Don Shepard, on the left, and two friends at Club Plantation (all three were members of the 8th infantry division, which is credited with taking down Hitler’s Panzer Division and personal bodyguard)
It was common during WWII for soldiers to try and send little gifts in letters to their sweethearts, though many were either lost or confiscated in the complicated sending of letters during that time. In the wake of the Normandy invasion, Don wrote to Honey, telling her about the English “thrupenny” or three pence bit: a silver coin with George VI on one side and a Tudor rose on the other. Many of of these pre-WWII coins still exist, though nearly all from 1945 were melted down. In the letter, he expresses that he would like to send her several of these coins to make a bracelet. He was never able to do so. Since my novel Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me? is written from both Honey’s and Don’s perspectives, please read it twice: once as the one receiving it, and once as the one sending it.
June 10, 1944
Dear La Pig:
How goes it Baby? Trust you are in great shape, still waiting for mail, have gotten just one batch as I told you. I wonder if you’re getting any from me – for a change. I’m really writing as you have probably noticed. I certainly miss you Baby, course that’s natural enough, but it won’t be too long now. This things [sic] on the last leg – no question at all about that. Algy Nash is still around, so’s Dennis O’Connor, Maj. [Carroll] has some kind of a fat lick job; don’t see him anymore. I’m trying to get you enough three penny – pronounced thrupenny – bits to make a bracelet. They are pretty little silver coin and are getting very scarce over here. They would make a darned cute bracelet. Diamonds over here are cheap like to buy one as an investment and if I ever get paid. I probably will.
England is just as pretty as 1st impressions would lead you to believe. Everything is reminded fool of a perpetual springtime. The men are not too sold on England, putting it mildly, for various reasons I won’t enumerate.
Love and kisses Baby,