dad and the best of luck
Your Brother Romie.
Pvt Jerome W Geissler New Eastern Hotel Machias, Maine
Saturday (June) 8, 1943
Hello Folks, Well how is everything at home. Hope you are all feeling the best. You must have all the onions in by now. We had some pretty rotten weather up here since I was last home. They say it is usually warm up here by now. We still have snow in the woods and some ice on the rivers. We had a big inspection here yesterday by the General. I guess we are getting another in a few days. They inspect more since we are up here than they did back in Framingham. The other night they had us working cleaning and painting the place up until 2:00 o'clock in the morning. One good thing we got is a washing machine. We can do our own washing now. Boy that thing is running all the time. I imagine it will be worn out in a few weeks. It does washing for 85 and thats to much. I just had to go down stairs. The boiler blew off. When it blows off the guys run around like the dam thing is gonna blow up. It cracked once. They just put flax seed in it to seal up. It leaks a little bit. I wouldn't doubt but if it would blow up some day. I guess their going to put me on patrol pretty soon now. They need drivers. They can put someone on fires that don't drive. It should be getting warm pretty soon now so it won't be to bad on the road. I've got to as something of you I never wanted to. I need some money if I can come home for furlough. I told Tillie to save some out of the alotment money so I could come back home. She just wrote and said she needed it for some purpose and spent it all. I don't know what the hell she does with it. She got about $400 since we were married from the Army and when I need some to come home on she hasn't any. I shouldn't even bother to come home only I may never get another furlough. You never can tell what may happen or where we will go. I can work home and pay it back if it's alright. If not I'll just spend my furlough around the hotel. I know now where I was a dam fool for getting married while I was in the Army. I wish I could get over across so I could forget things. Maybe some day I will. Well I made my easter duty las Sunday. Guess I'll go to church tomorrow if I'm not to tired. It is now 2:30 in the morning. I get off duty at 8 in the morning. I'm pretty tired so I'll be closing for this time. Say hello to Richard and the rest. Hope to see you soon. Best of luck.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome W Geissler New Eastern Hotel Machias, Maine
Friday, 9:30 (postmarked June 26) 1943
Hello Folks, Received your letter this afternoon and have some time so thought I would drop a line. Sorry to hear about Uncle Frank. Wish I could get home but can't do it. We haven't started training yet. We got 20 men in today. I've been doing carpenter work ever since I've been down here. Today we got a big electric storm. I thought the tents were going to blow down. I've been running every night just for exercise. I run about 5 or 6 miles every night. I just got back a few minutes ago. Some say we will be out of here in a few days. We are supposed to stay here for 30 days. We have to walk back and forth to meals. About 1 mile away. We are supposed to swim the river with full field pack and the rest of our equipment which weighs about 70 lbs. If we get to do it I think there will be a lot of guys that won't be able to do it. We have inspections every day. I feel a lot better since I've been down here. I guess I lost quite a bit of weight since I've been here. We have canvas bunks that sleep on. I sleep a lot better. I guess it's because we are out in the air. I been going to bed by at least 10:00 every night. A guys gets pretty tired fooling around here all day. the pass few days it was pretty hot. I got a good sun tan. Now we can't keep our shirts off any more. Boy how I eat now. I got back for seconds every time I eat and sometimes thirds. This life is real good for a person after laying around doing nothing. We have cold water here so far. I take a cold water shower every night after work. The only thing I don't like is having to shave in cold water. I'm getting used to it now though. I'd like to get home and work for a few months now. Later on I'm going to ask and see if I can get released for awhile. It would be nice if I could. Well I'll be closing for this time as it is 9:30 and I'm going to bed. Say Hello to Dick and the rest. Best of luck to you all.
Your Son Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Ellsworth, Maine
Friday evening (postmarked August 7) 1943
Hello Folks, Received your letter and was glad to hear from you. I'm glad to hear you all are feeling good and am getting along with the work. I only wish I could be there to help you. We have been pretty busy around here lately grading the land. I've been doing Carpenter and Electric work lately. Yesterday we had a big inspection by General Jones. We had an alert yesterday afternoon about 5:00. We went out about ten miles from here. We hid the trucks and guns in the woods. We ate supper about 6:30 out in the woods. After supper we had a problem. There was a big bridge about 1/2 miles from the woods that the enemy was supposed to be holding. We were to capture it back again. We didn't get back to camp until about 8:30 that night. It was a lot of fun after what were doing lately. There was a bunch of men on the bridge shooting at us with blank ammunition just as if it were the enemy. Today it rained all day. We had to draw duct all morning in the rain. This afternoon we had off. I slept for about 2 hours. We got quit a few new guys in the last couple of days. We are getting some more in soon. There are quit a few guys here now. We are supposed to be moving soon now. We have been delayed for quite awhile. Heck knows just where we will move. I hope it is soon. I just finished eating a little while ago and thought I would drop a line. I'll be closing for this time wishing you the best of luck. Say Hello to Dick and the rest. Hope to see you soon.
Love Your Son Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Ellsworth, Maine
Friday evening (postmarked September 11) 1943
Hello Folks, I received your letter today and was glad to hear from you. Glad to hear you are getting along good with the harvesting. I can imagine how busy you are now. I wish I could be there to help you. It sure would seem like home again. How I wish I was there. I used to like the Army but I don't think it's so good now. It is now 8:30 Friday evening. I just got off of K.P. I have two more days to go before my week is up. I'm a champion potato peeler now. I'm not to bad at washing dishes either. After I get off K.P. I got a weeks hard labor. Another kid that I work with on K.P. did something we shouldn't have the other day. We got a week's hard labor and no more passes for awhile. I don't care because I can get some sleep now. I get to bed by 9:00 every night. Tomorrow is Saturday and we have an inspection so I imagine it will be a hard day in the Kitchen. We are supposed to move this coming Thursday. I hope I move too. Well I'll be closing for this time as I'm pretty tired + am going to bed. Say Hello to Dick and the rest for me. So Johnny has a new job now. It sounds pretty good. Well Good Bye for this time and all the luck in the world.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler Anti-Tank Co. 181st Inf. Ellsworth, Maine
Thursday (postmarked September 24) 1943
Hello Dick, Received your letter and was glad to hear from you. Well I'm in Milbridge now. We moved Tuesday. Got up here about noon. It's a pretty nice place here. There is alot of work to be done here yet. Me and another kid has to do all the carpenter work. I guess I'll be working at that for a month or more. There is only five barracks in the camp. It is real small. There are about 40 of us here. The town is dead. It's a dim out area. It's darker here than it was in Machias. Every thing closes up at 10:00 in the evening. There is only one barber in town. If you didn't keep your eyes open you would drive through it and never see it. I have a truck assigned to me now. It's just like my own. I have to take care of it as if I owned it. You know change oil, grease it and other things that have to be done to it. I mad a few trips to Ellsworth with it and had it out on patrol already. She's not to bad a wreck. I think I'd trade even up for one horse + a good wagon. I guess my Wife is coming up to see me before long. Glad to hear you are getting crops in so good with the little help you have. Wish I could be there to help you but guess I can't. Well I'll be closing for this time. Best of luck and Say Hello to Mom & Dad. So Long and Best of Luck
Your Brother Jerome Pvt. J. W. Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Milbridge, Maine
Wednesday evening (postmarked October 24) 1943
Hello Mom & Dad, Received your letter this evening. Sorry to hear Dick and you (Mom) had the flu. So you are getting good with the work. I'm glad to hear your getting so good with the little help you have. So it has been snowing at home. It has been raining here for five days now. I've been on patrol quit a bit lately. I go out at 2:00 in the morning and is it raining. I had to go to a funeral this afternoon. It was raining to beat heck. I was one of six in the firing squad. They had to take the casket out of the window. It looked rather funny. The guy was married and had a little girl. It was a pretty sad funeral. The guy was in the Marines. He was in five major battles over seas. He got through O.K. and was given a furlough. While on his way back to camp he was killed in an automobile accident. So you can see how people can get threw some thing and get killed in a car. Well we expect to move in the near future. We have our order on how to move. It will be by railroad no doubt. We are supposed to go to some embarkation camp. As far as we know it will be on the west coast. I hope all this is so we may get a chance to see action yet. We just got a bunch of new truck and big guns. Well I've got to go out on patrol at 2:00 in the morning so I'll have to be going to bed so I can get to sleep before I go out. The sides are open on the peeps + it isn't to dry. We get alot of fog up here and it is pretty hard driving. Well I'll be closing for this time as I'm going to bed. Best of luck to you all. Say hell to Dick. Mom I hope you and Dick get well real quick.
Best of Luck Love Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Milbridge, Maine
Postmarked November 4, 1943
Hello Folks, Just a few lines to let you know I'm feeling as good as can be expected. Hope you are all well. I am on Charge of Quarters now. I'm on duty until 8:00 tomorrow morning. It is now 7:00 Wednesday evening. The have had only one patrol going out a night so I haven't been on patrol very often. I had a little accident over a week ago. It bothered me to write so I didn't write much. I got a chunk of skin tore off my elbow on my right hand. You could see the bone on the elbow. They wanted to send me to the hospital but I wouldn't go. I couldn't use my right arm and still can't only to write. I could shave or eat with my right hand. I can't touch my face with it yet. It seemed funny having someone putting on my tie and doing other things for me. I been getting out of a lot work since I was hurt. It's feels better now. Although I can't move it to much yet. A lot of water has been running from it the past few days. It should be well soon. On the elbow is kind a hard to heal up. We been getting more winter clothes so it looks as if we will be where it is cold for awhile yet. I got a truck and a peep signed up to me now. I've been driving right along and no license to drive. Patrol is a racket up here but pretty cold. All you have is a roof over you. No sides on the peeps. It's pretty cold riding 8 hrs out in one. It had been raining up here for 2 weeks and still is raining. Well I suppose you are all threw with the work by now. Well Dick it won't be long now and we will be a year older. Wish I was home we would celebrate together. Well I'll be closing for this time. Wish you all the best of luck.
Your Son Jerome. Excuse the writing. It's pretty hard for me to write yet.
Pvt. J. Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Milbridge, Maine
Sunday evening (postmarked November 1?) 1943
Hello Dick, Sure was glad to hear from you. Sorry to hear you were sick for a spell. My arm is better the past few days. It isn't perfect yet. It feels as if there may be some bones out of place. I haven't been going to the medics lately and it feels better. So you had snow back home already. We have had rain almost every day for the past seven weeks. It is pretty cold up here. It sure is cold riding around in those damn open peeps. All they have is a roof. The wind blows clean through them. So Vern is gone across now. Well Dick I don't know where we are going but I don't think it will be long before we leave. All the guys were told to take their cars home. Some guys have dogs and they told them to take them home to. All personal equipment goes home. Some guys were going to have their wives come up and see them. They told us to tell out wives to stay home because we were leaving so I guess we will be moving soon. I hope it's a long ways from Maine. We have been here to long now. Thank Mom for the two dollars. It sure came in handy. Don't get worried I guess we'll be here for a month yet. Well so long for this time. Best of luck and hope to see you all as soon as possible
Your Brother Romie. Say Hello to Mom + Dad for me + the rest. Be Good.
Pvt. J. Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Milbridge, Maine
Postmarked November 20, 1943
Hello Folks, Just a few lines as I'm pretty tired. I thought I would drop a couple of lines as i haven't anything to do. Last night at 5:00 they told me I had to leave for Saco, Maine. I had to drive a 1 1/2 ton truck in a convoy. We were to transport troops. We drove until 3:00 in the morning. We got up at 7:00 and took off again. I am now 400 miles from Milbridge in Mass. We are leaving in the morning. I don't know just when we will get back but it should be in a couple of days. I'm pretty tired of driving. The trucks has 8 speeds ahead 6 wheel drive. It goes 8 miles on a gallon of gas. You have to shift on every hill. There is 7 of us driving. We brought over a hundred men down here to train for actual warfare. Well I don't know where we will spend Thanks giving this year. We are leaving very soon. We are leaving very soon. For where I don't know. Let you know when we get there. Well I'll be closing for this time as I'm pretty tired. Don't worry now Ma. We are just being taken off coastal Patrol. Best of luck.
Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. J. Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Milbridge, Maine
November 22, 1943
Hello Folks, It is now 6:00 Monday evening. I am in Saco, Maine now. We pull out in the morning for Douglas. We got back here at noon Saturday and they told us we had to take another load of guys to Douglas Sunday. We took them and just got back. Tomorrow is supposed to be our last trip. They say we got to go to Camden and pick up some guys to take to Douglas. That's almost to Ellsworth. I hope not as we are all dirty and need some clean clothes. It's a racket on the road all the time if a guy knew he was going so he could be prepared. We may be back by Thursday. Then we got to pack and move out in a few days. I fixed all the truck up so they'll roll 65. I opened all the governers. We make pretty good time on the road. It was pretty tough driving today. It is snowing now. We drove about 1,000 miles already. Well I'll be closing for this time as I'm going to try + get some sleep. A nice place to spend my birthday tomorrow on the road + then in some dump of a camp. I'll write later. Good Luck.
Your son Jerome.
Pvt. J. Geissler A-T. Co. 181st Inf. Milbridge, Maine
Friday (postmarked January 8, 1944)
Hello Folks: Just a few lines as I have a few minutes. We have been pretty busy around here checking property. We have been quite a bit of drilling the past few days. There are 50 of us restricted to the area. We are on the alert of leaving here. I guess by Sunday or Monday we'll be leave here. I don't know where we will go. Probably to some near by camp. They are driving us crazy down here. One minute they tell us they want us here and they change it before you know whats going on. A guy don't know what he is doing half of the time. It's the same old thing over and over. I send some more things home that I can't use. They check our equipment just about every day. We went through the gas chamber yesterday. We put our gas masks on and go through a building filled with poisonous gas. The lights go out here at 9:30 in the evening. There are no passes so there isn't much for a guy to do but go to bed. Well I'll be closing for this time as it is almost time to eat supper. I hope to see you all soon and best of luck. Don't ever worry about me because I figure I'm able to handle myself by now. Say hello to Dick.
Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. C 6th Bn 2nd Regt. A.G.F. Repl. Depot #1 Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland
February 15, 1944 First V-Mail home
Hello Mom & Dad: Just a few lines to let you know I'm feeling good as can be expected. Hope you all are the same. I had a pretty good trip over. Didn't mind it at all. A guy don't know when he has a swell home until he is away. It's quite a lot different here from home. The people as well as other things. I was somewhere in Africa. Now am somewhere in Italy. Can't tell you any more. How is everyone at home. Let's hope this is over soon so we can all be together again. I'll have to be closing for this time. Best of luck to you all.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Pvt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. G 7th Inf. A.P.O. 3
March 21, 1944
Hello Folks, Just a few lines as I haven't much to do at the present time. I am feeling the best and hope this letter finds you all the same. We have had swell weather the past few days. It will be getting warm here soon I hope. We get a paper here, "The Stars and Stripes" it give us the war news as well as news back home and that means a lot here. Just to have something to read passes the time away. It won't be long and things will be starting on the muckland. I wish I could be there to help you this year. I did get a few chances last year. Well I'll be closing for this time. I'll write soon. Say hello to the rest back home.
Love Your Son Jerome. Pvt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. G 7th Inf. Regt. A.P.O. #3
May 7, 1944
Dear Mom + Dad, Just a few lines to let you know I'm in good health and feeling the best. How is everything at home. Fine I hope. Things are going pretty good by me although it is a little tough at times. We get fed darn good most of the time. I've good a real bed now. I put about a bail of straw in my fox hole. Just like home after sleeping on the ground. I don't know what I will do after I hit a real bed after this. We are having swell weather here now. We get a chance to go swimming every once in awhile whenever we are back to rest. How is Dick getting along. I hope he is better soon. Well I'll be closing for this time as I've got to get some sleep. That's something I take advantage of whenever I get the chance. Best of Luck to you all. Say Hello to Dick for me.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Sgt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. G 7th Inf. A.P.O. #3
May 20, 1944
Dear Mom & Dad:
Just a few lines to let you know I'm feeling the best. I hope this letter finds you all the same. How is every thing going at home. Every thing is going alright here with me. We have been pretty busy lately in our training. The weather has been swell although it did rain a little last night. I went to church and holy communion today. How is Dick. I hope he is better soon. Wish I could be home to help you out in your work. Well I'll be closing for this time as I have some work to do. Until you hear from me again best of luck.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Sgt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. G 7th Inf. A.P.O. #3
May 15, 1944
Dear Mom & Dad: I am feeling fine and hope this letter finds you all the same. I got a letter from Loretta the other day. She said she heard from Vern and he is still in the same place and is O.K. I'm sure glad to hear that. I guess it's pretty tough where he is at. It's plenty warm anyway. It isn't very nice no matter where you are over here. We are having swell weather here now. I imagine it's pretty nice back home now. Loretta told me you saved the onions. Remember where I was a year ago. On Mother's day last year I was home on furlough. Let's hope next year I'll be there again to stay. Well I'll be closing for this time. Best of Luck.
Love Your Son Jerome.
Sgt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. G 7th Inf. A.P.O. #3
May 31, 1944
Letter to home to Jerome's parents from Tillie Geissler
Dear Mom + Dad. Just a few lines to let you know I received a letter from Jerome's Co. Commander which reads as follows;
Dear Mrs. Geissler, As Jerome's company commander, I wish to take this opportunity of writing you to let you know what splendid work he has been doing on the Anzio beechead. Sgt. Geissler has always exhibited fine leadership and personal courage. He is liked and respected by his squad and has the confidence of all the men in the company. During these trying days we need men of his calibre and it is a pleasure to acknowledge the splendid work he has done. I know you will be glad to hear of his excellent service and that he is well and in good health.
Edgar H. Poinsett Captain, 7th Inf. Commanding
I have framed this and will bring it home with me when I come. I'm so proud of him I've been showing it to every one. Please tell, Loretta Grace and the rest of them I'm sure there just as proud as I am. He's doing a wonderful job and if we all pray hard enough the good Lord will bring him back. I guess I'll close now.
P.S. hope you are all well. Mrs. J.W. Geissler 227 T. St. N.E. Washington, D.C.
June 26, 1944
Dear Mom & Dad, Just a few lines to let you know I am feeling find and hope you are all the same. I just received a letter from my wife telling me her brother Johnny was dead. It sure was a great shock to me. I can hardly believe it. We were so close together and planning so much. I know Mr. and Mrs. Davis are going to take it awful hard and you can't blame them. It makes it worse him being overseas. It happens every day and there is nothing we can do about it. If Johnny's picture is in the paper I wish you would send it to me. Wish I was home maybe I could help Tillie's folks try to forget. I guess that would be impossible though. Well I'll be closing for this time as it is getting late. Best of Luck. Say hello to Dick and the rest.
Your Loving Son Jerome. Sgt. Jerome Geissler 32212123 Co. G 7th Inf. A.P.O. #3
Operation Undertone. March 15, 1945
The only counter attack to cause appreciable concern hit a battalion of the 3d Division's 7th Infantry. Veterans of combat from the North African campaign onward, the regiments of the 3d Division (Maj. Gen. John W. O'Daniel) were making the main effort in the center of the XV Corps in the direction of Zweibruecken and the Kaiserslautern corridor. Although a company of supporting tanks ran into a dense minefield, disabling four tanks and stopping the others, a battalion of the 7th Infantry fought its way into the village of Uttweiler, just across the German frontier. Then an infantry battalion from the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division, supported by nine assault guns, struck back. The Germans quickly isolated the American infantrymen but could not force them from the village. Supported by a platoon of tank destroyers and the regimental antitank company organized as a bazooka brigade, another of the 7th Infantry's battalions counterattacked. The men knocked out four multiple-barrel 20-mm. flakwagons and seven assault guns and freed the besieged battalion.
P.O.W Journal kept from March 15, 1945 to April 27, 1945 March 15 captured 8 am France (Ultweiler) marched continuously to Mar 16 9 am. Left 16th Mar 7 pm and marched 16-17-18 arrived P.W. cage near Speyer at 5 pm 184km. Left 21st at 7 p.m., marched four nights- 79 km. Arrived at Ludwigsburg P.W. cage at Mar. 24 3 AM stayed till April 2nd Left Ludwigburg April 2nd walked 12 km to Weillingen. Slept on ground in field. Left at 11 A.M. the 3rd walked 20 km to Schorndorf, arrived 3rd 6 P.M. Slept in field. Rained all night. Left Schorndorf 4th 11 A.M. Walked 17 Km. Column was bombed and straffed by American planes in Lorch. Stopped on outskirts of Lorch 6 P.M. Slept in field. Column consists of Americans, Russians, French, Moroccans, Indians, British. 312 Km. 7 Russians shot by planes.
April 5th Left Lorch at 6 PM Marched until 3 AM in rain. Slept in field, in rain. Passed through Gmund. Walked 22 Km (334 Km)
April 6th Stayed in field all day. Rained. “Muddy Field”. Slept in field all night “rained”.
April 7th Column split up Americans, British, Indians continued on, rest turned back (1700). Left Mogglingen at 1 PM. marched 12 Km (346 Km). Stopped in field for night to sleep at Aalen. Heavy frost during night.
April 8 Swell day. Air Corp straffed column short distance from us. Left Aalen at 2 PM. Marched 15 Km (361 Km) to Unterniffingen. Slept in field over night.
April 9 Stayed all day and night at Unterniffingen. April 10 Left Unterniffingen at 12 N. Walked 22 Km (383 Km) to outskirts of Dischingen and slept in field overnight. G-I was shot for disobeying orders. In mountainous country.
April 11 Swell day. Left Dischingen at 12 N, marched 11 Km to Wittislingen. Slept in park on ground. An Indian was shot for taking a bath in a stream nearby. (394 Km)
April 12 Rained a little overnight. Raining some this morning. Indian that was shot yesterday was cremated today about 12:30 PM. Stayed here all day and am staying tonight.
April 13 Rainy day. Left Wittislingen at 10 AM. Crossed Danube River at 1 PM. Split up from Indians (1200 G-I’s). Tired, weak, and hungry. Walked 9 Km (408 Km) to outskirts of Dillingen. Staying in barns tonight. Weather a little clearer( unconfirmed report of F.D.R.’s death).
April (14th) Stayed all day in barn. No rations for the day yet. (3:30 P.M.) Guys passing out from lack of food. Staying here all night. Got bread at (7 P.M.)
April (15th) Stayed in barn all day. Staying tonight. Hear bombing in distance.
April (16th) Stayed here Today and tonight. Some generous women boiled up some (oats) for us today.
April (17th) Still at same place. Lots of bomber passing over. Not much food. Staying tonight. Layed all day in the sun. Swell day.
April (18th) Same place. Got rations. Menu I made (soup) garlic, carrots, potatoes, barley, bran, flour + salt.
April (19th) Got flour rations. Made potato pan cakes. Eating much better. Got a French Red Cross Box.
April (20th) Left Dillingen at 11:00 A.M. Swell day. Marched 18 Km to Welden (421 Km). Slept in field over night.
April (21st) American fighter planes straffing area all around us. Left Welden at 11:00 A.M. Marched 17 Km to Westheim (438 Km). Slept in field. Rained all night.
April (22nd) Left Westheim at 2 P.M. Marched 8 Km (446 Km) to P.W. Camp in Augsburg. Marched 20 Km (478 Km) to outskirts of Hiltenfingen. Stopped over night in barn 250, rest went on 3 Km. Plane dove to straff but recognized us in time.
April 26th Stayed in same place. Cooked up 109 snails to eat. Yanks closing in. German Guard took off at 11:30 P.M. Left us alone.
April 27th Liberated 4:15 A.M. 12th Armored Division came through. End of Life as P.O.W. Now 6 P.M. Moved 2 Km to town. 480 Km. About 8700 German prisoners taken in this sector. Sleeping in barn in town tonight Ettingen.
28th April Same place.
April 29th Went to next to town not taken yet and picked up German car. 1st G-I meal chicken. Drove all over hell.
April 30th Drove back two towns & ate A.A.A. Went to Augsburg to Co. Met some of the old men. Drove 450 Km. May 2nd smashed my car on a bailey bridge. Drove about 600 miles.
May 4th Still sweating out C-47 planes to fly us out.
May 8th Flew by plane to Reim France V-E Day. Entered 77 FA Hosp.
May 15. Left 77 FA Hosp.
May 21st. France for home. (Prisoner 56 Days lost 44 pounds)
Discharged Dec. 25 1945 Christmas Day. Ford Dicks N.J. 10:30 A.M. Age 26 Staff Sgt. In service 3 years, 11 Mo. 28 Days Wounded 2 times Received Silver Star. Walked 480 Km while prisoner.
Headquarters Third Infantry Division General Orders Number 29
29 January 1945 Award of Silver Star: Under the provisions of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, a Silver Star is awarded each of the following named individuals: Jerome W. Geissler, 32212123, Sergeant (then Private), Infantry, Company “G”, 7Th Infantry Regiment. For gallantry in action. On 15 August 1944, Sergeant Geissler and seven others were pinned beneath the ramp of their assault boat when it struck a mine near ---, France. Despite wounds in his knee and forehead, Sergeant Geissler lifted the ramp up, dragged two wounded men out, and helped free the remaining trapped soldiers. He then swam 75 yards through friendly rocket fire that hit 30 yards from him, to rescue a drowning sailor. After towing the sailor to shore, Sergeant Geissler reorganized his squad and led it through a deep minefield to the battalion coordinating line, 1000 yards inland. Not until he led his squad in a successful fight for his company’s initial objective, did Sergeant Geissler allow himself to be evacuated. Residence Elba, New York. By command of Major General O’Daniel.
Received due to Operation Dragoon, 7th Infantry hit the beaches in southern France. Near Cavalaire, France Alpha beach.
W/O H E Gell . Royal Air Force 78 Sqd.
W/O H. E. Gell . Royal Air Force 78 Sqd.
Pte. John Stanley Gell . British Army 11 LoC Royal Signal Regiment from Doncaster)
One of the stories my father, John Gell told me about his service in North Africa during the period 1942 - 1944 comes particulary in mind especially when I brood about Fate and Destiny.
Together with his mates, after working on the phone lines near Bizerta - Tunisia, a place known to the troops as Messerschmit Alley, he was resting at camp. Just as dusk was setting in, a sort of rumbling noise was continuosly heard. To be on the safe side, Dad coaxed the group out of their billet and had them move nearby. Only one of his mates refused to go, saying they were scared for nothing, it was only the sound of distant guns. Shortly after the group had moved, a section of Ju 87 dive bombers, in an effort to destroy allied comunications, hit the site, killing the one soldier who decided to stay back. Sometomes it's better to follow one's instinct than turn it down!
My beloved father passed away a couple of months ago and with this short story I would like to honour his memory. Thank you.
Flight Sergeant Charles Dewitt Gellatly . RCAF 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)
RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.
The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.
Pilot: P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed. Pilot: P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42. Obs: Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20. Wop/AG: Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed, age 20. Wop/AG: Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22. AG: Flt/Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed. AG: Flt/Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.
Sqd.Ldr. John Gellatly . Royal Air Force from Surrey )
I recall my Uncle Jack Gellatly lived with his wife and daughter, Ann, in the south of England. I lived in the North East with my family and recall my gran and grandad going to watch the Pathe News in a Gateshead cinema because her beloved son Jack, as he was known, was coming down the stairs of an aircraft with the King. I believe he also drove the King at times. Sadly when I was young we had so little information about our family. After the war my uncle and aunt bought a small hotel. I think it was called The Kings Head in Surrey. I would love to know if his daughter Ann is still alive and also if she had a family. Any info. would be appreciated.
Eric Gemmell .
I'm searching for Eric Gemmell, who took part in the convoys to Arkhangelsk in 1941.
Pte. George Gemmell . British Army Queens Own Cameron Highlanders from Glasgow)
My Grandfather George Gemmell enlisted 27.6.1940 in the 5 Bn Cameron Highlanders (TA). On the 24th April 1942 he joined L Det SAS, transferring to 1 SAS (A Squadron) 21.9.1942 to 1.2.1943. On the 10th of March 1943 he rejoined 5 Bn Cameron Highlanders then served with 11 Infantry Holding Bn (attached 9 Bn Seaforth Highlanders) from 1.12.1944 to 1.5.1946. He was released to Army Reserve 15.1.1947
I am interested in the specific battles in which he may have fought.
James Gemmell . Royal Navy SS City Of Benares from Glasgow, Scotland)
My uncle, James Gemmell, was 4th Engineer aboard SS City Of Benares, a British steam passenger ship built for Ellerman Lines by Barclay Curle & Co. of Glasgow 1n 1936. On 17th September 1940 this ship was torpedoed 4 days/600 miles out of Liverpool, heading for Canada. The passengers included 77 children, evacuees from war-torn Britain.
Pte. John Stanley Gemmell . British Army 1st Btn. East Lancashire Regiment (d.23rd Sep 1944)
Stan Gemmell was my grandfather. Sadly, he died on 23rd September 1944, so I never got to meet him. He died while fighting for his country and he is buried in The Netherlands. I would love to know more about his history in the war.
Annabell Gen . Civilian
It was horrible. I was evacuated but my mum and sister were not and they were killed in the London Blitz. I stayed in my aunt's house. I was eight years old. My dad came home and came to me in Wales. We could not face London.
Pte Leonard Gent . British Army 2nd Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment from Whinny Hill, Thrybergh)
(d.17th Mar 1941)
PO Reginald Philip Gent . Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 149 Sqdn. from Kettering, Northamptonshire)
(d.17th May 1942)
Pilot Officer (Observer) Gent was the son of James Thomas Gent and Mary Hannah Gent, husband of Stella Eva Gent (nee Wright), of Kettering, Northamptonshire.
He was 33 when he died and is buried in the Kirk Vaerlose Churchyard in Denmark.
Alan George . Royal New Zealand Airforce No. 139 Squadron from Manaia, NZ)
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