About Letters of a World War II Airman

"Letters of a World War II Airman" shares original letters to and from my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, from 1943-1945. They trace the course of the war, life on the home front, and the evolution of a neighborhood kid into seasoned airman. Each letter between my uncle and his family and friends is posted on or near the 70th anniversary of the date it was written.

Frank's family drove him to Chicago's West Side draft center on January 23, 1943. This blog began on January 23, 2013, with a photo and description of that event. You can read the first post here:  A World War II Draftee 70 Years Ago.   The letters from January through the end of April, 1943, are posted on my website, LindaGartz.com.

There you'll also find my original blog, Family Archaeologist, which began with a century old love letter, from Josef Gartz, my grandfather to Lisi Ebner, my grandmother, posted 100 years to the date it was written in 1910. You can follow the story of this immigrant family's bold decision to strike out for America, some harrowing adventures along the way, and how the Gartz family ended up on Chicago's West Side.

After becoming part of the ChicagoNow family, I'm posting all future letters on this site. I hope you'll read along to get real-time perspective of a young airman as he's tested in training and in love, and faces death in combat at the age of twenty. You'll also learn about life on the home front in Chicago.

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  • Meet The Blogger

    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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