December 16, 1918. To Mabel. “Last week was another gay one socially—I was out every night which is too much for a working man….”

Transcribed letter [handwritten]:

Hq, District of Paris

A.P.O. 702 A.E.F.

Dec. 16th

Dear Mabel:-

Your long letter of Nov.20th reached me last Saturday and enjoyed it as usual. Sorry to hear John has been sick and mighty glad he came out of it all right.

The big excitement here was, of course, the arrival of Wilson on Saturday last. Had a pretty good look at him from my office window which looks out on the Arch de Triomphe. All Paris was out to see him, occupying windows, trees, roofs, and every other possible view point along the line of march and he surely had an enthusiastic reception. Thought of you all at home and how much you would have liked to have been here. I little thought in August 1914 that such an event would ever come to pass and still less that I would be in Paris to see it. My Commanding General was formerly his Aide de Camp and is therefore much in attendance on him now that he is here.

Last week was another gay one socially—I was out every night which is too much for a working man and this week, I’m taking it much more quietly. Last week went to two private dances and one larger one, out to dinner twice and played bridge around at the Embassy one evening. The larger dance was given by the “French Homes,” an association of French ladies gotten up for the particular purpose of entertaining American officers and they expect to give a number of others during the winter. Will enclose my invitation card for it if I don’t forget it [enclosed]. A number of prominent people were there among whom one that would have interested John was Nungesser[1] the second French “Ace.” Also an interesting Scotch girl I met had been in Russia all last winter with a British Red Cross formation.

As to how long I’ll be here that is, of course, very uncertain. The tendency is to replace Reserve with Regular Army officers where possible but, inasmuch as our work is highly specialized, it seems quite likely that I’ll be here until next summer or fall, it being almost impossible to find Regular officers with as much experience as I’ve had on this work during the past year. The Assistant Chief of my Service was in my office this afternoon and it was his opinion that I’d do well to spend Xmas of next year in South Carolina. That being the case, hope it will be possible for you and Mother to come over but guess the passport restrictions will be pretty stiff for some months yet. Also the price of living and of travelling here at this time is very high. Paris right now is absolutely full of people, the hotel accommodations being somewhat short because a number of hotels are occupied by ours and the other Allied Armies and peace Commissions. The Colonel of my Service and another Lt. Colonel came up from Tours on Saturday and my interpreter tried sixteen hotels before he found a couple of beds for them.

The weather here has been unusually mild so far but suppose it will soon be turning cold. Played golf yesterday afternoon and it was almost a spring afternoon.

Was talking today to a Major who served under Frank Harrell and thought very highly of him. He is now a Colonel and in command of the 16th Infantry of the 1st Division, now in Germany.

Lots of love to all,

Carl

O.K.

Thomas C. Montgomery

Capt. A.S.C., U.S.A.

 

[1] Charles Nungesser had 43 victories, making him the third ranking French “Ace” after René Fonck (75) and Jules Guynemer (53). Guynemer’s plane was missing over Belgium in 1917 which left Nungesser as the number two living French Ace. Nungesser disappeared in 1927 attempting a nonstop transatlantic fight from Paris to New York two weeks before Charles Lindbergh flew nonstop from New York to Paris.