World War II Air cadet writes letters while on duty

World War II Air cadet writes letters while on duty

Frank really wants to keep in touch with everyone back home. It's the surest way to keep the letters coming and relieve homesickness. He's writing about three letters each day, and this missive to his Mom shows how he finagles any extra spare time in between his demanding studies to get the daunting amount of writing done.

Below this is the letter he addressed to his oldest brother, Will, in the same envelope.

1-17-44

Dear Mom,

I haven’t been paid yet and the $10.00 you sent me has come in very handy. We will be paid next week according to the schedule so it won’t be long now. I owed $6.00 out of the $10 you sent me, now I’m clear of debt and have money to spend.

I made a buck tonight by working for another fellow. I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing today and why I did his work too.

Everyone in pre flight has two weekend details and my first came today. I was in the cadet message center receiving phone calls and delivering their messages to the various squadrons. I was to work from 0600 to 1000 and from 1800 to 2200. Well I had lots of studies to do and I wanted to write a few letters so when the next shift came in at 2000 I asked the fellows if anyone would like me to take his place and one fellow paid me a dollar to do his detail for him. It was like killing 2 birds with one stone so I took it. 4 hours of just sitting around doing nothing but my homework and writing letters plus a buck isn’t bad. It’s 0015 now and in an hour and ¾ I can go to bed.

I’m feeling much better now that my cold is almost gone and I’ve had a good weekend rest. Now I can start this week of school with a swell start and try to do my work well. I’ve been riding a motor scooter today while I delivered the messages so I’ve had a little fun. I received your package with my shoes, a brush, a polishing cloth and many goodies but you didn’t include any jewelers rouge.

Can’t you get any? That brush you sent will be put to good use but don’t the dime stores handle any of those small brushes often used for fingernails? The approximate size is shown on the top of the page. (see original letter for size). If you can get me 2 of these they would fit the bill perfectly. I’m getting tired as you can see by my handwriting so I’m going to quit now and write to Will.

Thanks for everything.
Your loving son
Frank
xxx
xx
x

The letter below is from Frank to his oldest brother, Will, who lives with his parents, so Frank put the letter to his Mom and this one in the same envelope.

Frank writes, “I don’t do anything wrong they can prove.” Whatever it is he's up to, he has to tread gingerly with his very proper and straight-as-an-arrow older brother.

Dear Will,

How goes it chum?  Thanks for the letter and jokes, they both are appreciated very much.  These motor scooters they have around here are lots of fun and they hit up high in the 30 M.P.H. range.

I know I’ll get some stick time in but I’m greedy. I want a lot more than I’ll get.

Thanks for the gentle reminder not to get stuck sending you anything. I don’t do anything wrong that they can prove and if they can’t, they can’t touch me. I’ve got some good stuff I’m going to pass on to you soon so hold tight and wait till I can manage it.

We haven’t been given any exams yet and won’t get them for a few weeks.

Well I’ve got to quit now and get my shaving equipment.

Till I write again,

I’m still the same old -- Frank

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Original letter below:

Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to  Will 1 (Mom & Will0
Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to Will (Will & Mom) 2

Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to Mom and Will 1 Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to Mom and Will 2 Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to Mom and Will 3 Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to Mom and Will 4 -

Ebner LTRs 1944-01-17 to Mom (&) Will  5

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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 Lindagartz.com 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, Lindagartz.com. All future letters will be posted on this blog. I'm an author, archivist and television producer. Please visit my website, LindaGartz.com, to see my published articles and an overview of my television productions.

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