Guestbook (pg4)

Your Comments & Questions

T hank you for visiting the WW2 Letters of Private Melvin W. Johnson. We'd like to know that you were here so be sure and take a couple of seconds to drop us a line below.

23 November 2009

Bob Kelton & Kurt Vonnegut

I am Bob Kelton's wife, and did not even meet him until after WWII. He wrote abut his experiences in the Bulge and in a letter to his best friend's mother. Bill was shot when Bob, Bill and another person were on I&R in the Ardennes during the Bulge. They could not get Bill medical help, and he died. Bob was in the 423rd 2nd Battleon of the 106th Infantry. They surrendered that day (Dec. 19, 1945) and were prisoners in Dresden. Kurt Vonnegut was someone Bob knew well. Kurt was only a 21 yr old GI at that time. So Bob's story has been written. However I think Bob's version is most interesting, also, altho he never completed writing it. Only the past three or four years did Bob talk much about his experiences, after he gave a talk to his local Kiwanis club, like so many of that generation. He did not keep track of Kurt until about this same time and Kurt did call him shortly before he passed away. Bob would not think of himself as a war hero, I feel sure. We DO miss him - he had a fast growing cancer which we did not learn of until Aug. 21, 2009.
Beverly Kelton

Beverly Kelton

13 October 2009

Power In These Letters

Thank you so much for this site. I'm a writer and needed to find out a bunch of little details about WWII letters home, and got caught in Melvin's letters home, reading every single one (and finding in them the answers to most of my questions, thank you). I got to the end of them, discovered he died, and I'm crying my eyes out. I thought you should know that these letters have that much power, all these decades later. Beautiful. Seriously. Thank you.
Barbara Samuel O'Neal

Barbara Samuel O'Neal

2 October 2009

A Free Future

Thank you. I enjoy them (the letters) very much. I was born in 1937 and evacuated to Penticton BC Canada September 1940 returning to UK in November 1944 (why?). It is so interesting to see what went on during that time to protect us all and give us a FREE future. Grateful Thanks to all concerned.
Colin R. Stewart

Colin R. Stewart

12 September 2009

A Close Call

Dear Michael: I was in Epinal for about two weeks about October 1944 in a warehouse with the Continental Advance Section in support of the Seventh Army and First French Army. German photography made it so that they knew where we were at all times in Africa, Italy, and France. This time the German V2 committee launched a rocket at us that landed a block or so away and the earth shook. Praise the Lord it missed our warehouse billet where our entire Section would have been wiped out. We left there quickly and went on up to Nancy twenty miles from the Battle of the Bulge.
Garet Gunther

Garet Gunther

9 September 2009

79th Infantry Missourians

Thank you for putting together this web site. I have taken a personal interest in the 79th Division due to the fact that so many men in our area (Southwest Missouri) served in the 79th during WWII. I especially would like to thank Private Melvin W. Johnson for his sacrifice. I fully recognize that the lifestyle I live today was paid for by men like your grandfather. I cannot thank him personally but I can certainly thank him through you. I am sure he would be pleased at what you have done.
God Bless
Gregory Alexander

Gregory Alexander | Reeds Spring, MO, USA

6 September 2009

Philippe Sugg

Mon cher Michael, j'ai la chance maintenant de te connaître et tu es vraiment un chic type, tu es un ami maintenant. Tu pourras dire à ta maman qu'ici nous aimons son papa, c'est à dire ton grand père car dès que j'ai lu les lettres de ta grand-mère j'ai des larmes qui ont coulés car je sais qu'il a été tué dans notre région et que grâce à lui et des milliers d'autres américains, nous pouvons vivre libre et heureux. Je peux te promettre que l'année prochaine il aura son monument et qu'il ne sera jamais oublié, tu peux être fier de ton grand-père pour tout ce qu'il a fait à cette époque.

Dear Michael, I am fortunate now to know you and you're really a great guy, you're a friend now. You are now able to tell your mom here we like her dad and as soon as I read the letters of your grandfather, I have tears that have sunk because I know he was killed in our area and thanks to him and thousands of other Americans, we can live free and happy. I can promise you that next year he will have his monument and it will never be forgotten. You can be proud of your grandfather for all he has done.
Philippe Sugg, Luneville, France

Philippe Sugg | Luneville, France

6 September 2009

Louis Gerard

Cher Michael votre site sur la vie de votre grand-père est formidable et magnifique, et j'ai eu le plaisir de parcourir avec vous et mon ami Philippe,en août de cette année, les lieux ou MELVIN a combattu et Laissé sa vie pour notre liberté chez nous en Lorraine à Lunéville, pour nous cela a été une trés vive émotion de marcher sur les traces de Melvin et nous tenions à vous remercier Michael pour votre Devoir de mémoire Qui Restera à jamais gravé Dans nos coeur a jamais,merci pour tout votre travail
Louis gérard, Lunéville France

Your site on the life of your grandfather is great and wonderful, and I had the pleasure to travel with you and my friend Philip, in August this year, in the places where Melvin fought and lost his life for our freedom here at Luneville in Lorraine. For us it was a very strong emotion in the footsteps of Melvin and we wanted to thank you, Michael, for your Duty of memory that will remain forever engraved in our hearts. Thank you for all your work. Louis Gerard, Luneville, France

Louis Gerard | Luneville, France

11 July 2009

Steven Perun

What a great memorial to a great man! My father, Steve Perun, was in the 314th, Co. F. He was captured 13 Jan 1945 near Drusenheim, France and reported as such on a photo-copy of a Morning Report dated 16 January 1945. Thank you for your wonderful site.
Steven Perun

Steven Perun

7 July 2009

S/Sgt Eugene Lucas

My Dad, S/Sgt Eugene Lucas 3rd Bat. I co. was killed in Sept. 1944 during the fighting at the Monden Forest near Luneville. There's to be a ceremony and dedication of a monument near Luneville for all the soldiers that fought and died during this offensive. This ceremony will be held in September of this year to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the conflict near Luneville.
God Bless, Frank E. Lucas

Frank E. Lucas

25 June 2009

Sgt Emil Wisz

My cousin, Sgt. Emil Wisz of Niagara Falls, NY, served with Company F 314th Infantry 79th Division. He was awarded the Purple Heart. His death at age 57 was related to his war wounds. May all those brave young men who answered the call to duty rest in peace.
Ken Wisz

Ken Wisz

8 June 2009

A Happy Soul

Wonderful, touching site. I checked each one of the letters and the documents and the photos, as if you are back in the past. Your Grand dad's soul must be happy to have his life and memory shared with the world. God bless him. Tomal Zaman. Pakistan

Tomal Zaman | Pakistan

30 May 2009

Scheldt Estuary

I came across your excellent web page and thought I would write you a short email about my father, who passed away in 2002. We live in Canada and shortly after war was declared he joined the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, 2nd. Canadian Infantry Division. During the course of the war he was wounded three times and fought in the important battles to clear the Scheldt Estuary and help liberate Holland. His batalion suffered heavy causalities during this campaign and in earlier action at Dieppe. He was away from Canada for six years, hard to believe, really when today's soldiers come home after 6 months!

Canadians tend to be rather quiet about their military history and their contributions are seldom told, even in Canada. An excellent book about the campaign to clear the Scheldt estuary is by Mark Zuehlke and is called "Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign". The First Canadian was a real international force with Canadian, US, and Polish units. The book brought tears to my eyes, reading the stories of the many fine men who died for us, of all allied nations. My father never really talked abut his contributions, was he a hero, he would have said no, like most vets would say. To me he was, only 75 out his original battalion made it back to Canada. Sadly, sometimes many British Commonwealth veterans feel many Americans do not recognize that other nations, not just the US fought in WW2.

God bless all the allied veterans, which ever nation they fought for...

John Edwards

John Edwards

28 May 2009

Thank you

Thank you so much for adding my father's Letters to Marc (Fred Balester). He passed away in January at aged 83. It means a lot to have his story told. The site tells many stories we all need to hear. Valerie Balester

Valerie Balester | Texas, USA

1 April 2009

Eddie Byley, POW

I don't try to dwell on it too much but I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought of was my dad's liberation from a German POW camp 65 years ago today. I appreciate your effort to keep people mindful of what the WW II generation sacrificed for their country. Eddie Byley was a member of the 79th Infantry captured along with many others from his regiment in Jan. 1945. He was a POW for almost three months surviving as a laborer on a farm. He once told me that the American troops that liberated them were dirty and grizzled but "they looked like angels." I am enough of a history buff to know to be thankful to people who gave their lives in an effort to defeat their enemy and save soldiers like my dad. I am thankful too that there were German officers and soldiers who thought it worthwhile to spare my father's life. What a mystery.

Thanks again,
David & Anita Byley

David and Anita Byley