Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

 Military Letters, WWII

As found in old newsletters.
Transcribed by barbara stallman-speck

Restored   Thursday, March 04, 2010


Walter Manhalter                                                     Germany,   May 24, 1945

Mrs. John Wagaman is in receipt of a letter from her son, Walter.

Letter to his mother

     Just a few lines to let you know that Iím just fine and hope you are too. I am in a town called Creuben. It is near the town of Bayreuth. So maybe you can find it on the map. The weather here is almost like it is in England. And it rains almost all of the time and as soon as it quits raining the sun starts to shine, so I guess it it isnít too much different from England.

  All we do here is patrol the roads and check up on the people and look around a little bit. We are not allowed to talk to people, only on business. We are living in a big factory that they used to make those big guns in. We have some nice rooms to live in for the time being. Running water and all, but I donít know for how long. We have a swimming pool here, but the water seems to be kind of cold yet. I guess we will have movies before long.

I havenít seen Leo or Gust yet and it donít look like I will get to see either of them. If I get the chance though, Iím going to try to see both of them. I guess Bob Schelske is over here somewhere too. By the way things sound around here, we might be here for sometime yet. That will be better than going to the Pacific.

Have you heard from Emil lately? I have not heard from him for quite a while. I hope nothing has happened to him, but when you are in the hospital you donít feel much like writing letters, at least I didnít. He may be on the flight over there now.

So Violet and Richard got married. Well I ainít sorry that I didnít get married, but when I get back it wonít be long till Iíll be married too.

Well I guess Iíll close for now and get ready to go to work again. I do not get much sleep around here anymore.

Creussen Germany,   June 4, 1945

Just a few lines to let you know Iím still fine Itís a little bit windy here today. The rain storm the other night just about wrecked the farmersí grain fields. They are out cutting it down for hay. They use those big knives like Mrs. Wagaman has to cut the weeds out in her yard. The way they farm over here if we had to do it that way we would never get done. For hay racks they use wagons like we use to haul garin and I donít think they are even that big. The biggest field I have seen around here isnít even as big as our hog pasture, so you can get an idea of their farming.

 I told some of these people that some of our farmers have several hundred head of cattle and they wouldnít believe it. An automobile over here, it takes a real rich man to own one. The poorer ones are lucky to have even a bicycle. Most of them drive a pair of cows around if they are lucky. If they arenít, they just go by foot.

Suppose you are about ready to start harvesting or havenít you got a good crop this year? It looks like we will have to feed most of these krauts this winter, but I guess the people canít help it that this war was started. The way they farm itís no wonder thay havenít got anything.

So Emil is back in the states again. Iím sure glad to hear that. I wish I could come back but I would rather stay here a few months longer and not have to go to the Pacific. I suppose he got wounded pretty bad or they wouldnít have sent him back or he got enough points. I hope he did for he has been away a long time.

I suppose he will go to Washington to see his girlfriend and I guess he will get married while heís there.

What are the kids doing and are they as onery as they used to be? Well, Iíll have to go to work, so I will close for this time.  Write when you have the time and Iíll do the same.

Creussen, Germany    June 5, 1945

Received your letter today and I will answer it right away Have not done much the last few days except ride around the country and keep the people on the ball. I was driving over the country last night until three this morning, so I didnít get much sleep, but I guess Iíll make up for it tonight. They are having a lot of rain lately. In this country the crops are rained out it looks to me. I saw the farmers cutting their wheat for feed.

I suppose Leo will have to go to the Pacific and I think Iíll be in on that deal, but I hope I get to come home first, but donít think Iíll get the chance the way things look now. I have not seen Gust or Leo. I would like to see one of them, just to see someone I know for once.

We do a lot of deer hunting so have deer almost all of the time and fishing is good, too. We get fish about 16 inches long every now and then. We used to fish with hand grenades, but we canít do that anymore. We get enough anyway.

I got a lot of junk Iím going to send home. I donít know whether they will let it go through, but Iím going to try. Some of the guys are sending home rifles and everything. I got me a good pistol They say we can carry them home with us.

Well, have to close and go to work.


Walter Manhalter                                         Germany  Sept 18, 1945

Just a few lines to let you know Iím back in Germany again. Iím in a big trucking company now. All we get is big semi-trailer trucks, ten-ton jobs. All we do is haul supplies and stuff. Iím going to Berlin in a day or two with a load of supplies.

We really got a good deal here.  The meals couldnít be beat. Just like in a cafť. We just walk in and sit down at a table for four and German waiters bring us our food. Anything we want to eat except when we weíre on the road then we donít get such good stuff.

I didnít think the army could be so good.  We go to town whenever we feel like it. Get a shave and a hair cut for 10c. That is in regular German money and most of us get better than $500 worth of German money and we have to spend it over here. It is only good in Germany. So we get a shave every day and a hair cut every week. We live right in town, about six blocks from the main part of town. Have to walk half a block for a street car and that donít cost us a cent, and when we donít want to ride on a street car we jump in one of the trucks. The captain is really a swell fellow.

The place we live in, we all have our own rooms with beds that have mattresses and tables and chairs and a place where we can hang our clothes. When we ainít working we get up and go down and have breakfast, come back up and go back to bed. Get up for dinner and go back to town. So we ainít complaining a bit.

Well, it is almost time for dinner so Iíll close and if any letters came and were sent home for me, send them back.



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