Milous McEntyre was initially buried at Blosville Cemetery at Carentan, France and reburied in the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France , C, 21, 3
22nd Infantry, 4th Division
Letters tell the D-Day story
The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Sunday, June 6, 1993
The handwriting is faded, brown on lighter brown. Hers is fluid; his is wooden. Few items from World War II are more powerful than correspondence between a soldier and his wife.
Lois Harbin provided the following letters as a way of remembering her father, Pfc Milous McEntyre, who died on July 15, 1944. He was also the father of a 4-year-old boy, Ronnie. Louis was 8 at the time of his death. “I just felt like I wanted to share a little bit about my father,” said Harbin. “He did not live long enough for me to really get to know him. I remember him holding me.”
McEntyre had served 9 years, previously. When he entered the Army again, in November, 1943, he received only three weeks training. He would live only seven months.
Pat McEntyre, his wife destroyed most of the letters following his death. “Reading the letters would hurt her, just tear her up,” said Harbin. “She just kept a few of them. I have those.” Following are excerpts from letters written by a 34 year old soldier a long way from home, and one letter posted on the day of his death, that was returned unopened.
May 30, 44
Dearest Loving Ones
Just received your most precious sweet letter today and am so pleased to know that My Darling Wife can write such a sweet letter to her hubby. The letter I received today is even sweeter than the ones you used to write back in our courting days. Honey you don’t know how good it does me and makes me feel towards you. I dearly adore you with all my heart and always will the rest of my natural days and I pray to Jesus that he will spare me home safely to you and honey I am expressing my heart as I feel I never have spoken a truer word in my life. No matter what happens to me remember I love you dearly and also the children too. No honey I haven’t gotten your package….
You will have to send me another picture of you three, but Kodak pictures taken for I haven’t any where to keep big ones….
Honey if nothing happens I think I will be home about next January and hope for the war to be over by then. Maybe you will hear about it over the radio when that day comes….
With all my love and heart to you and the little ones, from, as ever, your loving husband Buck.
May 31, 44
Just received two more sweet letters from you today. Am happy to hear from you and to know that everyone is well and enjoying life. For myself I am alright but not enjoying myself. The only way I could enjoy myself would be to be back with you… But I am going to make up for lost time when I do get back. I am going to love you to death. So don’t forget that honey….
With all my love and soul to you and the kids.
Your loving husband,
6-16-44 (From Buck’s last letter home)
Dearest Loved Ones,
Here I am again, guess you are wondering why you haven’t heard from me in quite a while. But I suppose you have already guessed why. So far I am all together but don’t know for how long. But I am praying that everything works out all right. Honey I got those pictures after so long. I am sending all three to you and you can send Myrtle one for me. I don’t have time … This is worse than any hell. Sweetheart when I get a chance I will tell you more about it… Up until now I will say pray for me and may God be with you and the children until we meet again. So look to the bright side and everything will be alright. With all my love to you and the kids.
This letter to McEntyre was written in part on the official date of his death, July 15. It was returned unopened.
July 15 & 16, 1944
Well Honey, I will write you after missing two nights. But Honey I was so tired. I just couldn’t think good to write. And I was a little afraid of writing on the company’s time. Was afraid they would catch me. But they are all gone today so I am writing. But I hardly know what to write not hearing from you. But Honey I understand, and I try my best to grin and bear it when I don’t hear from you. I always think well God is taking care of him wherever he is at.
It rained here a little yesterday but not enough to do the garden any good…
The children are both well and doing good. Ronnie was eating last night and he said “Muvver, Daddy don’t know I’m getting fat does he?” He isn’t getting any fatter but he still feels heavy and he is growing taller. He is getting out of his baby ways. He is not our baby anymore. He’s a little man. I would give anything if you could see him and Lois too. Lois is a regular little lady. I am working every day: haven’t missed a day this summer and we still work 48 hours a week…
Honey I sure hope that everything is O.K. with you and I wish this was over with so you could hurry home. I would give anything to hear from you, but most of all I would love to see you. It seems like it has been years since I last saw you. Just to hear your voice would thrill me to death.
Ernie Pyle is writing a column on where you are and I read it every night. Do you ever see him or would you know him if you should see him. He is right there with the boys and going along with them in battle.
I have got my hair rolled up and didn’t take it down this morning. And it has got old man Hobbs worried. He thinks I have something up special to do. I kid him all the time. I told him I was stepping out with a young man and my girlfriend. He didn’t have sense to know that was our daughter and son. So I have got him-a-going. I told him I was going to write and tell you about him a-worrying. (Mr. Hobbs is the guard down here.) He said don’t that might worry you.
I said shucks, Buck knows me better than that. He knows I’m crazy anyway, don’t you. Well Honey if it don’t rain I am taking the kids to the show after I get off from work this afternoon. I don’t know what we will see for I don’t even know what is on.
Well honey I will close as I can’t think of anymore to write, so I will say cheerio until tomorrow. So be sweet and good and I will see you in my dreams tonight and always remember to pray and trust and have faith. And I will always be thinking of you and praying that you will soon return.
From your loving wife.