- Collection of World War ll Letters (All names changed for privacy)
- AFTER THE WAR
- Bringing back My Grandfather: John H. Thompson; Son Of Ruby Alice Side Thompson
- For Genealogy Lovers: THE THOMPSON FAMILY (A Search into History) Compiled by Edward Thompson (1879-1970)
- CopyRight Statement
- Mentions and Great Links
- Recently I started re-reading the World War ll journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not published and shared with the world. These diary excerpts are not the entirety of what is published in print and kindle.Ruby grew up during a time when education was just beginning to be encouraged for both upper and middle class women. During the late 1890's Ruby explored many radical political ideas of London, England. She met many famous people including the writers George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats.5.0 out of 5 stars A choice pick, not to be overlooked, November 6, 2011 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)
Collection of World War ll Letters (All names changed for privacy)
From: PVT. Victor Vrable
464 Base Headquarters
Air Base Squadron
Kelly Field Texas
Post marked 12-27-42 San Antonio, Texas (on back of envelope: “Keep em’ flying” “a letter today is a smile tomorrow”
To: Miss Cecilia Swanson
Dear Miss Cecilia,
I am a lonesome soldier boy, with hardly any mail. I am a native Texan, and I would like to hear some news about the great city of Chicago. I have heard so much about it; I would like to hear some facts about it. Say there is a certain boy here who would like very much to hear from a certain young lady, know whom I mean? He is about the finest boy I have ever met, and he cares very much for you. Cecilia we have had it tough enough, here without the girls we left back there making it harder on us, and I know from experience because my girl dropped me the old farewell line the other day, but it makes no difference with me, because I don’t care for her, but Andy loves you, and so why not help him out by writing him? Well you are probably so angry you can’t see, so I guess I had better close this.
P.S. Andy and I are both signed up as aerial gunners. We are hoping to wear a pair of silver wings soon. Say if you will send me a picture of yourself, I will send one of myself.
Waiting to hear from a sweet girl.
Keep our hopes flying. Please write.
Cecilia, Andy knows nothing at all about this. Please believe this, the reason I am writing it, is because the poor guy goes to mail call everyday thinking perhaps today his dreams will come true and when they don’t, I know if you could see him you would be only too glad to write him. Here’s another thing, he has had more than one chance to go with the girls here, but he didn’t. Can you guess why? Well here’s hoping you don’t take this as a joke, because it is far from it. If you answer this I will try to tell you about Texas, and the Texan’s customs.
Robert L. Mitchell
Fort Knox, KY
Mrs. Mary Metz
I got your letter yesterday, it seems like you are a very busy girl now. You better be careful or you will lose some more weight and you know you cant stand to lose anymore or you will be a walking skeleton and that would be bad, hey Mary are you still big as a horse, or a small size elephant?
Lillian wrote and told me you had taken her and Ken to the show one night last week and they both had a good time, how does a 6 by 6 feel to walk with a 7 by 2 sort of out both ways?
Mary I was just kidding you a little if you are mad by now, it not will stop.
I am going to try to come home this weekend if nothing happens. Take good care of yourself and chill, and when you have nothing to do and plenty of time to do it, write again.
Pfc. Norman Luchanski
623 T.S.S. Bk. 1628
Miss Cecilia Swanson
Amarillo Army Air Field Amarillo, Texas
Is that nice to say, “Well here’s that old hog, bothering you again.” In the first place you’re not old, and in second you’re not a hog. So please refrain from making such statements, or I’ll beat you to a wood pulp. Oh! You don’t think I can do it, well too bad I don’t show you. Here’s the quarter for the last compliment about me looking fine. Yes! Army life agrees with me, but I don’t agree with it. Ha! Ha! Listen here young lady! If you don’t stop rapping yourself, I’ll have to come to Chicago and take matters into my hands. Why I think you look marvelous on the picture. Don’t forget when you have a picture taken of yourself I want it. Ok?
Last week Sunday my buddy and I decided to hitchhike to Clarendon, which is 60 miles from Amarillo. Well, our first lift was in a ’41 Chrysler which took us half way. The next one was in a ’39 Ford that took us to Clarendon. It took us only two hours to get there. Not bad! Heh! Wow! This is really a hick town. Yes! There are several stores, and even a theatre showing western pictures. There were about four soldiers and no MPs, so we opened our collar buttons and took off our ties. It sure did feel good to walk around without this. The people are really friendly. Wow! You should see all the girls in the town, but there isn’t a thing to do there. Having decided to catch a morning train, we got a hotel room. Next morning we caught the 7:33 a.m. train at 8:33 a.m. Sh! I’ll let you in on a secret. The train didn’t cost us a cent because the conductor didn’t want our tickets. On the bus to camp I met a Wave from good old Chicago. Was she good looking? Well, I’m going to make a statement and draw your own conclusions. The waves are girls who the 4-F er’s didn’t want, so the Army got them. By the way, she is supposed to be from North Avenue and Cicero. Well, I guess we got back to camp at 11:30 a.m. Monday.
I’ve abandoned that idea of finding that certain girl in Amarillo. Now I’ll wait until I get back to Chicago. I know they won’t let me down. Sure I stay in camp, but that is only when I am on the swing shift. Ha! Ha! Maybe I’m too fussy or something. Oh! Well, I’ll have plenty of time to think about girls after this war. Heh!
As for school, well we are tracing circuits from blue prints. Each wire is numbered and change their numbers. I’ll follow one circuit and land in another. Please close your ears a second while I get a few words off my mind. Ok. Imagine only 65 more days of school. Whoop-ee! Hurrah!
Honey chil, it is about 2:30 a.m. and little Terry is tired so I’ll have to close. Good night and pleasant dreams.
Pfc Len Lashin
FT Wayne, Indiana
Pvt. Paul Salin
Ward 19 Station Hospital
Fort McClellan, Alabama
You’ve had more excitement in your short time in the Army than I’ve had in fifteen months. How come the guy wanted to kill himself? The army couldn’t be as bad as all that. Does the fellow speak to you anymore after what you did for him?
It’s getting pretty rugged here just like basic training all over again. We drill all morning and hike all afternoon, and then stand retreat, and review. It’s getting tough. It snowed like hell the other day but we hiked anyhow with full packs. I screw off from the hike once in a while I have to take care of the mail.
I don’t know what the hell is the matter with my sisters. About two weeks ago I sent them a money order, and they haven’t told me whether they received it. I asked them about it, but they haven’t mentioned it in any of the letters I received from them. I can’t understand it; maybe they never got the dough.
Ma tells me that Pete Kahuauk was discharged. His feet must really be bad but I imagine it must be something else besides his feet.
By the way, where do you have the rest of your clothes while you’re in the hospital? I hope you have them checked in the supply room. If not you might find plenty stolen. I’ve seen it happen pretty often.
Are you sure there is nothing I can buy for you? I don’t need the money, since I cant be getting home, and the war is going to last quite awhile yet, so why worry about what’s going to happen after the war.
A couple of wise guys just tried giving me a hot foot while I was engrossed in this letter. They stuck about 3 matches in my shoe, but I didn’t feel anything. Too bad I disappointed them.
When will you be getting out of the hospital? Do you feel any better because of the operation?
Well I have to get my leggings on; they will be calling me out any minute for drill. The training we are getting is strictly infantry. So long and write as soon as you get a chance.
Sgt. Calvin Godfrey
Pfc Clyde L Godfrey
Fort Devins, MA
January 27 1944
I received your letter of Dec. 27th a few days ago but don’t remember if I answered it or not. So I thought I might drop you a few lines at this time.
No doubt you are more lonesome now having less to go home to. How do you and Alice get along? I suppose it is the same as it always has been between you and Calna. I have commented on some of your luck but now I guess I have more to look forward to than you do. I did not know at the time just how you were getting along in Niantic.
I may be in a hellhole a long ways from home but I still have something to look forward to. I cant say how long it will be but no doubt I will have my third year in service.
Everything is quiet around here and all we are doing is detail work for other outfits.
Can you get film for cameras? 6-16 or 6-20 there in camp? If so let me know and also let Alice know if you can. I haven’t a camera but I am going to write to Alice and have her try to get me one. While on the subject, do you have a snapshot of yourself in uniform, if so how about one.
Well kid there is not much to talk about so will close now.
I received your letter today very much to my surprise but it was most welcomed. It’s good to hear from the folks back home and if everything works out the way I hope they will, you will be my sister-in-law. I am glad to hear your folks like me because I think you are all grand.
Well California is pretty good. It’s beautiful and everything you hear about it being so nice is true. It’s only too bad I won’t be here long enough to see it all. Probably by the 26th of March we will be shipped. I don’t know where but most likely and logically it will be down the South Pacific. The food is swell and you can eat all you want but the funny part of it is I lost 15 pounds since I have been here. When they say they are training us into combat conditions they really mean it because the training is really tough. We don’t mind it so much for it’s only for our own good. They say we have little time to ourselves now but when we get overseas we will make up for it and have a lot of free time. That’s what they have been saying for the last 5 months.
Also I wish they would make up their minds and tell me in what outfit I am in the American Ground Forces. At Fort McClellan I was a lineman in the infantry and I would be assigned to a regular outfit out here but now they tell me I’m a replacement and would be put in an outfit overseas. That means us boys are going into combat straight from here with men we don’t even know and men who have been in several battles. We will have to learn fast in order to keep up with them but like I have always said they cant kill a good soldier and I am no panty waist.
So your boy friend is coming home. I am glad to hear it because those boys really deserve a break. I hope you both will have a grand time because that time will just fly and you wont know where it went. Take it from me because I know. Well I guess I have to close for now. I have to write Lottie a letter yet because I wont be able to write her for a short while. We have camp tomorrow morning for a bivouac and I will be gone for 3 or 4 days just to spoil it for us. Here’s hoping you and your boyfriend have a swell time and wishing you both a lot of luck.
P.S. Say hello to your parents, Joey and your sister’s for me. Write me a letter once in a while when you find a little time. It makes a guy feel good to receive a letter from somebody once in a while.
Sgt. Calvin M. Godfrey
92nd Service Squadron
7th Service Group
San Francisco, Calif
Written from New Guinea
PFC Clyde L Godfrey
March 20, 1944
I have received three of your letters in the past week or so. For one thing your Airmail letters are much better than the Vmail that I used to get. Another thing is that you are are writing more often which I am glad to know.
Who ever told you that you would be over here as long as you say didn’t know what they were talking about. After being in this country a year a person is not worth much the longer you stay here the more worthless you get. I know it to be a fact as I have slowed down a lot myself. Everyone also in such hot weather. Then too there is so much work and so little rest. It was bad enough before with all of the work but now we have from one to six alerts a night.
Boy am I having a time trying to catch up in answering my mail this past week. For quite awhile there wasn’t any mail and now its still coming in heavy. I suppose things aren’t too good to have a good time on furlough. You make the best of it while you can. You may get in a place like this before you’re through, where there is nothing to do, no town within miles no women and worst of all nothing to drink.
So you were horseback riding while on furlough. It’s been at most a year since I have been on a horse.
I don’t remember if I told you about camera film. There is no place we can buy any here so I’ll take as much as you can send, sizes one twenty seven, six-twenty and one sixteen.
Well I will have to close now and write again as soon as I get some of these letters answered. Wishing you the best of good luck, health, and happiness.
As ever your brother,
Sgt. Calvin M. Godfrey
92nd Service Squadron
7th Service Group
San Francisco, Calif
Written from New Guinea
PFC Clyde L Godfrey
April 7, 1944
I received your letter a few days ago of March 14th and started to answer it last night but I wasn’t feeling too well and had to get up early to go on detail I went to bed without finishing it.
The unwelcome visitors have been annoying us again. It has been quite and peaceful for a couple of week but I suppose its starting over again. It is not dark yet and we have been interrupted from writing.
On the other end has been catching hell so we have to expect some. You will probably hear plenty about this place before this is over. It may not be long but it has been too damn long to suit me. The sooner I can get out of here and back to the States the better I will like it.
If I can ever get back and don’t have one hell of a good time it wont be my fault. Money means nothing over here, as there is no place to spend it. The last bad Black Jack game I had I lost about sixty dollars. So from now on maybe I’ll be able able to save some money.
Maybe it will seem funny to us having Eddie coming into service but how about ourselves when we came in.
You have been at Deven's for quite a while and I suppose you are getting tired of the place. How are things up around there and what’s it like?
Well I guess I’ll now close as I have another letter to answer tonight.
Sgt. C.M Godfrey
San Francisco, CA
To: P.F.C. Clyde L. Godfrey
May 5, 1944
I received your letter from Nellie a few days ago giving your new address so will write a few lines tonight.
So they have finally moved your farther away from home. Now what are you going to do about your little blond sweets. Hell! I suppose you’ll meet up with some corn fed girl out there and get married. Don’t write and tell me that you haven’t been out to see Nellie yet.
What’s this I hear about you getting nervous about a boat ride? That comes when you least expect it. A little good advice is if you want a watch, camera or anything else bring it with you.
I also heard that you were feeling sorry for your twin brother being overseas. You needn’t be, as you haven’t done anything wrong. I just hope to hell that you don’t have to come over and get into this rotten life and uncivilized country.
How do you like it out in that part of the country? What are you doing out there?
I have finally gotten to a place where I can get a little rest. Not that I want it but I have a bad foot and have to stay in bed for a few days. Nothing to worry about as it isn’t serious.
Have you heard from home lately? If so what’s new? I guess I have been forgotten, as I haven’t had a letter from Alice in ages.
Well kid I’ll have to close as its getting dark and there are no lights.
Wishing you the best of good luck and happiness.
Pvt. John F. Nichols
Sec. P, Flight-E Buckingham AAF
Class 44-29 Fort Myers, Florida
Mrs. Catherine M. Nichols
1121 McKiau St.
Phila. 48, Penna
Buckingham Army Air Field
June 28, 1944
I have just received your letter of the 25th and thought I would begin an answer in the few minutes I have before class.
I received the carton of cigarettes from you and the candy from Madeline I also received the underwear the other day. The candy was real good.
I am glad to hear you received the coconut and I hope you enjoy eating it. You don’t have to wrap coconuts up to ship them. It takes a lot of beating to break a coconut. I don’t know how good it will be. It was picked green so that it wouldn’t get too ripe during shipment. It should be fully good by now.
I suppose Uncle Tom is pretty mad at me by this time for not writing them. I think I had better write them one soon or they will want to disown me. I know I really should have written them once in a while but being in school all the time you don’t feel much like writing in your spare time.
I sure wish I could get assigned to something or attached to some Squadron soon so I could get a furlough when my turn would come.
So the politicians even try to get the votes soldiers to vote their way. What ever you and Dad decide to vote let me know. If you cant agree then let me know both sides of the story and I’ll decide the rest. I haven’t been reading much in the line of politics since the war began. Once in awhile I read, to see how the invasions on the different fronts are making out.
Last night we went down to the flight line and got our flying helmets and oxygen masks issued to us. It took quite some time to get 600 men through. I was sure glad I was near the front of the line.
Right after this we went to the recreation hall and saw a U.S.O. show called “Right This Way.” It was fairly good. There was one girl who especially who sang all alone. She had a bit of a job getting off the stage. The fellows raised so much noise every time she started to leave the stage that she had to come back and sing another one. She was a nice looking girl of about 19 or so years of age. She had a very nice voice and plenty of personality. She could really put a song over. Every one of her songs made a hit with the fellows. She would have probably kept right on singing if they hadn’t let her go. She had a very cute face and very likable smile. I think that was what got the fellows. Almost after every song she would flash a big happy smile as the G.D.’s roared their approval.
There was also a puppet show like those Punch and Judy shows the Beavers used to have. The fellow was really good. He has traveled all over the fighting fronts in all theatres of the war putting on his show for the service men. It was excellent. This also went over big. The Master of Ceremonies was Sam Cohen known in Vaudeville and Motion Pictures as Mike Murphy. He played the fighting 69th if you remember. All in all it was a very good show. There were dancing teams and singing teams.
Well today we started firing on the jeep range from Martin Turrets with twin caliber 50’s as a moving target. The target moves at an average speed of 30 miles per hour. We shot 240 rounds of ammunition, 120 rounds in each gun. The jeeps with the target on it sit down behind an embankment. It runs around on a railroad track in a real large oval. It takes 90 seconds for it to make a complete turn around the track. The closer side of the oval is 200 yards, the far side 400 yards away. We were the first class in the morning so we had to level up the truck and assemble the guns. After this we had to harmonize the line of bore with the line of sight. We also had to check all the adjustments on the guns and turrets and make sure that everything was shipshape. After that we loaded the turret up with ammunition. When the whistle blew we started firing. The guns broke down quite often as well as the turrets. We are supposed to fix any malfunction that we can. If we cannot determine the cause of a malfunction then we call an ordinance man and he fixes it. The fellows working on the turret next to us had to use ours a couple of times because theirs had broke down. It wasn’t long before we had to put a new barrel in one of our guns. It had burnt right out. It didn’t have long enough to cool off in between relays. We also had to put in a few other parts that went on the fritz. That stuff is quite common here. These guns have been shot so many times it’s a wonder they shoot at all. They very seldom put in a whole new gun. It doesn’t take long to get one through when you put in a half dozen parts every day. You soon find you have a nearly new gun. Well, I got 55 hits out of a possible 240. We are expected to make about 48 on our first try. It is a tricky business tracking a moving target with an electrically operated turret. Well I made the grade at any rate.
In the morning we get up at 4:00 a.m. We eat between 4 and 5 a.m. At 5 a.m. we leave for the flight line. We have to be down there and ready by 5:30 a.m. We are up in the air for 4 hours. We have the whole afternoon off. That is of course if I am in one of the first sections to fly. There are 8 students to each fortress, 2 instructors, a radioman, a pilot and a co-pilot, and a crew chief or a flight mechanic. There are 14 in all. I sure hope we have a nice day for flying; it will make it nice for those who have never been up. It is easy to get sick if you have any sign of fear. If you are tense and afraid, the bouncing of the plane in rough air will affect you first like a rough sea. I can’t wait to see what this place looks like from the air. It is spread out over quite a large area. If I fly first and get the rest of the day off I’ll write you another letter tomorrow and let you know how it is.
Well I guess that will be all for a while. Give my love to Dad, Maria and Bootsie. Tell Madeline I’ll write her a few lines as soon as possible.
Your loving son,
X1 Fighter Squadron
APO 980 c/o PM
November 10, 1944
Mrs. F.W. Crane
3843 Baltimore Ave
Kansas City, MO.
November 12, 1944
Today is my first year’s anniversary since leaving the states, and today I also received my rating of Sergeant so this is a red-letter day.
I am glad to hear you are well and have had some nice drives in the country. I received your Christmas box, as I wrote in my last letter, and am glad to have the socks, toilet articles, and other things. I was able to buy some slippers here at the service center, so do not buy a pair for me.
Everything is going along about the same as usual and I am feeling fine.
I suppose you will have a nice Thanks-giving, who will be at the dinner? We will probably have a big turkey dinner, as usual. We have been building a storage room on one end of our hut and also a storage and storm porch on the other end. I am glad to know the booklet and diploma arrived. Have you received the fifty-dollar check this month?
I wrote a letter to Aunt Pat and to Aunt Jessie thanking them for nice Christmas boxes. I will write to Aunt Katherine tonight and thank her for the book she sent me.
It looks like your man won the presidential race again. Did you vote? Also how did Bill and Viva vote?
Not much more news, so will close.
Pvt Stanley Gailiss
Cook and Backers School
Maxwell Field, Ala
Mrs. Stanley Gailiss
My dearest wife,
I am here at Maxwell and got in last night. This morning 18 of us started classes. We will start out at eight in the morning until eleven and off until two o’clock until four and call it a day. We have classes for six days and back to the field we came from. So this morning, Sunday, I will be going back.
Baby, you can write me one letter here and then use the same address as you have been. This address here is on top of this letter and I’ll put one on the envelope.
It’s sure a nice place here and I’d like to stay here. Oh well, we can’t have what we want only get what they give us.
When I get back I’ll know about my furlough and I have it on my mind. I miss you a lot baby and counting the days until I get dismissed. It wont be long, I know and I guess I can wait a little longer.
The barracks here are swell. We have six men to a room and private showers and three washbasins. It’s a big field here and has student pilots mostly. The weather is nice here, but I can’t get used to the idea of no snow or getting too cold as it gets at home. I think I sill like to see all seasons of the years go by. I can’t tell you much more about this place but I’ll keep writing and let you know how I am and perhaps more about this field.
I’ll say goodnight for now and darling be a good girl and take care of yourself ok? I love you baby and I am behaving.