Military Postcards, North America, Origin

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 Meyers, 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 Meyers, 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)

Sadly, 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.

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 port 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)
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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.

 

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

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, 195

Save

Military Postcards, Postcards, United States

Reception Committee [1943 – Jefferson Barracks, Missouri]

1943 Comic Postcard Image - Jefferson Bks Missouri lg

Who is Sergeant Graves? And why is he after Dick Chapman? Why is the quality of the milk important information to share? Was Pvt Chapman a fabled milk man before he was drafted or enlisted to serve?

Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the artwork. Are they jeering or cheering? Both?

So many questions.

1943 Comic Postcard Message - Jefferson Bks Missouri lg

Dear Tyson,

I am a Pvt in the Air Corps. Sgt Graves hasn’t got me yet. Tell everyone Hello. Milk out here is good.

Dick

To: Mr. Felix Tyson / c/o Crescent Hill Milk Service / Gallatin, Tennessee

From: Pvt R. Q. Chapman, Sqd. A 24 L. G.
Army Air Corps
Jefferson Barracks, Missouri

Postmark: Jefferson Barracks, Missouri – March 23, 1943

Front Artwork: WWII Army Airborne Comic “They had a reception committee here to meet me!” made by Beals, Des Moines, Iowa

——————-

Related postcards

Also sent by Pvt. R. Q. Chapman:  If you don’t pull the string! [1943 – Jefferson Barracks, Missouri]

Military Postcards, North America, Postcards

I wouldn’t trade my place with anybody. [1941 – Ellington Field, TX]

1941 Comic Postcard Image - Ellington Field, Texas lg

Such a charming message with positive sentiment from this soldier who only left us his initials. Ellington Field (where this card was postmarked) was a significant military installation for the war effort in the 1940’s, offering advanced flight training for bomber pilots (Wikipedia).

Due to favorable weather patterns (well, at least most of the time) surrounding its location near Houston, Texas, Ellington Field has served as a significant aviation operations center for the U.S. Military since the First World War. It’s legacy continues as the present “Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base,” serving the Texas Air National Guard, Johnson Space Center (NASA), and other active duty units (source: Wikipedia).

1941 Comic Postcard Message - Ellington Field, Texas lg

August 18-1941

Dear friend

I just thought I would write you and send this card along at the same time. Everything on the other side pertains to me except the last line. I wouldn’t trade my place with anybody. Believe it or not that is a picture of me on the other side. I think I’ll get to come home next Saturday. Well this leaves me still a kicking and doing fine.

So long. RRH

To: Miss Martha Bolton / Buckholts, Texas

Postmark: Ellington Field, Texas – Aug 19, 1941 – 1 cent stamp

Continue reading “I wouldn’t trade my place with anybody. [1941 – Ellington Field, TX]”

Europe, Military Postcards, Postcards

I got your clock. [1954 – U.S. Army Air Force, London]

1954 U.S. Army Air Force Postcard - London Image lg

The postmark caught my eye on this one. Ray sent this card from a military post office, presumably RAF Lakenheath (APO 09179). It’s a military post mark, which reads: “U.S. Army Air Force Postal Service,” and apparently was still being used long after the separate “U.S. Air Force” was created in 1947. The U.S. Air Force, to this day, maintains a presence at RAF Lakenheath (http://www.lakenheath.af.mil/).

1954 U.S. Army Air Force Postcard - London message lg

Hi Folks.

I got your clock shiped it about 3 weeks ago. You should get it sometime next month. It is insured in case anything is broken.

Ray.

To:
Mr. Wallace King
Route 2
Crofton, KY

Postmark: U.S. Army Air Force Postal Service 179  – 27 October 1954

Image: London, The Houses of Parliament

Military Postcards, Postcards, United States

A Full House: Coastal Artillery [1943-Watsonville, California]

1943 Comic Postcard image - Watsonville California lg

Private Ellis jotted this quick and lighthearted note to a friend while stationed on the West Coast. Camp McQuaide was an active post during WWII which specialized in Coastal Artillery, and was located on the Pacific coast in Santa Cruz County, California. (source).

1943 Comic Postcard message - Watsonville California lg

Hello Sarg

How is Trisha[?] by now. As for me everything is OK. Save that da[?] for I am going to get that furlow sometime. I hope. Ha Ha.

Love Mart

From:
Pvt. Marvin H. Ellis
Btry C 102 Trng Bn.
Camp McQuaide, California U.S. Army

To:
Mr. Ed Mathis
Detroit, Michigan

Postmark: Watsonville, California – Jan 18, 1943 Continue reading “A Full House: Coastal Artillery [1943-Watsonville, California]”

Commentary, Military Postcards

Gory, Gory, what a Hell of a… National Airborne Day

Curtiss : C-46 : Commando

In honor of National Airborne Day, here’s a bit of dark paratrooper humor.

Presumably intended to instill proper respect for the grim dangers of jump school, Blood on the Risers has been sung by U.S. Army Airborne trainees since WWII and follows the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Have a listen.

Blood on the Risers

He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright,

He checked all his equipment and made sure his pack was tight;

He had to sit and listen to those awful engines roar,

“You ain’t gonna jump no more!”

(CHORUS)

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,

He ain’t gonna jump no more!

“Is everybody happy?” cried the Sergeant looking up,

Our Hero feebly answered “Yes,” and then they stood him up;

He jumped into the icy blast, his static line unhooked,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

Continue reading “Gory, Gory, what a Hell of a… National Airborne Day”

Europe, Military Postcards, Postcards

No sign of moving yet [1919 – Bar-le-Duc, France]

Great War Postcard Feb 1919 back lg

The Treaty of Versailles had not yet been signed, but Umberger can certainly see the light at the end of the tunnel. With a location-less postmark from the U.S. Army Postal Service, there’s no telling exactly from where in Europe this postcard was sent.  Umberger would likely have been in the vicinity of Bar-le-Duc at some point to have acquired the image of this town in Northwest France. Hopefully he arrived back on American soil not long after his postcard did.

I have two postcards from this WWI soldier, A.C. Umberger. Here is the other, sent in March 1919.

Great War Postcard Feb 1919 lg

A pretty nice place. Hope to be home soon to play with you but there is no sign of moving yet.

Yours

A.C. Umberger

To:

  • Miss Jean T. Hunter
  • 326 E. Bucynus St.
  • Crestline, Ohio
  • U.S.A.

Postmark: U.S. Army Postal Service, Feb 18, 1919 / “Passed as censored” stamp

Image: Bar-le-Duc