WWII Hero, Arthur Albertson's 1945 Letter

In the following letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Albertson, of Millville, Pa., Arthur Albertson details his emotions when he had the Bronze Star conferred upon him. The letter appeared in a Bloomsburg, Pa., newspaper in 1945.

Dear Mom, Dad and all:

Well, I am really feeling good today. I've got an experience to tell you what happened yesterday.

The troop commander sent for me. I went over to see him. He had a new shirt, helmet, and a brand new outfit, including gun and shined shoes. At one o'clock I was to go to the 120th Inf. Reg. (30th Div. Hq.) to be decorated by the 9th Army general.

Mom, you should have seen him. I had on all my ribbons, Purple Heart, five campaign stars. There was a big crowd there. There were three boys decorated from the 30th Division. One was dead, the other's legs shot off, and me.

He read the citation in front of everyone. Then I walked up in front of him. He even saluted me first. This is what he said, "Son, on behalf of the 30th Inf. Div. and myself, I wish to congratulate you for your heroic achievement in combat, which I have so often heard about. I am especially pleased to have you to serve in my command. We are certainly all proud of you."

Then, he took the Bronze Star medal from the box and pinned it on my shirt. He saluted me again, and I saluted him.

He shook my hand. A newspaper reporter was there and took the picture as we shook hands. Well, Mom, you can imagine how I felt. I was so tickled and happy when all the troops in the field stood there at attention and the Stars and Stripes waving and me talking to the general. I was proud and it was probably the happiest moment of my life.

I sent the citation home. The Bronze Star medal I have in troop headquarters. I'll send it home.

All my buddies and the troop commander are as happy as me. Well, that's enough of that, but two years ago when I was training back in the States, I never thought this would happen to me. I never thought I'd be knocking out German machine guns and getting decorations for it. So I guess I haven't done too badly as a solider. All those ceremonies mean a lot to a fellow and make him happy, but nothing will make me any more happy than when I get back there on good old Walnut Street with the family, having those good times all over again. There never will be a place nicer. I am sending the Bronze Star medal, Mom. You and Dad can have it. I certainly owe you a lot and maybe some day I can help you out. I'll never be able to do for you what you have done for me.

I am always thinking of you. Tell everyone I said hello. Be good and God bless you always. Your loving son,