Commentary, United States

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

 

Save

Advertisements
Commentary, Postal History

Is National Air Mail Week still a thing?

It seems that the “National –insert cause here– Week” concept has been around for much longer than I thought.

At its introduction, one had to pay a premium for air mail service (24 cents) compared to regular first-class mail (3 cents). With the serious occupational hazards the first air mail pilots endured, I think the price was justified.

According to Edward A. Keogh, 1927, the earliest Air Mail service in the United States carried many more postcards than other type of mail, by a landslide, though the dates over which this tally was amassed is unclear.

Postcards 32,415 87%
Letters 3,993 11%
Circulars 1,062 3%
Total 37470

Though postcards are becoming rarer, we are now more dependent on air transport of mail than ever. How could we get our online purchases “over-nighted” without our packages continuing to take to the sky?


 

Side note: Philately is far too competitive for my taste, but I recently learned more about the famous “Inverted Jenny” stamp, the holy grail of stamp collectors valued at about $1 million. The stamp came about because of the rush to produce the 24 cent air mail postage. I much prefer the humanity that is revealed on vintage send postcards, but it’s also a hobby that’s much easier on the wallet than stamp collecting.