I recently came across letters a distant cousin (1st cousin, twice removed) wrote home from the war. Like Jay, he was in the St. Mihiel offensive and, marched into Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. He and Rinda, my grandmother, were cousins. Here is what he wrote on Christmas Eve from Rachtig, Germany, about 80 km from where Jay was stationed that night in Brohl. I don’t think they knew each other at this point.
“This is Xmas eve, the lonesomest Xmas I ever spent, no place to go and nothing to do.”
– Cpl Wilbur A. Huntley, 345th Machine Gun Battalion, Company B
I’m sure it was no different for Jay or thousands of other doughboys that night.