January 9, 1944
Well, gang, how goes it with you miserable “Colonials”? I haven’t heard from you for quite some time – one airgraph from Pop just after I arrived here in Italy. It doesn’t worry me though, because I know the delay isn’t your fault. -----
It seems strange to be eating Xmas dinner in an olive grove, seated on the ground and out of a mess tin. Our Xmas was green, but the snow arrived before the New Year. Not the dry clean snow you know, but the mushy, slushy type. I don’t think I will go on many camping trips after the War is over, as I think I have had all the camping out I need for a life-time. We rigged up a little stove from old petrol tins and made a chimney out of “Bully Beef” tins. The result wasn’t particularly pleasing to the eye but it took the edge off the cold. The only drawback was the black sooty smoke that occasionally blew back down the chimney.
Yesterday and the day before were lovely and warm and most of the snow vanished. I don’t think a person should judge moonlight nights until he has seen a Mediterranean moon at its best. The sky is so blue that the stars seem to take an additional brilliance. I basked in the sun all afternoon and enjoyed it very much.
We have a radio in the Legion hut and I have just finished listening to the news from London. The Russians seem to have friend Hun in a bit of a spot, as it were. I fail to see how he can hope to hold the Reds and repel an invasion of France at the same time. I don’t think it is being too optimistic to visualize the end of the European War before this year’s end. -----