I’m posting two World War II letters today because each is very short and each brings Frank’s parents up-to-date on the outstanding achievements of his Squadron 85. His second letter relates the increasing pressure on these young men to reach their highest potential. Frank is rising to the expectations.

First letter from Frank 2/15/1944

United States Army Air Forces


Dear Mom and Dad,

This has been a good week for the members of Squadron 85 as we came in on top in most events of competition. We broke the base record in the qualification on 45 caliber automatics and set a new high. Also we won the “Red Rag” which is a flag the best marching squadron carries and is quite an honor.

Last week I turned my right ankle but it was O.K. in a few days and now I’m back on duty as ever. This has been the first break I’ve had in weeks to write letters so I’m going to take advantage of it. I received your package and it was very good. I still like the ones with the fruit and nuts in it with the light thick frosting. Lill sent me a few packages this last week so thank her for me and tell her how much I appreciate it.

I sent Carol Holub a birthday card and received a letter from her the day before yesterday so now I’ll have another person to write to.

How is everything back home? I’m glad Dad is giving up some buildings.* Even though a man is as young as he feels, Dad is no child and hasn’t his strength any more.

As you know I have my ring now** and it sure feels good on my hand and it makes me feel more complete.

Those brushes you sent me are just the thing I needed and they are working fine.  Thanks! Oh! Before I forget you sent me some money in an envelope. Well I received it on pay day but it was not wasted. Don’t send any more money as I won’t need it.

Well Love to all and take care of yourselves till I can be with you.

I remain,

Your Loving Son


*If you’re just starting to read these letters, “giving up some buildings,” means that my grandfather, Josef,  had made his living for more than three decades a janitor and manager for numerous apartment buildings (up to 65 units at one point). At the time of this letter, Josef is 54, his knees starting to give out from the relentless stair-climbing and physical work. He’s begun to reduce the number of buildings he’s responsible for.

**In an earlier letter, Frank had requested that his mother send him his Austin High School Ring.

Second letter from Frank to parents, two weeks later

United States Army Air Forces


Dear Mom and Dad,

I received the weekly package and we appreciated it immensely. As usual the boys got their share and they asked me to thank you for it. Things are still going fine here and they expect more and more out of you every day in school but the other things are getting easier for me. We got a new commanding officer and he seems to be a swell guy.

Tell Will that I’m making a collection of tests and work sheets for him and I’ll be sending them to him soon.

Well we have about 3 more weeks of school here and then we take another train trip. If we go to gunnery school first I think I will get a furlough before I go to advanced navigation.

Say hello to everyone and wish them good health.  Tell Dad to take care of himself and you too so till I write again.

I remain your loving son,

Frank  XXXXX

Original first letter from Frank, 2/15/1944

Second letter from Frank “Ebner,” 3/1/1944