Posts in category "Army Air Corps"

Navigation school "A beautiful set-up" in World War II

Navigation school "A beautiful set-up" in World War II
Below are two letters, written within a day of one another, by Frank to my dad and mother and the second one, just to my mother, Lil. In the letter to Lil, Frank  responds to her letter of 4/14/1944 (see 4/11 post) in which she empathizes with his girlfriend quandary, and tells a funny anecdote... Read more »

Keeping mum on the home front during World War II

Keeping mum on the home front during World War II
My mother, Lillian, writes this chummy letter to youngest brother-in-law, communicating with spunky joy. Marjorie, the girl met in California, again comes into the conversation. Mom refers to a March 29th letter from Frank,which made her and my dad “howl; that letter is missing in the collection. Seems there’s a little collusion going on between... Read more »

World War II A typical day At Hondo, Texas Navigation School

World War II A typical day At Hondo, Texas Navigation School
A typical day, hour-by-hour, in Navigation School at Hondo, Texas. (Learn more about the Hondo Navigation School.) This letter from Frank to his brother Will (sometimes Will, sometimes Bill), again talks about Marjorie whom he met in California. Sounds like they had some serious interludes together. Given that he told his parents that Marjorie “had... Read more »
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World War II Easter and news from Chicago

World War II Easter and news from Chicago
Frank’s Mom, my grandmother, writes about Easter Sunday with my parents, Fred and Lil, and how hard everyone is working. Lil is taking classes in addition to her day job. Will, the oldest Gartz Brother, teaches classes for the Civil Air Patrol. My Dad is taking classes at Lewis Institute (Illinois Institute of Technology, IIT,... Read more »

WWII Navigation School-the challenge begins!

WWII Navigation School-the challenge begins!
Frank has arrived at Navigation School in Hondo, Texas, where he will be challenged as never before in his young life. He anticipates hard work––at least twelve hours a day. Frank writes two short letters, first to his mother and another to his good friend, Ted Symon. I’m posting both here.  He knows the school... Read more »

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... Read more »
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World War II high school class scattered across globe

 World War II high school class scattered across globe
This World War II letter serves as a mini-summary of the far-flung places young men from one West Side Chicago High School were shipped and served in 1944.  A faithful correspondent to her former students, Christine Hartley, Frank’s Austin High School division teacher, was a conduit of information to her “boys,” keeping them updated and... Read more »

World War II Air cadet writes about new girl and worries about dad

World War II Air cadet writes about new girl and worries about dad
Frank’s mom wrote to him about his father’s severely-infected knees. Frank writes these two  very short letters, the first to both his parents, the second, about two weeks later, just to his dad, my grandfather. In an earlier letter, my grandmother had written to Frank (Ebner) telling her son of Grandpa’s knee injury. (see letter:... Read more »

Bad news from the winter World War II home front: infected knees

Bad news from the winter World War II home front: infected knees
By the winter of 1944, at the age of  fifty-four, my grandfather had spent the previous thirty winters shoveling coal and snow for up to 65 apartments. His body began to give out from the strain. This letter is the first in a series that documents the severe knee problems that plagued my grandfather during... Read more »
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Air Cadet feeling good: new girl and Sharpshooter medals: World War II

Air Cadet feeling good: new girl and Sharpshooter medals: World War II
Like most young men, shipped around the country during World War II training, Frank is meeting girls wherever he goes. Here Frank tells his parents about a gal he really likes.  I wonder how his mother takes this, given that she adores his at-home girlfriend, Cookie. Frank will be shipping out soon,  before  ”complications” arise... Read more »
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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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