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
Commentary

Remembering on Memorial Day 2017

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I have a special passion for finding military postcards because they hit home for me, personally. Many of my immediate family members have served in the military, and I have lived overseas myself. These messages provide a fascinating peek into the daily lives of service members, and I will continue to post more military postcards from my collection in the coming months.

Lost Greetings Military Postcards, to date

World War I

Another view of the Castle [1919 – Marseilles, France]

The Great War [1919, France]

World War II

Postcards sent by Sgt Buddy Marress [Series of 5]

And the war is over. [1945, PA]

1950s

Nice spot in the Azores [1953, Portugal]

U.S. Troops Surrounded by Holiday Mail During WWII

“U.S. troops almost buried by parcels do their best to handle that year’s holiday mail.”


Memorial Day Remains Relevant

American service members from every generation have fallen, from the Revolutionary War through the present. These are the members of the military who we have lost so far in 2017.

Link: 2017 Fallen (Military Times)

Please remember them and their families. In the U.S., Memorial Day honors those who have paid the utmost price for the freedom of others. I hope that you take a moment to honor those who did not come home and those who loved them.

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