Military Postcards, Postcards

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

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 tricks[?] 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


Camp McQuaide, California

biggun- camp mcquaide

cartoon - Camp McQuaide

References:

http://www.dangel.net/250thCoastArtillery/index.html

 

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

Commentary

Following Buddy Marress, WWII G.I.

I was excited to find Buddy’s postcards because of the longer story they reveal.

Buddy was born in 1918. His enlistment record indicates that he worked in the education field and had completed 3 years of college. (I don’t often try to look up the names on my postcards, but since I had so much information, in this case I gave it a shot.)

Postcard Timeline

Enlisted: May 23, 1942 – Fort Oglethorpe, GA (age 23, unmarried at time of enlistment)

Source: National Archives Enlistment Record

Date Sent from Current Unit/Base Rank Recipient Name Recipient location
26-Aug-42 Salt Lake City, Utah Army Air Base, Salt Lake Pvt Gladys Bell Lobelville, Tn
5-Apr-43 St Louis, Missouri 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks ? Mrs. E Bell Lobelville, Tn
29-Aug-43 Topeka, Kansas 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks Sgt Mrs. L. H. Marress Lobelville, Tn
13-Sep-43 Topeka, Kansas 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks ? Mrs. L. H. Marress Lobelville, Tn
9-Apr-44 Topeka, Kansas 25th Adr’m Sq. (S) Cpl. Gladys Marress Linden, Tn

It seems that Miss Gladys Bell became Mrs. Marress during the summer of 1943.

Buddy Marress’s wife is buried in Perry County Tennessee: Marress, Gladys Bell, Apr. 1916-Dec. 9, 1989, “Wife of Loyd Marress”

bonds-topeka-army-airfield
Topeka Army Airfield http://9thbombgroup.org/99th-BS-files/war-bonds/they-bought-bonds.html

 

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Postcards

TH-55 Osage Helicopter [1984 – Dothan, Alabama]

1984 Dothan, Alabama postcard image helicopter lg

I imagine that this postcard was sent by someone with a connection to Fort Rucker (located near Dothan, Alabama), which remains 30 years later the home of Army Aviation and the flight school for the Army’s rotary wing pilots. I can personally attest to the fact that there are many spiders and snakes in Lower Alabama, as mentioned by Brad, the sender.

For more info about the training aircraft pictured: Hughes TH-55 Osage Helicopter

1984 Dothan, Alabama postcard message lg

Hi Friends!

Tim, I really enjoyed our phone call the other night. Don’t forget about the spiders and snakes headed my way in a week or so, okay? You both take care and keep thinking about January, also know that you two cross my thoughts fondly very often.

More later, Brad

The Hughes TH-55A “Osage” Helicopter

The Huges TH-55A is the helicopter used by the U.S. Army for primary training of Army pilots in rotary wing aircraft. The army aviation training facilities are located at Fort Rucker in southeast Alabama. Every pilot will long remember his first “Solo” in the TH-55A, even after years of flying in far more sophisticated aircraft.

Postmark: Dothan, AL – October 29, 1984

Commentary

Remembering on Memorial Day 2017

2179868782_edd9f1b93d_o


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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Postcards

Out Where the West Begins [1942, Utah]

Marress - 1942 Utah image lg

Lloyd Marress WII Postcard Series (#1 of 5)

August 1942

Here we find Pvt. “Buddy” Marress in Utah, Summer of 1942. I wonder how well he knows Gladys Bell. The wording is familiar, but a bit stiff.

I have to say, as an East coast native myself, I don’t care too much for the poem over-idealizing “the West” with such saccharine poetry. Oh well.

Info about Kearns Air Base, constructed near Salt Lake City during WWII.

Marress - 1942 Utah message lg

Wed-Nite

I’m so glad the Dr. thought you were doing fine. You’ll be a big girl, if you keep going. I enjoyed the letter from Mrs. Bell a lot. I’ll write more next time. I’m studying hard, as usual.

I love you, Buddy

To:

  • Gladys Bell
  • Lobelville, Tennessee

From:

  • Pvt. Lloyd Marress
  • Army Air base Salt Lake City

Postmark: Salt Lake City, Utah – Aug 1942

“Buy Defense Savings Bonds and Stamps” No postage: Military Mail

Image: Out Where the West Begins poem.


Other postcards sent by Lloyd “Buddy” Marress

Postcards

Sgt. Marress [1943 – Topeka, Kansas]

Marress - Aug 1943 Topeka Image lg

Lloyd Marress WWII Postcard Series (#3 of 5)

August 1943

This time we find Buddy, a Sergeant now, writing to his wife in Tennessee. He most likely was serving with the 21st Bombardment Wing which was located in Topeka, Kansas as of May 1943 (Wikipedia). The primary function of Buddy’s unit was “processing heavy bombardment crews and aircraft for overseas movement, and then processing men returning from overseas, from 1942–1946.” He seems to be staying stateside for the war, so perhaps he was an aircraft mechanic or other tradesman prepping bombers for overseas deployment.

I wonder if this postcard was provided for free by the United Service Organization (USO). I’m not sure what else “U.S.O.” could possibly stand for in this context.

Link: History of the Topeka Airport (aka Topeka Army Airfield in 1943).

Marress - Aug 1943 Topeka message lg

Saturday Evening

Darling,

I’m staying on the base tonite, as I said I will. I didn’t work this aft. got caught up on my work, at last.

I hope you’re feeling alright, s–[?] the old medicine made you sick.

I’ll go now, but[?] will be back tomorrow.

Forever yours, Buddy

To:

  • Mrs. L. H. Marress
  • Lobelville, Tennessee

From:

  • Sgt. L.H. Marress
  • 21st Sq. (S)
  • Topeka, Kansas

Postmark: Aug 29, 1943 – Topeka, Kansas

Image: “From Topeka Kansas U.S.O” John Morrell & Co. Meat packing Promo Postcard featuring Kansas Jayhawk


Other postcards from Buddy Marress

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Postcards

Without a Blueprint [1951, N. Dakota]

 

Fargo ND 1951 Postcard

I love how the message on the comic side, “Just Married,” matches perfectly with the life events on the reverse. It seems that every possible milestone and location has been mentioned, from one coast to the other (Maine to California) and even the big sky country in between. This postcard is delightfully all over the place.

Fargo ND 1951 Postcard back

Hi Nick-

Had nearly forgotten about that $5. Little more delay then will fwd to you in Calif. Next straight to Conn(?)., got married, a ’47 Chev, then drove to Mont, now heading to Presque Isle, Me (23rd FE. Ny.) Next project is getting a new car, then freedom from the above!

Hope to see you & family, please ans. to Ny address after I write again.

Red Serginson (T/Sgt)

  • T/Sgt Walter Nikkel Jr.
  • A.F. 37710692
  • 641 Morey Ave
  • Del Caso Htgs
  • Sacremento, Calif.

Postmark: Fargo, N. Dakota, Aug 12, 1951

“Can’t you architects do anything without a blueprint?”

 

Postcards

Nice spot in the Azores [1953, Portugal]

Azores 1953 Vintage Postcard

I love this postcard. It’s so informal and full of life.

I wonder if 1SG (First Sergeant) Nikkel ever took a pass and made it out to this scenic spot in the Azores for a visit. I’m sure the islands were even more remote and exotic feeling in the 1950s than they are even still today.

Lajes Field, a small but strategically located air base in the Portuguese Azores out in the Atlantic Ocean remains an active part of the NATO foot print with strong U.S. Military influence.

Azores 1953 Vintage Postcard

Postmark: Missing (Azores, Portugal)

Handwritten Date: April 18, 1953

Stamp: Portugal

To:

  • Ex. Mo Senhor I ro. Sargento
  • Walter Nikkel
  • 1605 Air Police Sqdn. AATS
  • Lajes, Terceira

Front: S. Miguel—Açores—Lagoas Verde e Azul das Sete-Cidades  Foto Toste

18 April 53

I wish you & Mac are here with me. God damn it, this is a nice spot! Why don’t you take a 3-day pass (and Mac), & get the hell down here?! I am damn sure you both would like it [?] to!!

My best regards – [name?]

Aerial of Lajes Field 1950s

Postcards, Uncategorized

Managed to get to the show ok [1944, KS]

Colorado&Kansas 1944

Lloyd Marress WWII Postcard Series (#5 of 5)

I wonder if this soldier is writing to his mother or his wife. Either way, I hope the show was enjoyable, and that he made it home to see her in Tennessee.

Colorado&Kansas 1944 back

Friday Night (Saturday)

Dearest,

It surely is a [fine?] nite out here but I managed to get to the show O.K. Things are running as usual, still on the job. hope you are still O.K. I’ll write a letter soon.

Lots of Love

Buddy

Postmark: 9 AM April 9, 1944 – Topeka, Kansas

From

  • Cpl. L.H. Marress
  • 25th. Adr’m. SQ. (S).
  • Army Air Base
  • Topeka, Kansas.

To

  • Mrs. Gladys Marress
  • P.O. Box 114
  • Linden, Tennessee.

Other postcards sent by Lloyd “Buddy” Marress

 

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