“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”
“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.
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.
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.
Postmark: Fort Myers, Florida – August 7, 1943
To: Virginia Andrews | 410 Elizabeth Street | Durham, NC
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.
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.
Postmark: Fort Worth, Texas – Jan 28, 1944
To: Miss Ruby Lou Atkinson | 515 Chapel Hill St. | Durham, N.C.
It would be interesting to know whether or not Harry did end up in a desert theater, once he was deployed overseas.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
To: Mr. Mrs. J. T. Knight
308 Madison St. N
Nashville 8, Tenn
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.
“Come for me to night as I cannot walk home very well. Even if it is late. I must sew late any way. Marie”