Bio: Hommel, Placido (War Letter from France – 1918)

Contact: Ann Stevens

Surnames: Hommel, Curry

----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 6/13/1918

Hommel, Placido (War Letter from France – MAY 1918)

Dear Mother:
This is Mothers’ Day. I have been trying for a week to send you a cablegram and only today located a town from which I can send one. I received about thirty letters in one day and learned of your serious illness. My sympathy has all been with you and I hope today finds you happy and on the road to a rapid recovery. As for me, I am like a Gypsy—here today and gone tomorrow—always with the same organization, but never settled. Tomorrow we will move again, but do not know where.

When I came here there were 42 men ill in quarters; yesterday I had one man in quarters and he was questionable. Yesterday I was given an eight-cylinder King Motor ambulance to travel in and notified that a motorcycle is on the way for my use. Here’s hoping it reaches me.

Our hospital detachment goes out whenever the train (ammunition) goes, in case of accident. Sometimes we get in some pretty dangerous places; we have been bombarded four times, but each time we have come out without a scratch and not a truck has been torched so we have been very lucky, but probably will not be able to say as much right along.

Right now I am living with our dentist, Lieut. Curry, five feet underground, with rats all around us. Our dugout is nearly as good as the commanding officer’s; has a floor and is all boarded up inside, and we have a nice little stove. Most of the dugouts are without these things and I wonder that more men are not sick. When we hear shooting we often stick our heads out and see several aeroplanes above us, having a little machine gun practice at each other. Sometimes the French get the Boche and sometimes the Boche get a good lunch while the French are getting a meal, but 95 per cent is in favor of the French. They are brave fighters. The German is brave when he has lots of company and can make a mass attack, but get him alone and he is more than a Philippine for cowardice.

I suppose you are having warm weather; here it is very changeable, much like Puerto Rico. One minute the sun will be shining and the next minute it will be raining. I am taking care of my health for when I go back to America I want to go back the same as I left it, for I feel I have lots to live for.

Must attend to my sick call, mother dear. Hoping you will soon be up and about as usual, and with heaps of love to all, I am as ever,

Your son, Placido           



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