June 14, 1944 — Dad has enough time to write a long letter to his best friend

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June 14, 1944 — Dad has enough time to write a long letter to his best friend

Bill O’Bannon was one of Dad’s best friends growing up, and later served as best man in my mother and father’s wedding. The letter below is one of the longest that Dad wrote to anyone. I suspect he must have written more to Bill, but unfortunately, I don’t have those letters.

Lt. P.B. Larimore [1] [2]

Hq. Co 3rd Bn. 30th Inf,, A.P.O. #3. c/o PM. N.Y. NY.


I know boy that it has been quite some time since I last put forward a message from this part of the world back to heaven. You know where that is boy.

But as you know boy we have been some what busy.

I will try to tell you all that I think will get by the censor. As you know, we jumped off some time around the 22nd of May. It was hard at first to tell the German they had to get out of their good foxholes but after a couple of days we made it clear that they had to get out. So they went fast. Very fast. We lost contact with them for a while. As you know my job was to clear mines in front and keep the bn. [battalion] supplied with ammo. As fast as I would get ammo to where they were, they were gone. So we just had to pick up and go the way we thought they went. Some time we were wrong as I was one day and I got mixed up with the Germans the boys that were with me, one was shot and the other captured.

I shot one with my .45 and wounded another, that way I opened a hole that I got out by. I lost my self and they went pasted (sic) me and I got back. That very same day about 3 hours later they told me I had made 1st Lt. So all together it wasn’t such a bad day. By the way we got the boy back that they captured.

Then the Germans started to run and fast. In fact so fast we captured hospitals that didn’t have time to pack and run. (They had been much too busy with the wounded. The boys left lots of their equipment. I never saw so many tanks and big guns.

Then after that it was just a job of walking on. The 3rd Division cut the main highway that lead from the Southern front. So we had plenty of troops captured there.

Then we walked up almost to Rome where we ran into some lively fighting. I think that the Germans were not ever quite sure if they wanted to leave the town. But as we came in one side they were running out the other side. You should have seen the people of Rome.

As you know I had to carry the extra ammo for the Bn in my two jeeps and trailers so that me[a]nt I had to be just behind the front line troops. So my jeep was one of the first. I have an anti-aircraft machine gun just in front of me (I ride in the front seat). As we went into town I had it all loaded and ready. The people just covered my jeep with flowers. They gave me more attention than the foot troops.

[Here two sentences were cut out].

We were all dead. The troops had marched well over 3 days and 2 nights and they were played out. But still plenty of fight left. Luckily they told us we would stop for a while.

I hope this gets to you. If it does please send it on to my family and yours. I don’t like this kinda [sentence cut out] thing too much.

Bill boy I wish you could dream of the things like I do. I’m telling you boy it’s going to be wonderful to be back. If Mom sends me my Kodak I will be able to take many pictures that you will be able to see with me some of the things I have seen. I have been all over Rome and seen all of the things that we studied about in Latin. It has in many ways [been] much fun and it’s (sic) been all free for me but it has cost the other men much in ways that can’t be repaid in money.

How have you been doing with your work? Bill don’t feel bad about [not] being over here. In the first place it’s hell. And in the second place you are getting far ahead of us guys here. We still have to go back to school and resettle ourselves again from a life of hell and death and being killers, back to just the kids we were before I left.

But when I get back we will do just the same things. Double date and go out to the Rainbow and dance a while. Then out to the southern part of Highland for a little while to look at the moon, then back in and on the way home stop at the Pig-N-Whistle for a couple of hamburgers and a malt. Or maybe Kane’s. Boy, that’s all to come.

Well Bill I will sign off for now. Write me when you can cause I miss you fellow bad.

Just a guy.




This is a copy of a letter Philip Jr. wrote his boy friend here.


[P.S.] We have been able to get the Kodak, but had to order one.[3]


(Better not give this letter too much publicity, although it was censored).



[1] Handwritten letter. Post marked “U.S. Postal Service. A.P.O. 3. 16 Jun 1944.”

[2] I have the Handwritten letter from Dad, and his mother’s typed copy. It’s interesting that she corrects his spelling and punctuation. I’ve transcribed what he actually wrote.

[3] Ethyl’s typed copy of Dad’s letter had this typed and signed at the top. It was most likely addressed to my namesake, my Great Uncle Walter Dean Owens, who married my father’s Aunt, Leota Larimore,  the sister and only sibling of my paternal grandfather, Philip Bonham Larimore, Sr.

[4] The same typed copy of this letter had this at the bottom. Again, presumably it was typed by my grandmother, Ethyl, and sent to Dad’s Uncle Walter.

In case you haven’t read or listened to Dad’s book, you can learn more or order it here.

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