244th Field Artillery Battalion

February 1944

          1st Lt. Robert B. Crone, born April 1, 1916 in Cincinnati Ohio died of injuries received from a car accident February 5, 1944 in Newport, Cocke County, Tennessee. Buried Flagg Spring Cemetery, Hamilton County, Newton, Ohio

Dear Folks,

     I got your letter the 5th and I did have a nice birthday. Atly Graham, Ray Lee their wives were all together – you see we all have a birthday the 6th. Lee is 24, I’m 25 and Atly 26. We had a swell dinner – and all in all a lot of fun.

     Met a real nice gal down here – Janice Cosgrove. Very pretty – long dark brown hair – Our brown eyes – lovely smile – beautiful figure -. She has been a lot of fun – everyone likes her a lot.

     I have been fighting a cold for several days, and it looks as if I’ve at last got it beat. Sure hope so – cause I can’t get a lot of work done when I feel low.

     I think I have given you all the latest poop – Markle is off to Sill to motor school, Dave Brewer has been transferred to “B” Battery. Capt. Murphy is the Battalion Ex. That covers the latest change – as of 8 Feb 44.

     On these boots – some of the ones I’ve heard of – they have bought the issue Calvary boots and have had em cut down to 10” size. The only trouble is that we can’t get em here. Does Baily have them?
If so – I’ll send home a certificate. Please let me know.

     How are the kids? And what have you heard from them -? Let me have the dope.

     There isn’t much else to report – I’ll writ again later on in the week.

     Got to get to bed –
                                             Much love,
                                                 Tom.
May go to Pinehurst with Wink, Ann, Jane the Col & Sally – Saturday – May send a wire – (reminder?)

    Tom

Thursday – 10th February 19442
          Change In Organization

          On 10 February 1944 the Battalion was relieved of this assignment and attachment and attached to the 222nd Field Artillery Group and IX Corps by letter, IX Corps, 10 February 1944, “Attachment of units.”

          Caption reads – 1st. Lt. Hightower, Camp Gordon

Dear Mother,

     I know of no better way to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day than to write to you. Seeing that you’re my best gal – a card is too formal. Anyway – as each year goes by – we all grow much closer together. Last year it was Shelby – this year Gordon – next year – what better place than home and happiness again.

     I read about your cold weather two days ago – now it’s here. We almost froze this morning. The grates were burned out of the furnace, so we had no heat at all. When we finally got courage enough and got out of bead and outside – all the week’s rainwater had frozen solid. I was worried about the car but after warning it up – it was as good as ever.

     If you look in this last week’s “Life” (page 21) you will see pictures of our 155 mm gun M1. It’s quite a monster. As yet we don’t know what kind of a “prime mover” we will have – some say a 7½ ton diamond-T or a “full track” tank type vehicle. Thurs night we went out in a night problem – (only 5 of us) we were given maps and told to go to the other end – is was darn rough cause most of the roads were widened, changed and many roads changed + added. No lights – there were mines, enemy snipers, booby traps, machine guns – etc. It was a lot of fun and we learned that when moving into doubtful territory at night you might as well pay all debts and give away your extra equipment cause if your luck doesn’t hold out you’re a goner. I set off a land mine with the car – was shot at quite often. We were ripping along a dark trail when the road stopped – it had been washed out. None of us were hurt, but it sure was a thrill – a good thing the windshield was down or I’d made a heck of a good job of removing it. We got it out in about ten minutes.

     In the afternoon we went thru an area with booby traps in houses – etc. Capt Coyne pulled all the boners of Joe Dope in our training films & he found a trap – a trap wire 6” off the ground – to detonate it he grabbed a shovel leaning up against the building and it had been “fixed” too – it went off – and would have given him a fine ride if properly fixed with 10lbs of T.N.T. The only thing to do – is stay away from all buildings, trucks and abandoned material cause it’s probably “hot” much was learned by all.

     Saw Jane again last night – quite a gal – I know you will like her. The catch – she’s catholic. Why do I manage to do things like that?  Also, she’s younger than Betsy is – (or was). We may make this into the real thing – after I come back. At least she’s dead set on it. I’ve been through this once before – and I’m wiser for it – so there is no use in being at all hasty – is there.

     Now don’t go flying off the handle – and get all upset – I’ll be sure to give you all plenty of warning – whenever it gets to that point.
               Much love to one and all –
                    Your loving sun,
                           Tom.

Is there a small 8 X 12 picture of me at home?
                                            T.

          Caption reads – Camp Gordon, Lt. Bernard T. Kaylor, Jr

Dear Folks,

     Rain, Rain – All week – if it doesn’t stop soon, we’ll all have web feet. It has been cold here probably the same storm front that you are suffering under. Hope the coal Biz is booming – and that everything is going smoothly. I hope you had a nice valentine’s day- right now I’ve been O.D. and catch it again next Saturday and Sunday so you can see I’m well taken care of for this next week.

     As you can guess we didn’t go to Pinehurst. The plans for that trip are to be put into effect in two weeks. By that time Jim should be back from his leave. I hope the tires on the car hold up long enough for the trip. Perhaps I could send em home for another recap – would that be possible? They have gone
4,300 miles to this date. I’m sorry to hear that peg hasn’t heard from Don for so long – I hope she keeps busy enough so that she doesn’t have a chance to worry about him too much.

     Yesterday Jane, Dick Booth and his date and I went over to Capt. Galway’s – his son’s christening – and open house – you would have died to see me trying to “burp” him after his 6:00 bottle. Afterwards we went out and had a steak – 17 of us. It was a lot of fun – and the food – as usual was marvelous.

     Will write again in a few days.
                                               Much love,
                                                            Tom.

Dear Folks,

     Ho-hum – O.D. on a weekend is a real dull deal. Everyone except Joe Lyons, has gone away for a big time. This is a good time to have it though, cause I couldn’t leave – Battery OD too. It has been raining off and on all week – just like Camp Forrest. Everyone feels bad cause it hampers our schedule and training.

     We got our first guns in last week – they weigh more than 15 tons – the barrel is over 26 feet long and the powder charge weighs over 30 pounds – it will throw the 95 lb projectile over 2,500 yds. Boy it’s a whopper. The truck that hauls it is a 7½ ton prime mover.

     You sure have my interest up – concerning your package that you are sending. I sure hope it gets here soon. Perhaps tomorrow – who knows.

     Gosh – I sure envy Don and his trip to Italy. Imagine – just a few weeks and he’s been halfway around the world. Can you give me any of the details?

     Am enclosing a real clever bit of writing from “Yank”. Everyone got a big bang out of it – it’s so darn true.

     Wink hasn’t come back yet – we are expecting him in a day or so. I’ll bet he had a good time.

     Five of our new officers were transferred overseas. We may beat them – at least we all hope so.

     I can’t think of much else – more in a day or so.

                                                    Much Love,
                                                                 Tom.

Dear Folks,

     Sure was glad to hear from both of you in the last two days and to know that all is well in the family.

     Look in last week’s “Post” and you will see a color illustration of our new material. When we go over – we will get the “full track” vehicle pictured there.

     I haven’t really thanked you for my birthday present. It’s marvelous – works like a charm – and hasn’t lost a second since I’ve been wearing it.

     It has been nasty all week – it rains every day and our work slows down. Have been surveying with our Transit several times this week. It sure is a fine instrument – wish I knew more about it.

     Doesn’t look as if we’re going to Pinehurst this weekend either. Guess we’ll have to call it off for good.

     Sure hope you two can come down sometime this spring. You ought to wait till it gets nice here though.

     Went carbine firing yesterday – “close combat” targets just “pop” up and you shoot from the hip as fast as you can. It was lots of fun.

     Will have to get to work now – more in a few days.
                                          Much love to all,
                                                     Tom.

Saturday – 29th February 19443
          Strength Last Day (Commissioned And Enlisted)
DATEOFFICERSENLISTED MENTOTALINCREASEDECREASE
January 19444549654113
February 1944285075356
  1. National Archives & Records Administration, War Department Files
  2. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August to 15 March 1944
  3. Department of The Army, The Adjutant General’s Office, History of The 244th Field Artillery Battalion 8 August 1942 to 15 March 1944