The Joys of Christmas – Packages from Home

One of the two most common themes shown in the pictures of the troops during World War Two is receiving and/or opening packages sent from home. This was an opportunity to have a little bit of normality in an otherwise unbelievable situation. Collected below are some pictures of soldiers enjoying this simple act.

Sitting around a miniature Christmas tree and opening a Christmas package are (front row, left to right) S/Sgt. John F. Suchanek; and Pfc. Joseph G. Pierro; and (back row) Sgt. Charles M. Myrich; and Sgt. Leon L. Oben. All are members of F. A. Bn., 3rd Div. Pietramelara, Italy. December 16, 1943.
Pfc. Edmund Dill opens the Christmas package received from his wife. His buddies share the treat. Left, Pfc. Carl Anker; Right, Sergt. Ted Bailey. ETO, 11/18/44
Pfc. George E. Neidhardt, with 9th Army in Germany, opens a holiday package sent from his home. Dec 44
Sgt. Joseph H. Kadlec approaches crossroads leading to Roetgen and Stolberg, Germany, loaded with his first batch of Xmas packages. Kadlec belongs to an infantry unit bivouacked nearby. 11/14/44
Bundles from America for soldiers in the field with Field Artillery Unit in Germany. Holding Christmas packages are, left to right: Pfc. W.J. Kessler; Pfc. J.L. Proffitt; Pvt. B. Narter; Cpl. T.J. Barnewski; and Pfc. J. Stoll. 11/26/44

[Images courtesy of the US Army Center of Military History.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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