. . . remember and honor those who lost their lives defending America and think too of those who came home. Here are excerpts from letters by John D. Hancock to his wife Edna. He was a supply sergeant for the 62nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion, which landed in Morocco in November 1942, fought in Tunisia and Sicily, then landed in France on D-Day.As we pick up the story in August 1944, the 62nd is still in the Normandy region, now mercifully (though temporarily) past the hard fighting. The last action was August 13-14 in Domfront, where the soldiers may have seen the ruins of the eleventh-century Chateau of Domfront. Now they have stopped to inspect and repair their M-7 self-propelled artillery vehicles and other equipment.
August 25, 1944, France. We have passed through some beautiful little towns with very old churches and what seems to be parts of old ancient buildings. The dirt has something in it that burns the skin and eyes. . . .
People seem to stand along the roads waving to passing convoys, throwing flowers and fruit. It is hard to determine whether it is the soldiers themselves or the generous amounts of candy, cigarettes, and rations they throw out. However, most seem to be reserved and proud.
Yellow jackets are plenty thick and one just got me on the jaw.
In early September, the 62nd passed through Belgium (Hasselt) on its way to Holland (Maastricht). The advance was slowed by lack of gasoline.