England 1944On March 2, 1944 Robert's letter is censored for the first time, the first indication that security is becoming tighter. The boys are in New York and are about to be shipped to England.
March 27, 1944 the Twins are at the 448 Replacement Co. 85th Bn. Robert can't tell his mother where he is in England due to safety regulations. Robert writes to his mother about his impressions of the English.
"The English certainly treat you swell. They give the American soldier a swell arrival and it is good to have your feet on solid ground. Boy am I sick of the ocean."
"You should see the Black Out in England. Boy is it black. You can't see three feet a head of you. You really have to know where you are going."
Robert notices that the English people have beautiful homes and that some have straw roof tops.
"Boy are these people clean. They wash the sidewalks with soap and water on hands an knees. I know that people in the States wouldn't do that."
"The kids start to work at a very young age. They are thru with school at the age of 14."
April 24 1944 Robert and Richard have arrived at their unit, it is Company B of the 121st Engineer Battalion. The battalion has been in England since October 1942. During their stay in England the battalion stays in training areas in Tidworth, Cornwall and Braughton Sands.
The battalion is attached to the 1th Infantry Division for the Invasion in Normandy. The battalion is actually attached to the 29th Infantry Division and after the first day the command will be in the hands of the 29th Division. Rations aren't to good at that time as Robert asks his mother for a lighter and cookies and candy. They are better paid because Robert manages to send a check of 50 dollars home. In the previous year the brothers asked their parents to send them some money to extend their pay checks.
At the end of may 1944 the weather is sunny and good summer weather. Richard is starting a career as barber. He starts by cutting his brothers hair. The result is such that he gets more customers after that. He does a good job even when his barber shop is nothing more that a comb and scissors.
The brother must be realizing that it is getting more serious soon, when they write a letter to their two year old sister Linda on May 30, six days before D-day.