Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving in a Port Company, 1944

While helping my wife cook Thanksgiving dinner today, I recalled that the author of We Made The Headlines Possible mentions his Thanksgiving feast of 1944. His Port Maintenance Company was riding crowded 40 & 8 train cars on their way to Antwerp:

"Thanksgiving Day 1944 was memorable. Of course the propaganda line back in the States was that it would be a Spartan holiday with 'all the turkeys and other goodies sent overseas to our troops.' Actually, we almost went without any food at all. Only when our Captain Doran demanded that the train commander open up some provisions for us did we get food. For each car of 40 GIs we received two round loaves of French farm bread, a gallon can of orange marmalade, and a long tin of Spam! Under a barrage of kibitzing about fairness, it became my duty to allocate and serve the food in my car. So, I cut each fellow a slice of bread, put on a slice of Spam and overed this with marmalade. That was our Thanksgiving feast." —George N. Havens, pages 59-60

This description makes me doubly thankful for the abundance of our Thanksgiving 2009. It has also inspired me to ask the veterans of my grandfather's unit about their Thanksgiving feast. I'm sure they'll have something equally interesting to report. They were in Antwerp by this point, so maybe their meal was a little better (probably not).

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