World War II Navigator cadet breaks a few rules to have fun.

World War II Navigator cadet breaks a few rules to have fun.
Letterhead for this letter

Frank is losing weight. Who wouldn’t with the intense work-out the young cadets are put through? Stephen Ambrose, in his book about B-24 cadets, The Wild Blue, describes one such work-out, probably similar to what Frank experienced:

“...push-ups, knee bends, exercises of the waist, running in place, pushing forward with hands on a wall while pulling the head back. At the end of a few hours of such exercising, the men had to run five miles.” p 56

A fun-loving guy, Frank often bends/breaks a few rules to enjoy himself, as you'll see below. That made him more like my dad than his upstanding, but rule-bound, oldest brother.

LOGO – United States Army Air Forces

25 April 44

Dear Mom and Dad,

I received your package yesterday and all was in good shape. Things in general are going along swell here and there’s no real news I can tell you. I’m feeling fine and what’s more I’m losing weight which makes me very happy. I’ve cut out 2 meals a day and I feel much better. The first week of this training I lost 4 lbs. I don’t know what I weigh now but it is somewhere around 190.

I received a message in the mail to phone a Vivian Lund and at the moment I didn’t realize who she was. It’s the girl from church who joined the W.A.C.’s. I’m going to meet here tomorrow night. Cadets aren’t supposed to have anything to do with enlisted personnel but I’m going to take a chance anyway.

We have a new instructor who just came back from overseas, a captain with more ribbons than a rainbow. He’s a swell guy and knows his stuff.

Well I can’t think of any more but this. We go on our first flight Friday so you watch out the window and see if I come over. (No chance!)

I’m going to drop a note to Cookie now and I haven’t much time before evening classes start so till I write again.

Love to both of you and take good care of yourselves.

Your son, Frank

P.S. I just thought of something. Look through the junk I sent home (my letters) and see if you can find the negatives of the pictures I took up at Stevens Point, Wisconsin and ask Fred and Lill to print up a few for me.  I think I sent those films home but I’ll look here when I get back to the barracks. If I have them, I’ll send them to Fred myself but have him look through my mail and see if he can find them.

Thanks a lot. Love, Frank

P.P.S. Show the enclosed clipping of a letter to Will and Fred.  I’m sure they would be interested.

Again, Frank

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Ebner LTRs 1944-04-25 to Parents 1-1

Ebner LTRs 1944-04-25 to Parents 2-2

Ebner LTRs 1944-04-25 to Parents 3-3

Ebner LTRs 1944-04-25 to Parents 4-4

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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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