Arial photo of Camp Grant, probably WWI Public domain

Arial photo of Camp Grant, probably WWI
Public domain

Frank Ebner Gartz, my uncle, was drafted into World War II on January 23, 1943 (see previous post: “A World War II Draftee—70 Years Ago“). The next day he wrote from his new home at Camp Grant, near Rockford, Illinois. Until I found the letter below, I hadn’t know where he had started his training. Here’s how the first day in training was reported by a new inductee on his first day in camp.

Note: I corrected spelling and added punctuation to make reading easier. Original below transcription.



Dear Mom,

I just came home from church. It’s 9:30 and our barrack woke up at 6:45 this morning, one hour later than usual. We made our bunk, washed, and ate. now we have the day to our selves. Tomorrow (Monday) we get our uniforms and our classification. We arrived at 8:05 P.M. last night. OUr train was very slow. A normal trip of two hours took us twice the time, four hours and fifteen minutes. I’m going to read the paper now. There’s nothing else to do. I might get in a card game that is just starting. Hope everyone at home is well. I got the upper bunk and it’s very warm near the ceiling. Take it easy and I’ll write again soon. 

Your loving son,


P.S. You can’t write me here because Camp Grant hasn’t a receiving station for mail.

Original Letter