Frank’s eldest brother, Will, is in the flying business too, at least after his day job. He earned his pilot’s license in 1943 and, at the time of this letter in 1944, is teaching aviation classes for the Civil Air Patrol.
This letter reveals how the seeds of a future career are planted for Frank Ebner’s best friend, Frank Von Arx.
Sat. March 4, 1944
What! Well what do you know? I came to life again because here I am writing. Tch! Tch! I’ve been meaning to write you all along but never seemed to arrange pen and paper together in some corner where I wouldn’t be bothered. I hope you’ll forgive my neglect of you for which I really am sorry and will try not to let it happen again. Anyway, I hope this letter finds you in good health and doing a good job of becoming a navigator.
As usual my entire time away from work is taken up by C.A.P. [Civil Air Patrol] work. Since I last wrote you I’ve instructed classes in power plants of plane (international combustion engines), civil air regulations and am now in the process of enlightening others and myself in the mysteries of meteorology.
On conclusion of meteorology I’m scheduled to teach navigation and general servicing of aircraft. We, at the field, are now the proud possessors of an Army liaison plane, a Taylorcraft 65 H.P. tandem with a 360º vision cabin. This plane is loaned to us for the periods of a month per squadron for the purpose of recruiting aviation cadets for the Army. Pilots for this plane must meet strict specifications as to flying experience before they can pilot prospective cadets.
By the way I received a letter from Frank Von Arx* the other day and he is well and I suppose you know that he enrolled in some correspondence course in journalism to fill in his evenings. Evenings up there must be pretty quiet to resort to correspondence school work.
In the course of the last few months I took a ground instructors examination in “airplane” and passed it—next comes exams in C.A.R., engines, meteorology, navigation, etc. (7) seven in all which will make me eligible to teach the subjects that will come what may.
Have exhausted my line of chatter and in closing I am enclosing a set of jokes which may add or detract to your sense of humor.
Until next time which I’ll try to make soon I remain, Bill
P.S. Frank [Von Arx] has a new address now as follows:
Corporal F. E. Von Arx 16170904
11th Fighter Sq A.P.O. 980
c/o P.M. Seattle, Washington
*We’ve met Frank Von Arx, Frank Gartz’s best friend, in previous letters. My uncle Will finds Von Arx’s journalism correspondence class rather amusing, but journalism became Von Arx’s profession. He started in the field at the age of ten! See accompanying obits, below, to learn more about this remarkable man. Will’s original letter at end.
Frank Von Arx’s Obituary