Date Original

1944 June 17


Letter from Billie Jewel Colbert in France to his father. Billie Jewel Colbert was the youngest of three sons, all of whom enlisted during World War II. Both of his older brothers, Jack and Ray, returned unharmed from war. Unfortunately, Billie was killed in action just days after writing this last letter to his father during the siege of Normandy. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star. Our collection contains several letters between Billie and his parents, other letters and official records created in the wake of his death, and photographs.


Somewhere in France June 17
Hello Dad.
How are you doing by now? I am doing just fine
so far. Just like a mole living in the ground. Dad I always
thought I wanted to travel around and see the world but I
don't. I have seen enough now they can send me home.
Dad I still don't see why Ray took the navy I was walking
waves for two days after I got off boat coming to
France. Dad I never did dig a fox hole in basic training
but I like to dig them here. Boy it sure takes lots of cigarettes
for a guy here. No Dad I just see a few of the boys that I took
basic training with. Dad I am using French paper and a
German pencil now. Well Dad I can't write much now.
Maybe I can tell you more about things before long. It's
about time for chow and I don't want to miss that.
Good by,
Answer Soon

Physical Description

Letter, 8.5" in x 11"


Correspondence; War


Billie Jewel Colbert

Geographical Area





MSNE.0008, Box 2, Folder 22

Resource Type



Billie Jewel Colbert papers, MSNE.0008


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Final letter from Billie Jewel Colbert to his father, Billie Jewel Colbert papers, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


United States History


It's not very often that you get to see a firsthand perspective of a soldier. Billie's collection helps grant a personal perspective on World War II. You can read his hopes and dreams for when the war is over followed by the anguish and grief of his family when they learned of his death. Part of what makes this collection so unique is the postmortem paperwork where the Colbert family was attending to the various affairs that arose upon Billie's death. It makes the story more complete to me; we see his life, his death, and his family sorting things out afterwards. That's how life really happens; when someone dies, the world continues moving and the bereaved are left to find a way to carry on with it. - Meredith McFadden


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Final letter from Billie Jewel Colbert to his father