Posted in Letters, Uncategorized, World War 1

“About the only thing we fear is the gas”

These are letters sent from Private Allen L. Gooch to his family in Arizona during World War I. Up to this point, the letters have all been from his training camps in the United States, but this is the first of his letters from France. As you will see at the end, the letters are censored by the military so he doesn’t give away any sensitive information. This is the 7th letter in a series. To view the others click: 1 2 3 4 5 6

[Transcribed by Dayna Gooch Jacobs and in her possession. Slashes indicate line breaks on original letter.]

Some Where in France

Aug 15, 1918

Dear Sis and Bob,

Well I guess you/ think I have forgottan/ you. But I havent./ You know how I/ am about writing/ and besides I cant/ allways write when/ I want to, I got/ a card from you/ the other day addressed/ to camp Mills, N.Y./ Also a letter from/ mother, But havent/ received any mail direct to the A.E.F. [American Expeditionary Forces]/ as yet. But hope to soon for I sure/ [2] would like to hear/ from you all./ Well sis I know/ you expect a long/ letter and lots of/ news. But there isnt/ much I can tell/ you except I am/ feeling fine, getting/ plenty of eats. And/ realy getting fat/ I weigh about 134 lbs/ my duty isnt very/ hard. But it is/ getting rather serious./ While I dont mind/ that for that is what/ I am here for./ I cant see what, the Huns want with, this country for it, [3] doesnt look good/ to me.

We are now where/ we can see some/ excitement quite offen/ can hear the big/ guns offen and at/ night can see the/ flash from them./ Fritz comes over/ most every night in/ his aireoplains and/ drops a few bombs./ But I am getting use/ to that and seldom/ awake, only when/ our anti air craft/ guns begins. They/ almost awake the/ dead. I have also/ saw an aireal fight/ [4] there was about ten/ or twelve machines in/ all, they were so/ high up I couldn’t/ tell one from another/ but it sure was/ interesting to see/ them dive at each/ other and see the/ fire fly from their/ machine guns. There/ wasnt any brought/ down.

Tell Bob this is/ about as interesting/ as the hunt would/ have been that he/ and I was planning./ But we will get/ to take that hunt/ yet for this isnt/ goeing to last long./ [5] This whole world over/ here is lousy with/ soldiers and most/ of the soldiers is lousy/ But they have got/ the pep and mean/ business. About the/ only thing we fear/ is the gas. But we/ are well protected/ against that we have/ a mask which we/ carry at all times/ that is absoulate protection/ so don’t worry about/ Nig for I’ll get bye/ if any body else does./ Tell Cap to write. I/ written her several/ cards from Mill N.Y./ [6] and will write her/ again soon./

I sent mother 285/ Franc’s the other day./ That’s $50.00 in American/ money. Expect to send/ her some more soon/ for I cant spend it/ here like I did in/ N. York. While of course/ we have the Y.M.C. A./ where we can get most/ anything that we/ want. Also have a/ Salvation Army hut/ run bye two N.Y./ girls that sells nuts,/ candies, lemonade, ects./ So you see it isnt/ so bad over here/ at that. Its not/ [7] half so bad as I/ expected./

Will close for this/ time and write/ you ever chance/ I get. Be good and/ I will see you/ again some time./ Genl Pershing says/ Heaven hell or home/ bye Christmas but I/ dont believe it hardly/ that soon./

Love and Best Wishes

Your Bud

Censored bye

Y.E. Lowle [his signature]

Capt 314th M.P.


I am an Accredited Genealogist® professional living in California. I have been researching and teaching since 1988.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s