Andrew Rajnic's last letter home
Coaldale native Andrew Rajnic's last letter to his family just four days before dying in the Sept. 17, 1944 crash of a military cargo plane in which he was the radio operator was written to his brother, Steve, on Sept. 13, 1944, his loneliness and the relentless horrors of war laid out in a calm and graceful hand.
"I meant to write you a few days ago when I received your letter, but I was quite busy, and with the loss of my friend things were a little upset around here," he wrote. "It's raining out now, as the monsoon rains here are at their height. And even though it rains often, I don't mind it as it makes it cooler here, and it's a relief not to have to scratch all the time with this heat rash. I still have the dam (sic) ringworm and it's very annoying."
Later in the letter, he wrote that "The nights here are very lonely, with nothing to do and I swear when I get out of this rotten joint I'll never, ever think of India again. Living like this for so long isn't fair as we are locked out from the rest of the world. We are just like the (expletive) natives here with no connections with the outside world."
Midway through the letter, Andrew's anger and sadness lifts, briefly.
"Things here are coming along nicely now, and the war news on all fronts looks good, and we watch the news every day as now at least there seems to be an end in sight of this rotten war. I don't think Hitler and company will last very much longer and then big things should begin to happen around this place."
His longing for home and family flows between the lines.
"How is that little buddy of mine? I hear so much about him, that he is growing up so fast and is a cute fellah. His Daddy says he is a real rascal now and very active, and I guess he keeps you quite busy, Mary. I'll bet you wouldn't know what to do without him no matter how much trouble he is at times."
Later, he wrote "I hear I'm about to become an uncle again, and I'm glad for Helen and Jack. Did you see Sis lately, Mary? Did you get to Coaldale lately? Well, I must be closing for now, as it's time to go to duty, but accept my very best regards and say hello to your Mother and Dad and all at home. Remember to write again and give Jimmy a hug for me. Until next time, and so long for now, as ever, love, Andy."