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17th Armored Engineer Battalion in World War 2

17th Engineers during World War 2

Private First Class David Edward “Eddie” Hiett

Currently under construction

The story of Private First Class David “Edd” Edward Hiett

Charly Company , 3rd platoon, 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Division
Army Serial Number 38474576

Born: 5 Nov 1923
Deceased: 13 Feb 2009 age 85

David Edd Hiett,  C Company, 17th Armored Engineers, Belgium March 1945 (Courtesy: Mark Hiett

David Edd Hiett, C Company, 17th Armored Engineers, Belgium March 1945 (Courtesy: Mark Hiett)

 


Longview Texas 1923

David Edward Hiett was born in 1923 in . Eddie was born November 5, 1923 in Harrison County, Longview, Texas.


1942

He graduated from Judson Grove High School in 1942. 

He was empoyed by the T&P Railway untill he went in the service in March 1943. 

David E Hiett with the family before the war (courtesy Mark Hiett)

David E Hiett (2nd from the left) with the family before the war (courtesy Mark Hiett) Left to right in front row are: Dymple, Odie, Opal, Ima
Back row left to right Edd, Lam, Charles or Chassie, Clyda


November 1943

David Edd Hiett enlisted in the Army.

David Edd Hiett and Lucille Scharff, is showing off her engagement ring

David Edd Hiett and Lucille Scharff, is showing off her engagement ring (Courtesy Mark Hiett) Her grand parents immigrated from Germany to the U.S. and Texas in the late 1800s.

David E Hiett November 1943 on leave (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

David E Hiett November 1943 on furlough home before going overseas. You can see the bracelet in the top photo (Courtesy Mark Hiett) Top right photo: niece Margaret Jean, Edd, and sisters Ima and Dymple. Bottom right: father D.E. or Edd Senior and his mother Willie, they were known as Pa and Ma.

David E Hiett November 1943 on leave (Courtesy Mark Hiett)David E Hiett November 1943 on leave (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


Early 1944 with the 300th Combat Engineers

Originally David E Hiett was in the 300th Combat Engineers. 

Private David Edd Hiett  with the300th Combat Engineers (courtesy http://www.300thcombatengineersinwwii.com)

Private David Edd Hiett with the300th Combat Engineers (left to right) ????, Claude Landers, Cloyd Gibson and Ed Hiett(far right side) (courtesy http://www.300thcombatengineersinwwii.com)

Private David Edd Hiett  with the300th Combat Engineers (courtesy http://www.300thcombatengineersinwwii.com)

Private David Edd Hiett with the300th Combat Engineers (courtesy http://www.300thcombatengineersinwwii.com)


January 1944

Enlisted Man’s Identification Card of Pvt David Edd Hiett, January 31, 1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:

There is a story he told of being the jeep driver for one of the officers, maybe his CO, of the 300th while in England, having a wreck and getting busted from PFC to buck private on Jan 24, 1944. I really have no more details about it than that. I also remember him mentioning an officer or sergeant, I can’t remember which, who was killed at Camp White when either lightening struck him or a tree and a branch fell killing him while they were in the woods during a work detail. During training he said that at first he would try to show everyone up since he was a hotshot athlete and football player by beating them in the obstacle course and the like, but he soon found out all that got him more work by being put in competitions against other companies.


Soldier’s Individual Pay Record of David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Soldier’s Individual Pay Record of David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett) (Reduced to Private on 24 january 1944, getting busted down to buck private because he wrecked a jeep while he was the driver for one of his officers.)

Soldier's Individual Pay Record of David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Soldier’s Individual Pay Record of David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


June 1944

From England they sailed to France, and he was wounded landing in Normandy on June 13, 1944 when his LST was sunk by a German mine.
He was up on the top deck when the mine exploded throwing him into the water with a fractured pelvis and spending about 2 hours in 10 to 20 foot waves before being rescued. He said anyone down below the deck did not make it. 94 of the 200 soldiers and 117 of the 145 sailors on board died.


Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:

I remember him saying that when he was wounded, he woke up in a room filled with beautiful flowers and nurses in white “and he thought he had died and gone to heaven!! He was the 100th Casualty in that invasion and it made the news! 

He spent about 3 months recovering in England. 


David E Hiett from England being wounded (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 06-27-1944 David E Hiett from England being wounded (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


Hello Darling,
How’s my beautiful blonde today? As for me, well I’m kind of stove up. I was wounded in France. This is a good hospital and I’m doing fine. I have a nice nurse from Houston. I got a fractured pelvis and a few scratches from an explosion. It’s been nearly a month since I got a letter. That’s not so good on morale you know. I’ve been thinking about you though honey. I lost everything except my billfold even the big picture. I still have some of the snap shots. My watch quit. Still have the bracelet you gave me. I got to lay down now honey, talk to you tomorrow maybe. I love you lots and lots and hope to see you some day.
Love always
Edd
 

The watch and bracelet mentioned in the letter, The watch stopped at about 4 minutes past 1pm when the explosion blew him into the water. (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Private David E Hiett watch stopped when the LST hit a mine and he got wounded. The watch and bracelet mentioned in the letter. The watch stopped at about 4 minutes past 1pm June 19, 1944 when the explosion blew him into the water. (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


Texas newspaper clipping of his getting wounded while with the 300th.

David E Hiett from England being wounded, newpaper article (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

David E Hiett from England being wounded, newpaper article (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


Research 2019

There is a website that has a page about the Landing Ship Tank LST 523, with the 300th Combat Engineers, more info here and here.  Interesting is the fact that officially declared “Missed in Action”. But as we now know he was rescued and survived this horrible event.


Browns Cafe matchbook (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Camp White APO change adress (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Camp White news clipping (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 

August 1944

Loan paper (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


September 1944

David Hiett was sent to the 2nd Armored, 17th Armored Engineer Battalion September 24, 1944 at Geilenkirchen, Germany on the Siegfried Line as a replacement for casualties. He was not fully recoverd and was still walking with a cane.

Group Close-up (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


 

Letter 9.26.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Dear Lucille,
Well honey I didn’t get back to my old outfit. This time got got into something real. I have been through France, Belgium and Holland and still going. The rations come regular, but we eat from cans or boxes of course. I haven’t got anything to gripe about just now. It rains lots here same as the other countries. I am proud I got into a good outfit, but sure do miss my old buddies. Every time you hear from me be sure and tell the others as I don’t write much now. Maybe I’ll be getting some mail in a few weeks now that I’ve settled down. You can start sending packages too. So long for now beautiful. Pray for me honey.
Love Edd
 


October 1944

Letter 10.14.1944 (CourtesyMark Hiett)

Letter 10.14.1944 (CourtesyMark Hiett)

Dearest Darling,
I don’t know when this will be mailed but I’m writing cause I got the chance. I’m still up here but right now not doing much so I write. These darn Krauts are still fighting stubbornly. It takes time to win over something like this. I guess everybody back there thinks the war is just about over. Well we don’t think so here they way they throw the lead at us. Maybe it won’t be long now.
I got paid this morning and had a hundred bucks sent straight to you. That ought to help our account a little. I wish I could send more. Perhaps later on. I sure don’t need it here.
It’s pretty and clear today, the boys in the air are working too. I like to see them come over cause I know they make the Jerries sweat. Don’t worry too much about me honey. Just keep praying for me and I’ll pull through. I do have some beautiful dreams.
Yesterday, when they brought the rations around they had Luckies in the green packs. Boy I don’t know if they’re made any different but sure taste better to me.
Lets talk about you a little now. About this stuff of you having trouble with an ovary or what ever it is. Baby you better get that fixed up and fast. I sure don’t want anything to happen to you, see. If you let it go too far it may be too late. What have you been doing with your spare time? Why don’t you pick up some kind of hobby? How’s the family been treating you? I’d sure like to get some mail. Maybe I will soon. When have you heard from Tommy? Tell him he’d better write his uncle or I’ll make him sorry some day.
So Bill is still home with Verlyne. The poor thing. Tell him he don’t know what he’s missing by not being over here. Lets see this is Oct. I believe you said Nov. was the date for the baby. Well give my regards to them, you and I will catch up someday. You know I don’t think anybody could ask for a sweeter, nicer more prettier wife than you darling. I love you so much, even if the boys here do tell me you’re probably shacking up with some 4F*. Keep the home fires burning and save me a place at the table. So long darling and remember your soldier boy. Be sweet.
Love
Edd

* ” 4F” was a government classification, for man who failed physical exam,  physically unable to serve. A lot of those men worked in the industries that supported the war effort, building ships, planes, tanks etc.


Letter 10.20.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Dear Bug,
I don’t know what to write today. Maybe I ought to send my love and quit. I could tell you my troubles but won’t. I washed my pants and shirt today. Hope they get dry cause these things I have on are cold. I am writing this letter sitting in a cellar of a house in town. Seems to be the safest place right now. I get so darn mad at those krauts I want to kill them all. I’m sick of war honey and everything with it. Don’t you think for one minute I want to come home before we whip these people though. I don’t guess you understand honey. War is a mean piece of business. It makes a man do funny things.
How’d you like to go dancing tonight? Well why don’t you. Gosh I can see myself back there in the school gym trying to dance. Then at Dymple’s house. I never did learn very good. You’ll have to start all over and teach me again honey. I wish I could be there with you all this Christmas. I’ve missed only one so far. Guess this will be two. You can have enough fun for both of us sweetheart. Well it’s almost dark and the planes will be over shortly. The krauts won’t visit us in the daytime only at night. Got to go now beautiful. Be sweet darling and clean that nose.
Love
Edd

 


Letter Oct. 24, 1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Dear Lucille,
How’s my chicken today? It really rained here a couple of nights ago, (lead). Boy but it was hot. I could tell you lots of experiences I’ve had with the jerries but it’d only make you worry more. Or still maybe it’d give you laugh. Anyway I’ll save it all until I get back. Say beautiful, did you read that article I sent Ma about this outfit? Well if you did you know what army I’m with. Yes I’m with the Engineers but this one’s different. The otherone I was with only built roads and bridges back behind.
About all those boxes I’m supposed to be getting. They’ll sure come in handy. I can almost taste that good candy now. I sure hope I get part of them anyway. I got a couple of letters from you yesterday with this address on them. I’ll be expecting one everyday now. So don’t let me down. I got the stamps, but I don’t exactly need them kind. What I want is stationary.
Look chicken if you don’t go to a doctor and find out what’s wrong you’re going to be sorry later! Don’t think it’s from drinking coffee either. That’s crazy too. I don’t think you’ve got to worry about the girls over here. When we start pouring lead in the towns they usually move out. Yes I’ve got a good watch but no cigarette lighter. You can send me one if you want, but I don’t need it very bad. I hope you’ve got the hundred bucks I sent by now. I sent back for a fifty dollar money order the other day. As soon as I get it I’ll send it too. Well here’s hoping for more mail and boxes. I sure need the “good luck” signs too. So long sweetheart. Love me lots.
Love
Edd         


 

Letter 10.25.1944

Letter 10.25.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Dearest Darling,
I just had my breakfast. I should be out there doing something, but here I am writing a funny little woman. You know I haven’t got any more mail since those first two the other day. I’ve been kind of disappointed. Oh well maybe I’ll get one today. Last night while I was standing my turn at guard it began to rain. My thoughts went way back to you and that Ford car I had. Remember the night it went dead on us and we went into the joint there close to the… I’ve forgot the name of all those places along there. Anyway a fellow carried us home in his car after we couldn’t find a phone. Boy it sure was raining that night. We had lots of crazy experiences didn’t we? Well after I get back we’ll try to own a good car.
Say did you get those funny pictures of me I sent from Paris? I wish I had a camera now. I could get some good pictures. And have you got the money I sent? Here comes another fifty. Say how about sending me a balance report on our account? If you keep saving, boy, we ought to have enough to start on. I was wondering about those rings I bought you. I guess the dinky little thing is worn out by now. Oh well I can’t worry about things like that now. It takes most of my time ducking, dodging and digging. You should see me dig. Oh baby, I can really go in the ground when I have to.
This month is almost gone. Next month is yours and my birthday. I hope you have a nice one and don’t feel too old. Lets see, you’ll be eighteen maybe nineteen right? Ha. I think I’ll be twenty one if I haven’t lost count. After this one maybe we can have the next one together. There’s hardly a night passes darling that I don’t dream about you. I love you my darling. You’re so nice, sweet and beautiful. Don’t forget your prayer sweetheart. Your soldier boy has got to go now. Be sweet honey.
Love
Edd

Photos of 17th Engineer David Edd Hiett - Paris December 1944

Photos of 17th Engineer David Edd Hiett – Paris December 1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett) 


Drivers Permit of PFC David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Drivers Permit of PFC David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Drivers Permit of PFC David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Drivers Permit of PFC David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 

Letter 10.29.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

October 29, 1944

Dearest darling, I got a box from you last night and some old letters. The box was sent a long time ago because it was all torn up and had been re-wrapped. Some of the candy was still good. The preserves we’re good to but the cookies were all crumbs. Say where do you get this stinky business. I may have a little odor for the lack of bathing, but you don’t have to tell me about it. Oh yes about you paying the bills as long as it’s your money, I don’t mind. But if you expect me to turn my pay over to you well then you are nuts.  Yes I will give you allowance. Say enough for cold drinks or such. Ha. You know I think you’re really going to be a problem. How much money we got in the bank now. Maybe I ought to check up on you. Maybe I won’t to be fit to cuddle up to after the war. I know a lady in Washington who said front line troops weren’t fit to associate in public. We get pretty mean here, but a girl can make us as tame as lambs. I wish I could tell you some of the things I’ve done and seen. Boy what experiences I have had that I never dreamed about three or four years ago.

I just heard someone say today is Sunday. I can’t keep up with the days or time anymore. I just live from day to day hoping and praying none of those shells or bombs have my number. Oh darling you have no idea how a person sweats here. I hope we soon make a big Drive right through and end it all. Boy I sure hate to live in this country. These towns are all completely wrecked. I don’t know why I write you about this over here. It is better you didn’t know anything about it. I should just write the good things but we must face the facts I guess. It is getting mighty cold here. It has snowed on some of the troops. I hate to think about going through winter here. Those damn krauts must suffer lots more than us because baby we throw lots more than twice as much stuff at them as they do us. Boy you should see our planes work on them. Well they have a few left too. How are all the folks around there? I wish I would hear from some of the pretty sisters and sisters-in-law. What is Roy doing these days? Has he grown any? Tell him that if I have had him here I make a man out of him. Ha, no this is too dangerous for men with a family. Take me for an instance, no one depends on me for a living.

See what I mean. You can tell all those 4Fs back there that old Edd is gonna expect a lot out of them when I get back. I’m fighting for all of you folks. Come to think of it, I am the only one out of the two families over here. I hope it won’t be many months before I am with you again. Keep yourself sweet and nice, for your soldier who is fighting for the good things in life.  Good-bye my darling.
Love Edd.


Letter 10.30.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

October 30
Germany
Dearest darling, I got another letter from you last night. This one was a new one. Boy those things are morale builders. I didn’t know you were sick. I bet anything you have just run yourself down. You know honey you always did try to do too much. You gotta take care of that beautiful carcass so I can have some fun with it someday. I don’t think that was the right kind of medicine for you to take. Now, if it had been me well it would have been right. You said something about old letters. Do you still have all the mail I wrote you? That’s bad. Now suppose I changed my mind about you. Those darn letters would have me soaked. Maybe you ought you get rid of them. I know you too well to say that. You wouldn’t turn loose of those things for hide nor money. I wish I could have kept some of the ones you wrote me. Then when we are old and grey we could compare them. What do you mean my letters are like me? I’m not that good at this I know. Look honey, don’t be so nervous. If my number is called, then my time is up. It just can’t be helped, and there’s no need worry and be nervous. Sure sometimes I get afraid. Afraid as all hell. Most of us do at times. But we just sweat it out and forget it. I don’t think I will be home Christmas, but someday. I like for you to go see my mother. Every letter I get from her, she always says something about how sweet and nice you are. She said I come first then you. How is my dad? No one ever tells me the truth about his condition. I wish I could help some way. Maybe, I can a little anyway. It sure was a beautiful night last night, the Moon was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Made me think of Christmas. But today all cloudy again and cold as ever. I could use some of that cuddling and crooning you mentioned to. You’re so sweet and beautiful. Well my love one I am out of bull. Why don’t you clean that nose. How about some good candy. Oh yes, I could use a sweater. So long honey.

Love Edd.

 



November 1944

Letter 11.1.1944 (Courtesy Mark HIett)

Letter 11.1.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

November 1, 1944
Germany
Dear Lucille,
I sure have been receiving some nice compliments on you from your friends and neighbors. You sure must have the wool pulled over somebody’s eyes. No kidding honey, the folks sure think a lot of you. You may think I’m crazy but I want to tell you sometimes I even forget how you look, even my sisters. Then I hunt up some pictures and try to satisfy myself. It’s strange what war can do to a person. I got a new shirt the other day. Yesterday I was sewing my patch on. I was thinking how nice it would be to have you do that. Say did you ever see one of our patches? It’s shaped like this. The colors are red, gold and blue. In the center is a tank and a streak of lightening. It’s very pretty. We are getting showers now. Only a few can go at a time but we all get one finally.
Mable sent me a birthday greetings. Sure was nice. It was real long. When I began to unroll it the boys asked what I had. They thought it was a book or something. I didn’t get a letter from you yesterday. You had better write me cause mail comes in pretty regular around here and I can tell if you were fibbing about writing everyday. I’ve been writing a little more than usual myself. The reason is because I’ve had time. I always write when I got time. Only thing is I just don’t know nothing to say. I guess I tell you the same old thing over and over. It’s hard to find something to talk about. You could read one of my letters to Dymple or some of them and everybody’s else would be almost the same. Try it sometime.
Next time you see Iris tell her to tell Robert to write me or get his address and send to me. I’d sure like to hear from some of those boys. I wrote Gibson but he never answered. I thought maybe he’d been hurt or something. Don’t forget the address now. I’ve only found one boy from Texas here. Most of the boys call me Tex. Some day I’m going back to that dear old place. Say have you picked a house for us to live in yet? You’ve done most everything else. I sure hope I can get back on at the shops. How do you think you’d like Marshall? Personally I don’t like that town but if I get to work there I’m OK. Well it may be a long time before we can make any plans. Now you just keep yourself young and beautiful and let me do the aging. Don’t work too hard and be sweet.
Love
Edd
 

Letter 11.2.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 

 

 

 

Nov. 2, 1944
Germany
 
Dear Lucille,
I really had a surprise yesterday. I got so much mail it took me till this morning to finish reading it. There were two packages from Mama also. I got three pictures of the prettiest and sweetest girl I know. Yes I think my blood pressure did go up a little on one of them. From the way your letter sounded there must have been more. Most of the mail was written in June. I’ll get more yet. You sure must have been scared for me around D-Day, and I didn’t land until the nineteenth. At least we tried to land. I don’t know how to say it honey about the deal here. I will say I’ve seen action here. Maybe that will go through.
Getting back to the pictures. The boys said for you to quit sending me those things. It makes their blood pressure go way up. “I don’t see how a guy like you got a gal like that” said one fellow. No kidding honey you’re tops. I’ll try to keep these in a dry place. All my old pictures are blurred from being wet you know. Oh yeah, speaking of pictures, a war correspondent came through yesterday and took some pictures. He got one of me and a couple other guys behind a gun. He said they may be printed in our home town newspaper, I doubt it though. You can be on the look out for it. Wouldn’t mind seeing it myself. Not much to write about today. I could write a book on my love to you but won’t. Keep smiling. Love your soldier.
Love
Edd

 

Letter 11.5.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 11.5.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Nov. 5, 1944
Germany
 
Dearest Darling,
This mail situation is getting serious. I haven’t had a letter from you in several days. They were coming pretty regular, but suddenly stopped. You said in one of your letters that you had a feeling something was fixing to happen. Well I’ve got that feeling. Where I am a lot of things could happen. Maybe it’s for the better this time. The same things are happening now that happened just before the last war ended. I don’t think this one is quite ready for that though. I suppose the news looks awful good to you folks back there. It’s not bad here, but we know the Jerries are still fighting stubbornly. I had an awful headache last night. Something I never had in civil life. I took six aspirins before I could go to sleep. Just about the time I did go to sleeping good, I was awaken to pull my turn at guard. Well after that I finally got back to sleep. While I was on guard I watched our planes bomb hell out of a town not far from here. The sky was lit with flares and ack ack, just like the fireworks you used to see at Christmas. Say have you got the Christmas feeling yet? No, I guess it’s a little early for that. Well anyway here’s forty bucks you can buy presents with and put my and your name on them. I guess anything could happen between now and then but we can start preparing don’t you think? At one time I thought I’d be home by the new year. I don’t think so anymore. If I get plenty of packages I’ll be satisfied. Say do you ever hear from Tommy? I’d sure like to hear from that twerp. I guess he has outgrown both of us by now. Say would you like to have a souvenir from here? Well if you just mention something I’ll try and get it. I find lots of stuff when we take a town, but we aren’t supposed to send the stuff. Maybe a few small items. Here’s a card I picked up. The scene is very touching I think. How’s all the friends and neighbors? Give my love to them and tell your Ma I still think of her. Say why don’t you give me some news of Verlyne? What’s Bill doing now? So Red has gotten ahead of us. Way ahead. How does he expect to support a wife and baby? I think I could if I had the chance. How many did you say you wanted? I hope you get this letter and the stuff in it. I got to try and get some chow now, it’s almost twelve. So long Darling.
Love
Edd        


 

Letter 11.7.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 11.7.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Nov. 7,1944
Germany
 
Dear Lucille,
I got a couple of letters from you yesterday. One of them kind of put me to wondering. On the other hand they were well appreciated.
I dropped my pen and now it won’t hardly write. We just had a little excitement so I had to duck. I’ll be so darn proud when this thing is over and I don’t have to be ducking and dodging. I’m gonna need lots of help to carry on. The help of God. So you kind of liked the pictures. Those were nothing compared to the way I look now. You’re sure gonna have a job on your hands straightening me out, if I ever get back. I think it’ll take months to get clean. I think I could eat coconut pie anytime. Say I told you once you don’t have to worry about the girls. I know what they’re made of so I keep clear of them. I’m having hell writing this, every time I start to write, something always happens. I got a shot of some kind today. It made my arm a little sore. Guess it’ll do me good though. How’s your side or whatever ails you? Look honey you’d better take care of yourself. Esther is alright by now I guess. Say did you know I had a birthday a couple days ago? Guess I’m all grown up now.
I hope that true love of yours hold out darling, maybe someday I’ll be home. So long for now my darling. Love me lots. Here’s a shoulder patch we wear.
Love always
Edd        


 

Letter 11.14.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 11.14.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Nov. 14, 1944
Germany
3 O’clock PM
 
Dearest Darling,
I just got the stationary you sent me so guess I’d better write you. I got three awful sweet letters from you yesterday. One of them came in nine days. You said you’d like to ask me some questions. Start shooting honey, I’ll answer all I can.
So Verlyne had a boy, the lucky thing. I’d bet you’d spoil him myself. When we have one don’t you think for one minute that you’re gonna spoil it. My kids have gotta be smart and well trained. Say maybe you will get a certain Engineer home by Christmas… next. We can’t quit the job now honey, if we did it would be another war for our kids. It’s really raining and cold here. Been this way for several days. Yes I’m in a dry place right now. Wish I could tell you how we work. It’s quite different from the old outfit. I like it much better. About doing something for me. Don’t worry honey, there will be plenty for you to do when I get home. Just keep writing and send packages and I’m satisfied. Say what kind of country do you think this is? Jewelry; you know the krauts wouldn’t leave that stuff behind. My bracelet is almost worn into. I think I’d better send it. You liked those pictures I sent, huh? If I had a camera I could send you some real good pictures. Maybe even in my fighting outfit. Say I sent some Christmas cards last night. Only got six. Hope you all like them. It’s only a few days till your birthday. Guess you’ll have to take a rain check from me. You’re very nice and sweet honey and I’ll always love you. So long.
Four sheets is all I can write of this the directions said.
Love
Edd        


 


Letter 11.27.1944 (Courtesy Mark HIett)

Letter 11.27.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

November 27,1944
Germany
 
Dearest Lucille,
I was surprised last night and got 2 letters from you. One was from June and had 2 pictures in it. I do not know about you but those were the first letters I had gotten in 3 weeks. I have not written because time does not permit. I did get a chance to send some Christmas cards. Right now I am getting a couple of days rest. We cannot fight all the time with out a little rest. Say, when do the people there think the war will be over? I do not know myself but I hope it will not be long.
 
I was only kidding about having babies. I like them fine. If I had not been such a fool maybe we would have one now. I guess we live and learn though. I have had some pretty close calls since I  have been here. A while back I made an attack with the infantry. Boy was that a hot job. I had to blow a gap through a minefield so they could go through. Now do you get the idea as to what I do? Sorry if I have upset you. It may be cut out anyway. You never have asked me questions, I sure have a hard time writing when you do not ask me something.
 
My pen got hit with shrapnel and there was not much left. I borrowed this one. I still have my watch and cigarette lighter. About this souvenir stuff. I do not want to make fun of anybody, but the stuff is no good. Any of it you could buy twice as cheap back there. We are not supposed to send this stuff from here anyway. It is all right back in France. Maybe I will send some junk later on. Still love me? I hope.
 
Oh yes, you had better get that side taken care of, see? It may go hard on you when I get back, If I do. The boys all liked your pictures but said you were probably going out with some 4F by now. I do not think so. I have got to go now. I love you till it hurts darling, so be good.
Love,
Edd
 
 
Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:
 
My dad was the man who had to blow the gap through the mine field in Waurichem with bangalore torpedoes and I believe may have been one of the men who pulled Sgt. Bacle out of the mine field after he was wounded. He told me had to push bangalores through the minefield under fire but the fuses he had would not work.
 
On your web site I was reading about Sgt Peter Bacle receiving the DSC posthumously for rescuing casualties from a minefield under fire November 16, 1944. It says the 3rd platoon of Co C blew a gap through a mine field with bangalore torpedoes so the infantry could get through and in the confusion many men cut the corner of the path and tripped mines. I am convinced my dad was a part of this action. His letter home on November 27, 1944 he writes he had made an attack with the infantry and had to blow a gap through a minefield so they could go through and what a “hot job” it was meaning intense combat. The story I remember him telling was he and a buddy had to push bangalores through the minefield under fire but the fuses he had would not work. He said the Lt. was yelling at them to fix it, people were dying, when someone else got them to blow. The men started going through the gap but some stepped on mines. He said there was one man badly wounded with his leg gone when a second man went to him and in trying to rescue him, he tripped a mine blowing his leg and groin off, killing the first man. At that point he and his buddy went and got the second man out and took him to the aid station. A doctor there told them to set the man off to the side and when my dad pressed the doctor to do something he was told there was nothing they could do for him, the damage was too severe and of course he later died. I think that man might have been Sgt Bacle. His recollection was when the second man got to the wounded man he was going to straddle him on his hands and knees and crawl out with the wounded man holding the back of his neck when his knee hit a mine.
 
(Read more here about the heroic action of Sergeant Peter Bacle)
 

David E. (Edd) Hiett of C Company, Newspaper November 1944 Palenberg, Germany

David E. (Edd) Hiett of C Company, Newspaper November 1944 Palenberg, Germany. “Beside wreckage of dwelling in Palenber, Germany, three Yanks man 37mm anti-tank gun. L t R. : Pvt David E Heitt, Sergt Vincent J Vozza and Pvt. Mondovano of the Bronx. 

Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:

Newspaper clipping from November 1944 in Palenberg, Germany. My father David E. (Edd) Hiett of C Company, 17th Armored Engineers, 2nd Armored Division is on the left. They pulled this anti-tank gun behind their halftrack but it was useless against German tanks. He said the shells bounced off like tennis balls. It was left beside the road when they had to move fast on the 100 mile drive to cut off the German advance during the Battle of the Bulge.


December 1944

Letter 12.2.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Dear Lucille,
Sure was proud to hear you got the first part of the money I sent. I was sweating it out. The two letters were awful sweet. I’ve read them over and over. I’ll be proud also when I can lay down at night and sleep without being afraid something will happen. I don’t see how a person can live through it, but we do, at least some of us do. I hope that comes true about me coming home the last of January. But right now the situation looks very doubtful. I love you my beautiful darling and always will. I need you prayers, everyone’s prayers darling and I think I’ll come home someday safely. Good night my darling, keep smiling and love me lots.
Love
Your Soldier Edd
 

December 4, 1944 on furlough to Paris

Edd Hiett in Paris September 1944. The letter was written December 4, 1944 and it mentions a general honoring his platoon for knocking out 2 Tiger Tanks, clearing a lot of mines and him helping take 14 prisoners. He says “I’m telling you this because I may not want to talk about it after I get home.” (by MarkHiett, photo Courtesy Mark Hiett)

The letter was written December 4, 1944 and it mentions a general honoring his platoon for knocking out 2 Tiger Tanks, clearing a lot of mines and him helping take 14 prisoners. He says “I’m telling you this because I may not want to talk about it after I get home.” (Text by MarkHiett, photo Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
 
December 4,1944
Germany
 
Dearest Darling,
We were honored today by a general for the job done on the last drive. Our Lieutenant got a Bronze Star. When I say we, I mean this platoon of 40 approximately. We knocked out 2 tanks and cleared lots of mines. The drive had just started when 14 Krauts gave up, so me and another guy took them to the rear. I’m telling you this stuff now because I may not want to talk about it after I get home. Say, how is every little thing back there? Have you been chased by any more soldiers lately? We seldom see a civilian here. The boys said they were only kidding about you going out. Will you accept mine and their apologies? We are all really a swell bunch of fellows. Right now most of them are cleaning guns, knives or writing letters. You know some of these boys have 2 year old kids they have never seen. Most of them were in Africa and Sicily. A man likes to watch his kid grow up not just see him after he is already a big boy or girl. We have really got a hot piano player. They just drug one up and boy oh boy have we got hot music. We are in a town right now. That is the way we fight here, from one town to another. The civilians leave before we get there. There I go again. It sure is bad here today, raining and sleeting and cold as ice. I read in a paper where a cold wave had swept the States. Did it reach you all? You better wrap up good and keep warm. Have you spoiled Verlyne’s baby yet? You had better not start that stuff. The mail just came in. I had a letter from Ma, but none from you. She sent me one of Rachel’s brothers address. Guess I had better write him. I got a couple of letters from you day before yesterday. Here’s hoping I get one tomorrow. I had better write some of the family now. Take care of that beautiful body and do not do anything you will regret. So long baby.
Love,
Your Soldier
Edd

  


December 11, 1944 while PFC David Edd Hiett is on furlough

Letter 12.11.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 12.11.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

December 11, 1944 Monday Germany

Dear Lucille,

We, “the boys and I,” I have traveled all over the world, and have seen a lot of beautiful women!  But after Dave show us a picture of you, we just couldn’t resist writing you and sing our praise. Why you’re not either a Powers Model or a Hollywood Starlet, is beyond us!  Every time we request to take a glimpse  at your picture, our morale sours to new heights. You do to us what “Sinatra” does to the women!! We are all now firmly convinced that the most beautiful women in the world come from Texas. And the most beautiful from all from Longview!

Dear lovely, adorable, gorgeous, beautiful lady, would you be kind enough to make a bunch of humble, battle scarred veterans, very, very happy? How?Just by sending us a large photo of yourself “preferably in a  bathing suit” so that we can elect you the the Pin-Up Girl of the famous “Fighting 17th Engineers”.
You don’t know how much you would be helping our morale and the war effort! We will hang your picture on the wall and have your name in gold letters beneath it. Reading:  “Lucille Scharff, Our Pin-Up girl of 1945!” 

Now Dave doesn’t know anything about this, but darn sure he would approve and be proud. It certainly would be a wonderful surprise for him. I hope you’re not worrying too much about Dave because we are taking good care of him for you!

 With our deepest admiration we are yours, Thomas Barnhart. The fellows of 17th Armd Eng Comp C. 

This could have been the foto she sended: 

Lucille Alyne Scharff (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 

Lucille Alyne Scharff Hiett. The little pouch of photos PFC David E Hiett carried during the war that were so popular in the 3rd squad of the 17th Engineers, Company C. (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Lucille Alyne Scharff Hiett. The little pouch of photos PFC David E Hiett carried during the war that were so popular in the 3rd squad of the 17th Engineers, Company C. (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Lucille Alyne Scharff Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


December 1944, The squad answers Lucille Schraff, the girlfriend of David Edd Hiett

December 1944, Letter as an answer to Lucille Schraff, girlfriend of David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Hello Lucille,

Tex or rather Edd gave me a letter of Thanks that you wrote. When I gave it to him to read he said that he had already read it. I asked him if he knew what “personal” meant and he said that he just wanted to know what was going on.  If you are are wondering how is getting along I wouldn’t worry too much about him as we try to take good care of him. He is about the youngest in our squad and so we call him “the baby”. He takes it pretty well though. You will have to excuse the errors as I had the end of one finger hurt in a softball game today and it seems to be in the way.  Edd didn’t hardley know what to make of it when they told him that they had written to you, while he was on a pass.  Nobody told him about for quite some after they had written. I think that he was a little worried about it. I have my say so, so I will close, somebody else has something to say,
good luck John R. 

 

This comes from Edd bedpartner.

The name is Mike and I am old enough to be his dad. You see with me taking good care of him you have nothing to worry about. You have become the favourite topic of conversation in this squad and no kidding it makes very good talking. Tonight we were looking all over the pictures that Tex’s has and it is quite an array of looks. 
He certainly is a lucky boy to have someone like you waiting. I will continue to take very good care of him for you and keep a good eye on him. This has been my little say for this time so I will close and wish you the very best of luck and help. Good luck Mike Dugan.

 

My dear Lucille,

After seeing your beautiful picture I can say is Woof Woof!!! I can’t figure out how all those Hollywood scouts ever missed you! Your lips look like a delicious wine I am now sipping! Hic! Hic! Your hair looks like silver dress gold, your eyes like limpid pools of Moonlight. Your face is like an angel’s that wandered Out of Heaven, and your form, need I say that The Vinus de Milo has nothing on you. And my dear ladyif I wasn’t already married, I would seriously consider a torrid correspondence. This German Rhine wine really has a wonderful effect! Just ask Edd?

Best wishes Earl

 

Dear bug,
I don’t know how you are going to but I told the guys you would.The one above is the guy that wrote the first letter you got and he isn’t in the medical. He just put that name on it. All of the squad didn’t write this time. There are twelve of us. And try to answer this. By now love Edd.

I had nothing to do with this. They just handed it to me to mail. Some buddies eh? They are all well bunchs of fellows,  Love Edd.


XIX Corps Recreation Area Valkenburg December 10, 1944 for PFC David Edd Hiett (Mark Hiett)

XIX Corps Recreation Area Valkenburg December 10, 1944, at Hotel Franssen for PFC David Edd Hiett (Mark Hiett)

Original photo of Hotel Franssen in the Thirties. (Source: unknown) 

Dutch postcard of the historic town Valkenburg in Holland sended home by PFC David Edd Hiett (Mark Hiett)


Letter 12.8.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Dec. 8, 1944
Germany
 
Dearest Darling,
How’s your fat today? The sun is shining this morning. We could sure use lots of that stuff. Gives us a better chance at Jerry. What have you been doing lately? Have you been hearing from me? I sure haven’t heard much out of you. In fact none of the fellows have gotten much mail lately. Maybe we’ll get loads of it pretty soon.
How much do you weigh now? I feel like I’ve lost a little. I’m getting plenty to eat though. Guess I weigh around one sixty or more. Remember when I said I got sick when I first got here? Now can’t you figure out what made me? What would you do the first time you saw a lot of stiffs all around? Now you got me talking about it again.
I sent a box of stuff to you the other day. You may get it and you may not. I put my bracelet in there cause it was just about worn out and I didn’t want to lose it. If you ever get that box you’ll find some of it old antique. If this one gets to you I’ll try to send some more. How’s all the folks? Seen my Ma lately? Every letter I get from her she mentions you. Has anyone else had babies lately? I guess you and I are really getting behind. I would really enjoy some real life again. You get everything ready and maybe before another year goes by I’ll be with you. Sometimes I have my doubts though. Oh well someday it’ll be over and the ones that live through it can enjoy the profits. When has Iris heard from Robert? I read a piece in the paper about that outfit. I think they are seeing some action also.
Say chick you can’t make me wash no dishes. That’ll be your job. Boy I bet we’re sure gonna have fun. You’ll have to teach me the ways of civilian life though. I’d better quit now. So long and be sweet.
 
Love Edd       


 


Letter 12.15.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Hello Darling,
The ground is froze pretty solid this morning so the mud isn’t quite so bad, except for the cold. Say you were right about that article in the paper. But baby just because we do get written up in the paper is no sign it’s easy here. When I look back on some of the things I’ve done, I don’t see how I pulled through. You must realize darling that I am always in danger.
What the matter with everybody back there? I’m only getting mail from you and Ma. I can’t explain how nice it is to get mail. One can kind of take his mind off his gun and krauts for a minute with a letter. I’m sorry baby if I’ve said too much but everyone seems to be aggravated today. Things just don’t seem to be working out right. I don’t mean here. We can still push the enemy slow of course, but the way people are doing back home. Yes we know whats happening. It’s just the idea that we are fighting this war and what do the people think of us? Not a damn thing. We’ll remember it too.
So much for griping. The boys have been teasing me and wanting to write you. They say you make a nice pin-up girl. How’d you like that? If you would like for them to write you put a note in my next letter to them. You are quite a gal. I’ve got lots of pictures of you already but the guys are crazy as I am about them so I guess you’ll have to keep sending them. I got to get back on the job now. Here’s hoping I’ll be home for next Christmas. Loving you always. Send me some candy and cookies.
Love your Soldier
Edd       


 


Letter 12.18.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Dec. 18, 1944
Germany
 
Hello Darling,
Yes I’m still here. Each day I get a little more lonely. Look honey, I don’t like to talk about this business but a man has slim chances of coming out of this. We were bombed last night. The planes came back again this morning but were beaten off. All night night they came. I didn’t know how to pray before I came here, but let me tell you I know now. The krauts are putting up a stiff fight now. It may take a long time to beat them. We’ll just have to have faith and hope for the best. I got lots of mail from you yesterday. It was very nice and sweet. Oh yes I got the lock of hair too. Funny you never mentioned that. Have you got the last money order of forty bucks yet? I hope so. Yes I hope and pray that I’ll get to help you spend it someday. I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing fine. Guess my health is OK. So far I haven’t been sick enough to quit. You seem to be getting awful anxious to marry and start having babies. Let’s kind of let that ride until this thing is finished. I’m having an awful hard time writing this. If it isn’t planes it’s shells, I must hurry.
So long now darling.
Love
Edd
 

Letter 12.29.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 12.29.1944 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Dec.29
Belgium
 
Dear Darling,
I finally got a chance to write you again. I suppose you have read all about it by now. Well I think the krauts have gone a little too far this time. Everything is running fine. It is really cold here. The ground is froze all the time. I’ve never suffered such cold. I guess you have been kind of worried about me huh? I have gone this far, maybe I can finish it now. Sometimes I even sleep in the homes with civilians. The people here are glad to have us. In fact I’m sitting in the kitchen of a jolly old lady right now. The language is very hard but I’ve caught on to a little. I haven’t had a letter or package in a long time now. Hope to get some soon. Would you think it’s possible to have nice dreams about home here? Well I do. Last night I was getting a little shut eye and had a nice sweet dream of you only to wake up with snow and ice on my bed roll. I’ll always love you honey. I hope I can make it up to you someday for what you’ve missed. Tell everyone you heard from me and give my regards to all. I’m still a soldier and must fight on. Send me coffee, sausage or such. Be sweet my love.
Love
Edd       


 


January 1945

Letter 1.1.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Jan.1, 1945
Belgium
 
Dearest Darling,
How’s my chick today? The sun is shining pretty today. Some of the snow and ice is melting but it’s still cold. I guess you had a nice time over the holidays. We had plenty of fireworks but that’s about all. The planes have really been giving the krauts hell lately. Maybe we’ll soon knock them out now.
Say we haven’t settled the jewelry problem either. I simply can’t get any. The krauts didn’t leave much stuff like that here. I didn’t get a single box in about two months. They get smashed awful bad so ease up on the candy and send rich foods like fish, olives, lunch meat and coffee. Cigarettes are pretty scarce here too. I have to smoke awful sparingly to make ends meet.
I don’t know any French girls at all. In fact I came through France so fast I didn’t have a chance. I was talking about the month of June. See you get all excited over nothing. The fountain pen was in the half track where I ride, only I wasn’t there at that moment. I think an Easter wedding would be nice too. I got to run now. Be sweet honey.
Love
 
Edd

Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett: 

In this letter he mentions the month of June because he had said something in a previous letter about getting wounded and she might mistakenly thought he got wounded again a second time. He also mentions the fountain pen which was broken by shrapnel. I remember him telling me they took an armor piecing round through the front windshield and out the back of the cab right where he rode and manned his machine gun.


 

Letter 1.5.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Jan. 5, 1945
Belgium
 
Dearest Lucille,
The sun is trying to shine on this snow covered earth today. There is more snow here than I have ever seen. I could sure have some fun rolling you in it. We never did get to have a snow fight did we? I just wrote Robert a letter, the first. Guess I don’t write much anymore. I got some very sweet letters from you the other night, but you still don’t ask me any questions. I don’t know much to talk about today. The same old thing here. Sometimes I get so damn disgusted I don’t think this war will ever be over. I guess time will settle that though. Every time I see a dead jerry or a prisoner I think well that’s one less. But they keep coming. I don’t understand where they all come from. Guess they have a factory. The boys all think you are wonderful honey. No one could ever feel the way I do towards you sweetheart. It will be a wonderful day when I can return to you my darling. Say did you ever get that last forty bucks? The gals all wrote about you and say you are a wonderful girl. I love you with all my heart. I must get back on the job now. So long honey. Send me some canned food, rich stuff.
Loving you always
Edd     


Letter 1.12.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Dearest Lucille,
I was more than pleased to get the package from you last night. Sorry I haven’t had time to write more. You kind of surprised me with the contents. There was a pair of leather gloves. They are very nice, in fact too nice except for passes. It take awful heavy clothes to stay warm in this weather. I have an awful cough today. I slept in a hay barn last night which may have had something to do with it. Say I haven’t got a letter from you in quite some time now. You haven’t disowned me I hope. The boys here are about as anxious to hear as I am. They say they wrote you.
The fighting is still going strong here, although we are pushing the krauts back. This is a tough war. This is a beautiful country to look at. the mountains are covered with snow. In fact everything is blanketed. Maybe I could enjoy a trip through here in peace time, but this is rough country for fighting. In the open fields the snow is around knee deep.
We were just discussing our future. The questions about babies arose. Some of the guys don’t think we’ll be any good. I have had lots of medicine and dope shot into me and I know this cold weather isn’t doing me any good. According to medical records only one out of every ten are supposed to come out sterile. Maybe I’ll be one of the nine. Now you take care of your beautiful carcass and I’ll do the best I can. Don’t forget to keep sending me packages and I’ll love you always. Just be sweet honey.
Edd

 

Letter 1.17.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Jan. 17,1945
Belgium
 
Dearest Bug,
Yes, I’m still alive and kicking. My writing is a little far apart so you see. I suppose you’ve read in the paper what we have been doing. When there’s a tough spot to take this outfit seems to be the one called. It is still trying to snow. So far it hasn’t melted any. Boy what cold. I’m pretty well fixed on gloves now. I got the pair Mama sent me back in June yesterday. I got a chance to shave this morning. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a bath though. If I ever get back to civilian life I think I’ll bathe every hour. Well that is if you’ll rub my back. We’ll sure have fun going places, doing things or just staying home. Guess I could do most anything if I get out of this all in one piece. Every kraut dead, I say one step closer to my love one. Don’t forget to let the rest know you heard from me. Send me some coffee, lunch meat, crackers etc. Got to say so long now.
Love,
 
Your Soldier     


 

Letter 1.21.1945 (ourtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Jan 21, 1945
Belgium
 
Dearest Bug,
I have enjoyed myself the most today and tonight since I’ve been across. You see we have pulled back for a rest. Yes a long awaited and well earned rest. By the time you get this I guess we’ll be back in there pitching again. I am staying at a nice home. The man and his wife have a beautiful home. It is very quiet here. They have a radio and boy have we played it. Have gotten the news every hour and it’s good too. Tonight I’ve heard all the big programs and bands from the States. I could close my eyes and wander thousands of miles away to the one I love. Lots of songs were played that I’d never heard. Indeed I have relaxed for the first time since the invasion. I have more beautiful dreams and built castles in the air. Oh my darling how I dream of those beautiful days with you. If only I could come home to you now today. But I don’t guess we’ve done enough yet. I don’t think the German army can hold out much longer. Of course the guerilla war comes too. You know the kind that sneak up behind you. That won’t last long though. Oh we’ll have some romantic times when it’s over.
How’s everything? Verlyne never wrote me anymore. I’d like to hear from all of them. The mail hasn’t come the last two days. I’m sweating out a stack of sweet letters when it does get here. I guess this looks like a lot of scratching but I must hurry and write Mama. Give my love to all, I’ve already given it to you, ha. Good night darling.
Love
Edd
 
 

 
Postcard of Belgium farmers, send home by PFC David Hiett (Courtesy: M. Hiett)

Postcard of Belgium farmers, send home by PFC David Hiett (Courtesy: M. Hiett)

Mr and Mrs Houseman (Huisman?) Belgium, January 1945 (courtesy: M. Hiett)

Mr and Mrs Houseman (Huisman?) Belgium, January 1945 (courtesy: M. Hiett)


Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:

My father spoke highly of the Belgium family but I do not know details about them. He was very moved by the suffering of all the civilians they had contact with and would always get emotional talking about it. 


Edd Hiett’s knife he carried during the War that his brother made for him, a .50 caliber bullet from his machine gun, a lucky rabbit’s foot and a lock of my mother’s hair.

Pfc David Edd Hiett’s knife he carried during the War that his brother made for him, a .50 caliber bullet from his machine gun, a lucky rabbit’s foot and a lock of hair of his girlfriend Lucille Schraff. (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 


February 1945

Letter 2.3.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Belgium
 
Dear Bug,
 
No letter today. Say I haven’t gotten a new letter in a long time. It’s all been back stuff. You aren’t slowly forgetting me are you? You know I get a V Mail from Dymple everyday. Well I’m still on a rest but don’t imagine I will be by the time this reaches you. Guess we’ll go in and strike the final blow. I hope it’s the last one. I was just listening to the news. It sure sounds good tonight. Those darn flying bombs are still coming over though. I still think you are the sweetest and best girl in the world. So be sweet and wait for your Soldier.     


Letter 2.7.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 2.7.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
 
February 7, 1945
 
Dear Lucille,
How’s my chicken tonight? I am fine except for the same old thing. It has started raining over here and no telling when it will quit. Boy I sure got wet today. The ground has thawed out and it’s really muddy. Everything bogs down. Yes I have a dry place to sleep at the present. I don’t know how long I will have it though. I have received a couple of packages from you since last time I wrote you. Received the gloves and shaving bag and stuff. I am very proud of all this, especially the cigarette case and gloves. I don’t see how I’m going to use all that powder. Guess I’ll have to trade it to some mademoiselles, ha. You know that kind of stuff is hard to get over here. No I’m just kidding. I’ve been true to you this long, guess I can stick it out a while longer. Say I haven’t gotten a letter from you in quite some time. I am sending a picture that was in the New York paper. This picture was took a long time ago. The sargent is not with us any more. He was transferred. Right after this picture, (a couple days), we made an attack. Me and another Joe brought in fourteen krauts. The sargent sent this picture to John Good, one of my buddies. I had an awful time getting this. He wants you to write him a letter of thanks, see? So just stick it in with one of mine, OK? Say do you recognize me here? That’s a shell in my hand. I am not a member of that crew any more. I man a machine gun on a half track. Say look, all this may mix you up a little but it’s the best I can do. Are you getting me any films for my Kodak? Boy I could send you some good pictures. I may look a little bad in this one. That darn helmet was cocked on my head. Well chicken I got to hurry. Say did you ever get a letter from some of the boys here? Take care of your sweet beautiful self. So long now. Yes I’m in the 2nd Armored and will be see? Just because I don’t put it on the address is no sign.
Love
Edd
David E. (Edd) Hiett of C Company, Newspaper November 1944 Palenberg, Germany

David E. (Edd) Hiett of C Company, Newspaper November 1944 Palenberg, Germany

 

 
 
Singed Book cover: 2nd Armored Division 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion - 195th Anti-aircraft Battalion. Courtesy: M. Hiett)

Singed Book cover: 2nd Armored Division 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion – 195th Anti-aircraft Battalion. (Courtesy: Mark Hiett)

The cover and autograph page of the booklet released in February 1945 with many in Company C signing it. List of names:

Richard D Varner
TEC 5 Paul J Planton
Clifton J Howard
Sgt George J Hydrick

SSGT George Louis Hydrick of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, C Company was awarded a Silver Star (Source Findagrave.com)

SSGT George Louis Hydrick of the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, C Company was awarded a Silver Star (Source Findagrave.com)

Pvt Ralph Rains
Harley Whitson
W M Cullough
Bert Petsch
PFC Nelson Holder
CPL Thomas J Burgess
PFC Mitchell M De Vaul
PVT John Wayo
PVT Calvin M Kopp
Jim Incandela
Fred Nelson
Earl W Meier
Michael Mucha
Larry Cooper
SGT Joseph F Joyce
CPL Ralph Turner
TEC5 John R Good
Willam C Unger
Erwin Robertson
Kenneth van Albert
Orsmby E Harris
Tom Barnhart

Dollar Signed by man of 17th Engineers Company C, 3rd platoon (Courtesy Mark HIett")

Dollar Signed by man of 17th Engineers Company C, 3rd platoon (Courtesy Mark HIett)

 


Edd Hiett’s halftrack of Company C, 17th Engineers, 2nd Armored Division in 1945. He is on top cleaning his .50 caliber machine gun, mounted in front of him is a bazooka.

Edd Hiett’s halftrack of Company C, 17th Engineers, 2nd Armored Division in 1945. He is on top cleaning his .50 caliber machine gun, mounted in front of him is a bazooka. In one battle the Germans attacked their positions with tanks and infantry. He fired his machine gun so long he was standing ankle deep in spent shell casings before reinforcements arrived to help stop the enemy attack. He could never forget seeing those tanks coming at them with their gun barrels moving slowly up and down as the tanks rolled across the contours of the ground. He said he hated having to open up with that .50 caliber, it made him a big target for the enemy to go after because of the casualties and damage that machine gun made.(Text by Mark Hiett) (Courtesy: Mark Hiett)


March 1945

Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:
 
You mentioned Co. C working with infantry, he talked about hearing the words “Engineers up front” many times and having to clear the way for the attack on pillboxes through minefields and barbwire with bangalore torpedoes while under fire. I believe his Bronze Star was awarded for being part of a 3 or 4 man team that went into a German occupied town at night and blew up a railroad line. At times they were so close he could hear the Germans talking and smell their cigarettes. 
 

Germans Soldiers of the NSKK, het Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrerkorps, (a supply and transport unit) It was part of the Political NSDAP founded in 1931. Problably taken during on of the Nazi parties, other Military units can be seen as SA, Deutsche Reichsbahn  (Railway organistaion), Deutsche Post (Post office) the man with the paper cup wears a NSDAP uniform. 


 

Letter 3.5.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Germany
March 5, 1945
 
Dear Darling,
How’s the fat tonight? You know my folks sure do pass some nice compliments to  me on you. I sure will be proud when I can find out for myself just how true they are It may not be very long now either. We’re sitting on the banks of the Rhine. Don’t have any idea where I’ll be the next time you hear from me.
You keep mentioning about staying up so late at night. That sounds awful suspicious to me. You’ve got lots of explaining to do one of these days. Maybe I’ll just drop in on you some day kind of unexpected, huh? I’m only kidding honey, I’ve got to trust you now or never. I’m still waiting for the picture of you. Haven’t had any mail lately. It may be down the line somewhere for all I know.I’m really sweating that job. I am anxious to see how it looks.
I’m not in the mood for writing today and can’t think of anything to say. I have a few more souvenirs to send you just as soon as I get the chance. Here is a couple of pieces of money you or Cotton can add to the list.
When have you seen the folk? Boy I sure would like to hear from you all. Guess I ought to be getting some mail from you soon. You wanted to know where I got the machine? Well you’d be surprised what we do up here at times. Keep your nose clean honey and I’ll be seeing you someday soon I hope. Love me lots and be sweet darling.
Love Always,
Edd    


 

Letter 3.7.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Haven’t had a chance to mail this so I’ll add a little. I got this picture of the squad today and have their names signed. We take lots of pictures but have a hard time getting them developed. I got the proofs you sent last night. I must say you have grown up a bit since last time I saw you. Also got some packages. Well I hope you like this picture. I have seen lots of hell lately honey. Am praying it will soon be over. Bye now.
Love,
Your Soldier    


March 1945 David Edd Hiett with his squad, 17th Armored Engineer Battlion, Comp C, 3rd squad. 

David Edd Hiett Belgium Decembe, 1944 17th Armd Eng Batt C Company, kneeling on the far right was a demolition expert and 50 caliber machine gunner on their Halftrack

David Edd Hiett Belgium March 1945, 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, C Company, kneeling on the far right was a demolition expert and 50 caliber machine gunner on their Halftrack

David Edd Hiett Belgium March 1945, 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, C Company, kneeling on the far right was a demolition expert and 50 caliber machine gunner on their Halftrack

Names ont the back of the photo: 

Erwin Robertson

Earl W Meier

John R Good

Walter Nepoka (?)

Calvin M Kopp

Richard D Varner

John Wayo

Michael (Mike) Mucha


Letter 3.9.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Germany

March 9
 
Dear Sweetheart,
Yes I’m still kicking around. We had a picture show last night. Can you imagine that? A show right up here on the Front. It was the first one I’d seen in a long time. Wasn’t very good though, some gangster.
Well I guess you see I’ve made a stripe again. Maybe I can hold it this time. Doesn’t worry me in the least though. Over here they are always making and breaking. I’ll never forget how I lost the last one and nearly got racked up myself.*
Well how does the news sound to you tonight? Some of the boys are crossing. Did you know I was around the first to reach that river? The civilians couldn’t understand how we got there so fast. If we had crossed we would have really made history. Guess we got a write up anyway. Say did you ever get the picture I sent you of me with the gun? (A clipping). It looks to me as though the krauts can’t last much longer, but you never can tell what may happen. I have my hopes high anyway. I can already picture myself in civvies again. Wonder how they’ll feel? Guess I’ll be pretty choosy after wearing these good army clothes. I just got a new pair of boots today.
Guess I can finish now. I just got a haircut. No not short, just regular. That small snapshot I sent will prove how my hair is. I’d like to get all tangled up in that hair of yours. Honey I long for you with all my heart. You’re quite a lady now. Doubt if I’d even recognize you. Hope you can read this mess, I’m in a hurry. Bye now.
Love
Edd

 
(* David Edd talk about getting het Private First class rank stripe back after losing it the first time when he crashed a jeep back in England before the invasion when he was driving for his lieutenant.)

Letter-3.16.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
March 16
Germany
 
Dear Lucille,
I just got one of those dinky little V-Mail from you. Boy you sure must have trouble writing me lately. I hardly hear from you once a week then it’s a darn V-Mail. Guess I’m mad at everything and everybody tonight. I’m tired and disgusted. Sometimes I feel there is no use hoping to ever go home, especially when I hear of guys going home that haven’t been over here as long as I have. Pretty soon I’ll have to start sweating the Pacific. You know the army wants experienced men. The longer a man stays up here the smaller his chances are. The law of average is bound to catch up with you sooner or later. Then I read about the damn dirty work back home. Boy if I could get my hands on some of those guys that go on strike. I’d like to have some of the big guys that spout off at the mouth to sweat just one air raid or one artillery barrage. When a man gets that feeling that there is no hope, then he can have something to talk about. Let’s let some of the big boys come up here. Maybe this war will end then.
I’m sorry honey if I’ve said anything to hurt you or worry you. You understand what a soldier is up against. I’m about to lose all confidence in all women too. I don’t know if the paper and magazines are true or not but they sure tell some tall stories about our women. I’ve also seen lots of guys right here go around with their heads between their legs because they had heard that their girl or wife had given birth to a baby after being overseas from one to two years. Yes a Joe has to fight lots of things besides Germans. It’s raining here tonight. Thank God I have a dry place to lie down. We are sitting still on our front right now. May not be for long though. I’m writing this by a small candle light. Last night I watched the bombers raid the krauts over the river. Saw some planes go up in flames, don’t know if they were ours or kraut fighters.
I have sent you a couple of packages lately. Don’t know if they went through or not. One of the boxes, I was told, was one safeties come in, so you had better watch it around your mother. Guess I’ve said enough. Please don’t forget to write me and please tell me if anything ever happens to you. Don’t keep me lingering like a sucker. Bye now beautiful.
Love
Edd 


 
 
 

Edd Hiett’s medals. Clockwise left to right are: Belgian Fourragere shoulder cord presented to the 2nd Armored Division for helping liberate their country, Good Conduct Medal, European Theater Operations and World War 2 Victory ribbons with 5 Major Battle Stars, Service Stripes for years served, Honorable Discharge patch, Bronze Star for bravery in action, Purple Heart for wounds received in action, his Dog Tags, Combat Engineers lapel pin and the shoulder patch of the 2nd Armored Division “Hell On Wheels” (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 

 

April 1945

Letter 4.9.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 4.9.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

April 9, 1945
Deep in Germany
 
Dear Lucille,
Since my letters to have to be passed around, I’ll try to write more sensible. Yes it’s been two weeks since I wrote you, but it wasn’t my fault. Boy we have really been driving. It’s plenty dusty too after all the rain. No we didn’t bridge the Rhine. In fact I haven’t built any bridges. What we’ve been doing is clearing out towns of krauts. That bridge stuff is something none of us like. Oh I’ll tell you all about it someday. It’s hard to explain just what we do, cause we do everything including infantry work. The krauts have come out with their air corps pretty strong lately. Don’t know where they all come from. We have freed lots of slave labors in this push. They’ll try to eat you up on sight. Really a happy bunch to be freed.
I got those spicy first pictures you sent me. They came two days ago. No kidding honey they were really good. The fellows were crazy about them. Whoops I’m slipping again. Got to talk like a gentleman. That’s hard to do too. I haven’t been around anyone except soldiers that could speak English in so long. I guess I’ve got where I talk kind of bad. That’ll be another job for you when I get back.
Say I thought you were going to get some of the folks to to write me. Well I haven’t heard from any of them. Kind of strikes me funny about Roy getting drafted. Guess they’re taking them for the Pacific. Sure hope I don’t have to go down there. Well honey send me what you can but no cigarettes. I get plenty here. I love you with all my heart.
Love
Edd                   


Sended home by Pfc David E Hiett, Buchenwald Paper (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Sended home by Pfc David E Hiett, Buchenwald Photos (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:

I remember him telling of going to Buchenwald. He said he decided not to go inside the camp though and bought the pictures either out side the camp or maybe in Berlin. In the April 9th letter he tells of liberating slave labor camps but he never talked in detail about what he actually saw or experienced first hand. I believe he wanted to bring these pictures home to show what they had been fighting for and what kind of evil the Nazis represented. He said that when he first got back some people could not and did not believe what he and many vets were saying about what they saw and went through. That may have been one of the reasons why he and so many of them did not talk about it very much. I remember seeing him get very emotional the rare times when he would talk about what some civilians went through. My niece who is 38 years old now told me that when she was around 10 years old they were learning about the war in school and she knew he had been in it so she asked him if he would come to her class and talk about it. He got real quiet and emotional and just shook his head saying “no I can’t.” She kept asking and all he would say is “no I can’t.” She was too young to realize why so her mother took her to another room and told her not to ask Papa about the war because it’s too hard for him to talk about.


 

Letter 4.22.1945 (Courtesy Mark HIett)

Letter 4.22.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

April 22, 1945
Germany
 
Dearest One,
Have you been worrying much about your soldier? Boy we have really been on a drive. Guess you have already heard all about it in the papers. I mean this division how we spearheaded the 9th Army and so on. Well we are on a rest now. Can not say for how long, just here that is all. I will say one thing though, I really had some close calls up and across that Elbe River. I am in a pretty safe area now though, except for air raids of course. I do not think it will be much longer before all of Germany is occupied. Of course you never can tell what they will do with me. I may go to the Pacific or may stay here, I do not know. I do not think there is a chance for a discharge any way soon though. I got a couple of letters from you yesterday. Was the the first in a long time. We hardly get any mail while on a drive. Oh yes, I gave the fellows the letters the letters you wrote them. They were proud to hear from you. Earl said you kind of threw it up to him about that pin up letter. He is the one with the long mustache. Boy it is really getting long too. That picture was taken back in January. I do not think his wife thinks very much for it either. I would not know, would you? Right now he is tinkering with an old radio. About all we have gotten so far is a lot of buzzing and popping. I got some more pictures of you. They were really good too. You know I have about 60 different poses of you. I would not take anything for them either. How is everything at home? About washed away I guess. I have been reading about it. Really bad I suppose. So you want us to buy a car first, huh? Well I do not know. Everything will have to be figured out when I get back. We have so much to do. Give my love to all and have me a place saved at the table.
Love,
Edd
 

 

Letter 4.24.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
April 24,1945
Germany
 
Dearest Lucille,
I sure have been receiving some hot letters from you lately. Guess you were burned up at the way I was writing back there. Well I am feeling much better now. In fact I may not have to fight over here anymore. Right now about all we are doing is running the towns. Do not take this too serious because you can not tell what may happen. You said you had gotten your hopes high. Mine are high too, but you almost lost the Engineer up there across that Elbe. Boy I really had some close calls. Everyone has written me about Tommy coming home on furlough. Well I bet I get out of this thing before he does because he is a sailor, ha. Oh well I guess we need the navy too, but he will never be able to tell the experiences I can. How are all the folks on your side? I never hear a line from anyone of them. Just wait until I get my hands on them. I got a package from you today. Had one pack of butts (cigarettes) in it. Thought I told you not to send me anymore. Oh yes about the 300th, I do not think they are so hot. In fact I think they are rear echelon. Got to go now beautiful. Be sweet and remember to have plenty of loving saved up for me. Bye now.
Love,
 
Edd            


 

Letter 4.26.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
April 26
Germany
 
Dear Bug,
Here is a picture for you. I am sending Ma the large one, so you can see it there. It’s the same pose and the same old Edd. You know I haven’t been called Edd in so long I don’t like that name anymore. I sent you another box last night. Hope you get it in good shape. I have some knives I’m sending Pa tonight. You asked about the civilians here. Well there really isn’t much difference. The girls aren’t as modest and they don’t have the clothes and stuff as you people do. Some are clean in their homes and some are dirty same as the States. Of course they treat us nice just as if we weren’t fighting their sons and husbands, but I think the majority only tries to win us over in order to get us to treat them easier. We have to do some pretty dirty things sometimes in order to keep things in order. This Hitler Youth is pretty bad. I myself haven’t run into any as yet. When we kill a few off everything settles down again. There aren’t any men around. Only the old ones or the kids. Oh I’ll tell you all about them when I get back.
I have been washing some clothes. Boy they were really dirty. I had worn the sames ones for over a month. They had begun to smell a little, ha. It’ll probably take a year to get good and clean again. Awful pretty here today and I’m feeling fine, love you more than one can tell and hope to see you soon. Give my love to all.
Love
Edd 


German souvenirs sended home bij PFC David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett) Left to right: Hitler Jugend Arm band, shortend French Lebel bajonet, German Karabiner ’98 sheath, German parade DRK (Deutsches rotes kreuz) Red Cross dagger with sheath.


 
 
 

Souvenir sended home by David Edd Hiett -Blue nazi armband of the Deutsche Arbeiters Front (German Labour Front) (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Souvenir sended home by David Edd Hiett -NSDAP political wall banner and Blue nazi armband of the Deutsche Arbeiters Front (German Labour Front) (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


May 1945

Letter 5.8.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

May 8, ’45
Germany
 
Dearest Darling,
It’s here baby. The day we have prayed and fought for. There is no big celebrating. We were all proud and overjoyed, sure, but no one is celebrating. Well all I have to do now is sweat out the Pacific. Maybe I’ll get a furlough home anyway. Damn, I sure hope I don’t have to fight anymore. I know everyone must be expecting me home. I have no idea when I’ll be there. Right now we are just occupying. Have a nice home with electric etc. and a bed. We have been living in homes all along when it was possible. Sure is a pretty day and I’m feeling fine. Pressed myself a clean shirt a little while ago and I must say it really looks sharp. I put the creases in too. About the women here consorting with us. If a soldier is caught talking, or anything else, to a girl or man he is court martialed and fined an enormous sum. So you don’t have to worry about that. I must say though I have seen some real pretty girls here.
Sure is some good music on the radio. Lots of new songs I’ve never heard. About the dances you said we’d go to. You’ll have to teach me how to dance first. Oh darling I long for you so. My heart aches for you my sweet. I’m gonna prove it too, someday. Say hello to everyone for me and keep praying for me darling. Bye now.
Loving you always,
Edd

Letter 5.20.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)Letter 5.20.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Sunday
May 20, 1945
 
Dearest Darling,
I do not seem to have enough ambition to even write anymore. You should be mad at me because this is the first time I have written in 3 days. No I have not been busy, just occupying this town. There is not anything to do and everything is so quiet, Boy this is a dead hole. We have a picture show most every night, but hardly have decent films. They are usually some old, worn out ones and besides I get tired of just shows. Guess I am in a bitching mood today anyway. I went to church this morning. I think it was the best one we have had in a long time. I enjoyed it very much and I am sending the program. Speaking of planning wedding gowns and such, I think you had better hold off on that unless you plan to marry someone else. You see honey, I am way below 85 points. So there is not much hope. In fact, I do not even want to talk about it. I am so thankful that I made it through this far, I do not see how I could possibly sweat out another war. No I did not drink any of that Russian vodka. In fact I have never seen a Russian soldier. You see we pulled out of combat several days before the link up. The war was over for this outfit a long time before the actual surrender. I almost met my doom as we were pulling out. The darn Krauts bombed the hell out of us. I have been thinking about you and what we will do so much lately. Oh darling I love you truly, I do. At least I think I do, ha. How is everyone, any newcomers lately? Be nice honey and do not fraternize with any G.I.s except me. Until next time.
Love,
Your Soldier
 

A paper sended home by PFC David Edd Hiett, The restaurant “Zum Ratskeller” in the Marktstr. 10, Alt Salzderhelden Germany. The innkeepers were Ernst and Liesbeth Rütjeroth.  This may be sent a joke for his girlfriend Lucille Schraff, her brother and father who were both named Ernest. Her grand parents immigrated from Germany to the U.S. and Texas in the late 1800s. 2nd Armored was here  at the beginning of April 1945. (Courtesy: Mark Hiett) 

The Zum Ratskeller Restaurant before the War in Alt-Salzderhelden. (Source: salzderhelden.de) 


June 1945

Letter 8.6.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Letter 8.6.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 
Sunday August 6, 1945
 
Germany
Dear Darling,
I got in last night from a five hundred mile trip. I am doing lots of traveling now baby, so I won’t write as often. You asked what I hauled. Well supplies mostly, but this last trip was guys going home. I took my oldest and best buddies on this one. Dugan, Mike, Earl all the old ones. Sure is lonesome around here today. But I was proud to see them get to go home. The service stations are all operated by G.I.s all along the road. The Red Cross has coffee and donuts always. Things like this kind of help out on these long trips. We are getting beer in our P.X. rations now too. As a whole one might say things have improved for us here. Although I went to the kitchen when I got in last night, (hungry and tired), and couldn’t get anything to eat. Lucky for me I’d been getting packages from you all.
I still haven’t heard a thing about going home, as far as I’m concerned. No I don’t think it will be sooner than December. You asked about our celebration of V.J. Day. Well honey the war had been over for us a long time ago. I got out of bed V.J. Day, turned on the radio and heard Peace. That’s about all it was to it. Everyone knew at breakfast and were proud. But no shouting or such. We aren’t hero’s or such. The real ones are those still out there on the field. Yes they died with their boots on.
“I just heard that some of my buddies died in a plane crash on the way home.”
The sun is shining today. Wish I were home with you baby. How’s the fat? Honey I think you have matured more. Look more lady like and prettier and sweeter. You’re my darling always.
Love
Edd               


 

German souvenirs sended home bij PFC David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett) Left to right: Insignia German WH (Heer) Officer’s (Stabsoffiziere) collar tabs (Kragenspiegel), German WH (Heer) Tunic breast eagle, CZ 27 Pistol or Pistole Modell 27 Kal. 7,65 made in Chzech,  Prague.  


July 1945

David E. (Edd) Hiett his buddy Mike (Michael) Mucha Berlin July, 1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

 


August 1945 

Letter 8.4.1945 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

4 August 45 Berlin

Dear darling, I don’t know no why I’m writing because I certainly haven’t been receiving any. I can’t quite figure it out. Guess everything is going to the Pacific. Kind of looks like I might have to go. So far I don’t know. But from all indications it looks that way. Time will tell so don’t do worry your pretty little head off. I am driving a 2 and a half ton truck now. Like it ok. Keeps me occupied. I don’t have time to sit and think about home as in the office. Still raining here. Every afternoon we get a shower. Kind of like a habit or regular routine or something. Now what has my darling been doing for herself. Much excitement around the old home front lately?  Yes I guess the Soldiers are pretty bad there. It’s gonna be and hard on some guys when when they go back to civilian life. I guess they think the uniform authorizes them to do such things. What few that do those things sure make it tough for the rest of us. They completely ruin the name of our uniform. Well I am still getting plenty of smokes.  A little beer now and then too. I am not gonna try to say how much I love you cause words can’t. Here is a picture of me and Mike he looks older here. He is 38. Love your Edd.

David Edd Hiett and Mike Michael Mucha in Berlin (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

David Edd Hiett and Mike Michael Mucha in Berlin (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


 

Letter 8.26.1945 (courtesy Mark Hiett)

Sunday August 6, 1945
Germany
Dear Darling,
I got in last night from a five hundred mile trip. I am doing lots of traveling now baby, so I won’t write as often. You asked what I hauled. Well supplies mostly, but this last trip was guys going home. I took my oldest and best buddies on this one. Dugan, Mike, Earl all the old ones. Sure is lonesome around here today. But I was proud to see them get to go home. The service stations are all operated by G.I.s all along the road. The Red Cross has coffee and donuts always. Things like this kind of help out on these long trips. We are getting beer in our P.X. rations now too. As a whole one might say things have improved for us here. Although I went to the kitchen when I got in last night, (hungry and tired), and couldn’t get anything to eat. Lucky for me I’d been getting packages from you all.
I still haven’t heard a thing about going home, as far as I’m concerned. No I don’t think it will be sooner than December. You asked about our celebration of V.J. Day. Well honey the war had been over for us a long time ago. I got out of bed V.J. Day, turned on the radio and heard Peace. That’s about all it was to it. Everyone knew at breakfast and were proud. But no shouting or such. We aren’t hero’s or such. The real ones are those still out there on the field. Yes they died with their boots on.
“I just heard that some of my buddies died in a plane crash on the way home.”
The sun is shining today. Wish I were home with you baby. How’s the fat? Honey I think you have matured more. Look more lady like and prettier and sweeter. You’re my darling always.
Love
Edd
 

The Silver dollar carrried by David Edd Hiett, on his dogtagchain. It has been inscripted Good Luck from Lucille. (Courtesy Mark Hiett)

End of 1945

David Edd Hiett, C Company, 17th Armored Engineers, on leave in New York (Courtesy: Mark Hiett)

David Edd Hiett, C Company, 17th Armored Engineers, on leave in New York (Courtesy: Mark Hiett)

PFC David Edd Hiett in New York City  (Courtesy Mark Hiettt)

PFC David Edd Hiett in New York City (Courtesy Mark Hiettt)

September 1945


The immunization record of David Edd Hiett (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


November 1945

Telegram sended from David Edd Hiett November 16, 1945(Courtesy Mark Hiett)

Telegram sended from David Edd Hiett November 16, 1945(Courtesy Mark Hiett)


After the War

Told by Mark Hiett, son of David E Hiett:

He was very worried that he would be sent to the Pacific after Germany surrendered and get killed fighting the Japanese. He finally got home in November 1945 and he and my mother were married in January 1946. I do not think he ever completely got over the war since he would get emotional when ever he talked about it his whole life. I am sure he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My mother said shortly after he got home he could not sleep unless his pistol was nearby and would hit the floor sometimes when a loud noise startled him. On one occasion a drunk stranger walked into their house and my dad grabbed his pistol and hit him in the stomach with it as hard as he could saying “You son of a bitch I will kill you if you do not get out!” He told me he would have done it too because he had just got home from the war and he would not have hesitated doing it if he had to. Fortunately he did not shoot him and things got better as time passed.


Eddie was an avid fisherman and known as a man ready to help anyone. He proved himself inventive, self-reliant and resourceful. If there was a better way to do something, he would find it. He was a member of First Christian Church and did volunteer work for Meals on Wheels and Salvation Army Stew Pot for Longview Ministries.

 In January of 1985 he retired from Texas Eastman Kodak after 35 years of service.


Edd and Lucille Hiett in 1990 (Courtesy Mark Hiett)


David Edd Hiett passed away on 13 February 2009 aged 85 years. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, David E. and Willie Hiett; 2 brothers and 3 sisters.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Lucille; 2 sons, David Hiett and his wife Tina of Longview, and Mark Hiett of Rowlett; grandson Brian Hiett and wife Blair of Houston; granddaughter Erin Greenlee and husband Matt of Austin; 2 great granddaughters, Nancy Jean Hiett and Ellie Greenlee; 2 sisters, Dimple Lester of Longview and Odie Smith of Allen; and several
nieces and nephews. 


He is burried at Memory Park Cemetery, LongviewHarrison CountyTexasUS. 

Grave of David Edd Hiett

Family Members

Parents

David Edward Hiett
1877–1959

Willie Dee Brazzil Hiett
1880–1961

Spouse

Lucille Alyne Scharff Hiett
1925–2017 (m. 1946)

Siblings

Infant Son Hiett
1900–1900

Velma Hiett
1902–1904

Clyda Hiett Killingsworth
1903–1977

Charles William Hiett
1905–1982

Allison Delmas Hiett
1907–1974

Ima Hiett Black
1909–2008

Dymple Hiett Lester
1912–2010

Opal Hiett Croft
1914–2000

Odie Hiett Smith
1917–2012

(source: Findagrave.com)