War and History Fiction posted November 5, 2022

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End of the war letter

v-mail two

by Mary Vigasin

my dearest Rose,
The war is finally over.

I am writing you as I lay here in my bunk. So as not to burden you more, I cannot tell you in writing how fearful I am about our future. How will I support you and the little angels once I come home? Will I even be able to find a job? Will Johnny and Rosie even remember their dad?

I do not know when I will be home for good. Another worry is that we will head to the Pacific if we invade Japan.

You are always in my thoughts and dreams, my darling. I look forward to holding you in my arms.

We are now guarding German POWs. There are about 100 of them in the camp.

Having seen newsreels, I expected these Germans to be brutal, not cooperative. Instead, I found tired and worn-out soldiers anxious to go home. I guess they are more like us in that aspect.
We have made friends with some of these POWs. Most of us GIs stand on the other side of the fence, share smokes and shoot the breeze with these prisoners.

I spend more time talking to Seabiscuit. No, not the horse; I have not gone over the deep end, at least not yet! He is a POW. I am afraid I am responsible for his name. When I saw him, the first thing that came to mind was when I saw the horse race in Suffolk Downs. So out loud, I said:

"There goes Seabiscuit!"

I am afraid the name stuck with the guy. This Seabiscuit has a long thin face with teeth that appear too big for his mouth. Thus, the name, he is over six feet and skinny with dark eyes and hair, not the superman Hitler was looking for. His uniform is frayed at the sleeves, ripped at the shoulders, and dirty. He is proud that he can speak English; unfortunately, most of his broken English comes from old Hollywood western movies. He calls us mugs, just like in a Cagney movie.

I like the guy. He is quick to smile and even laughs at my dumb jokes. The punchline gets lost in translation when he tells a joke, so I look at his expression and laugh on cue. He is probably doing the same thing with my jokes.

One thing Seabiscuit and I have in common, my darling, is missing our wives and kids. Like us, he has two little ones. He showed me a picture of his wife and two sweet little girls. We are both anxious now that the war is over to come home.

The prisoners are leaving tomorrow. On hearing the news, Seabiscuit gave me a big smile and a thumbs-up. I assume that they are headed home. The lucky stiffs!

I wish that I, too, was heading home. I think of you every moment.

Give the little angels a kiss for me. Tell them daddy loves them.
I am blowing you a big kiss.
I love you, my darling.
All my love,


This is based loosely on a story my dad told me. When the war ended, he was briefly guarding German POWs. He was friendly with one of the prisoners. I used the same format and footprint as Dad's original letter, and I used it in the previous letter: V-mail.
My father is "writing " with his thought and not on paper.

Seabiscuit was a champion thoroughbred around 1936/37. Dad did see him race at Suffolk Downs in Boston.

I did some research on German POW's and found that they were not just released to go home.
Russia forced their prisoners to hard labor. Some did not return home until 1953.
Other European countries like France, Denmark, and Norway forced prisoners into reparations by forced labor in factories, construction, and disarming bombs. Explosions killed some 250 prisoners. They were allowed to go around 1948/1949.
The US had some POWs in wheat fields in the Midwest and turned over their POWs to
European allies after the war.
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