Posts Tagged ‘war’

WITH LOVE, for Grandfather “Pete”

February 8, 2018

Pete 1942 (2)

Although I was barely 3 when my Grandfather Daley died, I remember him. I’m sure stories have blended with memory so that I can’t separate them, but I don’t want to. I called him “Pete,” not “Grandfather” or any variation thereof. I sensed his kindness and good humor. One story of where my “Dandi” name came from says that when I was born, Pete declared, “She’s a dandy!” I can still see him leaving our house and heading for his car, with me running after him, begging to come along. This photo from 1942 is labeled Camp Robinson. The Arkansas camp trained soldiers and housed German prisoners during WW2. And from 1942-1944, a Medical Training Replacement Center was located there to train soldiers as medical personnel. 13,500 trainees passed through in 8-week training cycles. The time was shortened if medics were needed more quickly. Pete is briefly mentioned in a couple of anecdotes in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. Like many of the characters in the novel, Pete deserves his own book.



February 6, 2018

Frank and patients (2)

Captain Frank R. Daley was sent from a wartime makeshift hospital in Alsace-Lorraine to a battlefield battalion aid station inside wartime Germany . . . probably because he refused to cut his hair (Helen loved those thick curls.) and, to add insult to injury, then said to his bald commanding officer, “So it’s true then.” “What?” demanded the officer. Frank shook his head and replied, “Misery really does love company.” Frank didn’t get the haircut, but he did get a freight train to the battlefield. He joined a British unit and performed surgeries in tents with mud floors. Toward the end of the war, he was able to doctor civilians, as well as soldiers. This is a photo of just a few of those patients.


February 2, 2018

susan deauville (2)

Not far from Paris, the seaside village of Deauville has long been considered the “Queen of the Norman Beaches.” During WW2, the German army occupied Deauville and Normandy. German forces took over villas, hotels, and even the casino until D-Day, when the Allies forced the German troops out of Normandy and Deauville. My mom, Lt. Helen Eberhart is standing next to a woman I don’t recognize, but who, on the back of the photo is called “Susan.” Nurse Helen worked with many nurses not mentioned in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, women who cared for their patients in such difficult circumstances. When I look at this picture, taken in 1944, I hope these two brave women are on a break, enjoying a walk by the sea. I’m sure they deserve it.


SALE: WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE– $2.99 for 2 weeks, the e-book everywhere

February 1, 2018


This is the day I’ve been building up to in these posts. Thanks for sticking with me this far. For the 2 weeks of the sale, I’ll be posting more war photos and hoping you’re not tired of me. . . or of my parents’ story.


January 30, 2018

3 soldiers (2)

If you’ve read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you already know that Dr. Frank Daley, here a captain in the Army during WW2, had a number of war buddies. These soldiers were also medical doctors, treating patients suffering from trench foot, burns, bullet wounds, shell shock, rare diseases, and every kind of injury. Frank is the one on the left. The soldier in the middle is Lartz, Frank’s best buddy. Although I have a couple of guesses as to the identity of the third man, no one labeled this picture, so I’m in the dark. My guess as to location would be Alsace-Lorraine or Germany. My hope is that the tanks are Allied.


January 25, 2018

write table vittel fr (2)

My last post showed a picture Helen sent to Frank. On the back of that photo, Helen wrote: “Don’t miss the background–someone always close.” The background showed her pictures of Frank. I wish this photo were clearer, but it’s evident that Frank had the same idea. On the back of this photo, he wrote: “my writing table.” The last years of Mom’s life, first in Missouri, then in Ohio with us, on her dresser she had pictures of Frank. And on the window ledge beside her bed sat their wedding picture, the framed photo above, on the right, the couple in their Army uniforms on their wedding day. It was the last thing she saw every night. I’m looking at it now, as it’s on the wall just to the right of my computer screen.  What special pictures do you keep close?


January 18, 2018

Lt. Frank on a German Freight Train

My last post was of Mom (Helen) in her helmet, so I needed to post this one of Dad (Frank) in his. He hated to cover his curly black hair, but he definitely needed to wear his helmet. Here, he’s on a “captured” German train that had carried prisoners to concentration camps. He and a few other doctors are heading to Alsace-Lorraine, and then he’ll move into German battlefields. In case you’re wondering what’s with that odd expression, the only words on back of the photo are: “I’m sucking on a piece of hard candy.”

“By Order of the Secretary of War”

December 4, 2017

name change

Well, I found this “R E S T R I C T E D” order in that old Army trunk I keep writing about. The first time I looked at the “restricted” label, I expected to see a war report from my Uncle Jack Daley, a spy in WW2, one of the first members of the OSS, which morphed into the CIA. The order had passed through the War Department at the direction of the President, by order of the Secretary of War. It was approved by Marshall, Chief of Staff and Ulio, Major General, The Adjutant General, then signed by Geisler. And what was this secret and restricted order? An announcement of the change of name of: 2nd Lt. Helen Marie Eberhart to Helen Eberhart Daley. It had only taken the Army nearly 3 months to register the change.


November 21, 2017

Leave denied

Toward the end of WW2, all my mom (aka Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley, Army nurse) wanted to do was to secure a leave of absence and reunite with my dad (Captain Frank R. Daley, M.D.). She had been working nonstop in a General Hospital in France, and he had moved with a mobile unit (later called a M.A.S.H. unit) into Germany. When the war would finally end, they would have many hard decisions to make, and Helen wanted to make them together. Should she stay where she was? return to the States? volunteer for the C.B.I., service in China, Burma, or India? She carefully crafted this plea for a well-deserved leave, requesting only 7 days, though she had 26 days coming. The Army, through whatever powers that be, answered with one handwritten word: Disapproved.



November 16, 2017

Last night I looked through my parents’ old WW2 Army trunk and came up with these forms filled in by my mom (Helen in With Love, Wherever You Are). You may have to take out your magnifying glass, but each item is something soldiers (and Army doctors and nurses) were either issued or had to buy for themselves. Looks like only 4 or 5 were given. Items to be purchased: seersucker nurse’s cap, nurse’s cape (both mentioned or pictured in the book), jackets, gloves, leggings, overcoat, raincoat, skirts, sweater, some shoes, canteen, and on and on!

I know I’m blessed to have so many items preserved from my parents’ time in WW2. But many things are not in the old Army trunk. Still, I remember their re-purposed overcoats and a pair of old Army boots. And I did find the duffle bag and canteen and sleeping bag. I remember Dad always keeping an “Army blanket” in the car. Now it’s in mine.