World War 2 - Relics and Documents
Letter Home from G-I Decorated for Bravery in Tunisia!
Item #: JMS-769
Letter Home from G-I Decorated for Bravery in Tunisia! Letter Home from G-I Decorated for Bravery in Tunisia! Letter Home from G-I Decorated for Bravery in Tunisia!
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Superb, two-page (front/back) letter from Private Richard "Dick" Ballenger to the wife of a friend or relative back home. The letter is dated "Somewhere in Tunisia; April 16, 1943. There is a magnificent U.S. Army cover with stamp and appropriate censor markings.
The letter speaks of Ballenger's new-found love of poker and how he has won quite a lot lately. He tells the lady he is writing to (Lenore) that he is sending home some French Francs so they can see how attractive French money is. Unfortunately, the souvenirs were separated from this lot by the time it came to me. But that's okay. The real history is in what Ballenger did. He writes of how General Ryder commended their battalion for its recent valor in the most recent fight. (Remember, Ballenger is writing after the American defeat at the hands of Rommel at Kasserine Pass.) But not long after, our men rolled up their sleeves and gave the Germans a real pasting at the battle of Fondouk Gap. In fact, the verbal history that came with this letter is that the author - Dick Ballenger - was decorated for bravery in that fight. You would need to do the research to firm that up but I have no reason to doubt it.

Ballenger doesn't give himself the least bit of praise, but that's no surprise. If you have ever known a World War Two veteran, none of them take any credit. Some of them even get angry if you call them a hero. Why? Because they always give the credit to their buddies who either didn't come home...or who came home wounded. That's the Greatest Generation for you. They are ALL heroes to me. Ballenger only says his battalion was honored.
He writes about the pending draft of married men, but tells Lenore her husband should be okay because there are already so many soldiers in uniform. And then he writes of two lady friends who are doing their bit by serving in the Red Cross overseas. He says, "Seems like everyone is participating in this war in some form or other". He also suggests the war could be ended sooner, but there are "too damn many non-combatant units".
This would be a great letter to get to show a history class or to display with some Operation Torch or North Africa items.


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