World War II Cadet-"I know I'm not that good."

World War II Cadet-"I know I'm not that good."

Under the advice of his doctor, Frank's hoping to improve his eyesight, critical if he wants to enter pilot training. Frank's  gathering documents needed to apply for cadet status in the Army Air Corps, like his birth certificate, and the required recommendation letters have been coming in. A copy of Frank's birth certificate and what appears to be a draft of his "Application for Appointment as Aviation Cadet" are included below. The bit of bad news in this letter will come up frequently in future missives.

Raised to be modest, he seems embarrassed by his terrific recommendations (see last post for an example).

Air Corp badges - 1



Dear Mom:

I’ve been going to town every day for eye exercises and don’t know if they’re going to get better or not. It will take a week to tell one way or another. Things are running smoother right now, but during the  night last Sunday Someone stole my helmet so I guess I’ll have to pay for it.

By the way, I need my birth certificate too. I got all my letters of recommendation and I think that they over-did my character. I know that I’m not that good.

The cake and candy was swell but I won’t be able to eat all that for about three days. Well, I guess I’ll turn in now; so till I write again, I remain,

Your Loving Son,


Comments always welcome! Scroll all the way to the bottom of page to comment.

Original letter directly below. Below that are two documents he needed: his birth certificate and his application, probably a draft because of the goofy signatures at the end "Me" and "Myself."  Click once or twice to enlarge letter. The documents aren't enlarging, a problem I hope to fix soon.


Ebner LTRs 1943-05-21 to Mom-1


Ebner DOCS Birth Certificate


Mil Serv 1942-11-08 Application for Aviation Cadet

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    Linda Gartz

    I was born and raised on Chicago's West Side, where the Gartz family lived and worked for most of the 20th century. After my mom died in 1994, my brothers and I poked around the the attic of my parents' home and discovered a trove of letters, diaries, documents, and photos that had been saved for almost a century. Taken as a whole, they focus a lens on the history of our city and life in another era, as seen through the eyes of regular folks. Go to where you'll find my blog, Family Archaeologist (a clickable link is on the "About Letters of a World War II Airman" page). There you can explore this historical treasure trove that illuminates history and our shared humanity. I started my blog, "Letters of a World War II Airman," on the 70th anniversary of the date my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, was drafted into World War II military service. You can see that first post and the first three months of 1943 letters at my website, All future letters will be posted on this blog. I'm an author, archivist and television producer. Please visit my website,, to see my published articles and an overview of my television productions.

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