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Eldon Cook

Born in 1923, Eldon Cook was drafted into the US Army to serve in the European Theater during World War II, for which he earned a Bronze Star. A number of his letters have survived, written from “somewhere in Germany” to his wife Armittie, to whom he was recently wed, during 1944 and 1945.

Cook’s letters record the harsh conditions American soldiers faced in Germany, as well as Eldon’s playful humor and the affection he held for his wife.

April 23, 1945 Letter, Page 1

Somewhere In Germany
April 23, 1945

My Dear Darling;

Hello! Darling, how are you doing by now? Sure wished I could have you in my arms tonite [sic] and forever. It will be so wonderful when we can be together again and it will take more than a war to separate us again because believe me I love my baby.

Our Batlion [sic] got lost the day before yesterday and it rained all day. We were as wet and mad as a drowned rat. The Capt. ask us if we wanted to dig in out in the woods or take the town. About thirty of us went into the town on patrole [sic] and took it without firing a [illegible
deletion] shot.

We took this city today and we are staying in a big hotel with beds. It really beats that

April 23, 1945 Letter, Page 2

fox hole we stayed in last nite [sic] because it rained, snowed & sleeted.

Darling, when I do get home I’ll [probably] I’ll have some funny ways. If I get up in the middle of the nite [sic] and start outside you will have to stop me because I’ll be going out to stand guard. I might even carry a shovel with me when I go to the bathroom to dig a hole. If I go hunting and don’t come back for a few days, you’ll know I dug a fox hole and waiting for the game to come
by me. That all sounds [illegible deletion] [screwy] but that’s what I do now.

Squirt, Prince (my buddy) and I captured three Jerries today and I got the [illegible] little pistol you ever saw. I can’t send it home but I have a knife I’m going to send to you.

April 23, 1945 Letter, Page 3

Darling, you ask me if I had been playing ‘Black Jack’ like you did; well, I sure don’t young lady but if you want to that’s ok. because I know you do it only for past time [sic].

Darling, I must close and get some sleep. I also told you I was sending you a money order for 40.00 but we haven’t gotten them back yet. I’ll send it as soon as I do.

Squirt, have you a piece of your favorite gum. I love you darling.

Lots O’ Love,


May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 1

Somewhere In Germany
May 3, 1945

Dearest Darling;

Hello! There! How is my baby getting along this morning? All we can do is hope that each of us are doing ok. because can’t be there to know for ourselves. Each one tries to make the other believe that we couldn’t be doing better. ha! ha! Darling, I am very truthful with you about how I’m getting along —— are you? I wish I could have called you up when I first got here and tell you just what kind of a setup we have. We are guarding a warehouse and there are some civilians live the front. It is really nice. The old man keeps a fire in our room and the lady cleans it up for us.

May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 2

You should have seen one yesterday. She washed my shirt & drawer and I pressed them. The rest of our boys in the platoon said I could press thiers [sic] too. They said I must have had some experience somewhere down the line. I told them I used to help a little girl iron — ha! ha! [illegible deletion] was that nice?

Darling, we live in the luxurious part of the city. Everyone [sic] of the houses are mansions. Most of which are about 5-6-and 7 stories high. They are really beautiful.

I guess the only reason they put us back here is because they can’t find a place for us to fight. We chased the rascals from Easter Sunday until Sunday, April 29. Believe me this was a tired bunch of boys.

The news is wonderful over here.

May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 3

The radio reported last nite [sic] that the entire German army in Italy gave up. Mousilini [sic] was shot, Hitler was killed and that all of Berlin fell. When we heard that we all went out into the street and fired our pistols in the air. The G.I’s come running down there with their rifles because they thought it was a counter attack.

Darling, since I have been sitting here writing you it has snowed, sleeted, rained and the sun shined a little. Crazy weather, eh? It is still snowing but it is too warm for it to stay on the ground. Sure wish it would so we could have snowball fights. When we had plenty snow up on the front lines we didn’t think about throwing them because we were throwing something a little hotter.

One of our boys got too much to drink yesterday and went walking around over town. He fell into about a 20 foot

May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 4

basement of a house that had been bombed. He is so sore this morning he can hardly get up and down.

Sweetheart, I had two letters from you last nite [sic] and one from mom Benton. You said you were in Abilene and saw that one and only ‘ Bobbie .’ Why don’t you send him to me in a package and I’ll keep him for awhile. I’ll have to ask Dorothy about that.

Darling, you keep asking me about coming over here if I get army of occupation. Well, there is one catch to that; I’m afraid if you come over here they will just forget about me going home. They might just say, “you have your family over here so we’ll let someone go home that hasn’t seen their folks in a long time.” It might work out ok. but I’m afraid it won’t. Darling, you know I want to be with you more than anything in the world but

May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 5

I’m just trying to do what is best for both of us.

Darling you ask me what I was. A rifleman or what? I am the Bazoka [sic] man in a rifle squad. A bazoka [sic] is a gadget that is used to knock out tanks. Well, darling I guess I had better close and write to some of the rest. I got paid yesterday and made out a money order for $40.00 and will send it as soon as we get them back. I kept about $3.50 but don’t [illegible deletion] need that. I got $26.60 yesterday and I had some money I got for a pistol so you see where it comes from.

I’ll see you in my dreams,

Lots O’ Love,


May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 1

Somewhere In Germany
May 29, 1945

Dear Darling;

Hello! there! how is my darling getting along back in the good old U.S.A.? Gee! I wish I was there to answer that question. I just got a letter from you darling and you were caught up on your work for awhile but still you were so nervous you could hardly write. Darling, there isn’t any use in my telling you to take it easy when I’m so far away; you did the same thing when I was there so darling you be a little lady and use your head.

Sweet, I had a package from you at noon which consisted of mixed

May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 2

candies and nuts. Gee! I was really glad to get them. I was too full to eat any of it then but I’ll go up in a little while. That is the third box I’ve received, one from ‘Bobbie Clark’ and two from my baby.

Gee! Darling you should be here where I am if you want to see a headache. Russians come in for passes to go to town. Then here will come German civilians just singing [sic] their hands saying the Russians have taken their bicycle or loited their houses. It’s just one continual headache but if it will keep me here I’ll just go grey headed and be happy. Darling I don’t know what is going to happen but we hope for the best. I come through the

May 3, 1945 Letter, Page 3

European Theatre of Operation (E.T.O.) with only a few scratches from [illegible deletion] artillery shells on my hands and frozen feet. You can hardly see the scars on my hands and my feet are ok. with the acceptions [sic] of my toes are still numb. And I didn’t go to the hospital. My asthma doesn’t bother me at at [sic] all. Squirt, let’s just hope that’s all the scratches I get. You should see my rifle; a piece of schrapnel [sic] dotted the “S” in your name “Squirt.” It’s been hit about six or eight times.

Darling, I must close and go to work so don’t worry because we are really living good.

Lots O! Love,


eldon cook black and white portrait

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