Talking It Over -- Losing a baby while war rages
In the early part of August 1942 orders were received to move a combat team from Ireland to eventually depart to North Africa. The mission was to seize the port of Algiers and to insure that it was kept open for the supply of an Allied army which, moving rapidly eastward, was to occupy Tunisia, taking Rommel's Afrika Corps in the rear. Meanwhile, a second American Combat Team and a British Brigade seized important airfields south of Algiers.
Here's another letter home from my father:
February 5, 1943
I received the sad news yesterday that one of our children was taken away. It came as quite a shock because I had put a lot of faith in them coming through alright being they had made it so far without sickness. But I know it was the Lord's will and we know that He doeth all things well. We'll just have to continue to pray that he will let us keep Jean and Jane and that they will grow in health and strength. I imagine you are having a quite a time keeping up with the bills. I signed up for that extra allotment in November already and they sent it in to Washington right away so you should be getting it pretty soon.
We have been here in French North Africa for a month and the country is much different than England or Ireland. I received the letter saying that you got the money I sent in Ireland. I haven't been paid yet for January since I have been in the hospital with the mumps. As soon as I get paid I'll send you some more.
The mail service is improving some. I got the letter you wrote on the 16th of January yesterday so that isn't so bad and then it had to come from the outfit too yet. I got a quite a bit of mail. The latest papers were of January 7 and 8 so that isn't so bad. I got a few Christmas cards yet and I even got one old letter that was sent in September from my folks. It was a letter from my dad. He isn't very good at writing English but I got along with it pretty good. It was a very interesting letter and I guess I always kind of under estimated him a little. He thought more of his son than I figured he did and certainly more than I had coming. He also said that he thought I had a wife that truly loved me. I was certainly glad that you had given him that opinion of yourself sweetheart and it sort of cheered me up in a time that I certainly needed it. That homeward trip cannot come too soon.
I am still in the hospital but I imagine they'll turn me loose pretty soon. Well Hon, I guess I should write a few more letters while I still have time so I guess I'll sign off for today. Keep smiling sweetheart and I pray that the Lord will soon join us together again. Kiss the babies once for me. With loads of love and kisses.
Your hubby, Jake