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Answered With the American Army in France [October] 9th 1918. Dear Brother, Rec'd your letter, if it may called such, yesterday and am answering if today so you see how prompt I am. I may also state that it is the first and not the seventh I have received from you, so you see I have a right to reverse the question - "How about it?" Have been [ms illegible: 1 wd] a little bit of action lately and many also say so far I have some out unscathed. Orville McClanahan sat down in a "Mustard" Has shell hole and got a few big yellow blisters which make it a little inconvenient for him when he sits down but he is not in the hospital. Do you remember John Wetzig, the big fellow who used to come home from Hoole with me every once in a while. He was gassed Slightly while running a gasoline electric lighting unit for a field hospital. They couldn't detect the presence of the gas because of the
small of the gasoline around, but was only gassed bad enough to make him a little bit sick. I think I must be immune to it because one shell hit only about three feet from me and yet I feel no ill effects. I only wore my mask off and on until the 2 1/2 foot hole or bit of trench I and another fellow were in became thoroughly saturated with it and so we decided we had better move as a matter of "Safty-first". The H.E. and gas shells we lighting altogether to close to that place for comfort anyhow and we weren't a d-d bit sorry after we had left even though we had to do quite a bit of work to make our new location safe and comfortable. There was a French aeroplane which had turned turtle for some cause of other and fallen, located in front of the place where we had been. Some of the fellows had gone out to strip the wings for covers as it was raining and nasty - muddy, you don't know how uncanny a trench can get. Well, "Jerry" naturally thought they were trying to get the thing out and send over [ms illegible: 1 wd]
Rations", no remarks necessary. All you had to do was show your head and let hi know there was anybody alive in the vicinity and he would open up. Every shot would be in line with the plane, he figuring if he shot high he would hit in the 2nd trench and if he shot low he'd hit in the first line. By the way we constructed those trenches under artillery fire, our casualties being next to nil. Just luck, many a shell hit within about 20 or 30 feet of me. Was covered with dirt four times and hit by spent fragments of shell three times none however breaking the skin except one which skimmed by hand a little bit. I saw one shell burst within 3 feet of two fellows without harming either. I thought such a thing impossible. Lots of the fellows were knocked over by the concussion or dirt thrown by the explosion of an H.E. (high explosive) without being harmed otherwise. Well, I don't like to talk about such - just did it because I thought you would like to hear a little - what do you call it "Blood and Thunder".
Received about twelve letters from the States a couple of days ago and so have been busy writing. Ned is back with his outfit and is next in line for a "leave of absence". Have you had any yet? We haven't. Wish I could get one soon so that Ned and I could hook up together for a while. How do you like France by now? I can't say I'm much stuck on it. The civilian "froggies" rob us here, 10 francs for a can of jam or preserves containing about 1 1/2 pints. Forgot all about your birthday or would at least have wished you a happy one. More news in the papers than I can write so won't worry you with any more. By the way when you write a letter why don't you write one? Regard to Doc Teachenor and any other of the boys that I may know who are with you. Your brother - Ramsey. Give 'em hell where ever you are -. When we see it over it must be for good. R.C.H.
From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
|Date||October 9, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
Henschel, Ramsey C.
World War I
Wounds & injuries