Frank bemoans that fact that Army Air Corps cadets in World War II are expected to supply their own toilet paper and even belts, which you think would be part of the supplied uniform. No such luck. He also needs his own shoe polish. He’s already been promoted, gaining more and more responsibility. Read on to find out more.


Service Club
Santa Ana Army Air Base


Dear Mom and Dad,

I haven’t written for some time because I’ve been very busy but now we have a breather so consequently I’m going to put it to good use.

Frank requests Dyan Shoe Polish

I’ve had a promotion since I’ve written last and now I’m a lieutenant (student). This means responsibility again so I’ve got to get to work. The lieutenants have an insignia something like a real Lt only it’s a blue bar instead of gold or silver, it’s made of celluloid. We have a good C.O. [Commanding Officer] who is a 1st Lt. He will help us a lot and is a swell guy on top of it all. The last of Sq 85 has had a good record and I’m sure these boys will be on the ball, too.

I was pretty sick yesterday. I had one of my old headaches on the right side which felt as if my head was coming apart. I could not eat and felt like vomiting but didn’t. Besides all this I’ve got the slight touch of the wheeseys mixed with a bad cough.I feel much better today but still have a cough. I you can get it and are able to mail it to me, send me a small bottle of Kepler’s Cod Liver Oil with malt extract. It may help me get over this condition. I’ll be OK but it will help me a lot. I’ve used everything I’ve got in my medical kit and I can’t shake it. Oh well, so much for that.

As I told you in my last letter, I was classified Navigator and it will take a lot of studying and plenty of responsibility but I’ll make it OK with God’s help. I’ll be here 9 weeks and then I’ll either go to gunnery school or advanced Navigator’s school and then to gunnery. It depends on my record here and my grades in school. We start school this Friday. The advantage of going to advanced school is I’ll get my wings sooner and then go to gunnery as a 2nd Lieutenant which will be more pleasant.

As you can see on the envelope, I’ve changed my title and address. I’m now a cadet and in the 85th Bombardier Navigator Squadron so here is my new address:

A/C Frank E. Gartz
Sq 85 B.N.
Santa Ana, California

Look at the envelope to see where my Army serial no. goes. It may not be clear in my description. Anyway, that’s the new address.

How is everyone back there doing and what’s new? Has the 2 flat basement been fixed yet? I got a letter today from Frank Von Arx from Alaska. He is on the mainland at Elmendorf Field. He would like to hear from some other representative of the Gartz family so either you or Will can write to:

Cpl. Frank E. VonArx
3-43rd Fighter GRR, A.P.O. 986
c/o P. M.
Seattle, Washington

No more news now so till I write again, I’m still your loving son.



Original Letter