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
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, United States

A Big Bang Out of Army Life! [1944 – Camp McFearson/ Atlanta, Georgia]

Camp McFearson Atlanta, GA - postcard image lg

Is Private W.E. Prince coming or going? He mentions being stationed soon, but this postcard was sent relatively late in the war.

During World War II, Camp McPherson served as a major intake and discharge point for servicemen and women. Later renamed “Fort McPherson,” the Atlanta, Georgia installation has a long and storied past, a prominent participant in U.S. Army history from the Civil War up through the 21st century.

Camp McFearson Atlanta, GA - postcard message lg

Saturday 7:30 P.M.

Well I’m still in Georgia. Will be here untill Mon I guess. How is everybody? I am fine. Will write when I get stationed.

Evans

From: PVT W.E. Prince
Camp McFearson, GA

To: Mrs. W.E. Prince
c/o Armour Mince
R#1 Columbia, Tenn.

Postmark: Atlanta, Georgia – Oct 1, 1944

Image: WWII Comic Postcard “I’m getting a big bang out of army life!”

Continue reading “A Big Bang Out of Army Life! [1944 – Camp McFearson/ Atlanta, Georgia]”

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]”

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]”

Postcards, United States

If you don’t pull the string! [1943 – Jefferson Barracks, Missouri]

1943 Postcard image - Jefferson Bks Missouri lg

“It Won’t Mean a Thing If You Don’t Pull The String!”

This bright paratrooper cartoon referencing a famous big band hit pokes fun at the serious and dangerous training service members face. On the reverse, Dick inquires about Felix’s new truck. Perhaps it was a Chevy.

I couldn’t find any information about Cpl Chapman’s unit, but Jefferson Barracks, Missouri is a small installation located on the western bank of the Mississippi River active during the Civil War and still home to Army National Guard and Air National Guard units.

1943 Postcard message - Jefferson Bks Missouri lg

Hello Tyson

Wonder how things are there now. I hear you are doing ok. How about the new truck? Wish I could be there for a while at least. Write.

Dick.

To:

  • Felix Tyson
  • Morrison, Ave
  • Gallatin, Tenn.

From:

  • Cpl. R. h. Chapman
  • 24th T. Ga.A.F.T.T.C
  • Jefferson Bks, MO.

Manufacturer: Beals, Des Moines, Iowa

References:

Jefferson Barracks, Mo Wikipedia

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

 

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Military Postcards, Postcards, United States

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