A letter from D-Day, June 6, 1944

In remembrance of D-Day, and in commemoration of its 80th anniversary, we offer a few excerpts from the letters of Irving Weintraub, a doctor and lieutenant in the medical corps, to his wife Elizabeth concerning the D-Day landing and his experiences immediately after.

June 6, 1944

My Darling Bett:

Right now I am aboard ship waiting to land on the shore of Europe in one of the largest invasions ever to be planned and executed in this world. This letter will be held up until after all censorship restrictions are lifted but I am hoping you will get it because I won’t be able to write again for some time. Our trip by sea has been uneventful up to this moment in spite of our pitching and tossing but we are all expecting to have the shells & bombs start dropping about us at any moment. So far the German air force has kept itself hidden – may they continue with those tactics.

While on board boat I read a couple of good books that I would recommend. Mary R. Reinhart “The Wall” and H. Allen Smith “Life in a Putty Knife Factory.” Great amusement. I have written one V-mail to you since I’ve been on board – did you get it.

I suppose at this time you and everyone else are sitting at the news ticker smoking cigarettes and saying relevant prayers for us over here. We have said many too.

This invasion is tremendous and must and will be a success. I have seen every type of battleship, cruiser, etc., and every other kind of vessel afloat.

No more time – remember I love you with all my heart and always will. Keep well, keep sweet, and I’ll be seeing you soon. My best to my father, your folks, et al.

All my love to you, Your own Irv

June 11 1944


My darling Bett;

I know that you must be terribly worried and that by the time you receive this you will have lost all that weight that you gained but as I told you before I left, not news is good news. But here is some that is even better. By the heading you will know that I am in France – where I can’t tell you as yet but I am well & healthy. When I came in the bullets & shells were whistling by and things were pretty hot but I was lucky. At a later date I will be able to give you a more detailed account. Now suffice to say I am here by the grace of God alone. I was out trying to get supplies the other day and had with me two medical sergeants and an armed line soldier for protection from snipers. As we were walking along there suddenly was a terrific blast and all four of us went sailing through the air and ended with our faces in the dirt. A German “teller mine” had gone off about six feet behind us – why it didn’t go when we were beside it I’ll never know, but fortunately for us it didn’t. But we got our supplies.

As you probably know or realize, I haven’t received any mail in over two weeks and we are now looking forward to it daily with eager anticipation.

June 12

I started this yesterday but could not finish as is obvious. It is late now and I just got word that mail will go out tomorrow so I must finish now.

I am taking care of some of the French civilians who were wounded and I am having one hell of a time trying to understand them and vice versa but it seems that I am improving. Yesterday all I could or did say was yes and no and I didn’t understand. Today I made small sentences. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to but I doubt I’ll ever be a linguist.

Darling I hope you haven’t been worried too much and if you have please stop now because everything is OK and your mail should be a little better from now on but still not as good as in England.

We arrived here June 6th and yesterday was the first time I had my shoes off since then – boy did they stink. I took a nice cold bath out of my helmet and shaved and felt like a new individual. But more later darling. RIght now I want to write a letter to the folks and a V-mail to both of you just in case one gets there before the other.

All my love darling, don’t worry, keep sweet and love me always as I love you.

Your own Irv.