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The Cost is Terrific

The Cost is Terrific
 
(Excerpt from a letter home)
 
The 104th Evacuation Hospital arrived in Luxembourg from Nancy, France on Christmas Eve, 1944.  We set up immediately and went to work receiving casualties.  Our hospital was set up in buildings occupied by older people and orphans.  The elders were moved elsewhere but the orphans stayed on in separate building.
 
On arrival we ate “C” rations by flashlight – GI’s and nurse all together.  Christmas Day was extremely busy – still “C” rations – had turkey later in the week.
 
New Year’s Eve 1944 – There’s a lot of war to be fought yet.  Things appear more encouraging for us again, but the price is terrific.  One only needs to see one casualty to realize that.  Some of the experiences that the boys tell are almost unbelievable, like the one who came in suffering combat exhaustion (term used for war neuroses) having escaped from being a prisoner.  His 15 or so buddies were not so fortunate.  They were shot.He had his arms bandaged and when Lois (nurse) took off the bandages to inspect his wounds, there was a swastika branded on each arm.
 
We have taken up a collection of candy and stuff to give to the children in the nearby orphanage.
 
Saw some turkeys being cleaned at mess tonight, so guess we’ll have a turkey dinner tomorrow – a welcome change.
 
January 6, 1945 – the cases tonight are all bad.Had to know which to call for first.
 
Source:Bulge Bugle, November 1995
Captain May B. ALM

104th Evacuation

Hospital

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium