ELTON

France

1944

Elton, my friend from home, had been stationed in York, Yorkshire, England for nearly a year. While there, he met Liz who was an employee at the local telegraph office. Once, when I had a weekend pass, I traveled to York to see my pal and met Liz. The pair took me on a tour of the city.

Liz was slender, with brown hair, very good-looking and intelligent. During the war, restaurants (See next page.)

in England were only able to provide meat using meat coupons their customers gave them. Liz gathered meat coupons from her family and friends, and made a reservation for the three of us at a very nice restaurant. The meat was veal chops, and the dinner was very good. I remembered not to ask for water.

In England, as in France, such a request it is a sign one disapproves of the meal.

Elton (left) and me.

Elton (left) and me.

Elton had been shipped to France about the same time I was. Now he and I were alone in the Cherbourg office. He talked about Liz and how he loved her. We also talked about our futures after the war, and the people and places we hoped to see.

Then I said, “Hold on, I have to make a phone call.” I had heard that the underwater phone cable from Rouen, France to South Hampton, England was operational. It was controlled by the British Army. Nevertheless, I decided to try and reach Liz.

I knew how to get the British Army phone line and did so. When the operator came on I asked, “Can you connect me with London?”

“Who is making the request?

“Sergeant LeRoy Johnson, Liaison Officer for the Third Regulating Group.
Stiffly, the British operator questioned me. “Is this call of military importance?”

“I have a project here I need to complete. It involves military personnel.”

The Brit put my call through. Next, I asked for the British York Army facility. I was connected there, too. I smiled to myself. I had simply guessed that there was such a place! I said, “This is Sergeant LeRoy Johnson of the Third Regulating Group in Cherbourg, France. Connect me with your local telegraph office.”

This request hit a momentary snag. The woman asked, “What is the nature of this call?” I had to lie like crazy to get through.

Reluctantly, the telegraph operator put me through. Somewhere in England, a telephone rang and Liz answered!

I handed the phone to my pal Elton and left the room. Elton had only a minute or so to talk with Liz. The suspicious operator had evidently been listening and cut him off.

Le (Mar. ‘15) says: “Later, Elton got a furlough to York where he proposed to Liz. After the war, I met Elton and his wife in Manitowoc, Wisconsin where Elton was in college majoring in accounting.”

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