Letters of a World War II Airman

“Letters of a World War II Airman” shares original letters to and from my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, from 1943-1945, tracing the course of WWII, life on the home front, and the evolution of a neighborhood kid into seasoned airman.

Family rallies behind discouraged World War II navigation cadet

In Frank's last letter home, dated June 11th, he expressed fear about his course work. No matter how hard he studied, he was failing tests. He wrote: "I can't write letters or eat right now because...it's a constant threat to my existence." In World War II, the fear of "washing out" from the Air Corps, a common occurrence, and being sent to the infantry, plagued every young cadet.

2019-07-09T12:15:58-05:00June 26th, 2014|Letters of a WWII Airman|

World War II girl makes bomber carburetors; no boys to date!

World War II's "Rosie the Riveter" comes alive in this letter to Frank from a gal back in Chicago. She's working on a "beauty of a carburetor" for bombers. I doubt many girls before the war even knew what a carburetor was. The World War II woman became versed in previously male-only arcane knowledge. Another sign of the World War II years: no boys to date. Read on.

2019-07-09T12:10:08-05:00June 11th, 2014|Letters of a WWII Airman, World War II|

World War II bivouac results in misery: tick and chigger bites

Ticks and chiggers combine with a flunked test to make this twenty-year-old Air Corps Navigation student pretty miserable. I suffered from scores of chigger bites when visiting San Antonio when I was about Frank's age. I could not stop scratching for days and sleep was impossible from the itching madness. I totally empathize with what my uncle went through.

2019-07-09T12:58:43-05:00May 31st, 2014|Letters of a WWII Airman|