Most of us desperately hoped that our outfits, or we as individuals, would be moved to Paris, whose liberation was expected momentarily. Higher headquarters began to take an even greater interest in the accomplishments of the Civil Affairs section. My colleagues and I left the field for a couple of days to prepare our respective reports on MFA & A, refugees, public safety, and feeding of the inhabitants. There was beginning to be much talk of new assignments. Captain Ralph Hammett, with whom I had traveled about Normandy, was going over preliminary notes I had made and documents I had gathered. At this point, his chief, Brigadier General Cuthbert Stearns, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5 for ETOUSA and Communications Zone, bellowed my name from down the hall.
I hopped up to answer, wondering what I was going to get chewed-out about.
“Hammet has told me of your qualifications,” he said, without further ceremony, “your Paris connections and background. You’ve got the Paris post. Get there as soon as you can. Our troops will be there sooner than you think.”
I was on my way to Paris, the greatest art center on earth. (J. Rorimer, 45)
By September 7th, my grandfather was so consumed by his work in Paris that he forgot his own birthday.
Now that I’ve made it to Paris too, I’m off to retrace some more footsteps! I’ll be here for 5 days, but that hardly seems like enough time. Already, I can tell that I will have to come back!