World War II Cadet tempted by California Gal

World War II Cadet tempted by California Gal

In these two letters, written about a week apart, Frank (not yet twenty years old) updates his parents about the girl he met in California, and hopes they don't say too much about her to his at-home girlfriend, Cookie. A young man's heart, far from home, seems a bit confused.

No date, but based on content, about 3/16-3/20/1944)

Dear Mom and Dad,

Just a note to tell you I’m feeling swell and am anxious to get moving. I hope you are in good shape and that Dad’s knee will be well soon.

That girl I wrote you about is very nice and I like her very much. I think she is as nice as Cookie and has a lot more spunk and life.

Cookie told me she had some pictures you wanted to see so I’m sending you the same ones. I had intended to do so for some time but when I thought of it I could not find the photos. They aren’t very good but it’s the best I can do at the moment.

I’m going to have to quit writing soon and get ready for exercise but I’ll tell you a few more things.

My gal in town will send you a package for me containing many things for Will and some letters I wish you would put away for me. Also there is a knife there for Sam. I got it in Los Angeles in the Mexico quarter and thought he might like it.
Till I write again, I remain,
Your loving son,


In Frank’s next letter to his parents, he admits he had told Cookie about his new girlfriend, and that “it’s all over now” [with Marjorie, the California girl].  He’ll be shipping out soon to his next training destination, so he and Marjorie had to break up at some point.

Second letter to parents -- about upshot with California gal, Marjorie.


Dear Mom and Dad,

I received another package from you just a few minutes ago and I’m getting pretty hungry.  I used every one of the rags but you can stop sending them now because I’m going to ship next week. It will be on or about April 6. I’ll leave you know where I am as soon as I arrive and then correspondence will go on as usual.  How is Dad’s knee? If you could one more package would get here before I shipped if you send it as usual.

Sweetheart, thanks for not telling Cookie too much about this girl out here but I told her almost too much myself. It’s all over with now and I’m back on the ball again.

Did you receive my package? In it you will find a certificate I received. I wish you would keep it handy in case I might need it. Did you get the photos of the squadron and myself O.K.? I have another I want to send but I haven’t the method of getting it there without it getting wrinkled so I’ll hold it till I can. I have to go to lunch now so I’m going to stop writing now.

Till I write again I remain your loving son,



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Original letters below:

EBNER ltrs 1944-03-16 to Mom & Dad p1

EBNER ltrs 1944-03-16 to Mom & Dad p2

Ebner LTRs 1944-03-28 to Parents-1

Ebner LTRs 1944-03-28 to Parents 2-2

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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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