Christine Hartley (2nd row center) and her division class.

This World War II letter serves as a mini-summary of the far-flung places young men from one West Side Chicago High School were shipped and served in 1944.

A faithful correspondent to her former students, Christine Hartley, Frank’s Austin High School division teacher, was a conduit of information to her “boys,” keeping them updated and informed about each other’s whereabouts.

She mentions “Duck,” aka, Harvey Duck, one of Ebner’s best friends, and mentioned in a previous letter. Harvey was to become a major influence in the popularity of NASCAR racing (see “World War II Buddies – Harvey Duck of NASCAR fame”).


March 26, 1944

Dear Frank,

I’ve kind of treated you like a step-child but here goes. I’ll spill all I know which isn’t much.

It is two months since I heard from you and I imagine I haven’t even answered that.

Duck walked in the other day. He looks fine. I don’t know just where he has been but his 2 stars signify he has not bee just resting. He just missed seeing Jack one day.

As luck would have it Ted blew in next day on his way to Colorado, so, they had a reunion. I haven’t seen any of them since to get the low down. Ted’s hopes for “communications” didn’t work out. I don’t know what he is doing now.

Reggie expects to get his wings next month. He is at Pecos, Texas. The California dew got too heavy for training. He wanted to be remembered to you and to wish you luck. Thought he’d be home about April 14th.

Mike Bornstein wrote he was in Panama Christmas and didn’t like it but it was great compared to where he is now. Said his boat was having plenty of action and as far as he was concerned, he’d like to come back to Chicago and give “These Beautiful Islands” back to Hollywood.

Verdico writes he has seen more of Scotland than England on his furloughs.

Never hear from Stocker anymore. I’ll drop him a note this afternoon.

Last heard from Jack Jan. 17. He wished to be remembered to all the fellows. Thought it might be over by another Christmas.

Bill Cohen’s brother was in the other day.—Just got his wings. We have lots of guests. I remember the faces but I sometimes forget the names and I hate that.

Stillo is in Teacher’s College in Milwaukee in radio training I believe.

How’s the world treating you? What can you tell me about yourself and work? Remember I’m always interested.

Things are about the same as common here.

With love,

C. Hartley

Original Letter