Commentary

Honoring Memorial Day

A Coast Guardsman stands in silent reverence beside the resting place of a comrade., 1944

“Silhouetted in the golden glory of a Pacific sunrise, crosses mark the graves of American boys who gave their lives to win a small atoll on the road to the Philippines. A Coast Guardsman stands in silent reverence beside the resting place of a comrade., 1944”

Honoring the Fallen Ft Bragg 2012

“Army Reserve soldiers render final honors at a Fallen Warrior ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C. Jan. 10, 2012. The command’s soldiers and civilian employees honored seven Army Reserve soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Memorial Day is the Past and the Future

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who paid the ultimate price and the families who lost love ones. I hope that you will spend a moment to reflect upon your own mortality and the blessings for which so many men and women have sacrificed.

(Photo & Description Credits: National Archives, U.S. Army Public Affairs)

 

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Military Postcards, North America

Bathing Beauty [1943 – Fort Myers, FL]

Fort Myers, FL 1943 postcard image V.Andrews lg

Based on how it’s referenced in this note, I can only imagine how the stationary Virginia used in her previous correspondence to Bernice must have looked. Apparently duty in Fort Myers, Florida is not all sun-bathing and nights on the town. Working Kitchen Patrol all night, which is what I can only assume the sender means by K.P., does not sound like a pleasant way to pass the time. It seems Bernice survived the nighttime duty though. I hope he did get a glimpse of a bathing beauty before leaving the Sunshine State.

The place of origin for this card, expansive Buckingham Army Airfield located near Fort Myers, Florida was in operation from 1942-1945. Known for its “Flexible Gunnery School,” the installation provided a variety of new technologies for training aerial gunners including sophisticated gunnery ranges, dummy target aircraft, dummy ammunition, and high-altitude training. If you want to learn more about all of the fascinating military training methods that were pioneered at this airfield, I highly recommend the Wikipedia page. (Source: Buckingham Army Airfield Wikipedia)

For better or worse, little remains of the hundreds of buildings and runways that constituted Buckingham Army Airfield. It was closed immediately after the war, was purchased by a land developer, and became a residential area.

Two of the 8 runways survive as a private airfield called Buckingham Field.

Fort Myers, FL 1943 postcard message V.Andrews lg

Hi There Va.,

Here I am again and a very sleepy chap at that. I just got up after working K.P.  all night so you can guess how I feel.

That was some stationary you wrote on the other time. Where in the world does a person think up things like that. It’s straight stuff though. Here is the picture of the bathing beauty but she surely must be in some other part of Fla. I haven’t seen her yet.

Be good.

Bernice

Postmark: Fort Myers, Florida – August 7, 1943

To: Virginia Andrews | 410 Elizabeth Street | Durham, NC

From: Pvt. B. A. Smith, 712th F. G. H. S.

B. A. A. F. Fort Myers, Fla.

 

Buckingham Army Airfield, Fort Myers, Florida

 

“Photo of the motor pool showing E5 turret training trucks with mounted aircraft turrets used for training.” (Wikipedia)
“A formation of four AT-6 aircraft wing their way along the Caloosahatchee River above east Fort Myers to the Buckingham Flexible Gunnery School’s range over the Gulf of Mexico (ca 1945). The plane on the right carries the tow target. The gunners shoot from the rear seat of the planes.” (Wikipedia)

 

Buckingham Army Airfield – 1944

Buckingham Army Airfield - Florida - 1944.png
Source: Wikipedia

Buckingham Airfield – 2006

Buckingham Field - Florida.jpg
Source: Wikipedia
Military Postcards, North America

Leonard’s: More Merchandise for Less Money [1944 – Fort Worth, TX]

Fort Worth, TX jan1944 image lg

Apparently Leonard’s department store was quite a place to see in its heyday. This store, located in Fort Worth, Texas, was a modern marvel before its time, even including at some point an indoor monorail. I found out about Leonard’s by way of Pvt. Luis France who sent this from Texas to a friend in Durham, North Carolina.

Leonard’s is now home to a museum about its spectacular history.

Fort Worth, TX jan1944 image message

Hello Ruby,

I am on my way back to camp from furlough. I am sorry I didn’t go through N.C. I wished I had gone by that way. Was fine being home again. I had a swell time.

Will write later.

Love Luis

Postmark: Fort Worth, Texas – Jan 28, 1944

To: Miss Ruby Lou Atkinson | 515 Chapel Hill St. | Durham, N.C.

From: Pvt. Luis France 38439718

205th Ord. MMCo. Ft Dix, N.J.

 

Military Postcards, North America, Postcards

Pain in my Canteen [1943 – Camp Stewart, Georgia]

1943 Postcard Image - Camp Stewart Georgia lg

Correspondence between a Private First Class (PFC) and a Private (PVT), this comic postcard from the 1940’s was sent not once, but twice! And, there are 2 postmarks and 4 separate locations involved:

It would be interesting to know whether or not Harry did end up in a desert theater, once he was deployed overseas.

1943 Postcard Message - Camp Stewart Georgia lg

Dear Homer,

How did it feel to get back to army life after your furlough. I expect it was lot of fun. I am learning to be a soldier now and maybe I’ll make a good one sometime. It is hot down here and so I ought to be able to stand desert service after this training is over.

Answer soon. Harry

Sent to: Pfc. Homer E. Baugh
1590th 318 [?] S. G.
Barksdale Field, Louisiana

Sent by: Pvt Harry Hawkins
Battery B 195 A. A. A. A. W. Bn.
Camp Stewart, Georgia

Postmark: Camp Stewart, Georgia – June 28, 1943

2nd Postmark on the front: Harding Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – July 5, 1943

Europe, Military Postcards, Postcards

Now quartered [1945 – A.P.O. Germany]

WWII Postcard Austria 1945 image lg

George found himself in a quaint alpine village in the late summer of 1945. The picturesque village of Reit im Winkl is a small German town near the Austrian border with a strong tradition of tourism. No rank or unit is given on this card, but the postcard was stamped at APO 527.

WWII Postcard Austria 1945 message lg

August 17

We are now quartered in this little Alpine village. We are really miles from no where. They say the snow here is terrific gets to 8′ deep in the village. Don’t you think the Alps look beautiful?

George

Postmark: U.S. Army Postal Service A.P.0 572 – 25 Aug 1945

To: Miss Olga Schleichen | 450 N. Pine St. | Indianapolis, Indiana

Image description: Reit im Winkl mit Keisergebirge 2344m


Reit im Winkl

An alpine community in the Southeast corner of modern Germany, to this day, the town has no rail connection (source), but remains a popular destination for winter and summer outdoor sports.

Reit im Winkl Tourist Information

Wikipedia

Commentary, Uncategorized

Change of Programming

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, or enjoyed any of the postcards I’ve shared here over the last year or so.

Due to other projects, I will be taking a hiatus from posting weekly. I may publish posts intermittently as time allows in the coming months.

Thanks for visiting! Now go send a holiday card to someone you don’t see everyday.

nypl.digitalcollections.b021c2e9-29c6-a684-e040-e00a18060a22.001.w
Source: New York Public Library Digital Collections

Joe E. Brown handing out mail to troops, Luzon, Philippines

 

Military Postcards, North America, Postcards

Uncle Sam’s Scrubs [1952 – San Diego, CA]

1952 Comic Postcard Image - San Diego, California lg

This postcard was sent during the Korean War by what I assume was a junior enlisted sailor. He gives us no details about his assignment other than what we can see from the  the San Diego, CA postmark. Carl writes such an endearing note home to his parents in Tennessee. The handwritten names on the cartoon are my favorite part.

1952 Comic Postcard Message - San Diego, California lg

Dear Mother and Daddy

How are all of all there fine I hop. I went to church today. It not much to do here today so I thought I would write you a line. I will send you a picture this next weekend. by for now

Carl {?}

To: Mr. Mrs. J. T. Knight
308 Madison St. N
Nashville 8, Tenn

Postmark: San Diego, California – April 7, 1952

Save

North America, Origin, Postcards

Mailed on Halloween [Indiana, circa 1910]

Antique Postcard

Man, it would be cool to have the photograph of the sender which had just been taken.

I hope you have a very happy and safe Halloween!

Indianapolis 1910s back

Dear Friends,

Hoping to hear from you soon. Haven’t heard from you for a week or so, so answer.

J.B.

We had some pictures taken together Saturday. You know who [?] that friend of mine.

To: Miss Agnes Shrack

Mooresville, Ind.

Postmark: Indiannapolis, Indiana – October 31, 191_?_

 

Europe, Postcards

On a Budget [1990 – Stockholm, Sweden]

Stockholm Postcard 1990 image lg

World traveling on a budget isn’t easy, but this family seems to have enjoyed their visit.

This is how we all shared our adventures with friends and family before Facebook and Instagram changed everything, for better or worse.

Stockholm Postcard 1990 message lg

Dear Sue & Gene,

Thanks for your letter. You’re right Stockholm & Sweden are beautiful. The train ride here was very scenic. Lots of lakes & forests. Dad says it reminds him of his uncle’s properties in Canada.

Most of the affordable hotels were full, now we are staying in a private apartment. It has a beautiful view of the City Hall.

Hope spring finds you both well & happy. I know you’ll be busy. “Hello to Jen & Helen”

Love, Dad, Linda, Sean & Patrick

Postmark: Stockholm, Sweden – April 23, 1990

Postcards, United States

Cannot walk home [1910 – Bensenville/Chicago, Illinois]

1910 Postcard Bensenville, IL & Art Inst of Chicago

Postcards like this one always prompt me to reflect on how places change over decades. The building pictured is the Art Institute of Chicago, constructed in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exhibition. The card was postmarked Bensenville, Illinois, which is located near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

This antique photograph postcard reflects an earlier era before the divided back postcard format. The message had to be squeezed on the front and the reverse reserved for the address only.

The place and time where Marie wrote and sent this card seems as distant from our present as our nearest celestial neighbors are from Earth itself. The Chicago of today would be unrecognizable to a 1910 resident, save for monumental landmarks such as this one.

1910 Postcard reverse Bensenville, IL & Art Inst of Chicago

“Come for me to night as I cannot walk home very well. Even if it is late. I must sew late any way. Marie”

To: Miss Eleanor Ehlers, Bensenville, Illinois

Postmark: Bensonville, Illinois – July 1, 1910

Image: Real photograph “Art Institute of Chicago”

Continue reading “Cannot walk home [1910 – Bensenville/Chicago, Illinois]”