Letters from Oregon Boys in France
Compiled by Mrs. Frank Wilmot 1918
Private Frederick C. Butler
St. Nazaire, France, May 20, 1918.
At last I am able to tell you where we are, which is St. Nazaire, an antiquated city of about 35,000 people in peace times. It is situated at the mouth of the Loire River in western France, near Nantes, a city of about 250,000 population. This is in Bretagne [Britany], one of the oldest parts of France, home of the sea-roving, brave ancestors of ours, the Celts.
There are several very pretty summer resorts around here but I haven't had time to visit any of them yet. Lucien has a day off today, so would be able to take a little trip out to some of these resorts, though I don't think he got a pass to go today.
When I have more time I will tell you more about the place, and send you some post card pictures of the burg, if permissible. [You see the order that we could designate the name of the place only came in today and it might be several days or so before it's in use, and the sevberal attending problems, as to pictures, etc., will be decided].
Lucien and I were sitting out on the boulevard last night and we said Irene, Ned and Dad would certainly enjoy [and make fun of] the scene before us, passing in review, American soldiers, French soldiers, dudes, peasants, families, etc., and the old peaked brick or stone buildings and the people drinking wine and resting at tables placed out on the sidewalk in front of the cafes.
It's regular summer hot weather here for several days which is lots better than rain.
You can address our mail now to St. Nazaire, Loire Inferieur [the latter is kind of a county] and add the 701 for certain, also, of course, the 306, etc.
Well I must close as I have a little work to do and will write more next time.
With all love and as ever,
Private Frederick C. Butler,
Supply Co., No. 306, Q.M.C., Amer. E.F.,
U.S.P.O. No. 701, St. Nazaire, Loire