Tuesday, November 14, 2017

George Musick to Harry Randall: Just after D-Day

If I'd had my wits about me, I'd have shared George Musick's 1944 letter home to his pal Harry Randall during September, when three Lucas County men killed in combat during the Korean War but whose remains never have been recovered were commemorated on National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Sgt. Musick is one of the three; Elmer A. Rowe and Roy R. Kirton, the others.

But the letter didn't come to mind until yesterday, when I was filing something in the archival box where it is kept. Harry's daughter, Sue Demichelis, placed the letter in the Lucas County Historical Society's care during 2012. Written from a foxhole "somewhere in France" six weeks after D-Day, it is a rare survival.

The letter dates from the first phase of Sgt. Musick's  military career. He had served with distinction during World War II, survived, then re-enlisted for service in Korea where he was killed in combat at Yongsan on Sept. 3, 1950, at the age of 33.

George and Harry were the same age, so may well have been boyhood friends. Harry (1917-1977) also served during World War II, called up during June of 1945 as the war was winding down.  He's probably best remembered in Chariton because of his 35-year career as a barber.

George had beautiful penmanship, but was a deplorable speller. You can read the original letter, above and below. Or the transcript below. I've corrected spelling errors; couldn't help myself.

Sunday 7/23/44
Somewhere In France

Hi Harry,

You will probably be surprised at getting a letter from me, but over here a man don't get much time to write & when he does he don't feel like writing because, hell, there just isn't anything you can write about only the weather & who in the hell cares about the weather only that it's been raining over here ever since D-Day & that's no lie (this pen is just like its owner, not worth a damn & it isn't mine).

Well Harry I sure hope you never have to witness anything like this little show we are having over where it's just plain hell. I don't know how anyone ever lives through it. Those Jerries are a tough bunch of customers even if we are kicking the hell out of them & another thing, I don't care very much (for) living in a foxhole but damn it you have to or not live.

Man you should see those dive bombers work. They really do a nice piece of work. They really run the German nuts especially when they strafe them, but still some of them manage to hold out.

(The hell with the war.) How was fishing this summer? I'll bet the bass couldn't get to those plugs fast enough. Sure would like to do a little fine fishing or hunting; it's been a long time since I've done any. When & if this war ever ends & I get through it OK I'll make up for lost time.

Well Harry I guess I'll have to close. Can't think of anything to write about. Ans(wer) soon.

Lots of good Luck,
T/Sgt Geo. Musick

No comments: