Muriel Eberhard Writes WWII

Lieutenant Muriel Eberhard Writes

Colon Express, January 18, 1945: “Dear Family; It’s ages since I’ve written you a newsy letter so here goes for a try at it. It seemed, as though we were about due to move, if Lt. Dawson and I shampooed our hair and did it up in pin curls, we were sure to leave pronto. I have traveled Europe and England with my hair up in pin curls under a knit cap … such glamour … and my combat suit of clothes is so flattering to ones figure. You should see me … G. I long underwear (bless it) wool inner liners and outer trousers and wool shirt plus field coat and liner. Knit cap, with helmet liner and steel helmet, wool socks … two pair, and field shoes with 4-buckle artics. It’s quite a job to dig down to find me. Most of our quarters were not heated so we didn’t do much undressing to go to bed … just the outer layer. When we crossed the channel we were on British food rations and ate in a dining room with white tablecloths, china and silverware. We hardly knew how to eat with such equipment, as it is a very drastic change from mess gear. We lived for a while in a French Chateau, which had been used by the Germans as hospital, the French said. Some of the rooms still have wallpaper on them … it was large flowers in quite gay colors, and there were lots of bath-rooms, but French plumbing isn’t so good at times. So far I have managed to skip pup tents and slit trenches, but that’s about all. We went through the mess line inside but had to go out into the yard to ear our food. You should see me balancing my mess gear and trying to keep an eye on my canteen cup so someone wouldn’t step on it. One morning, horror of horrors, I spilled my breakfast and had to make a second run through the mess line. We had a hardboiled egg for lunch the Saturday before Christmas, the first fresh egg I’d seen for several weeks. This morning I had an apple, my first since Thanksgiving Day. One of the patients was going to throw them away but we nurses saved them to eat. I have an orthopedic ward at present, so my experience at Percy Jones should help now. Also I had a piece of fruitcake this morning … another gift from a patient. He had gotten it for a Christmas present. Can you picture me, who never cared for fruitcake, enjoying it? Well, I did. We lived on C. and K. rations for several days and they are sufficient so far as their nutritional value goes, but they can’t be considered the best of food. I even got some that were packed by Kellogg in Battle Creek. It sure looked like home. This year we had our Christmas dinner sitting on our blanket rolls in a train station. It consisted of a turkey sandwich and nothing ever tasted quite so good. By rumor I hear that we are to have turkey with all the trimmings tomorrow … oh happy days, if that one is true. At present Rousch and myself are sharing a double room, but within a few days Dawson and I expect to have a double room together. Last night (letter was written Dec 30) I sent you a V-mail asking for my glasses … those I want rather much. When you can, I should like you to send some face cream. I never used creams before but I sure need something over here. I’m wearing those seersucker uniforms now, at long last, and the French maids will do our washing so I guess we will be able to keep clean. At present, everything I own is dirty, and I do mean dirty. Have seen a lot of French clothes but haven’t bought any as it does not seem worth the price at present. I have what I need anyway. We will have our footlocker soon and then I can get at the radio Capt. Campbell loaned me … oh happy day that will be. Guess it is time to close for this time. Will write again when I can. Love, Muriel.”